Saturday, September 5, 2009

Can a Numbers Person Ignores the Numbers?

So do the numbers count in social networking?  Hmmm, well there are two distinct camps or matters of opinion on this subject.  A lot of people believe that the more followers you have on Twitter or friends/fans you have on Facebook or connections you have on LinkedIn the better.  So those people are out aggressively collecting, or maybe hunting would be a better word, people to add to their lists.  There are list builder programs you can purchase that guarantee certain numbers in a small amount of time and then there is the good old fashioned search and follow every one you find method.  Since this is my blog I can say that I do have a problem with just adding multitudes of people to your lists.  I can understand why Oprah has over 2 million Twitter followers or Ashton Kutcher has over 3 million Twitter followers, they are famous and obviously that many people feel like they know them already, much less by following them we feel a little more connected to them.  

Having a high follower count can be a big rush.  I must admit that the day my followers in Twitter hit 200 I did the happy dance. :))  I AM A NUMBERS PERSON!!!  I have a degree in Accounting - I love numbers.  I know you non-number people don't get it but I thrive on numbers.  So to teach myself not to focus on the numbers has been a exercise in self control.  So why not collect followers and friends like I collect shoes?
It was brought to my attention early on that social networking is much more than a way to connect with old friends and classmates, that it is truly the media of the future. This media can be and should be used to build lasting relationships with real people that share a common interest or who see value in something that you can provide.  It seems to me that adding followers, friends and connections should have a purpose.  If your purpose is to simply have huge numbers so you can say that lots of people want to hear what you have to say then go for it.  If your purpose is to provide some value to man kind then be more selective in the people you follow and thus the people that follow you.  I think it is much more important to have 500 followers who really want to hear what you have to say than to have 10,000 followers that don't care what you have to say.
So does all of this mean that I do not know my numbers - absolutely not.  I recently found this fantastic statistics site called Twitter Counter.  I can tell you at this moment that only 3 months into my social media project I have 488 quality followers and I follow 525 amazing people on Twitter, I have 95 friends on Facebook and 17 colleagues on LinkedIn.  My numbers are simply growing because I am hopefully providing quality information that people want to receive and I am building lasting relationships with people that I simply would not have met outside the world of social media. 
Mantra - Quality over Quantity!!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Wow - Something new everyday in the world of social media.  OK I do realize this isn't new to some people but to me it is like Christmas morning when I get to open the biggest gift!  Today I am adding a TweetCloud to both of my blogs.  I noticed a tweet by @LCTwitizens saying that he (Oran Parker) was adding it to his blogs so I checked it out.  So cool!!  For those of you who do not know, a "Cloud" is a group of words that are referred to in your online conversations.  They have the appearance of a cloud with certain words being bolder and darker than others.  The more bold or dark a word is, the more you have used it.  Other programs make good use of clouds as well, for example, the social bookmarking site Delicious.

So what significance does this cloud have?  Is it just taking up space on my precious blogs?  It can be a powerful and fun tool for any online user.  Let's say you are interested in quotes or business and you see those words in my cloud.  You can click on the word and up will pop a list of entries I made that include those words.  How cool is that?  Let's take it one step further - let's say you are trying to brand your product online.  Would you agree that FREE advertising (publicity) is the best advertising?  You will see in my cloud at the moment the name Oran Parker, who recently gave a wonderful presentation on the power of Twitter which I tweeted about quite a bit.  In the online world SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the name of the game.  You want to have your brand appear as high on the search engine listing as possible when people are looking for help in your area of knowledge and the more your name appears on different websites and the more views those websites get, the higher the ranking.  If Oran wants to brand himself or his business it is advantageous to him to have his name appear on Twitter Clouds all over the web. 

“Every cloud has its silver lining but it is sometimes a little difficult to get it to the mint” Don Marquis
"Behind every cloud is another cloud.” Judy Garland