Saturday, August 08, 2015

Figuring out the foundations

Remember when blogs arrived and at first was incredulous about them being free, but it was great! I had a website up talking about some math ideas of mine and at least one web stalker was relentlessly reloading pages trying to make it expensive for me. Such silly behavior.

Along with the blogs came advice on how to blog, which you may notice I gleefully ignore.

But the web supposedly has moved on from blogs to the next thing, where again there is lots of advice. And my opinion is often you have people exploiting the emotion, claiming expertise even when things are so new there isn't really any, trying to make money at the expense of others.

But we all have a responsibility to our own outcomes and each must make their own choices. Where I choose to try and figure things out on my own, which is speculative, risky, and I could be very wrong. But at least I feel better that I'm not helping some person pretend at my expense.

For myself and those interested in my opinions I like to at times show the structure around them, as a really big deal was understanding money. I like to say it's just a way to get services from strangers in limited social contracts. Why limited? Because close community is where you should get unlimited trust. You can't put your trust in every person you meet that way. (Yes, I know plenty of people have families where trust is very limited. But isn't that also sad?)

So without money you need what I call close community, like friends and family. Like for instance, your friend could offer you a cup of coffee, but with money, you can buy a cup of coffee from a store full of strangers who make it for you. And isn't that nice of them? Actually, no. Money is the point. Your friend is being nice. The people at the coffee shop have a job.

In my opinion, money was invented as a way to get services from strangers.

But how do you make money? You need to find things that other people want which you can provide.

For example, you may enjoy making coffee for strangers, so a coffee shop works for you! And, so you work there. Which actually also involves a lot of people skills, and other skills as well.

And how can people know you can provide them something they want under a limited social contract? Well, for that to happen I think you need something that advertises it. And I have pondered quite a bit on advertising where I'll link to my latest post at this point. But I don't try to tell how to advertise, but just think about why it's necessary, and how it can go wrong.

But what if you're going with the latest, and want tons of social media followers? Have concluded that you have to entertain to get a lot of them. Which is work! And don't just think someone is getting it done because that person has millions of followers, as I think they are like venues, like a stadium. And just because a person built up a following to a massive size does not mean they're still filling it up. That is, engagement may not be there.

And a person who did the work to get millions of followers, if said person slips, may find few if any of them are still paying attention, even if that social media account still looks impressive. Though it can fall. Unlike say, Madison Square Garden, your venue is dynamic as followers can drop you. But it is admittedly, just a theory of mine.

Putting all of the above into a succinct statement: I think you need to figure out what you like to do for strangers within a limited social contract that people want done. And advertise that you can do it. If you wish to build a social media presence though you need to be entertaining, along with whatever else you bring, or don't expect big numbers.

Like I don't have big social media numbers, but I have theories.

And it's my blog so I can give them.

James Harris
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