The Museum of Me

The Museum of You – Herbert Lui:

I see a lot of discussion on how people miss blogs, and RSS, and internet culture before what we call Web 2.0 (social media, platforms, ecommerce, etc.) came along and wiped it away. 

The best way to pay homage is to bring it back—to set up our own blogs that we control, to preserve our own libraries of content in multiple places so they don’t disappear with social media, to actively document our lives the way we miss and the way we would want to be remembered. We can choose a responsibility, every day, to collect the best of what came before us, to embody it, and to preserve it by sharing its charms with other people.

Much agreed, and this is one of the reasons I’ve kept my own blog and podcast here since 2006. I thought back then, “What if these awesome new tools like MySpace (or early Twitter) somehow go away or fall into the hands of the wrong leaders?” 

I read previous posts and thoughts here occasionally and marvel at how naive, bold, brave, or afraid I was at various points in my life. Now looking back on this Museum of Me, I can glimpse previous iterations of my own self and perceptions and not just remember but learn. 

Blogs like this, however silly they may seem in the face of social media apps, are powerful places!

Bringing Back Personal Blogging

Anyone who has read my writings and ravings here since 2006 will know I feel this exact way.

Buy that domain name. Carve your space out on the web. Tell your stories, build your community, and talk to your people. It doesn’t have to be big. It doesn’t have to be fancy. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. It doesn’t need to duplicate any space that already exists on the web — in fact, it shouldn’t. This is your creation. It’s your expression. It should reflect you.

Bring back personal blogging in 2023. We, as a web community, will be all that much better for it.

Source: Bring back personal blogging – The Verge

Good read.

I had something happen along these lines when I lost my Instagram and Facebook accounts after being compromised through a connected service with a bad password. There was no recompense or way to gain access to those networks that had been built up and maintained over years and years. Luckily, I had backups of the actual content, but all of those connections and gardens of interaction were immediately plowed up. I had been gardening on someone else’s land.

It’s yet another reason I’ve been focusing more on content and actual thoughts here and using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, etc, for more tertiary purposes. This domain and blog are my canonical place on the web.

Go and do likewise.

Planning Out Social Media in 2023

I’m constantly on the fence about pre-planning or pre-scheduling too many marketing posts ahead of time on social media. It’s handy, for sure. However, given that events happen without warning, there are real risks that could make whatever you’re trying to do look incredibly out-of-touch.

However, there is a benefit to having a month (or week) long agenda of posts to help keep you or your team on track. Social media is a platform that often rewards spontaneity, and you should be building that into marketing efforts. But it would be best if you had a foundation on which to grow, and a good plan can get you there.

For example, I stumbled upon a free monthlong planner for social media posts in January 2023 from Plann. There is any number of these out there. Still, the benefit is that these calendars take away the guesswork and produce dozens of content pieces that can be used across social networks, promotional materials, videos, recaps, etc. 

So spend some time thinking and planning while allowing your marketing efforts to remain responsive and flexible in 2023!

TikTok and WordPress Integration

I’ve had a few people reach out to ask me if there’s a way to integrate TikTok with their WordPress site… so I recently did some research and testing and this is the plugin I’d recommend:

TikTok Feed is premium WordPress plugin to create stunning gallery of TikTok videos for any user, hashtag/challenge, Music or Trending feed.

With 40+ shortcode options to adjust the feed to suit your need, the plugin comes with interactive shortcode generator tool to play with and preview the output with the changes.

Source: TikTok Feed – WordPress Plugin by WPPressPlugin | CodeCanyon

Instagram’s New Home Screen and Importance of Reels

Today we’re announcing some big changes to Instagram – a Reels tab and a Shop tab. The Reels tab makes it easier for you to discover short, fun videos from creators all over the world and people just like you. The Shop tab gives you a better way to connect with brands and creators and discover products you love.

Source: Introducing a New Home Screen for Instagram

Instagram’s new layout announced today isn’t a massive overhaul and most people will probably adjust just fine… but the inclusion of Reels as a separate tab is super interesting and yet another way that Facebook and Instagram are looking to capture some of the virality and buzz around TikTok.

There’s not much conclusive data on Reels’ success or adoption so far (released back in August), but it is notable that it now has its own tab in an interface that hundreds of millions of active users visit daily (or hourly depending on your demographic).

Shopping also gets its own tab. Again, like the talk late in the summer about how Wal-Mart was interested in acquiring TikTok due to its ability to be a platform for e-commerce, Instagram is making it easier for users to make direct purchases from their app rather than the janky “link in the bio” workaround we’ve been using for years. I know I’ve personally made a few impulse buys of new camping gear or knives (looking at you, Smoky Mountain Knife Works) because of an Instagram Story or pic.

But take note that the landscape is changing ever so slightly from Instagram (and TikTok) being places of consumer-generated content to consumer buying and selling. That will continue, especially as we all hunker down in our homes this winter to avoid Covid outbreaks.

About the Microsoft and Walmart Acquiring TikTok Deal

The idea would be to help turn TikTok U.S. into more of an e-commerce app for creators and users, much like what TikTok parent company ByteDance does with a similar app in China.

Source: Microsoft working with Walmart on TikTok deal – Axios

One of the main reasons TikTok has taken off with influencers, soccer moms, niche businesses, and aspiring dance stars here in the US is that it “feels” like an indie app that isn’t owned by Facebook or Google.

TikTok very much has that Instagram feel from about 2013 (I remember when an 8th grader first showed Instagram to me and explained why it was so much better than Facebook or Twitter and wasn’t owned by a big company).

With the ongoing speculation that Oracle is somehow involved in the attempts to acquire TikTok from the Chinese company ByteDance at our current administration’s behest, the CEO resigning last night, and now the two COOLEST brands in the United States… Microsoft AND Walmart!… I just don’t see how TikTok retains that feeling. Especially if this odd consortium of mega-companies turns it into an “e-commerce app for creators and users.”

I think we’ll look back on this period a few years from now and use it as a cautionary tale for huge companies looking to make a play in a hot space.

Yes, there are some previous examples of successful transitions for creative-focused apps and services that kept the mojo after being gobbled up, such as when Google acquired YouTube for $1billion in the mid-2000’s. But then, Google wasn’t quite the behemoth it is now, and YouTube sorely needed the backing of a Google to stay on the web given the legal and logistical load it was rapidly taking on. But then consider services like Flickr or Tumblr that had a diehard communities before being subsumed into the Yahoo! debacle and mismanaged into oblivion.

All that to say, I don’t see how Oracle / Microsoft / Walmart pulls this off and pivots TikTok into a successful “Made in America!” platform while keeping the hotness of the app.