Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Blogocombat and Confident Self Expression

Blogocombat is a general term that I coined many years ago (Google the word and see hundreds of pages of posts from me on this topic).

I use the broad term "blogocombat" to refer to all types of online discussion, debate, argument, confrontation, challenge, wrangling, hog tied and heckleding, rhetorical conflict, and text vs. text communications of a heated, intense, and multiple opinion nature.

The word "blogocombat" does not necessarily mean that there is anger, hurt feelings, revenge, harmful intent, desire to humiliate, raging jealousy, sadistic hostility, or hate-mongering conflict going on. Blogocombat, as I use the term, can embrace the whole spectrum of what people do, online, using a computer or mobile device, when presenting viewpoints, facts, and principles that are non-homogenous, diverse, and incongruent.

There can be great harmony in an enthusiastic discussion involving smart, educated, experienced professionals. The very essence of scientific method, so highly esteemed by those who value rational thought processes and reasonable behavior, is to test different hypotheses, consider new ideas, and remain open to perceptions and data that are not self-derived.

Oh, but it goes downhill fast when people are uncomfortable with dissent or experiences that seem alien to their own.

To insist that a discussion never be argumentative, never make one participant appear to be not in synch ideologically with another participant, is unrealistic and unprofitable for seeking answers to complex and fundamental questions. While there are polite, mild, and friendly ways to disagree, we must never agree to never disagree.

Listening to a group of people who completely agree with each other is boring. Have you ever tried it? You feel like it's a mutual admiration society and the voices seem to blend and blur into each other, then the whole discussion seems contrived, infomercially bland, unexciting, too artificially harmonious to be a real conversation by real people.

Moving in lockstep with a group, a mentor, a work superior, or any organization, is a guaranteed way to become bland, fuzzy, uncreative, non-innovative, prepared only for what is proscribed in some well-intended but limited training session, lesson program, or political manifesto.

So the anxiously anticipated dissertation on the Hot Blogocombat Techniques for Summer 2011 is clearly revolving around this major theme: your right to express your views and to request clarification when accused.

Express your views. Engage in discussions with others who may have opposing, contradictory, or somewhat non-analogous views. Expect some polite disagreement. Don't be overly sensitive when someone shares some information that you did not know about nor expect to find tossed into the mix. Don't see a discussion as some silly game with winners and losers.

Discussions are not contests to see who can overpower who. Conversations are about sharing and learning and discovering. We talk and listen to each other because we want to help others and gain more wisdom for ourselves.

Only an insecure, controlling personality would want every discussion, conversation, debate, argument, and communication to go his way all the time, make him feel big and important, and result in converting everybody  to his way of thinking.

You should feel happy to express yourself, even when you know that your audience is opposed to what you believe. Even when you know your idea will not be popular, will draw dismissive remarks, and may cause some people to dislike you as a person, still, you must be confident and cheerful in presenting your thoughts.

The most cowardly form of trolling is to simply silence the opponent, command him to STFU, howl hysterically about being at a disadvantage, and beg a moderator to restrict a person's utterances and use of links to online information that the troll cannot refute or dismiss. "Shut up", the troll implies when coming up with a list of vague grievances and strict new rules to prevent any further disruption of the troll's tirades and rants.

I have recently had to deal with malicious internet trolls on some client blogs.

These musings are a direct result of having solved some nasty troll issues. These remarks are simplified statements of some base realities to keep in mind when you find yourself surrounded by vicious flamers, rabid detractors, and frenzied haters in the online realm.

Don't let a troll prevent you from saying whatever you deem appropriate to say, even if it means quoting relevant material you researched and prepared, thus making the troll look sloppy, disorganized, or stupid. If you're a dedicated over-achiever, the mediocres will resent your extra work, prolific gusto, and conscientious attention to detail.

Communicate according to your own standards and the perceived context and needs in the situation. You don't have to listen to lectures on how your zeal for excellence is upsetting the applecart and making lazies look bad. You keep building your expertise and growing in your understanding of advanced issues, no matter who is comfortable with it, pays you for it, or pats your head because of it.

Another recent development in trolling is the Reverse Troll, of which I have spoken in some recent podcasts.

The latest tactics of Reverse Trolls include drawing a person into an argument, then backing off suddenly, and acting like the other person is the one who started it. From that point, the troll will consider the discussion over, he won the argument, and now it's time to move on to other things. The pathetically disguised and  unmet need underlying this strategy is obvious. The wish to dominate is so strong, and the fulfillment of this desire seems so increasingly unobtainable, the troll must arbitrarily declare the debate to be over.

If you attempt to correct a factual error concerning your actions or intentions, you are gleefully branded a troublemaker, and the troll will comb his hair, smiling into the pool of narcissism that was so recently rippled and disturbed.

You can only respond by politely but firmly advancing a proper presentation of your views and let it rest. To spend too much time in a debate makes it a time drain. I will not say "and an emotional drain", for I have already taught you that you can not allow yourself to feel anything when you read online text or submit online text.

All blogocombat is only text vs. text. There is no need to humanize it. You are not obligated to feel insulted, upset, happy, satisfied, elated, or disappointed when you engage in online conversations. You see some text. You respond with some more text. And so it goes, on and on, until you stop. Then you move on to some other activity.

If you keep all these things in mind, I think you'll be successful in your discussions with people on the internet.

Best wishes to all, and may the best man or woman, er... not "win"... but convince others of at least a little bit of what they communicate to them! LOL

Monday, June 27, 2011

Vaspers interviews DJ Bennett of Killradio PODCAST

Listen to internet radio with StevenStreight on Blog Talk Radio

The Aborted Interview with Bennett Theissen

Listen to internet radio with StevenStreight on Blog Talk Radio

The Re-scheduled Interview with Bennett Theissen

Chillroom DJ on KillRadio.org

Bennett Theissen began online services working for Rhino Records back in 1995, preparing audio excerpts of new releases for their website.

An expert on artists like Sun Ra, The Beatles, Beach Boys, Mothers of Invention, and Bob Dylan, he was "Dr. Rhino" answering music questions. In 1997 Bennett was part of the low powered pirate radio KBLT-FM in Silver Lake, and his program The Chill Room, a collage radio show, premiered there in 1997. KBLT was shut down by the FCC in 1998.

Bennett has been with killradio.org since its premiere at the Democratic National Convention in LA in 2000.  In its 11th year streaming, Killradio is one of the longest continually active internet  collective radio stations in the world.  In 2001 Bennett became a continuous news anchor on kill, and he still does the Weekly News in Review (in conjunction with harpers.org) on killradio every week.

Bennett also actively participated in Critical Mass, an attempt to make a network of a group of internet stations back in 2004 and 2005.  But maybe that was too soon!

Bennett's Chill Room shows can be found on the www.killradio.org archive page, on his podomatic page http://chillroom.podomatic.com/, and on radio4all.net at http://www.radio4all.net/index.php/contributor/1541

Be sure to also listen to these Vaspers radio theater podcasts:

Worst How To Books Ever Published

Misadventures of a Day Actuarian

Amoeba Mice

Trouble at Robot Land Labs

Rent a Party

Robot Rejects vs. the Moon Mutants

Adventures in Robot Land

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Vaspers interviews Chris Pirillo PODCAST

Listen to internet radio with StevenStreight on Blog Talk Radio

This happening was a special event within the Vaspers Presents program on Blog Talk Radio. It was a free-for-all technology discussion placed neatly and politey on the calendar on Friday, June 24, 2011.

"It's better to make history than money, because money goes away, but history is forever." - From the intro by Vaspers the Grate aka Steven Streight. 



Geek, Internet Entrepreneur, Early Adopter, Idea Evangelist, Tech Support Blogger, Media Personality, Technology Consultant, etc. Ladies and gents, the infotaining and irrepressible Lockergnome himself, Chris Pirillo.

Participating eccentrically in Internet conversations since 1992, Chris Pirillo launched Lockergnome as a content publishing network and built Gnomedex to be one of the blogosphere’s highly regarded conferences. In 1998, he authored the authoritative book on e-mail publishing — further establishing himself as a thought leader.

His presentation style and technology achievements are legendary. And now you have a ringside seat at an intimate Chris Pirillo Experience that will be memorable, instructive, and inspiring.

Be sure to also listen to these Vaspers radio theater podcasts:

Worst How To Books Ever Published

Misadventures of a Day Actuarian

Amoeba Mice

Trouble at Robot Land Labs

Rent a Party

Robot Rejects vs. the Moon Mutants

Adventures in Robot Land

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Trouble at Robot Land Labs PODCAST

Listen to internet radio with StevenStreight on Blog Talk Radio

Very weird meets extremely strange. Go figure. A solar ellipsis surface-burst engenders black hole polkadot swirls that have cryptically damaged Robot Land Labs, all 12 top secret underground levels.

Synthetics run amok, mutant creatures slither around, dysfunct droids morph into simulations of lab staff. My female lab assistant, Patti Smarch, may not even be human anymore.

What was I doing, when the super-colliding sunspot erupted? Working on some routine deteriorating spectral summits. My virtual lasso fell into a malicious loop and many hungry mutants started feasting on Russian technicians.

Find out if I can unravel this mess, or will shame myself in a weakly designed and miserably uncertain attempt.

Be sure to also listen to these Vaspers radio theater podcasts:

Worst How To Books Ever Published

Misadventures of a Day Actuarian

Amoeba Mice

Trouble at Robot Land Labs

Rent a Party

Robot Rejects vs. the Moon Mutants

Adventures in Robot Land

Friday, June 24, 2011

Myth of Human Progress and Neutral Technology

In preparation for my Blog Talk Radio interview with Professor Langdon Winner of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and author of Autonomous Technology and The Whale and the Reactor, I have assembled my thoughts on the Myth of Human Progress and so-called Neutral (Amoral) Technology.

I see very little true human progress in any sphere of life. Am I super cynical? Or are increasing numbers of people alarmed at the decline in life quality, freedom, and security that are rooted in unbridled technological advancements?

Oh sure, we have many inventions that make life easier and more comfortable. But does ease and comfort equate to stronger, happier people? Or do they make us weak, fat. lazy, stupid, pampered -- and not as self-reliant as the less "civilized" humans of the past?

Langdon Winner has exposed the potentially malevolent aspect of The Technological Imperative, which I sum up in the phrase "What can be made, must be made, and humanity must submit and adjust to it." In other words, technocrats push the false belief system that all technology is morally neutral. It all depends on how you use the technology. There is no technology that is inherently malevolent. So they say.

Darkness hates the light. Cruel people don't want to be exposed. Insane geniuses want to emphasize the "genius" side of their activities and suppress the "insane" side of their natures. Dr. Frankenstein wanted to animate a dead corpse. Why? To grant eternal life to decent, productive, law-abiding people who had died? Or just "to see if it can be done"?

Technicians, not all of them, but many, seek fame and fortune -- and resist moral interpretations of their work. If one of their inventions ends up being intrinsically harmful, or can easily be used in malicious, destructive ways, why should they care? They resist being held accountable for the Pandora's box they inflict on humanity.

How quickly we forget the completely evil technology of the Nazis with their gas chambers and sadistic human experimentation. I also categorize all animal testing as malevolent and unnecessary. Why test a harsh shampoo on the eyes of a rabbit, to see if it will blind it? Why paralyze a rat, then give it medicines to see if they will help to reverse the crippling?

It's easy to make up flimsy justifications for such cruelty, in the name of benefiting humanity. But I think in the olden days, doctors would experiment and test substances on themselves, not lab animals or paid human volunteers. A person who enjoys inflicting pain and suffering on animals can become a serial killer -- or a product testing lab technician.

There are natural remedies for many ailments, and they have no or few negative side effects when used correctly. Since many of these natural remedies can be grown by individuals, or imported cheaply, because they grow abundantly, there is not much money to be made with them, or you can't patent the naturally occurring substances. The human testing has already been done and there are ancient traditions, like Chinese herbology, that support their use.

When Big Pharma discovers an effective therapeutic plant, they tend to synthesize it, make a chemical analogue of it, so it can be manufactured in laboratories en masse. Here is where the detrimental side effects are introduced. With enough research and advertising, Big Pharma hopes to make a huge profit. But when the drug is taken off the market and class action lawsuits proliferate, we see the so-called "unintended consequences".

Has humanity progressed? Is technology creating a utopia?

Not in my view.

Slavery, racism, sexism, insanity, addiction, war, rape, poverty, pollution, disease, species extinction, wildlife habitat deprivation, ecological disasters, and many other bad realities are rampant. We have "progressed" in many comforts and conveniences, but at what cost?

We are improving in our ability to destroy the environment, poison our soil, mutate our food, dumb down our children, and wage war against both combatants and civilians.

Technocrats want us to submit without question to all new technology. They hide behind Progress as their god. They evade ethics issues. They resent any attempt to hold them accountable for the results of their toys and tools. They seek to dominate society, make us dependent on their mysterious and increasingly complex machines, and reap great fortunes and accolades from their peers.

Yes, a knife can be used to peel an apple and murder a person. Some technology is neutral in essence. The same electricity that powers our computers and enables us to communicate with each other also enables us to launch nuclear missiles and make drone strikes in nations against which we have not (yet) declared war.

Man as a tool making animal is not necessarily the best definition of humanity. As Langdon Winner states, man is better defined as a mind making animal. Before we had technological toys to amuse us, divert our attention from more important concerns, and waste our time, humans were not bored. We spent our free time in contemplation, meditation, observation, and philosphical speculations.

How many children spend time philosophizing today?

How many children play games that are gentle and altruistic?

Slasher films, violent video games, silly fantasies involving demonic beings and superstitious occult powers tend to be the norm.

Wars are increasing, citizens are revolting, governments are becoming more tyrannical, and technology is ramping up the surveillance and control features to enslave us and make us more "transparent" and predictable, while corporations and governments hide in opaque shadows of secrecy and backroom dealings.

Human progress? Neutral technology?

Nice myths for those who put their faith in science as the new religion to which all must conform.

What good is more information -- when people are being stressed with multi-tasking, schedule juggling, weakened memory, and declining powers of observation, memorization, and concentration? Tons of newly available information does little good for those who suffer from attention deficit disorder and inability to reach a rational decision.

Tech gurus and social media pundits tend to praise every new networking tool and gadget. If you bring to their attention the downsides, like how social media is becoming surveillance media, enabling identity thieves and other predators to be more efficient in their crimes, they will dismiss you as paranoid, or claim that such activity is marginal and is compensated by the many "benefits" of the technology.

Let's keep our eyes open and our minds clear. Instead of letting the steamroller smash you into the pavement, resist the false "inevitability" of the machine and question the operators thereof.

Further Reading

Technopolis (Langdon Winner blog)

Wikipedia entry on Langdon Winner

Online Luddism Index

Amazon page on The Whale and The Reactor book by Langdon Winner

Be sure to also listen to these Vaspers radio theater podcasts:

Worst How To Books Ever Published

Misadventures of a Day Actuarian

Amoeba Mice

Trouble at Robot Land Labs

Rent a Party

Robot Rejects vs. the Moon Mutants

Adventures in Robot Land

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Vaspers interviews Cindy Krum author Mobile Marketing PODCAST

Listen to internet radio with StevenStreight on Blog Talk Radio

Cindy Krum -- author of Mobile Marketing: Finding Your Customers No Matter Where They Are -- reveals the secrets to a mobile ad campaign.

Cindy Krum is the CEO and Founder of Mobile Moxie (formerly Rank-Mobile) based in Denver, CO. She brings fresh and creative ideas to her clients, speaking at national and international trade events about mobile web marketing, social network marketing and international SEO.

Cindy is an SEOmoz Assoicate and hosts a weekly radio show about mobile marketing on WebMasterRadio.fm called Mobile Presence.

She writes for industry publications, and has been published in Website Magazine, Advertising & Marketing Review, Search Engine Land, the Bruce Clay Blog, and quoted by many respected publications including Thompson & Reuters, PC World, TechWorld, Internet Retailer, Search Marketing Standard and Direct Magazine.

Some of the events that Cindy regularly presents at include Search Marketing Expo (SMX), Search Engine Strategies (SES), adTech, Affiliate Conference and Online Marketing Strategies (OMS).

Cindy also served as the co-chair of the SEMPO Emerging Technologies Mobile Web Task Force, and is an active member of the search community. She is passionate about bringing creative online marketing solutions to clients, and working with clients to develop high level, integrated mobile marketing strategies.

Be sure to also listen to these Vaspers radio theater podcasts:

Worst How To Books Ever Published

Misadventures of a Day Actuarian

Amoeba Mice

Trouble at Robot Land Labs

Rent a Party

Robot Rejects vs. the Moon Mutants

Adventures in Robot Land

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Vaspers interviews CEO Gini Dietrich PODCAST

Listen to internet radio with StevenStreight on Blog Talk Radio

Listen now to my interview with Gini Dietrich on my Vaspers New Reformed Blogoram internet podcast show on Blog Talk Radio.

Gini Dietrich is Founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, Inc., a firm using non-traditional marketing in a digital world.

Author of Spin Sucks,  the 2010 Readers Choice Blog of the Year, a Top 42 Content Marketing Blog from Junta42, a top 10 social media blog from Social Media Examiner, and an AdAge Power 150 blog, Gini has delivered numerous keynotes, panel discussions, coaching sessions, and workshops across North America on using online technology in communication, marketing, sales, and HR.

One of the top rated communication professionals on the social networks, Gini was recently named the number one PR person, according to Klout and TechCrunch, on the channels, and number one on Twitter, according to TweetLevel.

She also can be found writing at Crain's Chicago Business, AllBusiness, and Franchise Times.

Be sure to also listen to these Vaspers radio theater podcasts:

Worst How To Books Ever Published

Misadventures of a Day Actuarian

Amoeba Mice

Trouble at Robot Land Labs

Rent a Party

Robot Rejects vs. the Moon Mutants

Adventures in Robot Land

Saturday, June 18, 2011

STR8 SOUNDS explosion on the sun

Str8 Sounds "Explosion on the Sun"
on ReverbNation

One of the most personal expressions I've ever done in song. As the poet reveals what's going on within him, his inner self rises to make universal declarations of grandiose gloom, well deserved by the recipients.

We have attacked Nature.

And Nature is fighting back, from the citadel of the sun.

Cleanse your karmic field now. Generate compassion and encouragement to others.


"Explosion on the Sun"

You are pre-occupied
by a story that you lied
about to me.
You are pre-occupied
and your soul's dirty.
You are pre-occupied
by a story that you lied
about to me.
Down the toilet we shall flush
all the things that you crushed
in between your duty
to be mean and dirty.
You are pre-occupied you see.
Pre-occupied and dirty.
Pre-occupied by a gory story.
By a story that you lied about to me.
Something's inside you
and it is not you
what will you do
when I throw you into
the dogs that chew?
You are pre-occupied
by a story that you lied
about to me.
You are pre-occupied
what's the matter?
Sins collide for free.
You are pre-occupied
by a story that you lied
about to me.
You are atoms colliding
in the night describing for me
that explosion on the sun
it will affect everyone
and will fry
all computers electronics
and the porn that's inside you
as you die.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Vaspers adventures in robot land PODCAST

Listen to internet radio with StevenStreight on Blog Talk Radio

Right click this mp3 file and Save Link As: Vaspers: Adventures in Robotland

A few days ago, I had an unexpected learning experience during my Blog Talk Radio program "Vaspers Presents".

I was forced into doing Radio Theater when a scheduled interview guest didn't show.

Luckily, I had loaded a lot of broadcast sound effects into my host switchboard. As I waited for the guest to call in, I slapped together a flimsy narrative and made up characters on the fly. I'd make a statement, play a sound effect (including snippets of conversation or exclamations), and try to tie it all together with a loosely knit plot and fragile suspense.

It was such fun, the next day, I tried doing a short show that was entirely Radio Theater in nature, with sound effects and music and talking as an advanced robotic systems / ubiquitous network administrator.

Join me as I stumble around the RobotLand laboratories and try to biolocate the Robot Room where finished units are kept prior to shipping. Lesson learned: don't push buttons to "find out what they do".

Be sure to also listen to these Vaspers radio theater podcasts:

Worst How To Books Ever Published

Misadventures of a Day Actuarian

Amoeba Mice

Trouble at Robot Land Labs

Rent a Party

Robot Rejects vs. the Moon Mutants

Adventures in Robot Land

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Online Privacy and Social Media PODCAST

Listen to internet radio with Wayne Hurlbert on Blog Talk Radio

Listen to me (Steven Streight aka Vaspers) discuss online privacy with social media experts Wayne Hurlbert of Blog Business World and Blog Bloke.

Learn ways to protect your data from hackers and unscrupulous marketers.

Protect yourself from stalkers, kidnappers, con artists, identity thieves, and other criminals.

Discover who is pushing for unlimited self disclosure and why they promote publicness of personal information.

Benefit from special methods and techniques that will keep you safe online.

This is a podcast that will have you riveted in your seat, wide awake, and expanding your mind as you become a lot smarter about online privacy issues. Share this with your friends and family.

You'll feel a lot better knowing how to participate safely in social networks, and avoid the disasters that occur to so many as accounts and websites are hacked and as rogue apps try to put malware and viruses on your computer.

Check out more of our audio essays, roundtable discussions, and thought leader interviews at Wayne Hurlbert's Blog Business Success show and my own Vaspers New Reformed Blogorama...Vaspers the Grate Presents show on Blog Talk Radio.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Influence vs Trust in Social Media

During an interview I conducted with BL Ochman of What's Next, on my Blog Talk Radio podcast show, she brought up the topic of Social Media Influencers. She said that this is all the rage now, people are seeking to identify who the key influencers are in social media. Companies want to reach these influential pundits and gurus, as a short cut to reaching a broad market for their products.

Reach the key influencers, get them excited about your product or brand, and they will reach your target market with your sales message. Makes perfect sense, right? Sure it does. If you don't care about your customers, that is.

Trust is the rarest commodity on the web, as web analyst Jakob Nielsen said. People are not seeking to be "influenced", they are seeking solutions to problems, or they are seeking ways to enhance a lifestyle. They are not looking for people who are influential, but people who are trustworthy, credible, reliable.

Adam Singer solidified what BL Ochman was alluding to in her dismissal of Social Media Influencer campaigns. His article "Don't Influence, Connect and Build Trust", which my Twitter pal Dave Land @dland linked to today, prompted me to express my own thoughts on this subject.


Influence is the antithesis of community

Web community building is hard work. Anyone who says the opposite hasn’t actually built one from the ground up or is lying to you. And if you do have a thriving web community, well you know the work that went into creating it. So would you really risk attrition of your biggest competitive advantage and throw away years of hard work by attempting to covertly influence them?

If your efforts are based purely on trying to influence others or simply court “influential” users you are building your community on a house of cards. Eventually it is going to fall down because your community will see through your efforts.


When you need a solution, whether it be a lawyer, dentist, doctor, landscaper, nanny, or business coach, you go to someone you think is smart and friendly to give you advise. You also want that adviser to tell you the truth, with no hidden agenda, no finder's fee, no compensated opinion. You seek an honest and completely selfless opinion about who is a good lawyer, dentist, doctor, landscaper, nanny, or business coach.

You don't want to go to some celebrity product spokesperson and ask them for a provider of what you need. You go to a brother, sister, parent, friend, neighbor, or other trusted individual. You value their opinion because you know they have your best interests at heart. You are confident in their kindness and honesty. You are quite sure they won't lead you astray for some selfish motive.

There are individuals who exert far more "influence" than your friend, but do you trust the influential person? Does influential equal authoritative? Does influence translate into credibility? You can fake credibility, and if you don't believe me, look at Bernie Madoff. He had tremendous influence. He seemed credible, but he was a con artist who robbed many people of millions of dollars.

True credibility is not achieved overnight. It's not based on numbers of followers, but on veracity of content. Truth is not always the most popular, but it eventually wins.

Let's return now to social media and marketing your products to members of online communities. If you seek to influence them, will you be accepted or rejected? Nobody joins a social network to receive sales messages. I repeat this fact over and over. People join social networks to be social on a network. They seek others that share their values, beliefs, or interests.

If you want to reach people with a sales message on social media, you must abandon the idea that these social media participants are sitting ducks with fat wallets. You must give up the concept that social media is loaded with suckers who are easy to seduce and low-hanging fruit that's easy to pluck.

You can't be effective in social media marketing by assuming that social media has the same rules as mass media. You must comply with the core values of social media: sharing and caring. Influence is not sharing and caring, it is a form of bullying, or at worst, deceiving.

A politician can influence you to vote for him or her, but when they betray your confidence, you may then turn against them and work to remove them from office. Don't you hate it when someone "influenced" you, then you awoke from the spell and discovered that you were tricked? You then despise them, or at least you never support them again.

What's the answer? What must be done in social media if you have a brand to promote? How can you use social media to present your product to the people who need it? 

By not talking about it very much, that's how. Sure, you need to publicize the fact that you have solutions that others may need now or in the future. But blabbering on and on about your precious little product is a guaranteed way to sound too commercial, overbearing, hard sell, a huckster, or a vending machine.

Instead of pushing product, provide information that's related to your field. Establish yourself as thought leader, instead of chasing after established thought leaders like they're a secret to success. 

If you impress industry makers and shakers, fine. But if you main goal is to suck up to people with influence and big numbers of followers, you're not really concerned with customers. You only want to sell as much product as possible, which is a good way to destroy your credibility in the potential market for your product.

Influence is often just another word for bullying, manipulating, or making a false impression.

As Adam Singer says, ""I don’t write articles to gain fans, just to share ideas (which you’re of course free to disagree with)." 

This is my philosophy in a nutshell. If you seek to be popular, you'll just be annoying. If you seek to be helpful, you may become popular, but you won't care one way or another. Popularity may signal to you that what you're sharing is of value to others, but it won't be proof that what you share is wise or good or true.

Some of the worst junk on earth is wildly popular and "successful", while some of the really excellent, innovative, beneficial things are obscure and have yet to be understood and accepted by the masses -- and may never achieve a wide following or accolades from the elites.

One of the biggest influences I know of, in my own field of marketing and social media, is Seth Godin. He is one of the top selling authors and most popular bloggers in the realm of marketing. 

What does he recommend? He says it's better to be stumbled upon, than to engage in relentless, obnoxious hype and self-promotion. Seth Godin says he prefers to accidentally discover a great product or person, than be pestered by a self-promoting nuisance.

Adam Singer again.


Forget finding specific influentials, find real people and connect

Those who are the most influential usually are willing to help your brand the least. Don’t ignore those who are actively seeking to connect with you in favor of those who seem to have greater sway. It’s backwards to do this anyway. Because to some extent, the most influential people want to promote things that already are popular and have social proofing behind them. By building a close, interested community you create the right environment that influentials will come to you anyway.

Influence at scale dies with Oprah 

Oprah was influential, and exerted her influence very directly. But I don’t trust Oprah. I’ve never spoken with her. I haven’t been exposed to her raw, unfiltered and unscripted feed of thoughts. Do you really trust those with the level of influence as Oprah?

For me, the difference between Oprah and Steve is trust. But it actually goes deeper than that. It’s the difference between direct, conscious influence and merely sharing ideas due to passion and not anticipating an action would be taken. Oprah knows an action will be taken. It is conscious and while influential there is no way for us to seriously trust it. It’s not that Oprah is disingenuous, we just can’t possibly connect with someone at that sort of scale. Steve’s scale is more workable to build trust.

There won’t be more like Oprah. She was the peak product of a mass media society, but in our fragmented media society the notion of Oprah is a dinosaur. Everyone isn’t praying to the same media deity any longer, people are organizing themselves around each other. We have to change our notion of influence because it now happens at the micro level and not the macro level.


Well said, Adam.

Okay, now get out there and provide value to your Twitter followers, Facebook friends, and blog fans.

Let the influencers come to you and beg you to pay attention to THEM.