Got a recommendation, let me say no thanks

I’m a sucker for a good recommendation. I like having recommended channels, people, things, etc. on the social networks. What they need, however, is a no thank you option to 1) hide that recommendation in the future and 2) learn from that choice. Facebook and LinkedIn can use this big time.

Here is some recommended channels on my YouTube page:

no-thanks

Let me say, “no thanks.” Then offer me up some more recommendations why don’t ya? As it is, there is a little x to remove the recommendation, but it’s just temporary. The same recommendations come back again and again.

Trader Joe’s Doing Well with No Social Media Whatsoever

Something kind of weird happened earlier this week. I happened to be thinking of healthy protein muffins. Since I’ve been exercising a lot more and watching what I’ve been eating, I thought these would be a good healthy and filling treat. What does this have to do with the blog title? Not much, yet.

Coincidentally I got a Trader Joe’s flyer (more like a mini newspaper) in the mail the other day. Lo and behold they sell protein muffins and they were on sale! Talk about relevant ads! What does this have to do with the blog title? Still not much, yet.

I know of a few locations around me, so I was set to go the next day to pick some up (with some other things that caught my eye). Before I did however, I decided to learn a little more about them in the social media space. Maybe look at (or ask) what people were saying about the muffins. What did I find? Crickets chirping.

Nothing. Nada. No twitter, no facebook, no blog. Nada.

Hmmm. This is odd. How can an eclectic trend-setting establishment have  zero presence in the social media space? A place like Trader Joe’s is a perfect fit for the kinds of fans social media attracts. Surely the social media “gurus” must be as perplexed as I am.

Still baffled today I did a little searching. It appears that they are very secretive. And also insanely successful.

I still went and bought the muffins. I suspect the lack of social media doesn’t hold any of their other customers back either.

It kind of makes you think. Really how important are twitter, facebook, etc?

Oh, by the way, I don’t recommend their protein power muffins. They are a lot smaller than I expected, and kind of gooey. I do recommend their jalapeño jack cheese though!

I do think brands can use social media to attract, engage, etc. I’ve become a fan of MMA and the UFC. Sports wise, there is no comparison to what they’ve been doing in social media. I love it. BUT, despite what the blog “gurus” are saying, sometimes there isn’t a perfect fit/niche/audience worth all the effort and sometimes brands can do ok without it.

Google Buzz Update

Just like I’ve flip flopped many times with Twitter, I have with Buzz too. This time I made a final decision. I’m finished with it. I did not like the UI one bit. I didn’t know anyone personally who used it. And it doesn’t look like the “active” user base is growing. Active meaning people who use it, not just stream other feeds into it.

I’ve “decommissioned” my Buzz profile. Unfollowed everyone, etc. It’s not for me. I would delete it entirely if it wasn’t tied directly to the Google Profile. I’d like to keep my Google Profile, so I’ll just keep a blank Buzz account open until they kill off Buzz like they did Wave.

Where I can, I’m trying to go to all of the social media, bookmarking, etc. sites that I’ve tried over the years to delete my account. Just kind of to clean up any outdated profiles of mine from the web. It seems only about half of sites allow you to delete a profile/service. So abandoned ones will always remain I guess.

Since I mentioned Twitter… I stopped trying to make it work for me, but also found probably one of it’s best uses. Niches. I’ve become more and more a fan of MMA, and since MMA isn’t mainstream, Twitter is a great source of information from the fighters and MMA news outlets. I’ve stopped following a lot of the “gurus” (social media, marketing, etc.) as Twitter became a forum for a lot of them to be too self-promotional. So now I follow a handful of friends and associates, some news sources, and good MMA sources.

I think I finally figured out how to tie all my social media profiles together

The challenge was to find a way to easily and selectively share to all of my top social media networks while avoiding duplication. It’s a pain in the neck when I find something interesting, and have to post it multiple times to get it out to all of my friends/followers. It’s also annoying to link accounts together, and have meaningless posts shared across profiles (e.g. Twitter in Buzz or Facebook).

Also, I don’t want to be one of those who simply have everything on autopilot–creating noise everywhere.

The answer, I think, is ping.fm. I tested it a bit, and it seems to do the trick.

From Ping.fm I can post the same thing directly to:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Buzz

I can post to those services separately too (without using ping.fm), to avoid noise in my streams.

I also wanted to push Google Reader shared items to those services as well, which can be done through RSS. Now the items are truly shared.

There is only one workaround–which I hope is fixed soon. To post to Buzz, you must have ping.fm post to Google Chat status, which then can be added as a connected site to Buzz. I hope ping.fm will allow direct posing to Buzz soon for a cleaner connection.

Also, to avoid duplication, I now have only one connected site to Buzz–which is the Chat Status.

Lets see how this holds up.

I refuse follow anyone in Buzz

Why?

Simply because Google won’t allow me the option to not also follow them in Reader. You see, Google assumes that if I choose to interact with someone on Buzz, that I want to also follow their shared items in Reader.

The result is duplicate noise. Too much for me to handle. I don’t need to see the same things in Buzz and Reader.

I prefer my Reader clean, so I can find articles from blogs I subscribe to quickly. I don’t want to sort through stuff my Buzz followees also share. Nine times out of ten, they are duplicates to what I’ve subscribed to anyway.

A simple solution is to provide an option to “also follow in Reader” or not. Or if you stop following someone in Reader, you should be able to “keep following in Buzz.”

Right now if I unfollow someone in Reader, it also unfollows in Buzz. And there doesn’t seem to be a way around this.

I wanted to give Buzz a legitimate shot, but this is a showstopper for me.

OPTIONS Google. Provide OPTIONS!

Does Google "Get" Social

Orkut. Know it? Probably not. It’s Google’s version of Facebook.

Friend Connect. Know it? You may have seen it on a few sites. Do you remember what it was for? I run the http://nycbbb.com/ site, which should be a slam dunk for something like that. I had it on my site for almost a year, and got maybe 7 people to “join.” Then I couldn’t figure out how to leverage it even if more people joined. The only word I can think of to describe the feature is fractured. Compare that to nearly 600 people I got to become a fan of ours on Facebook–in a matter of weeks. Interacting with the fans on Facebook is easy.

Latitude. Does anyone use that for any real purpose? I sure don’t know anyone who even uses it at all. So I finally shut it off.

Buzz. Fitting name. Like an annoying fly it had proved to me to be highly annoying. I want it separate from e-mail all together. I really don’t think it’ll ever become popular like Facebook or Twitter.

I guess you have to be in it to win it so to speak. But Google hasn’t had any wins in the social space yet.

What is news anyway? And what’s it worth?

There is so much talk and debate going on and flip flopping of newspaper and news sites regarding allowing search engines to crawl their pages for information.

This led me to think, what the heck is news anyway? Well more accurately, what should the news sites charge for and what should they let remain free of charge?

Today there is nearly 24/7 connectivity to information sources. News, information, ideas, etc. travel at light speed. If something happens, you find out about it. On Facebook, Twitter, or even the company water cooler.

If there is a major event, or any “newsworthy” event for that matter, the word will get out. Quickly. For a news site to hide that content so that search engines can’t crawl it and display it does not make sense at all. People will find it at the next available source, at the very same time.

I know for the newspapers, it’s not about the traffic as it seems they have a hard time monetizing it. Shutting it down is cutting off the nose to spite the face. You can’t monetize nothing either.

Charging for the content might not help either. Unless the content you are hiding and are charging a fee is truly unique and highly interesting. Ask Newsday, who got 35 paid subscribers in 3 months. Their content was not unique enough or interesting enough to get more than 35 people to pay for it. It’s gotta be GOOD!

So perhaps the newspaper and news sites should keep the general common stuff open, and only charge for the good stuff–which still might be a tough sell.

NFL Won’t Allow Twittering, ZOMG!!!

Fail! Zomg! Fail! Fail! The NFL is doooooooooooooooooooooooooooomed.

Um, not quite.

So the NFL just released some rules regarding players tweeting during the season. No during the game. No 90 minutes before the game. No 90 minutes after the game.

Sounds reasonable to me! Hey you have a game to prepare for. A game to play. And why don’t you wait an hour and a half after to listen to the coaches. mmmmmmmmmmmmkay?

The social media elite are already yelling fail. But guess what? Something tells me the NFL will survive.

ENOUGH with fail. ENOUGH with putting so much importance on Twitter.

How will real time web be abused?

Following my last post… The second thing that stood out from TechCrunch’s CrunchUp is how much time and energy is put into thinking forward on the potential abuse/spam on real time web. We see it on Twitter already. Spam, pranks, attention whoring.

So how will real time web be filtered to separate the bad from good? Maybe the time lapse as it is today is ok. There is some time to determine accuracy and relevance.

It’s kind of sad though to think about human behavior in this light.