Here’s why people share what they share on social media: a message to those who keep asking

I promise to make this short and sweet because I certainly don’t want to spend a whole heap of time talking about it. It was too long for a tweet and too short for a blog, so I had to make it an article. You still here? Good! Let me first point out that at the start of the year, I wrote an article titled: “Take what you need and leave the rest for someone else” (Read it here) That’s kind of a running theme with everything I write because everything I write is not for everyone. At any point that you become aware that this is not for you, leave…. Because it is possible that someone can write for an audience which may not include you.

…. Here’s why people share what they share on social media: a message to those who keep asking.

I am not just speaking for myself as I write this message. I am a voice for the many people whom have taken to social media to vent, release and express themselves for one reason or another. So, I also represent the people who come across post or comments on their own post, which suggest we shouldn’t share certain things on social media. This is where I really need you to listen and learn. Some people have found social media to be the most effective way to make their point when it pertains to matters being resolved. This is because the subject of those comments will “hear about” the comment. And that’s the unfortunate, fortunate. The fact that people run and tell everything they see and hear, works for the writer in these instances. Because of this, the message gets delivered and results are prompt.

We have those lurkers, stalkers, ghost followers and alike, to thank for it. Those who are on your social media for all intent purpose of “reporting back,” we love you. This is just us taking advantage of social medias’ highest and best use. We have found that sharing a message through social media, has the potential to travel faster than a speeding bullet, so why not fire off?

But here’s why we would want that:

Whomever we are calling out sometimes realize that they are being called out on social media, so they are quick to resolve a problem. So, if it strikes you as repulsive it’s not for you, but please understand it is for someone else. A large group of social media users, have come to understand that there is nothing we can do about stalkers and their minions or the issues that ignite through custody battles and divorce, but when we are dealing with people who would rather do what’s right than to have social media know that they are doing wrong; it’s better to just put it out there. We use our tools and resources, such as social media to send a message which in some cases inspire others to also stand up for themselves. I know from experience that it works. A larger scale example is how effectively and efficiently problems have been addresses and resolved when companies receive complaints on Twitter. Those companies/organizations waste no time in getting matters resolved because they understand how powerful an online complaint is and how quickly twitter can circulate a bad complaint.

But back to the more personal matters:

Isn’t it funny how those same people tell you not to share or that you shouldn’t share, or they slight and side eye you for sharing- then the moment someone pisses them off, they run to social media too? But they add disclaimers such as, “Usually I don’t share stuff like this, but”

Newsflash debutante, adding a disclaimer about what you usually wouldn’t do doesn’t make you any better and it is not exemplary of controlling yourself as you’ve suggested other people do. You don’t get to do the same thing that you complain about other people doing or advise against and then add a Disclaimer and then magically it’s ok for you.

For All those “I usually don’t do this” people … Guess what? We, “usually” wouldn’t either.

In your sharing it, you’ve proven that you are not immune to sharing things on social media in the moments you personally thought it was necessary. We all have our reasons for sharing what we share in the way we shared it and you beloved, are no exception for whatever reason you thought social media was an effective avenue when you shared it is likely the same reason someone else did. Doesn’t matter that you “usually don’t.” If you were venting, getting it off your chest, looking for advice, suggestion, feedback, an answer, a solution, a resolution, laughs, perspectives, closure, comments, support or whatever the heck it was… you still shared something that you “usually” wouldn’t.

The internet will be around forever – I bet you thought the same thing about that big portable car phone. Who’s to say it will be? You don’t know jack about what will be around when our toddlers turn 30. Instead of shunning someone who shared matters on the internet that you think they shouldn’t, I think the most important thing is to ask them if it’s something that they would not mind someone reading in 5-10 years. If they can say with certainty that they wouldn’t, then leave them to their vices.

Lastly, what’s crazier than all of this is you’re always talking about how and why people should keep their business off FB- but then you out here in the streets asking people about another person and having discussions about their business. So you can discuss my business, but I can’t? Why can’t the person whose business it is, talk about it themselves?

Just be mindful about the part that you play in every situation that you chime in on and you might find it perfectly reasonable that someone chose the internet as their means of sharing what they shared. That’s all folks… -)

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The Best and Most Brutal advice I Can Give To A Wannabe Blogger

First, you must like to write, because that is what blogging entails: While you don’t have to be an author or a novelist, you do have to desire writing to some degree. I have been approached by many people who inquire about getting a blog started, in which they say, “I was thinking about doing some blogging. How do you “get into it?”” The first question I usually ask them is if they love or like to write, because at that point I am happy to meet a fellow writer. However, their response is, “I don’t like to write. I don’t know how to write, I don’t really like to write, I don’t think I am a good writer… I used to hate writing in school, but I think a blog would be cool.” Then, they go on to say that they want to take it up as a “side job” to earn extra income. They talk about how “cool” it is that you can write a blog and make money.

So, you ask them, what is it that you want to write about? To which they respond, “I am not sure yet. I haven’t thought about that.” You try to delve a little deeper by asking more questions. “What do you think you could write about every day?” Their response, “I am not really sure.” So, you have now established that they don’t care for writing and that they don’t have anything that jumps out at them to write about, which means it’s likely that they don’t have interest in anything that could hold their attention long enough to maintain a blog about it.

blue, bright, business

Funny thing is, I get the same thing from people who express interest in writing a book. They approach you and ask, “How do I write a book? …How do I get started?” The only way to write a book and get started, is to get started. An outline would be helpful. Brainstorming ideas of what you would like to share would be helpful. Deciding what your book will be about, will be helpful. But why does anyone need to tell anyone this? When people ask questions about doing something which aren’t more advanced to the process, it shows that they have done absolutely no research to begin with. Therefore, whomever your asking may look at your lack of beginner knowledge as a disinterest. You’re not interested in writing a book or producing a blog, enough for the person you’re seeking advice from to even share their knowledge. You must do the beginner work on your own. Save your life-line for things such as, “What would you recommend I do as far as choosing a publisher?”

Well, what is your book about? “I am not sure, but I think my life would make an interesting story. I have a lot of stories to share” OK. That may be the case, your life may be interesting enough to put into a book. At least you have a start. Now you need to shop that idea. The book title and chapters and content will expand and change once you begin. Don’t worry about the ideas being all over the place, that’s the purpose for a first, second and third draft.

apple, bed, bedroom

Same goes for the blog. Jot down some idea. Browse the internet for ideas. So, the second thing would be for you to find out exactly what you want to talk about. You will need to figure that part out on your own, because it will be your blog. You will also have to make time.

Who will you share this blog with? It’s imperative that you know your target audience. This helps you understand the marketplace for your blog. This helps you understand who you need to send this blog to and who will likely share it for you. You would not want to solicit auto geeks, with a blog about recipes. You need to determine who and where your audience is, so that you can reach them.

I also try to explain to people that blogs don’t just sit and accrue income. For some reason the public thinks that they can write one blog and it will produce income from the time they hit submit. I tell people who are not really interested in writing or blogging or giving attention to a blog daily, that this is not what they want to do and that it will not earn them any money just because it’s on a blog spot, website or word press. They have a warped impression that they can write one blog every five months and just because it’s on their WordPress, its making money. My advice for bloggers who begin without their own website would be to choose the platform that suits you. Find your niche, something you love or like enough to talk about every day. Something you don’t mind doing and being involved in. Something that if it were to consume you, you’d be fulfilled.

analog camera, camera, casual

Every Blogger is not an Influencer: This is where things are misconstrued. Some people create blogs as a hobby, by which they chose to monetize at some point or not. Some bloggers create blogs that showcase a variety of things they do, which is under their niche and fortunately gets noticed once their blogs grow. Some bloggers go on to become influencers, who get paid to list, post and advertise products and business services but only after they have built a following and have shown that they have an audience of people who will read their blog and potentially be influenced by their opinion. Becoming a blogger today, does not automatically guarantee that you will be an influencer by tomorrow. Unless, however, you already have the strong following.

A Bloggers life can appear to be uber fabulous when you get to the top of your game. Their pictures are lovely, they appear to have all the latest and greatest in fashion, accessories and technology. They take trips, are invited to private and exclusive events, they hobnob with the best of the best and they meet fabulous people in the process. The have awesome dining experiences in some of the country’s most luxurious locations along with having a night cap, courtesy of the 5-star hotel that they are staying in as a comp. So, then everyone suddenly wants to be a blogger, but have no idea what it took to build a fan base, a following, a reputation, or the preparation that went into selling themselves to companies to be brand ambassadors or influencers for their product or service. It is a genuine business and one that you must be passionate about doing because you are the engine behind the work.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have the following when you start. Very rarely did anyone. You can build your following as you build your brand and your blog. You can increase readership and subscribership through social media sharing tools, platforms and creatives, which help to market your blog. Keep your blog fresh, up to date and current. If you are writing great material that people show interest in reading, you’re on your way. When your audience see that you put a lot into the blog, supplying relevant content, information and solutions related to your niche, they will show appreciation via comments, likes, shares and following.

6 Things A Writer Is More Than Likely To Have With Them At All Times

Note Pad / Journal and Pen: As a writer, I can attest to the fact that sometimes thoughts will hit you while standing in the crowded line at the neighborhood grocery store, while purchasing Broccoli for the evening, to cook along with fried corn and steak. Your inspiration can come from anything as small as seeing a toddler crying in the store, a customer dispute with the store manager, to the smell and aroma that’s chasing you down from the deli, all the way to the car that almost hit you, as you were leaving the store. People always ask me, where does my inspiration and ideas come from.

It’s really this simple: I am already inspired to write, I remain in a constant state of being inspired to write, because I love the art of expression. The only way that I know how to do that, is through writing. My ideas come from anywhere and from anything. Every day, there’s a story to be written. I keep my note pad ready for those moments. I jot down ideas as they come and even if they don’t make the final cut, I don’t throw them away. I save them, and often find myself back on that page, building from that thought when and if have a momentary block. I have been known to pull off the road, just to write an idea down or to complete notes and bullet points I want to cover once I begin to write about it.

Camera: They say pictures are worth a thousand words. I think they meant to say, photos can be worth a million bucks. Because sometimes that “money shot” is real! Aside from being in the right place at the right time and having the once or twice in a lifetime opportunity to be the author behind that money shot, having a camera allows you to capture moments that you will never be able to reproduce. That may be your child swinging on the swing, taking a leap into mid-air and landing on his feet. It could be your child taking on the monkey bars, backwards or making rocks jump across the lake. It could be spare of the moment, candid photos that will last a lifetime, in which you can share with readers, who are then able to see the event that you attended, as something worth attending for themselves next year.

It may be at an outing, where you’re having the time of your life and you want to share it the next day, but words could never describe the fabulous time that you had, whereas a photo, nails it. Candid photos also make great talking points and writing prompts. You can present a photo and ask readers to give you their rendition or version of events of what transpired that evening. In this, comes inspiration, because everyone’s answer may be different, and it may spark an entirely different article or blog post for you. Plus, it increases engagement.

A Snack: Because we all like a little protein snack while we are on the go. Truth is, while we are fed very well at events, sometimes we find ourselves talking the entire time and forget to eat. Between events, especially when you get to the point that you schedule yourself for 2-3 different appearances or editorial assignment, which are happening back to back, you don’t have time to stop for food. The lines are too long at the drive thru’, the traffic is too thick to get off the freeway and chance being late or even a no show, so you need to have something in your purse that will carry you from point A to point B.

Plus, it’s an excellent idea anyway to have an extra pick me up to rejuvenate yourself, refresh and hit the reset button before arriving at the next event. As a writer, you may end up at the park a little longer than planned because you found something inspiring to write about, after meeting a mommy of 6, who’s recently widowed or divorced, who just made a move to the city. And because you don’t want to interrupt that stream of thought, behind your belly rumbling, you will tank yourself that you had something right there to snack on. People always ask about writer’s block, and while I have only experienced it once or twice in the last 10 years, I can say that the reason I don’t deal with it now is because I never stop writing. My thoughts lead me. If something says write, right now, I don’t put it off.

Calendar/ Planner: Keeping a calendar and planner keeps you on point. It prevents you from double booking yourself at an event, or for any programs, tours, conferences or workshops that you have a desire to attend and take part in. If you have reached out to tourism bureaus and PR companies about events, it’s an innovative idea to write it down immediately, upon approval to attend, so that; Number 1. You don’t forget, and number 2. You don’t end up somewhere else, when you should have been at the event you obligated yourself to. A calendar and planner keeps you organized and if writing/ blogging is what you want to do, organization is a must when it comes to attending events or taking on press trips and Editorial assignments.

Plus, it puts things into perspective to where you’re able to see deadlines, to make good on your promise to companies to provide them with reviews and or ratings of their product and or services. It helps you plan accordingly, not to take on too much. You do not want to tarnish your rep, by forgetting or not delivering in a timely or promise, because the competition is thick. There are other writers out there waiting in the wing for an opportunity like that. Don’t mess it up, by not having logged it from the jump. Forgetting does not send the message that you take their brand serious or that you’re responsible enough to handle an assignment.

Cell Phone /Recorder: This is because sometimes it is not as convenient to pull off the road and jot things down. You may also be in a position where it’s better to record your own thoughts and ideas, versus writing them down for later review and consideration of a topic to write about. You can use a recorder as a sounding board Listening to yourself helps to break even with what deserves a title and what goes on the back-burner for a later date.

As a writer, there’s also many opportunities that may arise where you have either planned to interview someone or the impromptu opportunity arises, and you always want to be prepared! Cell phones also offer the option of easy posting. If you have something that is worth sharing in the moment, whether it’s in conclusive with an all-out article / post or the picture that’s worth a thousand words to let your audience to #StayTuned, A cell phone with wi-fi capabilities will help you achieve this.

Tablet/Laptop: There comes a time when you spend countless hours at your local coffee shop or lounge, conveniently located at the entrance of your subdivision; where all the notes that you’ve kept on your recorder or the notes that you’ve jotted down all week, in your journal will need to be transferred or transcribed into a post.

Everything you have done all week to accumulate thoughts and ideas, will not be front and center, ready for a place on your writing list. Is it a book, a chapter a book, an outline, a post, a blog, an article, a thought that will inspire an outline for a story? Whatever it is, you now are face to face with your tablet or laptop and it’s time to get to writing. What are you waiting for?

When your own research produces a TROLL list, rather than an active reader list. Stalkers BEWARE

If you are one who are serious about blogging, branding, expanding an established brand, or selling a product or service, where you use a website and multiple platforms for showcasing; you probably use one that tracts the footprint of your unique monthly visitors, subscribers, active readers, return visitors and conversion where the above is applicable. You come into a lot of information through analytics and so forth about the demographic of your audience.

In further review of that research, and especially if you delve into it with professionals on tracking, codes, coding, HTML, META tags, visibility etc., you will also access the ghost followers, the fake followers and the trolls. Especially when they leave comments. That is through the process of scanning, because everything you do online, has a footprint. This is how many companies get called out for writing their own reviews online and posing as visitors or customers. Companies such as Amazon have mentioned this before.

While that information may not be available to all the readers in this case, it’s available to the website administrator. Just as when I blog on someone else site, I may not privy to the tracking information, but the company is. Whereas, for my own site, I have that information at my fingertips.

If you have not hired, or you are not working with an Intel team or a super sophisticated team of hackers or people who have mastered the art of an untraceable navigation, search and landing; you have been seen by those savvy bloggers, journalist and writers who take their work seriously. Your IP Address is always available, even with a fake (or made up) email, because it still belongs to you. There’s information you will have to provide when setting up that account, which people will not generally know, but it’s still available if and when the time comes for investigation to take place and tract the origin of a comment, email, message etc.

Once this information is known, it’s a matter of time before its completely traced back to the originator or tied to the culprit associated with the delivery of those comments and messages.

In court proceedings, you can suggest a subpoena from the company, but there may be a lot of red tape to go through for it- and it really depends on the weight of the matter and the overall objective, which could be to single in on the person(s) who are involved in the sabotage of a writer or when safety for the journalist is a concerned.

I’ve worked with phenomenal sites in the past, which have taken the extra step in providing and sharing this information with me, so that I could track down and nail the stalker and the persons who were sending anonymous emails to companies I was affiliated with and making disparaging comments that weren’t from real readers or a legitimate source. It was important for me to know and have this information and I was happy to be with sites, which felt the same way.

Currently there are more sophisticated programs underway, which will offer an even more of birds eye view into this information, as it’s collected by the tracking systems. Once these programs become available, I am sure that we’ll be able to crack down on the amount of people who troll- not to reveal their identity for the purpose of violating their right the be anon- but if they are posing a real threat, it will be information that will be easily obtainable, no matter what your right is.

While January is Stalker Awareness Month, it remains a topic of discussion with me weekly, between working with and helping companies and individuals uncover the identity of someone who may just be a troll, with malicious intent, rather than a reader with a genuine interest for the content. It is important to me because I realize the damage that can come from a stalker, a troll and someone with the desire to surf the net for targets to destroy credibility, humiliate, discredit as a professional, seek revenge and retaliation on and ultimately to compromise their position in business.

I would encourage businesses and in individuals who are running their own businesses, whether its from home or an office, to seek proper firewall protection, utilize proper security features, invest in a tracking software and solicit the help from professionals who are experienced with dealing with cyber stalkers and bullies. It has been my saving grace.

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