Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I like you. I really like you... Maybe.

There's been lots of discussion over the past few days about "fake following." including a dynamic debate sparked by Gwen Bell. If you haven't heard about this new development, Tech Crunch sums it up
"Users often expect to have their “Follows” reciprocated by their peers, and a failure to do so can lead to bruised egos. But indiscriminate following comes with a price too, as it ultimately leads to an unmanageable amount of noise (and stories you might not care about). Fake Following manages to skirt the issue with a digital white lie."
"Digital white lie?" Oh my. Is that the future? Aside from turning social networks into playground politics, Fake Following creates a disingenuous relationship that negates several valuable features inherent to online social networks. Ahem, soapbox, please...

1. Loss of credibility

When I find a voice online that I truly admire, I'll dig around their blog roll and check out the people they are following. Often, I'll find a new perspective worth keeping an eye on. I trust the people I follow to lead me to other interesting people, based on their curatorial preferences. If you follow everybody, I can't trust that you are leading me toward like-minded people.

2. False sense of self-importance

If you have 3,000 followers, you are likely pretty interesting. If you are only following 30 people, maybe you could be a little arrogant. But that doesn't mean you're not still a pimp and people want to hear what you have to say. If you are following 3,000 people and only 3 are following you back, it should probably tell you something. Truth is you might not be offering valuable content. Maybe you tweet about your lunch or you are a spammer offering free coupons for porn. If I follow you, I am encouraging you to continue posting crap. No offense, just tough love.

3. Nobody is listening

"Is that the social part of social media/networking?" The Simian Downtown Time Analyst suggests that Fake Feed creates a distance from readers. If you are pretending to listen to me, I might expect your response. I hope that you will contribute to the conversation. Inviting me to a party and ignoring me all night isn't cool. Especially if I could have made better plans. So, don't patronize by offering an insincere relationship. Skip the small talk, I'd rather be engaged.

Don't get me wrong, I value the idea of managing content. Tweet Deck is a great way to create groups and streamline your consumption. It allows you to group the people you are following and only review one group's posts at a time. So, you can just look at the "professional" tweets. Or "mommy" tweets, or "people I knew in high school, who sometimes say funny things" tweets, depending on how much time you have, or what you are hoping to find.

Granted, I am not inundated with follower requests. I am a very quiet voice with one pinkie toe in the water. But, if I choose not to follow you, don't take it personally. I am probably just washing my hair. If it is meant to be, I'm sure I will find you and kick myself for not sensing our compatibility sooner. And when I follow you, you'll know it means I like you. Really.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Proud to call it home

Lately I've been pretty impressed with my hometown. First of all, there are Twitterers in my midst. Who knew New Orleans was embracing social media? And not only embracing it, but enthusiastically encouraging it. A chance encounter on Twitter introduced me to @jeskanola, who graciously made me her partner in crime in introducing NetSquared New Orleans, beginning with a Meetup on Tuesday Sept. 9th. Top that with the New Orleans 100 list of innovative local companies and the city's looking pretty good. So back off, Gustav!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Pardon my grammar

I am a grammar geek. I keep my AP Style Guide nestled beneath my desk and silently cringe every time someone ends a sentence with a preposition. But, even I can't buy into the gender sensitivity of punctuation.

Over at, there is a discussion on the femininity of the semi-colon. Who cares, right? But what irks me is the evolution of the debate and it's underlying implications. To sum up the highlights, when Trevor Butterworth asked celebrated writers and editors about their aversion to the semi-colon, it was implied that Americans are intimidated by its "nuance" and "complexity." Why not just use a period? It's easy. It's the McDonald's combo meal of punctuation. Sure, I buy that.

But, some take great offensive at this "useless" little symbol. Like Mr. Kilpatrick's assertion that "This pathetic hybrid is so shy, so bashful, so gutless, so easily overlooked, that a reader runs right over it.The semicolon is a belly-up guppie in a tank of glorious Siamese fighting fish. It's girly." Girly? Did I miss something?

Why is "pathetic" equated with being "girly." The implication is that femininity is synonymous with feeble, inadequate uselessness. That something deemed nonessential and purposeless is decidedly womanly. Hold on there, Grammar Guy. I think you might be mistaken. Might I suggest you take that girly little semicolon and shove it up your asterisk;) Still bashful?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Daft Punk Olympics

Watching the Olympic Opening Ceremony, I was oddly reminded of the Daft Punk "Around the World" video. So, I pulled it up to show Hubby, and he thinks I'm nutty. No contest, there. But still, the synchronized dancing, crazy lights, bizarre costumes. C'mon, the similarities can not be denied, right? Well, judge for yourself. If anything it was an opportunity to revisit a stellar piece of music video history. Oh, and you are welcome for the earworm. Enjoy!

Monday, August 4, 2008

I was sitting in my living room this weekend folding laundry, a kind of recurring theme in my life that never seems to end. Surrounded by mounds of clothes, I began feeling overwhelmed at the complete and utter chaos of it all. And not just the my domestic disasters.

Every day I walk into the office, not knowing what the day will bring. I find myself paralyzed trying to decide which hat to wear. The "research the next opportunity and get new business" fedora. The "down to the basics project management" bowler. Or the "strategist extraordinairre" fuzzy black beret. So many choices. And forget about matching shoes. Which you should know is kind of a thing with me. So, I'm uncoordinated and discombobulated and so far from the sassy pulled-together minx I aspire to be.

By Sunday night, clothes were folded, pressed and put away. Exhale. Domestic disaster averted. Now, too bad I can't fold my career clutter into tiny starched squares and shut them away in a drawer. But, it does give me hope that even the most insurmountable chaos is not only manageable, but sometimes even necessary to get to a cleaner better place. How many times have I thrown everything out of the closet into a huge messy pile as the first step to bringing order & organization? It's daunting and labor-intensive, but if you persevere and come out better off on the other end.

So, right now my life is in a big pile in the middle of the room. Time to start sorting.