Relationship ToS (or Screw Him! Pass The Ice Cream!)

Flo, Bill & JillEvery time I go somewhere where there are more than, say, 50 people that read blogs and are also into Social Media, I find out that there’s someone new that I didn’t realize reads my dating blog.

This is a great thing, and I’m happy about that as well as appreciative, but it’s sort of a sticky wicket when you’re in a conversation that you think is completely random and then the other person starts quoting lines verbatim from your material….

So the other night, I’m minding my own business and the next thing I know, I’m involved in a conversation about one of my previous posts. The gal and her croanies know who they are, and they obviously read my blog, so no need to shout them out.

I felt like I was doing ok in the conversation until the instigator threw “She used to be *FOYINE*, and now she’s NOT!” in my face a couple of times in a row, which is when I had hoped to dilute the situation by calling over her homegirl, but that didn’t work out in my favor either. I was suddenly aware that my material had not only been read, but it had also been discussed between the two of them, and I had just made matters worse for myself instead of better.

So now, I’m going to attempt to clarify what a woman HAS TO DO in a relationship and what she does NOT have to do. Continue reading “Relationship ToS (or Screw Him! Pass The Ice Cream!)”

Are You A Publicist?

Six months ago, back in August, I wrote “Digital Internet Snobbery”, which was basically about how I had begun interacting with more and more people that knew about, understood and utilized Social Media and fewer and fewer people who didn’t.

I actually halted the process of adding more people to my social sites to see if I could do something about that or if I WANTED to do anything about that.

I’m very comfortable and happy with people that know how to use Social Media properly, because it’s an efficient form of communication. The least time is wasted explaining things. I have very few conversations that I didn’t intend to have. Anything I want to tell someone is available by sending them a link through iChat or Skype. I can talk to Rox in Hawaii or Phil in the UK at the press of a button.

At this point, it just about PAINS me to interact with people that aren’t “hip” to Social Media. It’s so limiting. To me, it’s like speaking to people that don’t actually know English, even though they speak it a little. It’s so inefficient. You end up explaining things that you’ve already forgotten the explanations for because they’re so internalized already.

However, those of us that “get it” are in the vast, vast, VAST minority. We’re a subset of people that want to interact with other people inside a subset of people that have internet access inside a subset of people that have computers in the first place. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I’ve had a couple of experiences in the last week that have allowed me insight into what “the masses” think about what it is that I/we do on a daily basis.

At some point this week, reader “David” got upset over a post I wrote. Last night, David suggested that I was linking to articles about real-life cases in order to increase my Google rankings. I’m not going to link to that post or his comment because the response would be the same… “You wrote this post so you could link to your other post and increase your Google rankings AGAIN! πŸ™ “. hahahaha But the point is that offhand, I just didn’t have anything to say about that, because linking to references from inside posts is as common to me as saying my name when I introduce myself to people. However… SOME people don’t SAY their names when they’re introduced to people. Some people never introduce themselves at all…..

Earlier in the week, I was talking to my friend, Faya, and I linked her to a couple of my posts that reference Renzo Gracie & Carlos Feliz, including the trip Carlos and I went on to see Renzo fight against Carlos Newton @ Mohegan Sun.

Now… You see how much BETTER that last part was? You see how IF you were interested in any of the topics I mentioned, you could just click on them and get an extension of my post? Do you understand how much less typing I have to do because I can hyperlink to previously-posted material instead of having to explain the whole thing over and over? πŸ˜€

Anyway… So I linked Faya to my posts and her response was “Are you a publicist?” πŸ™‚ I laughed at that, because I was reminded that to people who don’t do what we do as far as Social Media, our form of communication is going to appear strange to them. I certainly didn’t consider her question an actual inquiry as to what I do for work, which, in fact, it was hahaha.

The whole point of linking inside posts is a) avoiding redundancy / reinventing the wheel, and b) allowing the reader to quickly and easily access information which bolsters one’s point… or, in David’s case, refutes one’s point. David didn’t believe that the article I linked to had anything to do with the point I was making in my post, because I didn’t know the person in the article I had linked to. Unfortunately, that’s one of the flaws of the internet. We get information and we can’t possibly get the entire context. It’s just not possible. We have to roll with what we’re told. If they’re having a Presidential debate and there are lines on the bottom of the screen, we’re supposed to believe that those lines represent commoners who have buttons in their hands to click approval or disapproval of what the current speaker’s saying. All we can do is believe that or not believe that. We post what we think based on what we take away from the event.

So if someone posts opinions of the debate based on what they saw the lines do while the candidates were speaking, you can say the exact same thing. “You don’t know the people who had the clickers. You don’t know what their motivations were. You don’t know what was in their minds.” That’s absolutely true…. Unfortunately, what we’re presented is all we have to go on. It’s a flawed system, but it’s what we’ve got.

That’s not to say that I’ve never done things that I think would climb on Google, hahaha of course I have. Google is where you want to be, because it’s the only search engine people actually use. My point in the case that David commented on though, was that I was providing an example, granted, an EXTREME example of the situation I was writing about.

As far as Faya‘s question, I can understand why she asked that. πŸ™‚ Attempting to read my posts as an outsider (read: 99% of the population), they definitely read more like news articles than personal entries on a blog. This is a personal entry right here, and it seems more like a report than anything, to me. This is because I’m not talking to myself…. I’m talking to anyone that happens to read my blog, wherever in the world they happen to be.

Bill Cammack Retirement Visitor Map

That’s what I look at every day. People from several countries reading my blog. I had over 4,000 unique visitors request over 7,000 pages of mine in the last month.

Bill Cammack Google Analytics Oct 04 2008

So it wouldn’t make sense for me to figure that people in California know about local NYC news. People in Hawaii? The UK? Germany? If you don’t post links to what you’re talking about, you’re leaving people in the dark that might otherwise learn something new and improve their lives. You’re leaving them to fend for themselves and try to Google the information that you very easily could have linked them to.

This is why it comes off as “being a publicist” to Faya and “increasing Google rankings” to David. When you get involved in Social Media, you learn to speak to the masses instead of to one person. Instead of one-to-one communication, it’s one-to-many. If I Twitter Bre that something’s going on, I’m actually announcing it to my entire roster of 1,200 Followers. That necessitates a different communication than if I had sent a direct message.

Similarly, some people post to the internet as if they’re writing a text diary. A “blog” is short for a “web log”. Some people are happy and content to type about what their dog did today or that happened at their job. I post a lot of pictures, but if I’m going to WRITE something, it’s because I want people to THINK. Think about ME, Think about YOU, Whatever… just THINK!

Even if you don’t like what I’m saying, you’re learning about something else in life that you don’t like and you can avoid in the future. Even if you don’t believe what I’m saying, you achieve a new understanding of the possibilities of what someone might be thinking about you or your relationship or your web series or whatever I happen to post about. So that’s one of the reasons why I post the way I do. Every post is a message in a bottle. I appreciated David’s comment because it’s an indication that he received the message. He didn’t LIKE the message… πŸ™‚ I understand and respect that and I’m willing to debate anything that I post.

As far as Faya’s question… yeah… I guess I *AM* a publicist. πŸ˜€ I publicize myself. I could publicize other people if I felt like it. I spent the last 8 months (still there, I just don’t care anymore πŸ™‚ ) on page 1 of Google for just my first name because I RAWK Social Media. Period.

For better or for worse, it’s changed the way I think and the way I communicate, and I appreciate comments and questions from people that don’t do this the way I do it, because I get to test my logic.

Cheers!
~Bill

Communication [Part 1]

I’ve been meaning to write this for a long, long, long, long, long time. Probably over a year. I touched on it a little with “Digital Internet Snobbery” and “Are You A Tech Elitist?”, but I need to go back to the beginning.

Before all this social media stuff jumped off, people had land lines and answering machines. Actually, forget the answering machines. People had land lines. If they weren’t at home… Guess what? You Couldn’t Talk To Them. Period. That’s it. No way around it. The only way around it was if they went to a pay phone and called you from the street. But basically, if you weren’t NEAR YOUR PHONE, you were completely out of contact unless you were in physical proximity to people.

Next, we got answering machines, so now, if we’re not at home, when we DO get home, we know who called us and what for. We also got Caller ID so that we could tell who called us and didn’t leave a message. Still, no contact other than when we’re in our houses where our phones and answering machines are.

Next, we got pagers, so that when we were in the street and people wanted to speak to us, they could send us their number so we could go to a pay phone and call them back. This was probably the beginning of intrusion & entitlement. This was where people started making big deals out of the fact that they paged you and you didn’t call them back. Before this time, there was no guarantee that whatever device people tried to contact you on was attached to your person. You could be at home and ignoring them, and they’d have no clue with phones and answering machines. The reason people got pagers was either because they wanted people to be able to contact them on the run OR they had to have it for business. In either case, it was assumed by people that you had this device with you and didn’t leave it at home, so the “burden” switched from the callER to the callEE as far as whose fault it was that a conversation didn’t occur when the caller wanted it to.

The typical excuses for not returning a page were a) I was in the subway and didn’t get it [since pagers wouldn’t hold the message for you and try again when you came above ground], b) my service sucks, and I didn’t get the page [when you got the page and erased it from your memory list in case the caller *COUGHyourgirlfriendCOUGH* checked it], or you got it and didn’t have change on you to call her back or none of the pay phones where you were worked [which was valid because a lot of the phones were broken in NYC for some reason, mostly people doing scams to try to get the change out of the machines]. Still… the ‘problem’ here was that the callEE had to give excuses to the callER, when the fact of the matter is that they didn’t feel like talking to you and ignored your page (or, ACTUALLY didn’t get the page. πŸ™‚ ).

Next up was cell phones. Same problem with intrusion & entitlement. The fact that you had a cell phone with an answering system meant that you were assumed to understand that the caller called soon afterwards, therefore receiving the burden of calling them back. This was especially true if they called you several times in one day. Also, the subway excuse disappeared, because cell phones will repeat sending you the alert that you have messages when you come above ground. To make matters worse, cell phones ring differently if you have them online when you get a call and when you’re not attached to the satellite system. If it rings 4 times and goes to machine instead of going directly there, it’s assumed that you saw the call and ignored it (or perhaps weren’t around your phone). Either way, it’s assumed that the phone is active and has batteries in it, so, again, the burden’s on the callEE to pick up the conversation where the caller left it.

Next was cell phones with the ability to send text messages. This completely flipped the script. Completely.

I didn’t catch on to the importance of this for a long time. I finally got it when I would try to contact my friend Masami to go out…

Masami Snow NYC

I would call her and get no response. 45 minutes later, I’d text her and get a text right back. I thought this was odd, because both the call and text go to the same device… except depending on how you SET the device, it notifies you differently about different events. Let’s say the notification for text messages had higher priority on her phone than the notification for voicemail. When I was calling her, it basically dropped into an abyss. When I sent her text messages, they went right to the top of the list and she became immediately aware of them.

A part of the reason for this was that A LOT OF PEOPLE had switched over to using text instead of voice. By the time I was in contact with Masami, she was very used to interacting with people via text from her phone. I was probably the only one leaving voice messages. πŸ™‚ I found out another reason for the changeover by watching television. These guys were sitting at a table with these chicks on some reality show and texting to each other about the chicks. Before seeing this, I hadn’t considered that people use text to communicate in stealth mode, when they can’t actually talk. If someone’s in a business meeting and you call them, it’s going to go to their machine. If you text them, they’re likely to check it and even text you back while the meeting’s still going on. So the fact that you didn’t have to LOOK LIKE you aren’t paying attention to whomever’s speaking was an important factor in people switching to text.

Another good reason to use text is the sound factor. There are a lot of places where people might be in Manhattan where you just can’t hear what’s going on… but you can READ it. This happened to me a while back when I tried to call Dave, and he couldn’t hear a thing I was saying…

The only way I caught up with him was to have a friend of mine do me the solid of texting him for me to ask him where he was hanging out. So once again, text defeats voice. Text is better when you can’t talk. Text is better when you can’t hear. Text is better when you need to look like you’re paying attention to someone you’re standing/sitting in front of.

Text is also better because it’s asynchronous. Technically, so is leaving a voice message, but you can text someone back under just about any conditions, including being in the subway, having already received your messages to your phone. You can reply to a bunch of messages and have them sent out when you get signal. You wouldn’t even be able to RECEIVE your voice messages underground in order to reply to them.

This is where I got to the point of “Digital Internet Snobbery”, which I’ll address in “Communication [Part 2]”.