In each social media environment, there are patterns of behavior.

There are good patterns of behavior.

There are bad patterns of behavior.

Social media owners, moderators, and group participants recognize both the good and bad patterns of behavior.

Those who seek to use social media platforms for their intended usage, enjoy witnessing those who use social media the right way.

Those who seek a more self-centered purpose - even to the detriment of the platforms they are on - use social media poorly, and jeopardize the platform for all users.

The first group could be called social media environmentalists.

The second group could be called a whole bunch of names - none worthy of sharing with a "PG 13" audience.

But, think about this: patterns of behavior don't just come into existence without a cause, without a stimulus.

Someone must conceive, create, and cause the propagation of both the good and the bad behaviors we see.

If we see what I call "profile stamping" on Ning, where a member will go to dozens upon dozens of profiles and stamp the same banal message with the same graphic over and over and over, some bad social media teacher taught them to do that.

If we see what I call ""hi" stamping" on Yahoo Groups, where hundreds of members attempt to sign up for private, moderated groups just by saying, "Hi", some bad social media teacher taught them to do that.

If we see what I call "toll boothing " on Linkedin, where some "enterprising" Linkedin member wants to charge you a fee for a service that is free, some bad social media teacher taught them to do that.

If we see what I call "invitationitis" rampant on any number of social media platforms, where people without any modicum of self-control seem to indiscriminately invite just for the heck of inviting, some bad social media teacher taught them to do that.

There is no shortage of other bad social media behavior we could add to the above list - feel free to add yours - but, I love that the word "teach" literally means "to show". So, if someone is showing you bad social media behavior then, they are bad social media teachers.

And this, too: since the word teach means to show, what are you teaching those who are watching what you're showing them on these social media platforms?

+Thanks, and Keep STRONG!!

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Edgar, my friend:

You certainly know how to get THIS American to SMILE! :-) lol

And I thank you for that! 

More seriously: I'm with you 100% in our striving to be good teachers.  

The challenge is that social media students don't have an easy time of telling the good teachers from the bad teachers ... and if they are unfortunate enough to get bitten by a bad teacher, they may erroneously conclude that ALL social media teachers are bad ... and thus, miss out on the POWERFUL benefits they can receive from an efficient/effective use of the ever-growing social media

Or, without sorting the teachers, they simply start applying the bad habits.

Re my example about a 1000 connections, I have more than that, but I have them for a reason, and I have built over time. Can get back to that in a separate thread. It was just ONE example of bad teachers.

That was a great example, Edgar.  

As I've been discussing since about 2005, I believe the conversation in terms of connection size should be centered around the SHAPE of our connections. (You'd have to have a MIGHTY BIG FORK to carry  the same volume of water as you could with a much smaller spoon. So, saying: "I have a BIG fork for us to sip our coffee/tea with.." may SOUND impressive or effective ... until ... the spoon outperforms it...)

100% SOLID advice, Jessan!  Excellent!

Two places that I use "Please":


Also, to always thank my readers, I put a variant of "Thank you" in my signature file:


+Thanks, and Keep STRONG!!*-mJ*FaenB2PwLeU26Ff8uWIpALqnnv2*1VOH8wTT9GoQhLDs5fhVEXYwKKQnFWmH/WrightHandLogo.jpg" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent; max-width: 737px; min-height: auto;"/>
+Vincent Wright, 
Brandergist | | 
+1-860-967-0931 | Skype|Google+ = MyLinkedinPowerForum

That's Rule #2 of Netiquette, dating back to at least 1994:

Adhere to the same standards of behavior online that you follow in real life

I agree with the first part of this, Vincent, but I don't agree when you get to the point of "some bad social media teacher taught them to do that."

In fact, in my experience, most of the time people are doing things like that, they initiated that behavior themselves, because it seemed obvious and easy.

"Hi stamping" is like a kid in a candy store -- "Wow, there are 5,000 people in here and it only takes me a couple of seconds to reach out to each one of them."

"Toll boothing" I've usually seen from old-school face-to-face networkers -- often either PR people or owners of networking groups -- who are still trying to figure out how to keep monetizing their relationships like they've been doing for years.

"Invitationitis" I blame on the sites themselves. Just think about the hypocrisy of LinkedIn -- "You should use LinkedIn to connect only with people you know well.  Now, would you like to invite all 5,000 people in your contact list to connect with just one click of a button?"

I think most of the bad social media behavior comes from human nature -- trying to "optimize for the metric" -- that simply hasn't been checked or channeled by a good social media teacher.

Which is why I contend that there's still a very important place for good social media teachers in the world -- because good social media behavior actually doesn't come naturally for most people.

Hi, Scott:

Good points and good historical references ... (I'm thinking of additional, even older ones we could cite.)

My *daily* experience on Linkedin, Skype, Brandergy, Facebook, and Twitter, in particular, causes me to have confidence in my statement that some of what *I* am witnessing on this big old Web is being taught by "bad social media teachers".  (Even as I type this, there are 9 automated profiles trying to get into ... whether or not it's a bot doing that, someone has programmed that behavior ... as evidence by the exceedingly bad and exceedingly similar ways they attempt and fail at filling in the profile to get accepted into

Indeed, some of those "teachers" have invited me to join them ... recently ...

While their financial pictures look great, I can't imagine the circumstances which would cause me to join them in *intentional* bad behavior.  (They are not labeling their own actions|programs as bad behavior ... that label is being applied by me ... based upon the principles I still maintain *can* work and *can* produce abundance ... (I'm a bit behind schedule with proof of the latter! lol :-) ) )

BY THE WAY: Do you mind sharing "Virtual Handshake" from your Brandergy profile so that our members can more easily find what I consider to be one of my all-time-favorite books on GOOD virtual citizenship?

#KeepSTRONG, Scott!


I'm a big believer in automation/outsourcing, but it still has to have a sanity check on it. In social, as in all marketing, I believe you should test, measure, and test again, and then do what works.

Couple of cases in point I'll give where what I did defied conventional wisdom and what most "good social media teachers" teach. In fact, several of them chastised me for this, but... like I said, it worked. :-)

Example 1:  Twitter auto-DMs

A few years ago, everyone was up in arms about automatic DMs from people, particular when you followed them. Rather than simply rejecting the practice entirely, I hypothesize that the problem wasn't the medium, but the message, i.e., the content. So I analyzed hundreds of auto-DMs I had received and found that over half of them were definitely at least "kinda spammy". Another third were basically innocuous/pointless. And a handful -- less than 5% -- were actually interesting, engaging, and/or otherwise on-brand for the person or company.  So I tested it myself -- wrote several different variations and tried them each for about a week.

Bottom line?  Massive response (about 40%) -- my messaging got people engaged with me in conversations.  And it was all positive, until the one self-appointed "good social media teacher" called me out on it publicly (you think she might have had the good sense to check out my background before doing so, but she didn't).

Example 2: Quote automation

I decided I wanted to start every day of mine with a Napoleon Hill quote.  So rather than going to try to find one every day and post it, I went through all of them, picked out my 50 or so favorites that would fit in a tweet, and scheduled them to go out every day using SocialOomph.  Bottom line?  10-20 retweets or comments almost every day.

Point is, no one's paying enough attention specifically to me to notice, or at least not to be bothered, by the fact that I'm tweeting out a Napoleon Hill quote every morning.  Now, if I did 10 quotes a day, it'd be a problem.  And if I didn't engage with the people who engage with those quotes, that'd be a problem.  But to simply automate a task that I really would do every day anyway?  That's just productivity.

There's all kinds of cool stuff you can do with good automation, but it all too easily can go bad, as well.

And yes, I'll be happy to share The Virtual Handshake on my profile.  :-)

Thanks, Scott...

  1. Your Twitter example reminds me of an impromptu post I put up 3+ years ago when a woman also chose to attempt to chastise me for using automated DM's as wel.  I titled that post "A Hidden Value of Twitter DM's":
  2. I do have a fairl high volume tweet stream coming into my @VincentWright account but, it receives most of my retweets, favorites, and followers.

That said: In addition to that now 10 profiles waiting to be approved for, there're also at least 14 messages waiting in queue in the Linkedin Brandergy group which I suspect that the average UNTRAINED Linkedin user would not be able to repeatedly post to Linkedin Groups without being trained to do so...  (Likewise, I'm seeing similar patterns for Brandergy on Facebook and Brandergy on Twitter, as well... )

BIG, BIG, BIG THANKS for adding Virtual Handshake to your Brandergy profile! COOL OF YOU, SCOTT! :-)


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