Me, Me, Me, I, I, I

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Just so we’re clear. I don’t care about you. I am not going to “Like” your Facebook page. I don’t follow your Tweets. I also don’t read your blog. And quite frankly, I think it is a bit pretentious of you to think that I should just because you sent me an impersonal automated message asking me to.

Don’t get me wrong. I want to care. I want to hear what you have to say. I want to learn from you. I want to be your friend. I want to follow you. But I won’t.

Why Not?

I won’t because you don’t care about me. Sure, you pretend like you do. But we both know the truth. I’m just another number. Another nail in your platform. A tick on your analytics…even if I do just end up adding to your bounce rate.

You don’t spend any time getting to know me. If I do choose to follow you on Twitter I get an automated Direct Message asking me to “Like” your Facebook page. How about appreciating the attention I am already giving you on Twitter and earning my wanting to follow you somewhere else?

As If That Were Not Enough…

You reach out to me with “Dear friend”. Like we were actually friends. I know we’re not because none of my “real” friends would be so cold and uncaring as to address me in such a way.

My friends call me Marc.

You would know this if you had actually taken the time to look at my profile. It’s not hard to find. But that is still too much trouble. How would you mass contact thousands of people if you actually had to call them by name, get to know something about them and start an actual conversation? It would require building relationships and who has time for that nonsense?!?!

Instead, You Make Me Feel Used

Even if I were to “Like” your page in a moment of weakness, do you realize that you don’t even reach out to simply say “thank you”? Or welcome me to your community? Perhaps introduce me to a few people that I might like to connect with? Instead, you abandon me. Leave me wondering why I am following you in the first place.

Until you need something. Like a +K in Klout. The only reason I know this is because these are the types of valuable Tweets you share with me on a regular basis:

“Please give me +K about Social Media on @klout”

For social media? Really? You are that much of an expert in social media that you need to beg people to validate you?

How about this instead. Sit in front of the computer. Don’t get up until you have crafted…yes, crafted…an intellectual and entertaining piece of work that adds value to the world. In other words, write something brilliant. Unforgettable. Change people’s lives by the words you type.

When you are done, publish it. And then do that 1,000 more times.

Then and only then will you get plenty of +K’s. Because you will have earned them. Only, in a bit of irony, you won’t care any more because you will have realized that the reward is in helping others, not in your increased Klout score.

Is This What Social Proof Has Come To?

What happened? When did we as a society decide that we could stop earning our place in this world and start expecting others to give it to us? Is this what they call social proof now? It’s my understanding that social proof is something earned. Something given to you by others because of your actions. Not something that you have the power to create yourself with the help of a $20 Twitter app.

Social media has become anything but social.

And it’s all your fault.

You are ruining it for the rest of us. The ones that are actually interested in meeting new people with the hopes of getting a different perspective or learning something new.

It’s what Viagra did to e-mail marketing. What outsourcing $5 articles did to content curation. And now what you are now doing to social media.

Please stop.

There is a better way. It’s called giving a shit and it goes something like this:

Step 1: Give a Shit
Step 2: Repeat Step 1

The results are better. It is more sustainable. And it will even make you feel like a better human being. Because you will be.

There is a Downside To Giving a Shit

It’s not all sunshine, rainbows and lollipops. Giving a shit is tough. It takes a lot of work. Persistence. Not giving up when giving up is the easiest thing to do.

Look, I know some of you don’t care about me. Not right now anyway. But that’s OK. I spend every day working on changing that. I stay up at night thinking of ways to help you. To inspire you. To make you better. With the hopes that you someday will care. That you will be my friend.

Not just Facebook friends. Not just subscribers. Not just part of my platform. My friends.

I give a shit.

Because of that, there are a bunch of you now that I consider friends. I care about you and you care about me. I know your name and you know mine. I read your blog and you read mine. I follow your Tweets and you follow mine. I share your posts and you share mine. We talk. We joke. We challenge each other. We even piss each other off sometimes. Just like real friends do.

For others, I’m still trying to win you over. Really hard. Everyday. If you are reading this, that means that I have won over your eyeballs. I’ll continue working on the rest of you. And I hope to someday add you to my list of friends. My real friends.

But I will never just ask for your friendship. I will earn it.

So, Where Do We Go From Here?

If you are my friend, I need you to do me a favor. Please leave me a comment below. I want to make sure that I am listening to you too. So that I know that I am adding value to our relationship. So that you have an equally as loud voice as me. So that our relationship is Give and Take because Take and Take never works. I want to make sure I am giving to you personally as well.

If we are not friends, hopefully you are open to it. If not, tell me why in the comments below. I want to hear it. I live in a state of constant and never ending improvement. If you can’t learn from me, that doesn’t mean that I can’t learn from you.

Finally, if this is your first time here, please introduce yourself so I know who you are. My name is Marc. Welcome!

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  • http://milaspage.com/ Mila Araujo

    Better than awesome: Epic!

    Nicely done Marc, I think you’ve covered all angles here. I especially love the please give me plus k in social media example.

    Beyond the examples what I really liked is how you invite us to share with you. It’s too bad more people don’t take the same approach. To understand that we are can be here sharing and learning from each other, pushing our limitations, growing as a result of our interactions.

    • http://milaspage.com/ Mila Araujo

      We just met a couple of weeks ago now, and I truly appreciate your sharing – so thank you and love the post! :)

      Note: My disqus stopped responding above – this is why the reply to my own comment ;)
      Have a great Monday!

      • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

        And I’m glad we met! Lot’s to learn all around and I am honored to be learning from you!

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Hi Mila! Wow! Epic! I am so happy you were the first comment on this post. That was really awesome to open up to. Not sure how I can top that, but I’m game.

      What I really like is how willing you are to share. It’s too bad more people don’t take the same approach of putting themselves out there. Thanks a lot…more coming not he next post below :)

  • http://www.irina-smirnova.com/ Irina Smirnova

    That’s right – punch it in! Good work as always.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thank you Irina!!! And thanks for the constant and never-ending support!

  • http://twitter.com/frederickdubois Frédérick Dubois

    Hi Marc, nice to meet you :)

    Like you said, “Giving a shit is tough”. For quite a bunch of years we’ve been trying to automate everything that can be automated. However, it’s obvious that there’s a shift going on with people who are targetting quality instead of quantity, artists instead of automators. Close friends and real relations bring a whole lot more value than a bunch of +1s and likes! Keep on the Artist life and continue to care, it’s the best way to run your “social” life :)

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thanks for your comment Frederick! Doesn’t it feel like we’re reliving history? Marketing campaigns for big corporations was one sided. They shouted their message to us and we listened because we had no other choice. Then in walked social media and they had no choice but to start listening. So what do we start doing? We start marketing the way they used to…shouting our message at anyone that will listen. It doesn’t work. Hasn’t anyone been paying attention?!?!?

  • http://twitter.com/jcqly Jacqueline Carly

    YES YES YES.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      As if 3 were not enough! :) :) :)

  • http://twitter.com/jcqly Jacqueline Carly

    YES YES YES

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      :) :) :)

  • http://www.lisarobbinyoung.com Lisa Robbin Young

    Yes, Marc. What you said. :-)

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thank you Lisa!!!! You get the Big mouth silly face for that… :D I don’t hold back around here!

  • http://twitter.com/JimAdams73 Jim Adams

    This might just be the finest blog post I have ever read and the perfect antidote to every bastard that hammers me begging for Facebook likes, ReTweets and every other platform reward. I love it and I will be sending them the URL of this post as a reply from here on in. Thanks Marc, love it.

    PS. My names Jim, and I officially give a shit from this point in!!

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Hey Jim! Great to meet you and see that you give a shit now!

      If you take a peek at my twitter feed, I actually gave this a shot. I sent the link out to a few people that blasted me with their downloads and links. So far, one person was pissed, another had a very intelligent response and left a comment which I really appreciate (even though we don’t agree) and then a bunch just unfollowed me almost immediately.

      I highly recommend it :)

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Hey Jim! Somehow this comment slipped past the goalie. I’m sorry I didn’t respond sooner, but hey, better late than never, right? So, here we are a few months after you read this post. Do you still give a shit? How’s everything going?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1629171778 Susan Hesse Weber

    Very well said. I am sure many think it, but hooray for you for putting it into words and publishing it.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thank you Susan! :)

  • http://twitter.com/UncorkedRemarks Uncorked Remarks

    Very insightful piece, Marc. I do try to reach out to my followers but it’s difficult not to get caught up in the numbers game. I completely agree that social media should be about the exchange of intelligent thought & ideas. I have a blog about taking snobbery out of the wine culture. If you like wine and want to follow me on Twitter or FB, it would be much appreciated. If not, no big deal. I’m going to retweet this post though because it echoes refreshing truth at the highest level. Thanks!

    Doug Zimmerman
    @uncorkedremarks
    @dzuncensored

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thanks Doug! It’s less about feeling an obligation to reach out and touch every reader or follower and more about making sure everyone feels touched (OK, that sounds creepy, sorry) and heard if they have something to say.

      I just followed you…love wine and I’m not a snob. We should get along just fine!

  • http://pegfitzpatrick.com/ Peg Fitzpatrick

    Love it. Crap, I shouldn’t encourage you but I can’t help it. I am so OVER the people dm’g me to share their content. I never ask people to do this for me (unless it is someone in my tiny, little inner circle) but instead hope that people find value and share. I share other people’s content more than the 80/20 guideline. Sharing your own posts exclusively is another way people are also all about themselves. That is not interesting at all for someone else.

    This is a fantastic point >> “When did we as a society decide that we could stop earning our place in this world and start expecting others to give it to us?”

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      AH HA! I got you! Now, your mission, if you choose to accept it (which you will) is “12 Most Awesomest Reasons Why Peg Thinks Marc is More Awesomer than Ever!”

      In all seriousness, in many ways we’re cut from the same cloth in that respect. Our friendship (remember, BFF’s) is based on being human…not on what I squeeze out of you just because you are a digital friend. Hey…that’s it! We can be BDFF’s!

      Thanks for coming by and leaving a compliment…I mean a comment. It’s always a happier place around here when you are trolling about!

      • http://pegfitzpatrick.com/ Peg Fitzpatrick

        Troll? Like these?

        • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

          Exactly!

  • SharonGreenthal

    Things that I knew and things that I need to consider. Thanks for your honest insight into connecting. I have a personal blog, and more than anything I value someone who connects to what I write – but in trying to grow my blog into a money-making entity, I sometimes get caught up in the stats and analytics, too.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Hi Sharon! Thanks for the comment and kind words. As for turning your blog into a money making entity, I’m not the best to give you advice on this because that’s not the purpose of my blog. But I will say this. Focus on the money and it will never come. Focus on the value that you are giving to people and you won’t know what to do with all of the money.

  • http://twitter.com/katelin_tiernan Katelin Tiernan

    This is a superb post! I am fairly new to the “real” world of Internet marketing (as I just graduated from college in May) and the amount of automation is a little overwhelming. I see the appeal of saving time, but it’s getting to annoying levels as you point out.

    I wish more people had your attitude. Specifically this: “I live in a state of constant and never ending improvement. If you can’t learn from me, that doesn’t mean that I can’t learn from you.”

    In terms of an introduction: my name is Katelin (never Katie and rarely Kate), I’m an inbound marketer and I found this post inspiring.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thank you so much Kate…this is one of those rare occasions :)

      First, congratulations on graduating! So, what’s next?

      As for being overwhelmed by the automation, etc. I would look to those that are in the place you want to be. I look to guys like @julien and @chrisbrogan for influence. They don’t troll the internet looking for followers or being slimy to get people to sign up for their newsletter or buy something. They offer an extraordinary amount of value and because of that they reap the rewards. The only problem is that it takes time and commitment. You can’t fast forward that.

      Automating doesn’t excuse you from doing the work.

  • http://twitter.com/kkinnison Kendra Kinnison

    Great stuff. I love this in particular, “I spend every day working on changing that. I stay up at night thinking of ways to help you. To inspire you. To make you better.” Seems like we can make the world a better place if enough of us do that. Thanks for sharing.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thank you Kendra! I remember hearing David Bowie once say at a concert on I think VH1 “if you move just one grain of sand, the world will never quite be the same again”. That always stuck with me. So good luck changing the world…count me in!

  • http://twitter.com/BarbarianOgre Jake

    Hello, nice to meet you!

    I haven’t seen your blog before [followed a twitter link by @Julien Smith], but I plan on staying around.

    Why? Because what I just read was real. It was hard. It spoke of more than the usual bullshit. I like that!

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thanks Jake and welcome! Julien has been a huge influence for me as a writer/blogger. In a way he’s partly responsible for getting me to think more “real.” I worked with him for a few weeks a month or so ago and he challenged the hell out of me. It was a great lesson. I wrote a post about it a week or so ago if you want to check it out: http://www.marcensign.com/how-julien-smith-saved-my-life/

      Looking forward to having you around…and if you have a blog (it’s not on your Twitter profile) don’t be shy…share it here!

      • http://twitter.com/BarbarianOgre Jake

        Thanks! I don’t have a blog…yet. I keep on thinking about making one, but I haven’t quite figured out what I want to focus on [or what I can write about month after month]. Once I figure that out, it’s up!

  • http://tdhurst.com/ tdhurst

    Really wish you wouldn’t say “So that I know that I am adding value to our relationship” because it makes me feel like our interacting is a transaction that can be quantifiably measured, instead of something we do because we’re humans.

    But besides that, good post.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Hey Tyler! Thanks for the comment. Before I can even begin to respond I’m freaking out. I open a banana’s like a monkey too! From the bottom, right? I’ve never met anyone to ever do that and yet why in the world would you open a banana any other way? No knife. You don’t smush the top. It just makes sense.

      OK, got that out of my system.

      Now, as far as the quote goes. Don’t let it bug you. I don’t see it as a transaction. I put it out there to make sure that no one is flying under the radar. To make sure that everyone feels a part of the conversation. I wouldn’t feel the need to say it if it weren’t for so many other blogs that are one sided that don’t welcome the back and forth. We’ve just become used to that one sided way of doing things that I want to make sure that everyone knows that this is a two way street.

      Nobody’s keeping score or seeing it as a transaction. Especially me.

      • http://tdhurst.com/ tdhurst

        Makes sense. I’d love to argue and stir up some fun stuff, but I agree.
        Yep, from the bottom. SO LOGICAL

        Tyler Hurst | 602.614.4137

  • Jonathan

    Hello Marc I love love what you said, but more then that it is the truth not just for life but for business for every thing. you got me thinking and wanting to do better so i will so thank you so so much.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thanks Jonathan! That’s really cool that you wrote that “you got me thinking and wanting to do better”. That’s why I am writing this blog every week so when someone tells me that it makes the hours I spend here worthwhile, so thank you for that!

  • Artur Przyjałgowski

    Good one. There are only a couple of you that can write this universal truths in such interesting way :D It’s old school.All the best.

    And … nice to meet you.:D

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Wow Artur…that means a lot to me. Thank you! I’m curious…who do you think are the others? I want to make sure I am reading them!

      • Artur Przyjałgowski

        Unless you read polish – you don’t :D But Your’s, Julien’s and Leo Babauta’s (early) posts are trully inspirational (maybe a couple of Ryan Holiday’s also). Best regards!

  • http://twitter.com/mightyrenegade themightyrenegade

    Been watching and reading for a little while now (as me and I, as well as themightyrenegade), for just this reason. Authenticity is sorely lacking out on the blogscape. Not here. That’s why I keep coming back. Once again, nicely done.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Of course Oh Might One! No need to introduce yourself! Thank you for the kind words. I appreciate it. Every now and then I get a little wood on the ball!

  • Daren Doucet

    Marc, totally wrong (not totally lol). But, just recently I decided to break from reading some traditional big backed books, to pick up some print on demand books from my friends on goodreads. I decided to mix it up. Why? Because, I do care.

    But, nothing will ever come across the table, if we are not allowed to judge what comes to the door, or at the mailbox.

    I think the problem comes when a person continues to knock on the door, day after day after day, and no response is given. Everyone should expect, or at least have the time to be bothered by somebodies product “one time”, then decide if it is junk or something interesting, and then move on.

    Interesting viewpoints though, but the world relies on people caring.. Thanks..

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      OK Darren! I made it to your comment. FOr the record I have no idea why yours sunk tot he bottom. It wasn’t on purpose. Not trying to hide the people that don’t agree, I swear! Although not a bad strategy. Anyway…

      I’m not saying that you can’t sell anybody anything. That’s ridiculousness. What I’m suggesting is that you get to know people first. For example, if we were to meet at a networking event, cocktail party, wedding or other type of mingling event and I were to walk up to you and introduce myself, how would you respond?

      My guess is you would say something to the effect of “Hi Marc! You seem incredibly intelligent! (I just snuck that part in. Feel free to use it). My name is Daren. So, what do you do? Very cool. What do I do? Well, I write this really cool book called http://www.supermarketguy.com

      Sound about right? You wouldn’t respond “Hi Marc! Here is my website and book series” Right? So, if you wouldn’t do that if I were standing in front of you, why would you send me that message on Twitter? The only difference is that you are hiding behind a computer screen.

      Take a look at your Twitter timeline. You have a tone of posts that are exactly the same: “Hi ! Attached is my website / book series” over and over again. That tells me as someone that may want to get to know you that you really don’t care. You are just spewing a weak sales pitch to anyone with a pulse.

      Instead, take a look at who I am and what I like and do. Reach out to me with a link to a specific cartoon or page from your book that you feel would speak directly to me. Personalize your attempts to reach out. Then you would have had a fan for life.

      • Daren Doucet

        Yes, I can understand how some marketing comments can be taken the wrong way. Especially we authors (poor ones like me) are not properly trained on how to sell. Maybe we do not understand how it comes across, but I must say that I did have positive/ good comments/ feedback from a certain % of it. It is not as if I am a trying to push religious dogma down someones brain, or something poignant. It is a just a humor book whose author believes it is worth while noticing. But if you see my history with people that do connect to me, you will find that I love talking to people and joking around too. I will take the time to even mail free books ( in certain cases) if a review is close at hand.

        Allot of times, it is promoting a “Giveaway” or contest. I am actually trying to engage people into winning, not only my book, but the others on the site/ channel as well.

        And I do retweet other peoples comments, allot… I am not totally on the dark side ;)

        If the author believes his product is great, and knocks on the door to say here it is, I truly do not see anything wrong with that. I get it in the real world, now and then, at my doorstep and phone, all of the time…

        I do get a steady flow of (get a thousand followers) steady from some of my followers, knocking on the door.. Still, knocking on the door.. It is just a part of life.. You can always block em out lol But I love em too much!

        Thanks Marc for the terrific posting. You should have your own TV show!

  • http://twitter.com/lindseytalerico Lindsey Talerico

    Buenos dias, Marc. Thanks for a refreshing and honest few thoughts… not sure if we have much of a choice: give a shit, or don’t give a shit. Tough call, aye?

    Cheers. -Lindsey, potential friends? I think so. @lindseytalerico

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Buenos días, Lindsey! Thanks for the comment! I say give a shit. Easy choice. And, you bet we’re friends now! Speaking of which…since we’re such good friends I was wondering if you could help me move…think about it. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1381720563 Jody Bailey Day

    Thanks for this post, Marc. It’s what tears me up inside, all this trying to get people to like, etc. I’m a little overwhelmed. Now that I’ve gained representation and a publisher for my novel, I have even more email to keep up with. Want to do it right, and I know it’s important, but sheesh. Rambling, sorry. Again, thanks.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Hi Jody! Here is a quick tip for you. Don’t focus on all of the little doodads. Focusing on doing what you do best. Writing. Write great stuff often and the rest will fall into place. People will seek you out and you won’t need to stress over which tool to use. Just focus on being a human being connecting with other human beings online and you will get to where you want to go!

  • Coreyredns

    Yep, nice one Marc, and I do believe it is nice.  I’ve got to send you some of my musings, I think you’ll get a kick out of them.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thanks Corey! Please send over your musings! Would love to check them out…you have me interested!

  • Robbi Sommers Bryant

    Marc,
    I must say, I’ve never read an opening piece on a website quite like yours. I happen to be one of the people who has made great friends on twitter. I don’t consider my followers numbers. If they need something or reach out for direction or help, I’m there.
    So, I’d like to be your friend as well. You don’t need to follow me, like me, promote me. Just be. I’m here if you need a helping hand.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Hi Robbi! I hope that’s a good thing! When I started using Twitter I hated it. No one was listening. It was frustrating. I eventually figured out that YOU had to be the one that was listening and the rest will fall into place. And it did. And because of that I have made a lot of friends on Twitter as well and it is by far my favorite social medium. Hope to see you there!

  • J Kendall

    Hi Marc,
    This is John, author, artist, and novice in social media. What you have stated here really hit home, I am new so the automated stuf helps at first, but I see the value of being real and really connecting with the people who read or view my work. I see more value I seeing that I have helped one person rather than achieved five new likes. I’ll be back to read more? Thanks!

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      I remember a month ago only having about 750 followers on Twitter but I prided myself in that each one was earned. One day someone posted my name and asked how come more people weren’t following me and my followers grew. It was a little overwhelming at first because I really want to give everyone some attention. Especially if you. Are reading and commenting on my blog. Hence the fact that it took so long for me to respond to you. I always try and respond with something more than “hey, thanks!” It’s the same on Twitter. I am always trying to drums up conversations.

      Anyway, thanks for coming by and I really hope to see you here again!

  • http://twitter.com/JoshuaWold Joshua Wold

    Marc,

    My name is Joshua and wow, thank you for the article! I read Michael Hyatt’s book “Platform” a few months ago and that’s what’s inspired me to start using Twitter. I like what he says about the 20 to 1 rule. For every 1 Tweet that is “advertising” something that you want to sell, make sure you have 20 tweets that offer helpful advice. This article is a good reminder for me!

    I’ve just stumbled across your blog for the first time and I have one question that immediately comes to mind. About how much time you do spend a day on average writing for your blog?

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thank you for the comment Joshua and welcome! I actually just started reading that book the other day. I’m about halfway through and of course it is brilliant stuff! I would go even further than the 20 to 1 rule and just say that you should just use common sense. If it’s something you wouldn’t do in real life, don’t do it online. So, for example, if every time you saw someone you relentlessly tried to sell them your ebook isn’t it fair to say that person would avoid you like the plague. Of course you wouldn’t do that…so why would you do it online?

  • http://twitter.com/RVimmerstedt renee vimmerstedt

    Hi Marc…my name is Renee and I am very pleased to meet you. Your post rang true not only for Twitter but for life in general. People are more than statistics. We are more than dollar signs and and potential consumers. It is not too much to ask that marketers and all take the time to read a profile and know a little something about the person they are addressing.
    The direct messages in themselves are a very unwelcome form of communication from someone I have not established some kind of rapport with. They are even more unwelcome if it is a first attempt at communication and contains a request for me to like a Facebook page, visit a website and the occasional blatant request for donations to a “worthy” cause.
    I have been thinking for sometime that I would start unfollowing people who use that practice. After reading your post today I am committed to following thru with that plan. I can feel like I am doing something positive to change these tactics.
    I am following you on Twitter now and look forward to following your tweets and your blog.
    Thank you for being such a great voice of reason!
    Renee

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Hi Renee! It’s great to meet you! I got a bunch of those yesterday and forwarded them the post. It actually worked pretty well. In a few cases it actually drummed up a conversation. If you equate it with real life it clearly doesn’t work. Imagine someone walking up to you and introducing themselves and without even saying hi the first words out of your mouth are a sales pitch. That person is going to walk away as soon as humanly possible. Why would this be any different? A dhow come people actually think this works?!!?!

  • Gary Wong

    I really like this post, mate :-)
    You have earned my comment.

    I have too many friends asking me to like their facebook and blog. Instead of trying to earn my response, they threatened / expressed their unhappiness towards my decision over their content.

    If i liked it, it will purely be an act out of fear. Hence, i resisted :-)

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thanks Gary! Threatened? I’ve never gotten that before. Just that look of disappointment and uncomfortable silence when I don’t share it because I don’t see the value in it or it is just barely astep above spam.

  • http://twitter.com/tonijkent Toni Kent

    Hello Marc, I’m Toni and I’m really pleased that we connected over Twitter as it brought me here. I found your post thought provoking, challenging, well written, and a little bit sweary – just the sort of writing I enjoy! I am quite happy for there to be a sea of badly written, needy, poor quality blogs out there – it means the great stuff like this bobs to the surface. I’ll be back soon, and if you want to stop by my blog ‘Reasons to be Cheerful’ you can find it here: http://tonikent.blogspot.co.uk/

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Hi Toni! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Glad the sweaty didn’t offend. I don’t usually break out the potty mouth unless I’m pretty ticked off. I guess I was pretty ticked off! I checked out your blog and I’m feeling cheerful already!

  • http://twitter.com/jebbing9 Jason Ebbing

    Awesome stuff Marc. Those of us who give a shit have to stick together! It’s like with anything else – results come from hard work – hitting a baseball, acing a test, perfecting the pen flip. They all take a hard work. Keep it up!

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thanks Jason! You know, I still can’t get that pen flip thing down. My wife is a pro…it’s so frustrating!!! We almost didn’t get married over it. Got any tips?

  • michelle andryshak

    If you were fundraising for a good cause, I’d donate. Please pass me a tissue box Marc! Spectacular!!!!

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Hi Michelle! Great to hear from you again and thanks for stopping by! Only because you asked, I am doing a bike ride this week from Boston to New York (300 miles) to raise money and awareness for ALS.

      http://tst.als.net/marcensign

      Next time I see you I will bring the tissues :)

  • http://twitter.com/JuniorBurgos Junior Burgos ✈

    Pretty Cool dude!

    Hey, my name is Junior Burgos (@JuniorBurgos).

    So can a relationship be real if you always expect back from what you put in? Just food for thought. Don’t need an answer. I am myself thinking about that last part you wrote about there in your blog. :)

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      I think it’s quite the opposite. I think you have to give with no expectations and in turn be happy if something does come your way. I don’t have any expectations of anyone that comes here and reads this or any post. Of course I would love for you to share it but I don’t expect it. The only reason I ask that you comment is because I want this to be a discussion, not a speech. I think there is more value for all of us if it is many talking to many versus one talking to many.

  • http://bloggingwithsuccess.net Ishan

    Marc, this post was awesome! It’s really depressing to see what social media has come to.
    And most of us are not even used to being just a number!
    I agree that giving a shit is tough, it is one of the most simplest but hardest things to do!
    Keep up the good work.

    This is my second time here I guess, but I will still tell you a bit about myself. I am a student and blogger from India. I do a lot of things and enjoy them. I game, I program, I sleep a lot!

    I know I am repeating, but this post was aweome!

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thank you Ishan! As Jim Rohn would say…

      It’s simple to do. And if it’s simple to do then it’s also simple not to do.

  • http://twitter.com/minetmarketing Carole Mahoney

    Marc, I am delighted to have discovered your blog from a tweet. Your post seems to be a running theme I am excited to see popping up all around me. Why is it that common sense is so uncommon?

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thanks Carole! Im glad you found me too! I don’t have an answer for you but hopefully the tide is turning!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.goldman.94 Mike Goldman

    I think this is your Jerry Maguire moment!

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Wow! Thanks Mike. That’s really cool of you to say! We have a lot to talk about next week! All good!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeff.mozingo2 Jeff Mozingo

    Loved this one. Keep up the awesome job brother. The “What happened?” was spot on! Heck the whole thing was!!

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thanks Jeff! I appreciate it!!!!

  • http://wordsdonewrite.blogspot.com Words Done Write

    Way to cut through all the garbage and tell it like it is. The automation is killing us all slowly and, yet, quickly deteriorating social media.

    I think a lot of this is due to the newcomers who have heard the news: you can market and promote yourself through social media. However, they didn’t read the fine print that establishing relationships help you do that. Not pimping, promoting, and begging.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thank you!!! And thanks for swinging by! I think it’s also the “get rich quick” mentality. Who wants to bother with actual work? Taking the time to build relationships. Actually having to put some effort in.

      The mentality nowadays is that it is so easy to reach so many people and have impressive numbers and so focus on that and hopefully someone will be listening. It’s a losing strategy!

  • http://www.facebook.com/denise.mastenbrook Denise Mastenbrook

    Hi, Marc, nice to meet you, I’m Denise.

    A friend of mine forwarded your blog link to me as we had just been talking about narcissism in the world of social media. We both blog and it’s a challenge sometimes to remember why we do it at all. Do we want other people to pay attention to what we are saying or just to us? Do we feel like we are adding to the conversation of life or just making noise? The best answers I have so far are yes. Depends on the day. And ask me again later.

    Really enjoyed this piece and will be reading your other posts. Thanks!

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      H Denise! Very nice to meet you too! Sometimes it is hard to remember why you blog. Is it for me? Is it for them? Is it for numbers? Is it for getting stuff off your chest? Is it for money? Is it for notariety? I think it all depends on the blogger. I think the problem is when we try and be all things to all people. Try and write for the world instead of write for ourselves and have faith that people will show up and listen.

      I’m struggling a bit with that right now. I am working on a post for next week that is really honest. Comes from a deeper place. And will most likely tick off a bunch of people. Possibly even alienate some of my existing audience. What do you do? Do you write what you feel is right or do you write what you feel people want to hear?

  • Brad

    Marc,
    How do we get more people to give a sh**

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Easy. You don’t. Regardless of what they are doing, you keep giving a sh**. You will in turn attract more people that give a sh**.

      Like it or not there will always be people that don’t!

    • http://twitter.com/JoshShear Josh Shear

      We show them what the better looks like. If people don’t get to see enough great, mediocre becomes a very acceptable norm. [In fact, from a service standpoint, I’m seeing a lot of mediocre as exceptional and crap as norm these days.]

      But if people see how much better “great” is than what they’ve accepted on a day-to-day basis, they’ll start demanding it.

      • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

        Nicely said!

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  • innosanity

    Hey Marc, was the DM you just sent me about bad bot DMs a bot DM? :) Mine I did by hand.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Nope. I don’t do any automated bot DM’s. I actually rarely do any DM’s if ever. I just had so many exactly like yours I decided to share my rant with you.

      It’s less about how it was done (automated vs. manual) and more about what was done. I followed you because I felt you had something interesting to say. When the response is “Thanks for the follow! What are your thoughts on the latest edition of …?” with a link to your website it shows no interest in me.
      If you were at a networking event and I came up to you and introduced myself to you, would the first words out of your mouth be “check out my website?” or would you introduce yourself and then ask me a question like “what do you do?” or “what company are you with?”
      Show some interest in the other person. Even though it is through a browser it is still possible to be human and connect with people.
      That’s all I was getting at.

      • innosanity

        Hmm…I get your point about getting to know people, but of course I already knew a bit about you from all your content on web, some of which I read, and presumably if you follow me, you are interested in the topic I’m interested in – problems with corporate innovation, which is what http://innosanity.com is all about.

        Seems to me that is why I asked, “What are your thoughts…” because that’s what I’m interested in – your thoughts.

        You have great writing skills, and a good backstory. I come to business from theater roots, too, so I know what a crazy journey that is.

        Oh! And so…um…what’s your favorite color? ;)

  • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

    In the end, it’s all about creating a dialogue…however you have to get there. The majority of the people don’t care. I responded to a handful of people by sending them this link just to see how they would respond. You were one of two that did intelligently. One other just said that they blast to as many people was they can and some will listen and that’s good enough for them. I also got one or two “go %#*{% yourself’s”. It’s interesting.

    So, now that it’s good t meet you…

    What is your theater background? What is that expression? There are 100 stories in the naked city?

    Green.

  • JuanFlx

    Hi Marc, thanks for connecting on Twitter. Just read this article and love it, just like many others do. I think we’re all kind of looking for the real thing. People who genuinely care about others. Not because they say they do, but because the way they behave and act online shows they do. Authentic behavior needs no words, we all recognize it. Looking forward to learn more from you :) ~ Juan

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment Juan! Yet I still get so many DM’s and Tweets with “incredible opportunities”! I don’t get how those work…but the people that use them are soon to be left behind because authenticity is what’s going to create a impact moving forward!

      • http://felixrelationshipmarketing.com/ Juan Felix

        You’re welcome, Marc! ~ Juan

  • http://twitter.com/CynthiaSchames Cynthia Schames

    Wow.
    Marc, you’re awesome, and I am so glad I followed the link @PegFitzpatrick:disqus just posted on LinkedIn. I’m honored to be a part of the 12 Most family with you, and look forward to reading lots more–and hopefully meeting IRL someday soon!

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thank you Cynthia! So cool of you to stop by and leave a comment! It’s one of the 12 most things I love about 12 most!

  • http://www.facebook.com/reallyniceguy Thomas B. McVey

    Nicely Done!

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thank you sir.

  • Morris Stemp

    One of the best blogs about social media I have ever read.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Hi Morris! Wow, thanks! That means a lot…assuming you read a lot of social media blogs. If not, just don’t tell me and allow me to enjoy this moment! :)

  • Peter

    Hi Marc

    I just want to say that your blog inspires me to give a shit and go out and help people improve their life.

    I’ll be taking my first steps as a speaker this October and I’ll be talking about ‘The Social Developer’ at JavaOne, I hope you don’t mind me using your blog as extra research material and great source of idea’s?

    Keep up the great work!

    Best Regards
    Peter

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Hey Peter! I can’t think of a better comment to have gotten as the 100th comment on this post. I really appreciate it. It feels good to inspire somebody to take action. That’s why I’m doing this.

      As for using my blog as a resource of any kind, it’s an honor and I encourage you to dig through and use whatever you want. All I ask is some credit where credit is due. And maybe a cup of coffee if we’re in the same room together :)

      • Peter

        Hey Marc! I’ll buy you a nice Belgian Beer if we are ever in a room together. Let me know if you ever come to Belgium, or if you are in San Fransisco in the first week of October :)

        • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

          Deal!

  • iancleary

    Hey Marc, When I follow someone and get the auto follow back telling me to check out the blog or become a fan on facebook that really annoys me also. What annoys me even more is if they follow me, get a follow back, send a direct message and then unfollow me back after this. This is the most annoying one. I’m also tempted to oust them out but I don’t, maybe I should.

    If people stopped worrying about numbers of followers and focussed on building relationships with a smaller number of people it would make more sense.

    But this is not a social media issue. The same guys that do this stuff go around the room at a business networking event and give out their business cards to everyone. They tell you all about their business and don’t even ask you a question!

    Ian

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      I’m on the fence with the whole unfollow people that don’t follow you thing. Sometimes I get a ton of value from people that just don’t follow me…where I’m not in it for the follow but for the value that they have to offer. Sometimes I see it as a challenge to see if I can get them to follow me by Retweeting them and responding to their Tweets. Other times I just unfollow them…especially when they reach out to try to sell me on some incredibly original way to make a million dollars on the Internet.

      • iancleary

        All those deals about making a million dollars on the internet are real. You’ve missed out on making a lot of money!!!

        • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

          HA!!! Nice one!

  • Steve VanHove

    Great post Marc! You really hit the nail on the head! I love “Step 1: Give a Shit

    Step 2: Repeat Step 1″

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thanks Steve!!! Put it to use and let me know how it goes!

  • Jennifer Bishop

    Consistency my friend is it and I personally appreciate all you give!! With deepest respect and love…your friend…Jennifer Bishop

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thank you thank you thank you Jen! Love you guys too…and can’t wait to see you again!

  • DAD

    Hi Marc,
    Nicely put. Your writing is superb and very informative. Take care and oh I’m still waiting for that phone call lol.
    DAD

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Really? You’re going to nag me on my blog? See what I’m dealing with here people? Ha! Just kidding. And for the record everyone, I did call him back.

  • http://babblingbandit.me/ The Babbling Bandit

    Hi Marc

    I’m Vanessa aka The Babbling Bandit. I’m a first timer here on your blog. Really enjoyed this piece. Funny, entertaining, yet honest. I like it. Plan to read more of what you have to say.

    When I see my bounce rate on my newly created Google Analytics account I feel used too. Like a hit and run. I’d rather lower page hits and higher visit durations. I’ll keep working every day to achieve this.

    V.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thank you Vanessa! Or should I call you the Babbling Bandit. Don’t pay much attention to your Analytics. It will drive you mad! Just keep putting yourself out there and writing the best stuff you can write and the people will come!

      I had days with 80 or 90 percent bounce rates…and I was 80 percent of the traffic! If I took those numbers seriously I would have given up a long time ago!

  • http://twitter.com/ebuttscpa EB

    Refreshing to see someone acknowledging that social media is still dealing with people. Automated DM’s from people never to be directly heard from again doesn’t really work for me…

    Personal interaction counts for something and builds much more credibility and substantial relationships! Isn’t that what we want?

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thanks for the comment EB. Yup, we’re heading back to communicating with humans again. More and more these automation tools are going to become more ineffective. You’ll see…

  • http://www.facebook.com/katarzyna.matyjasik.7 Katarzyna Matyjasik

    hi.. following the convention then ;) I’m Kasia and I have to say that – job well done from marketing side.. your post spreads quite quickly and I even I can’t help myself and leave the comment after reading the whole one. good insight in what people need and want to hear, hopefully there is some truth in it also. (as the amount of “likes” for You probably arose. neverthless good luck

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thanks Katarzyna! Did I pronounce that correctly? Sorry…Kasla! Not all posts spread as quickly as I would like, but this was certainly one of them that really took off!

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  • http://twitter.com/John_C John C

    Unfortunately the majority of Big Box Bloggers bastardized the online scene six years ago, turning it into an Amway scheme that affected many social communities no different than any other Karpman Drama Game. I’d be interested in how you approach and deal with business partners at the conventions. THAT…would be worth buying a ticket for.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      I don’t want to be the guy that points out what everyone is doing wrong whenever I am face to face with someone. It’s not a great way to make friends. But I’m not afraid to do a talk to big companies that are blowing it and telling them that they are blowing it. I think most people that run these types of blogs know they suck at it but they don’t know what else to do. Every other post on Twitter and Facebook is a sales pitch for some crappy product that teaches you how to sell some crappy product about how to sell some crappy product.

  • http://twitter.com/geelmencounserv GeelMensCounselling

    Well done Marc – greatly stated and to the point!! Thank you!!

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thanks a lot! And thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

  • VeronicaSicoe

    “When did we as a society decide that we could stop earning our place in this world and start expecting others to give it to us?”

    F*cking awesome. Love this post, Marc. Thank you!

    Oh, and uhm, yeah, I’m not a guru either, and I only talk when I give a shit about the topic. I’m Vero and write science-fiction. Nice to meetcha! ;)

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Oooo…you implied the f-word. I’m telling mom. It’s been 2 days with some back and forth already so technically we haven’t just met as I’m writing this, but nice to meetcha too!

  • IWearSpandex

    Hi Marc, I’m Brian. Good to meet you.

    This is one of those things I want to teach my kids when they get older…how to care and really be social in this new internet connected world. Something tells me that they will stand out, a lot. Today’s younger generation seems to forget that whole part about working hard to earn your place, and that nothing will be given to you. Unless of course you land that spot on that new awesome reality show which will launch your acting career and pay you tons of money for being a jackass on TV.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Unfortunately it’s going to be one of those things that we’re going to have to purposely teach our kids as opposed to it just being second nature like it was with us growing up. Technology has its good points and bad points I suppose!

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  • Louise @ Foxy and Fabulous

    Yet again, bang on the money! The first rule of blog club is to do stuff that matters. Wait, or is that the second rule? After stand for something? I was posting on being a better blogging citizen this past week and I firmly believe that those who maintain offline, old school manners and behaviour in the online community will prevail. To get blog love and consideration, you must first give it. Rock on.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      I thought the first rule of blog club was you don’t talk about blog club! Couldn’t agree with you more. I especially like this: “To get blog love and consideration, you must first give it.”

      • Louise @ Foxy and Fabulous

        If nobody talked about blog club we’d never get any lovin’! Wait, that didn’t come out right… I mean ‘blog’ lovin’.

  • http://twitter.com/marksalke Mark Salke

    Wow. Marc, great points. “Getting” Social Media is a lot like traditional ‘networking’. It’s fairy easy to tell who sizes people up for a ‘what’s in it for me?’ assessment vs. those that are connecting for the sake of being part of something. A ‘community’, for instance. So, to those of you that connect with me to see what I can do for you, shame! To those of you who enjoy some camaraderie, wit, and fun, welcome!

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Exactly! I think everyone that send out auto DM’s and begs for Likes should be required to spend a week treating the people in their physical lives with that same crappy attitude of “what can you do for me” and see where that takes them! Maybe then they will get it!

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  • https://justplainbee.wordpress.com/ Bee

    All right, so I’m a little late to the party, but after someone I don’t know at ALL linked to the “I’m going to be a Dick” post, I decided that I would like to at least shake your hand as we pass on the sidewalk while we walk our dogs (or in our cases, our kids). Lovely to meet you! I won’t blame you in the least if you don’t follow my blog – I’m subscribing to yours since it’s interesting, not because I want you to read mine. Also, I write about being a Quaker and a geek girl, and those are pretty limited spheres of interest. ;) I’m looking forward to catching up on your blog, though!

  • http://www.alittlelunch.com/ Kim Bultman

    I’m glad you re-posted this, Marc. In the sea of “like me’s” and “promote my post (never mind that you’ll never see a comment from me on yours”), it’s refreshing to find a soul who cares about writing from the heart (and writing well) for the sake of instigating a dialogue instead of a monologue. Thank you.

  • troy mc laughlin

    Wow Marc what a novel concept. Use social media to develop real relationships. Ones that matter and ones that cost. Ones that cost time, effort,and emotion. I’m all in Marc. Glad to met you I’m Troy.

  • Tom

    Hey Marc – just discovered you so don’t know if you will see this post given the date of the article. Awesome stuff! One of the reasons I have not gone on facebook or any of the other social sites is I like my privacy, but also exactly what you have talked about in several of your posts. I am one of those people who “give a shit” and yes there are times when I wonder why. I want to be a better dick, so I will certainly join you in the battle to save the internet. Thanks for your efforts!

  • http://www.sweetpixelsdesign.com Jennifer Wenzel

    Hi, Marc! I’m Jennifer. Just got here after seeing a link to your “From Now On, I’m Going to be a Dick to Everyone I Meet Online” article. Brilliant, and I couldn’t agree more. I’m glad to have found your work!

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thanks Jennifer! I’m glad you found me too!! (That came out a lot cheesier than it was meant)

  • Anjali Rampersad

    Your voice has been heard, Marc. I appreciate the intonations, the axioms suavely expressed. Will you hear mine?