Facebook’s Watching…

Statistical analysis is an amazing thing.  The amount of information that can be gathered from a specific group can be extremely valuable to businesses, researchers and anyone looking to target specific demographics. The information that can be gathered and analyzed through social media, specifically Facebook, is staggering.
130-stats-about-the-7-social-media-trends-dominating-2015-15-638I don’t believe that the information found in Stephen Wolfram’s blog article, “Data Science of the Facebook World” should alarm people. Instead those that read the article should find intrigue in the complete segmentation of Facebook and the information that can be used in a number of positive ways. It’s amazing that each age group is so diverse and an almost predictable demographic.  Each group has a specific number of friends, likes, interests and frequently visited pages. The user experience for each demographic almost makes Facebook a unique experience for each age group. I found it interesting that the older population’s selection of friends were more varied in age than any other demographic. It’s obvious though because the over 70 age demographic more than likely have older children, grand-kids and nieces and nephews as friends. The statistical analysis used by companies like Facebook and Google will change the course of marketing like no other time in the history of marketing. Our sidebars and headers are filled with advertisements that are specific to our likes and desires. It’s incredible technology. It may be a little intrusive and sometimes creepy, but it’s the age in which we live in.


Nobody Cares What You Think

I’ve been tasked to critique a couple of articles that pertain to user comments and blogs. I normally prefer the assignments that allow us to write about articles that are a little less vague; but I understand the process behind the assignments. This week’s articles proved to be a very simple topic for me. As I’ve said in the past, I’m not a blogger. However, I engage in heavy amounts of social media use and often post controversial or interesting topics that sometimes generate 50-75 responses.

Obviously the more interest that a published blog generates, the more comments will be left for the author or other users.  It’s a cycle that not only establishes credibility for the blogger, but each party is dependent on the other for a successful blog.  In the article, “31 Proven Ways to Get More Comments on Your Blog,” author Seth Simonds places his number one tip as “Take a Stand”. I’d agree with this being one of the easiest ways to generate comments. Most topics have supporters and detractors. If the writer takes a stand on something that a reader feverishly opposes, the chances of getting a comment are increased. What I’ve noticed through my social media experience is that people will respond hurriedly and often say things without giving it much thought. They bang out a response out of anger often tend to write responses that are over the top. Therefore, I believe that a bit of harmless trolling in a post or blog is a great way to generate comments.

The other tip that Simonds suggests is to curse often. Simonds states that, “You can often make up for bad writing by cursing a lot and using odd flips in logic to keep readers guessing and entertained. Readers who find you disgusting will comment as will all the readers who find you terribly amusing.” I agree with the premise wholeheartedly but I have a difficult time adopting the practice. I don’t have an issue with dropping fuck or any other curse word in print, but I believe that it doesn’t have a place in a public environment that is supposed to generate intelligent discussion.

It’s apparent that a successful blog relies on an abundance of followers. The blogger needs to find methods to engage those supporters and get them to participate in the writing process with you.  Encouraging comments and responses is a great way to start.

Blogging’s Beneath Us?

Blogs. I don’t follow any bloggers, I very seldom read any blogs unless they’re political, and even then I can’t name of any professional bloggers. I’ll occasionally read something from Paul Hamilton or one of WGR 550’s bloggers, but that’s about it. I find the concept intriguing but I think it’s just because I enjoy writing. I’ve always enjoyed writing and I’m certain that once I’ve completed my education, I’ll engage in the blogging experience. I may even do so to supplement my income.

bloggingThe web publishing class had the privilege of having Tyler Johnson, a professional blogger, as a guest speaker last week. I was pretty excited to hear someone speak about blogging that makes a living out of it. Johnson’s insight to the blogging industry seemed a little deficient, but he shared insight as to how the website he works for operates. Johnson works for Pop on the Pop—it’s basically an internet rag committed to celebrity gossip. I’m assuming that Johnson’s less than motivating presentation was due to the fact he earned a degree in English and he’s writing celebrity gossip. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy his lecture- it was a a valuable 45 minutes, and most of the class, myself included, probably could have spent another hour discussing his trade. It’s just that he seemed to dismiss his occupation simply by his body language and tone.

I can’t fault Johnson or anyone else that makes a living out of doing something they enjoy though. Getting paid for something you’re good at and enjoy, is one of the few rewards that we can reap as an adult. I support myself as a professional musician; I’ve averaged nearly 175 gigs a year for quite some time. Many nights I perform for a respectable crowd that is engaging and shares a common love of music with me. Most nights I’m playing to drunks that just want to hear the same five songs that drunken people always want to hear. Sometimes the value of our talent can’t be measured by our audience but instead by the realization that we have the talent to be hired in the first place.

I have a feeling that Johnson is not thrilled with his current position as a blogger. I’m certain that if he has the drive and motivation to succeed in the industry he’ll land on his feet in a more prestigious role.