The Social Sharing Golden Rule: “And What Excites You About That?”

Why should I watch your Video?

Here is today’s example of the WTF video link. Words like “inspiration” and “friendship” are supposed to put it in context for us. NO. And even the description within the video and the still-frame of the video offer no clue about the content. “Definitely worth watching.” Oh really? Please, please tell me why. Is it a bird. A plane? A wild animal sex scene? WTF is it? And Why Oh Why should I care, dear “friend.” And the video is from March 2010? Wow, that means it must be really awesome! If I recall, vintage YouTube “friendship” videos are the best. (sarcasm)

I suppose I *could* click the link and waste this 2:34 that I will never get back. But I don’t think I ever will. I have to say, I am pretty curious now. But I’m also curious about a lot of things. And your “friendship” YouTube video from 2010 is not one of those things. But thanks… (I don’t think I’m cynical, I have HOPE that people will improve upon their sharing behavior. But this friend recalled used to drive me nuts by calling on the phone and saying, “Have you seen the email I just sent you?”)


BEFORE YOU TWEET OR REPOST THAT POST, PAUSE: Ask yourself, “What excites me about this?” AND then tell us WHY this link, video, post, is so cool or relevant to us. Unless it’s a #cat or #dog picture, then no context is needed. OTHERWISE, we’re all too busy, and too overloaded to click on links just for the heck of it.

+++ the post is a refresh from 2011, the point is still of critical importance, enjoy your summer +++

We’ve all done it. Sent out the link or youtube video suggestion with zero context or added value. The Tweets and Shares look like this:

  • Funny video –
  • Check this out –

Those look a bit like this example of a common Twitter hack.

is this you, twitter hack

If you don’t want you sharing to be ignored. Give a bit more info.

And we often make random tweets or comments that are more like talking to ourselves than to an anticipatory audience of “followers.”

  • You mean it could all be my LowT? Oh Pharma how you taunt me, promising the fountain of youth.

But some of the worst offenders are the gowalla/4square check-ins that have no additional information.

  • I am at McDonalds in Tempe AZ.
  • I’m just ousted the Mayor of Starbucks on Cedar Street.

So here’s the new golden rule of social sharing. (And I am writing this to myself, also, I tweet a lot of bs, I’m sure)

Before you hit the “share,” “comment,” or “check-in” button, ask yourself, “And what excites you about that?” and try to add that extra tidbit of content on as part of the social share. Here’s an example:

  • “I am at the Whole Foods Downtown, waiting for a 15-minute chair massage on a Friday afternoon. We’ve almost made it to the long weekend.”

There are several parts of this post that are exciting. Friday, massage, Whole Foods. It gives a little more to engage with. And yes, it’s that simple. If you’re gonna check in, or send a funny link, tell us why you are excited about it. Add the human part that a Twitter Coupon, Facebook Clone, Auto-Bot cannot generate. A bit of story to go along with your share.

If you can’t articulate a quick–why this is exciting–then you might reconsider telling us all about it.

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth) – The Reading List

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. I always follow the social-sharing rule: “Someone cares about that post, so don’t get all worked up about context.” If it’s not contextual for you, it still may be for someone else. Even a straight-up location checkin. 

    Use your filters, ignore and move on

    1. I think the rule is if you’re posting, tell us something that excites you about what you are posting. A generic RT or check-in adds little to the conversation.

      1. Sometimes- often, really-  the generic post IS interesting– to someone. Example: certain people “like” my gym checkins, so I keep doing it. Why do they like them? Perhaps to cheer me on, perhaps to remind themselves they should work out to. The potential positive effect on one person (even if that person is me) is enough to justify it. 

        There’s a ton of stuff out there I don’t care about. I filter it out in my mind and move on. That’s not to devalue your point of the more context the better- and I try to to follow that rule- but I have learned to step back and not deal in absolutes. Short version. Rules are basic and god, breaking them is advanced and sometimes great

        1. Okay. I can see some of that. And my Tweetdeck is well armed to hunt for “I’m at” posts. And great job making it to the gym, and if checkins inspire you, GO FOR IT.

  2. You know, the great thing about social media and the various networks is that they’re all opt-in. So like Doug below mentions, just ignore and move on if it’s not for you. It’s not for your benefit anyhoo, so probably not worth getting worked up about.

    1. Yeah, I try not to get too worked up about social media at all. But I would like to know WHY someone checked in, or WHAT the video link is about or how it applies.

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