How I’ve Managed To Blog For A Long Time

See other posts about blogging here.

I thought it would be helpful, for me and others, to explore how I’ve blogged for a long time. “Long time” is relative. It’s been several years since I started to do so without quitting. In the process I’ve started some blogs and shut them down as I explored concepts and ideas. I’ve thought I’d share how I’ve managed to blog for a long time…

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Overrating The Hashtag

Overrating The Hashtag

In our social media age, it’s easy to forget that a movement does not rise and fall on the basis of a hashtag alone – @saiidat (in Nigeria Won’t Bring Back The Missing Girls)

I couldn’t agree more. The hashtag is overrated. The success of your / a hashtag doesn’t necessarily mean success of your ‘campaign’ (however you define that). One of the dangers of any marketing or publicity strategy is making the hashtag the goal of campaigns.

Failure is also imminent when you mistake your hashtag as the end and not the means. Hashtags must only be part of the campaign. A hashtag, for the sake of it, (I’m not talking about fun stuff, I’m talking about things that matter) is a week strategy. If a campaign is completely anchored on a hashtag, it will fall apart at its failure.

Always carefully consider what the object of your campaign is. Never give credit to a hashtag than is warranted. There are many case studies of failed hashtags. You know, when hashtags that were supposed to be a great campaign for causes or organisations, became against in most damaging ways.

As with many things, there is always possibility for failure for your hashtag. When you hashtag campaign fails it doesn’t mean your cause is insignificant or unimportant. It just means your hashtag campaign has failed.

Great causes can be undermined because the small thing called the hashtag has failed. Don’t let important things get undermined.

The other side of the coin is that your hashtag succeeds. Keep in mind that the success of your hashtag doesn’t necessarily mean success of your campaign. Don’t be naive. You can have a successful hashtag and a failed campaign. (Of course, just as you can have a successful campaign with a failed hashtag).

Your hashtag has succeeded when it enhances or pushes you toward the desired outcomes of your overall campaign.

Don’t lose focus on what the hashtag means for you and your cause… Don’t place all your bets on the hashtag horse. Find other ways to add value to your campaigns. Recognise and clearly articulate how a hashtag fits into your campaign and its significance.

Win or lose, the hashtag must not be king, but your objectives

[image by Quinn Dombrowski | cc]

Published via DeskPM

One Of The Ways To Brand Yourself On The Internet And Why | Part 2

In an earlier post, I covered one of the best ways to bran yourself and some reasons why. This is a follow-up to that post.

Blogging, regardless of the media or platform you use for it is one of the best ways to manage your brand on the Internet. Your blog should be one of your brand’s best friends and sit on the first line of defense and offence.

In addition to the other reasons in the aforementioned post, here are a few more:

branding through blogging

Cost

Do I really need to say much on this? For the sake of some perhaps I should… Blogging comes free but not really. It costs you time, which can be translated into dollar value. Maybe not… Blogging takes effort and a lot of energy, but the returns compared to the investment are worth it.

Blogging is one of the most cost-effective ways of marketing. I dare say that blogging can be part of the frontline of your marketing strategy.

Control

Blogging doesn’t have any restrictions as far as expressing your brand is concerned. Social media platforms tell you what you can do when you’re there but you are in charge when it comes to your brand.

You have complete ownership and control over you content, unlike some *book and *gram platform(s) that own your photos and data when you put them there.

You get to choose the media of your communication. Unlike some platforms, which only allow you to use video or photos, you can mix as you please. Your house, your rules. Your data, your stuff!

Size

You brand is can be summarized in a phrase or word. Maybe not. Though you can communicate what you’re about in a few meticulously strung words, it doesn’t make it the sum of your brand.

Tag lines or campaign slogans are merely hooks. Invitations for people to give you a little more of their precious attention.

Blogging is a great way to communicate who you are and all you’re about in manageable bite-sizes. This keeps your brand constantly in minds of people you reach. Guess who they’re going to call on when they have a need you meet… Doh!

For those who ask, “why should my enterprise blog?” the question should be, “why should you be so dumb not to?”

Stop Complaining About Ads & Privacy Changes On Social Networks

Google+ is now introducing ads. Also, unless you tell them not to they are going to use your face to endorse some stuff. That sound familiar?

And, in the other corner, all content on Facebook is now searchable. Oh, did I mention Instagram serving ads. Awesome. Yes, awesome, for them that is.

Once I was the guy who was outraged by this. I mean, “How could they use my content like that? It was my content, my family picnic photos, my wedding and my creative artwork. And, they’re just going to use it anyhow, not even without my permission.”

Like I said, I was once that guy, then I grew up.

Stop Complaining About Ads & Privacy Changes On Social Networks

Complaining about what social networks are doing with “your data” is naive [Click to Tweet]

 

User Agreements and Privacy Policies

Firstly, like 99.9% of most people on them you never did read the user agreement and privacy policy. You just lied; you claimed you had read and understood the terms. If you had read it carefully, you would’ve seen the clauses that said they could amend the policy and the user agreement.

You would’ve been aware that you were at the mercy of the network you would commit the memory of some of your precious moments in life. How do I know? I did that. I didn’t read the long, boring, legal jargon that the “agreements” are written in.

My take is that they, the user agreements that is, are written to protect the social media platforms more than the people who use them.

Stop complaining about the change of privacy and advertising on Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and the rest. They told you, in their complicated way and incomprehensible way that they would do what are doing.

It is their house you went to play in and you have to play by their rules. For me, it is that simple. But I didn’t just arrive at this. It was journey. They need to keep their lights on and want some sort of reward for allowing you to play in their house.

Is it that simple enough for you?

Platform

One of the ways I chose to grow up and stop complaining about all these changes is to put more “stock” on my blog. I now place more value on my blog in that I have chosen to concentrate on putting more of my personal stuff where I have complete control of my stuff.

I do still use Facebook, Google+ and others, because a lot of people are there, but I use it to point to my blog. My pageviews, including photo posts, are now too important for me just give away to Facebook, Google+ and the like.

Again, if you’re happy for someone else to call the shots on your stuff that is fine. But it is not for me. I use self-hosted WordPress for my blogs. I don’t like the free blogging platforms (e.g. wordpress.com, Tumblr) because I don’t know what bee is going to be in the bonnet tomorrow. I also don’t have complete control about what ads show on “my blog”.

My writing, precious memories in photos and other works are that much more valuable to me that I want where I can protect them and do as I please with them, without being a share price pawn for Zuckerberg or Schmidt.

I am grateful for Facebook, Google+ and others in that they help us connect with friends and family. I’m also grateful that they’ve helped me in building my platform.

Alternatives

Like I’ve said, I now choose to focus my content more on my own platforms. Besides my blog I’m also placing great value on apps and platforms that share the philosophy of complete ownership and control of works.

Hence I use Pressgram. I’m also on the look out for apps and platforms that share a philosophy akin to Pressgram’s.

Side Note

Anyone serious about influencing in any significant way must know how to leverage the different platforms. However, this must be done in way that also enables their own platform, of which they have autonomy to do as the please with.

Your strategy to influence must never be at the mercy of social media platforms you have no control over [Click to Tweet]

Crux

Quit complaining about ads, privacy policy changes. You can’t go to someone’s house and make demands. Didn’t your momma teach you better?

Focus on building your own platforms such as self-hosted blogs where you can put your realty. Use the Facebook, Google+ and others like them to enable your own platform.

Your take?

[image credit: clasesdeperiodismo]

Ditch The Superfluous

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 12.06.37 PM

I mean, seriously?! I have lamented about how stupid “poke” is in Facebook. What I find more absurd is that it still lives on. One day someone poked me and I was shocked that the “poke” feature still existed. But why?

Did I mention, after expressing my shock that “poke” still existed I start getting poked. Well, you know why…

Early today, I thought to clear notifications and I was poked… Then I scrolled down and, whoa! Facebook is now giving “poke suggestions”!

This makes me think:

Of all the features we build into products and experiences of those we serve are we aware of the superfluity? [Click to Tweet]

The sad thing about the superfluous is that it takes away from the experience of those we serve as leaders or organisations. Not only that, it takes away valuable resources in time, finance and man hours. The irrelevant, the superfluous we entertain detracts from our mission and robs focus on what really matters.

Some leaders allow the superfluous to live on because of nostalgia. In the early days “poke” was a fun feature. The lesson:

Be ruthless with the superfluous in the present despite its value in the past [Click to Tweet]

Another important lesson:

The really cool and awesome today, can be the “unnecessary superfluous” tomorrow [Click to Tweet]

I don’t use the feature, unless to make fun of Facebook. You know when someone thinks you’re making a joke with them but the joke is actually on them? That! I think that is what most do when they push “poke” on Facebook.

Perhaps the more absurd is that people still poke others. The lesson:

“Superfluous” sometimes lives on because we entertain those who encourage it [Click to Tweet]

Some organisations are held back from innovation because they’re stuck nursing “superfluous” [Click to Tweet]

(By the way, I’m slowly divorcing Facebook. More later)