Gini Dietrich

Take the Easy Route. Everyone Is Doing It.

By: Gini Dietrich | May 4, 2011 | 

This past weekend, Danny Brown, Geoff Livingston, and I had an email conversation about the sameness of the blogosphere. Mark Schaefer has long called it the social media chamber: Something I’ve always been overly sensitive to not becoming.

Tools such as Storify quickly aggregates content, without having to create it. And pulls tweets into a newspaper-like format for you to share with your followers. Things are becoming more and more automated and not only are we repeating everything everyone says, we’re losing our creativity.

Danny says it best in “The Mind-Numbing Banality of Sameness” earlier this week:

Bloggers were viewed as quirks of nature, and/or frustrated writers. Yet some of the best writing around was being published, since the attention span didn’t have to be geared towards 140-characters or compete with a thousand social networks. Because of this longer attention span, the quality over quantity issue was never in doubt.

The attention span didn’t have to be geared towards 140-characters or compete with a thousand social networks.

Sure, there are plenty of bloggers who are doing it the right way. But they’re not typically rewarded with book deals or speaking engagements or sponsored advertising or masses of followers. They’re working hard for something they believe in, but the world isn’t paying attention.

We talked a lot last week about the get rich quick, lose weight tomorrow phenomenon that is our society. And we all agreed (mostly) that easy achievements sell. Even though we know, deep down, nothing worth having comes easily.

And while we know it, we continue the cycle because that’s how it’s done and that’s what sells…even if it’s not truly helpful or valuable.

It’s easier to use aggregation tools. It’s easier distribute someone else’s content. It’s easier to echo what the perceived A-listers are saying. It’s easier to mimic than to be yourself. It’s easier to use headlines that grab the attention of our fellow short-time span humans without saying anything important. It’s easier to attract the masses than to niche.

After all, the idea is you’ll quickly become famous this way. And being famous equals making a gazillion dollars.

So why not take the easier route? Everyone else is doing it.

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • AmyMccTobin

    GREAT Stuff. The actual content made me hesitate to ReTweet it though 🙂

  • lauraclick

    Good stuff, Gini. I think we all know this truth deep down, yet, we always hope there’s an easier, faster, better way. The bottom line is that success always comes from hard work. Seth Godin wrote about the difference between hard work and long work yesterday and he made some excellent points there too. While you have to put in the hours, it’s not about how long you work, it’s about being willing to take a risk. In this case, hard work is determining how to stand out from the crowd. It’s not easy to do that, but it will pay off in dividends if you do. Good stuff!

  • ginidietrich

    @AmyMccTobin LOL!!

  • ginidietrich

    @lauraclick It’s so true yet and we know it, yet we always look for the easier way. I guess it’s just human nature.

  • Just as I finish writing my “10 ways to loose 10lbs in a week while eating deep dish pizza” post.

    The question is, do we build for now, for the traffic spike, the RTs today or do we work for launching something much bigger in the next few months?

  • Nice job, Gini.

    I agree. Let’s all take the easier route.

    It’s easier.

    The Franchise King®

  • ladylaff

    Dear Gini, thank you for the opportunity to post my favorite line from my favorite song (That Sinking Feeling) by The The: “The path of least resistance leads to the garbage heap of despair”. I’m going to stay on the scenic route to success, thank you very much! 😉

  • Pingback: The Devil and : Cybercletch LLC()

  • You’re right about this, Gini. It’s hard for bloggers and writers to focus on quality when the public consumes (or rather skims through) content so voraciously, which leads to a focus on quantity. It was only a matter of time before the “content farm effect” trickled down into the blogosphere. I think a good example of a quality blogger is Tim Ferriss, who does a good job of producing quality content on his terms and his own schedule. While I’m a fan of both Seth Godin and Jonathan Fields, I sometimes get the feeling that their posts are forced as a result of their daily posting schedule. That being said, I wish I had the confidence and persistence to post weekly let alone daily.

  • ginidietrich

    @johnfalchetto Well, you know my stance on this (as evidenced by what we launched yesterday). But I’m not going to lie. This is the hardest I’ve ever worked. It’s not easy. Maybe your 10 pounds loss while eating deep dish pizza would be less exhausting…and way more fulfilling.

  • ginidietrich

    @FranchiseKing It’s waaaaay easier. You’re right. Let’s do it.

  • ginidietrich

    @PhilipNowak I think all of us who post daily are guilty sometimes of publishing just to publish. It’s not easy to write every day. But I’m not sure the answer is repeating what everyone else is saying, in your own words. As for you: Just choose a day, make a commitment, and stick to it. You’ll find you have blog posts coming out of your ears.

  • ginidietrich

    @ladylaff I wish I’d known this when I published this morning. I would have said, “And Sarah has the concluding sentence.” And I would have had you write that! Love it.

  • KenMueller

    I’ve never understood using aggregation tools. In fact, I think this is why eschew any tools that seem to make social media “easier”: scheduling, aggregating, automating. blahblahblah.

  • ginidietrich

    @KenMueller You know I schedule stuff, but I feel that’s different because it’s still my personal touch. I’m in complete control of it.

  • KenMueller

    @ginidietrich yes, and i can forgive you for this normally unpardonable sin, because you ARE in control and you still spend a lot of time engaging on various platforms. I’m more concerned about the people and businesses that do nothing BUT schedule. You are human. They are not.

  • ginidietrich

    @KenMueller Yes! I suppose that’s the overarching issue – the human aspect vs. the bots.

  • KenMueller

    @ginidietrich and believe me, the moment you start to be bot-like, i’ll be the first to point out your humanity! hmm. a Gini-bot….

  • @ginidietrich Thank you Sensei Gini. I’ll take that to heart. 🙂

  • JGoldsborough

    Ok, you know I am not a fan of the easy — and lazy — way out. We have had the influence conversation. But I think the two tools you referenced in the post are very different and I actually see quite a bit of potential benefit in Storify. is crap. It doesn’t even make sense because the tweets say so-and-so is featured, but they aren’t featured. Something they tweeted is featured. Dumb, dumb, don’t get it. Storify, on the other hand, is an interesting way to share crowdsourced information and then provide a perspective of your own, which is something we as bloggers do all the time and we council our clients to do.

    Want to see Storify done right, check out prtini ‘s blog post from last night ( that crowdsourced several #pr20chat responses to a question about “How long after the Bin Laden news is it ok to pitch?” in response to a PR Daily story that said we shouldn’t even pitch this week. To me, that is an example of taking a current events issue that is worthy of a blog post and using Storify to integrate crowdsourced opinion. Thoughts?

    Want to see done right? Keep looking and let me know if you find something worth sharing. My money is on not finding something. is bunk.

  • “So why not take the easier route? Everyone else is doing it.”

    Simple Gini… because success received from taking the easy route is fleeting. Success resulting from hard work is everlasting.

    Wow… that’s pretty deep before 9 a.m. 🙂

    –Tony Gnau

  • HeatherWhaling

    @JGoldsborough Justin, thanks for the mention. 🙂 I agree, @ginidietrich , that there’s too much “recycling” of content going on. But, it’s also important to remember that we’re all having different experiences. So, while you or geoffliving may have written about something a couple months ago, another PR person may just be getting that question or spotting that trend, so it’s going to seem like good blog fodder for them. We’re all at different points on the spectrum, and that’s ok.

    As far as Storify, I LOVE the potential, especially for people who want to collect content from a variety of sources to give a more complete version of story. I also think it can be helpful as a way to recap and continue a discussion. As Justin explained, that was my intention with the #pr20chat recap. During last night’s chat we asked a very timely question about a topic that I know LOTS of PR people are struggling with this week. To keep the conversation going, I pulled in some responses from the chat participants and then opened up the discussion in the comments. This has brought more people into the dialogue and presented new opinions and advice. I think that’s the beauty of these tools *when done right.* How are we using them to move the dialogue forward?

  • Let me ask you a question Gini as I’m very interested to hear your take on it – why do you think people jump into the echo chamber rather than be themselves and just go for it?

  • ginidietrich

    @rdempsey I don’t know. I think it’s likely a few things: They see other people successful at it. It’s perceived to be easy. If so-and-so A lister says it, it must be true and I’ll add that value to my readers, too. It’s scary to put yourself on the line. It’s hard to have an opinion people may disagree with. A lot of different things.

  • ginidietrich

    @T60Productions Exactly! Yet, as human beings, we’re always looking for the easy way.

  • geoffliving

    @HeatherWhaling @JGoldsborough @ginidietrich geoffliving

    There’s a difference between recycling ideas and concepts (with or wihtout attribution), and being original. Let’s be clear here. People have been recycling stories since Beowulf. Frankly, if I blogged about a concept (for example, Klout’s issues in November), and it catches fire in January without attribution, then as far as I am concern, the idea virus succeeded. That’s all I care about.

    However, the big issue that Gini and Danny have brought up is a lack of forward movement, and frankly and in particular when it comes to influence a horseshit system of self propagation within the sector. And then there is a slam down attitude when these people are called to the mat for ethics, bad ideas, and shady business practices. They want voices to wilt and go away. The market says yes to it.

    But there are those of us who will not support it, those of us who do not care about punishment (and yes, I get this every day from people, you should see my in box). Why? Because we are committed to ethical forward motion and doing the right thing, not cashing in and selling out. That’s it!

  • @ginidietrich so the status quo is to be a part of the status quo. I can see that being the case as people aren’t educated to be entrepreneurial – it’s comfort all the way. Comfort of the steady paycheck, comfort of the 30-year mortgage, comfort of sending out content that is known to be liked by at least some people. Combine that with the “get rich fast” or “get famous to get rich” ideals that many are shown and it’s no wonder people get confused and then don’t go out on a limb.

  • @geoffliving @HeatherWhaling @JGoldsborough @ginidietrich geoffliving Hot damn Jeff you just made me a fan.

  • @ginidietrich “If you choose the quick and easy path as Vader did – you will become an agent of evil.” –Yoda, 1980 🙂

  • @ginidietrich @T60Productions I thought we’re always looking for a challenge…So I could have gone the easy route this whole time?!

  • @geoffliving @HeatherWhaling @JGoldsborough @ginidietrich geoffliving Amen, Geoff, amen. 🙂

  • Way to go on extending the conversation, miss. 🙂

    I think @geoffliving sums it up really well in his reply to @HeatherWhaling – it’s not so much that anyone is against non-originality (is anything really original these days). It’s more against the lazy cop-out and bland speech bubbles, where the buck is more attractive than the buck stops here.

    Fine if you want to be a cop-out and pander to popularity. Me? I’ll stick to saying what I feel and getting my counter-punches ready for the sycophants. 😉

  • Instanteous.









  • ladylaff

    @ginidietrich Hey, you know where to find me next time! Thanks as ever for giving the community another very important to think about without sounding patronizing. That’s definitely your gift and why we love your blog. Cheers, Sarah

  • jeanniecw

    Gini – I have even found my 6 year old, who I’m nicknaming “the great negotiator,” is constantly looking for ways to find the easy way. I’ve changed how I discuss results with him and instead have focused on the reward of the effort. So when he gets frustrated with learning a piece on piano, I praise him when he pushes through the initial frustration and highlight how he feels when he figures it out. It has been a great lesson for me, as well. It is difficult to say things that not everyone will agree with, or even care about. I believe some bloggers who recycle popular content are really just trying for numbers. I have a niche focus and I do my best to stay true to that. Some of my more specific posts don’t get the numbers, but they get the right readers.

    Thanks for this discussion. I have fun following all the A-listers here and then seeing who’s copying whom. (Kidding!)

  • Despair not!

    I think the reason why there is a creeping grey sameness in the blog / social media world is the continued faith in the “influencer model”, which is the need for desperate cries for attention that are noticed by the cool kids of the world. The state we are in right now is, I believe, directly related to the extent to which this world is still defined as something like a very pale and middle class high school full of anxious wannabees.

    The main reason I like to talk about actual traffic to my own humble li’l blog is … well, I think I have decent traffic. And I have been deliberately breaking nearly all the “rules” set up by these cool kids to see what happens. Where their puffy pink sanitized vision of the world went against traditional ways of communicating ideas and analysis, I have always applied proven traditional models. And I have readers to show for it.

    What does that mean? You don’t have to go as extreme as I did to make a point, but frankly someone had to do the experiments I have done. But making your point clearly without engaging in the same tripe will get you noticed – not by the elites, but by the masses. Over time this will be recognized as a not only a better strategy for personal growth it will also become obvious that this is the only way the ‘net can live up to the promise of being a genuine revolution.

    In short, the online world needs to get real. Once it does it will be more colorful, chaotic, and a helluva lot more fun. It will also be much more relevant, which almost goes with out saying.

  • 3HatsComm

    @PhilipNowak @ginidietrich I too have read what I felt were forced, lackluster posts by many a ‘rockstar’ and thought, “WTH was that?” and don’t want that for my own blog. I’m a slacker, will enable your slackness as I don’t publish daily. I applaud Danny and Gini, those who can do it.. but then I am sure they cheat with clones. I did make a commitment to doing it ‘right’ and ‘my way’ first weekly and now, twice a week. Oh crap.. need other post for this week, but then.. guest posts should count, right? Anyway.. best of luck as I gotta go type something. 😉

  • 3HatsComm

    @KenMueller @ginidietrich It’s nothing but automate and preprogram.. blind tweeting this and automating that… then dropping then name of the blogger who originally tweeted or wrote it. Not for me.

  • 3HatsComm

    Hmm.. I must admit I thought some of the thingys were kinda interesting. For about 10 minutes. #dontjudgeme Seriously though it didn’t take long for me to not like it, to not get it or other aggregation or reblogging tools like Amplify. I get the concepts, yet agree with @KenMueller and @geoffliving and @JGoldsborough it’s the easy way out. Which I’d be happy to take along with the gazillion dollars, if you’d just show me where it is or send me a Staples button. 😉

    IDK.. I don’t mind a little quality curation as often smart folks and their robot clones find a lot of good things I’ve missed. I have written aggregate posts, nothing more than summaries of what other people said. But I made damn sure I attributed everyone and that I used those posts to make a point, tell that story in my own way; whether it’s ‘new’ or not, that’s for the reader to decide. FWIW.

  • Hey Gini – being original takes courage.

    Fear motivates just about every action people take.

    It’s risky to put yourself out there and go against the status quo. People are more worried about looking stupid, being embarrassed, or tripping and falling than living a life of little meaning. That’s why the majority of folks live a life of mediocrity – they don’t have the balls to be different and amazing.

  • “Sure, there are plenty of bloggers who are doing it the right way. But they’re not typically rewarded with book deals or speaking engagements or sponsored advertising or masses of followers. They’re working hard for something they believe in, but the world isn’t paying attention.”This is what saddens me. There is a lot of smart thinking out there, but people flock like lemmings to pray at the pedestals of popularity.

    Every time someone says to me “I am honored you followed me, or commented or…” or “You’re a rock star, social media elite, etc.” it TRULY pains me. We MUST stop this “ranking” of people. It’s simply wrong. Everyone has something to offer, teach, learn, contribute. EVERYONE! No one is better than anyone else.

    I don’t know, maybe I am just naive or tired. But the game playing, social rankings and social climbing make me just want to walk away from it all and spend time on something more meaningful in life. Because there IS more to life than social media, blogging, popularity, etc.

    I want to live with no regrets and guess what? That’s not the easy route.

  • And I get that I just took this conversation off-course. But you wrote it Gini, not me. 😉

  • thebrandbuilder

    Yep. It’s mostly link-bait content with no purpose whatsoever other than to increase the digital footprint of a “personal brand.” I just call it ‘Spam 2.0’

  • @BethHarte Do people rank their grandmothers over their mothers, or vice versa? No – or at least I hope not! 😉

    Completely agree, Beth – all this influencer and ranking shit is exactly that.

  • @DannyBrown I surely hope not. People ranking is not a good business or frame of mind to be in… no good can come of it. I am convinced of that. Influence isn’t the loudest mouth, that’s for sure.

  • @DannyBrown @geoffliving @HeatherWhaling I just love it when someone uses the word “syocphants’ in a sentence! : )

    and that, Danny Brown, is just one of the many things that set you apart!

  • Love it. Yes, we can all put a new voice to a current topic or speak to it from our point of view, but if it’s not taking it to another level or offering an alternative to the discussion, I agree with @thebrandbuilder ….it’s Spam 2.0.

    Time for folks to get their heads out of their asses (sorry for the poor language choice) or, maybe other people’s arses, and do some of their own work – even if it’s risky, draws out an argument, or does nothing. At least they’re working on something unique and different in the process!

  • @BethHarte I agree with you, Beth. I think there IS more to life than social media, blogging, popularity, etc and getting drawn into THAT world of false rankings and the hot new thought of the day can quickly suck the life right out of you.

  • @EricaAllison Stop being such a sycophant, Erica… 😉

    Hehe, I jest. Thanks, miss – can never use a good word enough. Now if only I could wheedle in “indubitably, my dear Watson” somewhere along the line, life would be good. 🙂

  • @EricaAllison It sure can… and does! I told @DannyBrown When I chose to re-focus my blog on my passion (customers) versus social media (unless it’s totally business related) I lost readers, comments, rankings etc. I also blog when I have something to say and don’t feel pressured to keep rankings up. But you know what? I am happier now that I do it for myself. 🙂

  • wagnerwrites

    Let’s take collective responsibility for encouraging each other to post too often, whip out short or not-well-crafted posts, borrow or purchase ideas from the “big guys,” and believe that blogging is going to make us rich. I blog just because I’m a writer and now I have a place to publish my thoughts. I try not to bore myself…

  • RachelYeomans

    I admit it’s hard to stomach that yes it’s easier to gain ‘popularity’ by rehashing and commenting and all that jazz. However what I feel needs to be addressed is the value of patience. I know it’s a sort of four-letter word in social media, but many are saying, “I want a social media presence and I want a million followers/fans by the end of the year!” Well…why?! That doesn’t lead to anything except a big number as most of the time large numbers aggregated quickly is probably based on spam bots or an audience that has no connectivity with your brand. If you build a blog, create a solid strategy, spend time creating quality content, get to know your readership, interact with them, then quantity will eventually catch up with quality and you can truly be proud of creating it yourself without rehashing it and be recognized for it. There is something to be said for commenting on things others say and provide your own insight/feedback. But can’t that (i.e. ‘the easy way’) be combined with the ‘the hard way’?

  • ginidietrich

    @BethHarte @EricaAllison @DannyBrown We were just talking about this in the office the other day. As human beings, we put people on pedestals and then can’t wait to tear them down. Why do we do that?! I actually think the reference was to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (sorry, Danny). Here we’ve put them up on this gigantic pedestal and then rumor has it they sang “You’re the one that I want” at their reception. They’re just people. We’re all just people. Doing the best we can.

    This is an important conversation so derail away, Beth!

  • 3HatsComm

    @rdempsey @ginidietrich Huh.. is it that like speaks to like? I mean, one person’s limb may be another’s solid ground. I don’t like automated twitter feeds, others say they work. I am sure there are posts out there about blogging whatever, places where push-sell-market are the watchwords of that echo chamber.. which I then unfollow for their spammy, easy money auto-DMs. IDK.. maybe more disagree but don’t say anything. I’ve done a few posts lately that I expected more dissent.. and didn’t get it. Or rather I didn’t read it as maybe those who think I’m full of crap declined to comment. Just typing out loud.

  • Im in 🙂 Easy route it is for me lol

  • MARLdblE

    I love the way you’ve framed this Gini. And yes, we live in a “quick fix” society but I believe that people are craving more and more substance as these technologies evolve and in essence become more automated. I believe that all of the “social” automation is making social tools ineffective because people are becoming hip to the fact that they are “secretly” being advertised and sold to. That said, I think sincere, brutally honest, and relatively raw engagement is going to be a requisite for truly gaining traction with your 1000 true fans.

  • ginidietrich

    @dino_dogan You’re so full of baloney!

  • jefflogden59

    As one who has been writing dozens of original blog articles each week for years, you struck a nerve, Gini. Creating original content is hard work. Does anyone care?

  • I gotta say, a philosophical discussion is worth far more than an article of best practices or a how-to. Creating a framework of thinking trumps shortcut-knowledge (linkbait posts) any day–as far as learning goes. And writing about it challenges others to think too!

    But I guess the goal isn’t to learn; the goal is to make it rain!

    I can’t really discredit those short-cut posts entirely; if you’re one of the first ones to touch the subject you’re creating tremendous value for all the cloners. : )

  • KDillabough

    @jefflogden59 I do.

  • KDillabough

    @EricaAllison @thebrandbuilder It’s difficult. It takes time. It can be frustrating and financially unrewarding. It’s lonely sometimes….creating original work.


  • KDillabough

    @DannyBrown @BethHarte Could not agree more. Blogging, engaging, commenting, writing, painting, speaking…we’re all creative artists, wanting to get our message out because we’re passionate about it. It shouldn’t be about becoming the homecoming queen/king…besides, people see through that in no time flat.

  • KDillabough

    @BethHarte @EricaAllison @DannyBrown LOVE LOVE LOVE this Beth!

  • KDillabough

    @Mark_Harai Mark, I know I mentioned this in my comment on your blog, and perhaps it’s my athletics background that simply doesn’t allow me to worry about looking stupid, being embarrassed or tripping and falling.

    Now don’t get me wrong: looking stupid, being embarrassed or tripping and falling in public is no fun. But it never prevents me from being true to myself, asking the ‘stupid” question, or forging ahead, ‘balls to the walls.” I aspire to be different and amazing, and have different and amazing experiences.

  • mdbarber

    Your paragraph on “get rich quick” lifestyles struck a cord with me. I find myself too often frustrated with those who seem to be “getting rich” by selling their easy achievements and those of us paddling like ducks doing our work smarty and under the radar. I can hear my mom saying their actions will come back to haunt them and to stay the course. But there are days I wonder if our society is moving so fast there’s no need for smart, longer term solutions and programs?Some days it seems that way. Meanwhile, I admire and try to promote and support those who do good, smart, strategic and long term work as I know it’s the “right thing to do.” But, the million dollar question remains — how to convince others?

  • @mdbarber Those of us in the USofA are living in a huge empire at the height of its power that is shockingly stupid and selfish. I have little doubt that a serious reckoning is coming – but, as always, our strengths are so great that they may yet overcome our unbelievable lack of even the smallest amount of common sense, decency, and so on. Just hold on. I don’t know about you, but I could never live the way the majority of our culture does because I have a few working brain cells and quite a few morals. You and I can get by, do pretty well at least, and be sure that if this finally does get what’s coming to it in our lifetime we’ll be the ones ready to lead the next American Renaissance. I’m up for it if you are!

  • @KDillabough You are one awesome lady Kaarina – I’m happy we’ve connected!

    I love your comment “balls to the walls!” Amazing things can happen when you live your life this in this fashion : )

    You will never know how capable you really are until you push the envelope. I believe most people would be surprised at what they’re really capable of if they let go of those things that hold them back from being totally 100% themselves.

    An individuals true potential is in their uniqueness, not their similarities with others.

    Cheers Kaarina!

  • ginidietrich

    @Mark_Harai @KDillabough But when one of your friends trips in public, after you make sure they’re OK, it sure is funny! It just makes you look human. And, from where I sit, there is NOTHING wrong with looking human.

  • ginidietrich

    @3HatsComm I still need to go back to Danny’s blog and disagree with you there! I also looked at for about 10 minutes. I find them annoying, but that’s a personal preference. I guess I look at what you and I do around aggregation different than those who ONLY do that. When you write blog posts with other people’s content, you do it with thought and you handpick the articles/posts. nittygriddyblog does this really well, too. That’s totally different than using a tool to aggregate automatically.

  • KDillabough

    @ginidietrich @Mark_Harai Love lookin’ human Gini:)

  • KDillabough

    @Mark_Harai Thanks Mark, for those very kind words. Gonna’ keep those BTTWalls!

  • @KDillabough @EricaAllison @DannyBrown Love makes the world go round… (Not blogging). 🙂

  • @mdbarber “I wonder if our society is moving so fast there’s no need for smart, longer term solutions and programs?”

    Mary, no way. Short-term thinking is what is getting people into long-term troubles. We can all see that with business, the economy, etc., etc. We should all be pushing for long-term solutions, programs, goals.

    Let’s not give up the faith my friend!!

  • JayDolan

    I only take the easy route. Hard work and sacrifice are for chumps and people without Twitter accounts.

  • I have tried the easier, softer way. I failed miserably. Now I have no choice but to do actual work, actually promote my blog about a topic no one wants to discuss, and try to get subscribers without threatening people!

    Don’t think I won’t resort to it! I am from Jersey after all! I will find out where you all live!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Gini, I just finished a blog post that could have been written by anyone here — “11 business reasons to try Twitter” — but the people here are not my audience. I wasn’t trying to take the easy route, but to be relevant to people who might hire me. My post isn’t nearly as good as Marcus @thesaleslion Sheridan’s Dear Twitter: Sorry I Hated Your Guts (that was great!) but it’s my honest personal experience and I think it’s relevant to people who are checking me out.

    I guess there’s always a tradeoff. 🙂

  • TheJackB

    @JGoldsborough Actually I have found Paper Li to be useful. It is a quick snapshot that I glance at. Sometimes there are things in there that are worth reviewing and sometimes not. Doesn’t take but a moment for me to review.

  • TheJackB

    @ginidietrich I never intentionally mail it in but there is personal value in posting daily. The discipline and effort lends itself to helping you become a better and more polished writer.

    There is merit and worth in practice and that is what some of this is. Well, at my personal blog that is how I view it. I have more room to make errors than a “professional” blog might.

    On a professional level I operate differently. I don’t agree that everyone has something to offer. I’d like to say otherwise but I have sat through too many meetings where people speak because they fear that silence will reflect poorly upon them.


  • mdbarber

    @BethHarte I agree Beth and hope we can get people to slow down. I haven’t given up the faith but do have those days, as I’m sure you do, when I just wonder if it’s ever going to change. Just had a fabulous meeting, though, with a smart young woman, who is ready to affect change too. We can make a difference and need to persevere!

  • ginidietrich

    @JayDolan You make me laugh so hard. You will rue the day you try to be even semi-serious with me.

  • geoffliving

    Funny how a blog post like this doesn’t get heavy RTs or shares, but everyone comments. Just an observation.

  • mdbarber

    @wabbitoid I agree with you and will also add that where we see people who are on the same page, we need to jump in to help. We are in a fix and it’s only through listening to each other, hearing what we are all saying and working together that we can affect the change that’s needed. Onward to a new world.

  • mdbarber

    @geoffliving Interesting observation Geoff. I wonder why? You are correct, though. I didn’t retweet it but am thoroughly enjoying the comments.

  • ginidietrich

    @barrettsbook I don’t think there is anything wrong with writing something of value like that. It’s @3HatsComm debate with me, as well (which I haven’t responded to on Danny’s blog yet). I think we’re talking about the same ol’, same ol’ with the same audiences. Most of us run in the PR/marketing worlds and EVERYONE there says the same thing. That was the genesis of my conversation with Danny and Geoff. If your audience are small business owners, for instance, they NEED 11 business reasons to try Twitter.

  • ginidietrich

    @mdbarber @geoffliving That’s pretty much how it always is. I always joke about how we always have double the amount of comments as tweets. Always. It’s also really fun to watch the conversation drop in professionalism around 2 p.m. CT. And then, after 8 p.m., watch out!

  • ginidietrich

    @NancyD68 I’ll help you. We can make people sleep with the fishes, if we need to. But can you leave the jumpsuit at home? It’s not flattering.

  • 3HatsComm

    @barrettsbook@thesaleslion See you’re getting all smart and strategic, writing for the audiences you have and the one you want (potential clients)… a trick I’ve tried, yet to master. Mostly b/c it’s work and I’m trying to avoid that kind of thing.

  • ginidietrich

    @mdbarber @wabbitoid When I was in college my dad said two things that have always stuck with me: AIDS will not kill our society; cancer will. And the country is living on borrowed money. These fancy cars and big houses people can’t afford are going to bankrupt the country.

    Look how right he was! And now we have conversations exactly like this one. I, too, think our country is shockingly stupid and selfish. No one thinks about anything beyond their own worlds (no one is a gross generalization). We talk about that internally here all the time. How can we think beyond our four walls and really affect the people we work with in a very selfless way. Sometimes it’s infuriating not to have the same returned.

  • mdbarber

    @BethHarte @KDillabough @EricaAllison @DannyBrown I love how this has taken a side note. And a wonderful one at that. One of the issues I have with the influencer rankings is they don’t understand a person’s sphere so they really aren’t measuring what’s worthwhile and important. Love this conversation but I should probably also get back to work…increasing my klout score (not).

  • ginidietrich

    @lgdrew I don’t know if I totally agree. I think if you’re providing value, engaging a conversation, and growing while we all learn, that does make rain. It may take longer, but you’ve build trusting relationships with people who work with you for years. I prefer that to the quick buck any day.

  • ginidietrich

    @KDillabough @jefflogden59 I do too!!

  • ginidietrich

    @MARLdblE I don’t know what to say other than AMEN!

  • 3HatsComm

    @ginidietrich nittygriddyblog Hate it.. I have to agree. Icky feeling, must shower. That’s more curation .. but like you said, it’s handpicked vs. some automated, algorithmically challenged bot. And it’s done with theme, with purpose to write that story in a different way. Ingrid is really good at this. I’ve been culling a Facebook post a while; it’s a work in progress b/c I want to do more than just list posts, I want to balance it as point-counterpoints and hopefully offer something a little different or at least make someone see things in new way. Preferably mine. 😉

  • LisaDJenkins

    Creating good, original content IS hard and delivering it with consistency is harder still. Early on I decided that, unless I had something of value to put out into the ether, I wouldn’t publish. There’s only so many ways to say “Facebook is RAD” and the blogosphere doesn’t need my echo added to everyone else’s. I don’t blog often. I stand before you a self-proclaimed “Occasional, Erratic Blogger”. When I hit that send button, it’s because I’ve reached a point where I can no longer ignore the topic at hand and have to put my two cents worth in writing – humble as that two cents may be, it’s mine.

    And Oy. More and more I get the impression that people use it as a way to include their name with those of big(ger) players in the hopes that some type of perceived value of association is realized. Cynical? Maybe, but there it is. Myself? I’m a lover of the RT and that’s how I’ll continue to pass on other people’s great stuff.

  • 3HatsComm

    @geoffliving And “8 effective ways to list 5 top 10 list” posts get tons of RTs, but no comments.

  • mdbarber

    @3HatsComm @geoffliving THAT is very true. And, something I like about @ginidietrich posts too…the headlines are interesting and make me read them…not the 8 effective ways to list 5 top 10 blaoney

  • 3HatsComm

    @ginidietrich @barrettsbook We’re typing at the same time, missed this by 2 minutes! Then had to go see how I was debating you over at @DannyBrown post. Hmmm… and yeah I did have a little food for thought. Am I in trouble, some sort of Spin Sucks penalty box?

  • mdbarber

    @ginidietrich @wabbitoid Not surprisingly your dad was a smart man.

    And, this is also one of the main reasons I gave so much of my time last fall on that little history-making write-in campaign here in AK. It was to, hopefully, send a smart and thinking person back to try to help affect change. I hope it works.

  • geoffliving

    Ha! I did one of those today to support a fundraiser for women in tech. RTs galore, no comments, and yeah, a few donations. :/ @3HatsComm

  • HowieSPM

    Its funny you use the term A listers. I have unfollowed most on twitter (not all are talking cow doody a few are not) and you know I don’t read mashable. Sometimes I feel towards mashable the same way Jon Stewart feels about Fox News..and endless source of humor and content LOL

    Mark Schaefer recently did a video blog with Jay Baer who reinforced why I don’t read his blog (though not sure if I follow on Twitter).

    My feeling is anyone who doesn’t have substance will fall by the wayside. It always happens. Quality over Quantity. Notice Rolex never tried making an under $50 watch to put their label on. I would rather be Audi or Mercedes than a mass consumption vehicle. There is always room for the masses. Britney Spears sells lots of albums but real music people laugh at her while she counting her money.

    To each their own. But I would rather be a poor renegade than a rich Diddy-o-Lameness.

  • @ginidietrich @3HatsComm Oh, I agree… There’s a place for “thought leadership” and a place for “education marketing.” We’re asking everyone to be a publisher… Not everyone can be “original,” nor is it useful to try. I’ll be original when I can, but I’d rather be useful to my (tiny) audience.

  • KenMueller

    @HowieSPM I’m with you, Howie. I confess that I used to follow them and even tried to talk to them a lot on Twitter. I was fairly new to doing some of this and I loved the fact that Twitter sorta evened the playing field and sometimes they would even talk back! woohoo. But then I realized after reading their books that they while they had some good ideas, they didn’t practice all that in their own use of Social Media. Then suddenly i found folks like marijean @ginidietrich@joeystrawn and then @Shonali nittygriddyblog and more. Not only did they provide great info, but they were genuine. And they became people that I would consider friends rather quickly. Again, because they were genuine. And boy do I learn a lot from them!

  • 3HatsComm

    @HowieSPM The gig is up, the news is out.. found you, renegade. Apple doesn’t make a $600 laptop, they just don’t. They didn’t put their label on a $300 netbook, they invented the iPad as Steve Jobs laughs at everyone who made fun of the name and doubted its place in the market. TEHO is right.. I’d still may go for rich, maybe w/ money I could buy quality or unlameness?

  • HowieSPM

    @3HatsComm That is an awesome Styx reference! And comment Davina!

  • 3HatsComm

    @KenMueller @HowieSPM marijean @ginidietrich @Shonali nittygriddyblog@joeystrawn It’s what Shonali and others have called ‘walking the talk.’ Some do it, some don’t.

  • KenMueller

    @ginidietrich @barrettsbook @3HatsComm I’ll chime in here, because I think Gini is right. I’ve had some local social media types make passive aggressive comments about my blog being the same ol’ same ol’. First off, they don’t even blog. Secondly, they aren’t my audience. My audience is primarily made up of small businesses in my area. So while I may write something that is very similar to what other social media folks are writing, it may actually be that I’ve never read those other blogs, but I’m writing what I believe my audience wants and needs. Additionally, we need to remember a lot of us live in that social media bubble. We see it all, but aren’t really writing for each other.

  • HowieSPM

    @KenMueller marijean @ginidietrich @Shonali @Griddy @joey_strawn Ken great comment. I don’t dislike Jay btw very nice guy. He feels Twitter and Facebook are NBC News vs the Technology to broadcast and receive NBC News. That is a huge difference in opinion I have with him.

    But yes I see plenty of ‘Social Media’ agencies with zero followers on twitter or anything on Facebook. And they fail to prove their efforts with facts/data to support. Another issue that has been discussed is some people don’t even have clients, never built a community or even come here to thrash it out with us! 8)

  • KenMueller

    @HowieSPM marijean @ginidietrich @Shonali @Griddy @joey_strawn Around here that seems to be the rule, rather than the exception (and by here, I mean where I live and work, not here on Spin Sucks). Why would you hire someone to help you with social media when they can’t even do it for themselves? I have a prime example I show people in terms of web design. A local web guy who’s own site is ugly and he even had a disclaimer saying “don’t judge my work by my own site, i’m too busy making great sites for you!”. Sorry, that doesn’t cut it, especially when you’re making horrible template sites for your clients. I like it to going to the dentist. Are you going to go to the dentist who has nasty teeth and bad breath? i think not.

  • 3HatsComm

    @KenMueller @ginidietrich @barrettsbook And if you write it in YOUR way it may connect with the reader in ways that hadn’t worked before, maybe it’s a perspective or approach that someone didn’t get but it’s your post that helps them put all the pieces together.

  • @KenMueller @ginidietrich @barrettsbook @3HatsComm

  • KenMueller

    @3HatsComm @ginidietrich @barrettsbook exactly. i think that’s key. That’s one of the things i’ve talked to Gini and @Marijean about. Most of the A-listers, in their blogs and their books, are writing to larger businesses who have money to spend on a lot of things. My clients can’t afford several thousand dollars a month on a SM monitoring tool. In many cases, they are a staff of anywhere from 1 to 5 people. I need to reach them at their level. It’s one of the reasons why Marijean and I have connected in terms of our philosophy of SM.

  • @3HatsComm @KenMueller @ginidietrichThere is a bit of a social media echo chamber, isn’t there? I spent 25 year in advertising land, so I know what one sounds like.

    I’m going to make a note to myself to do a bit more browsing, and interact with people who are not necessarily in my business, but in the kind of businesses I want to work with. It’s comforting to talk with people you already know exciting to meet new people. Here’s to a healthy mixture of the two.

    Hey, my name changed!

  • @3HatsComm Check out the middle section of Chris Brogans recent post: “You always have something to give.” Not everyone will give brilliant original insight. But that’s not the end of the world.

  • @ginidietrich i promise to leave the jumpsuits home! They are too long for me anyway! LMAO!

  • @KenMueller @HowieSPM marijean @ginidietrich @Shonali @Griddy I’m honored you guys mentioned me in your list, but I’m gonna have to stick up for Jay a little bit. That guy is a great mind and actually a great guy. He admittedly doesn’t socialize as much as he could, but he still offers a LOT of great stuff.

    Okay, having said that, I really think it’s important to act out what people will eventually pay you to help them do. I tend to get really close to people online who are like me and socialize. The great list of people in these comments are truly inspirations to me.


  • 3HatsComm

    @barrettrossie Thanks.. read and added a short comment, liked the part about the new take or story to an audience that’s never heard it.

  • MSchechter

    There is still something to be said for curation. Or at least there is for me. I’ve found tremendous value in those who find the best ideas and sharing them, or those who take an snippet from a concept (just as you did above with Danny’s comments) and build on it.

    Is the highest value in creating original ideas on original topics…. possibly. Is it frustrating for those of you who have been at it a while and often feel imitated or flat out ripped off, absolutely (especially since I started talking in a scottish accent and wearing kilts, IM COMING AFTER YOU BROWN!)… but I don’t think that this is the only road to doing it right.

    That said, we both agree that it is all about delivering tangible value to the reader at the end of the day.

  • @KDillabough I’m looking forward to witnessing it : )

  • Ha! Thanks man, appreciate that . 🙂

  • Petya

    @HowieSPM Loved your comment. There is always room for the masses. Indeed! But it’s difficult to be different, to create something new, to provide your own fruitful content, hence everybody is choosing the easier path, which is already carved by someone else…

  • KyleAkerman

    @ginidietrich @mdbarber @geoffliving Maybe because the community here does NOT want to take the easy way out by retweeting instead of commenting. I suppose a person could do both in order to spread the Spin Sucks word, though.

  • @KenMueller @HowieSPM @ginidietrich @Griddy You’re killing me with kindness today!

    I do think Jay is very smart. I’ve never met him, but he’s always been nice to me (granted our interactions have been few and far between), and the sense I get from his blog is that he really believes in what he’s saying. You can’t say the same for a lot of people, who write what they think will get eyeballs and attention.

    I don’t think it’s wrong to use aggregation tools per se. I do, some. There are people who like my dailies, and tell me so almost every day, and I’m glad they’re finding it useful. For me the point is, will one back that up with real interaction?

  • Great article, and now all I can think about is how hard I laughed at Stephen Colbert’s take on repackaging/curation as a business model. Behold:

    On a show recently, he called out huffpo for having based an entire section of their site on repackaged excepts from Colbert’s show. I get the sense he’s not actually complaining (believe the rule is he is ALWAYS being sarcastic), and syndication is generally a good thing… but we must not forget to actually create original work sometimes.

  • ginidietrich

    @chris It’s the whole, “We didn’t go to the NY Times party because they charged a cover. We decided to go to the Huffington Post party, but they made us go to other parties and bring back food.” LOL

  • ginidietrich

    @MSchechter I think there is a big difference in the way you curate vs. using something like Storify to pull stories together for you. You actually read stuff and pull out quotes. While it could be considered curation, it’s pretty unique to you.

  • ginidietrich

    @HowieSPM You don’t like Jay Baer? I think he’s one of the true “experts” in this space.

  • ginidietrich

    @KenMueller This comment is MUELLERIFIC!

  • KenMueller

    @ginidietrich oh. i thought it was Ginilicious!

  • ginidietrich

    @LisaDJenkins I would DIE if you published a Facebook Is Rad post!

  • ginidietrich

    @KenMueller No, no. This one is definitely Muellerific!

  • KenMueller

    @ginidietrich but…but…can’t it be both? Can’t we all just get along?

  • PlacesFirst

    What a great post, Gini – and so true. Perhaps it’s the reality TV mentality that someone can become ‘famous’ by hoarding paper coffee cups or eating cockroaches. Instant gratification and immediate acceptance seems to be the order of the day. I just started my own blog and I break a sweat every time I hit ‘publish’ … I’ll never get a book deal and I do get giddy when people read/comment. For me, it’s fun and a great outlet for the stuff that piles up in my head 😉

    Distributing other people’s content is a kindness to them and can be an indication of respect (that’s why I’ll RT this post 🙂 but RTing to get your attention isn’t sharing, it’s self-serving.

    (LOL – if fame is worth a gazillion dollars, I’m off to BBQ some crickets!)

  • HowieSPM

    @Shonali @KenMueller @ginidietrich @Griddy @joey_strawn I only brought up Jay because he was the most recent example. I don’t align with brogan or Armano definitely not Solis as examples of people who are very well known, read, they speak but I don’t agree with their views on Marketing or Social Media. I never said I dislike any of them at all. I would love having a beer with them. But I won’t read their stuff because to me it’s wrong and I don’t care what sales for books show, there is a reason at least 50% of Brand’s marketing spend is wasted.

    So cases prove Gini’s point here is that did any of these people jump a bandwagon for profit. Remember Mr. Blodget lied to investors to make money during the He pumped up stocks that privately he called dogs. I haven’t seen the numbers from a big picture CEO/CFO viewpoint to back up a lot of the Social media hype in terms of scale for a big brand. Still waiting for the first proof of success moving needles.

    And to prove my point one everyone uses the Ford Fiesta Movement. I estimated moved $250mil to $300mil vehicles to launch that car. That is HUGE dollars for Scott Monty. But what 0.3% of Sales for Ford and they need that tripled or quadrupled every year for that car to be a success/winner. Which btw if the car sucks, gets poor JD Powers ratings it tanks. If the car kicks ass it didn’t need the Fiesta Movement in the first place.And note: This was not a Facebook or Twitter campaign.

  • HowieSPM

    @ginidietrich I like him as a person a lot. I don’t agree with his viewpoints quite often. And no worries he is making a hell of a lot more money than me right now! He was just my most current example because I totally disagreed with him when he and mark schaefer discussed how businesses will integrate social. But also had one I blogged about regarding the Bin Laden announcement from someone else who is well known.

  • @ginidietrich I agree.

  • SoloBizCoach

    Aggregation is a great tool, but it stinks for curating content. I can see someone using to create content for themselves to read. In fact, I use flipboard for this on my iPad. But, I don’t want to read your And, please stop tweeting about it!

  • ginidietrich

    @PlacesFirst LMAO!! I don’t want to be famous if I have to eat cockroaches! And it KILLS me there is a show called Hoarders. It’s awful and plays to people’s mental illness. I hate it. But you’re right, instant gratification and immediate acceptance seem to be the order of the day.

    Oh and…the sweat every time you hit publish never goes away. You just get used to the panic attacks.

  • ginidietrich

    @SoloBizCoach LOL! I AGREE!! Did you know you can now get your favorite blogs in Flipboard?!?

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  • redpage75

    I hate those damn things. Hate them. While my own personal blogging habit is well established, my company is just taking its first baby steps into the social media sphere (well, I’m dragging them, kicking and screaming)…and I’m determined we’re going to do it right. Social media is meant to be personal, not automated. Isn’t that what social means?

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