Today I learned:
1. Twitter Strategy: Following yesterday’s post on the failings of my initial twitter strategy for this blog, I spent some time reflecting on the experience and researching alternative approaches today.
My take away?
At the outset I described this blog as an “opportunity for introspection.” It strikes me that my personality is naturally pushing me to shift this goal towards an “opportunity for ego-stroking.” There is a part of my brain that would love to know thousands of people are reading my work, but that strays decidedly from the point. My intention with the blog was two-fold:
- to shift my mindset to ensure I am constantly open to learning and experiencing new things
- to dedicate a piece of my life to reflecting on the lessons learned in hopes it will help me grow
The result however is that about 5 weeks in I am already concerned with what other people are learning from me.
In the end this suggests to me that while I understand that developing a meaningful set of followers on Twitter will require a new strategy, this is not the task at hand. That may one day become a goal for this blog. Today though, is not that day.
Instead for now I will stick to what I call “organic growth” – a small amount of self promotion via my own personal website, WordPress tags and the odd tweet. I don’t intend to employ “fertilizer” (e.g.tweet bots, meaningless direct messages) to draw in followers at this point. One day, some day, not today.
And, speaking of tweet bots...
2. Twitter Spam: I recently started following Guy Kawasaki (@GuyKawasaki) on Twitter after a friend recommended his book, Enchantment. I actually already bought a copy of the book too, but I haven’t got to reading it yet. I was looking forward to it though as it seems right up my alley – it adresses “The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions” according to the cover.
I assumed, as one reasonably might, that his online content would follow a similar theme. Or any theme. Instead it seems that Mr. Kawsaki’s twitter strategy is all about spam.
Within minutes of following him my timeline was clogged with garbage. Post after post about things like predicting the future with asparagus.
The worst part?
He appears to use an automated mechanism that posts tweet after tweet to fill your timeline, and then after a few hours it deletes those tweets from his history and re-posts exactly the same thing. Good content or not, constant re-posts always keep him on top of my timeline.
Apparently Red Aurora (tweets pictured below) set the night on fire, and seemingly the day too. First at 11:16pm last night I find Red Aurora noted in my timeline from 10 min earlier:
Then this morning at 9:27am, posted 2 hours earlier, the exact same thing, although with a unique short-link (and the initial tweet deleted):
There are numerous other examples too, but I don’t want to risk being called a hypocrite for trying to get the same point across 7 or 8 times.
If exposure is the goal, regardless of the content, then this strategy works well. @GuyKawasaki hit the top of my timeline before bed, and he was also the first thing I saw when I checked Twitter in the morning. To me though, it comes across as an inauthentic approach that is beneath someone who has generated meaningful content. He has written several popular books and yet on Twitter he focusses on mindless spamming. Basically, it looks like he just keeps throwing crap at the wall to see what sticks. Especially interesting for a guy with a link on his blog to a post called “How to not be annoying on Twitter.”
So, today I learned that regardless of whether or not I have a successful Twitter strategy, I have now discovered at least one approach that turns off the consumer in me. The 491K other people that follow @GuyKawasaki probably don’t agree with me, but for now my plan is simple. #Unfollow.