Saturday, December 10, 2011

Social media, some rules

It's surprising to think that there are rules to social media, given how fast moving and new it all is. But I think the etiquette of it is a personal thing. Here are a few of my rules, let me know if I've called it wrong.

I only block real nutters on Twitter, the spirit of it to me is it should be open and free.
I know you're not meant to take stats seriously, but I'm very pleased to have broken the 2000 followers barrier.
I don't follow everyone back, and 800 or so is rather unmanageable.
I try and thank, or talk back with, anyone who mentions or responds.
If I'm not following someone who makes the effort to converse, then I follow back.
When I ReTweet something I source the person who did it first.
I don't do mass #ff follow Friday things. I tend to state a reason and single someone out.
I use Twitter to link to my blog.
My Twitter is more about the me beyond work, it's not about my job and what the business is doing.
I also use it a source of research as well as reading all the nonsense.
I don't abuse people. Except during Question Time. If I have, I've regretted it.
I try not to be too intensely personal about family life, but I do enjoy doing the Saturday morning plan - hat tip @adventurebaby.
Be honest, be loyal, be kind.

This is much more businesslike and is about very much about work stuff.
I don't accept requests from anyone who says they are a "friend" but aren't. That's cheating.
I tend not to accept requests from anyone who I've never heard of, but if they've taken the time to introduce themselves beyond the standard LinkedIn message, then I do.
I don't like the standard LinkedIn request, I prefer it when people personalise.
I don't feed my Twitter through LinkedIn. It's not always appropriate.
I comment in groups, but not enough. Who reads them?
Be honest, be loyal, be kind.

Google +
I haven't made my mind up about this, but the same rules as LinkedIn should apply, I think.

This blog is about everything I'm interested in beyond work, so I don't blog about anything work related. That can be tricky as I'm a journalist and I write about business at a time when business and finance is the biggest story of the modern era.
I use all these other tools to promote this site. Hence the Twitter name.
I'm not hooked on stats, if I was I'd blog about the news and football all the time.
The most read story on this blog was about the abuse of Steve Kean and the thin veneer of humanity that followed Gary Speed's death.
Be honest, be loyal, be kind.

I think Facebook is the devil. I really don't like it.
I have edited it right down to close friends, friends abroad and family.
I think it's hidden from general view.
I pretty much use it as a photo sharing service and hold back from the sharing of nonsense.
I don't join groups or sign petitions.
The kids are all obsessed with getting on Facebook, but none of them are old enough to. So they can't.


Brian Curran said...

I agree with almost everything you say Michael although I do have a slightly different take on LinkedIn.

I also accept requests from people I don't know but only if they have made an attempt at personalising their message and/or they work in my industry. I sometimes send unsolicited 'friend' requests to people who I would like to connect with but I only ask once and I certainly don't abuse it by spamming people. Personalising the standard message is key here, I either mention someone we have in common or pick up on something in their profile.

I have several Twitter accounts both personal and business, currently feeding the @KeyPlus tweets into my LinkedIn status but will cancel this if it starts annoying people.

Groups? I need to dedicate a bit more time reading and replying to the ones I'm in really. I recently created a private group for the 'Patrol & Response' side of the security industry but it's taking quite a bit of work to get it going. Lots of readers lurking but not enough contributing their thoughts yet, a bit like me I suppose.

"Be honest, be loyal, be kind."
100% agree, another great Blog...

Marc Schmid said...

Agree with you Michael especially on Linked In - I find it mildly irritating to receive people's twitter feeds on my linked in wall. If I want to receive their tweets I will be following them on twitter do don't mix the two. It is perfectly ok to send articles you have found out on your twitter stream but really off putting the other way round especially if the tweets relate to non-work related subjects which Linked in is primarily about.

Jamie Beecham said...

Social Media ...!
The endless pit of time consumption that we didn't use or understand 5years ago.
As you know I run a small Web Design company in High Lane. As the years have progressed we have Been majorly involved With the Social Media train, this would be the train that gathers pace, seems to be packing people in and is gaining in popularity as the hours tick by. (as apposed to your Rose Hill -Manchester service).

We use social media for many uses. Some Business like Digg,Wordpress,Technorati, Delicious. Some for pleasure, Flickr, You Tube and the dreaded Facebook. But sometimes two are combined which causes frustrations, impoliteness, and very bad business sense.

The inventors of Social Media sites are after Data. The users are mainly using them for either personal freedom and expression or 'things you want to get off your chest' but the biggest users are people who are nosey and love gossip. Another secret clan of users partake In an 'Alter Ego' style. Things they wouldn't chat to their partner about or silly comments that don't matter because of the 'mask' they hide through the incriptive user name and 'funky and cool' Bio.

If you ask 10 people about what you use social media for you will generally get 9 who say different things. You will always get one that says they are not interested and never will be.

This is when I sometimes get jealous. The Analogue life. Would you want it back. Has all this 'Social Media' gone to far, do I really need it, am I just jumping on the bandwagon, what is my gain, and more to the point, would it affect or change my life if I threw the 'Social Media' towel in. Shutdown the computers and said No More!

This being said, here I am typing this on my iPhone 4S which predictive changes iphone to iPhone because it's incorrect. Or is it?

I couldn't be more upto date using over 50 Business media article and SEO optimising sites like the ones stated above to try and trick a system to belief the said client has a better product than the one below him in the search engines. This ongoing jockeying for positions will not last. We as a company conform to Googles Algorithms on a daily basis. They are the boss. They decide where you go and how much you social media means to your customers.

On a personal use of social media sites, I think time is limited. Will the sites we use today to tell people that 'they are annoyed at queuing at a concert' or 'have just been for a newspaper' going to last?

I think a hardcore few will remain, I also believe the 'dippers' those that set up an account, use it a few times and never come back are gaining strength.

As for Google + well, that's a non starter,,never going to take off. If it does, email me span for the rest of your days, just like the rest of them.

To sum up... (thumbs are going numb)
I read this blog from a link on Twitter whilst browsing.. on a Sunday afternoon. I now feel guilty. What should I really be doing, is this a waste of life and time.

Ironically I think it's brilliant, I have a greater knowledge of the world from people I have never met. I have become more understanding of people's thoughts and processes. Most are polite, intelligent humans seeking friendship and knowledge who on a general basis 'play the social game' with conversations and comments. And as usual there's always the odd nutter.

I think everyone should try social media. But it's definatley not to everybody's taste.

Great blog as usual, love reading it and 'dipping' in to comment when I feel required. That's what you do in the world of Social Media.... Right.?

MET Technology

Michael Taylor said...

I agree with you, Brian. If someone makes the effort beyond the basic request, and I respect that and accept, but very few do. It's just good manners and good business practice isn't it?

Marc, I like the sharing of links on all social media sites - but do feel some of this can border on spam.

Michael Taylor said...

Good points. The manipulation of SEO is a scam that will be unravelled. What surprises me more than anything else is how spectacularly unsuccessful internet giants have been in any other commercial model than advertising stuff, even with social media. We keep being told there is no such thing as a free lunch. Well, it seems there still is for now.