Videoblogging & Vanity

My friend Matt asked me a question the other day, regarding videoblogging and vanity. [Click Here to read the Google+ conversation.]

His question reminded me of the line you have to walk.. assuming that you want to be involved in social media at all.. between being too souped up over yourself and not souped up enough… “Souped Up” being a slang term for thinking that you’re a great person.

Basically, the question comes down to “Who cares what *YOU* have to say? o_O”, which is followed by who cares who cares what I have to say, which leads you down the spiral of vanity.

My friend Matt asked me a question the other day, regarding videoblogging and vanity. [Click Here to read the Google+ conversation.]

His question reminded me of the line you have to walk.. assuming that you want to be involved in social media at all.. between being too souped up over yourself and not souped up enough… “Souped Up” being a slang term for thinking that you’re a great person.

Basically, the question comes down to “Who cares what *YOU* have to say? o_O”, which is followed by who cares who cares what I have to say, which leads you down the spiral of vanity. Continue reading “Videoblogging & Vanity”

How To Make A Blog Post

Bill Cammack explains how to make a blog post using WordPress (or pretty much any other platform).

Topics include hypertext / hyperlinking, images, media & style.

Recorded as part of New in November 2009 (newinnov.tumblr.com)

“One to Many” Communication

Which style of communication do you like better? One to One, or One to Many?

A “non Social Media” friend of mine asked me “What’s new with you?” just now. I showed her a multi-person live video/audio/text chat application that I embedded on my blog, and then she goes “So, what’s new with you?”

I would have thought she was kidding, except I could see from her face and her body language that she felt like I had avoided her question instead of answering it. WHAT’S NEW is that we have this capability now to interact with each other whenever we want to. WHAT’S NEW is that I don’t have to travel to DELAWARE to see, talk to and share a laugh with my cousin. WHAT’S NEW is that I don’t have to waste my time traveling from location to location when I can press one button and talk live to someone RIGHT. NOW.

Once I got her to understand what I was showing her, her response was that she wouldn’t want to use that stuff. She likes telephones, texting, etc. She’s clearly a fan of One to One communication. I’m a fan of One to Many communication. Continue reading ““One to Many” Communication”

Rewriting History

City At NightI took down a post yesterday. It’s not the first time I’ve ever removed a post from my site. I can’t imagine it’ll be the last time. I’ve tried for literally HOURS to figure out some sort of coherent way to discuss this, but nothing’s coming to mind and I’m wasting time thinking about it.

Let me throw up some random points about the situation and ask you to leave a comment below if you have any thoughts to add to this conversation. I think it’s an important conversation, but there are too many elements and too many tangential discussions for me to bring them all together to some kind of point. Continue reading “Rewriting History”

Fiction / Changes

Having read Steven Alleyne’s post: “Dating on the north side of 40 following a very long-term relationship”, I’ve been inspired to “start” writing fiction.

I’m making some changes around here, having written DatingGenius for around two years now.

I’ve already started my first post, and it’s really fun to write so far. All of my “fiction” isn’t going to be FUN, that’s for sure, but I have a good starting point, and I think this is going to be a really good time.

Of course, DG will continue, but this is a different and refreshing outlet for me. 🙂

Also, I’m branching out into collaborations with other sites & shows. I’ve done all I can to build this sit on my own and I’m very happy with it, but I’m extremely BORED with it. Time to flip the script and get some new action going….

Blog Moderation & Damage Control

A year ago, on January 06, 2008, I wrote and posted “Do NOT Tamper With Your Comments!”. At the time, I offered “Turn On Moderation” as an alternative:

Bill: “Turn On Moderation – Make it so that NOBODY’S comments make it to personalblog or widgetblog unless YOU approve them. That way, when everything ends up positive, you just look like you spun the situation by only letting the comments through that you liked. This is DIFFERENT from changing people’s posts because there’s never anything negative for people to see in the first place, AND dissenting comments don’t become agreeing comments with the same person’s name on the top, posted at the exact same time.”

I wrote that line at a time when I wasn’t doing a lot of commenting on other people’s blogs. I hadn’t achieved a perception of the potential effects of “You *just* look like you spun the situation by only letting the comments through that you liked” on people who visit your blog and make comments that never get approved. Let me tell you about it.

Initial Perception

Mike, Kfir & BillInitially, when I check out a blog for the first time, I’m thinking that the person who wrote the posts is looking for A DISCUSSION. I’m thinking that if they didn’t want A DISCUSSION, they would have turned off comments.

Actually, one of the very first times I ever posted on someone else’s blog, it was a dating blog and the woman had written flawed advice. With my naive way of thinking about blogs as sort of “personally-hosted forums”, I wrote a nice long comment about what was incorrect about her ideas. To her credit, she emailed me my words, when she could have just deleted them. Hats Off to her for that. 🙂 My ideas could have been lost in space, because I had written them directly to her blog entry form. Last time I ever did *THAT*.

She emailed me my words and explained to me that she wasn’t going to host my ideas about her post on HER site, and if I wanted to, I should place them on MY site. At the time, I wasn’t hip to trackbacks and pingbacks. I had a short email discussion with her expressing my opinion that I thought she was lame for having a blog and ONLY approving comments that made her look good. Pretty soon after that, I found out that this is pretty much status quo. She represents the mainstream and I’m “odd man out” on this issue. Continue reading “Blog Moderation & Damage Control”

Twitter? Or Your Blog?

Twitter changed the game as far as blogging. Instead of posting something, and MAYBE people would stop by your blog and MAYBE they’d read your articles and MAYBE they’d leave a comment, all of a sudden, what you had to say was being pushed to people who actually REQUESTED to hear what you had to say by following you and then either checking the site itself or installing an app or widget on their computers or phones.

Michelle & Bill
Twitter > Bill

I noticed that the traffic on the Yahoo Videoblogging Group fell off DRASTICALLY as Twitter presented a far better and faster way for people to get immediate responses to questions than an email list.

I also noticed A LOT OF PEOPLE putting a lot of their ideas on Twitter instead of their own blogs. I didn’t really think much of that until I talked with Tyme White about it ten (10) months ago, back in March, 2008:

Tyme: “Yes, the conversations are moving away from blogs but the problem is the same problem that has always existed, one I warned about at least two years ago. How many times has a writer published an article, a larger site wrote about it, and the conversation took place every where but on the writer’s site? Same problem – the writer would have to keep up with those conversations. Now, the same root problem exists, but there are many more sites where the conversation can take place. The writer publishes the entry and now a discussion can happen on the originating blog, any blogs that write about it, any site that aggregates content (Reddit, Chawlk, Digg, StumbleUpon, etc.), Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, any of the social sites that are popping up, forums…the list is long.”

The question is: does it matter to the writer if the conversation takes place in other places? If the answer is no, the writer would have one strategy. If the answer is yes, it does matter and the preference is for the conversation to take place on their blog, well, that would take a different strategy, wouldn’t it?”

So, referencing that practically-one-year-old post by Tyme… Does it matter where *YOU* blog your material? I blog mine to BillCammack.com. I post references to my blog posts on Twitter and Tumblr. Continue reading “Twitter? Or Your Blog?”

Be Original & Useful

So I’m chatting with Christine “PurpleCar” Cavalier the other day, and my current status as the #7 Google entry for “Bill” out of 21,500,000 English pages comes up. (I’m actually #5, because both Gates & Clinton have multiple entries ahead of me… but who’s counting? :D)

So Christine asks me “How did you do that?”, and the interesting thing was that I didn’t have an answer for her. 🙂

I never had a goal of having a high Google ranking for the name “Bill”. I started out branding ReelSolid.TV and then switched to branding BillCammack and “Bill Cammack”.

I had no interest in branding “Bill” because it’s so generic. Not only is it a name, but people have to PAY THEIR BILLS, there’s the BILL OF RIGHTS, ducks have bills, etc… Buffalo Bills, not to mention, a ton of famous Bills… Cosby, Maher, Nye The Science Guy… I’m not even the first Bill on the videoblogging scene. Bill Streeter was there way before I was.

So I decided to think about it… Not that *I* did anything, but how did I end up with such a high ranking? Technically, I can’t say, because as Liz Burr points out, Google’s all about math. However, I do have two tips for people that aspire to some sort of distinction either on the internet or IRL….

1) Be Original

One of the reasons my posts get a lot of play is that they’re original. I made them up. I’m “kicking them off the top”. It’s FRESH information. I don’t write anything ahead of time. I’m thinking about something, I ‘feel’ it, then I go for it.

I’m not reading other people’s ideas, then regurgitating them. I’m not making people aware of what SOMEBODY ELSE said or thought. I might use other people’s material as a foundation for what MY point is, like in Women’s Guide to NYC Dating, but I make a CLEAR distinction between what someone else posted and what’s coming directly from me. If all you’re doing is regurgitating ideas you heard or read on the net, you’re a librarian…. a curator. Why would anyone go to your site for FRESH information when you offer ZERO added value? That’s what http://del.icio.us/ and StumbleUpon are for. The only reason they would visit your site is for YOUR SPECIFIC FLAVOR about things. If you’re not adding any, you don’t get play past people’s first encounter with you.

Another benefit of originality is that people pass your information around, because they’ve never seen it before, ANYWHERE! How many places can you go to see celebrity gossip? A million, plus. So if you want to separate yourself from the pack, make a site like Stephanie Frasco’s whatcelebswear.com or Marissa Nystrom’s celebzaredum.tumblr.com. You don’t go there because there are celebrity shots there… You go there because you want to know what Steph or Marissa HAVE TO SAY about celebs, what they do and what they wear = Added Value, due to their originality.

The other benefit to being original is that when conversations come up IRL about stuff you posted to the net, you actually have valid defensible positions. 🙂 When you’re talking about other people’s stuff, your knowledge on the topic only goes so far as what you’ve READ… Not what you learned or experienced yourself. This is what causes you to LOSE PROPS instead of gaining them, because when people find out that you’re just a librarian/curator for other people’s thoughts and concepts, your conversational value plummets.

2) Be Useful

It’s great to have your own style, and people will definitely check out your blog (show, whatever) just because you’re a stylish person… especially if your style is original for some reason… but you also want to present something USEFUL to your audience. That might be technical information, entertainment or your own style of humor, even if it’s mostly funny TO YOU and makes other people cringe because of the light it sheds on their own lives and relationships. 🙂

When you post useful information, the effect is that people are always interested in it. It’s not the same people… It’s just that as life occurs, the same exact thing happens to different people at different times. In turn, they search google for insight on what just happened to them and end up at your site, absorbing the useful information you posted a year and a half ago. 🙂

Nothing educational to say?… Make up and play an interesting character or talk about what your job is or the town you live in. Give people tips on how to do photography or run an internet music show or work behind the scenes in the film industry. Show people how television shows are made:


How To Properly Color Correct A Presidential Candidate
Formats Available: iPod (.mp4)

OTOH, you don’t want to be useful ‘for no reason’. Make sure the topics are things that you normally kick it about anyway and enjoy discussing or writing about. The people that are interested in the same things will seek your posts out on the internet, and without actually becoming “internet famous”, people will start to “tune in next week” to see what you’re doing or saying now.

~Bill Cammack

Social Media Category: billcammack.com/category/social-media
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SXSW Blogging Panel

So… Today, as I’m monitoring SXSW media and the lack thereof, I became aware that Lynne D. Johnson’s panel “Where Are The Black Tech Bloggers?” was going to happen this afternoon.

Soon after that, I became aware that Loren Feldman was going to attend that panel. I found this interesting, because he was the creator of the controversial video that this panel was named after, verbatim.

I don’t know exactly how that panel went, because information comes out of SXSW slowly as well as in fragments. However… I wanted to give props to Lynne for hosting the panel and also to Loren for attending the panel. It’s been A LONG TIME COMING since last August (7 months) for some kind of IRL discussion about the situation, so I hope both sides took that opportunity to put their cards on the table and move forward in a progressive fashion.