Interpretation and social media. Your filters make all the difference.

What is your interpretation?

Trish Ross from Dominion Stores 1979Write a story, ask 10 people for their interpretation and I would bet you get 10 different results!  Why do you think researchers do “blind studies”?  They know there will be different results and are looking for commonalities.

When faced with a particular situation or challenge, you are applying your personal filters before making an interpretation and deciding on how you will react.  You won’t be wrong.  But, you may not be reacting the way the person sharing information intended.  Be careful not to judge “lest ye be judged”!  Rather than applying only your filters, put yourself in the shoes of the person sending the message.  What is their personal dynamic?  Thinking that through, what do you think their interpretation may be?

What is your interpretation now?  Did it change?

(eg. In the picture above, you might think this boy and girl were dating and visiting family at Christmas.  He was dating someone else at the time and she took the picture!)

What are filters?

filtersThink about coffee filters.  There are different types.  Bleached versus unbleached.  Thicker and thinner, and so on.  Using a different filter will affect the end result.  Look at metal filters versus paper filters.  When you use a very fine grind and a metal filter, there is a higher likelihood of sediment in a pot of coffee than if you used a really dense paper filter.  With the paper filter, the coffee actually brews longer and fewer coffee grounds pass through.  The result changed because of filters.  There is a different taste or “interpretation” of the coffee.

For most of us, the filters are things like ethnicity, social status or sometimes, just the hormones that are raging that day.  Tell a teenager and a 40 plus the exact same thing and I would venture to say there will be very different interpretations of your message.  Their filters are life experience based on what they have been exposed to by that time and the effects of hormonal activity!

Social Media and interpretation.

When using social media, who is responsible for interpretation?  Ultimately, you are.

The person posting has no idea who you are or what your life experience is.  They can’t anticipate what your day has been like or what life has thrown at you.  The post you are reading may have nothing to do with you but for some reason, you feel it is about you personally.  Places like Facebook and Google Circles have such a great reach that you can’t help but have a very large cross section of readers.

writerFor writers, by all means try to anticipate how your message will be received.  But, when it comes to your personal stuff, don’t be fake.  Share your feelings and accept that sometimes, others will assume it’s about them and become upset.  They are applying their filters, not yours, and have no way of knowing what your filters are.  If you can’t accept that others will sometimes have a different interpretation, then don’t get involved in Social Media.

Conversely, take responsibility for your own feelings and reactions.  Anyone who tells you they have no control is full of beans.  They just don’t want to be responsible for their interpretations!

Make it a great day!

Barry

P.S.  What am I thankful for today?  I’m thankful for Social Media, it’s like a giant public diary.  I’m thankful for our differences.  I’m thankful for the circle of life.

What are you thankful for today?

Why I like Blurb over Chatbooks and Shutterfly

Blurb is my personal choice over Chatbooks and Shutterfly. I have only just begun using Blurb on the advice of my friend Joe Chrvala. Joe has been doing some great photography over the years and I have seen the books he produced. Another friend referred Chatbooks and someone else recommended Shutterfly.

I invite you to check them all out if you have ever thought of producing a photo album or even something like an eBook to sell!

Blurb

  • Free program (Blurb BookWright) to create on your local computer
  • Use your own high quality images
  • Great templates, both free and fee based
  • Great pricing
  • Deliver internationally

Photo of Dad and Daughter

My daughter was married recently and will be moving to the UK shortly. I wanted something she could take with her that won’t take much space and that she could give to her new family. I remembered Joe talking about Blurb and called him to get the address. Wow! So easy to use. I created the book and ordered copies for the kids to take the UK, plus one for us of course! I could have delivered directly to UK for the same shipping cost but they were going anyway and I didn’t want to pay once for here and once for there.

If you ever thought creating a book to sell, they make it so easy! No, I’m not pitching this to you. You wouldn’t have any reason to be interested in this album other than as a sample. Click here to see the book preview.

Chatbooks

My friend said she found Chatbooks really cheap. If you only order the basic $15 book, she would be correct. For myself, I take way too many pictures and wouldn’t like to limit myself that much. Too hard to choose! Feedback I found online indicated that when people use the connection to social media to make the books, this seems to be optimized for Instagram, you run the risk of the images being too low quality when you produce a book.

Chatbooks offers a phone app to produce offline but that doesn’t help on my laptop. This is a big factor for me.

Shutterfly

  • Upload your own images or pull directly from social media (You control the quality)
  • Offers pre-formatted layouts
  • Offers service to do the work for you
  • Can be reasonably priced but watch out for add ons

I went to Shutterfly and set up an account where I tried to create a similar book but for a trip I did last year. I think if I limited myself to the same number of pages, pricing is only a little more than Blurb. I did like the layout options. I didn’t like the fact I couldn’t figure out how to work offline when creating the book. When I traveled on my bus commute to work, I couldn’t work on the book because the WiFi on the bus is really limited for upload and download. I gave up!

Blurb Wins! (For me.)

Blurb book coverI prefer Blurb because I can work locally with high quality graphics to produce a reasonably priced book whether in hard cover, soft cover or as an eBook. We all have different needs and I can’t choose for you but I hope this gives you a place to start. If you have ever thought of creating and selling a book, Blurb makes it easy including the “Store front” with a shopping cart!

When will you write your first book?

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for my friends, Blurb and Lenovo! What are you thankful for today?

Website Design, Are You Easy To Read?

Website design is fairly easy these days with hosting packages like Pure Leverage but are you sure everyone can read your writing?

Website Design

First, consider the design of the page. I use Pure Leverage and my site is driven by WordPress. There are many great templates available but you need to be careful. Be sure you choose a template that is mobile friendly. In the graphic below, you can see that one of my social media posts was mostly clicked on mobile. In this case, 86.5% of hits were on Facebook Mobile. Just as an aside, I love goo.gl for the insights you can get about who is clicking your links!

website hits by platform

 

Take the time to visit sites that are similar to your business and see what works. How do you feel when you visit those sites. But, be careful not to fall into the trap of just doing what you like to see. Have friends you can trust to be honest give you some feedback.

  • What is “above the fold”?
  • What is the message?
  • Are there too many or not enough graphics?
  • Can it be read by an electronic reader?
  • Are fonts and their colours friendly?

If you want to see what your page looks like on mobile, visit http://mobiletest.me/ and test it out. Visit http://aoda.ca/wcag to learn more about making sites more accessible and there are some links to useful tools to help you.

The Message

Who is your message aimed at? Now you have to think about your target. Who do you want to be reading your blog or website? If you take a look at the graphic above, you will see that there were hits outside of North America. Is it written in language they understand? I’m not referring to English/German/French etc. I’m referring to the ability to understand your words.

InternationalHaving taken in international students who have come to Canada to learn English, I have learned that we often use very confusing words. For example, I was talking to a person who speaks Spanish first, French second and English third. It was a beautiful day and I said “it’s days like this that I want to play hooky”. You should have seen the look I got! Total confusion.

Try your best to use plain language that is easy to understand. Plain language is not necessarily simple words. We often use unnecessary words or use slang when communicating. When you use slang language, understand that the message may be different than the one you intended to convey.

K.I.S.S. Keep it simple. Make sure your website is easy to read and understand.

Make it a great day!

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for all of my international students, new foods and Pure Leverage. What are you thankful for today?

 

Website, Does Yours Work Against You?!

Website. A page or collection of pages online that send a message or provide some kind of information. Does your website work against you?!

Website

website toolsYour website is your face to the world and in many cases, may be your first contact. The challenge for many entrepreneurs starting their business today is they have little to no technical experience in this area. A plumber likely doesn’t have a lot of time to create and maintain a page let alone do all the marketing for their business. You can’t just build a website and hope people see it. You need to spend some time marketing the page which then helps with marketing your business.

Click the image to the left for a video that explains how your website may actually be working against you. For example, let’s say you have your email on the site. Do you check it and respond in a timely manner? How would you feel if you sent an email and it took 10 days to get a response and you felt it was an emergency? Your roof or toilet is leaking and the professional you contacted was too busy to see your email and respond to your crisis. So much for the value of your website.

Marketing

Marketing is the activity of attracting people to your business. Some of the components may be:

  • A business website;
  • Business cards;
  • Automated email response;
  • Social media;
  • Video email;
  • Blogging
  • and the list could go on.

Salesman with a bull hornThe point I’m trying to make is your website isn’t actually marketing your business. It’s only a small part of a marketing strategy.  You need to actively promote your website so that it can promote your business. Some of the work can be automated. When it comes to marketing tools, Pure Leverage brings many together into one package saving hundreds of dollars and hours. Be sure to click the links in the bullets above for some tips on using social media and blogs.

Either do the marketing activity yourself or consider hiring someone to do it for you. For example, if you aren’t interested in building a website yourself, you can use the Pure Leverage suite of tools and have an admin person go through the video tutorials included. Alternatively, you can hire a service provider for that purpose. There are many people these days who will gladly look after doing your social media posts on your behalf.

In summary, your website isn’t a total marketing solution. The Pure Leverage Suite of tools can certainly make the job a lot easier! This is a package of tools complete with training videos to get you started.

Free Internet Marketing Coaching

 

Being and entrepreneur is like living on a roller coaster. There will be ups and downs along the way. Enjoy the ride!

Make it a great day,

Barry

Visit my other blog at https://barryclermont.com (Watch the video by Joel Therien on the right!)

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful my wife found Pure Leverage. I’m thankful I found my wife! I’m thankful for every new experience. What are you thankful for today?

DM or PM, How Private Is It?

DM (Direct Message) or PM (Private Message) is only as private as the sender and receiver want it to be. By the way, the same can be said for email!

DM (Direct Message) or PM (Private Message)

DM or messageFacebook and Twitter both have a DM option, Facebook Messenger or Twitter Direct Message.

One of the challenges is that both have the option to create a group message. Sometimes we forget it was a group message and use the same message to respond to an individual. Oops! Everyone saw that message. Make sure you know who is receiving it.

How private is it really?

Some things to remember:

Pick up the phone to arrange a meeting! Or, connect on FaceTime or whatever it takes to see the person you are talking to. I would suggest a phone call to win a face to face conversation would be best when something is really important.

Email

We sometimes forget that email is not really private. For example, many forget that if you send work related email through a personal account, it can be subject to Freedom of Information requests. NEVER, EVER send business email from or to a personal account. Just ask Hilary Clinton!

Even if you don’t care if your message is received properly, you should care that it can come back and be made part of the public record.

Words Matter!

My Own Meeting graphicCommunicate responsibly. Sure, there are times you won’t care that you offend or upset someone. They hurt you, why shouldn’t you hurt them? First off, two wrongs don’t make a right. Secondly, although we have freedom of expression, we don’t have the right to slander or libel someone.

Words, whether in a DM or face to face can hurt deeply. At least when we are facing someone, we can get a better perception of their intent giving us a chance to clarify before something gets blown way out of proportion.

When your message is important, do it face to face. Too far away? Travel digitally. There are many tools these days that can bridge the gap when you can’t go and physically knock on the door.

Communication isn’t that difficult in a technical sense, the greatest issue is having the guts to face someone for a difficult conversation. DM me to get my attention, call me to arrange a meeting, look me in the eye so I can see your whole message.

If you ever want to talk, DM me! Click the image below to get to my other site and use the social media links from there!

logo for barryclermont.com

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for you! I’m thankful for online conferencing. I’m thankful for every new day.

What are you thankful for today?