Our blog has been around now for just over three years and as of this piece I’m working on, we’ve written 1116 posts. We’ve written twice in a day at times, and skipped a day or two as the result of traveling or technical difficulties. During that time, we’ve learned the climate of our audience a bit more. It is not as cut and dried as one might think – and as I alluded over the weekend in one of the comments I myself left, we’ve learned that just looking at blog reactions here does not tell the full story.
One of the most fascinating things that I have learned about social media is that each variety, whether Twitter, Facebook, the blog itself, YouTube, Reddit, etc…has its own “personality”, or culture. How does that develop? One simple explanation is the people who use that brand of social media bring their own personality to the table, and collectively that creates the broader personality and even demographic. I think that if I were to throw out the question of what social media do our readers like best – we’d have some saying they prefer Facebook, and many others saying Twitter. Maybe a few say they like Google+, and there are still some Myspacers out there, amongst a few others I am sure. Whatever media you prefer, chances are – that’s your “go-to” place for finding information, responding to friends, reading pages, checking tweets, whatever. This isn’t really surprising, which is why it’s important for bands like Duran Duran and even blogs like ours to try and have a broad social media presence – because a single audience (for example the one that follows Duran Duran) can be found across many types of social media. Perhaps age and demographic tends to steer you in one direction or another, but the general point is still the same. We can see that even here on this blog with the crappy sort of overview charts that blogger provides us with for free. I can see, for instance that for whatever reason – we tend to get a lot of views in China. (Yes, China.) I can also see what websites link to ours, and where our traffic comes from. The trouble is – the blogger data is also pretty notoriously unreliable, and if Amanda and I were trying to sell product or really pinpoint where we make the most impact on a global level – we’d have to invest in a better way to retrieve our traffic data. But, as I try to remind myself – this blog is for fun, so we haven’t gone that route just yet. I have been told, by people at Google that I know through my husband who do this sort of tracking for a living – that our page view data is probably off by nearly 100% each day. So either nobody is reading this blog, or we’ve got over double the page views we think we do. My coffee is half-full today…but I digress. The point being, there is a science to all of this, which is why there truly are college classes on the very subject of social media networking and marketing.
As I mentioned, the personality found in each type of media is slightly different. This is where I think it gets interesting for a blog like ours. When we write a blog that seems to get a significant amount of interest, I think it’s fascinating to see just how differently people react based on where I’m looking. For example, anyone who read our blog here this weekend probably saw the comments and assumed that everyone on the planet felt that Amanda was wrong. It sure seemed that way from looking at the comments until I started reading the comments left for us on Twitter. On Twitter – the very form of social media that Amanda was discussing – the outlook was far more positive (meaning in favor of what Amanda had written). On Facebook, the reaction was a little more mixed – but even so, what was written in response (even if it was written saying that the reader did not agree) was written with a much kinder and respectful edge than what we saw here on the blog.
Now of course, there are obvious reasons why people write in the tone they do. Here on the blog, we allow you to post anonymously. With that in mind, I think people feel a bit more freedom in responding with a little more color and often times, a lot more venom, which both amuses as well as sickens me at times, to be honest. On Twitter, you do have to have a name associated with your account, but as we all know – it doesn’t need to be a “real name”. I have more than a few friends who have taken to pseudonyms or have more than one account, and I see nothing wrong with that. On Facebook, I believe the same holds true – but many people seem to just use their real name or have more than one account. One for family, one for fan stuff. It is a lot less anonymous overall. I really don’t know if this accounts for how someone feels on a particular subject (I doubt), but I do think it does force one into thinking before they post. Sometimes.
No matter the point of anonymity, this still does not explain why the reactions on Facebook, Twitter or even here on the blog are so different. I really don’t know that I am able to accurately cover why that happens in a single blog post. I am certainly not finding fault, only pointing out that on certain days with certain topics – the differences in reactions are truly that black and white. It’s interesting if not maddening at times, and it also goes to show that for most issues – there’s really not one right or wrong answer or way to feel.
Much to what I believe will be the surprise of a few out there, I do like the discussion. I don’t think I would still be blogging if we hadn’t allowed for give and take. Yes, there are times, even over this past weekend, where something someone mentioned in a reply made me stop and think, and even change my opinion slightly. For Amanda and I, that is the point behind allowing comments and replies.
In closing, I really don’t know how I feel about social media. On one hand, it’s a great tool for business, but it’s just one tool of many. I can understand why some people don’t like social media – it can feel a little fake at times, and at other times it can make you feel far more connected than one should. Each user has their own sense of boundary, and like anything else, there’s really no right or wrong way, except in our own heads. For example, I think tweeting the same tweet to the band over and over again seems…well…flat out silly. But you know – often times, they do end up getting a response. Not quite so silly then, is it…or is it? It’s the same as anything else, things that I mention here I would never do, there are people who have done that very thing, achieved their desired outcome and have no trouble letting me know that I am the one who is way off base. Who is really wrong then? No one. This blog is simply my opinion and feelings on something on any given day. The responses to those writings vary as much as your own personalities and the places in which you choose to interact.