Gaming the System

Recommended read via Mlle A.‘s Delicious bookmarks:

How we killed social media

And probably a reason why many companies that are latecomers to the social media circus will never understand, why everybody is was so excited.

Instead of following the latest social media advertising trend, my advice is: Be yourself.

Be your-crazy-self.

If it means only 20 unique visits per day, that’s much better than selling your ideas, your soul and well-being for 5K hits that will not return and will make you look trashy.

Imagine 20 people walking into your brick-and-mortar shop per day.

Don’t try to blog or post photos or twitter or upload videos or bookmark articles or share RSS feeds for advertising purposes only.

Have fun.

Don’t copy.

Don’t be fake.

Be Visible.

Persuade with good content at regular intervals.

When I presented a talk about blogging for content developers at an STC conference in Zurich, it was a photo collection of Nutella alternatives that Mlle A. and I started at that people noticed. Lots of craziness in there.

But I’m also using my energy for other projects such as the Malawi group at Flickr:

My talk about cell phones in Africa was well received because I’m genuinely interested in ICT developments in Africa, because now I can connect with family and friends. Which I couldn’t in the early 90s, due to very high telephone costs.

I don’t need to push my own business. Chiperoni and all of its side streams is just a fun project to try out new technologies and practice my writing skills and keep online bookmarks. And as such I’m probably a lot freer than somebody that needs to pay their bills with their online shop.

Consider these facts:

Social media is really disrupting the traditional conventional advertising and news world. Maybe at the end of it, all kinds of media will be dead… new and old. C.f. my recent post on “Where are the business models for content?”.

Search engines have become all powerful. Important facts and knowledge are getting ignored because they’re not in the search results on page 1.

That’s why independent niche blogging is important to me. Excellent research skills are much needed.

That’s why your point of view and your understanding of a topic can make a difference. And that’s why you should continue to blog and tweet and post photos… But IMHO the gold rush is over. It’s hard work. No quick wins.

In a corporate environment, asking all of your company employees to digg an article or tweet by command is fake, if you don’t engage further and learn to use the new tools and make networking part of your company culture. C.f Scoble on Zappos.

I would try to move away from “all about me and my beautiful company” kind of articles to showing your expertise and understanding for your particular part of the world market.

By nchenga

Nchenga-nchenga is my nickname. is my online playground, scrap book, and on-going collection of bookmarks and interesting quotes. Chiperoni is a Malawian term for cold, grey, rainy weather. I am a bridge blogger somewhere between Basel and Blantyre. The opinions and comments expressed here are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in anyway. So far, this blog is free of advertising or paid articles or similar.

1 comment

  1. Merci vielmals. 🙂
    I was planning a post on that myself, but I get too quickly sucked into the Etsy-shop-plugging annoyance that’s raging out there. It seems like every other new social media tool is being conquered by a flock of Etsy sellers who discovered a new great “marketing” tool. That’s not marketing. And it isn’t social.

    Apart from that, the part about “excellent research skills” is something that many people are lacking. I see it every day, and it is tiring.

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