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Drinking on the Internet

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Beer

I don’t  like beer all that much but that is the subject of another post.  On the re-net we talk about on-line reputation management.  Managing an online reputation can be a challenge, especially while attending a conference. This year I have attended and spoken at several conferences.  I enjoyed them all and attended the after hours parties, so I could get to know the many wonderful people who live in my computer.  The parties were fun but I didn’t drink anything alcoholic.

There are several reasons for my odd non-drinking behavior.  The number one reason is because if I have a drink someone will take a photo of me drinking in one of those hot dark crowded noisy rooms.  The photo will go on the internet with my name on it.  The photo will become part of my permanent record and part of my on-line portfolio. What goes on the internet is forever.

Pictures to share

A picture here and there at a party is OK but with the number of conferences I have attended this year it would add up to multiple photos every six or seven weeks taken in different locations around the country.  I work very hard, too hard to want to be known as the woman who knows how to party.  My clients expect me to spend some of my time working and marketing their homes.

Managing The Message

We all need to manage our on-line presence and watch that business portfolio and permanent record.  I for one don’t want to have a reputation as someone who parties hard. I live in Minnesota and we have our own kind of culture here.  As a state our residents value hard work, in fact we are known nation wide for having one of the most highly educated, stable and dedicated work forces in the country.  We are also known as the “brain state”.  Quirky I know but I have lived here forever and it is part of who I am.

If you attend conferences and take pictures at parties please be sensitive to the idea that the picture you took and posted online could end up being part of a colleagues reputation and permanent record.

Full time REALTOR and licensed broker with Saint Paul Home Realty Realty in St. Paul, Minnesota. Author of StPaulRealEstateBlog.com, Columnist for Inman News and an avid photographer.

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33 Comments

33 Comments

  1. Mike Price

    November 5, 2008 at 8:44 am

    Wow. As if I needed another reason to stay away from Minnesooohhhtah. Guess all that cold weather keeps people bottled up in their houses too much.

    I agree that the photos go way too far, but your “better than though” attitude about people enjoying a real live social gathering goes even further. Man what a buzz kill.

    I think I’ll stay down here with lazy “small brained” Texans who enjoy the comfort of walking around without sticks up their asses. I will join them as the enjoy the fruits of the labor that seems to be inadequate to some folksy Yankee types who can’t seem to stop rolling vowels.

    Love ya Teresa, but sometimes your arrogance knows no bounds.

  2. teresa boardman

    November 5, 2008 at 9:01 am

    Mike I am not understanding how this is arrogant. I have attended many of the parties and have had a great time, including conversations with you.

  3. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    November 5, 2008 at 9:14 am

    Mike, Teresa isn’t talking about being social, having a beer, going to an English Pub in San Francisco or any of the things we do together, I read between the lines to mean that as we all attend these conferences we should avoid being that guy, you know- the one who is so wasted he does the Robot dance, knocks lamps over and we get photographic evidence of it as it happens and THAT becomes part of their persona. You can’t un-take pictures.

    We practice in Austin with a tech demographic and most of our clients we meet are from social media connections and we meet in person at parties. That’s common and there are plenty of drinking pictures out there- but we’re smiling, not barfing.

    I think that’s the distinction Teresa was making- us rowdy Texans are fine, but we do have reputations to mind. And as someone who has grown up in the tech era, I can tell you how true this is- I’ve known people to not get jobs based on Facebook pics of themselves. I like beer more than the next Texan girl, but when cameras are around, I *try* not to do anything too stupid.

  4. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    November 5, 2008 at 9:14 am

    Mike, for example Fernet comes to mind 😉 lol

  5. Bill Lublin

    November 5, 2008 at 9:22 am

    Mike: I like you and Teresa too much to get in the middle of this – not to mention the possibility of a Texas Minnesota border war i frightening – both states have fierce reputations (and I take that whole “Don’t mess with texas” thing very srsly) – but I think Teresa’s point is well taken – photo taken by someone because they thought they were cute, or goofy or funny, might provide a skewed picture of the person who is the subject of the photo. And that part of the point she makes here is that managing your reputation becomes difficult when you are the subject of someone else’s photographic creativity.
    That having been said, I cherish some of the photos that were taken by others at Inman talking and joking with friends because I will never have the chance to create those photo opps again. And I love having the opportunity to create those memories and have them memorialized through the eyes of others.

  6. Bill Lublin

    November 5, 2008 at 9:22 am

    Lani;
    What’s wrng with the robot dance?
    😉

  7. Mike Price

    November 5, 2008 at 9:32 am

    Hey, dont get me wrong, Teresa is a dear friend and I don’t coddle my friends. She would do the same to me in Minnesota second if that what was on her mind and I respect that. That said,

    This, any way you slice it, is arrogant:

    “As a state our residents value hard work, in fact we are known nation wide for having one of the most highly educated, stable and dedicated work forces in the country. We are also known as the “brain state”.”

  8. Mike Price

    November 5, 2008 at 9:34 am

    Lani,
    We all have to be careful with our reputations, on line and off. I know where to draw the line, but my line isn’t the same as others. I was just making that distinction.

    Teresa knows I love her and if anyone has thick enough skin to hear something like that, it’s TBoard.

    MP

  9. Mike Price

    November 5, 2008 at 9:35 am

    Bill,
    I will robot dance with you as long as there are no cameras present.

    🙂

  10. Benn Rosales

    November 5, 2008 at 9:35 am

    A hotel room photo of a fellow blogger comes to mind at how innocent folks think pictures are.

  11. Derec Shuler

    November 5, 2008 at 9:41 am

    Teresa, thanks for the explanation why we never see you drinking for the camera 🙂

    Brand management IS extremely important, especially more so with social networking platforms like Facebook with photo tagging.

    Cheers, Derec

  12. teresa boardman

    November 5, 2008 at 10:07 am

    Mike – I thought if I put some context around why I have the attitudes that I have they would make more sense. There are regional differences. For example I have noticed that people dress more casually for business in California than they do in New York.

    I think we should all draw our own line and I respect the decisions my peers make and respect their wishes. There was someone at the last conference I attended who specifically stated they did not want any after hours published. I didn’t ask any questions, and was careful about where I pointed my camera. Last year in New York I got a picture of a blogger who was obviously drunk, he was leaning against a wall, with a drink in his hand, barely able to stand up. The picture made me smile, and I sent it to him with a note. I never posted it.

    Yes I am tough but your comment was too personal for me to just shrug off. You commented about me as a person in a very negative way on a public forum which is different from disagreeing with my idea, opinion or post. I have to problem with someone not agreeing with what I write but when it gets personal my skin is not at all thick.

  13. Mike Price

    November 5, 2008 at 10:10 am

    Teresa,
    It’s not about the content of your message, its the delivery. I just don’t think it’s right to attempt to protect people from themselves or hold up a moral equivalent. What’s worse is saying that the pedigree of another part of the country makes them smarter or better decision makers.

    Maybe you didn’t mean it sound arrogant, I’ll buy that, however, I have a lot of friends, including you, in the RE.Net that may not think otherwise. I commented in defense of them, not myself. Anyone that knows me already knows that, for better or worse, what you see is, what you get.

    I honestly do love you and cherish your friendship. You drink water, I’ll drink beer and we’ll talk again.
    MP

  14. Mike Price

    November 5, 2008 at 10:17 am

    If I hurt your feelings Teresa, I apologize. It wasn’t my intent.

  15. Jay Thompson

    November 5, 2008 at 10:33 am

    Benn wrote:

    A hotel room photo of a fellow blogger comes to mind at how innocent folks think pictures are.

    If that’s a reference to the photo I think it is (that I took), it should be noted that picture was posted WITH the permission of the person, and was later removed from public view — and not at the subject’s request, but at the request of someone else.

  16. Mike Price

    November 5, 2008 at 10:40 am

    I wasn’t defending myself, I have nothing to defend. I have fun, but not that much fun. I’m too old to run with the crowd. In fact, in Las Vegas, I went to bed before the parties started and had one drink and left the only party I went to.

    Last comment on this and I need to move on. I am getting emails from folks who wanted to comment on this post and didn’t, FWIW, I don’t think Teresa meant to single anybody out and you don’t have anything to worry about.

  17. Heather Elias

    November 5, 2008 at 10:53 am

    Hmm. Hesitant to jump in on this, but here are my two cents. I’m as careful as the next person about reputation management online; and DC is a pretty conservative area. That being said, I wouldn’t equate being photographed with a drink in my hand as the same negative effect of some of the drunken escapades that you see on facebook or myspace pages. (Seriously, I saw some halloween party pics of Realtors in my area…eeek!)

    I do think that it’s a great idea to keep track of what impression you make online. As an adult of legal drinking age, I hope that any clients of mine wouldn’t be offended by my margarita in hand.

    And I totally agree that if you are the one with the camera in your hand, that you need to respect the people who turn up in your pictures… which I think has been the case with the conferences I’ve attended this year.

  18. Danilo Bogdanovic

    November 5, 2008 at 10:56 am

    That’s why I have the following rule (which some of you have heard me say loudly before)…

    “No picture or video taking between the times of 5pm and 9am”

    Another rule I have is…

    “Do NOT post pictures of other people without their permission FIRST”

  19. Steve Simon

    November 5, 2008 at 11:08 am

    It is a constant source of amazement to me at just how far off the digested version of the written word can be!
    You have here in this post a perfect example of how the intent of the written post was no where near the conveyed meaning (to one fellow)…
    I didn’t see any of the trait or intent the comment maker Mike was writing about. I wouldn’t be so bold as to say he is completely wrong, but I saw absolutely nothing of what he described relative to delivery or anything else?
    I guess that is why I do prefer the combination of the written word and the spoken word. When both are combined you get retention from the written word and the feel of the spoken word. When writing alone, the feel can be missed; when only spoken words can be forgotten to quickly…
    If it is really important write it and speak it. If it’s not that important do what you wish, but be prepared for the meaning to land off the mark:)
    Just my thoughts:)

  20. Michelle DeRepentigny

    November 5, 2008 at 11:55 am

    I second Teresa!

    I will never forget a bbq with my husband’s coworkers although it has been 20 years or so ago. It was freezing cold and I was slugging back coffee & Kaluha drinks, the end was not pretty and I was really glad when he came to work for me so I never have to face those folks again. Thank heavens that was years before the online revolution where NOTHING is private anymore.

  21. Todd Carpenter

    November 5, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    It’s unfortunate people take pictures out of context. For the record Jeff Corbett is not my gay lover.

    Before REBlogWorld, I sent an email to the speakers requesting that the camera stuff be limited, or left offline, especially if the person having there picture taken was resisting.

    I’m certainly not shy about it, but Teresa’s point is very valid. An innocent pic of someone with a beer in their hand can be pretty easily misinterpreted. Especially if theirs an uncomplimentary look on their face.

  22. Mark Eibner

    November 5, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    we’re at it again Drinking on the Internet: Get out of your feed reader and comment on .. https://tinyurl.com/5m5sx7

  23. Larry Yatkowsky

    November 5, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    Proclamation –

    Hence forth:

    All attendees at all socials;

    -must check their cameras at the door,
    -must dispose of personal name tags,and replace them with No Pictures Allowed badges
    -must wear masks,
    -must dress as monks,
    -must not engage other attendees
    -must not cuddle or grope
    -must not make leud remarks about anybody at any time
    -must not KISS anything
    -must not lurk, gawk or imagine
    -must conduct themselves as if their mother was watching
    -must not have an opinion
    -must bring your own bag of snacks
    -must not ever lighten up
    -must not hold anything other than their own hand
    -must only drink Kool Aid
    -must leave in a quiet, orderly, totally professional manner.
    -must not ever discuss the event or those who attended

    Following these rules will assure your reputation, save you money, give you a good nights sleep, provide a clear head and gurarantee you will die lonesome.

    Simplified street version:

    Don’t want dah spin? Don’t do dah sin!

  24. Jon McAchran

    November 5, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    I’m all for having a beer, but we do “all need to manage our online presence.” Once it is online it is permanent! https://budurl.com/5dr8

  25. JeffX

    November 5, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    I’m only commenting here cause Todd dragged me in…thx Todd 😉

    First, a picture is worth a thousand words and they all lie in the eye and brain of the beholder…

    Second, I’m comfortable enough with my heterosexuality to laugh at/with anyone who chooses to take my and Todd’s pic out of context or joke about it. For the record, Todd had no issue with me posting the pic but if he would like me to remove it, I would understand.

    Third, I think my online reputation is already beyond repair 😉

    Lastly…I’m not sticking my nose between T and Mike because I like where it currently is, and respect them both immensely 🙂

  26. Lisa Sanderson

    November 5, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    I totally got T’s point and thought the first comment came out of left field. No offense, Mike. A reminder every now and then about being careful about what’s ‘out there’ is absolutely in order. And to show an example of how one’s market may view certain things in different ways is an excellent way to make one stop and think that much longer about the implications of one’s pictured behavior. Context is everything and viewers of photos, more often than not, don’t have any.

    And asking the subjects’ permission to post photos is just plain old common courtesy, is it not?

  27. venti chai

    November 5, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    another thought.. the social network sites like face book and my space. Maybe pictures that aren’t on YOUR pages but on friends..or boyfriend/girlfriend/family members

  28. Missy Caulk

    November 5, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    Oh gosh…all I thought about when I read this was me in my Trulia costume at Inman photo.
    Since I rarely have more than 2 glasses of wine or I fall asleep it hasn’t really bothered me. But, I know what you saying, some folks care and some don’t so just ask permission first.
    Is this why we saw very few photos of Blog World in Vegas?

  29. Todd Carpenter

    November 5, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    <<“Is this why we saw very few photos of Blog World in Vegas?”

    Yes.

  30. Brad Nix

    November 6, 2008 at 8:53 am

    I like Teresa.
    I like Mike.
    I like beer.
    I like cameras.

    Why don’t I like this conversation thread?
    Because context matters in-person and on-line.

  31. Mike Price

    November 6, 2008 at 10:51 am

    I like everyone, brad, t, you name it. I got grumpy and lost some face for running my mouth, It’s way out of character for me. T and I are cool now. I’ll make it up to her somehow.

    It does say something about context though. I think we both dropped the ball there. Me more so than her, but it’s done.

    No pics after 5 is an easy rule to live by.

    MP

  32. Paula Henry

    November 8, 2008 at 10:08 am

    ALarry – Nice list!LOL – I haven’t been to any of the socials this year, but do enjoy the twits, pictures and commentary.

    I don’t drink, because I am only good for one glass of wine, then it is off to bed.

    I remember at my daughters wedding; every picture of my sister had her with a glass in her hand. Oh yea, she made several trips around the block in the Limo, mixing her own drinks. It’s now one of the things which is always said when my daughters pictures or videos are shown.

    Like T, I would not like my reputation based on pictures of a one or two time event. In social media – news makes the rounds quickly and is preserved forever.

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Business Marketing

Simple ways to improve your organic reach on Facebook

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Facebook continues to make businesses and pages pay to play, but businesses still have a shot of improving their organic reach, according to experts in the field.

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Facebook open on laptop with white desk and small potted plant, open to organic reach.

Facebook organic reach is not dead, but you will need to work harder to get eyes on your pages. Here’s a rundown of what experts are saying will help you reach your audience. Facebook is still the top social media platform that marketers use and where consumers tend to look for and follow brand pages. So don’t despair!

Those running Facebook business pages have been seeing ever diminishing returns on their effort at getting their content in front of their audiences and fans, especially since around 2016. Yet Facebook remains the #1 platform for building an audience. Once upon a time, Facebook was incredibly fertile soil to grow our entrepreneurial and creative gardens in, at little to no cost to us. Many businesses are seeing a drastic reduction in reach, meaning that a tiny percentage of people are seeing our posts, even among those who follow our pages.

Have you ever heard something like, “The first one’s always free; that’s how they get you”? This has long been a business philosophy to hook prospective customers, used by savvy marketers and drug dealers alike. Facebook went and took that to the next level, introducing an easy-to-use platform where almost anyone could find and engage with their target audiences of customers, fans, members, and more.

Of course, there had to be a reckoning, and now that Facebook has more than 2.6 billion active monthly users worldwide, they continue to change the rules. Consider the amount of users and the amount of posts being made, and it makes more sense that Facebook tries to narrow the audience for any single post to a reasonable chunk. Otherwise, our brains would explode (okay, my words, not an actual medical opinion). Really, you don’t need to reach everybody, because not everybody is interested in what you’re offering. You need to reach the right people who are going to engage and build a smaller, engaged loyal group of diehard customers.

Community is key
Here are some of the latest tips and best practices to increase organic reach in 2021, provided by Facebook pros. Mark Zuckerburg keeps bringing up the concept of community, and the algorithm favors engagement, not only on Facebook, but across platforms. Nobody wants products and services constantly jammed in their faces.

This is a conversation, not a one-way portal into your customers’ brains and wallets. A constant barrage of salesy content, urging people to buy buy buy, grows real tedious real fast. “If you build it, they will come.” Only instead of a baseball field in the middle of nowhere, work to build a community.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you creating conversations?
  • Are you using your platform to act as a resource and provide helpful or inside information in your niche or area of expertise?
  • Are you asking your audience what they want and would like to see more of from you?
  • Are you taking current events and trends into account, reacting to local/national/world news at all, and creating timely posts?
  • Are you using a variety of post types (photos, videos, links) and taking advantage of Facebook’s built in post tools?
  • Are you taking data into account for what content people are responding to favorably and when?
  • Do you ever invest in Facebook ads or boosted posts for important content or events?

Find the answer to these questions to reevaluate your strategy, work on promoting a dialogue with your audience, and ideally you will see more engagement on your pages, fruitful interactions that ultimately lead to loyal customers and bigger sales.

Create Conversations
Zuckerburg himself comes back to this point repeatedly in his regular updates on the state of all things Facebook and how the algorithm works, saying Facebook will “prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people.” Not every industry lends itself to deep thoughts, but it can be simple enough to engage your audience with community questions. People love giving their opinions or talking about a shared interest.

Community questions can be fun, lively, and create fun interaction between your audience and the business. A simple This or That question posted on one of the background color templates can get the conversation started. If people don’t have to invest a lot of time to answer, then great! Depending on the industry, these can be easy one-offs: Red wine or white? Beach vacation or mountains? TikTok or Reels? Mac or PC? Harley Davidson hogs or Kawasaki crotch rockets? Early bird or night owl?

Hot takes, unpopular opinions, are another way to get people chatting. I’m not espousing trying to stir up controversy here, unless that is appropriate for your business, but people get emotional as all get out for something as simple as pineapple on pizza or beans in chili. What’s a popular or common opinion in your field? How can you introduce a hot take to get people chatting? For an entrepreneurial page, you could put out a hot take on a cluttered desk, or making lists, or standing desks.

Sure, these conversations may start out superficial, but who knows? When people begin interacting on your page more, they begin seeing more that you post, and that’s when you can introduce something a little weightier, asking them to share their expertise or advice on a relevant topic.

Become a resource
Whether your business is a science journal, digital marketing, interior designing, or a Texas Hill Country resort, your business and your audience is unique. Real estate agencies have become good at this, so we’ll use them as an example. If you are selling or leasing properties in Austin or San Francisco, sell the area. Don’t only post the properties you’re selling or agent profiles. Post those, yes, but also post industry news and local attractions.

When people are interested in moving to a new city or a new neighborhood or investing in opening a business there, they need to know why the area is attractive. What is the business climate? What are the financial perks associated with living there? What is the area known for (local restaurants, live music hiking trails, swimming holes, no traffic)? Has the area made a list for quality of life, affordability, great job prospects in X industry? Sharing blogs, articles, infographics, videos, and photos highlighting any of these can help your page serve the interests of your target audience. This is a good thing.

Ask your audience
This is a simple tip for keeping things closer to your audience’s interests, helping you identify areas where your page may be lacking–and opportunities for growth, and keeping the conversation going. Be careful not to overuse this one, but it’s an important tool.

  • Try a simple question, such as “What would you like to see more of on this page?”
  • Create a poll, which is much faster to answer, and helps you narrow answers down to what you really want to know.
  • Similar to the community questions, ask them to share something that has helped them. A classic example would be “What is the best entrepreneurial advice anyone has even given you?” Or “Please share some tips to fight procrastination.” Or “What is the top time-saving tool you use in your business (or for scheduling)?” Having your page followers (and hopefully others) chat with each other this way is helpful for them and for your organic reach.

Take current events and trends into account
This one’s simple: Read the room. This goes both ways. If there is renewed interest in, say, downtown lofts or sea shanty dances on TikTok, can you use this momentary heat to bring interest to your page? On the other hand, if there is a natural disaster, tragedy, or financial crash that has caused great suffering in an area? That’s a good moment to review your scheduled posts and delete or postpone anything that could be unintentionally triggering or offensive.

Some types of businesses are better suited to jumping on the latest trend. Do you have a bar or restaurant with a fairly young, social media savvy crowd? Go ahead, Photoshop that Bernie-Sanders-in-mittens image sitting on your patio (only if you can do it as the trend is hitting). Are you targeting an area that has recently been hit by extended power outages? I’m sorry to tell you, but this is not the time to promote that popup restaurant where diners experience eating in the dark.

Mix it up and use native Facebook tools
Of course you want to stay on brand, but please don’t get caught in a rut where all of your posts are one type. Consistency is one thing, but beware that this doesn’t turn into monotony. Assess where you can change things up. Add photos, videos, links to relevant blogs and articles, or community questions. Different people respond differently to different types of input. Use all the tools at your disposal to generate interest, draw people in, and get them reacting to and engaging with your page.

Facebook and all social media platforms have built in tools. They want you to use them. Often, this is a Facebook effort to capitalize on a similar, competing app. Trust me when I say, you will get brownie points (higher reach) when you take the time to use these native tools. Facebook Watch, Facebook Live, Facebook Stories, even using a background color template from the Facebook options, are all ways to show Facebook you’re paying attention and want to optimize the tools they are giving you.

Use provided data
You need to be able to look for patterns, evaluate the factors that made a particular post popular, and know when your customers and followers are likely to see your page and interact with it. Facebook provides a number of insights in the platform, but there are numerous external marketing tools you can purchase or sometimes use for free (depending on how many pages and platforms you are running, and how in-depth you want your data to be).

Posting willy nilly is not the most effective way to be. Decide what data is useful to you and make time to study it, and be willing to make changes to your content strategy based on the data. Like many other aspects of marketing, expanding your organic reach is a mixture of art and science, a balancing act of intuition and cold, hard numbers. Use them.

Consider paying to play
I know, I know, this story is about organic and not paid reach, but the fact is strategically paying for a Facebook ad or boosting a post to highlight a launch, event, special deal, or other important news will bring more people to your page. If the other tips, tools, and best practices referred to here are in place, once they find your page, you have the ability to keep their attention through organic means.

Keep on truckin’
These tips should help you expand your page’s organic reach. More importantly, they should help you build and support a community, earn loyal followers and customers, and generate positive buzz about your business. Keep working on becoming a resource and sharing helpful information. Have fun with it and experiment with new media and types of posts. Know yourself. Know your audience.

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Business Marketing

Buffer’s four-day workweek experiment: Boost or bust?

(BUSINESS MARKETING) After trying out a four-day workweek last year, Buffer is moving forward with the format going into 2021, citing increase in productivity and work-life balance.

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Man working in office with headphones on, making use of flexible four-day workweek.

The typical five-day workweek is a thing of the past for Buffer, at least for now. The company has decided to implement a four-day workweek for the “foreseeable future.”

Last year, the company surveyed its employees to see how they are dealing with the ever-changing landscape of the pandemic and the anxiety and stress that came along with it. They soon learned employees didn’t always feel comfortable or like they could take time off.

Employees felt guilty for taking PTO while trying to meet deadlines. Juggling work and suddenly becoming a daycare worker and teacher for their children at the same time was stressful. So, Buffer looked for a solution to help give employees more time and flexibility to get adjusted to their new routines.

Four-Day Workweek Trials

In May, Buffer started the four-day workweek one-month trial to focus on teammates’ well-being. “This four-day workweek period is about well-being, mental health, and placing us as humans and our families first,” said Buffer CEO and co-founder Joel Gascoigne in a company blog post.

“It’s about being able to pick a good time to go and do the groceries, now that it’s a significantly larger task. It’s about parents having more time with kids now that they’re having to take on their education. This isn’t about us trying to get the same productivity in fewer days,” Gascoigne said.

Buffer’s one-month trial proved to be successful. Survey data from before and after the trial showed higher autonomy and lower stress levels. In addition, employee anecdotal stories showed an increase in worker happiness.

With positive results, Buffer turned the trial into a long-term pilot through the end of 2020. This time, the trial would focus on Buffer’s long-term success.

“In order to truly evaluate whether a four-day workweek can be a success long-term, we need to measure productivity as well as individual well-being,” wrote Director of People Courtney Seiter. “Teammate well-being was our end goal for May. Whether that continues, and equally importantly, whether it translates into customer and company results, will be an exciting hypothesis to test.”

Trial Results

Company Productivity
Buffer’s shorter workweek trials showed employees felt they had a better work-life balance without compromising work productivity. According to the company’s survey data, almost 34% of employees felt more productive, about 60% felt equally as productive, and only less than 7% of employees felt less productive.

However, just saying productivity is higher isn’t proof. To make sure the numbers added up, managers were asked about their team’s productivity. Engineering managers reported that a decrease in total coding days didn’t show a decrease in output. Instead, there was a significant output increase for product teams, and Infrastructure and Mobile saw their output double.

The Customer Advocacy team, however, did see a decline in output. Customer service is dependent on customer unpredictability so this makes sense. Still, the survey showed about 85% to 90% of employees felt as productive as they would have been in a five-day workweek. Customers just had to wait slightly longer to receive replies to their inquiries.

Employee Well-Being
With more time and control of their schedules, Buffer’s survey shows an increase in individual autonomy and decreased stress levels reported by employees. And, the general work happiness for the entire company has been consistent throughout 2020.

What’s in store for 2021?

Based on positive employee feedback and promising company results, Buffer decided it will continue the company-wide four-day workweek this year.

“The four-day work week resulted in sustained productivity levels and a better sense of work-life balance. These were the exact results we’d hoped to see, and they helped us challenge the notion that we need to work the typical ‘nine-to-five,’ five days a week,” wrote Team Engagement Manager Nicole Miller.

The four-day workweek will continue in 2021, but the company will also be implementing adjustments based on the pilot results.

For most teams, Fridays will be the default day off. For teams that aren’t project-based, their workweek will look slightly different. As an example, the Customer Advocacy team will follow a different schedule to avoid customer reply delays and ticket overflow. Each team member will still have a four-day workweek and need to meet their specific targets. They will just have a more flexible schedule.

Companies who follow this format understand that output expectations will be further defined by area and department level. Employees who aren’t meeting their performance objectives will have the option to choose a five-day workweek or might be asked to do so.

If needed, Fridays will also serve as an overflow workday to finish up a project. Of course, schedules will be evaluated quarterly to make sure productivity is continuing to thrive and employees are still satisfied.

But, Miller says Buffer is “establishing ambitious goals” that might “push the limits” of a four-day work week in 2021. With the world slowly starting to normalize, who knows when a four-day workweek might reach its conclusion.

“We aren’t sure that we’ll continue with the four-day workweeks forever, but for now, we’re going to stick with it as long as we are still able to hit our ambitious goals,” wrote Miller.

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Business Marketing

Should your content management system go headless?

(BUSINESS MARKETING) You may be familiar with your typical content management system, but had you heard of a ‘headless’ model? Let’s dig into it together.

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Person using content management system with hands on keyboard and small bit of desktop visible.

At some point, you have probably worked with a content management system (CMS) like WordPress or Drupal. If you haven’t already, you at least know that this computer software is used to manage website content.

But, have you ever heard of a headless content management system before? We didn’t. So, we set out to find out what it’s all about and how beneficial, or not, it can be for your company.

What is headless CMS?

Unlike your classic CMS, headless CMS is a back-end only content management system. It decouples where your content is stored and authored (body) from the front-end where your content is displayed (head).

This CMS isn’t tied to a particular output like a web page. Content is transmitted as data over an application programming interface (API). It’s a content repository that delivers content seamlessly to any device.

Benefits of Headless CMS

More versatile
Headless CMS isn’t your classic “monolithic” CMS so you aren’t constrained to an all-in-one system that might work for websites but not mobile devices.

Content is consumed by customers in more than one place now. Headless CMS provides a more versatile way to deliver multi-channel content to websites, Android and iOS apps, and even IoT (internet of things), like a smartwatch or in-store kiosk.

Businesses will benefit from this because only one back-end is needed to manage and publish content for different services and products.

No need for specialized developers
Developers aren’t tied to a specific programming language or framework. A developer can choose between using Javascript, PHP, Ruby, or any language they prefer.

If you already have a talented developer, you don’t have to scramble to find someone else who specializes in a specific system or language you are moving to. Your current developer can do the job for you in the best way they know-how.

Better Security
Security is important. Not being married to the front-end, headless CMS has a security advantage a regular CMS doesn’t. Usually, content provided to a headless CMS is read-only, and the admin portion lives on a different server and domain.

With the back-end detached from the presentation layer, there is a smaller target area to attack. Also, layers of code can be used to hide the content-delivering API making it safer than a traditional CMS.

Real-time collaboration
With two separate systems, content editors and web developers can work concurrently. This shortens a project’s timeline and helps get your product and services to market quicker. Also, content editors don’t have to spend more time creating the same content for each system. Designers and developers can take care of that.
Downsides of Headless CMS

As with anything, headless CMS isn’t perfect and isn’t for everyone. It has its disadvantages.

More technical
Little technical involvement is called for in a traditional CMS. As a result, the tool can be picked up quickly by almost anyone.

A deeper understanding of CMS, coding languages, and front-end technologies is needed when using headless CMS. You must have a developer that can build the web or app just for you.

Increased maintenance
With the body separated from the head, there are two systems to maintain. Implementation and maintenance could potentially become complex.

Bigger price tag
Building a system from scratch costs time and money. With a traditional CMS, there is one account, and, most likely, one payment. With headless CMS, you’ll have multiple payments for the CMS, a developer, and the infrastructure running your website or app.

Your custom CMS also isn’t coming from a pre-built content management system. All that hard work takes time (and patience) to get it done right.

Conclusion

Headless CMS lets you create a unique user experience and allow for cross-platform publishing, but it isn’t a one-size-fits-all content management system.

Before you jump ships, take inventory of all your content needs. Does your content need to be published on different platforms? Will a simple stand-alone website work for you? Only you can decide what works best with your business, but we hope this information helps.

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