Social Media is an interesting beast.
One one level, it has become the de-facto way we communicate and share information and marketing with each other... on another, it's a giant cesspool of lies and sleight-of-hand designed to make us believe things that don't actually exist and never will.
A prickly topic...
A Tale of Two YouTubers
Somehow I ended up on some random Steemian's YouTube page and discovered that this person had been publishing videos of quite a few years and had more 1 1/4 million subscribers.
It made me think of a friend my Mrs. Denmarkguy who has also been a dedicated YouTuber for several years and is just about to round the 200K subscriber mark. And he's worked hard for every single one of those.
Granted, the first person mentioned here is in the technology field, while the second is in spirituality and self-development.
So it would be easy to simply make this an issue of what people consider "popular" and what is not.
Sometimes I just end up stumped...
Apples and Oranges?
Of course, it would be easy to just leave it at that, and dismiss the differences.
But wait, there's more...
Because I'm a bit of a self-professed "analyst" I decided to poke around a little more. So here's the interesting twist for you:
Comparing Apples-to-Apples as best I could, I noticed that the tech dude's typical 6-24 months old video would have between 1,200 to 8,000 views (with a couple approaching 50K views) while the spiritual dude's typical 6-24 months old video had between 20K and 200K views (with a couple passing 1M views).
This rather marked difference made me consider the illusions people peddle, in place of simply being sincere and offering something of value.
Welcome to the twitterverse...
I've had my twitter account for a little over 10 years, and have generally run "hot-and-cold" in my relationship with twitter... typically in tandem with how much I have been blogging, and on what topics.
Whenever I am "active," I invariably get lots of direct messages offering to deliver me "thousands of new followers."
Whereas I am sure there are people who'll immediately fall for such offers, they remind me of the meaninglessness of those who come to Steemit and spam "I followed you, please follow me back" in comments all over the place.
Whether you end up with lots of followers — or not — I just want to ask the question "Who CARES?"
As in the case of tech and spiritual YouTubers, followers don't mean a damn thing if they don't actually care about your content.
Quality vs. Value... Part 459...
If you're somewhat of a regular here, you've seen me bring up the distinction between "quality content" and "adding value."
The two are by no means the same. In the world of social media, you get engagement because you add value to people's lives with your content... regardless of whether that is kitten videos, rantings about conspiracy theories, amazing photos, or deep dissertations on the meaning of life.
What doesn't add value is regurgitating the same old dank memes and repeating the same basic laptop review that has already been published 17,000 times. Nobody gives a phlying phuck... least of all those 800,000 people who "followed" you for no more reason than there happens to be a "FOLLOW" button there, and they knew how to click on it.
Or you "purchased" half a million followers in some Internet deal for $89.99.
Fuchsias in bloom...
What DOES Matter: Subscribers and Readers
Going back to "another life" in which I worked in the marketing field, I remember quite well a wise person telling me that it was more meaningful (in the publishing business) "to have 1,000 actual READERS than to have 100,000 SUBSCRIBERS."
Ultimately, all those 100,000 "subscribers" enable you to do is sell the illusion that you are "popular," as a result of which you can perhaps get another 100,000 "subscribers" who don't actually ever READ or ENGAGE WITH your writing, videos, music or whatever.
Big Numbers are ultimately little more than an illusion, unless those people are engaging with what you're doing.
Here on Steemit, bid bots (for example) serve largely to provide the illusion that something is important, or popular. Aside from that, they don't serve much purpose, although some believe the boost to your reputation score adds value. Profitability? On average, that's just another illusion... except for the bot owner.
Personally, I prefer something a little more tangible than illusions. Which is why I'm not too worried that my follower count has been stuck around 4,500 for about six months.
How about YOU? What are your social media experiences? Does a lot of it seem more like smoke and mirrors than anything tangible? How do you go about building your readership on Steemit, and elsewhere? Does engagement matter, or can you get by solely on "Big Numbers?" Leave a comment-- share your experiences-- be part of the conversation!
(As always, all text and images by the author, unless otherwise credited. This is original content, created expressly for Steemit)
Created at 181025 14:22 PDT