Is this what you’re looking for?

Richard Charpentier Notes from Rich Leave a Comment

Last week I wrote a little about our experience in “social media.”  One big part of gaining followers on Twitter is regular posting.  But when you start looking at all of the posts you find yourself re-reading the same thing.  Why is that?

Many of the super popular posters don’t write their own posts.  Instead they use different websites and apps that keep updating their feed often.  The topics can range, and often it doesn’t matter if current followers are interested in the topics.  It’s all about gaining new people.

Today I took a look at “Buffer.”  It’s an app that I used when we were promoting the “RV’ers Guide to the National Monuments of the Southwest.”  In addition to writing our own posts which could go up every hour, half hour, 15 minutes…. you get it…. Buffer offers me canned posts to keep my feed looking active.  Right now I’m being offered a few generic posts that could automatically go up for me today.  Let’s list out a few:

  • Email as an API: Physical Interactions With Email:
  • In 1947, Ten Comic Strip Artists Were Asked To Draw Their Characters Blindfolded
  • Paul Rand’s Design Lessons From 60 Years Ago That Are Still Deeply Relevant Today
  • A Rad Collection of 1980s-Inspired Prints
  • The Next Big Thing In Responsive Design
  • A Life Worth Living: Why Happiness Is Our Moral Obligation:

I think that’s enough to make the point…..  Well, is it enough?  Yeah I guess so.

Now here’s the thing.  Anyone reading this post today who is on Twitter most likely saw these posts today.  It’s like a “post mill.”  I went looking around for a little while and watched the feed streaming by.  And yes, several of the folks who follow me or who I follow post a lot (they’re the ones with big followings).  Indeed they’re using these canned posts to get people to follow them.  But what for?

When you go out to read something on the Internet, are you just looking for a headline?  Or are you looking for real content?  Personally whenever I’m hunting on the net I’ve got something specific in mind.  Trip ideas, programming help, new apps for the iPad, fix it advice for the water inlet on my Airstream leaking (yes that’s going on today).  I think you get what I’m saying.  So why is it that many people will follow social media gurus who do nothing but post stuff other people have written about topics they’re not even interested in????

Please, somebody help me with this.  I really don’t get it.

The whole inspiration for this post came about due to spam comments I keep getting.  Even with my spam filter some get through, and the most popular showed up again today on one of my posts:

Probably you  spend a lot of time writing, i know how to save you a lot
of time, there is an online tool that creates unique, google friendly articles in seconds, just search in google  –Name Removed free content source

This is something I’m seeing on more and more blogs.  Not the comment.  Instead I’m seeing generated content that was not created by the blog owner.  Many blogs today just compile articles from other blogs.  They don’t generate content, they just round up your content and present it on their site.  Is this all about clicks?  Is this about showing high numbers for advertising?  Why create a site where you contribute nothing?

You don’t have to answer this.  I’m thinking out loud.  And I’m thinking back to the Time article I linked to last week.  The author was talking about the “Attention Web,” and I really like the concept.  I also like the idea of the “Content Web.”  You know, sites that actually have information and not just noise.

So yeah, totally thinking out loud.  I think we all want to find useful information and entertainment on the web.  And I think a lot of noise has gotten into the signal.  So, how do we get providers to add useful content, and less noise?

I’ll think about it, and if I find an answer I’ll share it.

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