Did he just say that? Does he mean that? Or is he simply using a provocative headline to attract readers, first of all, and to set the mood for the post, the subtle shading and shaping that takes place to elicit specific feelings and the desired response from the audience.
The answer, naturally, is both. Earlier this week I read with interest as someone said a certain post had been written to elicit a certain reaction from the readership. My first thought? No kidding.
Did Hemingway not try to elicit a reaction, to create a mood, with readers of the Old Man and the Sea? Is the Mona Lisa debated ad nauseum accidentally or because da Vinci painted specific elements to cause a great debate that has lasted for centuries?
A blog post may not be a great novel nor an artistic masterpiece but it is art all the same. Well, unless it’s a featured post on Active Rain. (And yes, dear readers, that was gratuitous. Guilty as charged.)
Blogging Inversely Proportional to Work Load
Now to the larger point, for the few who happened to have noticed the silence coming from the Northwest Valley of the Sun. Last week was spent enjoying views such as the one above … the gentle sound of the surf, the splendor of the sun setting into the water (or at least the misty murk hovering above the water), the utter agony of Legoland. Six days with limited e-mail, occasional cell phone service, and very little concern about either situation.
This was in contrast to the sheer panic six weeks ago at the notion of spending nearly a week away from the business, no matter how much a break was needed by my wife, my kids and by me. The market didn’t much care that we needed time away.
In that respect, nothing changed. The market still doesn’t care whether I needed time off. But months of effort including – get this – prospecting via blogging and other Internet channels – led to six transactions in a span of six weeks, including the aforementioned week on the beach.
So now we’re entering July and I’m 40% ahead of plan in sales … and I’m nowhere close to satisfied.
A Child’s View of the World
On the History of Howard Stern broadcast on Sirius satellite, Stern said that when he pulled an 8 share in DC once upon a time he was disappointed. Why? How dare anyone listen to any other share. It should be a 100 share. It was, he said, “a child’s view of the world” but it was his.
It’s also mine to some degree, for better or worse.
And that desire to continually increase my own market share, to not only meet the stretch goals I set for myself but blow them away (not only this year, but next year, and the next, and the next …) has caused me to rethink how my time was spent not so long ago.
Twitter? Not so much …
I could be missing an opportunity. Maybe once the kids are back in school and I have more time to watch Twhirl twirl I’ll get back on. I miss some of the conversations but the conversations weren’t necessarily helping me toward my goals.
Facebook? LinkedIn? I need to get back to the latter and decide once and for all what to do for the former. But until I develop a coherent business strategy with concrete results … sorry.
And my rants?
Too Busy to Care
I’ve spent far too much time this year worrying about real estate’s snake oil salesmen who don’t sell but will tell you what you need to do to sell, endless cycles of circular arguments, the extreme use of Latin rather than Yiddish or the Fair Housing violation breeding ground that is Trulia Voices.
Do what you will. I don’t care.
Active Rain? Cheap shot aside, the introduction of outside blogs doesn’t mean a great deal to me. Post your content to four different blogs at once. Have a good time. And before I forget, “Great Post!”
Oh. And I don’t care.
Want to hear what’s been more productive? FIFA 2008 for the Playstation 2. Six minute halves and endless frustration trying to learn how to play after the relative ease that was FIFA 2004. Why 6 minutes? Because I can work away any accumulated stress in less than a quarter hour, or roughly two-thirds the time it takes for me to pound out a well-considered rant here on AG or my own blog.
It’s like seven-minute abs, but it’s six! (Bingo, man! And we DON’T guarantee the workout. And we don’t care!)
You can scoff at the thought of a soon-to-be 39-year-old (birthday’s Monday, shop now and beat the crowd … a Wii Fit would be most welcome) spending any time at all playing on the Playstation during business hours. But what I’ve found is sometimes a break can be productive.
Including an extended break from one of my favorite blogs.
*New* TikTok Insights launch: Content creators finally get audience analytics
(SOCIAL MEDIA) The popular short-form app, TikTok, finally launches the anticipated Insights feature, where content creators can view target audience data.
Marketers searching for the zeitgeist which means TikTok scrollers pause to watch their content and then click through to buy a product have a new tool to help make that happen.
- TikTok Insights offers marketers bite-size bits of user demographic information that will help build content that leads to sales.
- With TikTok Insights you can learn more about your audience’s behavior, their interests, and their general sentiment toward brands.
- TikTok Insights is free to use. Marketers can find TikTok user demographics by using filters to determine what they’re looking for.
The demographic info can be age-focused, focused on specific types of marketing, or even as specific as holiday or event marketing.
This is a step in the direction marketers have been asking for as they create content for the TikTok platform; however, creators looking for detailed analytics like they get from meta need to wait. Insights doesn’t offer that for now.
Like TikTok says in its own analytic information,
“While analytics are helpful in understanding the performance of your videos, you don’t need to create future videos based primarily around them. It’s best to consider the bigger picture, lean lightly on analytics, and use them as a source for insight rather than strategy.”
Marketers trying to key into reaching TikTok’s billion users worldwide are left, right now, searching for the magic that leads to consumers making the jump from the platform to using their purchasing power.
For marketers that means keeping things creative and collaborative, two key factors in TikTok’s success. And that success is huge. Users spend an average of 52 minutes on the platform when they log in and a staggering 90% of users say they log on every day.
TikTok Insights will help marketers find ways to connect, but the content TikTok is looking for is authentic.
And while entrepreneurs can bid for advertising like other social media platforms, they need to remember when planning that spend, that most TikTok marketing success stories are more accidental than planned. Have fun with that knowledge. Instead of pressure to create the perfect plan, TikTok Insights allows marketers to keep it creative and to find a way to tie it into what they enjoy about the platform.
Like all other social media marketing, focus on creating content that stops the consumer from their continual scroll. Make it a challenge and keep it real.
Grindr got busted for selling users’ data locations to advertisers
(SOCIAL MEDIA) User data has been a hot topic in the tech world. It’s often shared haphazardly or not protected, and the app Grindr, follows suit.
If you’re like me, you probably get spam calls a lot. Information is no longer private in this day and age; companies will buy and sell whatever information they can get their hands on for a quick buck. Which is annoying, but not necessarily outright dangerous, right?
Grindr has admitted to selling their user’s data, however, they are specifically selling the location of their users without regard for liability concerns. Grindr, a gay hook-up app, is an app where a marginalized community is revealing their location to find a person to connect to. Sure, Grindr claims they have been doing this less and less since 2020, but the issue still remains: they have been selling the location of people who are in a marginalized community – a community that has faced a huge amount of oppression in the past and is still facing it to this day.
Who in their right mind thought this was okay? Grindr initially did so to create “real-time ad exchanges” for their users, to find places super close to their location. Which makes sense, sort of. The root of the issue is that the LGBTQAI+ community is a community at risk. How does Grindr know if all of their users are out? Do they know exactly who they’re selling this information to? How do they know that those who bought the information are going to use it properly?
They don’t have any way of knowing this and they put all of their users at risk by selling their location data. And the data is still commercially available! Historical data could still be obtained and the information was able to be purchased in 2017. Even if somebody stopped using Grindr in, say, 2019, the fact they used Grindr is still out there. And yeah, the data that’s been released has anonymized, Grindr claims, but it’s really easy to reverse that and pin a specific person to a specific location and time.
This is such a huge violation of privacy and it puts people in real, actual danger. It would be so easy for bigots to get that information and use it for something other than ads. It would be so easy for people to out others who aren’t ready to come out. It’s ridiculous and, yeah, Grindr claims they’re doing it less, but the knowledge of what they have done is still out there. There’s still that question of “what if they do it again” and, with how the world is right now, it’s really messed up and problematic.
If somebody is attacked because of the data that Grindr sold, is Grindr complicit in that hate crime, legally or otherwise?
So, moral of the story?
Yeah, selling data can get you a quick buck, but don’t do it.
You have no idea who you’re putting at risk by selling that data and, if people find out you’ve done it, chances are your customers (and employees) will lose trust in you and could potentially leave you to find something else. Don’t risk it!
BeReal: Youngsters are flocking in droves to this Instagram competitor app
(SOCIAL MEDIA) As Instagram loses steam due to its standards of “perfection posting,” users are drawn to a similar app with a different approach, BeReal.
BeReal is one of several “Real” apps exploding in growth with young users who crave real connections with people they know in real life.
According to data.ai, BeReal ranks 4th by downloads in the US, the UK, and France for Q1 2022 to date, behind only Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.
BeReal flies in the face of what social media has become. Instead of curated looks that focus on the beautiful parts of life, BeReal users showcase what they’re doing at the moment and share those real photos with their friends. Their real friends.
It’s real. And real is different for a generation of social media users who have been raised on influencers and filters.
As the app says when you go to its page:
Every day at a different time, BeReal users are notified simultaneously to capture and share a Photo in 2 Minutes.
A new and unique way to discover who your friends really are in their daily life.
The app has seen monthly users increase by more than 315% according to Apptopia, which tracks and analyzes app performance.
“Push notifications are sent around the world simultaneously at different times each day,” the company said in a statement. “It’s a secret on how the time is chosen every day, it’s not random.”
The app allows no edits and no filters. They want users to show a “slice of their lives.”
Today’s social media users have seen their lives online inundated with ultra-curated social media. The pandemic led to more time spent online than ever. Social media became a way to escape. Reality was ugly. Social media was funny, pretty, and exciting.
Enter BeReal where users are asked to share two moments of real life on a surprise schedule. New apps are fun often because they’re new. However, the huge growth in the use of BeReal by college-aged users points to something more than the new factor.
For the past several years, experts have warned that social media was dangerous to our mental health. The dopamine hits of likes and shares are based on photos and videos filled with second and third takes, lens changes, lighting improvements, and filters. Constant comparisons are the norm. And even though we know the world we present on our social pages isn’t exactly an honest portrayal of life, we can’t help but experience FOMO when we see our friends and followers and those we follow having the times of their lives, buying their new it thing, trying the new perfect product, playing in their Pinterest-worthy decorated spaces we wish we could have.
None of what we see is actually real on our apps. We delete our media that isn’t what we want to portray and try again from a different angle and shoot second and third and forth takes that make us look just a little better.
We spend hours flipping through videos on our For You walls and Instagram stories picked by algorithms that know us better than we know ourselves.
BeReal is the opposite of that. It’s simple, fast, and real. It’s community and fun, but it’s a moment instead of turning into the time-sink of our usual social media that, while fun, is also meant to ultimately sell stuff, including all our data.
It will be interesting to watch BeReal and see if it continues down its promised path and whether the growth continues. People are looking for something. Maybe reality is that answer.
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