Is sharing really caring?

When I hit the “Publish” button on my blog post”Social media suicide – the conclusion” the other day I thought I was done with that topic. I had found out what I wanted and it was now time to move on… that was until I found myself sat on the train tonight, reading my feeds and sharing the stuff I like with my Twitter buddies, such as I do.

Sharing is caring

On my phone, I have this great app called my6sense which by way of clever algorithm surfaces content from my RSS feed subscriptions that is most likely to be of interest based on what I’ve previously shared using the app. I scan, I read, if it’s good I share. The more I share, the more the app knows about the kind of stuff I like. It’s just full of shareable win. In fact today, it would appear that it was a little more full of win than normal as my good friend and colleague Hamid (@HSirhan) got all excited and came as close as you can get on Twitter to looking like something from Dawn Of The Dead but with a hankering for links rather than brains. This was what got me thinking… he was loving it but was everyone else?

Like it or lump it

Prior to my social media suicide experiment, I took the view that if someone didn’t like my content, they could simply unfollow. If they are not interested in what I like, they aren’t interested in me and that’s fine. No skin off my nose. I really didn’t care at all but now my network is smaller and the relationships I have with those that are a part of it is essentially stronger, should I perhaps reassess this? Perhaps it’s time I dropped that ridiculous, egotistical attitude. While I know I can’t please all of the people all the time, I could probably do better in trying not to piss them off. Because my followers aren’t all 30 something male tech geeks with a passion for social media and digital marketing, chances are that when I spray Twitter with links that interest me, most of them are probably of no interest to most of my followers and in some cases may even flood their timeline. This would piss me off if I were in their shoes.

What about those that do like it?

Amongst those that I’m connected to there are a few (Like Hamid) that really do like the links I churn out, and there are even a few folks that follow and engage with me because we have those things in common. If I were to stop sharing these links, they would be missing out on the cool stuff I really enjoy sharing with them. Often it’s a conversation starter and that’s where the real value in all this social stuff really is, right?

I have actually been here before

It’s not the first time I’ve had this little moral tug of war. I’ve been here before. A while back I even set up a Twitter account exclusively for sharing links and sharing links only. Conversation over here and links over there. Everybody’s happy. Of course, it didn’t work because the content and the conversation actually go hand in hand. It was a silly idea.

The solution

I’ve not really got a solution; that’s why I’m writing this rather rambly blog post. With a bit of luck, you might leave a comment and help me out on this one. I will be doing a couple of things differently from now though. Firstly, I’m going to share a bit slower. Bombarding my timeline with links probably isn’t a good idea. Secondly, I’m not going to rage so much when someone I follow bombards me with irrelevant links. I now understand this and know that they are only doing as I once did.

The moral of the story is simple:

Treat your followers as you wish to be treated by those you follow yourself.

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0 thoughts on “Is sharing really caring?

  1. Hmmm interesting, if I see an article or link that interests me or I know that it will interest a few of my followers then I RT or post it. Not everyone will like it, but some will, they are never all of the same topic. And so as my links are varied I hope that I please “all of the people some of the time”, “not some of the people all of the time”. However, my followers that only follow a small amount of people could be overwhelmed with my tweets, links or not, so I do worry about those people and I know that I am lucky to have them still following me. I don’t believe that part has a solution. BTW I don’t think you post many links at all.

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  2. Link away! 🙂 You don’t post many and if they don’t interest me I just skip them.What I really hate to see are people tweeting sponsored links or using tools to constantly retweet their old blog posts. They obviously don’t care about spamming their followers 😦

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  3. . @michelledh Hmm, that’s what I was thinking. Those that follow fewer people are actually really important to me. It’s a tricky one!

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  4. . @john_metcalf I have to admit, I’m guilty of occasionally linking old blog posts but I will only do so if they have (for whatever reason) become relevant again. Re-churning the same content over and over is really bad for continuous engagement… And as for sponsored links… Man, that REALLY pisses me off. Way to get unfollowed AND blocked!

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  5. hi is beat burner still free? where is it? there are loads of links all over the web that take me to this blog when i try to download it. you might have inadvertently removed it.

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  6. Share, share, share Lee! One of the things that first attracted me to Twitter was the fantastic articles that people were sharing that I might not necessarily have in my RSS reader. I have lists dedicated to people that share great content and Twitter is quite often my first point of call when I’m looking for interesting articles to read (often ahead of my own RSS feed).That said, I do understand your predicament and it is easy to put your followers through information overload. I think the key is to have a good mixture of sharing content and engaging in conversations as it can be easy to go too far one way or the other sometimes. I think the solution you have set yourself is ideal if you are concerned about overloading your followers – for the record though, I don’t think you do ;)Completely agree with John’s comment above about constantly retweeting old posts, and the other thing that annoys me is when people constantly tweet EVERY article from the likes of Seth Godin or Mashable etc. I’ve even spotted people who auto-tweet their posts as soon as they are published. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of their articles, but I can follow them myself if I want to read all of them!

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  7. . @jedlangdon Thanks, Jed. That seems to be the general feeling of most folks. I do only share posts I find genuinely interesting and have actually read myself (I know loads of people that just retweet without reading) so I guess I’m the right side of the line.

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  8. @ the looking for BeatBurner person, I killed off my hosting recently due to it costing a lot more than I make these days. I did think about BeatBurner when I did so but it doesn’t really work very well in any hosts these days because they have progressed and BeatBurner hasn’t/wont. It’s pretty much obsolete. However, if there is still a demand (because it does still make lovely filthy sounds) I will find alternative hosting for it and add a page to this site for people to download again.

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