Phil Friedman

7 years ago · 5 min. reading time · ~10 ·

Phil blog
Building Engagement on Social Media

Building Engagement on Social Media


beBeed « @beBee

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How Do You Really Build Engagement?


I've been researching and writing an article for Samantha Bailey's LinkedIn group for Group Owners, Managers, and Moderators on the relationship between engagement and initial exposure (reach) on various social media publishing platforms, including LinkedIn, Medium, and beBee.

The piece is turning out to be rather detailed and long, even for me. And it will likely be a week or two before I publish it.

However, along the way, something has come up that I believe worthy of its own discussion, in the interim.

Several times now, I've run into the claim that engagement on social media publishing platforms derives from building a "following"...

For quite a while, this claim absolutely baffled me. I literally could just not understand its meaning.

Assuming that your posts get distributed to at least some platform users who are not among your followers — something that has to be the case, at least when you are first starting out on the platform in question it seems self-evident that your post might be liked, commented upon, and possibly even shared by some readers other than those who follow you.

Which would seem to indicate that you can engage with readers other than those included in your group of followers.

As well, consider that, when the "views" of some of my posts on LinkedIn reached up into the 10, 000 range, those posts garnered hundreds of likes and comments from people definitely not counted among my "followers".

So what, I kept asking myself, are these people telling me, when they say engagement derives from your following, and by implication, that as your followers grow so will the levels of engagement on your publishing.

Over and over again. Day after day. For a long time. I asked myself, "What does it mean to say engagement comes from followers?"

Then suddenly, it struck me... like a lightning bolt!

a Ce . ~ BS

Those who believe engagement derives from one's followers consider all likes, comments, and shares to be of essentially equal value.

Such people are natives of social media. To them, it doesn't matter how these tokens are accumulated; it is the accumulation of these tokens that is the accomplishment. Accumulating the trappings of engagement is an end in itself, not a means to achieve something higher or further. 

It would seem that such people have very much the same attitudes as those who appeal for likes on Facebook, maybe even offer to trade likes, on the rationale that accumulating likes requires being willing to like someone else's page or post. And that the content of posts means little or nothing.

This became even clearer to me when I recently read a comment about building traction and engagement on Medium. The author of the comment pointed out that Medium, is "social media like all social media", and that the way to generate engagement is to follow a whole bunch of people, who will follow you in return, and who, in the hope that you will like and comment on their posts, will like and comment on yours.

In other words, according to this particular author, engagement on social media is composed of social strokes, and has nothing to do with intellectual exchange...

Not once did this commenter consider that a reader, unconstrained by some ulterior "social" motive, might like or comment upon or share a post because he or she actually read and liked or agreed or disagreed with the post.

Consequently, I now realize that my failure to understand that engagement derives from building a following grows from my own general obtuseness when it comes to matters social media. For it never, ever occurred to me, since the day I first joined LinkedIn, that it made sense to follow someone and like, comment on, and share their posts simply  to get them to do the same for you.


The number of people I follow on LinkedIn, Twitter, and beBee is generally much fewer than the number who follow me.

I say that not to brag in any way, but to illustrate that it has never occurred to me to buy "engagement" or that it could be bought by means of reciprocal following.

Perhaps most of all, it never occurred to me that "engagement" purchased by means of knee-jerk reciprocity is worth anything...

I don't know about you, but I like to think that people elect to follow me actually, my writing — because they find what I publish of some value, however minor. Some might say that is a vanity, but I would reply that a greater vanity is to seek likes, comments, and shares on the basis of buying them through implicitly agreed upon reciprocity.

Text Copyright © 2016 by Phil Friedman — All Rights Reserved
Image credits Phil Fnedman, Google Images. and FreeDigitialPhotos net  

Admittedly, I have both engaged in, and encouraged mutual liking and sharing on LinkedIn as a means for circumventing LI's policy of arbitrarily choking down the distribution (reach) accorded to independent writers (non-Influencers) on the platform. I was even involved in founding and running a couple of groups, both on and off LinkedIn, for that specific purpose. However, that is not the same thing as using reciprocity to buy "engagement".

I submit that generating true engagement, of necessity, precedes the building of a following, not the other way around...

You may think it stupid or naive of me, but I would rather have a critical comment from someone who actually read my post, than a positive comment from someone who didn't. And I would rather have a reader elect to follow me or my blogs because he or she found some value in the content I produce, than follow me because it is social media etiquette to do so when I follow them.

Moreover, I suggest this has to do with much more than engagement alone. It has to do with respect for quality content.

If you are willing to settle for meaningless token engagement, in preference to authentic engagement, then you are likely willing to settle for shallow and insipid content, as well.

In which case, everything on social media — LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, beBee, whatever — becomes an utterly  meaningless charade.

I am writing this because it seems to me that beBee is at a crossroads. It can move toward fulfilling what appears to be its enormous potential to build a great organic social media platform through encouraging quality content publishing, authentic engagement and Affinity Networking, or...

It can turn inward, circle the wagons against criticism, and start putting out bull chips about engagement deriving from building following.  Phil Friedman

Afterword:  This piece grows out of a discussion thread on a post by John Vaughan on the meaning of stats on beBee versus Linkedin and related issues. One of the questions that arose in the course of that discussion was what constituted a "view" respectively on beBee and LinkedIn. There was also some discussion of the relative levels of engagement on the two platforms. John's pieces on these and related issues were met with no small measure of hostility. Somewhat related to that hostile response was Kevin Pashuk's powerful post "I Don't Get No Respect".

Reading these posts and the comments threads, I have to wonder whether, in our enthusiasm for the growth and success of beBee, where many of us look forward to making a social media home, some of us tend to become overly sensitive about dissenting opinion. Which would be a shame, since an open expression of ideas and opinion is what will ultimately drive stable, organic growth for the platform, worldwide.

Author's Notes:   If you found this interesting and worthwhile, and would like to receive notifications of my writings on a regular basis, click the [FOLLOW] button on my beBee profile. As a writer-friend of mine says, you can always change your mind later.

If you're curious about some of my previous postings about the publishing platforms on both LinkedIn and beBee, you can take a look at some of the following:

"Affinity Networking Is On the Line"

"Arrogant Control Is Not Leadership on Social Media... Or Anywhere Else"

"Take Your Algorithm and Shove It!"

"View Count on Pulse Posts Headed to Oblivion"

"Publishing in the Shadow of the LinkedIn Oracle"

"Lessons Learned from Publishing in the Shadow of the LinkedIn Oracle"

As well, feel free to "like" and "share" this post and my other articles — whether on beBee, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or Google+, provided only that you credit me properly as the author, and include a live link to my original post.

About me, Phil FriedmanWith 30 some years background in the marine industry, I've worn numerous hats — as a yacht designer, boat builder, marine operations and business manager, marine industry consultant, marine marketing and communications specialist, yachting magazine writer and editor, yacht surveyor, and marine industry educator. I am also trained and experienced in interest-based negotiation and mediation.

In a previous life, I was formally trained as an academic philosopher and taught logic and philosophy at university.

The (optional-to-read) pitch: As a professional writer, editor, university educator, and speaker, with more than 1,000 print and digital publications, I've recently launched an online program for enhancing your expository writing: learn2engage — With Confidence. My mission is to help writers and would-be writers improve their thought and writing, master the logic of discussion, and strengthen their ability to deal with disagreement.




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To schedule an appointment for a free 1/2-hour consult email: I look forward to speaking with you soon.





Phil Friedman

7 years ago #48

correction: Unremitting adherence to an ethos of shallow sweetness and coupled with aggression toward anyone who dares to step off the well trodden path of Social Media Muzak. Cont... Pt II

Phil Friedman

7 years ago #47

Pt II --- Michele, Thank you, Michele, for your insight and kind words. Perhaps, if enough of us who understand the elements of authentic intellectual exchange can find each other, we can build a refuge within the increasingly stultifying wave of honey sweetness for those who actually give a damn. See Jim Murray, my fellow BeeZers, I've gone and done it again. Poked the honey bear in the eye. Ah, well...Cheers!

Phil Friedman

7 years ago #46

To quote you, Michele, "I found out early on that the toughest comments came from those who cared most." BINGO! and not just because it is something I've repeatedly said myself. Rather, because it is true. My good friend, Prof. Milos Djukic, speaks of "success at social media", that concept is both a snare and a delusion. For the predominating concept of "success" in the Land of Digital Exchange is popularity... And that goal will always drive Insipidipity. We may not always be able to discern "authentically" meaningful interchange, but we can damn well recognize pro forma when we see it: Comments made on articles without reading them. Generic positive stroking that could apply in any situation to anybody and anything that might be said. Constant unreflective exchanges of mutual admiration among small cliques. Unremitting adherence to an ethos of shallow sweetnessithunt aggreDon Kerrwho dares to step off the well trodden path of Social Media Muzak. Cont... Pt II

Milos Djukic

7 years ago #45

Phil Friedman, The fear of failure and irrelevance is a very common and widespread phenomenon in social networks. You never know whether a positive comment is made only pro forma or not. A targeted interaction is a crucial one and also a willingness to understand that we are different. Only then we can help and improve each other. I will repeat again something that I wrote a long time ago: "I'm an imperfect person with a bunch of weaknesses. What makes us unique is not our professional successes, social media itself or other trivia. Professional success in social media is a result of our humanity and willingness to recognize what is important and that's nobility. Not only humanity and nobility directed towards our family, but also towards others: "little"- great people on social media, with all its weaknesses. With such a person, a real professional, every aspect of professional or non- professional cooperation is always possible and fruitful. The basic characteristics of such a person are: 1. Clear personal attitudes, 2. Skillfulness, 3. Knowledge and imagination , 4. Desire to learn and improve, 5. Personal integrity, but ALSO 6. Gentleness, 7. Unpretentiousness, 8. Unobtrusiveness, 9. Willingness to help, 10. Willingness to say sorry and 11. Willingness to answer boldly and to be corrected" - from "What Makes Us Unique on Social Media", LI long-form post, published on December 28, 2014 (

Phil Friedman

7 years ago #44

The only thing in this case to fear, Milos, is fear itself. There is an important point, however, that I would like to emphasize. It was highlighted by remarks made by Nathan Lowell. True engagement is not achieved by likes and comments that pass back and forth in the night like trains on separate tracks. True --- or I suppose we might say authentic --- engagement happens only through interchange, that is, discussion and mutual reflection either as a result of disagreement or an intuition that some idea or opinion is worth examining and expanding and growing. I rarely give advice about publishing on social media, but here is something for (pardon the expression) "NewBees": To build engagement, you must not only answer your reader comments, but you must do so by actually reading those comments and answering with a reply that is commensurate with, and speaks to the point or points the reader is making. A reply which also demonstrates clearly that you have read their comment and value it. cont... Pt II

Phil Friedman

7 years ago #43

- Part II - Milos Djukic I try always to do that, although I have to admit that my manner is sometimes misunderstood. Here is the thing. I am serious when I say that I would rather receive a critical comment that shows someone has actually read and is responding to what I have written, than a positive comment that is made only pro forma. So even if I am arguing with someone, it should not be inferred that I do so because I do not value their input. Indeed, I am personally less likely to argue with someone whom I don't respect (which is why I have taken to ignoring certain trolls who follow me around), than I am with someone whose ideas and opinions I do respect. That is why I will go 'round and 'round with you, and @Gerald Hecht, and the BeeZers, and John White, MBA and David Grinberg, and so many others whose opinions I find challenging and stimulating --- even if I ultimately do not agree with them. And why I am at such pains to point out ad nauseum the importance of allowing for, and defending dissent and disagreement on social media. Cheers!

Milos Djukic

7 years ago #42

Building Engagement on Social Media without the fear of failure.

Milos Djukic

7 years ago #41

Phil Friedman, very true ("We demonstrate the potential for being friends and comrades, whilst disagreeing about many things - Phil Friedman). Despite numerous disagreements and agreements, I believe that you and I are "like-minded" people. What's really common is not easily explainable. Perhaps an awareness of our own ignorance :)

Milos Djukic

7 years ago #40

I understand your attitude Phil Friedman, but for me science is nothing more then the collective dedication to finding truth. It is about influences which will not undermine or compromise the democratic tendencies of modern science through any common type of manipulation. Life coaching "gurus" are definitely excluded. I certainly agree with you, there are a lot of substance that is between and currently not so easily explainable by conventional science.

Phil Friedman

7 years ago #39

Milos, I personally do not like the concept of influencing as a science. Much as I abhor the implications of lionizing "emotional intelligence". Because in my view, it is all tinged with manipulation, as opposed to a dedication to finding truth.

Phil Friedman

7 years ago #38

Milis, I did not intend to say or imply that you and I are "like minded" about anything other than being serious about writing and free and open expression of ideas and opinions. And that we demonstrate the potential for being friends and comrades, whilst disagreeing about many things. Cheers!

Milos Djukic

7 years ago #37

"Influencing others isn’t luck or magic – its science." - Robert Beno Cialdin, the Regents' Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University.

Milos Djukic

7 years ago #36

Phil Friedman,l We are old friends and "opponents".This will remain so forever, just like fractals. The art of agreement and disagreement. Dualism? Rather not, probably self-similarity. Have we forgotten serenity? LI days and now beBee! beBee forever. About "WE": "WE, should only mean that like-minded people are united in the aim of ensuring universal prosperity. Some will say that this is an illusion. The reverie needs to find its way into reality. Those who do not understand will miss not only the “biggest opportunity“ - innovation, but also an opportunity to broaden their views." If I write carefully, I will also reduce the chance that my words are misunderstood, misused or taken out of context by someone. If I follow my intuition in writing, I will not be better to everyone, but certainly to myself and also to some precious self-similar people. - from "I'll be Back, Innovation in Self Leadership", LI long-form post, published on May 5, 2015 About Influence: Dr. Robert Cialdini and 6 principles of persuasion by Tom Polanski #40

Phil Friedman

7 years ago #35

Now, Nathan, I welcome you to the fellowship of serious writers on beBee. I own a LinkedIn group, Writers 4 Writers, dedicated to interaction between serious writers, although not necessarily writers about only serious topics, and certainly not overly self-serious writers. But LinkedIn pretty much destroyed our ability to control the membership of the group and keep our often candid discussions private to the members of the group. So we don't go there much anymore. So I guess now we try to carve out some Affinitized territory on beBee, notwithstanding that we don't yet have all the tools to do a good job of that. Anyway, concerning engagement and influence. I agree with you that true engagement is more than just a comment. Engagement involves, I think, a back and forth exchange and consideration of ideas and opinion. Which is harder work than most social media natives, with attentions spans of gnats, are willing to expend. Which leaves you and me, and the BeeZers, and a few others, including but not limited to Milos Djukic. Which is probably okay, as I think we'll eventually draw more comrades from LinkedIn. As to influence, I have neither much nor much to say. Except if helping you sell some books will save you from going back to teaching grad school, as a defrocked and recalcitrant university teacher myself, I am prepared to do what I can to prevent your descent into intellectual hell. If any of that makes sense. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

7 years ago #34

Thank you Nathan for commenting. I understand what you're saying... although I don't remember myself saying anything about Influence. Of course, true engagement is difficult to judge and measure, but that is not at issue here. What is at issue is whether the development of a following is prerequisite to the generation of engagement. You also make, I think, a good point about needing to distinguish between interaction from engagement, but I think in doing so, we will simply end up redefining the commonly used word and not really developing a new or different concept. A bagel by any other name is still a bagel. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

7 years ago #33

Jim, it's Friday evening poetry time: There once was a man from Nantucket Whose sleigh was a rickety bucket So old when he tried to Take his family for a ride, He gave up and sighed loudly Oh, f#%k it! Of course, what you say is both correct and wise. The genius in the concept of Affinity Networking on beBee is that everyone can potentially find a place for him- or herself. There are people on the platform who see it as a forum for digital socializing. Like being in one of the original Chat Rooms or groups. I personally don't object to that, although I believe (and want to be able to say) that I think there is a higher and better use for social media. And leave it to others to decide if they agree or disagree. That is the essence of free expression of ideas and opinions. And BTW, I think you nail it when you point out the fact that to succeed beBee needs to differentiate itself from the other platforms, and certainly avoid devolving into a weak shadow of Facebook --- which is all socializing. Cheers!

Candice 🐝 Galek

7 years ago #32

I think you should experiment with having your posts translated into Spanish Phil Friedman . If you are interested message me privately, I have someone that will do it for $5 bucks per 1000 words. I have played around with it here and the posts generally get 5-10x the interaction and views. 🙏

Jim Murray

7 years ago #31

Part 2. This is the magnet that will bring people to this site and keep them there. This is the incentive that will encourage them to express themselves here. If this site starts to be seen as 'vanilla', that could very well be the kiss of death in terms of making beBee matter. Sure vanilla is the most widely consumed flavour. But there are 30 others in the freezer and they are the ones that give a social media site its real personality. All thirty of them. I believe that everybody from John on up the food chain gets that. And realizes that there have to be a few shitkickers out there. And they need to be both recognized and respected. Because they are the change agents. As a marketer I believe that beBee is still in the introduction and explanation phase. But pretty soon that's going to have to evolve into whatever the next phase might be. It's basically a Nantucket Sleighride, but to those people who can see a couple of feet in front of their faces, everything eventually becomes clear.

Jim Murray

7 years ago #30

You know what Phil (can't tag anyone today), I think there is 'an open expression of ideas and opinion', here. But at the moment it appears to be between a rather finite number of people. Since you and I sort of arrived here together via John White, we have seen a fair bit of organic growth, especially on the social side. There appears to be overall a high level of participation in the larger hives, and there also appears to be a number of people, like yourself, myself, Kevin and Don who are looking at this site and trying to figure out what it is going on. The big problem with that is that growing a social/business media site is a lot like herding cats. You just have to keep trying things and see what works. The idea that this growth will come without a few bumps in the road, while a nice thought, is never going to be a reality. beBee is pretty much the latest entry into the social media marketplace and because it is, it has to primarily take its users from other places, as well as attract virgin users, which are a much smaller target group. Which gets right back to your point about an open expression of ideas and opinion. See part 2.

don kerr

7 years ago #29

I agree

Phil Friedman

7 years ago #28

does that mean, Don, that you agree... Or that I lost you to the dark side? Tokens in this case refer to rewards for playing the game, but which have no intrinsic value outside of the structure of the game. Seems apt to me. Cheers!

Milos Djukic

7 years ago #27

Phil Friedman, Thanks a lot, very nice expression of self-similarity. Cheers :)

don kerr

7 years ago #26

"Such people are natives of social media. To them, it doesn't matter how these tokens are accumulated; it is the accumulation of these tokens that is the accomplishment. Accumulating the trappings of engagement is an end in itself, not a means to achieve something higher or further." You had me at tokens Phil

Phil Friedman

7 years ago #25

Fractals are self-similar, Milos, so generate engagement independent of followings. I think. Cheers! :-)

Milos Djukic

7 years ago #24

Phil Friedman, What about fractals? :)

Phil Friedman

7 years ago #23

Randy, thank you for reading and commenting. I don't really see how this is a matter of which comes first, the chicken or the egg. What I am saying is that building a following does not necessarily precede generating engagement, however the term "engagement" may be defined. Either one may precede the other. My subsidiary point is that believing you need followers first before you can generate likes, comments on, and sharing of your content is a symptom of the view that people engage with your posts because they are your "friends", not necessarily because they find them of value --- a view that I reject. You are correct that "quality" of content is in the eye of the beholder. And I agree that the platform does not need, and cannot filter for "quality". However, to assure that all forms of content appear on a level playing field (the market, if you will) it is necessary to assure that cat memes and religious inspirational aphorisms do not so inundate the platform as to make it impossible to find and read anything else. Of course, when the full array of tools for supporting Affinity Networking is available, the situation may end up to be self-regulating. Cheers!

Randy Keho

7 years ago #22

The term "engagement" makes me nervous. Phil Friedman Aside from that, it appears to this casual observer, that this may be another discussion of which came first, the chicken or the egg? What I find somewhat interesting, is that there seems to be a great deal more discussion on beBee concerning the measurement of engagement than the quality of content. If you think it's difficult to measure engagement, try measuring quality. I dare anyone to find a universal measurement of quality content. We each have our own definition or perception of quality. If so, then the measurement of engagement may have nothing to do with quality. I like you, you like me, and we both like the big purple dinosaur. By the way, I'll stop reporting on all your buzzes, they're not all annoying. Salute! That's Italian for Cheers! I think I'll have pizza tonight.
Phil Friedman you know perfectly what is a majority. An example very easy to understand. If 100 users complaints and you have 10 relevants, which are the most valuable ones ? Ones who are being annoyed or ones who loves your stuff. PHIL, THANKS for understanding this. Is simple and yes, definitely we shouldn't waste more time. Have a wonderful weekend , enjoy your family !

Phil Friedman

7 years ago #20

Thank you, Javier, for being concerned and sufficiently engaged personally to respond. If for no other reason, that is why I am personally such a fan of beBee and a believer in its huge potential to change the face of social media by means of true Affinity Networking. And I do not see any advantages to continuing a discussion of this particular case, since beBee re=posted the original Live Buzz Spoof, the take down of which led to the long-form post about Sarcasm versus Satire. I do, however, feel the need to point out two things: 1) With some 12 million users, a "majority" would be constituted by something over 6 million. 2) Without protection of, and consideration for the right of minority dissent, Democracy becomes nothing more than tyranny by the majority. Just thinking out loud. BeBee forever! And cheers!
Phil Friedman I dony agree. Sorry but report tool needs to be private. Again, it is absolutely democratic. When some buzz is filtered from hives is because majority it is annonying A LOT of people. We need to care about most of them

Phil Friedman

7 years ago #18

Nelson, thank you for reading and commenting. And for the very kind words. Were that my Spanish as good as your English. I hope that somehow the two of us will manage to communicate. My best to you. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

7 years ago #17

Well, Pascal, you can count me as someone who follows you because I find your writing of immense interest and quite enjoyable to read and ponder. Please understand that I am not under any illusions concerning the superficiality of social media. However, I believe that we should not mistake what is for what should be; and we should always strive to follow the high road. Or at least not accept and glorify the low road. For the most part, the use of likes, comments, and shares as engagement tokens is straight out of game theory. In a game, tokens are awarded to players to encourage them to play the game. The tokens are not seen to have any intrinsic value outside of the game, but nevertheless, in practice, often drive the players to frenzied pursuit of the game. Wow! Sounds like management strategy for social media platforms, doesn't it? Yes it does, BECAUSE IT IS. And that is why every social media platform to date is ultimately a completely trivial pursuit. BeBee has, to my mind, great potential. But that potential will be squandered if it succumbs to following the same strategies as the other social media platforms --- one in which the accumulation of meaningless tokens are gamed as genuine accomplishment, and genuine effort and value is ignored. Thank you for reading and commenting. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

7 years ago #16

Thank you, Javier, for clarifying that. I would, however, like to suggest that it might be appropriate to notify the author of a post that is being manually taken down as to the reason(s) and as to the number of people who objected to it and why. Otherwise, the report function really does become a tool in the hands of those who would censor whatever they don't happen to like. Taking a post down is different that "muting" a user, or even (when the function will be available) blocking a user. Neither of these two methods of filtering involves actually taking the post down. Taking a post down, whether justified on the basis of libel or abusive language or inappropriate images, is nevertheless censorship. And to my mind, should be done only in the open, not behind the scenes. Just, of course, my opinion. You have a great weekend, too. Cheers!

Pascal Derrien

7 years ago #14

it all makes sense Phil Friedman there is an element of superficiality in a lot of interactions on social media especially when there is volume involved however I would like to think there is always a few followers who may do so for the substance or value they find in following one individual and this for various reasons now this would probably not constitute a strategy :-)

Phil Friedman

7 years ago #13

Aurorasa, building a following is the same as building a brand. Most of the time it takes time. However, it's usually worthwhile, depending on your objectives. I have a following of about 3,500 on LinkedIn, but I demonstrated several times being able to drive a post to more than 3,000 views and hundreds of likes and comments WITHOUT any support from, or being featured by Pulse. An organically developed following is powerful, as writers like Cory Galbraith know well. The problem on LI is its algorithmic choking down of distribution. Which requires radical cooperative action, at times, to overcome.

Phil Friedman

7 years ago #12

It looks as though I will have to, Milos, since Jim Able's latest post, with its satirical video, has apparently been removed for a second time, without notice and without explanation, in an unwarranted act of censorship. It is not yet confirmed, but it appears that someone is using the reporting feature to squelch free expression of opinion on beBee. And I for one am exceedingly disappointed at the development, which is uncomfortably reminiscent of some LinkedIn goings on. Perhaps, I should be worried that this post may also be gone soon.

Phil Friedman

7 years ago #11

It looks as though I will have to, since Jim Able's latest post, with its satirical video, has apparently been removed in an unexplained and unwarranted act of censorship. It is not yet confirmed, but it appears that someone is using the reporting feature to squelch free expression of opinion. And I for one am exceedingly disappointed at the development, which is reminiscent of some LinkedIn goings on.

Phil Friedman

7 years ago #10

David, thank you for reading and commenting. And for contributing to the level of engagement for this post. Unfortunately, either you mistake my point, or more likely, I failed to make myself clear. I am NOT saying (did NOT say) that having a large following and producing quality content are mutually exclusive. What I said (am saying) is that is is FALSE to say, as some do, that building a following is a necessary prerequisite to developing engagement. And what I said was that thinking it indicates, to my mind, a misunderstanding of, or lack of concern for authentic engagement. I also said that believing the building of a following has to precede building engagement levels is to ignore the power of good content to develop a following. And I stand by those assertions. If someone such as John Vaughan questions why 5K views of a post on beBee draw, say, 10 total likes and comments, whereas the same post on LI achieves, again say, 300 views, but generates the same engagement numbers --- it is not sufficient to explain that by saying you need first to build a following in order to generate engagement. Because it is actually engagement that builds a following, not the other way around. Except in the circumstances I describe in this post, and which I shall not repeat in this comment. Cheers!

Milos Djukic

7 years ago #9

You are welcome Phil Friedman and please stay away from J.A. :)

David B. Grinberg

7 years ago #8

Phil, thank you as always for taking the time to shed more light on this issue of what constitutes social media engagement. First, just to reiterate and be(Bee) clear, these are my personal opinions and observations, not any "official" comment on behalf of beBee, Inc. (per your recent question). Second, your concern and kind consideration about the future success of beBee is appreciated and admirable. Third, I don't think defining "engagement" is an an "either, or" proposition. By that, I mean that having a big following and producing quality content are not mutually exclusive. Does building a big following help enhance engagement? I would argue, yes. However, this is not the only factor. As you note, offering quality content drives engagement as well. Is quality content the only factor? No. Is it an important factor? Yes. And while we are on the point of followers, I think it's likewise important to consider that beBee has more followers (11 million+) in under 2-years after launching, whereas it took LinkedIn about double that time after launching to reach the same number of followers (according to LI's own data. Again, I think this is an important factor and one we should not lose sight of when making comparisons between the two social platforms. Thanks for taking these point into consideration, kind sir. And, finally, it's clear that beBee offers quality content because of writers/bloggers like you and others.

Phil Friedman

7 years ago #7

Thank you, Milos, for sharing this post. Our outlier efforts here are reminiscent of those on another platform. This time, I sincerely hope they will have more effect. Keep the faith, my Fractal Friend. And cheers!

Milos Djukic

7 years ago #6

Thank you Phil Friedman. Mr No-Muzak is back:)

Milos Djukic

7 years ago #5

cc. Javier beBee.

Phil Friedman

7 years ago #4

Thank you, Franci, for reading and commenting. And for the kind words. I think the issue gets down to understanding the place of dissent and criticism in authentic intellectual exchange. I also believe that stable, organic growth of a social media platform can only be achieved these days if the platform is built around quality content that attracts readers and writers worldwide to engage. And that will not happen if people cry foul every time someone says something good about LinkedIn vs beBee. BTW, yes, the center of Matthew is now well north of our latitude, so we;re safe for now. But it is not a promising situation for those in the northern part of the state. Our thoughts and good wishes go out to all who are in its path.

Phil Friedman

7 years ago #3

I agree, Kevin, that initially the engagement that was generated here on beBee (including real-world meetings, Skyping, and the like) was exceedingly encouraging. My concern is over what I see as an emerging ethos that endorses and encourages Insipidipity. And my fear is that it will eventually push quality content and authentic, meaningul interchange to the side and out of the picture. It doesn't have to happen, given the potential of Affinity Networking. But the platform's operatirng procedures have to be adjusted to assure that Affinity Networking works. And in order for that to happen, I think the problem has first to be recognized and an over-riding commitment to quality content made. Thank you for reading and commenting --- and for writing your share of top quality content. Cheers!

Kevin Pashuk

7 years ago #2

Thanks for the mention of my post Phil. If my musings can inspire you to this type of post, I'll keep on musing. Advertisers pay for eyeballs, and 'views' = 'eyeballs' if you don't think too much about it. While beBee doesn't have advertising (thankfully), it will need to show value to whomever decides to buy shares once they do an IPO or sell... Personally, I consider 'engagement' the type of conversation (the quality of comments, shares and 3D meeting with other bees) I'm getting on this platform.

Phil Friedman

7 years ago #1

John Vaughan, your posts are mentioned in this piece. Thank you for the inspiration.

Articles from Phil Friedman

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6 years ago · 1 min. reading time

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6 years ago · 4 min. reading time


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