…and a partridge in a pear tree

4 good ideas + 3 unexamined assumptions +  2  Easter Eggs,  + partridge in a pear tree =   X?

Can you solve this equation?    I won’t belabor this,   I’ll come right out and tell you.    The equation above is the typical “professional”  post about business blogging.     It’s clear the writer knows a thing or two.   Unfortunately,   to the initiated it is also clear that there’s a lot the post’s author does not know and understand.    There is most always a bit of genuinely good advice,   as well as a lot of words that don’t really mean anything and serve mainly to demonstrate  the author’s ignorance of some of the core realities of marketing, publishing,  writing, etc.    There are often a couple of highly amusing hidden gems as well as lots of keywords that the author is determined to match for,   without perhaps really understanding the true value of keywords  (which is actually a great deal more elusive than, say,  a Klout of 75).   Why is there so much bad business blogging out there?

The answer,  it seems to me,  is that business blogging is actually a rather complex and complicated undertaking.   Which unfortunately,   most anyone who has ever achieved a basic mastery of WordPress software assumes they are more than up to tackling.     The correct answer to damned near any question about marketing,  blogging or publishing is  “it depends”.      If you think your goal is getting more traffic to your web site,   that is not actually that hard to do.    Most any consultant can help you to get tons more visitors to your website than you currently do.   However,  it is important to ask yourself what the value of that increased traffic actually is.     If you think your goal is to raise your Klout score,  most any consultant can help you to do that.   It’s not really all that hard.   But what good is that increased score going to do for you?

It sometimes amazes me that lots and lots of otherwise sensible people seem to go just plum crazy chasing after various metrics online,  without ever fully understanding what those metrics are,  how they are determined,  how they can be manipulated and how they may impact actual revenue producing activities.     Some day,  I dream,   I will speak with a client who is actually focused on producing more revenue,   rather than hung up on a bunch of numbers that they don’t even begin to understand.

Making Other Plans

I had really planned not to talk again anytime soon about blocking and my belief that quietly blocking people you don’t care to engage with is actually the best strategy for making and keeping a large circle of friends, acquaintances and professional contacts.   Two recent interactions made me revisit that plan.

I suppose that I have long known in theory that someone who gets unceremoniously blocked by someone they scarcely recall meeting,  let alone offending may be….let me use the word I really mean here…hurt by an action that the other party looked upon quite impersonally as a simple move to keep his streams clean.     I did write a blog post about the charity guy who was a Facebook friend and acquaintance who blocked me after I offered a bit of constructive criticism in a venue that seemed appropriate to me.    And what was really interesting to me was the comment that post brought from a woman I’ve come to like and respect,  and genuinely enjoy chatting with across a number of platforms….whom I had at one time blocked.    Honestly?   I don’t remember at all when or why I blocked her in the first place.   I don’t even particularly remember when or why I came to unblock her.    I only really know about the incident at all because she so graciously replied and pointed out that I myself have done what my post seemed to criticize another for doing.

The longer I blog and the more people I interact with and get to know the more convinced I am that my friend Holly is absolutely correct in her assertion that  ‘it’s all a matter of perspective‘.   I’ve blogged before about my strong desire not to talk about politics online these days.    I know that many of my online friends agree with much of what I think about politics and that many of my online friends disagree with much of what I think about politics.    I would so much prefer to chat with folks about writing,  about literature, about blogging,  about social networking,  about pie,  about zillions of other things.    I do not believe that I will ever get anyone to change their mind about divisive political topics that I have come to believe are not that important to me.    And I so cherish that many chats I constantly have with lots of different people who share perspectives I find genuinely interesting.

I have learned that I maybe need to be a little more cautious about just pressing the block button the moment someone says “a word out of line”.   Yet I remain fully convinced that not talking about politics and using the block functions on various sites to keep my streams clean of anything that feels toxic to me  is a real key to blogging/social networking success for me.   Gazes pointedly at my acquaintance Adam Justice.

That Little Faggot, He’s A Millionaire

“That little faggot, he’s a millionaire”
Money For Nothing
Dire Straits

It has taken about five weeks,  but as of this afternoon I am a millionaire on Empire Avenue.  After (e)LALO18’s  purchase of 500 shares,  I am also again trading over 65e per share,  though who knows if I will go up or down tomorrow morning after the market maker has his share.  (Some days the market maker giveth and other he taketh away.)   I continue to be amazed by all of the great people I continue to enjoy getting to know and hanging out with.   And as my time on the Avenue continues,  I continue to learn more about social media and mark the comings and passings of companies and celebrities.

I wrote previously about buying shares in Jane Fonda (e)JFONDA the evening the account joined Empire Avenue,  and I did see my shares double, then triple in value.   But when I saw the account invested only in four other Empire Avenue accounts, one of them (e)INFLUENCER who is reputedly Ms. Fonda’s public relations representative,  it was clear to me that neither Ms. Fonda nor her PR or social media staff were actually going to play the game,  so I sold at a nice profit and bought shares instead in (e)ADRIEL.   Adriel’s price has now rocketed up to over 140e per share,  which dwarfs even his 1.20/day dividends.   (e)GIRDY is a much better bet these days for divs with shares around 70 and divs around .80

I have to say that EAv has caused me to re-examine my social media efforts.   (e)CAROLEBAKER  told me (tactfully of course) that my LinkedIn profile, well,   sucked.   And I realized she was right.   I thought about it for a bit and realized that the real issue is that I didn’t really want to be on LinkedIn in the first place.  So I removed myself from that site and focused more intently on Twitter and Facebook and am now publishing two Tumblr blogs– one for unusual and interesting words and another for music videos that I like.     For me, at least,  this is now one has a hundred blog posts/week.   Many of them consist simply of embedding a video,  quoting a bit of the lyrics,  tagging it with artist and title and pressing Post.   Not the same as writing 300-500 words or  more.  The word nerd blog is nearly as easy.   Just a word, a definition and a comment.   About one time in three I add a picture.   Sometimes a make a joke or a topical reference (EAv, definethis, book blogging, etc).  I then tweet the word and link.   Getting good feedback on it from my Twitter followers.

And so I continue walking on down the Avenue.   It continues to be fun.  So I’m still there.