It's really amazing, that every year we start with some firm resolution. And 6 months into the year, 50% have given up on them. Most of us, have very weak resolutions, in fact – they're so shallow that they're really not worth even trying in the first place (which also explains why they fail)!
My last post was in 2017, and given that we've started 2018 and I haven't written a single post for the last month and a half, it says a lot about my resolution holding capabilities. So I thought I'd draw some inspiration from Fred Wilson and Seth Godin, who both blog daily. Yes, DAILY.
How they do it, still amazes me. I mean you either run out of topics (which is not the case) or you just don't put in the time to build the habit.
In addition to that, I thought I'd give some TLC to the blog – delete things that are outdated, don't serve a purpose and do some house keeping.
Every time I come up with an idea, test it out and see if it's worth it, I end up with clutter, strewed all over the place from my various experiments. And as I look back at those, I wonder why I did them in the first place!
For example, I took a cue from Tom Gunz when he used Drift to chat with his visitors instead of letting them leave comments on his blog. I understand why he did this, and tested it for a good year – it certainly brings a great deal of interaction with visitors.
However, the conversation remains private and many of the gems you gain from it – don't get shared. The knowledge and insight is lost into the ether. So I went back to see if Tom was actually using it still, and lo & behold – he stopped using it! (Aghh… WTH!)
Instead he gave a link to share the post on Twitter and Linkedin, which would induce further conversations and also help in spreading the message. And that makes a lot of sense. Even with commenting, the message stays on your site and isn't shared (but can be with Disqus) and what is not shared, doesn't get read. (There's another problem with commenting that is double edged – moderating and responding to comments, vs. just letting them rant on their own site or somewhere else but your space).
So I went ahead and deleted the live chat window, and was planning to replace it with just three social media buttons – Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin – the most common used.
But then I thought, hey… this would conflict with another experiment I had started. Quitting. Social. Media. And talking about quitting, this brings about another question – what do you classify Whatsapp as – a messaging app or a social media app? I'd say both, and this is dangerous, because its difficult to draw a line.
If you haven't heard about Cal Newport's Ted Talk on Quitting Social Media – I suggest you should. And while you're at it, also listen to what former Facebook executive and venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya says about social media ripping society apart.
And I guess, it's what we're all thinking – and now we're doing some soul searching. I initially thought that advertising was a necessary evil, but I am beginning to think that so is social media.
I have some clear policies on social media, for Twitter, anyone can interact with me – I follow few, mostly add to lists (which they should stop hiding in the menu) and for Linkedin, all professional contacts. You only get added as a friend on Facebook, if we've met in person.
I also tested various discussions on these social media platforms, and what I found was an artificial world, marred by either negativity as on Twitter, or facades on Facebook or people only asking and not giving on Linkedin.
I've even tested advertising on various platforms, the results have been mixed – one thing is for sure, if you're using it for free – you are the product being sold, and you're paying these companies for that privilege!
P.S. As Christians, we're entering the Holy month… maybe it's a good time to start fasting, from Social Media. Maybe it's a perpetual fast, time will tell. Just because I do something, it doesn't necessitate you do it, otherwise I'd have given this post the title – “I'm quitting Social Media and you should too”. No, that's too clickbaity! I may leave the option to share on… and meanwhile the programs that post to all these social media platforms are doing it automatically for me. And if you came through one of those links, it means you're already part of the experiment! P.P.S I'll also be removing any annoying pop up boxes.