Tipping Pitches: Potpourri Tuesday


Monday, January 25, 2010

Potpourri Tuesday

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Brett Favre, Social Media Douchebaggery, Blocking Followers and the Consistency Dilemma

I have never posted a "Potpourri" entry. To be honest, I don't really know what it is. I guess it smells nice. Not sure why it represents randomness. But that's what I'm going with.

I'm sports. I'm technology. I'm non-profit. Oh well.

Brett Favre... I'm not going to lie. I loved watching Favre and the Vikings lose. This is two separate things, really. I always like watching the Vikings lose. I enjoyed watching Favre lose because... well, we don't have all day to break that down. But he's a Viking now. Let's just say I enjoyed it and leave it at that.

But after the game, rumor out of ESPN was that Favre said it was "highly unlikely" he would return next season. Pardon me while I roll my eyes... And roll my eyes again. Hey, famous athletes. I know I'm not famous and stuff. And I know I'm not an athlete. But if you don't know for sure what you're going to do, just say, "I don't know yet."

If you don't want it to seem like you like attention, don't leave anything open to interpretation. And if you aren't concrete or if you change your mind a lot (not mentioning any names), don't complain when people get annoyed by your actions.

I have a feeling Favre knows exactly what he's going to do. I have a feeling that Favre wants to string this out as long as possible. I have this feeling... this sneaky suspicion... that Favre likes the attention.

I remember Michael Jordan saying that he was 99.9% sure he was retiring. He returned.

I remember Roger Clemens saying the exact same thing. We know what happened.

Yet, the media is biting on this Favre story like he means it. Come on, people. Ignore it. Ignore it until he isn't on the field Week 1 this season. Until I see with my eyes, he's coming back. Period.

I watched this and I immediately thought of @tremendousnews and his blog entries about "Social Media Douchebags".

I've gotta admit, I really don't know that many people in the industry. Still getting to know folks. This guy is probably very well known. He's dropping names like they're going out of style and was retweeted by Guy Kawasaki.

In other words, he's 10,000 times bigger than I am.

Regardless, watching this video just makes me feel dirty. I can't even explain why. It's nothing in particular about what he said (other than all of the shameless name dropping). It just made me think that people are putting way too much thought into how they portray themselves on Twitter.

"Portray" is the key word here. It would seem that to be successful, it's an act. Which leads me to...

This guy wrote a blog entry about why he blocks people on Twitter. Eh.

His whole thing was that your followers reflect upon you. That you should think about what your kids would think if they saw who follows you.

Look, I hate spammers, too. But the truth is that, I'm convinced, more than 90% of all of Twitter users are bots or spammers who won't admit that they are spammers. I very rarely follow back the people who follow me because they all look like the same lifeless person.

Do I really have the energy to block all of these people? And for what, to make Twitter a better place?


Let's get one thing straight. I don't care about numbers. My 350-ish (or 1/100th of what is acceptable among "Social Media Gurus") followers should be a testament to that.

And since I don't know for sure who is a spammer and who isn't, why would I go person by person, judging, blocking people who make me suspicious?

This is the funny thing. I'm convinced that the people most annoyed by spammers are those who auto-follow or follow almost everyone who follows them.

I don't practice this. I am careful about whom I follow.

Do you know what happens when you are careful about the people you follow? You don't get DM spam. Amazing how that works.

But those who are all pumped up about numbers, those who like "returning the favor" of those who follow them will eventually get burned by spammers. And then they get ticked when they get spammed.


You can block, if that's how you choose to work. I just choose to be particular about whom I follow. Don't need to get all dramatic and whatnot.

Oh, and about this "randomness" and "potpourri" business...

We're supposed to be consistent! That first dude, in his eight tips about social media, said that we shouldn't be sports one day and social media the next. Only fitting that I'm random in addressing this.

I have a pretty random life. I worked in sports, hitting a pretty cool pinnacle with the NBA. Not to mention, the history of baseball is one of the top three passions of my life.

I work in technology, covering social media, gaming, mobile, and anything that beeps.

My son survived cancer. My mother survived cancer. My uncle died of cancer. I work for the American Cancer Society. Non-profits and the way they use technology and social media are important to me.

Does this confuse you? Does it bother you that I am not focused only on sports? On technology? On non-profits?

It might. And to be honest, if it bothers you, you shouldn't follow me. I'm okay with that.

Me, I prefer to be honest. I like to spill it, and tell you just how I feel and who I am.

Anything else is insincere, and... well, douchey.


Charlie Zegers on January 26, 2010 said...

The random-ness might bother me if I was following "Jon Loomer, sports expert." But I'm following "Jon Loomer, guy I once worked with on a web site who often has interesting things to say about stuff that matters to me."

Of course, it doesn't really bother me when Peter King talks about coffee or Gregg Easterbook veers into particle physics... so maybe the random doesn't matter anyway.

Jon Loomer on January 26, 2010 said...

You're not following "Jon Loomer, the sports expert?" Dangit.

I guess if I had aspirations of being famous I might limit my focus and "portray" a certain personality. Or at least this is my excuse for not being famous.

Thanks for reading, Charlie. Too bad not everyone I once worked with on a web site also thinks I have interesting things to say about stuff that matters to them. If so, I could double my audience. To 10.

Nate on January 26, 2010 said...

First off, I think judging all of your followers and blocking the suspicious ones says a lot more about a person than the people who follow you.

Second, I don't mind the randomness. I myself can be very random. And I don't think you are losing followers over it. Personally, I follow you because of your sports edge. I honestly don't care about some of the non-profit stuff you write, but I do tend to follow the links and actually find a lot of it interesting.

If you were to create a secondary account for non-profit tweets, besides being hard for you to keep track of, many of your sports followers (me, for example) would miss out on your tweets, and possibly miss something we care about.

And if you did have a secondary account, who is to say that your followers would grow. Perhaps because I follow your sports Twitter and find out you have another, I might follow that one too. And since you don't keep track of who is following you, you really have no way of knowing how many people are following both accounts. Sure, there may be some that enjoy following one but not the other. But it's not like you post a tweet every 5 minutes. I think most of your followers don't mind reading the other stuff you have to say.

Jon Loomer on January 26, 2010 said...

Thanks, Nate, really appreciate the feedback!

Overall, I just don't understand blocking people who aren't bothering you. It seems like unnecessary effort. Some will say that by doing this they have more "quality followers." Again, this would be a comment from someone who cares about their numbers. I don't judge the quality of my audience by numbers. I realize that a lot of my followers are spambots, but they don't bother me. I don't follow them back, so they don't spam me. Additionally, if I really cared about numbers, I'd be following thousands of people. I just don't care that much.

Glad to hear that my inconsistent topics don't bother you. I agree that it would be different if I tweeted in heavy volume. At that point, it may make sense to split it up (though that sounds like a lot of work). Or write two blogs. No thanks.

Thanks again.

David Martin on January 26, 2010 said...

It is funny to me how many of my friends get so annoyed with Twitter..."I get so much spam"..."I have to go in and block people who want to send me porn"..."twitter is down too much." Yet these are the people who spend their entire day on Twitter. Honestly, the only people that I follow are people who might be able to tweet (or re-tweet) breaking sports news that I might be interested in...if they don't fall into that category, I don't follow them. If I didn't have a website that I wanted to promote, I would never "tweet" anything, I would simply follow others tweets for info. I've never understood the "I'm washing my car" tweets...seems like a big waste of time...that said, I am a real person who follows you on Twitter, and I think you should follow me (@RockiesReview) ;)

Jon Loomer on January 26, 2010 said...

So true, David. Same thing happens on Facebook. They complain about everything over there, too, yet spend 23 hours per day on it. I don't get the mindless tweets either. I'm actually ok with it on Facebook. Twitter's just not the place for it. Need some value in those 140 characters.

I was already following you!

By the way, I've said some mean things about Rockies fans (expansion fans in general). Just know it doesn't apply to you -- someone who grew up with the team. If you don't know what mean things I'm referring to, never mind.

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