This blog has been in existence since 2007. I am not a young guy anymore, and let's face it, just don't have the energy that I once had. It is not easy to crank out posts, day after day and week after week.
These days, after writing, it sometimes takes me more time to recover and be ready to write again. Also, I have found that my engagement is not what it once was. Meeting people on social media, sharing content, and atracting comments on my blog – these activities made me long for the stamina that I once had.
It is a delicate topic and a bit embarrassing, but my performance was becoming an issue.
These thoughts went through my mind recently and prompted the question: Was it time for a social media performance enhancer?
And so I signed up for Visibli, a seemingly miraculous widget that that identifies the user as the source of content and facilitates sharing. It seemed to be a great way to build and reinforce my personal brand, by identifying me as someone who discovers and shares great content.
Things seemed to go swimmingly until I got an email expressing confusion from Anne Giles Clelland of Handshake 2.0, whom I respect tremendously (we have collaborated on content and exchanged guest posts) with the subject line "Mr. T." I had just tweeted a link to her blog. She said:
When I click the Visibli link, I get the attached screenshot linking to Mr. T's account. When I click on the Twitter icon, for example, it goes here, not to @rgeller…
She asked if my account had somehow gotten hijacked. When I explained to her what Visibli is, and why I was using it, Anne replied, eloquently:
I've wandered far and wide in social media but almost 4 years in, I've come back to what seems to have the most power over which I have control directly to name, to identify, to brand – the blog. Visibli may have meant well but it seems to have security issues. Looks like your profile now has your name, but the Facebook and Twitter icon still go to Mr. T and the LinkedIn icon goes to Barack Obama. I'm scared to click the other icons.
Anything that comes between me and my message or my client and my client's message is something I've come to want to delete, not add. I haven't used sharing tools with frames because I felt like I was doing what I said a link does – transferring some of my good brand or my client's good brand to the tool's brand. I do the same with Facebook and Twitter – give them some credence by using them. They're good tools used by a lot of good people and companies so I'm okay with it. But I spend so much less time with them than I used to. Content is my best gift to the world and it, currently, is being rewarded online so I feel so lucky that time spent on content is time well-spent.
It sounds like great advice. In fairness to Visibli, I probably would have not caused the same degree of confusion and concern in a close social media confidant if I had at least set it up with the right links to my social profiles (Doh!).
I have not removed the service yet but am seriously considering it – I will keep Visibli on a short leash for now (I have corrected the links) and reevaluate my usage of it in light of Anne's words.