Do they care about those that help build them?
(I wasn't going to post this, but thanks to Li Evans first step , and the support of others - the die is cast)
I took a day away from the world of social to spend some long needed time with my family. It seemed some retrospective evaluation was needed, emotionally and financially. In the end analysis there is every reason to wonder why I play in Social Media at all (and I mean media not networking)?
A few things are for certain;
- I dont actually care for power user popularity (only real peeps liking me)
- I have never made a dime for my efforts - so no financial gain
- The management of these websites are less than appreciative (this is the big one)
In my musings and ranting over the last couple days, more than a few folks told me that these websites had put me on the map or something along those lines. While some of you may think this is something to behold, it means absolutely nothing to me. I would far rather have a close circle of friends and like-minded individuals than mindless drones sending me stuff to Stumble, Mixx, Sphinn or Digg.
Furthermore, the traffic is all but negligent as well considering I have NEVER received a new client from my blog nor any type of financial benefit. The advertising on my blog is FREE and I merely promote friends offerings because they are my friends (or peeps worthy of promoting). So this is a non-profit blogging experience to be sure.
The Dawn of a New Age for this Gypsy
And so I must re-think how and why I am doing it and maybe you should as well.
One thing that really seems interesting is that outside of Mixx giving away some schwag a while back, none of these websites seem to feel the need to thank ANYONE for their hard efforts in building the sites into what they are. I did take the time to ask some top users on various sites (Digg, Stumble, Sphinn etc..), no one has been thanked that I could find. This is the ultimate user-generated content cash grab and I am amazed at the gall of these peeps to rake it in without even acknowledging the user base.
Kind of funny that the latest offering in the Social Search world; Scour the social search engine will actually PAY users of the system
. Kudos to them.
Obviously I wouldnt go as far as to think that locales such as Digg or Sphinn would actually PAY us, but reaching out to say thanks might have been an idea somewhere along the line. Take Sphinn, I have put in more content than ANYONE but the mighty Maki, filed more Spam reports than articles sphunn many times of late and had many discussions. The question remains, why? Do I matter? Do you?
In my musings I went to my social networks to see what others felt (see this Plurk). Of the comments, the one from Barry really made it clearer when he quipped;
U can give it up for a while and see how u do Barry Schwartz
How I do? This is where it gets screwy
Once more, what has it done for me ultimately? I highlighted the financial and ego bumps that it created (trust me, my ego needs no feeding ask the missus)
. Both of which are negligible. Does Barry think I am addicted and that there are withdrawals in my future? Will I need a support group? Also unlikely....
Barry, what is it you feel social media has done for me? I live a sheltered, meager existance (you're free to come by to verify)
Time for a change
Alas, I feel it may be time to move along and do some other things with my life. From now on, more personal interactions and less content regurgitation. For those that care here is what my new social/posting life will look like, please feel free to join me;
The Trail obviously I will be posting here.
Collective thoughts my new home for talking social goodiness
Site Reference I will be posting SEO fundamentals over here more often
Guest Blogging I have more time for this, get in touch to have me visit your blog.
I write because it's cathartic and passing on the wisdom is the greatest part of any art.
Plurk we all know my madness here
Twitter I will certainly be more active here.
FriendFeed will post stories I find interesting for discussions (see my FF rooms).
WebWorkshop as some great peeps hang there
Site Reference a forum I have been at for a few years (always loved me right)
Email/Instant Messenger get in touch to be on my preferred peeps list
I am all about the social networking now as I know what that gives me.... I feel the love.
Sphinn taking a break, given too much already
Digg never was big user, dont send me shouts please
Stumble now and again, don't bother sending alerts (they hate SEO types anyway)
Mixx since they have shown users love, I might be there.
Scour I might even take a second look here since they value users (join me).
... and NOTHING else social media related unless I feel management is caring. Let the spammers and marketers have them - I am a user not a dealer!
Thanks for the memories
I want to thank all the fine folks that have supported me on sites such as Sphinn and Stumble and elsewhere as your kind words have been the fuel that drove me onwards (I know ya'll care). Unfortunately I feel an personal dilemma in supporting social media in a world where the management of such locales seem unappreciative to those that have a major role in the building process. When a website is built with user generated content, showing some love to the users generating the content, might be a good idea now and again.
With all the work I have done in qualitative market research of late, I began to wonder; you would think that these social sites would take a page from those companies trying to utilize the sites and TALK to the influencers more often to try and make a better product and address those whom have made them what they are. I know Digg does try to reach once in a while
but what of the others? Do you the end user feel important?
I also ask each of you to look long and hard in the mirror and ask what you truly get from your interactions. Is social media adding quality to your life? Or merely lining the pockets of those whom operate the sites? Does your ego need stroking? Why do you do it?
I am also interested in hearing from anyone who has had management thank them for their efforts on any social media site
. I have found little in my research to suggest it has happened.
For me, I'd rather donate my time to a charitable cause at this point, because they'd appreciate it ;0)
Daves Notes; those close to me know the genesis for this change and can appreciate my feelings
to you I would also say; thanks for putting up with my recent rants. Your comforting words took this post from the garbage bin to here on my blog. Not sure if it will help anyone, but on the oft chance it might... I give to your collective wisdom and have posted this.
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." -- Friedrich Nietzsche
See you all on the trails
. remember I am a family man peeps - that is what it's about for me.
And I leave you with a recent rant from Mel; How not to use social media fun read to be sure.