Last week, I unveiled my inaugural airing of grievances in honor of Frank Constanza of Seinfeld and the holiday of Festivus.
Among the issues dealing with, or at least loosely related to, marketing and content writing that disappointed me this year were the Facebookization of the LinkedIn news feed, apostrophe abuse and misuse, and the prevalence of unresponsive websites.
And although I make it a policy to not touch politics with a 39 1/2-foot pole, I couldn’t help myself from expressing my disappointment with regards to the media coverage of candidate Trump.
Of course, my biggest grievance is with Trump himself. Despite his brilliance as both a politician and marketer, I can’t stand the fact that he’s using a presidential election to further inflate his already overinflated ego.
Suffice it to say, I had a few choice words and labels for Mr. Trump.
And now, on to Part 2 of the McBlog’s first annual airing of grievances.
Automated Direct Messages on Twitter
I appreciate when someone engages me on Twitter, whether they retweet one of my tweets or thank me for tweeting one of their articles. What I don’t appreciate is the impersonal, automated messages I receive after following someone.
You know the routine. They follow you because they think you’ll follow them, which gives them the opportunity to solicit you.
To be fair, some of the automated direct messages I receive are relevant to what I do for a living and the content I share on Twitter. But the vast majority of messages are blatant attempts to get me to download or sign up for something.
Here are the last three automated direct messages I’ve received – just to prove I’m not cherry picking the worst ones.
Hi Scott, can I send you a copy of our marketing automation best practices guide? Based on some of your recent tweets I thought you might be interested. Let me know!
I don’t use marketing automation. And I don’t tweet about marketing automation. You thought wrong.
Hey Scott, great to connect with a marketing pro. We created this piece on driving brand engagement, would love your thoughts on it!
You don’t care about my thoughts. You just want my contact info. Which is required for me to gain access to your “piece.”
Oh no! Okay this is an automated DM. But sincerely, thank you from the bottom of my heart for following me. I hope I can keep you engaged on the twitter. I also have a kick-ass Instagram. And although this is a robotic message, I really want to get to know you. So please DM me back with a quick hello or a what’s up or an emoticon. It will mean the start of our journey together as twitter pals.
Wait, we can begin a journey together as twitter pals and I can check out your kick-ass Instagram?
It’s a Festivus miracle!
If you really want to get to know me, send me a human message instead of the robotic message that you so openly disparaged.
LinkedIn Endorsements from Strangers
First, let me say that I truly appreciate endorsements from people who have worked with me directly and are endorsing me for skills that they’ve actually seen me use.
What I find comical is when people who don’t know me endorse me for skills I don’t have. In most cases, they just want an endorsement in return.
It’s the old “I’ll like your Facebook page if you like mine” routine.
If you really want to endorse someone, shouldn’t you have to do more than click a button for a specific skill? This is why the LinkedIn endorsement has about as much value as the Facebook like these days.
On the other hand, LinkedIn recommendations require you to write an actual testimonial and explain in detail why you would recommend a person or a company.
It takes effort. It takes thought. Which is why a recommendation has 100 times more value than an endorsement, at least in the world of LinkedIn.
The Flexing of Facebook Muscles after Tragedy
It started with the terrorist attacks in Paris and continued with the attacks in San Bernadino.
Several of my now former Facebook friends were pretty much gloating about the Paris attacks – while events were still unfolding.
How do you feel about gun control now? How do you feel about open borders now?
People were murdered in cold blood. And you see this as an opportunity to advance a political agenda?
Honestly, I don’t care about your position on gun control or open borders. Whether I agree with you is not the issue. The issue is that the immediate aftermath of a tragedy is not the time for political rants.
To be fair, you have every right to use Facebook as you see fit. Just like I have every right to turn you off.
And if you’re a business owner or representative, you’ve given me a reason to take my business elsewhere.
Proclamations of Death
I just did a quick Google search for “content writing is dead” to see when I should start looking for a new job. Perhaps my next assignment should be my own eulogy.
One article said in the title that freelance writing would be dead in one year. The article wasn’t dated, so I don’t know if the prediction of death is on schedule.
It basically said that lousy freelance writers are popping up all over the place, making it difficult for good writers to have any credibility.
Fair point. But that doesn’t mean freelance writing is dead.
It means most freelance writing sucks, and good writers who don’t know how to separate themselves from the posers will fail. But that’s true in the vast majority of industries.
The answer there is to suck it up and do some good marketing if you want to stay in business. Or you can pull out a tissue and cry that freelance writing is dead.
This is the problem with most articles that say something is dead. It’s never actually dead. The titles of these articles are nothing but click bait from someone looking for a short-term traffic spike.
Another article asked in the title if content writing was dead.
The first line of the article was, “Relax. It is not.”
Okay, you just answered the question asked in the title of your article. You basically admitted that the entire premise of your article is just plain silly.
You got your click. But why should I keep reading?
Stop proclaiming death unless something is dead.
Shameless self-promotion dressed up as “tips.”
Black Friday sales that start on Thanksgiving.
Ads that cover up the content I want to see or make me wait to see it.
Companies that try to circumvent ad blockers instead of making better ads.
Okay, I’m done. Happy Festivus, and all the best in 2016!