I Fail at Social Networking, and so do you…

The internet is a wonderful thing! A wealth of knowledge at our fingertips, and immediate access to our friends and family.  We live in an age where I know so much about my friends lives, that it is easy to spark up conversation if I actually ever meet up with them! This happens to me all the time, I bump into a friend in the grocery store, and ask them how the new car is, or how their trip to Thailand went, or that I liked the new pictures they posted of their perfect kids…

Facebook knows every little detail about you. Google might know things too, but your search history or email contents aren’t posted for all your friends and family to see. Wouldn’t that be embarrassing! lol

We offer up our lives inside our Facebook accounts.But it is not just Facebook. Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, Google+, Myspace(joking). But, have you ever noticed that our friends lives are soooo much more interesting and fun than our own. Facebook is kind of depressing for me most of the time. Everyone is posting how great their life is, how they just #boughtthebestthingever…, went on the #tripofalifetime. Again. Look at me!! My life rocks…

This video puts it all into perspective for you my friends…

Feel better? I know I did…

But the web we are all entangled in doesn’t stop with Facebook. The companies that run our favourite sites are fighting a battle for your attention, and in the end, your money. They are in the business of making money, and their sights are set on you…They excel at reminding you that you haven’t tweeted in a while, or that your buddies have been talking about all your favourite hobbies behind your back! You better click the link and get back in the game…

I’ve realized that I have a mutually balanced love and hate for my online life. I love ‘sort of’ keeping up to date with (or at least learning about) what my friends and family are up to. Why? Because I care about people in my life. But most of the time, I am simply too busy to include them in my hectic life. And, honestly with 4 young kids, I get that some of my friends might be ‘just too busy too’…

But, as time passes, I feel bad about being a hermit. What kind of friend am I really if I see people once a year or even less? I like hanging out with friends. I also enjoy shutting down my Facebook account all the time! Then realize that I am as hooked as everyone else with my online persona. However, I forget to use Twitter, realize that I haven’t blogged on here in a very long time, how much I love Reddit but forget about it, that my RSS reader is filling up with tons of cool stuff, that Google+ is neat but no one I know is really active there. I never “succeed” at any social website…

Look at me having fun...
Look at me having fun…

Then I ask myself, why didn’t I post about taking some time off of work, because I couldn’t cope with a tornado of crap that hit me all at once? #nervousbreakdown. That is life, isn’t it? But instead, I took pictures of me mountain biking, and joking that it was my therapist…It kinda was. And kinda is…

That is the key distinction for me. We go on these sites to feel better about our kind of normal, boring lives… I don’t think I’d go on Facebook if all I saw was how hard it was for my friends to pay their bills, that their marriage was on the rocks, that their kids were making them go insane, that they had just lost their jobs. We get that intimate with people in our lives, but not there… So, our online personas aren’t real. They aren’t. To get to know people, we need to accept that we are probably seeing them with rose-coloured glasses, and need to dig deeper. In person.

So, I accept that I fail at social networking , and I can only hope you do too…

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Postaday2011 is almost done! I’m excited, but in a split personality sort of way.

Today I finally hit 60,000 visitors to the site! Thank you to everyone that comes back to see what I’m rambling about…

My wife asked me tonight if I’m going to do the challenge next year? The reason she asks me, is because almost every night over the last couple of months, I sit in front of my computer and start to comb Reddit, Google Reader, Twitter, and Google+ for interesting things to blog about! Stumped, I finally, after an hour or two of getting caught up in mindless internet crap(Facebook, porn, etc…), I come up with a post.

Some days I just know what I’m going to write about. Those days are starting to be harder to come by. With my busy work and family life, I don’t have a lot of time to develop a long thought out article like I did a year or two ago. It’s not that I can’t still do it, but with the pressure of having to come up with a post every day, I end up falling back on a topic that I originally wanted to take a couple of days to put together. Instead, I write a shortened, not as well thought out post and fire it out into the blogosphere. It usually leaves me disappointed.

However, the one trend I’ve been noticing on my site is the increased traffic compared to previous years! I now consistently get 150-200 visitors a day! That is a huge increase for a small blog like mine! Posting a topic daily is bringing lots of people here. It has also brought more interaction with you, and my comments, which were non-existant before last year, are coming in on a daily basis. Thanks for that too!

So it’s a double edged sword for me. Do I sign up for the challenge next year and keep churning out content(though of questionable quality), or do I scale it back and try to flesh out more thorough posts? It may sound like an easy solution to just scale it back, but I am quite surprised that I get a lot of traffic on my Photo of the Day posts. They are usually short and sweet. Maybe the amount of content isn’t as important?

What have you enjoyed about coming to my site? Do you enjoy seeing daily content? Or do you wait for something deeper, or do you wait on a topic that I tend to come back to semi-regularly(like GTD or RTM)?

 

One of my favourite sites…Reddit

This is icon for social networking website. Th...
Image via Wikipedia

I love the Internet. I really do. One of the biggest issues for me has been mixing my love of learning with my love of entertainment. Mindless entertainment with surprises. Like Arsenio Hall used to say, “things that make you go hmmm”…

My favourite site by far is Reddit.com. By far. Many people I talk to have never heard of it, so I thought I would share it with you…

What is Reddit? It is a user submitted site that merges the best of forums, surfing, news, images, and advice. Continue reading “One of my favourite sites…Reddit”

How do you promote your Blog? Does it payoff?

Word of Mouth
Image by Intersection Consulting via Flickr

I have been running my site for 4+ years now, and haven’t really made any serious attempt at self promotion. I have built my following by word of mouth, and showing up in Google searches. I am curious if people reached a critical mass at some point and some targeted promotion built up your visitors. I currently get between 2,000-3,000 visitors per month. Were you a small blog like mine at some point, and did something to break on through?

This last year I decided to use Twitter and Facebook as my main source of promotion. It brings in about 10-15% of my traffic. I am not a big fan of forum spam, or trying to get traffic via Digg or Reddit by posting links to my articles there. Most savy posters know blog spam and typically down vote the post anyway.

I run my blog via of WordPress.com, and have each post ‘publicize’ to Yahoo Updates, Twitter, and Messenger Connect, and then manually add links to Facebook. because I can’t seem to figure out how to auto-post to my blog Facebook page… It is nice that WordPress.com auto-publicizes my posts, but honestly, I don’t think I have EVER get traffic from Yahoo or Microsoft…I registered with Technorati a couple of years ago, but also don’t seem to get traffic from there. Various web-rings, same thing! I see a trend…I have messed around with Google Webmaster tools as well, but I’m not big enough for Google to really care about.

I know all the stuff about focusing on good content and doing regular posts, but I am looking to see if there are any other tools that other bloggers use to promote themselves!

I’d love to hear what you have to say. Don’t be afraid to leave a comment. 🙂

What Online Resources do you use to get Content for your Blog?

Infographic on how Social Media are being used...
Image via Wikipedia

Today I was thinking about content for my blog…I thought about what sources I use to collect articles and ideas. But, more importantly, how much of my time is weeding through duplicate data?

Currently I use Twitter as a way up keeping up to date with all the major news sites and blogs I enjoy. I also use it to build content for my site. I float between using Tweetdeck and Hootsuite to display my Twitter lists. I started sorting out the people I follow into various lists so I can get to articles quicker, and not get bogged down in the multitude of Digg and Reddit posts that I love to read for fun. I have a News list, a social media list, a friends list, a Linux list.

But I am also a Google Reader user. I have been using it for years now, and have amassed quite a lot of feeds. I love the ability to star an article to come back to later, email it to someone else, etc…

However, because I used it far before Twitter, I have the majority of my online content streaming through it. I am afraid to start removing sites that I now follow on Twitter…Twitter is far more efficient to stream through content, but I just don’t trust that websites post all their stuff on Twitter. I do for my own site NOW, but didn’t a few months back…What if I miss the best article ever? Can I take that risk?

So, I take twice the time to get through my stuff than I really should. I am curious as to what other people use to research content for their sites.

How do you stay up to date on world events, and things that interest you? What is your main source of content for your blog?

Not using Twitter? Maybe you need to rethink it…

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

It is funny how we use online technology. When I started using Twitter again, I thought it was going to be a medium to promote my blog, and post some funny things I find now and again. I have found I am using it as one of my main ways of staying up to date on world events, technology, and well, almost anything that interests me. Everyone is on there! Um, not anyone I know, but everyone else!

I save about 20-30 articles throughout my day to read later. They range from linux articles, command line tips, current events, catchy sayings, keeping up to date on GTD, stalking famous celebrities, and finding funny pictures on Reddit.

Remember the Milk even lets you tweet your reminders! Check out how it’s done here…

I have heard from many of my friends and family, that they just don’t understand Twitter. Here are just a few of the articles I came across recently that caught my attention.

http://twitter.com/#!/PinguyOSForum/status/25413960643649536
http://twitter.com/#!/omgubuntu/status/25517578239606784
http://twitter.com/#!/redditfeed/status/25499619949547524
http://twitter.com/#!/Lifehacker/status/24909549358022656
http://twitter.com/#!/Ubuntuka/status/24533876105809920
http://twitter.com/#!/larrinski/status/25369954761052160

Still don’t get it? I would have to go to SO MANY different web sites manually or scroll countless articles in Google Reader and it would take me so long to do it. I can search by hashtags (#), save searches to come back to later to see new content, and follow pretty much anyone I find interesting. I can even get conversations started with people that in real life I wouldn’t get the chance to meet. I talked to a CFO of a French corporation one time assisting him with finding my RSS feed for my blog. He messaged me on Twitter. That made me realize that I had forgotten to include my RSS feeds on my main page!

If you just say, I’ll wait for my morning paper to be delivered or watch the 6 o’clock news, then I the following video will make you laugh… I #LMAO. 😉

if you decide to give it a go, don’t forget to follow me @larrinski

Crucified frog upsets the Pope. Too bad I say!

Pope Benedict is upset over an art exhibit. The offending piece is of a frog on a cross. Come on! Just because YOUR savior supposedly got hung on a cross(as did most political opposition back then), doesn’t mean that you have a copyright on the image!

My son was at a friend’s place the other day, and said “oh my god”. The little boy he was playing with said “mom, he used the lord’s name in vien!”. The little boy is only 6. Poor kid is brainwashed already. The parents asked us one time if we were sending our son to summer bible camp. Sorry, we are far too busy hunting for fossils…

So, just because I am that kind of guy, here is my collection of crucifixion pics…Oh my God…;)

amd_frog

crucifiction2

crucifiction_i_0

jlvn675l

Learn to think for yourself. Don’t let someone tell you how to think.

BTW, hello to Reddit users! Thanks for all your hits the other day! Hopefully you find the content good enough to add me to your RSS feeds.