Thursday Thoughts / Inktober Day 7 (Fan): Opinion Media

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Thursday Thoughts: Opinion Media

Was social media inevitable? If it didn’t make money…

Should we call it what it really is: Opinion Media?

Isn’t that what free speech is? Having a platform for expressing your opinion? Perhaps every post should have a watermark that says, “This is an opinion.” Unless it’s been fact-checked.

“Who’s going to do that? Isn’t that impossible?”
“Impossible? Yeah, I think you are right.”

So, who do we trust? News outlets?

News stations all have a social media presence. Why? Many people are not watching/reading traditional news platforms, so they had to in order to keep their market share. Surely, we can trust them.

Ummm…News channels choose what news to air, and that news is what will get them an audience. We hope that they fact-check. We hope.

Maybe we should call it Ego Media?

Likes and follows and re-tweets, oh my! It seems that many are in it for the attention and ego stroking.

“Look at me! Pay attention to me. How great am I?”

Bandwagon Media?

It didn’t take long for corporations, businesses, politicians, and celebrities to join the masses once the masses had joined.

[whispering] If you build it, they will come…

Maybe the more appropriate name is Shaming Media or Hide-Behind-the-Text Media.

It became easy to be a bully. Anyone could do it and reach a wider entourage without direct contact with the victim.

We hear that social media platforms are responsible for low self-esteem and skewed self-image in younger users. That used to be the arena of print, TV, and movies. But young people are not using those for the amount of time they are on digital devices. The amount of screen staring and the reliance on technology just us up for failure.

Am I anti-social media? I am when it is harmful, and harm comes in many different versions.

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Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.

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The Purge (Subscribers): Quality over Quantity

I went through my subscriber list this week and sent out an email to selected recipients that started like this:  “Ever see the movie, The Purge? Don’t. It’s a terrible movie. I can’t believe they made more than one, two more actually. Anyway, this email is going out to subscribers who haven’t opened any emails for at least 3 months. I may have made a mistake and accidentally added you to this list, so I apologize, and you can stop reading now. “ It goes on to thank them for signing up and giving them unsubscribe information if they wish to stop receiving my most entreating correspondence.

There are many reasons that people on your email list don’t engage. There are many reasons why people on your email list signed up in the first place. Before my list got too big, I decided to purge the list for a few reasons:

  1. Having to many non-engaged subscribers hurts the open rate.
  2. If a reader isn’t interested in what I have to say, I would prefer not to keep them.
  3. Nobody likes a cluttered inbox-them and me.

As I was going through the list, I noticed a few interesting things. Many of the purged had signed up for my book draw, so if they didn’t win, they were not interested in my endeavors, they just wanted free stuff. Fair enough. They probably had a garbage email filling up with stuff. Some of the non-winners, I am happy to say, stuck with me. That, I appreciate. To them I say, “Thank you!”

I did find quite a few who had signed up to review my book through a certain website but hadn’t. It made me weary of using that service again or giving my book away. Out of all the books I have given away with the expectation (promise) of a review, there were more readers who did not submit a review than did. To all of them who took the time to submit a review for any of my books, I say, “Thank you!”

There were a few instances that made me pause and think. Some subscribers had opened many of my newsletters, then stopped. I wondered why, and it saddened me to think that something had happened to them. This has been a terrible year of losses, and no matter what, deaths do happen. Not to assume the worst, but it is a possibility or maybe they just forgot. If we have lost them, for any reason, I say, “Thank you for gracing us with your life.”

This weekend I will be sending out a final email to subscribers with low/no engagement or who haven’t opened anything for more than 3 months. It is kind of like the box that I have of stuff that I don’t use-after a year, if I haven’t needed it, it’s gone-usually donated. Don’t think you’ll ever use that extra piece that came with the furniture or the weird kitchen gadget that you bought on a whim or all those extra buttons? One sure way to find out. Toss em’. Often, you’ll need them the next day.

UPDATE: I sent out the email yesterday and I am pleased to say that so far, 6 people have opened it but did not unsubscribe. It’s good to know that the emails are getting through and not winding up in a spam folder. As for the rest, time will tell. I’ll keep you updated.