Tag Archives: Twitter

Kicking Klout When They’re Down

Of late, several friends have shared stories that are rallying against Klout.

I’ve bitched about the website/metrics system since its launch, despite my supposedly “having” some Klout and receiving several “rewards” for said AWESOMENESS. Ha-ha, I have KLOUT, bitch!

But it’s all bullshit.

It really is.

Klout doesn’t know fuck all about what people really think about you, why they dig you, or really how you impact them.

It’s awesome that there’s a real backlash going on against them right now. Salon has their “Klout’s Bad for Your Soul” piece and several bloggers have shit-kicked them as well. Here’s Scalzi’s piece. Or this.

I loathe the metrics thing because it makes social media about the end result, not the process. There was “Twitter Grader” before Klout, and it was every bit as high-school.

These days, I see certain soc-med punditry subscribing to tools that relay their mention count for the week, all that crap, and I can’t help but think who the hell’s at the wheel? If you don’t KNOW you’re engaging people, then you’re doing it wrong. And these are people who should know just by reading their replies if they’re hitting home with their audience or not. I sure as hell do, and I’m not even doing this professionally.

That’s not even touching the validity of all this Klout melodrama, either.

I, apparently, am an incredible influencer on Reading, Pennsylvania.

If it weren’t for Monopoly, I wouldn’t even know about Reading, Pennsylvania. As it happens, I now know they have a railroad. But that’s about it. Maybe they mean about reading BOOKS, but despite about 50 mentions of this discrepancy to the @Klout Twitter account, the data tracking has never changed.

So, there’s inaccuracy, there’s stereotyping, there’s sweeping generalization, there’s oversimplification of data — hmm, what else does Klout have that every metrics system can do without? Does it need more? Well, let’s see here.

What Klout’s got is a big brand. They’ve marketed it well. They showed up in boardrooms and said, “Hey. We know you know fuck all about how this “social media” shit really goes down. No, no, you don’t need to learn The Twitter or The Facebook. Let us help! Here’s what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna dumb the data down, then spoonfeed it to you. We’re calling it “Klout.” Like that? Oh, I know you do. CATCHY, huh?”

This is a classic instance of telling someone that something is important because they say it’s important. “Why? Because I said so.”

They’ve even got Business Week writing about whether Klout’s recent change in metrics was hazardous to one’s hiring chances.

All you have to do to know I have some kind of “Klout” is to look at my account. I talk about mundane things, I swear a lot, and I have 4 followers for every one person I follow, and I’m on about 500 lists. Now, either I’m doing something right, or I’m quite convincing at spam. It doesn’t take a lot to put two and two together.

Sure, Klout’s a bit more complicated than that, but what I’m saying is — you don’t NEED Klout to figure out who might have something to say.

And does Klout tell you about the time I simply reported on Twitter that I bought some homeless guy a fast food sandwich on the way to work, and three people told me at the end of the day that they also bought homeless people food that day, all because I mentioned doing it, and they thought it felt great, and would start doing it regularly?

Now that’s the kind of clout I’m proud to have. That means something to me. It means people respond to the simplest of gestures, even online.

Instead, these yahoos like the Klout folk are measuring what’s tantamount to masturbation.

The system can be, and is, gamed by those who constantly “retweet” their replies to people. You know, someone says “@smuttysteff So how was your day?” and instead of replying to them, the Alternate Universe Complete Asshole Steff would reply publicly like this: “Well, except for that bad coffee, it was great! RT @RandomTweeter @smuttysteff So how was your day?”

Why is that a wanker move? Because you raise the number of times your name is mentioned. Kinda like a twofer dealio on data-stacking. Oh, look, says Klout — @smuttysteff just got TWO mentions! Wow! And, by replying to the person indirectly, you’re increasing the odds of yet another follow-up reply from them, thus again increasing your mention count.

But that’s why I try to keep it a little more genuine most of the time, with direct @replies to the person in question. I don’t need to falsely stack my mentions, because I don’t give a fuck what the metrics have to say.

It’s like everyone’s saying: High school is back, and it sucks more than ever. Thanks, Klout!

Social media’s gonna be a whole lot less fun if these fuckwits have their way.

Like it’s not often already a world of asshats saying what they think other people want to hear, of ass-kissing and back-slapping, of circle-jerks and compliment-orgies.

Uh-huh. Amping THAT up sounds like a good time to me.

Seriously. Stop believing in these stupid tools. Stop looking for validation. Stop worrying about the numbers.

Like the old adage goes — say what you mean, and mean what you say. That’s how you get real clout. That’s how you get relevant.

You can game your Klout score, but you can’t fake relevance. Good luck trying.

Why I’ve Drunk the Google+ Kool-aid… And Love It (for Writers)

I’m a writer.

I like an audience.

I also tend to use more than 20 words at a time, like on Twitter, or 75 words on Facebook. While I’ll always love the challenge of having a brilliant and funny 140-character-or-less tweet, the unfiltered-length possibilities on Google+ make it possible for me to write my Unabomber manifesto for the world at the large without burying it on some obscure “notes” page on my Facebook account, while giving me a larger audience than I enjoy on this lowly blog.

So, there’s that.

And I can edit after the fact, which is fantastic for a neurotic type-A personality like me who wants to cry at support groups every time my iPhone leads me to fuck up and upload a typo. And there’s bold AND italics? Oh, editor porn! Editor porn!

It’s a slippery-slope thing, the after-the-fact post-editing, but it’s LONG overdue in social media, where every word we say can cripple us professionally or personally.

If Google’s smart, they’ll have a built-in system that allows for proper tracking of edits once comments have appeared on a posting. I think, in the interest of truth and transparency, a “track-changes” feature might keep people on the ethical straight and narrow with edits. As it stands, it DOES say the post was edited and at what time, but not the extent to which edits have been done.

Google+ Has Borrowed From Those Before Them

Now, this is early in the game. Yet people are commenting, “Oh, I would’ve expected Google to roll out something much more dynamic, given their global reach,” etc, but I question if these folks really realize the scope of what Google has unleashed.

If you think of Google+ as being the framework upon which The Goog is developing a social structure that spreads throughout the whole web, they’ve created a fabulous start. No one has the ability to catch up with Facebook’s infrastructure — but Google can.

Right now, Google+ offers you “hangouts,” which takes the Chatroulette web-cam socializing idea and runs with it. They have “sharing,” and privacy controls that are far simpler to adjust than Facebook (and more transparency about the lack of existing privacy).

The continuous refreshing feed and ease of sharing replicates the Tumblr-reader/blogger experience.

The +1 bookmarking makes for a DIGG or StumbleUpon replacement and there’s a page on your profile where it saves them. It’s called the +1 Page, but it doesn’t save all the things you’ve “liked” in your main in-Google+ feed (where you +1 instead of “liking” as you would on Facebook), it only tracks external webpages that have a +1 button. (You can change a setting in G+ settings so that Google assigns a +1 button on ALL non-Google pages, and that way it can truly be your new bookmarking service. I’ve been hesitant to go there, but I use Google for all my searches anyhow, and resistance seems futile.)

That Google owns Youtube, which is rolling out the COSMIC PANDA experiment as I type (for which you need to use the Google Chrome browser, I understand), makes for better video interfacing in-feed than Facebook offers, plus excessively-fun and easy animated-GIF posting.

The following options on Google+ are like on Twitter — it’s public and anyone’s game for you to follow without approval, unless they block you, but it’s easier to find people, and there’s a built-in, far more interesting and informative profile that makes the follow/unfollow option much more simpler.

They have ingenius “social circles,” and a smart user will create additional streams beyond the few basic ones that come pre-set by G+ — like I’ve added “local connections” who are people I don’t consider acquaintances but know through the local scene, “extended family” is obvious, “soc med influencers” keeps the Chris Brogans at bay, “news and info” will be news organizations or persons affiliated with them, which I hope are allowed onto Google+ sooner than later, because I think it’d be fantastic for that sort of content. I have “people I like” and “Journalists & Writers” and other stuff relevant to my life. People are grouped in multiple circles if they’re more relevant to me.

I foresee Google allowing a more toggle-able feed, where I don’t have to have all or just one, but can default to 2-3-4 preferred feeds that most affect my content-consuming time.

Built for Engaging

G+ will be, for me, a more powerful way of getting my writing out in the world, and a way to have a much better engaging with my audience, because I never really log in here and write comments, but I do love engaging on topics, and I’m more likely to do so on G+, since I’ve found myself having more ideological discussions there in a week than I have on Facebook or Twitter in a month, and at a far greater length and focus.

For now, Google+ is telling marketers to stay away until the end of the year. I think business won’t really get how to use it, and many will be awkward and shitty at content-generation like they are on Twitter, but one can get away with sucking more at Twitter than you could on G+. With more rope to hang themselves, I’m nearly confident most marketers will succeed handily at self-asphyxiation on Google-plus.

So, It’s More Private Than Facebook?

[insert laughter here] Urm, definitely not.

Privacy? Are there better privacy protections? Arguably, no. This, however, is more transparent, and I think we’re all used to Google knowing everything about us anyhow.

If you want privacy, get off the internet. Really. The two do not compute. It’s like putting alfalfa in cheesecake. What the fuck are you thinking?

Are there issues? Yeah. If you don’t want something private inadvertently shared, you can’t just not include X circles of people, you also have to disable sharing on it. But, wait! You can disable sharing! And disable comments! Yay.

The reality is, Google+ just ensures you’ll be a thoroughly data-mined person in the Google universe, but who’s kidding who? You already are. Facebook has ya, your credit card company’s got a real sweet dossier on you. Fuck, every charity in the country knows when you’re a giver. Worrying about your information being out there, that’s just silly. It already IS.

The only privacy you’ve got is to not say anything you don’t want repeated. Shut up or suck it up, basically.

Google Takes Over The World, Story At 11

This feels very much like a social tool that’s truly social. If Google starts expanding it — and, remember, this company owns Blogger and has stopped developing it — the dynamic nature of their “socialness” will be nearly infinite. Google is among the only companies in the world with the wherewithal to beat Facebook, and mark my words — and many others — this might just be the tool that does it.

Yeah, I’m sticking around. Wanna follow me on Google+? Go for it.

In the meantime, it’s not all sunshine and roses. This damning article says the privacy concerns could blow up big. Other sticking points I’ve found are below.

But, hey, I’ve been on the web for years. My privacy got screwed years ago. Welcome to my party, people.

Shit They Gotta Fix

Comments are bothersome: You can’t collapse comments. I’m liable to unfollow all the “popular” people until this is fixed. For the moment, you can read the post and the comments, then click the greyscale “+” top right of any post and “mute” the post. This will not only hide it in your feed, but it’ll end any notifications associated with the post.

Invasive feed-refreshing rate: The continuously auto-refreshing feed does so while one is writing a post or comment, which doesn’t hurt anything, but can be jarring to the thinking process, and it’s clumsy. I’d like it to be possible to pause the feed.

Indiscriminate re-sharing: When one has shared things with a limited audience, it’s possible for their limited audience to then re-share to the general public, and, if so, the original poster’s name is on it. Great to have attribution, but it’s an invasion of privacy. Instead, G+ should build in a restrictor of some kind. In the mean time, you can disable sharing on each post.

Photo-sharing: When uploading photos, it creates a whole album, and one can share someone else’s complete album. If you ever geotag your stuff, whether it’s shot at home or you have kids, it’s unwise to allow these geotagged photos to be reshared, so, I would advise remembering to disable sharing on every posted photo album. UNFORTUNATELY, this cannot yet be done with the mobile app.

Circle-editing: You can’t edit a circle of friends and just move someone to a new circle, so you really have to be on the ball about it. Instead, you have to add them to a new circle before deleting them from the one you’ve decided they don’t fix, otherwise you have to re-ad them to circles in entirety, which is just irritating.

Ego-boosting fail: When I see great content and re-share it, I now get nothing out of the re-share when someone re-shares it off me. Instead, the person who originally posted it gets all the credit. I’d like to see “By way of Steffani Cameron, and Originally Posted by This Genius Guy” or something. Otherwise, you’re encouraging people to find the original source, upload it, and try to steal credit. Everyone wants their name in the game, Google. Savvy up there.

Buggy, bitches: The notifications, adding people, the numbers in circles, none of it is working completely right yet, but that’s to be expected with a new product that is achieving unprecedented influx of new power users in less than a week. This will smooth out, I’m sure.

Plain Stupid Things: That they request you to list “other names” like “maiden names” and stuff is absolutely moronic. Sure, it’s nice as a be-found-by-old-friends feature, but it’s also an identity-thief’s wet dream. Think twice before you’re so needy for antiquated social connections that you give scam-artists an open door to your identity, people.

The Blind Leading The Blind: News, Twitter Style

Days like yesterday make me realise I’ll always feel I’m a journalist. My schooling leaves me obligation-bound to the truth and facts, not conjecture.

Yesterday was a painful lesson in how very exceptional that mindset can be on the web, when it comes to researching from a fact-based place, and not just trying to find reports that match your worldview.

***

Cutting-edge graphic demonstrating how news circulates on Twitter.

Early in the day, a “Congress on Your Corner” event in Tucson, Arizona, left 6 people dead and 14 injured when a gunman opened fire with a semi-automatic weapon armed with an extended magazine of ammo.

For a very short time after the first word of the shooting in Arizona, all we knew was that a politician and her surrounding entourage had been fired upon in a crowd at Safeway, and the casualties seemed heavy.

Immediate reactions were: “Some Tea Party bastard did this!”

And my gut reaction was the same. Do the math, right?

Emotional reactions happen to us all, that’s humanity for you.

Then I realised: We don’t know jack. We need to wait for more. Realising that put me in a very small minority.

Probably 80% or more of the content I saw flying about on Twitter was rampant speculation about political motivation.

Now, here’s the thing: We still don’t know what happened. Anything I say about Jared Loughner, the alleged gunman, or his motivations, are speculation until his life is torn apart and we know everything.

There’s a possible second shooter/accomplice that the officials are still seeking, so we’re far from having a clue about what really happened.

Early evidence, though, suggests that Loughner is anti-government more than he is motivated by party lines. There’s also evidence that he’s usually a nice guy and a volunteer for social events, but that he has some kind of mental illness.

This is all we know, really, so far. And it can change, quickly, and so might my stance; but the EVIDENCE will dictate my reaction.

***

It’s funny, the public always says how crap the media is, so off-the-mark so often, but the public itself doesn’t seem to have a clue on how to check stories before they go retweeting “facts” or “news”. They don’t seem to even care if it’s true.

But god help the news organisations if THEY get it wrong, right?

Case in point is this particular tweet from late in the day, when reports suddenly circulated that stated Congresswoman Giffords had already magically recovered from being shot in the head and was up chatting just a matter of hours after the shooting.

Because that always happens, right? Why not just assume it’s true. Okay! Here goes.

This tweet flew fast and furiously, with these 143 retweets coming within a half-hour of the report. His profile says he’s a reporter with KTLA. Therefore, he MUST be right, right?

How did I respond?

First reaction: That’s AWESOME.

Second reaction: Okay, says who?

So, I did a Twitter search for a couple different terms: “Congresswoman” and “Giffords”. When paging through HUNDREDS of results, the ONLY report saying she was awake was coming from this guy, Reporter David Begnaud of KTLA.

Literally, no other source was claiming this on Twitter. No news organisation links were floating, nothing. Just Begnaud’s inaccurate story.

Did the rest of Twitter check this out? No, more than 140 people blindly retweeted Begnaud’s erroneous information without seeing if a source had been cited anywhere.

One great thing about Begnaud is, he retracted it as soon as he knew.

But the big problem? He had a lousy 550-600 followers at the time. The 143 retweets had spanned widely across the web, with a vast array of six-degree tweeters, and the damage was done.

As soon as he retracted it, I was the FIRST PERSON to retweet his retraction. Others followed.

Just not many others, that’s all. Lookit. Four lousy retweets.

His retraction received less than 3% of the retweeting traffic his erroneous information generated.

So, who’s at fault here? Well, both the journalist AND the public.

Kudos to Begnaud for admitting he fucked up, big ups to him for retracting it and deleting the wrong info. But he reported without getting definitive confirmation from authorities. Journalists aren’t supposed to do that. “Be accurate, THEN fast.” Not the other way around.

Damage? Done.

And that’s how the whole OMIGOD A TEAPARTYMEMBER KILLED A MEMBEROFCONGRESS, WHATAREWEGONNADO? panic got unleashed on Twitter earlier yesterday.

Folks just ASSUMED there was a Tea Party connection. Someone remembered there’d been a clip about target practice in the opponent’s campaign, someone else remembered the Palin infamous “target” poster, and everyone just assumed they went together.

The wrong story flew and a shitstorm ensued.

But don’t just take my word for it, take a look at Craig Silverman’s excellent timeline of tweets that shows you how the Twitter Day of News progressed after the horrible shooting happened. It’s simply brilliant. The news agencies screwed the pooch six ways to Sunday yesterday.

***

But that’s traditional media. Surely social media has no such ethical obligation, right? Wrong.

If you’re a member of “social media” and you think you’re some news aggregator, and you’re sending out link after link because you’re “so on top” of all this shit, but you don’t research to make sure there’s more than one source cited, or ensure it’s not just speculation, then you have no business aggregating news.

I don’t give a shit that you don’t have a degree in journalism, you’re not paid, and you think the media’s “ethics” aren’t bound to you.

You’re “helping” people by spreading “interesting” stories?

Um, no. No, you’re not.

You have a responsibility to do your CHOSEN job well. Make sure what’s sent around the web isn’t just more of the lies and half-truths that are tearing America apart.

Waiting for the right information isn’t sexy.

Being the woman shouting “YOU’RE SPECULATING, THERE’S NO PROOF” is really hard when people accuse you of being a heartless bitch or not caring about the victims, or that you’re stupid and ignorant about the OBVIOUS political situation.

Conjecture and speculation are dangerous.

What if it took longer for the news to come in? What if enraged Democrats loaded their rifles and went out looking for retribution?

What if?

Yesterday could have been a far worse day.

We’re very lucky the misinformation and passionately partisan battles have largely subsided today, because it’s toxic and should have no place in our society.

As social media, we too have a responsibility to ensure the accuracy of what we report. We have an ethical obligation to ensure truth, not conjecture, is what we spread.

I’ve been saying for years that blogging and social media could change the news world forever, that the non-corporate “journalist” worldview could bring a more “We, The People” perspective on the news, and events could be shaped with more societal relevance than ever.

But, you know what?

Not if you don’t get your shit right. Not if you don’t stop believing that, if it’s in print, it’s true.

There are more inaccuracies on Twitter than anywhere else on the web, I feel, because of the fly-by nature of tweets and the ease in which you can delete them.

But tweeting fast-and-furiously without regard for accuracy and then just using the Cleanup-on-Aisle-7 method of delete-and-retract IS IRRESPONSIBLE. It’s dangerous.

It’s bad social media.

I don’t give a fuck if you think the Tea Party is horrible, and that violence seems to be something they espouse. You don’t take that belief and sandwich it with what APPEARS to be the situation, then call that a “news”. That’s a gossip column, at BEST.

You don’t take your politics and then analyse the situation according to your worldview then report your subjective take on it.

Who the fuck are you, Glenn Beck? Oh, you’re a liberal, so THAT makes it okay? Uh, no.

And I don’t care if you’re some guy with a Twitter account, not a “journalist” — you’re a part of the misinformation problem. Don’t be.

Sooner or later, bad things are gonna happen if people don’t start spreading information with more objectivity and research done before clicking on “update” or “tweet”.

If folks don’t like me because I call it like it is when people are injecting personal feelings into their chosen “news” tweets, or are jumping to dangerous conclusions that are inciting others, then so be it.

But I sure as hell won’t stand around when I see nothing but half-truths, inaccuracies, and preaching being sent around. I won’t stand around when partisan hate of either political affiliation is being circulated as “news”.

Because, whatever you might think of some fuckwits in the industry, I’m a journalist, I learned the ethics of news circulation, I live the ethics, and that’s not changing.

Integrity matters. Truth matters. Because that’s what the press SHOULD be guided by. That’s what social media SHOULD be guided by.

If we the people want the media held to a higher standard, reporting better than they have been, then it needs to start with us.

It starts with us demanding more, but also with us researching the claims we make, the links we share, and the stories we tell…

BEFORE we send the information out there.

No Meanies Allowed!

There are bad people in this world.

Really bad.

Then there are people like this, who are just demented and cruel, who enjoy inflicting emotional pain but would never have the balls to get physical about it.

Long story short?

“How it started depends on who you ask.  It escalated into frequent calls to police and personal protection orders against the Petkovs.

Besides posting disturbing photos on Facebook, the Petkov’s painted their truck with tombstones and placed a coffin in the back of the truck.  The truck was parked in front of the Rose family home.  The Petkov’s claim the truck is a decoration for Halloween.”

(From the Ron Savage  MyFoxNewsDetroit.com report that originally broke this story wide open.)

The Petkovs are the “nasty” neighbours. The Rose family includes 7-year-old Kathleen Edward, dying of Huntington Disease, daughter to the now-dead-from-Huntington’s Laura Edward (passed at age 24), and grand-daughter to Rebecca Rose, the owner of the home in question.

Now the Petkovs apologize. Sure, now. I don’t care how it started, there’s no justification for doing that to a dying seven-year-old.

That’s nature for you.

There are people like this out there. That’s reality. In the wild, mothers sometimes eat their young. It happens: Cruelty.

But it’s not the only thing that happens.

There’s more people out there who are sickened by this behaviour than those committing it, and it’s up to you to decide which group it is that gets your attention.

For every news story like this (and it IS “news” because it’s not typical, doesn’t happen often) there are dozens of stories of small but amazing acts of kindnesses that are being randomly committed upon every landscape on earth.

We are, in general, good people. We do, on average, help when help is needed. And, because we do, it’s technically not “news” often.

Sure, we fall apathetic and get distracted in our lives, but we usually jump up when the times require us to do so.

The reality out there is, violent crime is at its lowest levels in anyone’s memories.

Personal crime seems to occur less frequently, too.

Volunteerism is escalating.

Awareness on all sorts of issues has grown astronomically.

You see what you choose to see.

You’re surrounded by what you want to be surrounded by.

When you hear about stories like this, try to remember also that there are people who will go to amazing lengths to help strangers.

Every day, little kindnesses unfold, everywhere — not just the big stories, lots of little stories.

If you think the world is worse off, then what are you doing about it?

Just complaining? Feeling depressed? Giving in to your feelings?

Shut off the news. That’s your first problem. Read the news; don’t watch it.

Then, do something. Anything.

Buy someone on the street a lunch.* Every now and then I’ve got $5 I feel like spending on someone who looks legitimately hungry, and it’s the best money I spend all day when they appreciate it and genuinely smile.

But it doesn’t make the news.

When I make small talk on transit with what seems a lonely old person, their day brightens, they smile. That doesn’t make the news. When I see a parking enforcement officer down the block and some rundown car with an expired meter and I pop a quarter in to help a seemingly unwealthy person avoid a ticket, that, too, does not make the news.

They’re little things. It doesn’t take a lot to be kind in small ways.

Brightening another person’s day can often lift YOUR mood too.

There will always be people who don’t appreciate it. Sometimes the bought lunch gets scoffed at. You can’t SEE a meth or crack addiction right off, so you never know. Maybe the old person I get talking to is totally toxic and alone for good reason. It happens.

But when it works outweighs the fails.

It keeps me believing in us.

It keeps me respecting myself.

It keeps my focus on who we can be, not who some of us have devolved into.

And that’s how I prefer to think, the way I prefer to see us.

When it comes to how we are as a society, perspective is everything. Our history hasn’t been written yet, and you are not inconsequential in how it will unfold.

Good/Bad, you see what you want to see. Be the change you want. Live the cliche.

At times like these, the saying “pick your poison” has more relevance than ever. The happy “We Can Do It” juice, or are you more a “Life Sucks and Everyone’s Mean” on-the-rocks kinda person?

Choose. Then live it.

*Get high-calorie stuff.
Homeless folk generally don't have "vegan" tendancies, FYI.
Just sayin'.

The Dark Lord versus Perez Hilton: Bullying

I never thought I’d type these words:

I’m with Lord Voldemort.

But there you have it.

On Twitter, I luckily caught the retweet of this pretty perfect comment of @Lord_Voldemort7’s tirade against the hypocrisy of PEREZ HILTON having the fucking audacity to lead a campaign against bullying, despite it being started by the well-intentioned Dan Savage.

I’ll let the Dark Lord have the floor:

Perez’ website is designed to ridicule & mock others. Whether it be a a smarmy comment, unoriginal nickname (kiki drunkst, Mischa Fartone, Slutty Cyrus etc) or a photoshopped picture with drool added; his posts garner attention through bullying. Currently Perez has made anti-bullying his pet project. He has gathered videos from celebrities & reiterated over & over the importance of putting an end to the very ridicule & comments that have made him “famous”. Additionally, celebrities have responded to his requests & made their own videos (many of them the celebrities that he mocks on a daily basis). Whether these videos are genuinely because the care about the cause or were created to gain favor with Perez is up to individual discretion. One thing is certain, creating these videos is simply the victims aiding the bully that terrorizes them. It’s Pettigrew all over again. (See what I did there? With the reference to the wizarding world? Yeah.)

In spite of my efforts for world domination, there still remains freedom of speech. He is entitled to say whatever he wants. However, to turn around & chastise others for writing “belittling, hateful comments” while calling teen celebrities promiscuous & other celebrities ugly or fat makes him a hypocrite.

I got chills when I read his rant, because this is how I’ve felt about the celebrity gossip world for years. I’ve hated it, I’ve ranted against it, and I love to see the sentiment shared by people who nail it to the wall.

The Dark Lord and I, in short, concur.

I don’t DO celebrity gossip. I don’t respect it, I don’t think it’s funny, and I don’t believe it’s a past-time. I think it’s an example of everything that’s wrong with today’s society.

I think anyone who’s ever been insulted, mocked, bullied, and hurt by others who enjoys spitefully tearing down public figures, yet cries out about the injustices they’ve supposedly suffered is a big fat h-y-p-o-c-r-i-t-e.

Making a passing comment is one thing, but making a career out of finding things to spite in other people is something I will never understand.

Living in that headspace? Daily? How can you hold such contempt for people? I don’t get it. I need to hope and believe that we’re better than that as a society.

Everybody hurts. Everybody gets betrayed. Everyone’s all alone in their head.

When it comes to celebrity, I don’t believe that getting famous suddenly makes you impervious to pain. I think it makes you a target.

But, hey, in today’s society, everyone’s spiteful of success. We celebrate it, then we throw darts at it.

The only thing more hypocritical than writing those gossip columns is when one lives and dies by reading their favourite trash-slinging daily, especially devouring the juicy bits, then goes about life pretending they’re Little Good Citizen. Seriously?

I don’t really get this whole “It Gets Better” crap coming from Perez Hilton’s site. I don’t. The Dark Lord points out an absolutely fantastic ethical paradox.

Somehow, it’s okay to be the completely cunty gay man who slams the shit out of everyone’s self-esteem, using “gay” epithets as insults, but if someone’s cruel to a gay teen, that’s the world’s most horrible crime?

I HAVE AN IDEA. LET’S NOT BE CRUEL TO ANYONE.

Bullying sucks. Belittling sucks. Mockery sucks. Laughing and pointing? Really sucks.

I always reserve the right to comment on clothing that’s way over the top. And, you know, toupees and comb-overs. A lot of other stuff, though, really crosses a lot of lines.

It’s really pretty simple, you know.

Would it hurt YOU if someone said that about you?

Then shut your fucking mouth.

My interpretation of the “Golden Rule”. Enjoy. Apply liberally.

I’ve been mocked, bullied, harassed, insulted, and betrayed. Not just 20 years ago, but even weeks ago. I live on Planet Earth in the Internet Age. Of course it’s happened recently.

I will not knowingly do it to others. I will not support websites who do it. I will never behave that way on my blog.

If you don’t see the hypocrisy in reading gossip sites and you’ve ever been hurt by a thing people have said about you, perhaps you need to rethink your behaviour.

You need to rethink your integrity and your ethics.

Really.

Hypocrisy isn’t less offensive just because you’re pleasant to talk to at cocktail parties.

But, hey, it gets better. Chin up.

My thoughts about “It Gets Better”?

I love Dan Savage and I know his heart is in the right place, and I know Dan speaks out often about all kinds of injustices — he’s awesome.

However: the Bullying Problem is bigger than dressing it in platitudes. Instead of saying “It gets better, chin up!” I’d rather see all these stars use their power and high-profile to get some motherfucking laws up in here.

Bullying needs to stop, and it needs to stop in administrative levels at schools and workplaces.

Platitudes won’t do a thing long-term, but I really hope the campaign does change some thinking on the ground right NOW. Still.

Less ain’t more here — time to petition congress, parliament, whoever the hell makes laws in YOUR world.

Gay teens have longattempted suicide, but now it’s apparently en vogue to make videos about it.

Laws, people.

LAWS will save lives. And education. Videos will just make people warm and fuzzy for three minutes. Get real. Make shit happen. Change this. Go to lawmakers. Be adamant.

For those so motivated, check the bottom of this page for a list for how to accomplish getting laws passed against bullying.

Winning at AntiSocial Media the Steff Way

There’s a social media camp happening over on Vancouver Island, and someone’s first quote was, “Social media isn’t about you.”

Really? Ahem.

Every person I follow or engage with is because they’re offering something unique to them. If it wasn’t about them, I wouldn’t give a shit. If they’re just spouting links with no personal interjection, I don’t care.

T-Shirt design from Despair.com: http://www.despair.com/somevedi.html

If social media isn’t about YOU, then don’t bother.

I could pretend to care more about the people who followed me. I could engage more without provocation. I could follow more people. I could do the “shout-out-by-name” bullshit I so loathe.

And yet… I don’t.

And YET… I’m followed by people in every sector of the industries I’m interested in — and from lofty, lofty places. Editors, publishers, and media magnates follow me.

Largely, I guess, because I’m just “myself” online.

I don’t kiss ass, engage my powerful followers directly, “use” them as contacts, ask anything of them. I don’t do shout-outs or any of the things people will tell you are “good” Twitter.

And it works for me.

Because it’s all me, all day, all the time. I’m consistent, I’m constant, I’m myself, and I’m interesting. I diversify my stuff, I don’t apologize, and I am what I am. Loudly.

Maybe I could have even MORE followers than I do. But if I have to dumb myself down and be “nice” more, then I don’t wanna!

That’s what social media SHOULD be. It should be people being themselves — for better or worse — and putting it out there without apologies, as long as they’re respecting others and not being dicks.

I disagree with people, often, and disagree loudly. Every now and then my passion gets the better of me and I disagree a bit disrespectfully — and that’s not cool. Generally, though, I manage to toe the line pretty well. I still isolate people, but that’s life when you’re bold.

Anyone who follows me because they like my piss-and-vinegar style of sardonic tweeting, but then unfollows me because we one day disagree on a topic, is clearly the sort of person who probably needs more hand-holding in friendship or debates than I’m given to provide. Or, they just plain don’t like diversity in people.

So, y’know, buh-bye.

Do you seriously WANT everyone to like you?

Have you SEEN what “everyone” entails?

These are the people who keep Jersey Shore on the air, who wear Ed Hardy, who slam Brittney Spears in one breath then buy her music in another… People who don’t know what they like, but change their tune once YOU do. People who kept King of Queens on TV for years, who think Tracey Morgan actually IS funny… People who celebrate mediocrity.

You want THEM to like you? What the fuck FOR?

“Hi! I’m mediocre! I’m not really different. But lotsa people follow me!”

Seriously. Maybe this makes me a bitch. Maybe I’m “classist” for thinking there could be better cultural diversity out there.

Shit, I’ll buy that for a dollar, Pat.

Yes, I think my tastes put me in a select group as far as appeal goes, but that’s what branding of any kind should do. I’ll admit, my online presence is a sort of “branding.”

Isn’t yours? It should be. It ain’t selling out — it’s smarting-up, man.

There are those who suggest every person who follows you rates a follow-back. Why? WHY?

In life, does every person who wants to be your friend get to be your friend? NO.

Why? Because not everyone has something to offer you. Often, what they seek from you is what they can’t provide you.

Just because a guy’s interested in me in the Real World doesn’t mean I return that interest — usually because they don’t have anything to teach me, or don’t inspire me in any way, or just don’t make me think I’ll grow from our relationship.

Why should Twitter or Facebook be any different? Because you fuckin’ smell a dollar at the other end? Get real, you likely won’t make a penny off that extra follower, you’ll spread your focus thin, know less about everyone in general, and that’s that. Way to be “social”.

When we stop worrying about winning EVERYONE over to our side, we’ll start having more honest interactions.

And that brings us to the other topic I disagree with from Victoria’s Social Media Camp. “Social media means being social in real life too.”

Yes, to an extent, sure. But you have much to lose from being too visible. One can greatly control their image online. The more you’re social, the less intrigue you create. The more you’re social, the more you have to try to live up to that highly edited, highly opportunistic way of communicating online — and the more you can put your foot in it, so to speak.

Online, I’m funny and edgy and brash. It plays all right in person, too. But there’s some kind of intrigue I’ve created, accidentally, from not attending events often. As a result, I’m now less likely to attend events because I know there’s more buzz from going to them rarely than there is from being omnipresent, and, also, I know the people I do conspire to meet with feel more “special” because I don’t make myself available to everyone all the time.

Seriously, it’s working for me.

A few of my thoughts?

  • Pick your events wisely.
  • Ensure you have people on your side that’ll be there when you do attend.
  • Always know your “safe port in a storm” — a person you sidle up to when things feel they’re slipping away.
  • Make sure you have connections worth making by attending those events, that it’s not just the usual suspects you’ve befriended time and again — that’s not networking, that’s “hanging out”.
  • Shut your mouth until you’re confident your thoughts are relevant and you know what’s honestly being spoken about and even what the going opinions in the discussion are.
  • Don’t steal thunder from presenters at events by hogging questions or diva-ing it up with your resume before you ask a question, because other attendees will resent you. Resentment breeds distrust; way to shoot yourself in the foot. If your question is awesome, that’s ALL the introduction you need.
  • Know the limits of your appeal. Don’t oversell yourself.
  • Less is more.
  • Be interested in others — you’re not as important as you think you are, and showing that interest can be compelling to them.

You can’t undo bad appearances. You can’t take back a first impression. If you’re not feeling like you’re “on”, then don’t risk the damage that can come from appearing at a non-essential event when you’re not on your game.

Networking takes mojo. Being different takes actually operating differently and even taking risks.

And when you play the game, think about the long-term, not just the one event. Will it really help you obtain new ground? Or is it just another networking event where everyone who’s hungry for clients are all out competing for the same piece of meat — like a pack of hyenas on a single little fox’s corpse?

Because that’s most likely the case.

Networking with other entrepreneurs is useful occasionally, but don’t kid yourself that it’s a surefire way to pay the rent. Pick your battles and pick them strategically. In so doing, be yourself, ‘cos no one else has what makes you “you”.

Question is: Do you know what that “uniquely you” thing is? Time to find out, if you don’t.

You should follow me on Twitter, you know. Click Here.