Star Date Supplemental

A Quick Note.

This is not our company blog. This is a repository for blog posts, in the event that we lose topic related posts in other locations, servers go down or someone pulls a plug permanently.

A quick note on what you're doing...

The first rule of content club is that there is no content. It's about distribution.

As a digital media company, we are usually asked to produce content. Text seems simple enough, right?

It is. The client "wants text that sells" Only don't be too pushy. Or, don't look desperate, or don't do the million and one things the client thinks will "damage" his/her brand. The client always thinks you don't care enough about the "brand." Even if they don't have a brand yet. 

What they mean is their "ego." My product = Me. For many clients it's not about business, or the product, it's about "(self) image," not sales. 

Some employers will gauge work by how much written output you can manage, what graphics and video tools you use. It is easy to miscalculate the difficulty level (and thence the pricing), how long it takes to storyboard, direct and edit video or photo-shop and process a series of images.

Paying customers feel they could do the same thing much better, if only they had the time to spare. This often happens in hindsight when the work is OK, but not "what we're looking for."  You may get fired and rehired around Christmas time by this kind of contractor.

Other employers are obsessed with analytics, nerding out on google tag manager percentages, ad campaigns or seasonal uplift. These employers tend to ask for complicated reporting metrics taking your focus away from "actual marketing."  If you tell them this, they'll often fire you and get someone who tells them what they want to hear.

Nearly everyone thinks social media is "easy." The truth is that a busy social media role gives you direct unfiltered access to customers in real time. Something neither blogging, nor analytics reporting can deliver.  

Because it seems so simple, many employers hire a "Facebook" intern, hoping that person can develop the skills needed on the job, or at least be a cheap scapegoat, if unsuccessful. In most cases the skill set is too large and people move on. 

Employers then go for the opposite approach of going for an external agency, who don't have a clue of the company, product, or industry and have multiple other clients. Often that agency is not their web developer, so an interesting (and expensive) game of pass the parcel begins.

One of the key things to note is how little knowledge of the digital space potential employers often have (even software companies). The person who hires you will have no idea what you do or how you do it. They may feel intimidated. They may feel the need to "manage" you or buy really expensive software that nobody knows how to use. 

The politics are intense. This creates quite a lot of; "why isn't it working yet?" I've tried explaining how it works. That's worse, don't do that. Think of your local plumber or repair guy; say little, just do the job and get paid. Then leave.

 It takes 3 to six months to grow a channel like Instagram or Twitter.  Blogging takes longer. YouTube might take from three to six years to develop. Each channel evolves it's own ethos, subscriber types and utility level. Twitter is often pure advertising, Facebook, a forum and Linkedin a data channel, but it can all change rapidly.

The sweet spot is somewhere in the middle...

Using a restaurant analogy; blogging is writing and posting the menu, analytics is checking the till receipts and social media is the waiter. The food still needs to be edible, delivered in good time, served on clean crockery and in budget.

Back to blogging...

We keep blogs running on wordpress, self hosted wordpress,  BeBee (now an archive),  MediumMedium Carista (Work Blog), WildTherapy (hobby), Blogger (defunct but still a fine technology), Tumblr (multiple blogs) and quite a few more.  Many of these sites are connected to other channels (IFTTT), and archived for later use.

The trick with blogs is to find ways to engage and distribute, either linking back to posts, adding them to other channels (like Reddit for example; to make a searchable directory on a high domain ranked platform) or posting them to other outlets, audiences or information silos. Hashtags work.

Making blog posts "evergreen" helps. Using strong images helps a lot. So does making them readable, engaging and directing readers to a single solid Call to Action

If you use wordpress, there are some nice syndication tools available, multiple plugins, import and export, automation, STMP, RSS and design options.

We use blog posts as mailshots, a tactic which repurposes the original post, we also post redirect snippets to Instagram and Twitter.  We add posts to Pinterest as searchable images, Tumblr (RSS) and Linkedin (as company updates). 

Facebook profiles we actually avoid, (maybe one post if we want to boost engagement quickly or an upcoming event). Facebook business pages are fair game. Before Linkedin acquired it, we were happy to make posts into PPT and use them as Slideshare uploads. Nowadays that option is less visible to users. Still there for SEO purposes.

Another thing to note is that audience mix is different on different sites, it might require a change in "voice," more images or a rewrite.

Options are endless. The only thing you can't do is hit post and wait for viewers to find your stuff...the internet is just too vast.

Chess tactics; content might be King, but distribution is the Queen. 

When I use the term ascent of man, certain people will be triggered. Why triggered? In order to be triggered you have to be primed. You have to be set up for it.

I've made a number of assertions over quite a long time. One of them has been about "digital serfdom." I've not studied the term closely nor explained the concept, nor done any research on it. It just seemed obvious for a capitalist perspective.

Let's start by saying something real; I'm an automation fan. I'm one guy marketing on the internet. I know that digital is the realm of "multiplicity"rather than analogue. The two things are really quite different. One's a musket, the other's a Gatling gun.

Ego is not a well understood idea. Freud in his delineation of three states, outlined a three level field; id (instinct), ego (me) and superego ( social or controlling force). You can debate those ideas or strike out into a series of nuance based arguments.

One of the things you might notice with the internet and social media is that your reach keeps declining. If there is an algorithm involved it serves not to benefit you, but the collection of your data.