Experiments in Bad Social Media (Part 1)

A while back I read a great booked called “The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users” by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzsimmons. Great book. It pointed out a lot of things I speculated about social media and it told me a lot of new things. So when 2015 hit, I said to myself this is going to be my year and I am going to make great strides on my blog, my books, and my social media presence. You may have said similar. It takes time and patience to do all of that. It seems to also take sleep deprivation.

You may not know this but I am lazy. I try to find the shortest path to any problem. Because of that I am willing to experiment from time to time with radical jumps in logic to see what works and what doesn’t. Social Media has been an ongoing experiment for me. Editor’s Note” By the way, that Wine company still follows me on Twitter as do a lot of the ones who jumped on board because of that Wine festival. 

So recently I was hovering just under 1200 followers on Twitter. I could not seem to break 1200. For every 20 followers on Twitter, 10 will unfollow you. This isn’t an exact science but that seems to be the ratio. This happens mostly because of so many spammy accounts on Twitter.


I use a site called unfollowers.com They have a paid service but I use the free one. I used to be fixated on how many followed or unfollowed me. I learned quickly this is not a good strategy. 

You can't get fixated on who unfollows you. Instead, get fixated on those who do follow you. Click To Tweet

So unfollowers.com shows you how many followers were suspended from Twitter. They made the Twitter Gods mad and were smited by Twitter. But it doesn’t show you their names as well, they are basically just no longer on Twitter. These users usually come from the “$29 dollars and I will give you 5000 followers” type Twitter accounts that pop up all the time. What is often interesting is to see the real people who follow these accounts. It is also strange to see how many real accounts are accounts that are a part of the 5000. Here is a great story about someone who paid $5 on Fiverr.com and what their results were. So today 9 users in the list got suspended. This is how the numbers of followers and unfollowers fluctuate so fast.


But unfollower.com does have some great statistics, such as who are your Zombie followers? Those who followed you and have become inactive on Twitter are Zombies.  I have theorized and even read some articles that elude to the fact that if less people follow you than you follow, some people will not follow you. So I every so often prune those I follow, especially those who followed me but then stopped tweeting. If I had followed them back and they stopped posting, not much use to keep following them. For me the magic number used to be I would follow less than a thousand people. See, I don’t like to follow companies or famous people. Sure this probably means I have less followers but I prefer to follow genuine real people and I try my best to be a genuine person. Also, I don’t follow Egg Heads. You know what I mean. The ones that never load a profile picture. What do they have to hide? If you want genuine followers you have to be genuine yourself and post a real photo of yourself. Only people who have already earned a lot of followers or who are artists or photographers can post a cartoon head from the Simpson’s and still earn new followers.

Here are some tips that I should use to get and keep Twitter followers:

1. Be authentic

2. Post great headlines

3. Engage with your users

4. Tweets with photos get more clicks, more favorites, more everything

5. Post often by using hootsuite or Buffer

I use Hootsuite (the paid version) but 99% of what I want to accomplish I could do with the free version. You should try the free version of either. In the future I think I will try Buffer app. Both schedule your content based when your tweets seem to be read the most.

6. Figure out what your niche is. You can’t focus on great content if you are all over the place. My niche seems to be Computer Security, Cool Technology, WordPress, and the occasional funny Internet post. Look at Twitter Analytics to see what of your Tweets interest others. Buffer and Hootsuite also will show you your trends.

Hootsuite Stats

Here is an actual complete report if you want to see what Hootsuite provides.Ow.ly Click Summary – aroyrichardsonFeb2015

Part 2, I tell you some of the crazy things I have tried and what worked and what didn’t.


The Bible in a Digital World

We had been having problems with the quality and quantity of our Internet bandwidth for some time. With my wife and I both IT professionals for a living and the kids of the house being technology junkies, a matter for discussion another day, we finally gave up on our provider and switched. Other than the expensive monthly bill and the lousy Internet, our other services were okay. But to save money we signed up for a bundle of everything. That in itself was an adventure as the new company wasn’t known for great customer service just service and while I placed the order online, then tried to confirm over the phone, I finally had to pay a visit to an office to see if they wanted my money. In this day it seems good customer service is optional. So we awaited the day the company would come out to install our new services and I had told work I would be working remotely if possible, thinking the old services would be available even in their sad state until the “switch” was switched. Instead it seems they turned off our services somewhere in the wee hours of morning and so when I woke up at 5am to start working on personal and business things, I was without Internet. I decided to go ahead and eat breakfast. As I asked for blessing before eating my breakfast, I asked God to forgive us for getting wrapped up in first world problems when we have food, water, shelter, and most importantly, Him, in our lives and those are the essentials. I then sat down and I was going to read my Bible reading on my phone but inside our house, the 4G doesn’t work and 3G is so so. So I was unable to pull up my favorite Bible app as it was insisting it must talk to the Internet even though I have several Bible translations downloaded to it. My tablet devices do not have 4G options and require good old fashioned wireless Internet so they would be of no use. So I decided, no worries, I will hunt around and find the good old fashioned analog versions of the Bible. I was saddened it took me so long to find a copy of the Bible in paper form in my house. But I did finally find a pocket version of the King James Bible and then finally my old trusty NIV Study Bible which I used to carry before I went digital.


Now my next challenge is remembering what today’s readings are as I have been using a reading plan on my tablets and phone, going back and forth as technology allowed. And that is the crux of the issue here. It doesn’t matter where I am in the Word as long as I am in the Word and if I pray for guidance, God will put me on the pages he wants me to be on. God put me in Psalms.