Social Media: You’re Doing It Wrong

Let me tell you how Social Media works…

There are two layers. There’s the online layer and then the offline layer.

The online layer is where we all say whatever we want about ourselves and expect people to take our word for it. The offline layer is where you have to PUT UP OR SHUT UP. You’re either the same person IRL (In Real Life) that you claim to be online or you’re not. Continue reading “Social Media: You’re Doing It Wrong”

Morning-After Conduct

ok. So you went to the tech conference COUGHsxswCOUGH and you got your drink on and hooked up with that chick, right πŸ˜‰ …

Except the conference isn’t OVER YET, so you actually have to see her the next day ( hate it when THAT happens! πŸ˜€ ).

Here are your top 5 options on how to deal when you run into her today:

ok. So you went to the tech conference COUGHsxswCOUGH and you got your drink on and hooked up with that chick, right πŸ˜‰ …

Except the conference isn’t OVER YET, so you actually have to see her the next day ( hate it when THAT happens! πŸ˜€ ).

Here are your top 5 options on how to deal when you run into her today:

Act like you liked it when you didn’t

When your eyes meet, look at her like ” HEYYYYY! πŸ˜€ ” and smile. Extend your right hand so she extends hers, clasp it and use your left hand to pat her on the back. Pull her in close to you for a hug and whisper in her ear “That ish was the bomb last night, yo. Good Lookin’ Out.”

She will feel accomplished and your job is done. You’re now only responsible for winking at her a couple of times and some minor waves from across the room.

Act like you didn’t like it when you did

Calm down. Stop thinking about it. Hold your breath if you need to… Helps you focus on reality, right-now. Give her a nice hug. Remember to let her go. Small-talk with her, then say something like “You know… We got really DRUNK together last night…” or “I really don’t want last night to come between us and our friendship” or “I care about you too much blah blah blah we shouldn’t do that ever again”.

Try to sound sincere when you’re saying this. If you hear your voice trembling because you’re lying, drink some water. Also, if you feel like you’re starting to get aroused again as soon as you see her, skip the “hug” part. Continue reading “Morning-After Conduct”

Social Media in Action

On Thursday, January 1st, 2009 at 3:02 pm, I made a post about a client who didn’t pay me the money he owed me. Here is the Recent Visitor Map for just that one article, ~38 hours later (approximately a day and a half):

Bill Cammack Recent Visitors Map Click here to view 1048 x 857 image

This is Social Media in Action. “Reach” is now determined by how much time and effort you’re willing to put in to maintain your internet presence.

When it comes to determining “Reach”, the days of “who lives next to that person?” are OVER. The days of “Is he a radio personality or performer or some other type of celebrity?” are *OVER*. Connections are made and maintained virtually.

People are aligning themselves by values, aptitude & beliefs now, instead of by local territory and “Accident of Birth”. The “lines” are being re-drawn as people get to sample other people’s mentalities through reading their blogs, listening to their podcasts, watching their videos and selecting to find out more about people they feel in-tune with.

Jeff Pulver, Kathryn Jones, Kfir Pravda & Keren DaganJeff Pulver called it his “Social Media Living Room”. He was absolutely right. The people that you know live wherever they live, but we all come together, in various locations… virtual locations.

Sometimes, we meet up IRL, like @ PodCamps or BarCamps or SXSW or TweetUps or meetup.com or Gary’s Guide events. In the meantime, in between time, we’re reading each other’s blogs and communicating with other through social media sites like Twitter, Ning, Facebook, MySpace, etc etc etc. Continue reading “Social Media in Action”

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.

Community vs. Territory

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.


“sxsw seesmic junkies dinner” [permalink]
Now, that was a table FILLED with people that I’m either in direct contact with or follow on social sites: Laura Fitton, Jane Quigley, Jim Long, Phil Campbell, Steve Garfield, Christian Payne (“Documentally”), Patty Hartwell, Shannon Newton, Cathy Brooks

Around 4 minutes 30 seconds, Cathy mentions “community”. By the smiles on the participants’ faces and the fellowship, you can tell that they are all part of a community. What made this post finally possible for me is that while they became a community because of Seesmic, they weren’t interacting via Seesmic. They were IRL, having dinner together, chatting and having a good time. Somehow, what I wanted to talk about clicked after Cathy’s speech and seeing ‘community’ exist in a totally different environment.

There’s a difference between Community and Territory.

The word ‘community’ is often used to indicate ‘territory’… Like they might have a housing project named “Chicago Community”. In fact, those houses are territory. What makes them a community is how people interact with each other WITHIN that territory. You can live near someone and have NOTHING to do with them, not even to say hello as you pass in the street. You can live far from someone and talk to them every day and spend a lot of time with them, virtually on the net or by other means.

Having this feeling of community can easily give one the feeling of dominion over a territory. This is a false feeling, with no standing or merit… UNLESS members of said community are ACTUALLY owners of the territory, appointed agents of those owners, or members of the community that are willing to stand up and accept leadership of that group, lay down laws and enforce them. When there’s nobody in charge, there ARE no rules definable by the community. There are rules definable by THE OWNERS OF THE TERRITORY, which must be followed by all inhabitants of the territory, whether they’re a part of the community or not.

Thus, as popular as *A* community might be, without authority, anything they say regarding the territory is a SUGGESTION, not a MANDATE. It carries ZERO weight, except amongst the people of THAT particular community who are willing to follow the lead of whomever stood up and decided to make a rule… such as “How people SHOULD use this site” “What’s good etiquette on this site” “What new people need to know about this site” “How long posts should be on this site” “How you have to act after you post to this site”…. etc etc etc. It’s all hogwash and trivial banter to anyone that doesn’t subscribe to the community in which this so-called leader has chosen to lay down some laws.

Now… You ask “But, what if there’s only ONE community? Doesn’t that mean community=territory?”

No. πŸ˜€

Even if there’s only one group of people in a territory that calls themselves a community, or in some cases, THE community (like THE HIP HOP VIOLINIST :/), without connection to or authority from the owners of the territory, they have ZERO say in what happens to that territory. Do they have say over their community? Absolutely. Community exists in the ‘heart’ and mind. Inside or outside of the territory, the community thrives as long as there are still people that believe in that community. Dominion over one’s community FEELS LIKE dominion over the territory that community’s sitting on when there’s nobody else there. πŸ˜€

When nobody else has access to become a member of the territory, there’s no turnover. It’s like having the air conditioning circulate air inside your house without bringing in fresh air from the outside. It’s cold, and it feels good, but it’s only representative of a tiny subset of the actual air available inside your house and outside. As soon as others are given access to the territory, strictly by definition, “the” community will shrink drastically in the percentage of the territory in which it can hold court.

As soon as you double the number of currently active participants, assuming that “the” community doesn’t welcome and absorb these new people “into the fold” and assuming everyone contributes an equal amount of posts, the visibility of “the” community is AT LEAST split in half, and they now occupy 50% of the territory. So now, there are at least TWO communities, even if they’re “the originals” and “the newjacks”. Even if the new territory members don’t form a formal community, they’re meeting each other and making connections and having conversations and adding each other to their friends lists and following and replying to their contacts’ posts. Depending on frequency of posting and replying to popular newjack threads, looking at the front page of a site, the presence of the original community (which, of course, was dominion by default, being that nobody else was there) won’t be seen as any stronger or relevant than the new territory members. As a matter of fact, “the originals” will be completely indistinguishable from “the newjacks”. This is only when you merely DOUBLE the number of active participants…..

The ‘solution’ to this is to enjoy COMMUNITY without feeling ENTITLEMENT. If you have constructive comments for people joining the territory that your community has occupied by default up until now, that’s great! πŸ˜€ If you have rules and laws and crabby things to say, “Save it for David”. What you have to say is meaningless without authority. The laws will be handed down by the owners & appointed rulers. In most cases, those are found in the ToS (Terms of Service). There’s no point in trying to defend a territory that you never owned in the first place. There’s no point in trying to maintain “market share” when eventually, ten times the number of people in your community will be “outsiders” occupying the same territory.

What you DO HAVE is YOUR COMMUNITY. You have your friends that you’ve made and socialized with and had good times with. You have the relationships you’ve fostered and the feeling of goodwill that flows between your community members. Nurture that and Enjoy It. πŸ˜€

Twitter Has “Ruined” My Life

For those of you that don’t know what twitter is… Basically, it’s a DIY (do it yourself) chat room. You choose people that you want to “follow”, and you can see when they type something to the twitter site. People can choose to follow YOU, and they’ll see what you type to twitter. There’s no forced mutual following, so sometimes, it’s a one-sided deal. You can see what someone’s saying, but they can’t see what you’re saying… which is unfortunate for them when they ask a question that you “tweet” (somehow the verb form of twitter…… meaning each entry should be called a TWIT or the site should be called TWEETER, but anyway…) the answer to and then an hour later, you see them ask again if anyone has a solution for them. πŸ˜€

I think twitter’s more effective in areas where people are in relatively close proximity to each other or at least can get to where other twitterers (tweeters?) indicate that they are or that something’s going on. It’s extremely useful during conferences, like SXSW or PodCampNYC. Twitter works on cell phones as well as computers, so people on-the-go can still find out the latest information, ASAP. The benefit here is that instead of texting… or, could you imagine, actually CALLING several people to tell them where you’re about to have lunch, or what floor you’re hanging out on and with whom


Photo Credit: Jared Klett

… You can make one “tweet,” and everyone that’s following you receives the same information at the same time. (PS – If you don’t know what twitter looks like, you can see it on my macbook pro screen on the right side of the picture.)

So, by now, you’re saying “All I’ve heard is positives!” πŸ˜€ Yes. That’s true. πŸ™‚ I think twitter is a very positive thing, or at least it CAN be. It all depends on how you use it. If you clutter your “friends list” with people that don’t do anything, but seem to always have something to say about the NOTHING they do all day, then it’s a waste of your time and energy to read the feed. That’s not my ‘problem’… it’s exactly the opposite! :O

The first day I became aware of twitter, I ‘crawled’ through my friends’ friends lists and added people that I thought might be interesting to follow. I was doing something that day, and I don’t remember what, but I remember doing just ONE thing… πŸ™‚ So I happened to have added someone that appears to be an actress. A “tweet” comes up that she’s heading wherever to meet with whomever. I’m like “ok”….. Then, while I’m still doing the same thing, and time doesn’t really seem to have moved at all, another tweet comes up from her saying that NOW she was heading to a different location to do something else. I’m like “ok”….. So while I was sitting there, still doing the same thing… over the course of the day, she did at least SIX THINGS in six different locations! :O I noticed how interesting it is to ‘eavesdrop’ on the goings-on of someone that’s in a profession you don’t know anything about, but I ALSO noticed that I could have done a lot more with my day than what I did while she was scurrying all over the place being effective.

I chalked it up as a fluke, but the same thing happened the next day and then the next day. To make matters worse, the rest of the people I added are workaholics also! πŸ˜€ So now, all day, every day, I get to hear about where they’re going and what they’re doing and who they’re meeting with and what’s happening in Second Life and what country they’re in and which conference is starting and who’s the keynote speaker and who’s broadcasting live on the Internet right now…..

On top of what they’re ACTUALLY DOING, I have to hear about what they think is interesting on the net, who made a new video, who didn’t get paid for the unauthorized use of their photo coughlanbuicough, what’s the latest social site somebody created, how to get invites to be a beta tester, what just crashed their browser, which phone shoots the better video, who updated their blog, what’s the latest HD camera that records MP4…..

And then, while you’re trying to be more productive with your day, AND you’re checking out all these links that people sent out so the tabs on the top of your browser are increasing and getting smaller and smaller… You get to find out who’s going to lunch at such and such a place, who’s going out for drinks later, who’s flying into town for the weekend, where the Wii Sports tournament’s going to be, which bar is giving out free beer RIGHT NOW!, the sun just came out over Central Park, the party’s moving from location X to location Y….. So now, instead of having the excuse that you don’t know if anything’s happening tonight or this weekend and actually getting to USE the time that you had allotted to being more productive, which was ALSO spurred on by twitter… You’re hanging out all the time, to the wee hours of the morning, then spending the better part of the next day updating your flickr set! πŸ˜€

Oh, yeah… It also doesn’t help that people live in different time zones. :/ When you’re in the middle of your day, people are talking about “GOOD MORNING FROM HAWAII,” then when you’re done, they’re talking about going out to lunch…

As you can see, the overall effect of this twitter phenomenon is that there are NEVER enough hours in a day anymore. :/ Every second you’re not running with the pack, you’re falling behind. Unfortunately, I don’t subscribe to slackers, so it’s always build, create, innovate, move, report, link, blog, videoblog, discuss, contemplate, debate….. You just have to do as much as you can and eventually call it a day. πŸ˜€

There is one downside-downside to twitter, and that’s when it CRASHES, and suddenly, you’re “flying blind”. Twitter has two types of crashes. Type-2 is complete denial of service. πŸ˜€ Either the site doesn’t come up at all or it comes up but doesn’t let you type anything and doesn’t give you any updates from anyone else either. You just sit there looking at this screen that says “so-and-so said whatever about 3 hours ago.” Suddenly you start trying to activate the telepathy that you just KNOW you have that will allow you to discernn where people are and what they’re doing, even though none of the “tweets” are coming through at all, hahaha. I suppose it’s the same way people feel when they open the fridge and find out that someone drank the last of the Kool-Aid and didn’t fill it back up! :O You just stare at the container, IMAGINING how good that Kool-Aid would have tasted… IF it were actually IN the container. :/

The Type-1 twitter-crash is way more frequent and way more frustrating! πŸ˜€ Twitter lets you type things, but then there are random occurrences right afterwards. What you typed mght disappear into thin air, and twitter acts like you never typed anything at all. It might appear in the list of “tweets”, but then, when you refresh, it’s gone. You can type something and what appears in the list is a duplicate of something you typed hours ago, competely replacing what you actually typed. “Tweets” show up out of order and randomly appear and then disappear upon refreshes. Etc, etc, etc… Anyway… Type-1 twitter-crashes inspire denial as well as disbelief as you realize your carefully crafted post, complete with hyperlinks, has been eaten by twitter and if you didn’t select it and copy it before pressing “Update,” you have to start all over again.

You can imagine the effect these crashes have on the twitter-dependent… suddenly scurrying to use email, instant messaging and telephones to try to find out what’s going on… one.person.at.a.tiiiiiime… πŸ˜€ It’s not for the faint of heart. So beware, and be aware! πŸ˜€ Watch out for the effects of TMI (too much information). If you recognize it starting to be too much, take a bunch of people off of your “friends list” to slow down the traffic to only relevant information that’s useful to YOU… or Just.Say.No! πŸ˜€

Bill Cammack Ò€’ New York City Ò€’ Freelance Video Editor Ò€’ alum.mit.edu/www/billcammack

Enter The SXSW Vloggies Challenge!

For those of you enjoying SXSW right now, make sure you check out “The Vloggies Show”.

Irina Slutsky, co-founder and anchor of Geek Entertainment Television and creator of “The Vloggies” has issued the SXSW Vloggies Challenge. Showcase your video coverage of SXSW 2007 and you might win prizes sponsored by Seagate.

So go check out Irina at the Vloggies Show SXSW booth this weekend (March 11th through the 13th), or enter online between March 10th and April 15th! πŸ˜€

Bill Cammack Ò€’ New York City Ò€’ Freelance Video Editor Ò€’ alum.mit.edu/www/billcammack