How to Come up With a Blog Strategy for a DTC Brand
Do ecommerce and DTC brands need blogs? Sure they do, here's a step-by-step guide to get started!
Post originally written in 2013; updated in January 2017.
You spend way too much time on it, and yet it's annoying as heck.
Why are people so darn annoying on social media?
Oddly, Google doesn't have the answers here.
Google "Why are people annoying on social media", and you're confronted with lists of examples, but no actual explanation. This is what we got:
You didn't answer my question, Google!
So let's try answering it. After all, we believe that the convergence of communications and publishing is at the heart of everything we're interested in exploring today.
It's so new that we haven't learnt how to do it tastefully.
Publishing-by-the-masses hasn't been studied the way regular communication has, so we haven't collectively codified the do's and don't yet. We're still in the process of it.
We know, for instance, not to call somebody's telephone at 3 am in the morning. But does that also apply to a message on Facebook?
The above comic is actually very telling.
The rabbit's first explanation is the story that he wants to tell. It's the identity he constructs. He likely believes it himself most of the time and doesn't give it a second thought.
The second explanation is the real reason why he does it. And he wouldn't be able to feel like a "big, big, man" if not for the presence of the audience. The audience validates him.
In The Presentation Of Self In Everyday Life, sociologist Erving Goffman uses theatre as an illuminating metaphor for social life. We deliver performances to one another and to ourselves, and in doing so we determine our own (and each other's) identities.
Here are some quotes from Foucault and Social Media: Life In A Virtual Panopticon, a series of 3 blog posts on PhilosophyForChange. Highly recommended.
Here are some relevant quotes:
More recommended reading: I Tweet, Therefore I Am.
“The real world is the place where we take pictures for Facebook.”
In The Data Self (A Dialectic), Nathan Jurgenson offers the compelling argument that our profiles create us just as much as we create them.
Our Profiles serve us, but we also live in service of our Profiles. We colloquially describe this as "doing it for the 'gram", or "doing it for the Likes" – when we actually do something we wouldn't otherwise do, so that we can serve our profiles. (This phenomena is alluded to in I Tweet, Therefore I Am.)
In his essay Keep your identity small, Paul Graham similarly advocates keeping your identity (your Persona, or your Profile) small to avoid the stresses and hassle of such performance.
leads to this...
Interpretation: The guy is exhausted from having to put on a show all the time. With social media, the show continues online. It never ends.
If the user is not clear about this reality, this leads to...
Which explains people being unhappy on Facebook.
This might seem strange at first glance. Isn't it social media?
It makes more sense when you realise people aren't interacting with people, they're interacting with profiles.
We're interacting with "presented Selfs", or constructs.
Minor disagreements blow up into major arguments because of the performance, and because of the war of identities. If you're not careful, it can get tiresome, tedious and difficult.
ZenPencils has comic with a quote by Marc Maron called The Social Media Generation. "Every status update is a variation of the same request: 'Would somebody please acknowledge me?'"
8 out of 9 examples on The Oatmeal's How to Suck at Facebook are depictions of excessive or unenlightened publishing. The one exception is "The Rash", which is an unenlightened response to the publishing of others. All of these demonstrate either ignorance or incompetence when it comes to what is socially acceptable.
WaitButWhy.com is relatively new to the party, but their post 7 Ways To Be Insufferable On Facebook is remarkably insightful, and goes way beyond the list of annoying behavior. They reveal how annoying status updates are self-serving.
Once you take in the magnificent scope of it all, you can't help but feel sympathy for the common person. We're all just trying to build our own identities and personas in peace. Nobody really wants to go around hurting or annoying other people, we all just want some social approval.
Points to remember:
Social media isn't actually very complicated. It's just all a bit new to us, and we have to learn to navigate it effectively. Don't let your profile dictate your life, don't get drawn into unnecessary arguments. Always remember that everybody is constructing a Profile that is not a full picture of their actual selves.
We hope you have been duly enlightened. :-)
P.S.: Here's the straight answer to the title question:
Other posts in this sequence: