Blog Soup 2011.10.17 by Stan Faryna

Blog Soup
by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

I read a lot of blogs. Maybe, too many. I comment on a lot of blog posts.Maybe, too many. If you are a Triberrati, you do too.

A Triberrati is a blogger that stands out in the Triberr community. Triberr is a web app that connects bloggers and helps them to curate each other on Twitter. You can learn all about Triberr by reading any of the following posts about it.

1. Yomar LopezHow Triberr Changes The Competitive Landscape

2. Jason YormarkTriberr: How I Increased My Reach to Over 300000…

3. Neicole CrepeauFriday Fives: Tips For Using Triberr

Gary Portnoy, Where everybody knows your name (Cheers theme song)

Earth Date 2011.10.17

Just some of the blogs that I commented on this week:

1. Make The Sale Before The Buy by Dino Dogan

2. How To Optimize Your Twitter Feed with Twylah by Adam Dince

3. Twitter Junior High by Terri Nakamura

4. Crowdbooster Review by Jason Yormark

5. The Heart Of Engagement featuring Dave Gallant

6. Are You Familiar With The New F-Word? by Francisco Rosales

7. The Gentle Art of Persuasion by Alen Majer

8. How do You Write Powerfully? by John Magnet Bell

9. Get More Twitter Followers by Cindy Morrison

10. A Word on Recovering from Loss by Shawn Murphy

11. Bloggers! Avoid What Yahoo Did If You Want Your Blog to Plug Away by Ali Abbas

12. Social Media and Death by Ken Mueller

13. What Aren’t You Cut Out For? by John Sherry

14. 11 Ways to Get A-Listers to Give Your Content a BOOST! by Sean Platt

15. Letting Go of that Toxic Relationship, Even if you Love the Person by Karla Campos 

Bruce Springstein, My Home Town

Moveable Feasts, Scooby Snacks, Etcetera

1. Make The Sale Before The Buy by Dino Dogan

Engage your potential customer in a game to make them a customer. That’s what Dino is saying. Does it happen in blogging, he asks.

My comment:

Most bloggers believe that to build readership they have to bring a proactive readership that makes comments and, thereby, contribute to an immersive experience of the blog and its community. Or, perhaps, at least until a critical mass is achieved. I have no idea what a critical mass means because I’m not there. So I am speculating on that.

There is some fleeting, fuzzy sense of reciprocity going on. I comment on your blog, you should comment on my blog. Is it gamey? Perhaps. Are their natural game mechanics structured within authentic human relationships? I would say so.

Can you game reciprocity of commenting? In other words, can you get more comments than you give? 2x? 3x?

Some people try to game that intentionally. Some do it unintentionally in the sense that they get more comments than they give but that was not a function of intention. It was a function of availability, interest, or other pressing matters.

Where you are giving comments 5 to 1 or worse, I would re-evaluate the value of reciprocity with that connection. Of course, mileage will vary. And popularity provides for some unintended perks and leeway.

Yeah, there’s the other game too: Read my blog, get value, and become my customer.

But I know for a fact that such strategy is a hard and uphill game to play. Websites have been trying that for 15+ years. And if you don’t offer what people need right now at a competitive price- it’s a game of loss and unrewarded wait.

Postscript:

Betsy Cross mentions Dino’s blog post in regard to her concern that gaming does not make deeper connections. You can read it here.

2. How To Optimize Your Twitter Feed with Twylah by Adam Dince

Adam Dince has some ideas about optimizing your twitter feed with Twylah. In other words, Adam is telling you how to game search engines to get ranking for topical information via Twylah. But it may cost you $20 or so for the custom Twylah sub-domain.

My comment:

Janet Callaway recommended this blog post with great enthusiasm. So there I was. Thinking about… Batman!

Batman’s utility belt never looked better. It looked good on him. It was ergonomic. And all the tools he needed to get the job done were there. Today, the social media ninja drives a van filled with all kinds of tools piled up in the back. It shifts during the ride and that’s one heck of a mess.

Does Twylah go on a belt or in the back of the van?

3. Twitter Junior High by Terri Nakamura

What is a troll? Terri explains trolls and all the other monsters on Twitter. But she reminds us that there’s a lot of good stuff still going on.

My comment:

A very dark and seedy side has been there ever since I joined Twitter, but we could ignore it. Flame wars never seem to break out among the digerati, twitterati, or triberrati. But flame wars do happen. We just don’t see it because we don’t follow those people.

Still, it is a surprise to hear that the dark side is creeping up from the basement. I fear things will worsen if the economy does not improve. For people grow shorter and shorter on patience in their despairs and troubles.

Note:

The native blogger comment system doesn’t work for me on the following browsers: Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

4. Crowdbooster Review by Jason Yormark

Jason Yormark says crowdbooster is nifty because it does things like

1. Automate thank you’s for people who have retweeted him.

2. Recommend influential followers to follow back

3. Recommend actions to take to improve social media performance

My comment:

Does Crowdbooster go on a belt a la Batman? Or in the back of a social media ninja’s special ops van?

5. The Heart Of Engagement featuring Dave Gallant

Is Facebook buzz-worthy? Were the Facebook changes relevant to the world? To business? Google what? Is social media getting too big and overwhelming?

What is engagement? Do we focus too much on a pat on the back?

My comment:

Yomar doesn’t have a Facebook fan page?! Yomar Lopez, James St. John, and Dave Gallant are having too much fun talking on #NJAB Podcast.

Check out my fan page, buddy. And understand. [grin]

http://www.facebook.com/Faryna.FanPage

6. Are You Familiar With The New F-Word? by Francisco Rosales

If you aren’t using social media as a discovery engine, social currency, and a commerce platform, you aren’t you using social media. That’s what it sounds like Francisco is saying to entrepreneurs and small businesses.

My comment:

Francisco quotes conversion rates of 2 to 4% for F-Stores. And an average of 3.4% for traditional websites. I think both numbers are high. That must of been an all star sample for both. [grin] Myself, I don’t trust statisticians.

That’s not to say F-stores and F-commerce are not interesting to me. I’d like to see that work out for small entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs. I have some concerns, however. For example, when Facebook brought the smackdown on social game companies like Zynga and Playdom, Facebook forced them to give up 30 percent of their revenue on in game currency sales. With very little notice.

Will Facebook do it again with F-commerce? In fact, Mark Zuckerberg is not known for his soft skills, commitment to community, or big heart.

Note:

Disqus failed to post the comment.

7. The Gentle Art of Persuasion by Alen Majer

Alen explains that the essence of selling is the ability to make someone see things the way you see them. Manipulation is one way to do it. A poor way, Alen says. In other words, when you get the buyer to see it your way, your way honestly solves a problem for them. And that’s how persuasion should be used. At least, I think that’s what Alen is saying.

My comment:

Alen concludes with “Honesty sells.” I like that. But I’m sure he doesn’t mean a general and undirected honesty. He seems to suggest several things to be effectively and authentically persuasive.

1. You honestly believe that your product or service solves an urgent problem for the customer.

2. You honestly believe you have identified an urgent problem that can be solved by your product or service.

3. You honestly care about your customer, their needs, and their problems and you make that obvious to them from the get go.

Are you persuasive?

8. How do You Write Powerfully? by John Magnet Bell

1. Go where it hurts. Pain teaches.
2. Be honest, but recognize the story isn’t about you.
3. Have an opinion. Piss people off.
4. Feel guilt. Repent. Write about your regrets.
5. Tackle controversial topics that you feel strongly about.
6. Learn not to rant.

My comment:

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

What’s a rant? [grin]

I have one more:

7. Ask uncomfortably sincere and meaningful questions.

Note:

Disqus comment failed to post.

9. Get More Twitter Followers by Cindy Morrison

Cindy bristles at the thought that people are paying for thousands of twitter followers. Engage people. That’s her message.

My comment:

Engaging targeted followers takes time – especially if you don’t relate to a major or trending brand, product, or service. If you don’t relate as I just mentioned, initial return on investment will be poor- especially if you are starting out with 100 or less followers. People often make the assumption that you are not interesting based on your Twitter following number. It gets worse now because now you need a Klout score to make headway into some social media circles.

Two plus years ago, I went from 0 to 1000 followers in three months. Recently, I’ve seen people struggle to honestly engage 500 followers in twelve months.

What if you just bought your first 1000 followers and took it from there? 1000 followers is respectable. It’s not wow but it is a nice place to start from.

It’s a tough call for me in terms of making a professional recommendation. I don’t want to contribute to the dwindling value of Twitter. But it is a catch 22 when someone comes to me for results.

What about buying 10,000 followers? I’ve seen it done. I’ve seen it done for 25k, 50k, and 100k followers in less than a month. But some of these high growth accounts are government operations experimenting with influence and misinformation. If your government is doing it, does that make it ok?

Is it as simple as saying, do what you can do without getting caught? Or shall we insist on honesty and integrity as a welcome and certain disadvantage?

Your blog post inspires interesting questions.

10. A Word on Recovering from Loss by Shawn Murphy

Shawn Murphy reflects on the recent loss of his grandmother and by extension on the losses felt by those in the workplace.: laid off colleagues, reduced salaries, etc.

My comment:

Leading and managing in difficult times is not easy. It requires greater emotional intelligence and empathy than in the good times. Closing companies, for example, requires a certain sensitivity and graciousness that usually go far beyond the resources of the ordinary manager and business leader. Been there. Done that. One measure of successfully managing such grim maneuvers is that people will still talk to you and are willing to connect years later.

11. Bloggers! Avoid What Yahoo Did If You Want Your Blog to Plug Away by Ali Abbas

Yahoo! has tremendous resources, capital, and user base. But their future remains questionable and precarious. Ali suggests several reasons why Yahoo! continues to fail to be more relevant. Ali reflects on his possibly precarious future as a blogger in light of Yahoo!s challenges.

My comment:

Yes, Yahoo!’s base is dwindling. It’s losing ground as a major online brand around the world. Yahoo, however, remains focused on it’s advertising business and, yes, it is making a profit.

While Yahoo! mail continues to be relevant, everyone continues to wonder when Yahoo! is going to step up its game, generate excitement, and make headlines. It hasn’t done that for 10 years. Or so it seems.

Is Yahoo! a lesson for the aspiring social media or blogger rockstar? Do you have to keep growing what you do to be so much bigger than who you are? Are you dead when you stop being MORE relevant?

It’s something to think about.

12. Social Media and Death by Ken Mueller

Ken Mueller is guest posting on Bill Dorman’s blog this week.

What happens to our social properties when we die?

Writes Ken: “Every update, every post, every photo, becomes a lasting part of who we are, for better or for worse.”

My comment:

Death and social media makes for an unusual and interesting topic. Way to go, Ken. That’s going deep. At least six feet in a manner of speaking. [grin]

I have seen online memorials and memorial “guest books”. But they are off the beaten path and I imagine that they lose relevance over time. Myself, I didn’t bookmark the ones that I have visited and signed. Nor did I return.

Yet it is naïve to think Facebook or Twitter will be enduring platforms fit for never ending narratives. They are businesses. Worse, they are online businesses. In other words, here today, gone tomorrow.

20+ years ago, I remember putting dozens of my sonnets on Prodigy and Compuserve. All are gone. Prodigy, Compuserve, and my sonnets. Those social networks aren’t even significant memories in themselves.

I would be surprised if Facebook and Twitter were around in 20 years – not to mention that the hard drives upon which our data is stored has an average life cycle of three years.

That doesn’t mean there can’t be a start up that can provide such a service. $10,000 for a one hundred year online memorial. $25,000 for one thousand years. Service starts with a downpayment of $1,000. Monthly payments starting at $15 on a 100 year payment plan. Variable fees not included. Beyond technological and technical challenges, the greatest challenge will be how to make online memorials relevant to the living online community.

This could be the start up that makes you a multi-millionaire. Or a dozen of us in five years.

13. What Aren’t You Cut Out For? by John Sherry

“You have to be you and to ditch all the things that aren’t you.” That’s what John Sherry is saying. Be brilliant at what you can do.

My comment:

There’s plenty of brick walls out there for you to bang your head on. If you’re going to bang your head, stick with the ones that give. In other words, we can’t be and do all things – not even all the things that we might imagine to be fun, cool, or epic.

Each of us has a limited amount of time, energy, and attention – all of which is best focused on the things that matter most. It will happen that we think or believe that something is important to later discover it is not. That’s ok. Mistakes will be made. But the pursuit of happiness, I believe, is best pursued in discovery of the things that naturally and deeply speak to us and speak through us to the world.

We must be very careful, indeed, of all those things that speak to us through jealousy, envy, and temptation. Or (can I say it?) marketing and advertising messages.

14. 11 Ways to Get A-Listers to Give Your Content a BOOST! by Sean Platt

“Constant blogging is grueling,” Sean writes. So Sean has come up with 11 ideas on how you can “ethically piggyback on the great work of other bloggers.”

My comment:

While reading Sean’s introduction, the first image that came to my mind is a leech. And who the heck aspires to be a leech. Leeches are not epic. A million leeches, however, could be an epic tragedy. [grin]

I was reluctant to read further because I don’t like lists that try to stand on their own legs. Lists don’t have legs in my humble opinion. Do such statements make me a troll? Perhaps. Is a troll inherently a bad thing. I played a troll champion in Everquest for many years and brought significant value to the fight for good, truth, and beauty. [grin]

But I started to think that this list might not be so bad. That’s after reading the first item on the list. Indirectly, Sean recommends critical thinking. He recommends making a list of mistakes that bloggers are making.

Reading through it, I have to say this is a thoughtful list. It’s not a no-brainer, short list. And Sean explains each point in detail. Well done, Sean.

15. Letting Go of that Toxic Relationship, Even if you Love the Person by Karla Campos 

Karla shares her hardships in her relationship with her grand mother.

Writes Karla:

“She is my toxic relationship, I love her to death but her pain is too great for her to handle and she has not gotten over it. She puts her pain on others and being around her feels like a truck is running over you.”

My comment:

Big, big hug to you, Karla.

I cried with you.

Feedback

If you think that this blog post sucks, let me know in your comment and don’t forget to include a link to YOUR favorite blog post.

If you think this blog post rocks, tell me why it rocks in the comment. “Awesome,””Great post,” etc. works for me. Don’t forget to include a link to YOUR most recent blog post.

AND if you could do me the favor of tweeting out the message below, I would be grateful to you.

A Fan Letter to Penelope Trunk and her farmer by @Faryna cc: @penelopetrunk http://wp.me/pbg0R-qQ

Stan Faryna
17 October 2011
Bucharest, Romania

P.S. Your $5 can make a difference. If you can get 10 of your friends to give $5 too, you will make an even bigger difference. Please help Nisha to help others.

More Blog Soup

1. Blog Soup: 2011.10.06 http://wp.me/pbg0R-r7

2. Blog Soup: 2011.09.22 http://wp.me/pbg0R-pF

3. Blog Soup: 2011:10:10 http://wp.me/pbg0R-rO

4. Blog Soup. 2011:10:13 http://wp.me/pbg0R-s9

Faryna Podcasts

1. Why do I blog: http://wp.me/pbg0R-kX

2. If Tomorrow Was Your Last Day: http://wp.me/pbg0R-la

3. Money Can’t Buy Happiness: http://wp.me/pbg0R-lv

4. The First Duty of Love is to Listen: http://wp.me/pbg0R-lO

5. Are You Ready for Love? http://wp.me/pbg0R-lX

6. Reading The Desiderata. http://wp.me/pbg0R-mr

7. What is Love? http://wp.me/pbg0R-mw

8. Confessions of a Freak-Geek-Misfit. http://wp.me/pbg0R-nJ

9. Do you love strongly? http://wp.me/pbg0R-nY

10. Empty-handed, Less Traveled Roads. http://wp.me/pbg0R-on

11. The Economics of Friendship. http://wp.me/pbg0R-oU

12. Do Not Be Afraid. http://wp.me/pbg0R-p9

19 Responses to Blog Soup 2011.10.17 by Stan Faryna

  1. Thanks for including my blog, Stan. Your #7, “Ask uncomfortably sincere and meaningful questions,” is an excellent addition to my 6. And it has already inspired a follow-up post. Look for it soon.

    For the sake of clarity, I define rant as runaway discourse that starts with a desperate call for greater justice and fairness in the world and ends up with what color suspenders a senior NASA engineer would wear to a strip joint, and why that demonstrates that the rat race is rigged and there’s no cherry on top for anyone — or some such mixed metaphor.

    • Betsy Cross says:

      You always make me laugh! You have the STRANGEST mind!! How do you live in this normal world?!!

    • Stan Faryna says:

      I agree completely, John. That the rat race is rigged. That there are no ladders of merit that transcend the glass ceiling and bridge heaven. Rewards are determined by one’s usefulness, service, and risk in service to the principalities. [grin] All of which becomes clear when you get a bird’s eye view of the vaulting colonades. And when you look down, you know that no one, in fact, holds the legs of the tall ladder which you have climbed.

  2. Betsy Cross says:

    Stan, Each one of these gets better and better. Maybe I’m just getting better at paying attention.
    I really loved Karla campos’ post about toxic relationships. She reminded me of so many people in my life! She’s a strong woman.
    I was touched by Shawn Murphy’s “A Word on Recovering From Loss”.
    There are some here that bother me. Anything that tries to dissect and teach business using social media is annoying. But that’s just me!
    Thanks Stan!

    • Stan Faryna says:

      Unfortunately, there are few apps that provide good value. And that’s a shame because so many make apps of truly marginal interest.

  3. Stan,

    I’m way behind on servings of Blog Soup — tabs with your posts don my computer waiting to be read.

    So, thanks for this delicious dish! I have designs on including you in something sizzly soon.

    Until then, I can’t believe that @Yogizilla doesn’t have a fan page yet either…… 😉

    ~Keri

    • Stan Faryna says:

      I know just how you feel, Keri.

      I am so behind my schedule! Not including blog posts to read and blog posts to write.

  4. I could spend all day “digesting” your soup–there is just so much of value on your blog! Thanks so much!

    • Stan Faryna says:

      Blog soup can be overwhelming. It really is a bottomless bowl!

      But this is not unlike the blogosphere. There is so much more I would like to read out there, but there is just not enough hours in the day.

  5. Stan Faryna says:

    I was reading the poem by Robert Frost, A Considerable Speck, and I recognized that the something that floated on Frost’s manuscript was also like that something that floated in blog soup. An intelligence, perhaps, and if so, ten thousand of which would fit on the head of a pin. Not my intelligence! Which would be a speck worthy of no consideration. Or maybe, I am deluded. We’ll see.

    In the meantime, I ponder the last lines of Frost’s poem:

    I have a mind myself and recognize
    Mind when I meet with it in any guise
    No one can know how glad I am to find
    On any sheet the least display of mind.

  6. @ Betsy: with some kind of moral compass, I think. Sometimes I end up in strange places, it’s 3 in the morning and oops I’ve said too much already.

    @ Stan: “in service to the principalities” sounds very Gnostic. Knowing you, I bet you’ve read the Nag Hammadi library from cover to cover. Probably also Bentley Layton’s The Gnostic Scriptures and Hans Jonas’s The Gnostic Religion.

  7. billdorman says:

    Yes, you do read a lot of blogs, but your comments are well thought out and usually deep.

Speak from your heart!

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