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Rapid Transit

I got so tangled and twisted
June 20, 2015, 8:39 am

I haven't done a portrait in weeks.

It just kind of hasn't worked out. I'm sorry, everyone who may read this and care. One of the portraits never contacted me back. One of the portraits got lost in the shuffle. This week I was communicating with who I thought was the next portrait, only to realize it was the next weekend's portrait, and today's just emailed me "Super excited about the portrait!"

AGH

I'm the worst. And I'm blasting it out on my blog. Because that's what you do with a blog. With Instagram blowing up, and Youtube blowing up, and Twitter blowing up, I sometimes feel like this is my last place of refuge to put something in writing on a public wall of catharsis and be confident that still no one will see it.

... Except my students when I begin to show them my site.

Sigh.

The new semester is off to a bright start. We'll see how long these kids last. The new batch seem smart, but summer classes are accelerated double speed, so we'll see if they can keep up the pace. On the other hand, in my 608 it's the first time I've ever had almost an entire class of people who took my class before. This is super exciting, and I feel like they're all way ahead of any 608 class I've taught before. Most other classes have felt like I was constantly behind trying to bring every body up to the level I expected them to be. But I don't feel that this time, and so I'm hoping I can push them even further.

I would, however, like to mention that I have been uploading a couple videos to youtube, and I've begun recording my daily sketches and plan to start adding more content to youtube. Here is one of the recent Instagram sketches.

A couple of notes on Hashtags and Social Media
April 17, 2015, 10:06 am

I do a lot of Social Media strategy and statistical analysis. Here's a set of tips about the major social networks hashtags.

First of all, let's get this out of the way. Hashtags WORK. On everything. To a greater or lesser degree.

Twitter. Hashtags are super important to your social media strategy, and make the difference between languishing in anonymity and rising up in the ranks. Twitter tends to be a place that thrives on tech talk, politics, and celebrity. So those tags tend to be the ones that get the most play. #javascript will immediately get a hundred eyes on your tweet. Plan your character count to include at least one relevant hashtag.

Instagram. Hashtags are equally important, but the audience is fairly different. On instagram, tags involving food, selfies, and art will get the major response that you're looking for. When hashtagging #java on twitter versus instagram, you will get a much different response.

Facebook. Hashtags are nearly completely irrelevant here. In fact studies have shown that using hashtags on personal posts discourages people from looking at your content. Which is a shame, because Facebook is set up to handle hashtags, it's just that no one cares.

Google+. Sigh. Why won't they just release an api so that third party apps can post to them? Google Plus is unique in that they will auto tag your posts if they find relevant tag information within your post. You don't even have to try. Of course, you can also help it along with some actual tags of your own.

Tumblr. Hashtags get generated as a side content for tumblr posts, and so don't have to be a part of your content strategy, but can be tacked on as meta information. This is a nice addition to the process. Tumblr thrives on immediate image content, and so photography and graphic tags tend to get the most play.

Is this a comprehensive list? Not even a little. These are just some notes I've made along the way while trying to stay relevant in a world that moves quickly every day. Hopefully you find something useful in here.

Social Media Engagement
January 29, 2015, 10:32 am

It amazes me how many people sign up for social media and never engage in any participation. I guess I can understand when someone rarely checks their social accounts, but I really can't understand the MASSES that sign up, and engage a little, but only barely.

Let's take a big example. The Rock is on instagram. He has 6.6 million followers at the time of this post. On his last post, after 3 hours, he was only able to muster 100,000 likes and 1,000 comments.

Now hold on, untwist your bunches. Yes, those numbers are gross. All of them are. But think of them relatively. Out of his millions of followers, he only managed a 1.5% interaction rate. The most electrifying man in sports entertainment today, could only pull together a measly 1000 comments out of all of his millions and miiilllllions of followers.

There are a number of interesting dilemmas and predicaments this brings up, but one of the more interesting ones is just how many people sign up for social media AND THEN NEVER USE IT. It's crazy. A worse idea is, what hope do the rest of us have? Well, probably none, but this is a great scenario to study statistically, and we should always be studying the statistics of interaction.

Impressions and interactions tend to come with a 1000 to 1 ratio across the board. do you want to have 10 people comment or like your thing? you need to get it in front of 10,000 people. Do you want a hundred people to BUY your product? I've actually found that you'll need to get your product in front of closer to 1,000,000 eyes before that happens. There are things that alter these numbers, such as the amount of interaction you reciprocate, and how murderously intent on your product your audience is, but in general, these numbers stay true across most internet positions.

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