Wither Twitter, Social Media?

September 4th, 2012
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Somewhat related to my last post on Good PR/Bad PR, is the idea of using social media for public relations and marketing. Two years ago, when I first started producing the Career Changers TV show for OC16, it was the hot new thing -- you just had to try Twitter and get on the Facebook bandwagon! Seminars were springing up all over the place to guide old fogies like me through the Brave New World of social media, with consultants showing how your business could Tweet its way to success. Blogging was so yesterday.

At first, I was interested in Twitter's potential. I could see how people and businesses might use it to build audiences or reward followers with special offers without having to spend a lot of money on traditional advertising. Facebook was more of a place to reconnect with old friends and acquaintances I had lost touch with long ago. It was almost surreal hearing from people I vaguely knew in high school or college, who now wanted to be "friends" even though we had little in common. Yet I was curious to read what others were up to, and would check my FB page throughout the day... at first, that is.

Eventually, I stopped checking Facebook and my Twitter feed. Some Tweeters would suddenly fill the page with a torrent of Tweets, usually about nothing much, before disappearing back into the void. Many just re-Tweeted postings from wittier people or shared oddball stuff. There were some useful links to blogs and articles that I did want to read, but it was getting to be a chore sifting through the twaddle. Ironically, the more people I "connected" with via social media, the less I cared about their daily doings and thoughts. The world became smaller, less mysterious. Instant access = instant distance from the "real" physical place we live and work in, paradoxically making me feel more disconnected as I scroll through Tweets and Facebook status updates.

Apparently, I'm not alone in that sentiment. Surveys show "Facebook fatigue" is spreading, with one in three saying they've gotten bored with social media. Here's the link to that article, which doesn't really say much... in fact, it's the sort of thing bloggers would have had a field day with back when blogging was in vogue. Have you noticed a lot of your old bookmarked blogs are defunct now, or posts have become more infrequent? The truth is very few who blog actually make any money from their efforts, so it becomes a slog after awhile to keep providing fresh content for readers who don't want to pay for content. Me, I do it primarily to promote my TV show. It's free advertising, in other words.

As for following me on Twitter or Facebook, eh, not really worth it. I rarely feel I have anything to add that is going to change anyone's mind about the Big Issues of the day. If anything, social media merely enforces what one already believes by connecting you to like-minded people, who "unfriend" those who don't think the same way... heck, I do it too rather than get in pointless online arguments with people I haven't seen in 20-30 years.

Perhaps, the best thing about Facebook is it makes me appreciate my life here more. The grass really is greener on this side of the ocean, and affirms what we all know: lucky you live Hawaii.

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The new September episode premiere last Saturday night got bumped due to high school football, but you can still see it on other days and nights! Viewing times are listed on www.CareerChangers.TV and segments from past episodes are posted on the CCTV YouTube Channel. If you ask me, YouTube has been the biggest game changer for new marketing/advertising strategies.

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