#5 – How to Feel Alienated by Peers and Influencers

Hey, Saloon Banditos!  How.are.you?

(You begin lol’ing, thinking I’m going through motions of affectation.)

I genuinely want to know.

That’s why I’m communicating with you right now.  I’m writing this with you in mind.

You’re my peers (I’ll assume influencers are off saving the world, better investing their time.  I wouldn’t want to distract with my charactry.)

Here at the Saloon, we appreciate participation of our readers and supporters.

It’s a really mindless, time-wasting endeavor Sean, Patrick, and myself have dedicated ourselves to.

We enjoy participating with peers, helping, and making others feel welcome.  It’s somewhat dastardly, and I think we’re big stupid heads for making ourselves available to others, inviting them to engage with us and our community blog.

We’re not entirely sane (for a number of reasons), but their tales as well as mine are for another time.

On with the show, shall we?

Here, I will demonstrate how to be ignored by peers and influencers.

First, let’s question why you would do the opposite:

-  Why would you want to engage your peers?

Do you think you may learn something?  Do you think you may enjoy relations with others who are passionate about similar topics?  (ha, how silly of you to think like us at the Saloon!)

-  Why would you want to feel welcome on others’ blogs?  Why would you make comments, expecting a response?  Why would you ask bloggers direct questions?  

Do you want to engage them because you respect them?  Do you ask sincere questions, looking to better yourself as a professional? (We’re about that stuff here at the Saloon.  But we’re also bat-shit crazy.  Do you really want to be associated with us and our thoughts?)

Is that really why you invest your valuable time and resources online? Wow #mindblown

…but enough of my inquisitions.  If you do happen to answer them below, I’m likely to respond.

I’ll do that;they’ve attempted to put me on medication, but I’m good at pretending sane when needed.

Contrary to me leading the witness of your attention and logic above, if you want to be devilishly-crafty about getting ignored, heed the following advice, ensuring you engage in marketing (which will always involve people) in the following manners.

Read the Frat/Sorority Blogs

When I was in college, particular frats asked me to join.  I figured, I could either waste my time and energy, convincing these souls I really wanted to be one of them and them to be my friend, all the while petting their egos, which were slovenly projected over the belt buckle of the school’s microcosm, or I could be Anthony, which was more appealing to peers I genuinely liked as well as the girlfriends of the frat dudes.

I had this thing about being independent. I think it began as a tween, a time I was also fighting them off with my Shakespeare anthology.

I know what you’re thinking.  Anthony, W(here)TF are these frat/sorority blogs?  I want to feel alienated.  I want to feel the chill silence of an influencer despite their “please comment below” invitation.

I question your sanity, but who am I to judge?  I have a Shakespeare doll in my profile picture.

That’s a pic of me going out of my way to be a little creative in thanking those who shared a post featuring me.  I know!  I’m such an a-hole for returning attention!

Any who, here’s how to identify frat/sorority blogs:

- Some have unparalleled (some unfounded) prestige attached to their name.  Much like owning a black card, a segway, or an Ivy League education,

frat blogs have a “name” attached to them.  People are likely to know about these blogs, not so much based on the content and merit of all posts, but (just) because they have a “reputation,” which makes more logical sense.

-  Notice, the blogs are not the business.  The blogs are a means to communicative ends, a means to say, “Hey, we provide a service/product to people, (potentially) you, our readers.”

Look for these frat/sorority blogs to be associated with a business of people, those looking to operate in a world full of people who interact.

However, the business isn’t (always) about attending to people; it’s about alienating them (The influential should know how to address people, right?)  If you agree, desiring helpful, real-world insights, look for these blogs, and learn from them!

Locate Influencers

WTF is an influencer?  I use the Oxford dictionary.  Not because it gives me information on word origins, supporting my writing, but because a former English professor told me to use it.  He went to Oxford he’ll have you know.

It makes sense the word influencer has celestial origins; influencers are often referred to as rockstars, ninjas, jedis, and other apropos, oft-used, and working-professional terms.

If you need further help, conduct a search using operators to locate post titles with the word, “influencer.”  Maybe some influencers have been modest and caring enough to cease celestial trajectories, going as far as providing insight on how to get their attention.  These people are likely destined for sainthood, but who am I to say?

Moreover, one could use Followerwonk to see who has high influence scores, or as they say in some circles, the most “opportunity juice.”  The higher their influence score, the better your chances of feeling alienated.

[Understand this is not foolproof.  Some successful and popular people actually do help others.  I'm not sure why this is.  Sometimes, people in power just do humanistic, good-natured things.  I remember reading about Lou Gehrig as a young dude, being impressed by his character.]

“I was very quiet, you know. I never opened my mouth. Lou made me feel like I belonged…. That’s the way he was. He was great.” – Frankie Crosetti, shortstop for Yankees in 1932, on Gehrig helping him adjust during his rookie year.

Lou’s character was likeable, even for a kid reading about him decades after he passed, to the point I had to play first-base (just like Lou).  (Actually, he was originally right-handed (most first-base players are left-handed).  His parents were poor, but bought him a baseball mitt.  It was for the wrong hand, but Lou, appreciating what his parents did for him, learned to throw with his other hand.  What a guy!  What a dumbass, right?)

Back to the influencers, I mean Influencers.  Another way to spot an influencer is to endeavor at their attention, thus likely begetting alienation.

I know!  It’s all so deliciously ironic!  The same people who build businesses, branding themselves as experts, are at times, the same ones who will make those who revere and respect them feel like they’re not good enough for their response, in some cases, snubbing the very same people who promote and pay for their services!  LOL-Epic!

Do you know who’s a big, dumb-dumb stupidhead?  James Agate is.  No, James isn’t a big dummy because he is wicked smart and an incredibly keen marketer and businessman.  He’s a dummy because he actually cares.  Wake up, James!  What will influencers think about you slumming!

I recently discussed my thoughts on the topic with James.  This is what he had to say via email.

(He’s real! (pun intended))

I agree, I like to respond wherever I can and where I think it warrants a response.

I think you can chase scale and keep that human element because it is more of a values issue isn’t it, as your organisation grows you instil virtues like ‘being human’ in everyone that joins the team.
 
I feel nobody is too busy to respond to comments and interact around a blog post. If you’ve got time to write it then you have time to converse with the people who were kind enough to read.
 
Have a good weekend

Have a good weekend…What a good guy…What a sucker!

I would deem James an influencer, but he is not about alienation.  Maybe he’ll come to his senses one day.

Go ahead.  Peruse some blogs of popular influencers and peers, especially taking note of those who have numbers of unanswered blog comments.  That solidifies stardom -having scores of unanswered comments on posts written for the purpose of communicating with others.

It’s especially cool if you can catch influencers and peers being active on Twitter, a social network.  It sometimes creates the perfect opportunity to be snubbed on a public platform.  That’s what you want!  That’s why you follow these people after all, to learn good marketing skills like ignoring others!

Try this:

- Don’t just tweet their post and their handle name.  Sure, this still supports alienation, but you’re better than that.  What you really want to do is show them you took the time out of your trivial trailer park of a life to read their thoughts.

Pull something out to champion their work, or better yet, ask them a direct question, expressing interest.  Getting dissed for being interested is even better than getting ignored just because you’re one of many!  I should know!  I love it when influencers spray me with their juice of silence.

That’s why we communicate online!  F living normal lives, communicating, and being human with other people. We’ve progressed, allowing for online, microcosmic, “no one knows who I am out of my online ivory tower of delusion,” incommunicado.  It’s great!

You could satiate your self, learning and evolving with people who are receptive, but don’t you really want to drive those Lexus relationships, though the former, Toyota-variety of people are composed of the same parts, perhaps even performing better in some instances?

Don’t you realize Knowledge and Success are founded in high-school like endeavors?  Only the most popular can attain those things.

Sean, Patrick, and myself know this.  That’s why we strive to regress; we’re not all there!  Do not follow us into temptation of these insanely unproductive and useless enterprises, which involve engaging peers, learning, evolving, and encouraging one another.

However, if you do like our style of doing things and our insanity, you always have a seat here at the Saloon.

Welcome.

Now, get the hell out of here.  :)

Penned by

Anthony Pensabene is a writer and business strategist. He works with peers and clients on a variety of projects and willing to accept all forms of payment in return for good work. He moonlights as a professional Laser Tag player and writes bios in third-person. Please share in his composed adventures at Content Muse.

41 Comments

  1. Reply
    James Agate November 13, 2012

    I suppose this officially makes me a player now seeing as I have a “hater” :-)

    Anthony – you and I talked at length about this at MozCon where I’m not ashamed to admit that we were both effectively snubbed a handful of times by people who I really thought better of (based on our online interactions). Did it make me bitter? No, it made me appreciate more the good people that I did meet that week.

    Anyway… you didn’t see me here. I wouldn’t be caught dead slumming in this bar :-)

    • Reply
      Anthony November 13, 2012

      play on, good sir

      dude it was really awesome to hang with you and Joel at Mozcon. i don’t know bout the aforementioned scenario ;) (who in their right mind would NOT want to hang with us?!) I will say I appreciate and will never forget Dan Shure, Eppie Vojt, Bill #Sebald, AJ Kohn, Joel Klettke, Mackenzie Fogelson, and yourself made me feel extremely welcome and comfortable. Thank you.

  2. Reply
    Sean November 13, 2012

    A blog without writer/reader interaction is a fucking article directory specifically created to attract more readers/business via social or Google.

    There are a couple of large SEO agency blogs that I’ve got in mind that rarely communicate with their readers. If they are like this with their own readers what do you think they do in terms of customer interaction for their clients?

    Great quote :)

    “I know! It’s all so deliciously ironic! The same people who build businesses, branding themselves as experts, are at times, the same ones who will make those who revere and respect them feel like they’re not good enough for their response, in some cases, snubbing the very same people who promote and pay for their services! LOL-Epic!”

    Lou Gehrig seemed like a cool dude. Learning to throw with his other hand? Great dedication!

    • Reply
      IrishWonder November 14, 2012

      There are a few out there that even have comments disabled altogether…

      • Reply
        Sean November 15, 2012

        Rubbish isn’t it!

  3. Reply
    Iain November 13, 2012

    The only thing worse than not caring is pretending to care. Insincerity is indefensible to me.

    • Reply
      Sean November 13, 2012

      Hahaha, very good point.

    • Reply
      Anthony November 13, 2012

      you mean like using online resources to host a personality then orchestrating some virtual ‘cool-kid table,’ disengaging from commoners all the while being a keen marketer?

      • Reply
        Dustin Verburg November 13, 2012

        I wonder who you could be referring to…

        • Reply
          Anthony November 13, 2012

          i wonder too.. but then again our online eyes don’t have to wander very far..

      • Reply
        Iain November 13, 2012

        Yeah. I’m genetically predisposed not to sit at the cool kids’ table.

        • Reply
          Anthony November 13, 2012

          that’s what Lucas thought in the cinematic masterpiece starring Corey Haim (rip). What happened to him? He got a varsity jacket and students in the hall awkwardly clapping for him.

        • Reply
          Sean November 13, 2012

          I am, it’s overrated. Don’t worry it’s more fun here in the slums.

  4. Reply
    Alessio November 13, 2012

    Thanks Anthony and thanks saloonerZ

    I’m learning a lot about LIFE thanks to you!

    When you care it means you don’t have nothing to do. When you don’t, you’re an asshole because you don’t interact.

    Damn, the online life is so difficult this time.

  5. Reply
    Nick Eubanks November 13, 2012

    For starters, where can I pick up one of those t-shirts? (you know I love ironic / sarcastic / and cheeky shirts).

    There is a distinct undertone at play here that reminds me of http://tripleseo.com/5-quick-ux-tips-from-the-guy-feedin-your-wifes-kids. Your points on alienation are spot on, and I can’t help but wonder if these influencers are even conscious they are doing it sometimes. I mean, there comes a point when you are so busy and important that you can’t sacrifice tweeting about which airline gate you’re waiting at to respond to a comment. We’ve all been there.

    • Reply
      Sean November 13, 2012

      Hahaha. ZING! :D

      Here I was expecting an insightful comment and Eubanks turns the world on it’s head with that!

    • Reply
      Scott Skinner November 13, 2012

      NICK you’re awesome… love the way you slipped that in there!

  6. Reply
    Patrick November 13, 2012

    On the flip side, I am very pleased that I ‘hang around’ with a group that DO care, and I enjoy learning from them every day. Seeing these influencers who don’t engage (or no longer engage) with lesser folk such as I makes me all the more appreciative of my real friends.

  7. Reply
    David Cohen November 13, 2012

    Recently, I was at a huge SEO conference out west. During a session one of the speakers made a remark that resonated with me.

    Afterwards I approached him to talk more about his remark. He was warm and friendly. After asking my question, he looked down at my name badge and looked back up at me with a funny grin. If I had to guess what he was thinking, it was: “I’ve never heard of this guy. He’s probably a nobody.”

    He then proceeded to answer my question by namedropping his client and telling me in rather explicit detail some of the ‘amazing’ things he was doing for his client.

    What he didn’t know is that I’m helping his client’s competitor on a similar project. He went on for about 5 minutes, quite proudly, and he basically told me everything I needed to know about their strategy. I said nothing other than ‘thanks.’

    So, sometimes it pays dividends, in the most unlikely ways, to be a nobody.

    • Reply
      Sean November 15, 2012

      Haha, I like this story!

      Good luck with fucking them up in the SERPs ;)

  8. Reply
    Gisele Navarro Mendez November 13, 2012

    I remember that when I joined Twitter, I had a rough time trying to understand how to “make it work”. The problem? My first attempt to connect with the community included finding these influencers, reading their articles and trying to follow their 100 tips to do stuff. After some time I just forgot about it because it wasn’t working and it was too freakin’ boring, so I moved on to what I’m doing now: nothing special.

    By doing nothing special, I’ve met great bloggers and engaged with peers who are way beyond my league. This has had a great impact in my career, especially because now there’s a constant flow of inspiration and creativity in my daily life.

    So in my experience, you have influential people -such as the Saloon Banditos: Anthony, Sean, Patrick, Wayne, Leo, Nick, James, Alessio, AJ, “Cameo”, Dan, Michael, etc. etc. etc.-, and then you have influencers.

    • Reply
      Anthony November 13, 2012

      thanks, Gisele. that makes me :) . We are like the Lost Boys/Girls of the SEO seas.. “be one of us.”

    • Reply
      Scott Skinner November 13, 2012

      Hey there Gisele,

      RE:”I remember that when I joined Twitter, I had a rough time trying to understand how to “make it work”.”

      I just joined twitter/blogging/everything about two weeks ago, and I’m with ya sister, and don’t have a clue how it even works yet.

      I had a different approach when starting out though. I was still in the process of tweeking around w/ my wordpress theme, so I wasn’t actually ‘in search of anything’ (yet) despite the name of my blog. I was just getting the basics set in place … But when you sign up on twitter, they make you choose 10 people to follow right from the start, so I just started adding the people of the blog’s I had been reading lately. I didn’t nec. know if they were influencers or otherwise, I just knew that I liked (at least one of) the posts they had written that somehow ended up on my radar.

      That’s how I ended up here at this “bat-shit crazy” saloon.

    • Reply
      Patrick November 13, 2012

      Hi Gisele – I felt exactly the same as you did trying to figure everything out, in an industry which just seemed to be full of cowboys wherever I looked. I stumbled across a post by Justin Briggs on Outspoken Media called Content Based Outreach and got that head-smacking moment. I was like ‘shit, ok, this is actually really helpful, and it tells me how I can go out and do all this stuff without being a magician or a guru or whatever.’

      Genuinely, this post changed my perception of what the SEO community was about, and how sharing and supportive it can be. I fortunately got to meet Justin at SearchLove London last month, which was an absolute pleasure. He gave up a lot of time for me and we spoke on the level – despite the fact that he was one of the speakers at the event – he is incredibly humble and is genuinely a really nice guy.

      When you respect someone because of their actions as well as their knowledge and authority, it is in my opinion a much deeper respect.

      • Reply
        Gisele Navarro Mendez November 14, 2012

        I’m discovering all that with you guys, and I’ve found a new love for what I do every day. Pretty powerful thing going on.

    • Reply
      Scott Skinner November 13, 2012

      forgot to mention … the first guy I followed was Tad Chef because I he writes about banning google from his site and such, and I had just had my bread & butter pulled out from under me by penguiaaani so I was quite receptive to someone with a stance like that. Tad scooped me up and dropped me in with these boys and (as this post alludes to) they’ve been incredibly, almost shockingly, supportive (@RootsWebSol even asked me to guest post for him) … and I haven’t been able to find my way home since.

  9. Reply
    Scott Skinner November 13, 2012

    AP, good stuff brother, this shit’s right up my ally … you stalking me boy, you gitin in my head?

    Tomorrow, or early next week maybe, once my Influencer status is firmly in place, from my recent rantings over there at tripleseo, I will try my best to remember a few of you little fellas that took me under the wing two weeks ago. No promises, but I’ll try.

    re:’But we’re also bat-shit crazy. Do you really want to be associated with us and our thoughts?’

    Are there other options I’m unaware of?

    Like I said, right up my ally …

    • Reply
      Anthony November 13, 2012

      we encourage your eclipse of our humble ally/alley (ic –> there < -- you did) of SEO and long for the day we can get second-hand gratification in knowing Chris 'Cameo' Dyson, who once served host to your magic.

      "for ever long you part or far you travel, know you have SEOs in different area codes who keep your seat at the bar."

      (wipes a tear from just coming up with that..)

      thanks for coming by and reading, Scott. i, like a number of peers, enjoyed your piece today and your about page, and encourage your continuation.

      P.s.

      Tad is most cool. He helped/s me too, and well deserves a shout.

      • Reply
        Patrick November 13, 2012

        +1 also for Tad. Is he a recovering alcoholic or something, where is he?

      • Reply
        Dustin Verburg November 13, 2012

        I can also vouch for Tad. He’s patient and generous. He’s also an A+ dude with a great hat.

  10. Reply
    Wayne November 13, 2012

    Pint of your finest stout barkeep, bugger it – make it five and pass me the pork scratchings.
    I think many of us have had that eureka moment…hold up…
    **tweets anger at another delayed plane** #mylifeistough
    …Gisele mentioned doing nothing special, hell Gisele…if what you do for the community is nothing special then I want to do nothing special more often – can we sell the nothing special strategy?
    Scott, in one about page and a blog post you have found your kindred. You have a voice and write with passion.
    Pass me a scotch…
    Find people you like, find people you have something in common with and you find your place.
    People of the saloon, enjoy your beverages…I’ll be here when they turn off the lights and lock the door.
    Never heard of that James Agate character though. Didn’t there used to be a cartoon or something similar that looked a bit like him?

    • Reply
      Patrick November 13, 2012

      Ah I knew someone would go for the pork scratchings sooner or later. Everyone else has been on kettle chips, bunch of pansies. Glad I could rely on you Wayne.

      Agreed on all the following points:
      - Delayed plane. Who cares?
      - Gisele = awesome. End of.
      - Scott – fair play to you mate. One of the lads shared your about page and after reading it I was like ‘this kid has the right attitude.’ And that’s all you need.
      - Agate. There was a cartoon I used to watch as a young ‘un, I think he was from that. Danger Mouse perhaps?

    • Reply
      Gisele Navarro Mendez November 14, 2012

      I’m doing nothing special, but I really do care.

  11. Reply
    Tad Chef November 14, 2012

    Thanks people for all the kind words. I’m a glad to be able to help. I remember how great it felt when I was completely new to the international SEO scene and someone already known even noticed me.

  12. Reply

    [...] I have written a number of guest posts, and deeply appreciate the opportunity. It enables more people to come back to Content Muse, follow me on Twitter, offer me clientele, and furthers opportunity to learn and share the community. [...]

  13. Reply

    [...] moreover, there was a voice inside of me back then and still. it reminds me to recognize the sometimes practiced ironies of authority.  we have a number of ironies taking place in the industry. [...]

  14. Reply

    [...] maybe even try to get his attention with a Brandon-focused post, assuming he’s not like SEO influencers and will actually be personable. (I kid. I kid. Or do [...]

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