Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

Hi Social Media Marketer with a Twitter Question for Ishtarmuz

I got a request to email me a question DMed to me on twitter from a social media marketer.  This raised some questions in my mind.  Am I that hard to find? Maybe he was just being polite? I looked at his stream, his followers, his following and his website.  This was his question:


My name is Social Media Marketer, and we follow each other on Twitter. I took to reading your blog recently, and in addition to following your tweets, see that we share some of the same interests.

I’ve been tweeting since Aug 2008, and have had my fair share of Twitter experiences.

This might be a round about question, but wonder if you could, from your perspective, help me understand how my tweeting style may be interpreted on a general level? Feel like I’ve tapped into a few things over the last 2 years, and looking for constructive feedback from someone who I think may get what I am doing.

Thank you in advance for any insights or help you can offer.


Social Media Marketer

Hi Social Media Marketer,

I thank you much for your twitter style questions.  I find it a bit odd that you would ask someone like myself, but I will give it try.  I suppose it could be nothing more than a social marketing ploy or worse, but I have been known to venture into much more dangerous waters.

I don’t know much, but I know what I like.  I like passion, consistency and direct connection of links with NO marketing (or intermediaries).  You are marketing yourself and your ideas on twitter.  So you have to be judicious with your follows and followers.  Examine the streams of your follows and followers and be quick to block those that are at cross purposes.  You can look at the opposition (see below) all you want, you can fight them and counter-point them, but by following them you are giving them a free voice on your stream. This is working against yourself and will turn off half your followers.

Since I see you are social media marketer, I would have a few more points. The moral marketer lives what he markets. He just doesn’t sell it. If you say you are marketing it to everyone, then your tweets will inevitability degrade to porno ads (unless you are tweeting just peace, love and soul, of course) . You are never marketing just a product (even yourself), but a point of view.

You need to acknowledge your followers and retweet them with opinions and hashtags often, but don’t be afraid of disagree or poke fun.  Also judiciously consider unique tweets on trending topics to which you can blog, but for the most part this turns me off even though I know it gets me the most followers and the most hits on my blog. Why don’t I like this and why would I be judicious? The reason is that most people take this as a popularity game and social media has as much depth of thought as a coca cola commercial. I am interested in attracting thoughtful people that can influence change, not hangers-on that will move on to the next pet rock. This is why I block most marketers from my stream as soon as I see it polluting my stream with something my followers don’t need to see there.

It works for some to follow their opposition for comic relief or to specialize in debunking them, but I think that dilutes the message. Who are the opposition?  Well, we all have opinions on politics, religion and sex.  On twitter you are not in polite company.  So you will find these topics as the basis of most lines of tweeter divisions. I suppose since I follow a few marketers this suggests that I don’t always follow my own rule, given I have defined marketers as part of my opposition. Not really, all the marketers I follow have a unique niche and do not exclusively market anything that is not an expression of who they are as people.

Of course, all of this can backfire on a marketer if they attempt to follow my advice.  When I look at a Monsanto site, for example, and see all the eco-friendly verbiage, I want to puke.  The same goes for any sham show of values on any topic. I would not be the person for any marketer to follow for advice because I have looked the hardest sellers in the face and made them squirm in their seats.

Thanks for inspiring my next blog entry.

I hope this helps,


The Internet, Conspiracies, Science & Assumptions

When you hear something on the Internet it seems easy to say it is a conspiracy theory.  After all, what are the person’s credentials, what are his sources, where is the evidence and what assumptions are being made? This thought process began when I tweeted about the possibility that H1N1 being a man made virus released and marketed as a pandemic. I had used sources that pushed an anti-vaccine agenda, not stating things as a possibility, but as a fact. This was too much for a medically trained researcher who tweeted me back that everything was not a conspiracy. So I found an interview of a medical doctor quoting the ingredients, precautions and contraindications of the  insert of the H1N1 vaccine and doubting it’s safety and efficacy. The trained researcher then asked where are the peer-reviewed studies by virologists in a scholarly journals?  With a bit more research, I found one that asked the same question. So he flat out said that vaccines were safe and cited credentials. Whereupon I found another study, yet to be replicated, that suggested that season flu vaccine might double the chance of getting H1N1. Silence. Later he assured me I would not find more.

Granted, I did start out with a poor source.  Granted, I did not start with a credible studies.  This was not careful science, but I would suggest that the summary dismissal of information from any source is also not science. The bearer of the information is not the information.  The arguments I saw being posed, even if the poser did not see them as just arguments, looked to me as valid questions because I come from a true place of skeptical science.  I don’t care about credentials, nor do true scholarly journals, the information speaks for itself, no matter how poorly stated.  Well designed studies speak for themselves.  So does true investigative journalism.  No conclusions need to be stated. The evidence should be before your eyes.

So often when something is shown on the Internet it may appear to be a Just So story.  However, that does not mean that is.  True science must question everything, including its own assumptions.  The first assumption I questioned in the H1N1 story is how did they know that it was going to be a pandemic?  It was stated that the type of virus suggested it would be.  How did they know that the type of virus was going to act in this way? It had components of other pandemic viruses. How did these components separated vastly in time and space get into one organism?  Good question.  Medical science had no good answers, but under the pandemic assumption they had to fast track the vaccine to market and in many places mandated its administration (to health care workers).  Does this not sound like a scarier prospect than the H1N1 virus itself?

Sources?  Credentials?  Let us consider the medical researcher first.  The training in medicine suggests a high concern for life.  The training in science suggests a high concern for truth. Be that as it may, when faced with what you are told is an impending world-wide crisis, the practice of medicine becomes more of an art, and the practice that it is, and the science has no time to carefully replicate or deeply question its findings.  This would not be the first time that errors have happened in such situations.  So, the question now comes to sources. Well, the validity of my credible sources we will hear more about soon enough, I will let you consider a more conspiratorial one here.  The the source of the rushed vaccine trails was Sanofi-Pasteur and CLS Biotherapies which may not at all be reason for concern. The FDA has approved the trials, again no apparent reason for concern. But then, I think to myself about the HPV Gardisil hype.  Are we going to again scare the people into immunizing millions and mandating some no less, perhaps with thousands of negative reactions, for an illness that lethally afflicts only hundreds of people.  This would be a scandal on its face in the public health world. None of this appears to have happened with this vaccine.  So was it all just another conspiracy theory? Maybe, but still aren’t we looking more at dollar signs here than lives?  Isn’t this the real problem with all aspects of healthcare in the USA?  Are my assumptions here that off base and paranoid? Then someone tweeted me about a Murdoch connection to this and another drug company in the UK. Is your skin crawling yet?

I began looking at the drug approval process used by the FDA.  In general, regulators don’t negotiate budgets with the companies they oversee. However, the FDA, is paid user’s fee in the millions of dollars to fast track drug approvals. This funds half of the critical drug approval process.  I now begin to wonder how much the FDA might have been paid for the fast track of  the vaccine that resulted in the almost 200 million dollars in contracts to provide vaccine to the United States population and how this process must ripple around the world to be effective.

So we have a suspect illness, a suspect regulator, and suspect research with millions of dollars invested by each organization in multiple products.  None of this should be questioned by me, even if some credible sources with real vested interests in science and health question it? Am I to accept the paranoid label from a trained medical researcher that have a vested interest in their education, training, and marketability even if they don’t directly work in the field? I don’t think this is clear thinking to do so, but then I am just another fuzzy headed thinker.  So you can dismiss me and feel no peril.

The issues of relying on the conspiracy sources are real nonetheless. I must fairly note that much of the originally tweeted information has been discredited apparently and is it still oft repeated.  This may have been the point of my original detractor, after all, don’t I keep on pointing out that a source with a history of misinformation is not to be relied upon?  Yet, even when I say it is not to be trusted, I mean it is not to be trusted on its face. There may be a real question in all the noise.  Where is the evidence, I often ask, was the original probe given to me by the detractor. I looked for the evidence based on my assumptions, ignoring the glaring inaccuracies and leaps in the original links.  So much for communication in 140 characters. So much for taking or dismissing  information on face value.

In my Email: FromTurnOff Fox News

Dear Faithful Followers of Turn Off FOX:

Turn Off FoxFirst of all, we would like to thank each and every one of you for taking the pledge in our effort to educate others about the rampant and intentional distortion of the truth on FOX News and joining us in attempting to get it turned off as much as possible. We have received a number of e-mails, quite a few from people who support the cause, and also many from people who have been shocked that anyone would oppose the media arm of the right wing. Believe us, we have rankled more than a couple of conservatives, and that probably means that, with your help, we’re probably doing something right.

It could be that our articles about the fallacious statements and distorted truths on FOX News have simply disturbed too many people into denial. Here’s a review of some of our recent work:

Very soon, you’ll be able to catch updates on articles like the ones above and many more by following us on Twitter at We will also gladly welcome any stories or comments you would like to send us on that account to keep the lively discussion an ongoing one. As always, feel free to send in tips on stories or your own personal experiences in terms of trying to get FOX turned off at, aswell.
Besides the articles, we have other tools to help you exhibit your own distaste of FOX News, and just in time for the holidays. For those looking to spread the word passively while possibly swerving through traffic aggressively, we have a Turn Off FOX bumper sticker just for you. People looking more toward reminding others that keeping FOX off is as important as a daily glass of milk may find our Turn Off FOX magnet could help liven up the refrigerator. Lastly, individuals looking for a little dose of civil disobedience to add to a full day of political awareness may want to look up our TV B-Gone remote control that can turn off any North American TV. Be warned that people use TV B-Gone at their own risk. Also be warned that it is very effective at long distances and could help turn off FOX News even in public places, assuming! one so desired.
Just to be clear, though, we are not attempting to oppose free speech. Rather, we simply promote turning off the vitriol and terribly unbalanced “news” coverage on FOX as well as helping people to seek out journalism with a bit more integrity from other sources. Still, none of what we have to say will mean anything without your help. We can provide you with the evidence to help illustrate to others just how useless FOX News is as a news organization and the tools to help deliver the message, but we need your help to engage others and spread the news. One of the easiest ways for you to show further support would be to forward this e-mail to others and help get them to take the pledge, as well.
Once again, thank all of you for already taking the pledge and for helping the cause against FOX Fraudcasting. We look forward to hearing your success stories and tips at, and remember to keep looking for our updates at the website and on Twitter.
Your Friendly Neighborhood Progressive,
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