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]

COMMENTS | Blog Post Integrity

Integrity, or the need for it, extends to many areas of life. Blogging is as much a normal part of life in our time. We encounter blogs often. (At least, I’m one of those people who blogs, follows and reads other blogs).

We’re alive in an amazing time. I guess that was the line in Gutenberg’s time when the press changed the world. Blogging has changed our world, by placing the power to publish in the hands of ordinary people.

Just about anyone with access to a computer and the Internet can influence people beyond the geographic divides at a speed never imagined in Gutenberg’s time.

comments blog post integrity

One of the most powerful features of blogs is the comment option. Bloggers can decide if they want people to engage with their posts by either allowing or denying commenting.

It is a great way to say to the world, “this is what I think, let’s talk about it.” One of the reasons I blog is to start conversations that enrich. Conversations that add value. Having a different perspective or opinion doesn’t bother me at all.

We miss out on great thinking and greater awareness when we want everyone to agree with us. If you’re blogger and allow commenting on your posts, be prepared for people to disagree with you. Allowing comments is asking for it.

At the same time, it is a great way to engage others and be a part of conversation. It is the part of the blog that allows you to talk to and not at people. Commenting is a significant part of enabling community.

Like I’ve already said, because it is your blog, you can decide whether what people can do in your house. Unlike what some social media platforms like Facebook, that calls the shots on your data.

This being said, I think every blogger needs to have some sort of commenting policy if they allow comments on their posts. I have one. I reserve the right to delete or edit comments that violate my commenting rules on my blog.

However, when I, or any blogger edit comments the integrity of comments must be maintained. By this I mean as bloggers, we must never edit any comment to mean what it does not mean. Edit things that violate your policy without violating the message of comments. If this is impossible then delete the comment completely.

I’ve been thinking about integrity in blogging and this aspect came because of an experience I had recently. I wrote a comment, which wasn’t published immediately because it had to be moderated first. Some bloggers want to approve comments before they can see them. Their blog, their rules.

So, my comment was held for moderation and then published with my name and face attached, distorting the message I had written. Crazy.

Dear blogger, don’t distort the message of the people who comment on your blog. Either use it to enrich conversation and critical thinking or delete it. Don’t make people say what they never said.

Blog with integrity. Peace. I’m out. <microphone drop>Doof</microphone drop>.

[Photo Credit: geishaboy500]

Five Ways Bloggers Lose The Plot

Blogging is not going away any time soon. It enables everyone, anyone to get his or her thoughts out. Publishing is not exclusive anymore.

There aren’t any rules but principles can help each blogger find what works for him or her.

As with anything it is easy to lose the plot:

losing the plot

Objective

Blogger lose the plot when they make blogging the goal and not the means. On this blog, I write mostly about life and leadership. Every now and then I write posts about something unusual. For example when I ran my first 10km (6.2 miles) race.

Another non-typical post I did was one on my grandmother’s last words to my siblings and I. There are few reasons I blog but won’t go into detail about it here. You can read a little more about why I blog here and here.

Anyone making blogging the aim is missing out on the opportunity to do stuff that matters. And, perhaps change the world.

Quantity

I hate it when the so-called blogging experts tell you that it is your blog and you can do with it whatever you want. Whether it means publishing once a week or once a month, and in the same breath tells you, you must publish a post a day.

They proceed to tell you how many posts would be great for exposure on Google and on and on. Bleh.

Blogger, you lose the plot when all you do is produce quantity at the expense of quality.

Doubt

You lose the plot when you don’t ship because of self-doubt. I’ve been shocked several times. The good shock, by posts I thought might not be good enough. “Life In A Moment” is an example.

It seems some of the posts I doubted myself the most are the ones that have received the most hits. One thing I’ve learnt is that if I’ve gone through it, or a lesson I’ve learned, it will be helpful to someone else.

Ship despite your doubt. By so doing you will help someone deal with their own doubts.

Perfect

I had this problem when I got back to blogging a little more seriously. The wanting-everything-to-be-perfect problem, I mean. I would take days writing a blog post.

Don’t get me wrong; it is important that I deliver some sort of quality. However, the quest for the perfect blog post or perfect anything has killed a lot of great things before they’ve been able to put one foot out the door.

Dear blogger, make peace with the imperfect [Click to Tweet]

Some ideas that have changed the world were not perfect when they did [Click to Tweet]

Stop trying to be perfect at the expense of shipping [Click to Tweet]

I’ve learned to perfect some of my posts by not working on them but paying it forward. By this I mean, drawing lessons from the earlier post to write a better one next time.

I’ve helped a number of people start blogging recently and one of the problems I’ve noticed with the newbie bloggers wanting everything perfect right from the start. This stops a number from getting started.

Some things you can only better as you ship the imperfect constantly. Your commitment must be to creating better content with each post. However, don’t let you excuse for not shipping be perfection. Perfection is a unicorn that you must keep chasing.

True

Bloggers also lose the plot when they place a price on themselves. By this I mean bloggers who are willing to endorse anything as long as they get paid for it.

I will never recommend something I don’t believe in. Period. Stay true to yourself and your audience. Tell the truth.

How else do bloggers lose the plot? What would you add?

[image by Crystl | cc]

One Of My Favorite Places In The World

one of my favorite places

This is one of my favorite places in the world. There are a few simple reasons for this. It is my work space. This is my home office.

This is the most comfortable place for me to write. From here I reach deep within myself. I collect myself and every bit of who I am focuses as I write.

It is a place I get vulnerable. Here I have honest, sometimes scary and uncomfortable conversations with myself. In this place I am clothed as I reflect on lessons I’ve learned.

This is where my thoughts are filtered and sometimes unfiltered and shared with the world despite them being a work in progress.

Not only that I am unmasked to face my greatest fears. I reconnect with some of my biggest dreams. Here, I write my book and for Leadership Heretic, Heretics, Medium and something new is brewing.

I reflect here. I journal here. I seem to write best here.

One of the things connected to my writing is reading. Something about the books around me makes the space even more cosy. For me, it is one of the most inviting spaces I’ve ever encountered.

Here, I read books. Some of the books around me remind of lessons I’ve drawn from them. They call out to me to live the promises I made to myself as our eyes meet, which occasionally happens.

Some of the books are on my ‘to read’ list and seeing them reminds me that I still need to read them. Some of them are just there to feed visions of how I’d want my books to be bound and packed one day,

This is one of my favorite places because it challenges my commitments to myself. Commitments to write, to dare to ship my work, with a simple, yet lofty goal, to change the world.

From my desk I reach deep within myself and challenge the world beyond me through what I create. The world also comes to me here as I read.

These are just a few of the reasons this is one of my favorite spaces in the world. Yes, you read that right, in the world.

And you? What is one of your most favorite places on earth and why?

Blog Post Integrity

I read and follow blogs to sharpen my thinking, learn and grow. Check out the other reasons I read and follow blogs here. There are some things that I find annoying and try not to do for you, the community that reads my posts.

There is no one best way to blog. Different things work for different bloggers in different contexts. Never make the mistake of thinking there is one best way.

However, there are some things I feel must never be compromised when it comes to blogging (and perhaps other social media platforms). Every blog post must have integrity. This must stem from the values every blogger must embrace. By blog post integrity I mean:

integrity is important for successful bloggers

integrity extends from who you are to what you do

| image by contemplativechristian | cc

 

 

Link Integrity

As part of search engine optimization (SEO), which is a means helping you organically rank higher in search engines, internal and external links are encouraged. (You can read more about SEO here).

Internal links are links to other posts etc. on your blog. And, external are other websites and blogs you link to outside of your blog. Every blogger must ensure that every link in every post works.

This is a difficult gig for old posts, especially where you link to websites or blogs that do not exist any more. However, the least you could to as a blogger is ensure that links within your blog are functional. (I might be guilty of that on my blog and I correct it as soon as I find faults)

Sending people to a link that does not work is like giving a guest in your house directions to a bathroom that doesn’t exist.

Sources

 

Credit sources for your illustrations and other media that you use that you did not create. I use a lot of creative commons media and do my best to credit my sources.

Most of the creative commons media I use is open for adaptation and commercial use on condition that the source is acknowledged. I even go as far as acknowledging the sources for some of the ideas I build on from other people.

Out of wanting to seem smart, some people go on to present other people’s work as their own. I find it despicable.

You do not lose credibility by acknowledging that you are not the originator, you actually gain credibility.

What must be included in blog posts for their integrity’s sake?

.