ch-ch-changes* (toward authorial transparency) |


I have had my posterous blog up for a few years. I have used it mostly as an enhanced bookmarking tool to capture web sites (sometimes) and blog articles (mostly) I thought were interesting. posterous provides a very cool toolbar button that lets users re-blog content from anywhere to their own posterous blog. posterous will pull selected text into the new post, or, if no text is selected, all the content.

posterous provides a link back to the source content and uses the source subject line and name as the subject line for the new post: for example, "My Post About Cats |"). however, the unwitting and unscrupulous can simply delete the references and presto! newly birthed content, squirmy and a bit slimy. I wrote about one of these characters and the tension between social sharing and theft way back in 2009.

in researching for an update to that post in the last few weeks, I've discovered something. by and large, smart people do not like it when their admirers (or competitors) take entire posts and slap them up on their own site, even when the borrower gives proper credit to the source. this has something to do with changes in how search engine rankings are calculated. link juice, that mysterious elixir produced a link to one's website. ain't what it used to be.

a bigger factor is the whole reason for producing valuable content - getting traffic to one's site. write enough good stuff, create a steady flow of visitors, and you can charge for ads on the pages. you become known as a source for good information and traffic swells even more. google pricks up its robotic ears and pushes up the site that is getting all the likes and shares. but if some percentage of prospective new visitors are finding your good stuff on some other site, it reduces the value of your site!

so - I will no longer reblog whole posts on my posterous site. it will continue to serve as a curatorial site. but I will excerpt a section of the source article that i find especially interesting and post that, along with my riveting insights (that's a joke) and a prominent invitation to read the original article at the original site. that's link love, how it oughta be!

* song credit: david bowie

I went off on a bit of a tangent earlier and wrote a post over on my "serious" blog. hackles were raised. I do not believe that marketingprofs is ripping off hubspot content for fun and profit. or vice versa. just asking for a little more due diligence is all.

New Study Reveals How People Share Online | Social Media Explorer

  • People still share via email and instant messenger more than via social networks. An astounding 59% of all shares on the widget were done via email, 25% via instant messenger and just 14% were passed along on networks like Facebook and Twitter.
  • Twitter, which has recently emerged as the share site du jour for those in the social media world, accounts for only one percent of all shares. Facebook is 11%. Yahoo mail is the highest individual share channel at 26%.
  • Yahoo (44%) and MSN (25%) mail are way ahead of Gmail (19%) as the email provider used by Tell-A-Friend users.
  • Facebook accounts for 79% of all shares via social networks. MySpace is second at 15%. Twitter is just 5% of all social network shares via the widget.

While I do think there is a separation between what I would call hyper-tech users (those who owe their soul to Google, defer to other bookmarklets and other methods rather than clicking on the share widgets provided) and the average Joe or Jane, the statistics are significant. They show us how wide of a gap there is between those two crowds. When we as Internet marketers are making recommendations and building functionality for the mainstream, we have to remember that WE are not the mainstream.

Another insight I get out of this data is that one-to-one communications – email and instant messenger – are still enormously powerful. Most people either don’t realize they can share with more folks via social networks or are not comfortable doing so. It might just be that sharing the information with one or two people is the methodology of choice for the rest of the world. That can change how we approach social media strategies for some products and services. Design programs and products that inspire more one-to-one pass alongs rather than “LOOK WHAT I FOUND!” messages on social networks.

nearly 2/3 of sharing is still by email!