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Edit: Bill Cammack
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! 🙁 “. 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? 😀
Anyway… So I linked Faya to my posts and her response was “Are you a publicist?” 🙂 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. 🙂 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.
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.
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… 🙂 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. 😀 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 🙂 ) 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.
I’ve had some really interesting experiences as of late, which all revolve around the question “Who Are You?”. Not the absolutely unknowing question, as in “Who IS that over there?”, but the arrogant question “Who are YOU?”.
Let’s get it straight off the bat. “Who you are” is relative and completely subjective.
Am I an Emmy Award-Winning video editor? Yes I am. Have I been a National *and* International Emmy Awards Judge for several years? Yes I have. Does that have *ANYTHING* to do with how I interact with people? No, it does not.
This is because what I’ve accomplished is NOT “who I am”. Similarly, what other people have NOT accomplished is NOT “who they are”, either. To take that one level further… Not knowing that someone’s accomplished something does not make them NOBODY or INFERIOR. Learning that someone HAS accomplished something doesn’t automatically make them SOMEBODY or SUPERIOR, either.
I touched on this topic peripherally in “Howâ€™s your logo working for you?” when I mentioned meeting Nathan Freitas. To expand… We had just come from a great frisbee game, and a bunch of us headed out to celebrate and socialize afterwards. I had played against Nate, and I thought he did well, and I hadn’t met him before, so I introduced myself to him. He didn’t recognize my name, and I didn’t recognize his, but he knew of ReelSolid.TV, and he and I had actually had text-based interaction way before meeting IRL because he had commented on a video I did about men’s suits. Interestingly enough, even though I knew NOTHING about Cruxy.com at the time, I knew I had a picture with Mike Hudack while he was wearing a Cruxy shirt. Nate immediately and adamantly informed me that I was mistaken, at which time I turned on my camera and produced said picture:
The point that’s relevant to this particular post is that I didn’t go from “nobody” to “somebody” when Nate figured out “who I was”. I went from “a person” to “a person that Nate had heard of, and whose work he had seen”. Same thing with me. For me, Nate went from “a frisbee opponent” to “someone I’ve met who runs a site where artists can upload their work and get paid for it”.
Most people who meet me have no idea “who I am”, and I like it that way. They have no idea that I’m an MIT graduate. They have no idea that I’m DatingGenius.
I like it that way, because people are REAL when they don’t have a reason to sweat you. I love being “judged” by what people see when they look at me. 😀 I love it when people play themselves, because there’s no returning from that. It’s like “Before you knew who you were talking to, you acted totally differently towards me”.
Anyway… I’ve had several interesting interactions over the last three weeks, revolving around the question “Who are YOU?”
I ended up at this party, and I saw this random chick hanging out with three of my homegirls. Out of the goodness of my heart, I decided to introduce myself to her. What I intended to do was say hello to her and move on to hanging out with my actual friends. So I say “Hi. I’m Bill”, and her response is “You sent me a friends request on Facebook, and I declined it”. HAHAHA So I’m like ?????? because this is a totally new situation for me. Usually, when chicks don’t accept you on Facebook, that’s because they don’t want to talk to you AT ALL, so when they’re around you, they don’t say jack to you. So I’m like “Wait a minute… Let me get this straight. You just informed me that I friended you on Facebook so you could tell me that you didn’t accept it? :D” and she’s like “Yeah… Who the hell are YOU?”
So, this was really funny, considering that I have over 500 Facebook contacts and over 280 Linkedin contacts and over 650 Twitter contacts and over 600 MySpace contacts, not to mention people that know “who I am” all over the planet, from Hawaii to the U.K. to Tokyo to The Netherlands to California to NYC. Meanwhile, I introduced myself to this chick “cold”, not recognizing her face or body from anywhere, and not recognizing her as someone that I sent a Facebook friends invite to. In the future, when I figured out “who she was”, I realized that I had friended her because I saw that we had 17 mutual friends. There was nothing interesting or appealing about her. Similar to what happened IRL, I was extending the hand of friendship to someone who was friends with friends of mine.
So I found the question “Who the hell are YOU?” to be ridiculous, because it was as if she was requesting for me to audition to be her Facebook friend when I didn’t give a damn about her in the first place. It was like *I* had something to gain from it. Meanwhile, I could have ignored her completely and interacted with my actual friends and my day would have been exactly the same, except for a funny story to tell about how people get souped up and think they’re worth knowing for some odd reason. 🙂
Another interesting reaction I got recently was at a party. At some point, I took a picture with some chick that I had met that night. About 22 hours after I posted the picture to my flickr stream, I got an email from her with some sob story about the reason why she was asking me to take it down. I didn’t believe a word she said, but I gladly made it private, because every picture I take and post is with people that want to take pictures with me. Just the fact that she was asking me to remove it was grounds for removal. The question here is… Why the hell are you taking pictures with people and not expecting those pictures to arrive on the net? The only uneducated guess I can come up with is that because she had never seen me before, she didn’t figure that a picture she took with me would end up anywhere of note. According to her sob story, she didn’t want certain people to see her partying. The question becomes a) Why were you partying in the first place, and b) Why were you taking pictures with people if you didn’t want to be spotted partying?
Last week, I approached this chick who’s active in social media and is always asking her ‘fans’ for things. When she sends out mass emails, she’s all friendly and acting like she knows who it is that she’s interacting with and cares about them. However, when I arrived, not only was she completely disinterested in who I might be, but she failed to even state what her name was. I didn’t bother asking her because I already knew her name and what she does. I found it funny how someone could be such a beggar in social media, yet totally didn’t promote herself IRL. What sense does it make to make contacts with people via computer and then alienate them in person?
OTOH… There are lots of people that I met during PodCampNYC or at various Twitter Meetups or Meetup Meetups that are either AS GENUINE as they appear online or even MORE SO. 😀 A lot of what we experience of people on the net is merely the characters they’re portraying in their “shows”. When the cameras aren’t rolling, and it’s down to one-on-one communication and interaction, that’s where people really shine or they don’t. That’s where you get to see how people act when there’s nothing in it for them. No audience. No revenue-sharing. No business deals. Just you and them. Person to Person. Face to Face. What’s it like for you to be around them? What’s it like for them to be around you?
Ultimately, the question “Who are you?” is unimportant. What’s important is how you carry yourself and interact with others. On the spur of the moment, when you meet someone, how do you react to them? How do you interact with them? Do you act differently based on their accomplishments or who they know? Can you have a good time with people that are willing to have a good time with you? What’s the threshold above which you’re willing to interact with someone standing next to you? Someone that sends you a social media ‘friends request’? Someone that’s a friend of a friend of yours, but you haven’t had personal contact with yet?
Is social media merely a networking tool for you, or are you looking to enrich your life by meeting interesting and intelligent people and cultivating relationships with them?
I watched a video just now by Laura “Pistachio” Fitton that clarified for me a distinction I wanted to make, but that previously wasn’t coming together properly for me.
I edited Christian’s work into a video that we’ve recently completed, and he posted this video, thanking me as well as others for what we’ve done:
Through social media, and also by meeting in person @ Adam Quirk‘s event named Vloggercue in Brooklyn, I developed an impression of Phil Campbell as a stand-up guy and a good judge of character. For Phil to bring up Christian’s project to me, I’m automatically *infinitely* more inclined to hear more about it. Yes, it helped A LOT that Christian already had a strong social media presence. Yes, it helped A LOT that the photos he shot for the project are rich and full of emotion, intimacy and meaning. However, the *main* thing is connection… passing it on. Social media offers us the opportunity to get to know each other, asynchronously… and then follow up to find out how the real person matches up to his or her online persona.