Just Sayin (Issue #2)

Sep 22, 2011 by

Those of you who peruse this site from time to time will know that this column is primarily used to cuss, swear, shake fists, spit, and occasionally laugh. I’ll be honest – I’ll be mostly shaking fists, spitting and cussing.

I will talk about things here that seem to get me into trouble from time to time on other social media sites. For this issue of Just Sayin I want to bring up a topic that gives me a rash in all kinds of uncomfortable places.

Marble Collectors.

First off before you get your shorts in a knot understand that this is just my opinion…even though it is my opinion that it is indeed a fact. I have spoke about this issue before, some of you may remember, but it was an aside in a 3:00am alcohol fueled passionate rant about how much I love my friends. This time I’m attacking the subject inversely – it’s about how much I can’t stand social media marble collectors, and I’m doing it sober at 3:00pm. There should be a difference; how much so remains to be seen.

What do I refer to when I use the expression “Marble Collector”? In a nutshell a marble collector is someone who has so many “friends” on Facebook that there is little chance that they know any of these people – or at least, what they know has little value. You may wonder why would I even begin to have a problem with this, surely it has no effect on my life. But it does my friends – it does.

Marble collectors increase the distance between all of us.

They lower the value of social media – they cheapen it. They cheapen it so much, in fact, that I’ll bet if I made a website called YourFacebookFriend.Com that generated fake names, and then made friend requests of people on a weekly basis, I could charge $2.00 (or more) for each fake generated friend. I don’t like saying this but I know that many of you reading this are saying “bullshit”, and then pausing and saying “holy shit – I think it could work!” You don’t want to think it, least of all admit it, but you know damn well it’s true. I’m surprised it hasn’t been done yet, with artificial intelligence and massive databases – you could even have your purchased electronic friends post witty things on your wall, for an additional cost of course.

I’m not all that sharp; that’s why I call myself the oddbloke. But this oddbloke has difficulty believing that you can have more than 150 friends (my personal cut-off) and even be able to remember someone’s last name, where you met them, what they do, how many kids they have, the things that make them passionate in life, and what it is that brought you together in the first place – it’s a stretch with 150 people.

If you don’t know any of this then what is the purpose of you being on someone’s Facebook friends list in the first place? I simply don’t get it.

If you state you can remember more, I think you’re deceiving yourself. When you start getting older you know when the chips fall you will be able to count the best of your friends on one or two hands. Time itself is the great limiter – we only have so much. If you can develop more than 4-5 really good friends then I posit your main ambition in life is “Social Bunny”. Why do I say this? Because I know with the few friends that I have, it is exceedingly difficult to spend quality time with them as often as I would like to – and actually get other things done. If your main ambition in life includes things other than holding down a minimum wage job so you can socialize all the time, then you know exactly what I mean and any further explanation is moot.

Here is a challenge for you. You have 250 or more people on your Facebook page. I’ll play a game with you – I will show you pictures of the people on your facebook friends list. I will ask 3 questions about each picture – for each question you get right without looking at the person’s profile, I will donate $$$ to your favorite charity. The questions are as follows:

1) What is this person’s first name?  $1.00

2) What is this person’s last name?  $2.00

3) If I looked at their interests page what is one thing that would be listed? $3.00

Also may I ask why some initiate friend requests and then don’t say anything to you after you accept? This annoys me! I don’t care if you’re long lost family, old chums, etc.. If you friend request me and and I accept the request, why do you expect me to say something to you first? Seriously, if you are interested enough to make a request to someone that you haven’t spoken to in 20 years, don’t you think, just perhaps, you should take the time and actually say something? Isn’t it kind of pointless if you say nothing at all? Are you in fact an unabashed marble collector?

There are those who rationalize that they are using FB, etc. to market themselves, their business, etc.. That’s fine – seriously. I don’t have a problem with that. What I want to ask you is this:

“If you have 450, 650, 850, 1050 people on your Facebook, and you have yourself blocked 95% of these people, simply because you have to, otherwise your news feed would be unmanageable, what do you think you are achieving? Is your optimistic belief in yourself such that people find you so appealing that they won’t block you even with 1200 friends of their own on Facebook? Will they ever bother to look at what you are doing? You met them at a bar or some other social function and in 5 minutes you’re dust in the wind. Don’t kid yourself.”

To make a point do your own little survey. You will find that the people who have hundreds and hundreds of people on their Facebook friends list in most cases also have the least amount of activity on their page. I think it is a case of marble collectors collecting, you guessed it, marble collectors. I’m not talking about their own personal activity; I’m talking dialogue, exchanges happening between some of their 1200 friends. If you have 1200 friends on Facebook and it grows by 5-6 people a day – I know what you’re up to. I hope that you are more effective in real life.

Before you say “Circles on Google and friends lists on Facebook solve this problem” – sorry, bullshit. You will dump all the noise into some listscircles that you may look at when you are patently bored. The 5-10-20 people who actually add value to your life will be in the list you open daily. Are you starting to see my point here?

When you use a personal account on Facebook, solely to market yourself, the only thing you are really marketing is your vanity.

Facebook has business pages, fan pages, etc. that are designed for this. This is where you market commercial interests. Coupling Facebook pages with Twitter – recommended. I mention it because if you want to know if people care about what you and your business is up to – they will follow you. That is intelligent feedback and that is what Twitter was designed for. There is a reason that when Twitter first came on board Jack Dorsey and his compatriots spent millions upon millions on advertising.

Don’t these people understand the basics of factorial explosion and the value of content? I’ll address the first point first;

Factorial Explosion/Combintronic Explosion

Marketing agents et al. will call this simple math “Combintronic Explosion”; mathematicians call it, as we mentioned above, factorial growth. In terms of social networking, or specifically how it relates to a person promoting a corporate agenda: on your own “friends” list as it is most euphemestically called, you have a handful of people who really believe in you. If you have hundreds upon hundreds of people, they might just think you are an oppurtunistic douchebag the second you friended them – this doesn’t really help you at all now does it?

Do you remember, many years ago, the old L’Oreal hair commercial? Her friend told two friends, and those two friends told two friends? Soon your television screen filled with all those tiny pictures. This is how you market yourself! You inspire people, you get them to believe that what you are doing is worthwhile. If you succeed at this you don’t need to have thousands of people on your Facebook page to prop up your fragile ego. All you need is a few good friends; you see, this is why they are called “friends”and not business associates or customers. Growth fueled by passion and belief will knock more doors down than collecting marbles.

Are you getting any of this yet or do I need to find a bigger stick?

What is a good instrument in today’s day and age to measure your success, other than by the wallet? How many are willing to follow you on Twitter? How many are willing to back you up with their heart and wallets? If you have something, anything, worthwhile – you will be followed, don’t worry. I don’t need to know the number of friends you have Facebook, nor do I care, really!

Content, Content, Content (used to be location, location, location)

People want to feel passion and inspiration – doesn’t matter where it comes from. Its one of those things we can enjoy vicariously – if we aren’t little bitter people; this is why television/movies are so successful. My heart fills with a certain joy when a friend comes over gushing about a great idea – I in fact live for this passion.

You can’t consider how many friends you have as “content,” though I think many actually do, which is why the constant acquistion of people seems almost neurotic to say the least.

The only thing that will stop you from being blocked and or ignored in this world of too much information is regular, interesting content.

What amazes me to no end is the fatuousness of the people who believe that “Marble Collecting” will further their agenda. Whatever happened to pure passion and belief in oneself? I suspect nothing has happened at all. It’s just that social media has allowed those who have very little to share, to cut and paste meaning into their lives – instead of pasting some meaning into their lives with noble actions such as hard work and dedication.

While many may not agree, I think it’s fairly obvious now, just with my few examples, that if you have hundreds upon hundreds of people on your personal Facebook page it is simply counterproductive for someone promoting a business. Moreover, if you are using the proper areas of Facebook you will see that you get analytics which will actually give you some idea of how people are responding to your content, product, or campaign.

Please quit using personal pages for corporate agendas! Enough said!

This doesn’t explain those who aren’t using Facebook to promote anything in particular and have thousands of so-called friends. In some ways this annoys me even more than the folks using personal Facebook pages to further corporate agendas. These people in my opinion are truly neurotic. You rarely see these people say anything on their Facebook page – I’m assuming this is because they have no idea what the fuck to say to 1200 strangers!

At the start of this article I said that marble collectors cheapen social media and increase the distance between us. Can I ask you readers to please give me your opinion as well? Do you see how this may very well be true? In nature, the more complex and higher functioning a species, the less offspring the creature has. Even simple creatures, through evolutionary design, know that resources are limited and if the species is spread too thickly then the value of each lessens exponentially. At some point the protection and value of any one creature becomes negligible.

This is what marble collectors are doing. They are making the value of social media negligible.

Until next time..


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