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