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Here’s an interesting article by Tracy Coenen called “Facebook is Not Satan’s Spawn,” weighing in on Facebook’s new privacy settings.

Where do you stand on keeping your public postings private?

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Every day I receive at least 10 direct messages via Twitter, inviting me to click a link and find out how so-and-so got over 16,000 followers in less than 90 days, or how so-and-so got 15,625 followers in 30 days, and so on. “Dominate Twitter!” they write, as if that’s supposed to excite me into a clicking, re-tweeting frenzy.  Why would I try to dominate Twitter? I love Twitter! Besides, Facebook couldn’t even do it…

I’m sorry if this hurts your feelings, “@SocialMediaGuruExtraordinaire,” but I will never click your link. I don’t want a million followers. And more importantly, I do not want that many followers in 30 days.

I would never get to meet them!

Sure, like every blogger I want people to visit my blog. It’s almost as important that they like it. But the fun of Twitter is the people (my tweeps). And how is one supposed to get to know their followers if they just blindly collect them like Beanie Babies? I know it’s been said that there’s no one way to use Twitter, and I agree. But man, there are plenty of awful ways to use it. Depending on your reasons for creating an account, Twitter relationships should purposeful. The tacky follow-mongering is really not a good look.

Today, Bobby Pens got a dose of:

Tyra Banks with Mike Huckabee

And my blog may become better because of it.

In trying to achieve a more professional tone on Bobby Pens than on previous blogs, I was almost willing to forgo all discussion of one of my favorite topics in the whole, entire world: The Tyra Banks Show. You may laugh, but I can’t be dissuaded. Tyra Banks sets the agenda for young girls, tweens, teens, and young women in this country. Watching the entertainers, authors, politicians, businesspeople and companies that come knocking on her door to promote their products and services on her show is always fascinating to me.

But even more fascinating is watching how just about everyone that goes on that show falls into Banks’ world. You might be turned off by the glaring cognitive dissonance created when, say, Mike Huckabee makes an appearance on The Tyra Banks Show. But that is what makes PR so interesting to observe… How are you going to re-package the same item you just sold at the RNC, for a room full of Tyra Banks Show audience members? I think whoever coordinated this appearance on Huckabee’s presidential campaign team was hedging on the right idea of how to do just this:

See clips of the show, here. In particular, the second one.

Huckabee was likable, Banks was poised. It was a strange and beautiful convergence of two opposing worlds that completely geeked me out… And in light of this, I may need to reevaluate my goals in creating this blog. There are so many exciting topics to discuss that don’t traditionally fall under the category of “professional.” But I’d feel so stifled if I didn’t digress every now and again. The more time I spend on Twitter, the more I see how PR professionals have come crashing the social media party with claims that they have all the “secrets” about how to further your business through social media. What secrets are there? There’s something for everyone in social media, so anyone can do it.

Social media is supposed to be about SOCIALIZING. Not selling! Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that companies can connect with customers and communicate using various social media platforms. But it’s also obvious (to me, anyway) that social media is like any other huge social function. If you don’t want to end up lining the walls, you have to be saying—or doing—something worth paying attention to. And if all you can say while at this function is, “Buy my book!” “Check out my webinar!” “Look how much money I’ve made doing X online!” …Well, you might get a few dance partners but at least I know I’m going to be doing my best to avoid you. And so will most other reasonable people. How tacky!

I think surely that has to be some balance in using social media to further your business. Some of us still want to be human in the age of technology.

Facebook f  Time Magazine says Facebook is now for old fogies… And I’m inclined to agree with a select few of their reasons.

Because Facebook surely hasn’t appealed to the college student in me for quite some time. Maybe they want to address the needs of their fastest growing age group, but I do think they are doing so at the risk of losing favor among their loyal subjects who were there from the start.

Time Magazine’s 10 Reasons Facebook is for Old Fogies

# 4. Facebook isn’t just a social network; it’s a business network.
[These two worlds really have no place intermingling. Adults who have practice at separating their work lives from their personal lives may fit right in. But for college and high school students, this is still a new concept. We kind of feel cheated being told to not use Facebook to put our lives on display for everyone to see… that was the whole point!]

# 7. We have children. There is very little that old people enjoy more than forcing others to pay attention to pictures of their children.
[This is true. .. Whereas a lot of college students have pictures they’d rather people never saw in the first place.]

# 10. We’re not cool, and we don’t care. There was a time when it was cool to be on Facebook. That time has passed.
[I could not have said this better.]

For the complete list, click here.

I joined Facebook five years ago, within the first three months of its creation. I had attended an early college orientation and incoming freshmen were already talking about this cool “thing” called Facebook, where you could add your (one!) picture and tell people about yourself and meet other freshmen ahead of time. It was simply revolutionary.

Over the years, I watched as Facebook added new features, like photo albums (which they initially imported from Photobucket- remember?), group pages, event pages, and the earth-shattering news feed. But I’ve also watched Facebook do some strange things like invite people to create applications for the Website, then soon after push them off of a person’s main page. And let’s not even get into the “We own your information,” kerfuffle.

Look, I love Facebook. But I don’t think that the platform itself is all that’s been changed. Facebook is no longer conceptually the same as when I joined. I’m not really sure who Facebook is for anymore. (But I also can’t imagine my mother-the archetypical Fogie- having her own Facebook page.)

After a short break, I’m returning to the (legitimate) blogosphere. I needed some time to reclaim my life as a college student. I don’t know that my grades will be any indication of this, but… I think I’ve managed to re-establish school as a top priority over my job and television (my two greatest loves).

“Bobby Pens” is a pet project I’ve wanted to get started for a short while and I’m excited to finally be giving it a go. It’s going to take me a while to get into the groove of things, but such is blogging. You feel awkward because at first you are speaking to no one and yet, you are potentially speaking to anyone and everyone with an internet connection. And you really hope they pay attention… It feels a little like reliving your first junior high school dance all over again. “Will those people like me? What if I say something stupid?”

But like I’ve said before, LiveJournal has fully prepared me for that. If LiveJournal doesn’t epitomize every aspect of the massive and evolving blog dominion… well then nothing does.

Anyway, I’ve gotten some useful feedback on Bobby Pens from my PR professor, but I’m hoping to get feedback from anyone who passes by, too. So feel free to comment with whatever’s on your mind, especially if you feel like I could be explaining something better.

I’ve added some more links to the Bobby Pens Sidebar in light of social media Websites I’ve been using for years, but initially overlooked when I started this blog. These include: Yelp (I love this site) and LinkedIn (my mom loves this site). You should definitely be familiar with these Web sites, too. The sites I categorized as social media may not be “classic” social media networking sites, but they are social media nonetheless. They unify people with a common interest and provide multiple forums for them to share information and opinions. In Yelp’s case, the commone interest is food and dining. In LinkedIn’s case, the common interest is Human Resources and  networking across every job industry imaginable.

I just think we should start re-working our opinion of what defines a social media Website, since humans (even bloggers in their pajamas in the middle of the afternoon) are sociable creatures and will find a way to create strong social bonds in any situation.

Websites originally intended to provide a basic service of question answering now have elaborate systems in place for visitors to establish relationships with other users. I love that. It’s exciting to watch social media sneak into traditional, “Web 1.0” models of Website construction and completely change the way information is shared online.

This Month in Bobby’s Penning

September 2017
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