Have you ever had one of those friends who you take to the movie theatre with you for the first time, and they kind of interrupt the movie at the very beginning by talking? But you figure it’s an isolated incident so you answer them, laugh at their joke, and just shrug it off.
But then they do it again, and again, and again…
After a while, even though you love this person, you’re ready to strangle them? Well, that is kind of what Guy Kawasaki is becoming to me. Let me explain…
So, What’s The Problem?
Yesterday was my birthday, August 13th. It was also a Saturday. Every once in a while I like to check in on Google+ to see what is going on with the people in my Circles. Currently I’ve got about 200 people that I’m keeping an eye on and really want to see their updates.
Every time I log in to take a look, all I see is Guy Kawasaki and his Origami butterfly! Seriously, I mean virtually all day long he is right on the top of the screen.
Now, I don’t really “know” Guy. I think we’ve met once or twice at a convention or something. He probably doesn’t know my name, and he definitely doesn’t “know” me. So this post isn’t likely to matter to him one way or another (well, except it’s free publicity), but I do actually enjoy several of his posts.
Still, the volume of his sharing is… what is the right word? Large? Massive? Overwhelming? Overkill? Inconsiderate? Insulting? Infuriating? (Notice how the more I think about it, the worse the descriptor becomes? I wonder what the psychology of that is…)
(By the way, random question: why are 50% of the posts Edited?)
What Am I To Think?
I can’t understand the logic behind this sort of activity level on any social networking platform (a place where people interact), so I’ve got all these questions rolling through my brain:
Just a couple of hours ago Guy posted the following:
Every day a few people on Google+ proclaim that my posts contain random, stupid links to stuff they don’t care about. One might ask why they continue to keep me in a circle, but that’s too logical. Just to show that I don’t give a shiitake if they don’t like my posts…
Well, I don’t have a problem with the type of content contained in the posts. Personally, as my readers know, I like variety. But honestly, you’re telling me you really don’t give a shit if I – or anyone else – follows you?
Has he not considered the annoyance factor of being that guy that just hogs all of the attention, all of the time? Or does he think that everything he has to share is just that valuable?
Is it a situation where he wants to be the one and only source of news that people get?
Does he just think of himself as a brand so there’s no real “Guy” to follow, but merely the concept of a social media machine, dressed in Guy clothing?
Is it simply that this behavior works to get on lots of lists and build large numbers of followers, and he knows it so he’s just doing what works?
Is it really Guy who is posting all of this, or does he have other people doing it on his behalf? I mean take a look. He was all over Google+ from 8am – 4:30pm Pacific time on a Saturday. And this is a married guy with several kids. Is he really sitting at home all day on a Saturday sending out these messages?
Are new followers just so easy to come by that he doesn’t care about churn whatsoever because there is an endless stream of people to more than replace those who can’t take it and leave?
On the same day those 25 posts were made, there were about 50 more over on his Twitter feed – which I unfollowed long ago because it’s clearly no longer his voice and instead just an automated stream of tweets from an account that literally follows over 300,000 people.
By the way, Robert Scoble who has a reputation for high post frequency, is mild by comparison. Yesterday he only posted 3 times, and on normal days it’s maybe 10. And people continuously jump all over him, so why is Guy getting a free pass?
What’s The Solution
I know I’m picking on Guy a bit here, but I think he’s wise enough to appreciate that I’m trying to openly and honestly discuss a concern and find a solution. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t really want anyone feeling frustrated or upset in any way when it comes to him personally. And although I’m calling Guy out as an example, there are several other people who do the same thing, and the number is only going to increase.
So, am I the only one here? I mean should I just unfollow as Guy himself suggests? Or should there actually be some social media etiquette with regards to filling up people’s streams? Is it up to the social networks themselves to give us tools to fix this problem? And, by the way, do you even care if the person who you are following is the one actually posting things, or if they have a proxy doing it for them?
I actually want to keep up with some of these folks, but their attitude seems to be take ALL of it, or take nothing. Why isn’t there a happy medium where I only see the most important things they have to personally share?
About John P.
John P. is a former CEO, former TV Show Host, and the Founder and Wizard behind Texas Metal Works. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Feel free to send shoutouts, insults, and praise. Or Money. Money is good.