[This post concept continues: Social Spam: Why Your Social Media Strategy is BS]
We’ve all got to make a living. I get that. (Boy do I get that.) And some folks have made a great name for themselves in social media and social sharing and marketing using all forms of digital media. And there’s no greater cheerleader for that success than Guy Kawasaki (@guykawasaki). But something awful has happened to these once champions of conversation over noise, these REAL people. They have become BOTS. I kid you not. It’s a horrible story. Understandable, but horrible. Let me show you.
First we’re going to look at the king. The man who put the Guy in Twitter:
Here is the man who showed so many of us what evangelism looks like. He preached the methods and strategies of the uber-evangelist. And for this respect 1.4+ million Twitter loyal hang on Guy’s chirpings. But there’s something afoul in the tweetstream of Mr. K these days. There’s Nothing There. Nada. His once proud stand on issues of design, business, self-publishing have been reduced to auto-generated, auto-retweeted, auto-regurgitated pabulum. Here’s a typical Guy-stream from my Tweetdeck feed.
Notice anything similar about these tweets? A theme, or focus? No? Well, I’m not sure what keeps Guy’s iPhone bills paid these days, but he’s driving some massive traffic to somewhere. Let’s follow the “most random” tweet and see where it leads us. So, Mr. Kawasaki-san, tell us, Why are porn stars nothing like we think?
Wait, tell me again, how this is important to ANYONE? Okay, so Guy is driving traffic to his Holy Kaw! page within his Alltop aggregation service. Um, why, again?
Okay so let’s assume for a moment that Guy has become part of the Twitter Borg. Nothing he tweets needs to make sense. He’s simply building and amplifying noise into your twittersphere for his own pleasure and link-building pleasure. And maybe some ad dollars somewhere. Sorry Guy, please turn off the auto-tweets and come to your senses. We’ve been down this road with you before. Now you don’t even have humans tweeting on your behalf, you’ve got robots scheduled out for miles and light years and giga-tweets. Please give the internet a break before you kill someone with those worthless and classless tweets.
And now we move to someone who has earned all of his street cred in my book, Mr. Chris Brogan. (@Chrisbrogan) A guy who listens to his own Twitter replies and will give you a bump back for a good promo, RT, or post. He’s a guy’s guy, unlike the guy that Guy has become. So when Mr. Brogan does a little self-promo for a new book, a new business venture, a newsletter he’s starting up, heck I’m happy for the guy. I’ll even RT a few of them, just to give Chris the old thumbs up, bro-Twitter-style.
And it’s okay that Chris even Tweets the same exact Tweet day after day promoting his book, right, I mean, that’s okay. Well, except for one sad fact about this behavior. BOTS. I doubt that Chris Brogan types in the same “Check out my new book to get healthy, link” every single day, say 4 – 20 times a day. But of course, I don’t know that Mr. Brogan is botted up. Well, except when the same post comes out at 2am on a Wednesday night. SRSLY? Does anyone think Mr. Brogan is up on a weeknight with zero creative energy to even change up a word of the tweet? Nope. BOT. Here’s what the book-tweet looks like at all hours of the night.
Okay, so Chris has gone to the dark side and become a botting for dollars tweeter. And if I had any less respect for the guy, I’d probably let it go at that. But then these type of tweets began showing up with a sickening regularity in my “trust network” tweetstream.
And it’s not the beginning nor the end of this tweet-for-dollars plan, nor is there any less regularity to the frequency and dead-file creativity that is the auto-tweet. And that’s a sad thing, I guess, Brogan tweeting like a couponer, for some % of the backend sales. Sure the guy’s got reach and he’s just finished an amazing weight loss journey, but really, Chris, I have to ask, how much are they paying you? Is it worth it?
I guess, I’ll let it rest at that. I respect both these men. I merely hope and pray we can return them and their Twitter output to the human race before we’re all overrun by zombie tweeters.
At least Chris changes things up from time to time while hawking his new book and newly earned vigor.
You too can prevent bots and zombies.
- Never auto-tweet or schedule tweets while you’re really asleep. I know it’s easier, but if I respond to your tweet, I’m left all alone. And that’s a sad feeling.
- When you find zombies and bots let them know they’re irritating by telling them.
- If they’re scammers offering to sell you followers, please Report and Block them. Yes, all of them, all the time. Please, for the rest of us.
- If you’re going to Tweet for dollars like Mr. K and Mr. B please show some creativity. Instead of canning and scheduling the same damn tweet 30 times over the next three days, make yourself write 30 unique tweets. It’s hard isn’t it. That’s because YOU’RE HUMAN.
- When you find yourself writing a take down piece to two social media gods, think twice and leave that sucker in draft mode. I mean what’s the point? Do I think I’m going to change their behavior? SRSLY, who am I kidding?
If you want to know everything I think I know about Twitter, check out The Twitter Way. I’ve been doing Twitter just as long as these guys, but obviously not with near the success… er… well, if that’s what you want to call where they are today.
UPDATE: Thanks to the less-botted-up Chris for responding.
and the kiss off
Maybe I’ve got it all wrong. But I believe people are seeking more conversation and less marketing messages repeatedly cannoned at them by the big boys of social media. Mr. Brogan should know better. How does being a bot fit in with the idea of being a Trust Agent?
And Guy did actually show up.
And I reminded him of his tweeting past, when he maintained a Guy-only Twitter account for those of us who were offended by his “curated tweets” that had little to do with his thinking or brand. Same thing happening today with different crews and different tools. In the past he used to denote the actual tweeter with initials following the tweet. (example: here’s a great new book – DD) Today we get Guy’s “people” blasting to 1.4 million followers at a 30 per-hour frequency. That’s a lot of noise. About porn, and cats, and random nonsense.
Heck, maybe this is all a publicity stunt.
Update #2: Not exactly sure why this was his next move… Blocking me? I’m disappointed to have been punted from the #trustagent circle of friends.
Update #2: Maybe they spoke to each other… Guy is now blocking me as well.
To say I’m disappointed in both of them would be an understatement. Why are these “leaders” being such assholes on Twitter? Is it because they think people won’t notice? Is it because they don’t care? All of the above, perhaps?
- Someone else’s take on the noise in social media: Why Your Social Media Strategy Sucks – AdContrarian
- Chris’s Book Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust