Supporting Charities and Facebook…

I’ve always been a bit leery of Facebook.

Maybe it is the Farmville thing… but I have never found it as connected an entity as Twitter.

It might just be that you get out of it, what you put into it… but I do most of my Facebook communicating through my Blackberry, so I don’t see all the “other” stuff.

This last week, there was a “thing” on Facebook:

Change your Facebook profile picture to a
cartoon from your childhood and invite your friends to do the same.
Until Monday (Dec.6) There should be no human faces on facebook, but
an invasion of memories. This is for violence against children.

Yeah, I changed my profile pic.

Mighty Mouse -

(And, before you start squawking about delusions of grandeur, Mighty Mouse was the subject of the Essay that got me into University, after I wrote the Province-wide English Placement Test in Grade 12.)

But, regardless, as I changed my icon, I thought about this “awareness” campaign, and how it, like LIKING something, usually does no benefit to the cause itself.

(The obvious exception would be a program, like WE Day, where a corporate sponsor steps up, and makes a donation per click or LIKE.)

You should like my OTHER Blog:

It won’t do anything for either of us… but THAT’s my point.LIKE -

In an economy where people are struggling, let alone Charities… it is becoming common to SHARE or LIKE something, and have a sense of accomplishment.

If an individual is having a struggle, or a tough time, it can be wonderful to have anyone acknowledge your situation or give supportive comments.

But other than an emotional lift or acknowledgement… at the end of the day, it gives no tangible benefit.

Now, to be clear… To an individual, that acknowledgement can be a huge lift.

But to Charities and Organizations, (what I am REALLY writing about here) LIKING or changing an icon only gives an illusion of support.

Most of my friends, who are technically savvy enough, changed their icons to Cartoon Characters.

In a Vancouver Sun article today, it talks about how Canadians are giving less to Charities.

Now I’m not saying that Facebook is 100% responsible… not at all.

Certainly the economic downturn probably bears the greatest portion of the blame… but… it is VERY easy to feel like you are involved, or helping something on Facebook.

I have a few “FRIENDS” who seem to have nothing to do all day but find different pages of Facebook, and suggest it to their connections to LIKE.

The sum total of their day’s efforts, will not benefit any Charities or Organizations in any tangible way, at all.

So, this season, as we get ready for another Holiday Season, keep on changing your icons, and LIKING things… but also be aware and give to the poor soul shivering outside, ringing a bell by the Salvation Army kettle…  Buy a Kiva Gift Certificate, and help someone with a Micro-loan…  Buy a toy, and put it in the local toybank donation box…

But mostly… be aware that giving a show of support, and actually supporting these Charities and Organizations, are VERY different.

(Oh, and I LIKED this posting on my own Facebook page, for what it’s worth !!!)

Ripples, Puddles and Google Analytics…

I’ve just been awoken by Statistical Analysis… Yes, I’ve graduated to a WHOLE new level of web geek.

It’s Monday morning, and a little after 2 am.  I’ve been awake for an hour, and, having been unable to get back to sleep, have been trying to look at, review and understand the various statistical breakdowns that are supposed to be critical to a Blog’s success.

I believe that much of the traffic that is drawn to my site, comes from Twitter.

So, I turned to a Twitter Analyzer with the thought that perhaps my Tweets are driving the traffic.  I have recently been talking with people about the use of Hashtags (#) as a search device, and so I find it not surprising that 51.9%of my Hashtag comments are #Canucks related, with a further 16.5% being attributed to mentions of #Canada, after the #WJHC(World Junior Hockey Championship) in December, which contributed 4.7%.  With the Winter Olympics imminent, and the inherent NHL Break, I expect #Canada to do some serious catching up !

While the Hashtag stats are interesting, I saw nothing there that would give me any aid or guidance, in being a better Blogger… So, moving on.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics – Starting from Zero…

Google Analytics tells me that 54% of my traffic comes direct to my site, while 27% gets referred, and 19% from Search Engines.  I guess this is a baseline, and I can see what the relative numbers do, going up or down.  On an unrelated note, I think it’s interesting that the 5th highest source of visits is Facebook, although I haven’t pushed my Blog there.  Hmmm !

Owen Greaves on his Blog,  has written a number of thoughtful and insightful articles, and says that he has found that the best time of day to Post a blog is between 5 pm and 10 pm.  I’m not able to grasp that level of detail, but there are some revealing stats, and being a bit of a numbers geek, I am looking forward to reviewing this again, sometime soon.

But what has awoken me just recently, is mind-numbing in its simplicity… elegant in its mathematics… and daunting in its implementation.

I think more than anything else, I view my Blog… like one of the science experiments we did in Elementary School.  I’ve got a bunch of seeds, (my postings) some get sunshine, (viewers) some don’t… some get more water, more fertilizer (multiple mentions) others not.  And at the end, we get to see on a very organic level, what works… and what doesn’t.

I was getting bogged down in minutiae.  Stuff that doesn’t matter.  So what if I overuse the word “Awesome” in my Tweets, and use the salutation “Cheers” too many times ?  (Other than perhaps being minorly annoying…  It doesn’t matter !!!)

What DOES matter, is the resonance of your message, and the distance it carries.  Thus, the ripple and the puddle analogy.

On Twitter, my account @BobSongs has 750 followers.  Owen Greaves has 15,200.  Jaff Jarvis has 34,000, and Gary Vaynerchuk has 846,000.

Even if EVERY single one of my followers reads one of my Blogs, I will still get less hits than @GaryVee gets in an hour.

Scale of economy.

This should NOT have been mind blowing to me… except for some reason, I believed something different.

I have a music website, that I don’t tweak or overtly promote… and it smacked me in the face to know I got NO TRAFFIC !!!

In the drop of water that is that puddle, my Music website has no ability to create a ripple.

And similarly, with Google Analytics… I can’t get bogged down in the very fine print… yet.

So, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go get a bucket, and find a tap… because my puddle needs to be bigger !!!

Cheers !!!