I worked with a guy once who complained about me following and unfollowing him over the course of several months. He was a complainer anyway, so I didn’t make much of it. Then he blocked me. I’d never been blocked on Twitter. There was some anger involved, or he would’ve done the simpler thing, follow me back. Or course, that never occurred to him.
Here’s the only long-term growth strategy I know on Twitter.
Follow a lot of people in your field.
Hope they follow you back in a few weeks.
Unfollow most of the people not following you back so you can follow more people.
See, Twitter has a limit of how many people you can follow vs how many people are following you. Then once you’ve crossed that barrier, even if your ratio has plenty of headroom (follow slots available) you will still be limited to following about 200 people per day. Then you get the rather nasty message, “You can follow no more people today. Either unfollow some people or wait until tomorrow.” And that’s what you do. You follow until you hit your limit. Then you “season the list” and wait for them to hopefully follow you back. Then you go through the reverse, unfollowing hundreds of people at a time.
It works pretty well. But it’s more of a game then an art. And anyone who gets mad at you for following then unfollowing them is only missing one part of the equation. If my “friend” had merely followed me back (but he was too proud to do that) I would not be unfollowing him every month of so. He must’ve thought his tweets were super powerful and his follow meant some kind of endorsement. It doesn’t.
And while we’re at it, you really don’t need to thank me for following you. Thank me if I add you to a LIST, but a follow is just a click and a giggle. In fact, if you thank me I’m liable to unfollow you on principle. Just don’t do it. And if you AUTO respond my follow with a “Thanks for following me now download my ebook at LINK” I will definately unfollow you. I believe people should be real on Twitter. And if you auto-respond you are just spamming my inbox.
Don’t be the guy who complains about other’s Twitter habits. I’m that guy. But be sure and use Twitter like a human rather than a spam spewing robot. We’ve already got plenty of those.
I know we’re all *on* social media. And we’re all tweeting and posting and promoting stuff all over the place. But do you have a plan? And I don’t mean an activity plan. I mean an EMPIRE plan?
We spend so much of our day on social media, it’s a shame not to capture some of that energy in the direction of building our empire. Let me explain.
Tweet hot topics
Tweet my recent content from several partners and blogs
Facebook hot topics
Facebook recent content
Read email and pick up hot topics and stories for Twitter and Facebook.
Check Instagram – repost relevant stuff to Facebook
Life in general has a lot of social interaction online. But with a few extra tools you can make every tweet an empire-building tweet and every Facebook post an audience building post. Let’s see how.
Twitter: Why build only one Twitter account? Twitter is great when focused on a single topic. I have SIX twitter accounts that I use regularly. And each has a slightly different audience focus. This allows me to be very targeted in my sharing. And on the occasional tweet that fits across all six accounts, I have a much larger audience. Building Twitter followings is a pain in the ass, but if you do it on several accounts at once you can maintain the laser focus that active followers demand.
Facebook: Facebook pages are the secret weapon on Facebook. With a page, when you post you have the option to BOOST that post. (Yes, Facebook is a pay-for-reach platform now, get over it.) And here is how you make the most of boosting. 1. Post a lot of content to your page. (Relevant content only, please.) 2. Watch for posts that show good activity (Likes, Loves, Shares, Comments) and consider boosting those posts. If they did well with your organic reach, they will probably do well when you boost them beyond your Friends and Followers.
Thread your posts. If you are about to repost a political joke, consider adding a page about political humor and posting to that page first. 1. It reduces the overall Facebook posts that you send to friends. 2. It begins to build an audience for your brand of political humor. 3. If you want to build an audience in this area, you can now boost to Friends of Followers, who are likely to have similar interests.
Instagram: If Instagram is now bigger than Twitter in the US that makes it work looking at. Add a “follow me on instagram” to your social properties and blogs. I’m considering building a few new Instagram accounts for more specific topics. But don’t discount Instagram as a platform. You can include URLS in the text comments. And if you put your message in the image, then you’ve got a Pinterest-like growth platform. I’m still learning about Instagram, but it’s a force to be considered.
LinkedIn: The Facebook-for-Business is worthy of your attention. But they still haven’t figured out the Facebook “promote to friends and friends of friends” magic that has made Facebook such an easy pay-for-reach platform. My LinkedIn posts get about 1/10th the love as my Facebook posts, but I do notice my profile gets more views (a lot more views) when I’m posting. And if you can build up a “following” on LinkedIn, perhaps you will be posting to the choir.
SlideShare: Now owned by LinkedIn, slide share is my 2nd business website. I generate over 1,000 views a week on my Slideshare presentations. And while those clicks and reads are not translating into website traffic, I am building my reputation as a thought leader and strategist. If you’ve got a great PPT deck, share your genius with the rest of us. Need an idea for your PPT presentation, check out the best presentations on Slideshare.
YouTube: Owned by Google, YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine. If your content is not on YouTube you are missing a huge opportunity. Short-form video is in. Make several 2-minute videos, and get your message up on YouTube. Then share your video on YouTube. (Facebook has been making some noise about how great Video-on-Facebook is, but I still use YouTube to build my channels and playlists on various topics.)
Pinterest: I used to be a big fan. I don’t do much on Pinterest any more. If the topic is PIN-Friendly, by all means, give it a shot. But I’ve found the linking and promotional aspects of Pinterest to be lacking.
All About the Metrics
Here’s the bottom line: If it does not generate business (a contact request, a new client, a download) it’s not effective. Find the ONE thing that generates a SALE and then multiply that activity by 10X. Don’t become a spammer, but do find what works for your empire. Then continue to do that. And to know what’s working you must have a good grip on your metrics. Do you know what “activities” generated those last 10 “contact us” page views? Well, it’s time you did some digging into your Google Analytics.
Being social is what we all do everyday. Being GOOD at social is having a plan, measuring your success at reaching and exceeding plan goals, and coming up with the next 5 ideas to try. The needle is in the haystack of social media, but you can use groups and multiple accounts to sort the haystack into smaller piles before seeking the WIN.
Dear Me, Congratulations on getting your by-line on The Huffington Post. We’re glad you decided to give us publishing rights to your content for free. We hope you enjoy your experience here. We’re awesome. Welcome.
THE DAY I WAS WELCOMED TO THE HUFFINGTON POST BY ARIANNA HERSELF, I WAS THRILLED.
And the succession of 50 odd posts I got published on the site was also a thrill.
And I generated quite a bit of traffic for my blog The Whole Parent. It was a match made in heaven. I was writing a positive co-parenting blog and The Huffington Post was benefiting (still benefits) from my writing. What I got in return was traffic, a by-line and bio page on The Huffington Post. Boom. I had arrived as a writer.
Then last November, as in a year and 2 months ago, my last post appeared on The Huffington Post under the Fitness and Lifestyle banner. See, I’d been doing so good, I had started publishing from another blog on The Huffington Post as well. But without a whimper or reason, my publishing never progressed beyond submission. And I continued to submit my work religiously.
In general they do reserve the right to NOT publish your work. But I had a 95% publish ratio. We liked each other. I even had a viral hit that was published under the Women banner. It was about dating.
I still have no idea what happened. Does The Huffington Post have a kill button that censors a writer, causing their posts not to show up in the slush pool of available articles? Did someone take offense to something I had written? Had I gotten too big for my britches? Well, it wouldn’t be so bad if I had a clue what I did, or who black-listed me. But I heard crickets.
So I reached out directly to Adrianna. She, in fact, is who personally invited me to the Post. I reached out to the editors of each of the sections I had published with before. Health and Lifestyle, Parenting, Dating, Divorce, Dads. And somewhere along the chain of command, even their responses were shut down. I heard nothing. It seemed there was nothing I could do, but stop publishing, or trying to publish on The Huffington Post.
But my publishing credentials are still live. They are still generating traffic from my content. And they are still not publishing any of my writing. I’m ready to take this to the next level. Now it’s personal.
Let’s look at the editorial board for my biggest section DIVORCE.
I’m pretty sure Brittany is the woman who wrote the Huff Po piece on me. Let’s go see…
Update 8-20-15: I got a Twitter response from Sr. Women’s Editor Emma Gray. And just as I responded to her she deleted the tweet. (Before I was able to screen grab it. But I have the traces captured elsewhere.) Then, I’m pretty sure she MUTED me on Twitter. (A first for me.)
So when she tweeted back to me she said, “That’s above my purview.” She was saying, she had no idea why I was being prevented from getting any articles published. Why then would she DELETE the Tweet and BLOCK me on Twitter? Was I being abusive? Did someone tell her I’m a pervert, or a dead beat dad, or something that makes me offensive? I don’t know. And since she’s muted me on Twitter she doesn’t even see when I tweet at her. BAD FORM Emma Gray BAD FORM HUFFINGTON POST.
So the woman who wrote the nice post on me and my divorce survival strategy doesn’t have the time to respond to me? Or she’s not allowed to tell me what’s going on? Both of which are awful concepts.
One thing is certain: The Huffington Post is being run by children. Low cost millennials who are happy to work for recognition and ego strokes. Titles like Editor and Executive Editor on one of the globe’s leading media publishing companies. Pretty impressive to me, as well. But the youngsters are running Adrianna’s empire as she continues to cut media deals.
Adrianna had a vision for The Huffington Post. She’s too busy with her GMP and Good News love fest to pay attention to what’s going on in the inner workings of her Blog Team. And why should she. We know the power of the Huffington Post is politics. And we’re ramping up for a doozy of an election year.
So I’ve been swept under the proverbial rug. But I won’t go quietly. It’s time to blast and blanket the editorial team until I get an answer. I’ll start with the woman who wrote the piece on me. Let’s see if I can get a single response out of a single human being (young human being) about why I can’t get any of my 30+ submissions published, when I still have 50 articles live on The Huffington Post.
I never give up. The dream was big when I got accepted and added Huffington Post author to my material. Today, it’s been a year and 2 months since they pushed on of my articles live. I’m still writing at the top of my game, and still writing about positive post-divorce strategies for parenting, dating, and staying healthy. What’s not to love?
I’ve still got Brittany’s email address. Let’s see if she will share some information about WHAT’S GOING ON AT THE HUFFINGTON POST?
The author of The Twitter Way, shares his plans for Twitter to once again take over the world.
The return of twitterling Dorsey hasn’t exactly rocked the world. That’s too bad, because Twitter may be the most powerful social network, but Twitter is losing a lot of money. And this quarter Twitter for the first time since launch had to report it has lost users. Of course they did, the Twitter is experience for all but the experienced is awful. Let me spell it out for you.
Twitter.com is a mess. Their flagship page is a firehose of BS. How the spammer accounts get through in this day and age… Please Twitter, clean up the feed.
Twitter is losing users. Most new Tweeters last less than a week. Their drop off rate is one of the worst in the business. Why? 1. Because it’s hard to use. 2. Because it’s hard to follow. 3. It’s no longer for keeping in touch with others, it’s a marketing/advertising platform.
Tweetdeck might help, but Twitter has no idea how to use or market Tweetdeck.
Twitter needs to KILL ALL SPAM ACCOUNTS. So far they’ve been very lax. Why? Because removing millions of scammers would REALLY hurt their numbers.
Remove the numbers game. Sure, I’ve worked hard for my followers, but it’s not a badge of honor. Especially with all the spammers offering me 10,000 followers for $10.
What Twitter Needs to Do (Yes, I’m available for consulting on a day and half-day rate.)
Twitter needs to open up the API again and charge for the feed. I know a number of companies that were taken out at Twitter’s 2.0 feed changes. And Twitter really NEEDS third-party developers.
Promote the LISTS feature. It holds the only semblance of authority and trust on Twitter.
Kill non-followed DMs. This is another violation of our trust. A DM is supposed to be from people I follow ONLY.
Train new users. Quit trying to be so innovative. Stick with the basics. Where’s the “Here’s how you use Twitter.” video. Where’s the “I’ve been on Twitter for a week and I still have no idea what it’s about.” video? Twitter needs to educate new users, not just sign them up and plop them on the home page.
Verified needs to be a badge of honor and trust, not an insider’s club.
Buy Bit.ly and really integrate metrics and link sharing.
I’ve been writing about Twitter since the SXSW launch. If you find someone who’s written more about Twitter, let me know. Are they listening? (I had a few exchanges via Twitter with some of the founders, back in the day.) Yes and no. I’m sure Twitter watches the social media channels to find new ideas to try. Here’s my big IDEA. Hire me for a day, let me come to Twitter.co HQ and do a brainstorming, capture and release, session with your leaders and creatives.
Twitter needs help. I’m just the person to provide a shot in the arm.
I just endorsed Michael Dell’s understanding of Servers. I hope he appreciates my confidence in his abilities and knowledge. I’m pretty sure he won’t get back in touch with me about my endorsement. I’m pretty sure he won’t ever see it.
LinkedIn should be the top business social network. Actually, it probably is that, but what we really need is forLinkedIn to step up to the plate and become a leading BUSINESS NETWORK.
Today, LinkedIn is more of a rolodex with some social sharing added in. They have devalued their platform over the last few investment rounds and innovation attempts. No overhaul has fixed the fundamental miss. And added “features” like endorsement cheapen the referral and networking function to make LinkedIn more Facebook-like. We don’t need a Facebook for business. We need a network for business.
While collaboration tools have really begun to shine in the online, SAAS, world, LinkedIn’s capabilities have gotten worse not better. Let me show you why first, and then talk about what LinkedIn’s killer feature COULD be, but that they are not even working on.
Think for a minute about your LinkedIn network.
Do you check your LinkedIn inbox? (Or do messages on LinkedIn go unanswered for weeks at a time?)
Do you look to LinkedIn for business referrals?
What value do you place on a person with FIVE really impressive Recommendations? Now what about someone with 100 recommendations? How about NONE?
As a Rolodex, does linked in allow you to message more than one person at a time, or create personal mailing lists for you to share vital information?
Do you have your actual contact information listed on LinkedIn?
Have you gotten a successful business lead off a LinkedIn connection?
As a job hunting network, do you think LinkedIn has value beyond Indeed or SimplyHired?
If LinkedIn were to shut down tomorrow do you think your business would be substantially impacted?
My guess is, that just in thinking about these questions, you can see how LinkedIn has not really evolved with the times of Business 2.0. And, in fact, the most valuable opportunity for LinkedIn, or really for us users of LinkedIn has not even being explored.
So here it is.
LinkedIn needs to become the business referral network we’re all looking for. People with projects or jobs could post them to their REAL networks. If you passed along a lead for a job or a piece of business, the LinkedIn platform could pay you a commission. Today it’s the advertising model that makes LinkedIn go. But the real capital they are not even beginning to tap is TRUST.
When LinkedIn started out it was a fairly strong communication network. It has since become a Facebook-clone with a business focus. Where is the REAL REFERRAL NETWORK, that has financial incentives to prime the pump?
Business people and consultants keep hoping that a new platform would emerge to give us the Trust Network for business. And we keep waiting. All this time, LinkedIn has the money and the network but have sat on their hands and stagnated.
With a simple e-commerce platform plugin, LinkedIn could energize and build a true business network. If I get you a project, I get a percentage of the business. If you ask me for a referral on a job you need filled, you pay me directly if you hire one of the people I recommend.
Sure, there would have to be filters and policies for the gamers and hucksters that would try to exploit any innovative network, but it could be done. It must be done. And yet, it’s not being considered.
What would you pay to tap into a network that could actually bring you new business referrals rather than head hunter phone calls? What about a job referral that came from a friend with these words, “I’ve just spoken with the hiring manager at YYZ.COM and my contact there wants to talk to you today. I think you’re a shoo-in for the role.”
Ad revenue is how LinkedIn stays alive. But referral business is how they will expand into the real business of doing business.
Final thought: Today, via LinkedIn I exchanged 5 messages with colleagues (shall we get together for coffee) 2 messages with client targets. Shouldn’t we incentivize them for responding and passing my information on to their networks?
Is the meeting necessary? Occasionally meetings are the lazy way to move a project along the process. If you don’t need a meeting, don’t schedule it.
Is there an agenda? Without a solid agenda, please refer back to question 1. Agendas should cover what the goal of the meeting is and the brief topics to be covered.
Timekeeper and Scribes in the meeting Nothing worse than waiting for someone to get their notes down, or a meeting that runs over because someone wasn’t watching the clock.
Clamshells down. If you’re in the meeting, be in the meeting. Unless you are presenting your computer should be shut and you should be paying attention. If you’re checking email, please check items #1 and #2 and make sure you are the appropriate member of the team you represent.
Take Derailing Questions or Discussions to Sidebars “Can we table that issue for a discussion after the meeting? I’d like to stay with the agenda for now.”
Good post-meeting notes within an hour of the conclusion of the meeting: action items and dates recorded.
Do you need the next meeting? Can you take the previous discussion notes and turn them into the next agenda? If you don’t need the meeting, cancel it and give your colleagues time back in their day.
Ah the typical rise and fall of my digital marketing empire. I blog, I post, I socialize, I cry at how my following has very little impact on my reach. Well, that’s just part of the story.
If you’re blogging for new business you’ve got a hard road ahead. Sorry. Your next business deal is going to arrive as a result of someone’s referral. That’s 99% of the business in the world. “Who do you know that’s really good at … Facebook?” BINGO. That’s me. (Oh wait, wrong post.)
Today’s collapsing social reach has me thinking and talking a lot about “why social.” And I suppose if I thought of my efforts here as pure lead gen I would’ve given up about 5 years ago. But my work here is more than a collection of ideas. It’s more than a journal of days in the world. It’s not really a personal journal. My hope, and my continuing refinement here, means I am getting better at speaking to my audience and building blocks of useful information for my readers: 1. small/medium business owners who want to do digital marketing for themselves; 2. digital marketers looking for ideas and inspiration; 3. my newest referrals looking to check my credentials.
This Blog IS My Resume
Digital marketing is all about “what have you done recently?” Everything is changing all the time. If you’re last big project was something for DELL during the launch of Vostro (2009) you’re going to have a hard time convincing anyone but Dell that you might be a good team member. So… you have to keep it fresh and keep it going. Here on uber.la I not only try new things but I attempt to report back my findings. What was the impact to the business?
Lead Gen Is Dead
Let me clarify. For what I do, consulting small/medium businesses on digital marketing, no one is out scouring the web for smart digital strategists. They are asking their friends and colleagues for those links. And if I’m lucky, I’ve done my work well, you consider me a source of good digital marketing information, you might send someone my way, when they are needing some support with their online programs. That’s what I do.
I can count on one half of one hand the number of pure leads I have generated from this blog in the 6+ years it’s been up and running. And it’s not like I haven’t been asking for the business. But the business is not looking for consultants in this way. Certainly the need for a digital consultant that understands your business is important. But if you are looking for one, you’re going to hit your references first. Let me be one of your references, yes. But my downloads and lead gen forms are more for show. Let me say it again: In the 6+ years since I’ve been blogging my ass off and offering free downloads, free consultations, free SWOT analysis, I’ve generated exactly TWO business leads that turned into more than a coffee invitation to “pick my brain.”
Okay, so why do it?
I’m learning about content by doing content.
I’m scheduling, writing, illustrating, and promoting content.
I’m digging into the metrics to understand what’s working and what’s not.
I’m trying social channels in new ways.
I’m always exploring and looking for new insights to give away.
Blogging keeps me fresh, current, and relevant. Today, in your current role, you may not have need for building an online contest on Facebook for an app launch. But you might have need to do that in the near future, you never know. I want to be the person you think about. I want to show up on Facebook talking about Facebook reach, Facebook strategies, and Facebook metrics. I want to be that guy, “we needed some help with our Facebook outreach and your name came up.” That’s who I am trying to become by writing and publishing all this content.
I Am Learning Content Marketing By Doing Content Marketing
You’ve got to be playing the game to understand the rules and leverage points for various businesses. You can’t appify your business if you’ve not a gamer. You can’t understand a Snap Chat strategy if you never use Snap Chat. To get in the game you have to participate. And to get into content marketing, digital strategy, digital analytics, and online marketing you have to DO IT. So why not learn to do it for yourself, your brand, your blog?
The answer is You Should Be Blogging. If you want to grow your resume, don’t look to add a new company every two years, look to build a brand and reputation for knowing your stuff.
LinkedIn is great but it will only get you the contacts, you have to know how to work the groups, know what type of ads work, and how to convert those leads into business.
Facebook is fine but you’re going to have to know how to pay for reach if you want to have an impact.
Twitter is an important research and development tool and Twitter is the only way I know of to freely generate 100+ page views of my blog. But I’ve worked hard to build a following of “live” interested marketers on Twitter.
Snap Chat, Instagram, Pinterest are all up-and-comers, but you’ll really have to know what your goal is and how you’re going to measure that goal.
I tell clients every day, “If this activity is not generating business we need to do something else.”
Except in the case of blogging. This activity doesn’t necessarily lead to lead and consulting contracts for me. But it does keep me in the game of social media in all of the facets that I intend to play in. Analytics, Content, Social, and Marketing.
“How can I help you?” is the question I ask once someone else has given my name and number to a potential lead. It’s the happiest question I have. And I follow up with, “Okay, so let me show you something I worked on last month…”
If you want to lead you have to show people why your worthy of the follow.
I’ve finished my run at getting Google to turn my AdSense account back on. They “detected” some suspicious activity 2.5 years ago while I was in Mexico. Yes, I said, I clicked on my own ads a few times, I was in Mexico, I’d never had AdSense turned on. I didn’t know about the Publisher’s Extension that allows you to click on your own ads without breaking the law. The Google Law.
I’m done with them. After 6 appeals, where I gave them all of my click data from Google Analytics, and I gave them my own capture of the analytics from the mysterious period on Dec. 24, when I had a surge in click activity to my site overall. But it was a hit post, not fraud.
The same letter, all six times. We’ve thoroughly reviewed your account and determined you are still fkd. And we’re not going to tell you why we think you’re a fraudster, because that would reveal too much about the fkin magic that is our business.
It was odd, when I asked a Director I know at Google to ask about my site. He said, “Those AdSense people don’t respond to me either. I tried. They tell me to take a hike too.”
So the King Google has killed my ideas and hopes and activities related to building an audience and some clickstream income. Well, to be honest, it wasn’t going to be much money. Even with my biggest month ever, 100,000 reads in August 2015, I probably stood to make about $15. Woo hoo. So what’s the big deal? Why do I care so much?
I hate to say this, because when I hear it coming from someone else, it makes me roll my eyes, but… It was the principle of the thing. I did nothing wrong. I admitted not understanding the system. And Google had about $12 at risk, total. And I gave them all the data I had, all data they already had, since my tracking and analytics were all empowered by Google. And nothing. And nothing again. And even 2.5 years later, with some history between us, longevity, honesty, and nothing. We’ve reviewed your account and cannot reinstate your participation at this time. (Or ever, they should’ve said.)
That’s one more reason I use AD Block. And why even though I love G-Mail, I’m blocking ads there as well. The biggest change I’ve made recently is shifting my primary search engine from Google to Duck Duck Go. The coolest part is DDG does not track your searches or keep cookies on your activities. (Though I even use cookie eaters with DDG.) And the results are much cleaner and simpler.
Here’s my DDG results page on “Google AdSense.”
The results are a lot cleaner, with no ads. And they are not filtered by my previous searches or data from some demographic marketing database.
Yes, Google still owns my email system, my voice mail system, my “docs,” hangouts, analytics, and calendar, but hey… I can take a few things back. Occasionally I have to actually pull up Google.com if I don’t get enough results from DDG. But that happens once a week.
Give it a try. The switch is simple, and even if you don’t use AD Block or Privacy Badger, you’re going to have a better search experience. It will actually be search results and not 55% ADS – 45% RESULTS like Google.
It’s time we pull some of our data back from the Alphabet big beast. Their slogan, do no evil, doesn’t really seem to be holding up under the globalization and shareholder pressures.
I tried asking questions first. For a month. And got no reply from any of the Blog Team or directly from Arianna. Dear Huffington Post, WTF Is Going On with You? So, I guess I need to dig a bit deeper to see if I can understand what’s going on with the conversation about Parenting, Relationships, and Divorce at the Huffington Post.
Women *and* men get divorced, our children are along for the ride, we both make the difference in how their lives and future relationships will be managed.
I am not claiming that men’s voices have been completely shut out of the Family & Relationships sections of The Huffington Post. But I do see that the Divorce, Parenting, and Dating posts are 95% by women for women. Something bigger is going on here. Something that creates a complete imbalance in the viewpoints discussed, something that misses the fact that in traditional parenting one woman AND one man are required.
I was a Huffpost blogger with great success in the Parenting, Dating, and Divorce sections. I’m not saying I made the Front Page, but I often made the front page of these sections. And my posts are still live on The Huffington Post, gathering traffic for them, and a few click-throughs for me. And I’m very interested in keeping men in the conversation about these very important topics. I’m a contributing editor to The Good Men Project, who regularly shares content with The Huffington Post. Even last week, one of our editors, and good friend, Mark Greene was interviewed by Huffington Post about his transformative ideas about divorce and parenting. BRAVO!
But why are there no men editors in the entire staff of Family & Relationships? If you look at The Good Men project, a site that shouts, “The Conversation That No One Else is Having,” you’ll see a pretty even balance between men and women. It’s important, even in a powerful site about men that women and women’s voices are represented fairly. So why is the Huffington Post so down on men? Or is it just me?
Here’s the staff section from Family & Relationships section of The Huffington Post.
And while it’s not a bad thing to have mostly women, and mostly women in their twenties and thirties running such a critical portion of The Huffington Post, can you see how their perspectives might be a bit skewed? And when the Senior Editor on Divorce is also the Senior Editor on Weddings… And is, just getting married… You can imagine that “divorce” might not be one of her points of interests. And I’m guessing not part of her history, either.
I’m not sure how I would compartmentalize my enthusiasm for this major beginning in my young life, while espousing the views and pains of so many older women, and yes, men. And it’s sorry what’s happened to the sections over all. The conversation is not so much a conversation any more, it’s a blast of celebrity reporting (marriages and divorces) alongside some well-known authorities on dating and divorce. And mostly… eh hem… women.
And I have to respect the business model here. The Huffington Post is in this business to make money. And if their demographic is 90% young upwardly-mobile women, well, then I guess they’ve nailed it. But I’m pretty sure the intension that Erma Bombeck had when she convinced Arianna to start the divorce section was something more inclusive. After all, divorce usually involves two people, and 50% of those people happen to be men.
The story that Arianna tells is that she was approached about adding a Divorce section and she asked Erma why. Erma responded, “Marriages come and go, but divorce is forever.” It’s on the Divorce Masthead, though no longer attributed to her. The light went on for Arianna and the section was born and has thrived ever since.
I’ve chosen to live my life and to survive my divorce by finding the good in everything that comes my way.
I met Arianna at a trade show in 2013 where she spoke about her newest passion, The Third Metric. In that meeting of high-level communicators, she gave out her email address asking the audience to send her their ideas. And true to form, she responded to my email within a few hours of that trade show. I imagined her zooming to the airport in her limo and cleaning out her inbox with a fury and efficiency.
At that moment, she caught my voice in the post that I sent her. Here’s her emailed response to me that same day. It was a HUGE win for me.
And 8-months later I really hit the post sums up the bulk of my writing on Divorce.
Getting men’s real and honest stories in the mix of the conversation about Parenting, Dating, and Divorce is critical for all of us.
What you see there is a picture of a dad’s hand and the hand of my two young children. I have pledged to say 100% positive about my divorce, and in all of my dealings with my co-parent and ex-wife. That’s my message. There are Good Men who get divorced. There are good father’s who try to stay connected as often as they are allowed, even when the system is stacked against them. I write The Whole Parent as a voice for men who are doing parenting right, before, during, and after divorce.
I’m not sure I’ll ever get new posts up on The Huffington Post. And I’m not sure that’s important to me any more. But getting men’s real and honest stories in the mix of the conversation about Parenting, Dating, and Divorce is critical for all of us. Sure, professionals who write about the subject and offer platitudes and brief sounds bites of men’s stories, to illustrate their points, are fine, but they are professionals, and therapists, and lawyers. Even if they’ve been through a divorce of their own, they are now making it their business to tell us what to do.
When The Huffington Post lost Farrah Miller as an editor (she was the person Arianna cc’d on the email above) we lost an experienced editor with a broader vision.
I don’t know what to do. I only know that I’ve chosen to live my life and to survive my divorce by finding the good in everything that comes my way. Have I lost a lot in the process, yes. But I have also gained a new voice, a resonant voice that comes from deep within me, and sings out MY STORY, and ultimately, MY POSITIVE STORY OF DIVORCE.
I think men need to be in the conversation, and I would like Arianna Huffington to address this lopsided conversation with the same vision she had when she started the section with her dear friend. Women and men get divorced, our children are along for the ride, both partners have a huge impact on our kids lives and future relationships will be managed. If only a small percentage of the posts are by men, and 90% of those men are relationship professionals (lawyers, coaches, and therapists) rather than fathers, then the conversation on the Huffington Post is written by women and to women. That is not a not a holistic or healthy conversation at all.
I am a firehose of data. I’m part of that 1% of people who really chews up a high volume of information and spits it back out in various ways. If you have people like me in your network, you can use them to your advantage. We, the influencer-types can be meta-filter for your information on very specific subjects if you know how to tune-in.
Today’s tools are changing. What used to be powerful and widely used, RSS, is nearly dead. The new broadcast channel appears to be Twitter and Facebook. And then we have the semi-intelligent auto-curated systems like paper.li and the broadcasting features within Flipboard.
How do you follow?
I don’t know when I last looked at an RSS reader. I still use the occasionally, but the format is almost archaic in the new social frontier of data. So how do you track critical-path subjects? What sites do you use to keep up with the news and opinions that influence your daily process?
I like Twitter a lot for building a firehose of information.
I use Facebook and Facebook groups as a way to gather and share different types of information.
Netvibes has a nice dashboarding function. (works a bit like the defunct iGoogle pages)
I subscribe to a *few* email blasts.
I check-in with LinkedIn about three times a day to see what my network is putting out.
And I’m a periodic browser of the NYTimes, Huffington Post, Mashable, TNW, and Hubspot.
But where the fun happens, in my opinion, is how I repackage and push that information back out. I think this is where I’m a little different: a bit like a meta-filter.
Blogging. Of course I build my major threads of login here on uber.la where I can stretch out my words, provide links and references. And if I do my job right, I’ll gain your follow, subscribe, or random check-in.
Facebook. I manage about 6 Facebook pages of information. Each one has its own set of subscribers. And while Facebook does an awful job of spreading that information to everyone, I *can* pay $5 from time to time when I hit one out of the park, and really want my group to at least see the article.
Twitter. This is my firehouse back out. I have 3 main twitter accounts. @jmacofearth (social media, marketing, random music and humor memes); @thewholeparent (single parenting and positive divorce); @fitbytech (my personal fitness and health journey). And I do my best to keep the three streams pure and un-crossed.
LinkedIn. I occasionally repurpose a long-form piece using LinkedIn’s publishing platform, but I’m seeing diminishing returns on that channel. So I visit LinkedIn to see what *my* influencers are shouting about. I reshare the best of their posts to give their networks a little boost. And I will post one or two uber.la posts a day, just to keep my stream fresh.
I’m not current using all of them, but there are a few interesting follow-all type of services that notify me when someone “subscribes” to me.
Storify seems to be the rising champ in this category. Where people can use one source to get 90% of my output across all channels.
Buffer is a scheduling app. Like something Buffer-it out to your network.
News360 seems to be the better stream/rss organizer these days. (StumbleUpon seems to have collapsed.)
Tweetdeck allows me to filter, search, and recall everything I’m interested in on Twitter.
Metafilter, Reddit, Quora – networks of links and interest groups (these are the new newsgroups)
I still miss FriendFeed. I think someone needs to step up to the plate and build the ultra-follow app/service for the 2.o social world.
Tune-in to your influencer networks. Find out what your peers and mentors are tweeting or posting about. A good meta-filter or two keep me in the loop with 10X the information I could filter by myself. And the altered perspective often wakes me up to angles and ideas I had not considered.
Use your network. Listen. Enjoy. Rebroadcast what you like.