Category Archives: Social Media

Social Currency

Social Currency is Too Valuable of a Payment Method

Last week I was researching potential solutions for a client, who wanted the ability to easy create and manage an image slideshow for various posts and pages from within WordPress. I came across a free plugin that seemed perfect, it did everything the client needed and had a simple interface. The slideshow plugin was free, and while nice, but not necessary.
I clicked the “Download” button that looked like this:
Download it
Then the button turned to this:
Pay with a Tweet

Instead of asking me to pay with money, the plugin requires downloaders to literally “pay with a tweet”. This was not the first time I noticed this annoying trend. AppSumo often does a similar thing with their free deals, requiring downloaders to send out a promotional message via either Twitter or Facebook.
AppSumo Free Deal

When you force me to “pay” for your product or service with my social currency this is what goes through my mind:

  1. I am not your spambot.
  2. Why can’t I just pay with money or by giving you my email address?
  3. I am offended that you are REQUIRING me to do your marketing for you.
  4. I do not advertise for a product/service I have never even used or seen.
  5. I move on to something else, and keep my social media dignity.

I would rather give up my money or my email address, than to annoy my social media connections. For me, becoming a social media douchebag is too high of a price to pay.


Facebook is Big and Boring

Facebook has hit the 600 million active user mark. It was once a website people signed up for after hearing one of their friends say:

“You will never believe this! I was on Facebook the other day and I saw ____!”

You had to be on Facebook so you didn’t feel left out and could stay up on the latest gossip .

A trend I have noticed among my friends is the decreasing number of status updates posted to Facebook. Just six months ago my news feed would have been filled with the daily dribblings of my friends. Now there are less than a handful of status updates in my newsfeed, often from the same 5 people.

What’s on your mind?

It was the status updates on Facebook that were the most valuable to me. I want to keep up with the lives of friends that aren’t on Twitter.

  • Who has ended a relationship?
  • Who is getting married?
  • Who is moving away?
  • Who is moving back to Chicago?
  • Who is having a baby?
  • Who had a loved one pass away?
  • Who got a new job?
  • Who just got laid off?
  • Who is happy?
  • Who is sad?

Small Talk is Boring

The life streaming sharing is disappearing. What you post on Facebook can get you fired or sued are the social media un-savvy users deciding that it isn’t worth the trouble? How many thoughts does anyone really want to share with immediate or extended family, current or potential boss, former/current class mates, partner and friends?* With the “What’s on your mind” status updates gone, we are left with small talk. Small talk is boring, and small talk will not keep daily users.

* Yes, you can put people into lists for sharing purposes, but when you have an average of 130 friends per Facebook user that can be a chore to maintain. I don’t use lists myself because by the time the feature was released I didn’t want to spend the initial time to setup them up.

Moving on?

Where will the people go to share with friends? Will it be Twitter? Joining the 200 million registered accounts already on Twitter. Or will it be somewhere new? What do you think?

Photo credit: Guzmán Lozano


Encourage Website Visitors to Become Subscribers

Increase Your Reach

When visitors to your website or blog subscribe to your RSS feed they will be notified of new articles or posts. A subscriber is worth more than a visitor. The subscriber will see new content and most often return to your website to comment or share your content. A visitor has to remember to check back and see if there are any new articles or posts.

GigaOM compared the value of a Twitter follower versus a RSS subscriber and found that the RSS subscriber was more loyal and engaged.

Make Subscribing Easy

The American Express Open Forum Idea Hub has insightful content by some of the best bloggers/writers of our time. However, it is impossible to find the RSS subscription link on their website. They value “liking” them on Facebook or “following” them on Twitter instead. Do not make their mistake.

Make it as easy as possible for your visitors to become subscribers. The placement of your RSS icon or email subscription form should be obvious and inviting. On this website, I have the RSS icon on at the top of the sidebar and at the bottom of every post.

Don’t have an RSS feed yet? The Google service Feedburner will create your RSS feed. After your feed is ready, Feedburner also offers optional help promoting your feed with the website code for RSS icons and email sign up forms.

How I Use RSS

I keep track of over 120 websites using RSS. I use Google Reader to aggregate my RSS subscriptions into one place. From within Google Reader I can share blog posts on Twitter or Facebook, with other Google Reader users, or with friends via email.

Learn More About RSS

Problogger has the best explanation of RSS I have found: