Herding Cats And Chasing Social



Why I see social media imploding under its own weight.


None of the big-brained internet CEO’s nor the billions of people who walk the planet with a not-so-smart-phone held out in front of them so they can interact with people not close have figured out what James Madison meant when he wrote the first amendment.


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


December 5, 2018, Tumblr banned porn.


A couple of little hiccups as reported by the Washington post cropped up:


The first lesson is that it’s hard.” 


Tumblr’s efforts to cleanse itself of obscene content have apparently led to a purge of “all anime,” “anyone fat” and “dinosaurs,” among other innocent content that the site’s algorithm has detected as explicit” Read more


I no longer get in moderators faces reminding them “controlling social media is like herding cats, it can’t be done.”


What Herding Cats
Looks Like Up Close And Personal


I put up a blog post to the largest WordPress group on LinkedIn entitled  “Website Migration Or Bird Migration – What’s Harder?”


Within 10 minutes I was removed from the group in spite of the same post still living on LinkedIn’s news feed.


I write for 3 blogs.


My “money blog” Windy City Parrot is bird centric.


Thus I’ve always been fascinated with birds like the Arctic Tern who flies 12,000 miles twice a year for migratory purposes.


The blog title referred to a period that while migrating our Windy City Parrot blog to a new dev site on a new server, some days I felt my journey was as arduous as the small bird’s bi-annual trans-global flight.


Thus one more social media moderator made a decision (giving him or her a sense “control”) based not on the content’s merit, but on the 7-word title.


Nobody is really into porn anyway because it’s so disgusting, right?


Whoa, according to Wikipedia, Pornhub is the 31st most visited website on the internet.


It’s visited more than LinkedIn, Microsoft, Bing and eBay.


What is Tumblr’s message intent?


Tumblr update August 15, 2019 – a timeline


December 31, 2010

Tumblr seeing 3 billion impressions per month


May 20, 2013

Yahoo CEO (and working mom) Marissa Mayer bought Tumblr from its 20 something founder David Karp, for $1.1 billion promising “not to screw up Tumblr.”


January 5, 2019

Bluefin tuna sells for a record $3.1 million at Tokyo fish market




August 12, 2019.

Automattic the creator and owner of WordPress powering over half the websites on the internet (including this one), bought Tumblr for $3 million, less than the price of a Japanese fish company (see above).


Automattic brought on about 200 Tumblr staffers


Next up


Google+ Is Shutting Down, And No One Really Cares


Next up


We were an early adopter of social (YouTube 2006).


I felt we could leverage it by targeting potential end-users with a laser focus.


Two years before YouTube was bought by Google I blew five grand on producing a single “how-to” video about Bird care.


I lost exactly five grand on the project


“Free video with a built-in audience”?


“Sign me up”


That was in 2006.


Fast forward to the summer of 2018.


Our 800,000 views (355 original videos) channel that we spent 12 years building was suspended for hate speech, scams and copyright infringement.


Much like Alex Jones, but we produced videos on feeding captive birds and how to make parrot toys.


Our longtime attorney Jill Rose Quinn, who I affectionately (and deservedly so) call Wonder Woman, emailed me to say “I’m not going to waste any more of my time and your money trying to talk to YouTube legal, they are within their rights according to YouTube’s TOS which you paid me to read and they are all stuck on stupid – best of luck.”


The caveat, videos with as many as 100,000 views, produced little to no website traffic for us with the same said of our entire YouTube channel.


BTW, in spite of all the stats you’ve read about that video substantially increases product conversion, it’s our finding that the placement of 450 videos in product listings (homegrown and UGC) had an underwhelming effect on e-Commerce conversion rate. 



Next up


Our Facebook page with more than a quarter-million fans now sees engagement on some days at 2, that’s right 2.


Then engagement explodes to 120,000 48 hours later which serves to strengthen my resolve of railing against Facebook


I’m old.


I’ve been looking at data in one form or another for half a century.


Only in Mark Zuckerberg’s universe can a reach 2 then morph into 120,000 in 48 hours.


Free Bonus Content! A Breakup Letter To Facebook From Eat24


All this against the backdrop of a Congress who does nothing right while chastising social media and tech behemoths that get (almost) everything right, and profitably.


Editors note –


Facebook is 12 years old.


Facebook’s 2018 profit was $22.1 billion


The US has had 243 years to learn money management.


As of December 31, 2018, debt held by the public was $16.1 trillion and intragovernmental holdings were $5.87 trillion, for a total of $21.97 trillion.


“What is it you want to teach young Mr. Zuckerberg, senator?”


We’ve gone from “this is great we can say anything we want to anyone we want and get responses and engagement.”

To “yes Mr. Senator, our cadre of teams has been put in place to monitor activity like fake news because we can’t trust humans any longer to decipher what is real for themselves.” (or close to those words).


This brings to mind Steve Martin’s black father character from the movie “The Jerk” who advises his “son”, that to survive in this world you need to know the difference between sh*t and shinola”.



While re-assessing where I wanted to be in the social media space I considered the “comfort food” of social media, Quora.


Then two incidents occurred back to back.


A well respected avian authority posted that his wife tied a helium balloon to one of his bird’s legs and then he duct-taped taped the bird’s feet to the floor so he wouldn’t follow him around the house.


24 hours after lambasting him in a Quora reply, I received an email from Quora threatening to remove me from the platform for not playing nice (which made Quora tacitly approve animal cruelty) and then I was lambasted by the individual who performed these heinous acts while defending the indefensible..


I re-posted a toned down comment which has also been removed. 


Around the same time, I decided, against my better judgment, to give (Facebook-owned) IGTV a try.


Setting aside time to pay my due diligence in figuring how to upload from my (damaged) video inventory (about 30% was lost on YouTube) I learned some interesting facts.


The first shocker was that IGTV only accepts portrait videos, no landscape format allowed.


I haven’t shot a vertical video in three years – nobody likes the black bars, which somehow vanish on Instagram.


I watched three YouTube videos on how to convert video from portrait to landscape.


I decided it wasn’t worth the time nor the energy.


Tried posting a video from my PC but couldn’t get it to upload.


So I posted a question to Quora asking “How to upload videos on IGTV from my PC”.


Within 60 minutes I got seven replies indicating that it was impossible to do so because Instagram was a mobile-only platform.


I respectfully (not wanting to get kicked off Quora) replied to all seven authors with something like “I’ll be sure to let Instagram know that this particular knowledge base article having the words – “From a computer, open your web browser and go to Instagram.com” is inaccurate because you said so on Quora.


Keep this precautionary tale in mind when using Quora for research when you’re seeking accuracy.


Recently, Mike Connell on the SpinSucks blog asked:


The Spin Sucks Question: Do You Have a Quora Strategy?


Here was my reply:


I use Quora to answer questions in the captive bird niche.


I stick specifically to questions that will benefit caged bird keepers and their animals.


I ignore the nonsense and chastise the ignorant.


That happens a lot because many people say that they have decades of experience raising birds (in our case) which somehow makes them an expert.


I like to point out that a janitor working in a hospital for 20 years still doesn’t know how to perform surgery.


Most times I will wait until I see four or five answers so I can correct all of the authors in a 1500 – 2000 word post.


Because I’m an advocate for the birds, the answers may be placed on Quora but every answer becomes a blog post for us and is made a canonical page on our site.


If I have shorter answers I will string them together based upon a common theme.


As for marketing, I have found Quora useless.


Normally I would post answers to Quora but many times I simply create the content for our site.


The blogged answers deliver traffic – it is said.


I do link back to Quora illustrating to my readers the other answers I’m responding to.


Even when I was getting between 10,000 and 15,000 views a month on Quora the platform never delivered more than 10 (literally) visitors to our site in any 30 day period (per Google Analytics).




Next up


Who (reading this) doesn’t know Mike Stelzner and his 900-pound gorilla Social Media Examiner?


Personally, I was not surprised to see the following post show up on my radar:


“In mid-October (2018), Social Media Examiner, which had been producing a number of long video shows for Facebook, declared that “no one was watching their videos” and announced that they were stopping production of two shows and moving a third exclusively to YouTube”. Read more


Wrapping things up I want to circle back to Sheryl and Mark 


Recently (12/04/18) I attended a Wine and Web event at Orbit Media Studios where Gini Dietrich of Spin Sucks was the guest speaker.


At one point she was talking about what I call alchemy.


Mixing data from Facebook, Google analytics and other sources, then pouring all the goo into a Google data studios cauldron.


It all sounds very sexy but I’ve been advocating for years that the data we get from Facebook is suspect and or highly corrupted.


Thus I challenge anybody to isolate Facebook data and triangulate it against two other data points rather than mixing them all together and I promise you’ll find huge discretions on the Facebook side of the triangle.

Facebook has long been less than candid about video view metrics (2016)

Two years later it’s turning out that in spite of denials for years, Facebook has been leveraging user data to not only sell it but to blackmail third-party developers


“And in a legal motion filed in May (2018) Six4Three’s lawyers claimed evidence they had uncovered and demonstrated that ‘the Cambridge Analytica scandal‘ was not the result of mere negligence on Facebook’s part but was rather the direct consequence of the malicious and fraudulent scheme Zuckerberg designed in 2012 to cover up his failure to anticipate the world’s transition to smartphones”.


Facebook’s verbal data has been based upon lies and misdirections for years.


Do you really think their numerical data is any more accurate? (He asks rhetorically)


In conclusion, it’s a simple number – ROI.


I advocate that all of you drill down into Google analytics and look at how much money social media is putting in your company’s pocket.


I went to the bank and tried to deposit 10 pounds of engagement.


I was told it had no value.


About the author.


Mitch Rezman: when not blogging and advocating for captive birds around the world he listens to the many voices in his head screaming over the tinnitus.


From visual data in the form of asci characters, moving picture and audio data coming from video and light in general, streaming through his pineal gland, inevitably providing opinions contrary to most popular beliefs about digital marketing, social media, and e-commerce.


After eight months employing over 2 dozen developers and spending about $20,000 rebuilding his (16-year-old site) on a Zen cart e-commerce platform (launched the summer of 2016), he’s abandoning it to be replaced with a solo handcrafted Woocommerce store.


The experience is being well documented and will also provide a new series of educational blog posts on e-commerce website design and development.


The stories will cover everything from (mitch’s) newly coined terms like “scaffolding plugins” to the intricacies of merging a website onto a global CDN.


This just in


New Facebook Policy Sparks Fears of Sex Talk Crackdown



Your zygodactyl Footnote

A moderator on the Spin Sucks Slack channel recently asked for recommendations and advice that she could pass on to her grade school-aged child, to better guide her through Social media”


My sage wisdom on the subject of kids and social


“Johnny, social media is like alcohol.”


It’s for adults and should be used in moderation.


You see those knuckleheads looking at their not-so-smart-phones while crossing the street, conversing with everyone but people around them that they can say and speak to but ignore.


They are oblivious to the driver who is also looking at his or her’s not-so-smart-phone unaware the light is about to turn red possibly turning the street crossing pedestrian into splot on their car’s windshield.


All your friends walk in groups with everyone in the group looking at their not-so-smart-phones chatting with kids in other groups doing the same thing.


No one is talking to each other in person, no longer learning how to interact – as humans.


Social media saps our ability to be better people on planet earth.


Social media makes me a better person, said no one ever.


As an adult I can tell you ‘this is sad.’


If Charles Darwin was even close with his theories which he was, the physiological and mental changes caused to a young human’s mind by supersaturated social media does not bode well for our future.


So go outside, ride your bike, play ball with your friends or read a book so you can learn about important things and about those close to you not what someone had to eat and poop 12 miles away.


Much like a belt made of watches, social media is a waste of time”.


Kid (and adults) This is your brain on social media: /╲/\╭(ఠఠ益ఠఠ)╮/\╱\





2448 words by Mitch Rezman
THE Mephastophilis of social media.

Find me on Facebook (260,000 fans)

Find me on Twitter (8,300 followers)

Find me on Pinterest (82.7k monthly viewers)

Our 900,000 views were deleted by Youtube for reasons still opaque to us.

When was the last time you looked in your google analytics dashboard for Social media conversions?

Approved by Catherine Tobsing – Visit us on her (our) “personal blog” RedHeadedCatBirds


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