Sunday, July 14, 2013

Does the Web really provide?

At Google+ if I see something interesting, like most users I comment and share, or just share the post. Sometimes I'll create media to demonstrate a different perspective or an attempt at humor. Oddly, most of what I produce seems ambiguous and is often interpreted easily to their own support by groups opposing other groups which have formed into bubbles (or "circles" as Google prefers).

The posts I see at Google+ are from people I already have in my circles. On Facebook I see posts from a few lists of people also subdivided into categories. The circles and lists grow when a friend of a friend sees a post I shared or wrote that strikes a cord with them and they decide to follow me for a while. I do the same thing. When I see that someone added me to their circles I usually add them to mine as a courtesy. I usually don't remove people from my circles unless they post something offensive.

What offends me are obvious commercial promotions, SPAM which is rare, and people who use too many logical fallacies, lack empathy or don't make an effort to see things from an opposing perspective without setting up straw arguments. Basically those who follow an ideology instead of pragmatism. Others might accuse of me of being ideological one way or the other, but when you're right your right, right? Oh, and people who block me from commenting.

At LinkedIn.com the predominant discussions and articles are about "social media marketing" which I rarely find at Google+ unless its a travel photo. I see all sorts of intrusive "suggested" apps and pages at Facebook and I find them annoying because I usually have a set agenda for being there and don't have the time to play any games that typically inject advertising.


Internet browser advertising seem to adapt to personal tastes of users as far as I understand it. Because I know that there is a huge amount of stuff I do not know, My online activity is limited to such a tragic degree that user-adapted advertising won't help me find something new because it will only show me things I already know.

For a while I advertised on my blogs using Google AdSense. I noticed that ads were targeted based on keywords in the posts. Once again, my tiny amount of knowledge only attracts people who already know what I know, like I will only find people who post about things I know, and the advertising was the same. I never earned a dime from it so I stopped it. Shows you how much I know, right?

What makes this such a huge issue for me? Around the Christmas holidays in 2012 I went to a huge Holiday Gift Show at the Tacoma Dome and saw things I never knew existed because they were outside the scope of the few corporations that pervade Internet marketing. So, with all the bluster about Internet and social media marketing, why do we miss so much of what's out there? It's crowded out by the big spenders. What's the solution?

Big product expos at convention centers, flea markets, garage sales, and Craigslist.com. It's not just about shopping though, it's about finding something completely different and new that can help you succeed in life. As long as we only use the knowledge we already have to search the Internet, we are stuck.

A good start is to make a genuine effort to learn more about the ideas and people you were told to fear and avoid. To really think about their opinions and follow their train of logic, and never be afraid to admit that you are wrong.
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