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Doktor Spinn

Why I Won’t Be Retweeting Mashable Stories This Year

Filed under: Business
blogosphere2

I won’t be retweeting Mashable stories this year. I understand how this sounds, believe me.

But give me a chance to explain.

First and foremost, I love Mashable. I’ve always been a Pete Cashmore fanboy, and I still am. And I do read Mashable on a regular basis — with great pleasure.

The same can be said for TechCrunch, Social Media Today, Social Media Examiner, VentureBeat and so on. I love them, I read them, but I won’t be spinning them in 2013, not the way I used to at least.

So less frenetic retweeting Mashable stories on Twitter, no postings of TechCrunch stories on Facebook, no wild redditting or rampant stumbling of Social Media Examiner.

Of course I’ll attribute them with a link if I use them as source material for a blog post, but that’s it.

Why?

Here’s the short version:

I don’t want to be one of thousands retweeting news stories from mega sites this year. For better use of my energy, rather than echo-chambering the news, I will do a better job of sharing other bloggers’ perspectives instead.

And here’s the long version:

Mass Media Vs. Social Media

mass media to be really exciting, I really do. It’s not for nothing that I first chose this world for my education and early career in public relations.

But I’ve also learnt that social media is just as exciting from a societal perspective. And from a personal perspective — even more interesting than mass media!

What triggers me about social is how thousands and thousands of voices suddenly can have their say.

I’m a firm believer in that everyone, anyone, can have at least one fundamental and world-changing thing to say at least once during their lifetime.

The Blogosphere, I Salute You

And this is where I find the blogosphere to be such an amazing place. In it’s purest form, it’s nothing less than a shining bright celebration to the importance of freedom of speech.

I would go so far as to argue that access to a neutral and global internet should be manifested in the United Nation’s declaration of human rights.

Not because it’s a human right to filtering the world through Instagram or post funny cat videos on Facebook. From a macro perspective, those networks are mere public transport vessels for ideas and messages.

But because anyone could blog, meaning voicing an opinion or setting otherwise hidden information free.

The Rift Between Blogs And Reporting The News

Granted, “blog” is a pretty ugly as far as words goes. Derived from weblog, it stills gives us an idea about what a blog really is.

It’s an account of logged chronological perspectives.

This is why blogging and reporting the news are two very DIFFERENT phenomenas altogether.

Reporting the news is all about providing an account for events that are newsworthy, meaning that they are of interest to people no matter who the sender is.

Blogging is about setting a perspective free in the universe. Just as news are important, so is different perspectives. It has very little to do with the idea of “newsworthiness”.

An editor I know once called us bloggers “castrated journalists”, but nothing could be more misleading.

I don’t blog to inform the general public on recent events. I’m not a news outlet, nor have I ever intended to become one. I’m a blogger who from time to time logs my perspectives as they come to me.

And this is where it starts to get interesting.

Why We Shouldn’t Call Everything “A Blog”

Sites like Mashable may have started out like blogs, but imho, they stopped being blogs the minute they started configuring their editorial process to become a news outlet online.

I think this is fine. I love news and news will always be important. The general public must stay informed.

But since I feel so strongly about all the thousands and thousands of voices out there, voices that are expressing what’s on their minds only to be read by the few, well, this is really the side of the web that I feel most passionate about.

So, I don’t need to be one of thousands who retweets the latest Mashable article. I bet that every single one of the one’s who are actively following me on Twitter knows that Mashable exists anyway.

If they want news, my followers know where to find it. <<< Click to tweet.

And it’s not like I don’t give back to great sites like Mashable. I do allow myself to be exposed to their ads when I visit their site for the latest digital industry news.

Sharing Is Caring — So What Do I Care About?

But as for sharing my own traffic, as modest in volume as it is, I’d rather share it with someone who will genuinely appreciate it. Someone who has provided me with a unique and fresh perspective that I couldn’t find anywhere else.

Someone who might consider reciprocity and acknowledgement sometime along the way.

Someone who might say hey, thanks man and let’s have a discussion about this, just you and I and see who else likes to join in?

So this is why I will be sharing whatever traffic or influence that I have with interesting voices from all over. Voices that are expressing how they see the world.

Because even in this brand new world of ours, these voices will only get big news media recognition if they should happen to “freak-of-nature” and thus go viral. And then only for 15 Mb of fame at the time.

Otherwise, big news media will only reference a voice if that voice has risen to fame and accomplishment by merit.

But I can’t escape this immense respect that I have for any person who decides to describe their world, no matter if they are someone “to be reckoned with” or not —  and hit that “Publish” button.

It’s something extraordinarily beautiful about how someone who’s not a trained writer, who hasn’t got the slightest idea about UIX or structured storytelling [infographic], still can just hit that “Publish” and put a slice of their mind out there.

Bear in mind that this isn’t indie romanticism. Because even perspectives can earn great followings in volume.

I’m thinking of bloggers like Seth Godin, Gini Dietrich, Brian Solis, Peter Shankman, Chris Brogan, Marcus Sheridan and Danny Brown. It seems they’ve resisted the urge to become niche news media outlets and instead kept evolving their thought leadership.

They’ve also remained active in the discussion of these perspectives, both in theirs’ and others comment fields. Most of them also gives up their platforms to fairly unknown guest bloggers.

A special mention also to Dino Dogan, co-founder of Triberr, a social network for bloggers who want to support each other.

So I don’t need to be one of thousands who retweets the latest Mashable article. As a principle, I will do my best to share blogger perspectives instead.

In the end, it’s all about YOUR energy and how you chose to SHARE it. And I know how I want to share mine.

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  • http://www.jessicaannmedia.com/ itsjessicann

    you nailed it, Jerry! and I’m right there with you. I won’t be following the masses either – by RTing or sharing “mainstream” articles, including The Huffington Post. Arianna Huffington personally invited me to blog on The Huffington Post a few years ago. I declined. Why? I knew it would expand my reach, but it did so in a way that didn’t feel quite right at the time.
     
    I appreciate the content on The Huffington Post – and have nothing against its writers. A part of my reasoning to not share my thoughts on that platform is in your last sentence: “In the end, it’s all about YOUR energy and how you chose to SHARE it. And I know how I want to share mine.”
     
    Excellent post, Jerry.

    • http://www.doktorspinn.com/ Jerry Silfwer

      @itsjessicann Thank you sooo much! Here’s to integrity!

  • http://www.echelonbusinesssolutions.com/ Brent@Echelonseo.com

    Well said Jerry – interesting perspective. I’m not swearing off Mashable or Huffington Post, but agree that the sharing of the unique content of individual bloggers is a noble and worthwhile effort. Finding that original perspective and interesting voice to share and help amplify is part of the process that makes blogging and social media so enjoyable. Cheers!

    • http://www.doktorspinn.com/ Jerry Silfwer

      @Brent@Echelonseo.com Cheers, Brent. Yes, I’m aiming for a noble 2013! :) Hopefully it’ll last longer than my other New Years Resolutions… ;)

  • http://dannybrown.me/ Danny Brown

    Amen, Jerry, amen. I don’t think I’ve shared a mass media story for the longest time – certainly not from the social media pit, anyhoo. I do like ReadWriteWeb and will share their content but, like you, I much prefer to share those with a voice and an opinion.
     
    Thanks for the shout too, sir, I really appreciate it. Here’s to true blogging. :)

    • http://www.doktorspinn.com/ Jerry Silfwer

      @Danny Brown Thanks, Danny. And since I have you on the line, let me just express that I really love your style of sharing thoughts and content on the web.
       
      </kissass>

      • http://dannybrown.me/ Danny Brown

        @Jerry Silfwer Cheers, mate. By the way, I tried to subscribe but the email sub button didn’t click through anywhere?

      • http://dannybrown.me/ Danny Brown

        @Jerry Silfwer Ignore previous comment – it signed up fine, just no confirmation message/box at this end. Cheers.

  • http://remarkablogger.com/ remarkablogger

    I’ve never been one to mindlessly echo a “big name” post. Hello, relevancy? meaning? impact?Sometimes a big news item is relevant in the right way, but most of the time this “news” is just part of the overall context.
     
    Still, this is food for thought.

    • http://www.doktorspinn.com/ Jerry Silfwer

      @remarkablogger Someone will probably call me out on actually retweeting them anyway, so it’s not a die-hard type of principle of mine. 
       
      But I’m pledging to myself to at least add some sort of context if I do, rather than just informing my followers of industry news by others.

  • Killer_Ideas

    There are smaller voices out there with equally compelling ideas and stories that warrant the support and attention. I’m with you on your decision to focus elsewhere.

    • http://www.doktorspinn.com/ Jerry Silfwer

      @Killer_Ideas Well put.

  • dennis d mcdonald

    This is one of the reasons why I dislike the emphasis of Linkedin on displaying articles up front by massively-followed  “thought leaders.”  I get enough of them elsewhere!

    • http://dannybrown.me/ Danny Brown

      @dennis d mcdonald That’s the problem with the term “thought leader” – it’s based on a personal opinion. Who’s to say LinkedIn’s idea of thought leaders are relevant to me and my audience? It’s the same with influence – it’s all circumstantial and there’s no one-size-fits-all bucket of influence that will appeal to everyone. Hey ho. :)

  • http://www.cendrinemarrouat.com/ cendrinemedia

    Excellent article, Jerry! 
     
    I rarely retweet the “famous” sites out there. Like you, I had rather share the content from smaller bloggers who post insightful articles and thoughts. After all, it’s all about relevancy and quality. I want my audience to have access to great stuff. 
     
    We always see the same names and I find it tiring. There are so many great voices out there that it is a shame that we don’t give them more “coverage”.

    • http://www.doktorspinn.com/ Jerry Silfwer

      @cendrinemedia Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the subject! Yes, it seems that we might be quite a few likeminded individuals when it comes to turning the spotlight towards great thinkers and writers that don’t necessarily have “celebrity” status.

      • http://www.cendrinemarrouat.com/ cendrinemedia

        @Jerry Silfwer And they are also the ones who are often the most level-headed. :-)

    • http://www.doktorspinn.com/ Jerry Silfwer

      @cendrinemedia Thanks for stopping by, Cendrine — and for those kind words! 
       
      Yes, I think we’re onto something here. Also small voices are of importance and we can make a difference together.

  • stuartml

    Enjoyed reading this Jerry. I’ve been finding a lot of new, interesting, intelligent and really thoughtful posts on Tumblr lately- I’m really enjoying it.
     
    For awhile I was adding to the “echo-chambering” like you say, when it was all “new to me”, and I see others doing that now… but what really gets to me is so many of the “big” stories are only “big” because of the sensationalist titles, which is why I’ve stopped sharing them.
     
    I got tired of getting excited about a title… reading the article… realizing the title has hardly anything to do with the news and was way over-exaggerated or even occasionally incorrect or misleading or the very worst: half of the article being irrelevant and yet highly appealing to a particular frenetic group of share-happy netizens.
     
    On top of that- so many people are sharing and retweeting solely based on the title- without reading the article and its potential misinformation. I may slip up and eat my words on this- but at least read the article or news and understand it before retweeting or sharing.

  • DoktorSpinn

    d0pp13r Thanks Roman, appreciate the share!

  • d0pp13r

    DoktorSpinn :)

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