Ok let’s not include R2D2 or C3P0 or any of the other memorable Movie Robots – for the most part Robots can be pretty boring.
Following on from my conversation with Sarah from Carve Consulting the other week we briefly touched on what we think may happen next year as all these companies and people jump on the social media wave. It is great that new users are joining these online communities and sharing content with everyone. However one thing I think we will see happen is that companies in an attempt to make sure they have a blog or FB page may have people writing for them who aren’t natural writers or people writing for them who really aren’t passionate about their product/service.
Writing is based on emotion, it cannot be automated even though I am sure there are people who would disagree with this.
Blogging is not new it has been around for years, there are many great bloggers out there and information I imagine on any topic you are looking for. I have been blogging for about 2 years now and for me blogging is a way to express and share my thoughts and ideas with our readers and hopefully provide some information that helps someone (I believe in the sayings “what goes around comes around and also “do good things and good things will happen to you, do bad things and….”). When I write it is natural, I find my blog entries are not forced writing they just kind of flow similar to when you have a conversation when you catch up with someone for a coffee.
I think though what we will see (and there already are examples of this out there) is companies set up corporate blogs written by people who are not passionate about their topic or not 100% engaged in what they want to say. I have seen corporate blogs that do not hold my attention at all. The reason they don’t hold my attention is that they do not seem genuine – if you are going to write a corporate blog, don’t feel you have to put on your sales hat and sell your product/service to us – if we are interested we will get in touch with you. Corporate blog entries that have no heart or passion in the writing come off to me as something I can just read off the company website or marketing promotion – where is the value?? I want to read what a writer thinks and feels and get a perspective from a real person not from a robot being told to write something about “how great product X is” – unless the writer actually tried product X and loved it!
The other thing that I am noticing more lately is people who are taking previously written content and claiming it as their own. As more people start blogging and writing about topics there is naturally going to be some overlap of content which is understandable however isn’t there some sort of unwritten bloggers code about stealing content. Again it comes down to value to the reader, what value does it do to post content that is already available on the internet (unless you are trying to claim credit for something you did not do – again this comes back to karma). If you want to use someone else’s content ask them, more often than not they will say yes and make sure to give credit back to the original post – give credit where credit is due.
Here is a great example of how cutting and pasting someone else’s content can backfire. Thomas Shaw found a great example of this the other day, here is his Twitter post below letting the guys from Hippo.com.au know where their blog post originally came from. (notice the #fail hashtag at the end).
@ThomasShaw: @hippo_com_au guys you have copied the the article http://bit.ly/59Be2M from here http://bit.ly/7lLJiT #fail11:31 AM Dec 15th from TweetDeck in reply to hippo_com_au
I am sure corporate bloggers have policies and guidelines they must work within, but it doesn’t mean your blog posts can’t be original or funny or honest, etc…. If you are going to write, write about the things that you think and believe – your readers will be much more engaged with you and much more appreciative to you for sharing your thoughts.
It has been a while since my last blog post – at first I was thinking that it must just be a case of writers block, which sometimes happens. Yesterday though, I had the chance to meet with @sarahatcarve while she was in Melbourne and after talking to her I started to think maybe it is not a case of writers block but maybe we (general online community) have said all there is to say about social media for the moment.
Sarah and I have been talking to each other on Twitter for a while and it was great to finally get the chance to meet her. Sarah runs Carve Consulting in Australia which is a consulting firm that helps organisations realise value from corporate social networks. (taken from webpage). It was great to talk to someone who gets social media/networks and sees the value they provide in a business capacity. As Sarah and I were talking I found myself answering my own questions about why it has been a while since my last blog post. A few things that I mentioned when I met with Sarah:
- I think there is too much hype around Social Media/Networking at the moment – it is great everyone is finally coming around to using these tools, but there are too many “experts” saying the same thing as each other which I think is taking away some of value of what the real enthusiasts are using these tools for. How many webinars can I be invited to about using LinkedIn/Twitter for Recruiting – especially by those “experts” who have just signed up to these sites.
- I think there is too much white noise on some networks – I always feel a bit dirty when I get those LinkedIn invitations to connect with me like this one below that I received recently:
“If we are not already directly connected and you are open to being a 1st degree connection with me on LinkedIn, then please know that I am an open networker, I will accept your invitation and I will not IDK you [insert: if you press I do not know this person on an invite - LinkedIn views the person as spamming you and may cancel their account]
My LinkedIn profile is: http://www.linkedin.com/in/xxx
My LinkedIn email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Look forward to connecting with you on LinkedIn. JT “
These people remind me of travelling salesman but instead of going from city to city they are going from network to network. They are not adding value to online networks, they are just building up numbers of connections for their own sales reason. I think it is great people use these networks to build business but be open about it. I have over 2500 connections on LinkedIn, but I only invite people I have spoken to or have some connection with.
- A lot of people are starting to use Social networks (this is good) but many businesses or individuals haven’t thought about why they are going online (this is bad). Is to find a job, build a brand, increase sales, increase revenue, etc…. .
It reminds me of a conversation I had with my sister a while back (she is in marketing) she mentioned that many of her clients always jumped up and down and said they had to create a facebook page as part of their marketing plan. When she asked them why they thought that – they never had an answer, the standard response was always “because it is what everyone else is doing” – it kind of reminds me of when your parents would ask you if your friends jumped off a cliff would you?? People should do what works for them, it is great to try new ways to do things, but think about what you want to achieve before blindly following a trend.
Looking back on the year I think the main focus of many of my blog posts has been focused on using Social Media Tools in Recruitment which makes sense as I am an experienced Recruiter and a Social Media enthusiast. I would like to think that some of the information I have written has helped somebody in their job search.
For those of you who have read enough of my posts talking about the latest and greatest social media tools, next year I am aiming to have fewer blog posts based around Social Media Tools – yes Twitter that includes you!
The feeling I have lately is that there is more than enough talk happening online about these tools. Don’t get me wrong I love using social networks and social media tools – they have helped me in my success here at Oracle, but there is already plenty of information available to help anyone navigate through the world of social media – from the first day novice to the seasoned enthusiast – we do not all have to fill up our social networks saying the same thing over and over about how to use social networks
In my next blog post I want to follow up with a few more things Sarah and I spoke about and talk about some of the things I think will happen in the Social Media space next year once the hype dies down.