Top 10 Most Awesomely Amazing Creative & Funny Reasons Why Blogging for Social Media Sucks
CC: Eye am feeling silly by Cayusa.
OK, I admit it, I'm part of the problem here. It all started with link baiting a few years ago. Then blogging for a social media audience has become so common place that sometimes it seems there is not a single sane blog post out there anymore.
I'm guilty of popularizing blogging for social media too.
Yeah, I write lists all the time and I use "top 10" and "10 reasons why" lists all over the place. Over the recent months I have been rethinking my strategy and on the look out for alternatives.
First let me explain though the top 10 most awesomely amazing creative & funny reasons why blogging for social media sucks:
1. "Amazing, Awesome, Creative, Funny, Extreme, Insane Headlines"! These and other adjectives are so widely overused, especially by Asian content thieves with basic English skills that I already bounce once I discern one of these terms in a headline. I don't need insane software, funny architecture and even creative design. I don't like them especially if they are the most insane, funniest and amazing or creative. Software must be useful, architecture sustainable and design usable.
2. Top 10 this, Top 10 that. There are already blogs that offer only top 10 lists. While numbers in posts work, 7 is my favorite, thinking in lists makes your posts shallow and just an overview without deep insight. Sometimes it's better to focus on one issue in depth instead. Your subscribers will honor that.
3. Tips, Tools, Resources Lists. I use Delicious almost daily and do you know what? In most cases I never return to the lists I bookmarked. I always think: Well, great list; I'll save it for later when I needed it. I rarely do. In most cases I don't have the time to check them out later. So all the tips, tools and resources just get thrown away and stink in data nirvana without ever get read. Considering the long time Delicious traffic which is barely existent I'm not the only one.
4. Social Media Focus. Blogs that are geared towards social media like Smashing Magazine, Mashable or WebUrbanist still work well. Sometimes it seems they already have listed everything at least twice and they attempt to venture into new fields of expertise. The broader the less targeted though. I end up seeing the same amazing, awesome, creative, funny stuff here again and again. The content thieves make it extra redundant so that everything gets recycled at least half a dozen times.
5. The next big thing. Mixx, Plurk, FriendFeed - they're all great not so new services anymore. The hype around them didn't make them the next YouTube or Flickr though. The attention economy can't be fooled. People have only a limited time to spend online and they get used to old services no matter how basic or bad they are. So the next big thing can't be a thing that takes away more of my life time while adding workload. If it's better then the last one I need at least a way to export my data and in the best case my network (aka "friends") to the new one. Just because I buy a new car I don't throw away my clothes and family either and search for a new one.
6. Make Money Online with Whatever. It worked for a few people with hard work and the unique selling proposition of being the first but hundreds of thousands of bloggers can't get rich by blogging and most of them don't. Get real. The whole MMO niche is a parody of itself by now. I earn my money blogging by now but mostly due the fact that it's connected to my SEO business. It was somehow a transition from SEO to business blogging for clients. They make money by ecommerce, that is selling stuff online or helping other sell stuff online.
7. Best Hosting, Ebook, Premium WordPress Theme. Come on guys, I won't buy that Bluehost is the best, your ebook makes me this and that and the Thesis WordPress theme will enlarge my penis. Even the most trustworthy bloggers tend to become low level gray hat marketers when they try to sell you something via their blogs. I don't believe you because I know myself what the best hosting is and I can't even find the time to read all the free ebooks I downloaded. Also my penis is big enough, no sorry, I mean a new WordPress theme doesn't have to be pushed and shoveled down my throat. I know there are commissions for them.
8. Friends, Fans and Followers. Who are all these people who want to be friends, are my fans or followers? On some services like BlogCatalog or StumbleUpon I completely stopped checking who is befriending me. It might sound antisocial nowadays but I like to know my friends. Yes, I'm quite conservative, I must have at least some eye contact with you before befriending you. People whose avatar I have never seen before (or after) want to or are my friends, fans and followers. Give me a break. Don't ask me to be a friend, behave like one, at least a virtual one. Do something with or for me, contact me, vote for me.
9. Banning Members. Social media like Digg or StumbleUpon tend to become quite antisocial once they become big enough to be sold. You are social capital for them. They want to sell your relationships with other people and the work you did for free for them for years. You are not allowed to have a personal gain out of those services though. That's why Digg and recently StumbleUpon have banned many power users and bloggers who dared to submit their own stuff once in a while. I don't mean the regular obnoxious spammers. I mean legit technology, self improvement and even green bloggers! Social media is like slavery : You work for nothing and they can do whatever they want with you. You have no rights.
10. Amorphous Masses. Who are the thousands of visitors that flock to your site to disappear in seconds or minutes if they stay reaaaally long? These people are similar to the audience in a subway station. You're the street musician. They enter the trains and you'll never see them again. Even if you play again and again in the same place daily, most of them won't become your true fans. They will recognize and forget you in the same minute. The subway or the Web is not TV and you're not Madonna or Micheal Jackson.
Is this a doom and gloom post? Am I suicidal? Nope.
What's the alternatives, the solutions? I repeat: It's the 1000 true fans mantra as of now. I'm not sure myself yet. I guess it works. Even the numbers work. In case 1000 people spend 100$ per year for you it's 100k dollars you earned. That's enough for a decent living in most countries. Also 100$ means less then a 10$ subscription per month for instance. Would you spend 10$ for your favorite singer in a month? You probably already do by going to one concert per year.
The information should become deeper not broader, easier digestible without being shallow. Useful and unique instead of "lowest common denominator and extremist".
You could argue that I don't need social media anymore with more than 1600 subscribers - I already have an audience but exaggerating doesn't work that well anyways and it will less and less. The audience is already well saturated and tired of the same headlines and postings over and over.
Are you my true fan? Come on! Tell me that my penis is big enough!