Phil Friedman

5 years ago · 9 min. reading time · ~100 ·

Phil blog
Has the Bee Lost Its Buzz?

Has the Bee Lost Its Buzz?

He Said...He Said



Preface:  When Jim Murray and I first agreed to do this series, we never envisioned it would gain as much traction as it has, let alone be in its 36th installment some three years later.  But here we are.

We think that one of the reasons readers like the series is that we've developed a knack for not pussyfooting around sensitive subjects or avoiding sensitive toes. Indeed, the term "politically correct" is not to be found in our lexicon. However, that does not mean our ruminations are negative. Quite to the contrary. I believe it's fair to say that we critique in a spirit of goodwill and well-wishes for most of those at the business ends of our barbs.

We also endeavor to remain faithful to the idea that these exchanges are not just about us and our idiosyncratic ideas and opinions, but more importantly, about the exchange with you, our readers. We once again invite you to join the conversation.  So please don't hesitate to tell us what you think.

Copytighl © 2018 by Phil tuscdmasn and Jim Moray — Al Ri ReservedPHIL: Jimbo, you and I were among the earliest adopters of beBee, you even earlier than I by several months. In fact, we gave beBee USA some of its earliest exposure on LinkedIn in a He Said He Said installment in which we interviewed Javier Camara Rica about his newly-launched platform, beBee USA. And together with a number of established LinkedIn writers and digital self-publishers, we then literally threw ourselves into creating a mountain of content for beBee’s fledgling Publisher sub-platform.

I believe those were pretty heady days, during which I for one came to strongly respect a raft of writers and thinkers who were publishing on beBee. People like John White, MBA, John White, MBA, Paul "Pablo" Croubalian, Pascal Derrien, Pascal Derrien, Ian Weinberg, Milos Djukic, jesse kaellis, Ian Weinberg, Kevin Pashuk, then somewhat later Gert Scholtz, Don Philpott☘️, jesse kaellis, Claire L Cardwell, Don 🐝 Kerr, Gerald Hecht, Kevin Pashuk, Aaron 🐝 Skogen, Lada 🏡 Prkic, Zacharias 🐝 Voulgaris, and really so many more I am moved to apologize to for not listing them here.

Lately, however, I’ve been saddened or, more accurately, depressed by the increasing flood of absolute crap that is appearing in the beBee feed nominally by authors who appear to be bots or not much more skilled than bots who can’t manage to put a few hundred words together in anything that even resembles decent writing or interesting thinking.

Like the two "buzzes" I saw recently on how to give yourself an enema. Or the dozens of articles recently that were so scrambled by robot-translators they were effectively incomprehensible. Not to mention the hundreds of posts that had the initial appearance of being legitimate but which, in fact, said absolutely nothing substantive at all.

And this is not even to mention all the clearly fake profiles on the platform, the number of which cannot be minimized once you look at the following sampling compiled in just an hour of scanning the feed (there are likely hundreds if not thousands more):































































This could all be the result of waning interest in the platform on the part of strong writers. Or it could be the result of The Attack of the Bots. Or it could be the result of beBee hiring half-assed content creators at below bargain-basement rates to fill the feed so it appears more active than it really is. I just don’t know. What I do know is that beBee appears not to be doing anything to stop it

I’ve always felt that a writer is known by the company he or she keeps. I am becoming increasingly uncomfortable with some of the company I am being forced to keep on beBee. And I’d like to know what you think — if for no other reason than to give me a reality check.





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erect Gop.JIM: As you know, my long format posting on beBee has petered off significantly. It will pick up during the long cold Canadian winter.

But I do believe that something happened when the decision was made to close the US office, effectively putting our pal John White out of his job as chief brand ambassador and bottle washer. It felt like a lot of people, who were maybe counting on beBee to bolster their American readership were suddenly thinking differently. I heard a bit of chatter about Medium and a couple other blogging sites.

A while after this there were all these posts on how beBee is getting involved with some sort of blockchain company, which promised to put content control back into the hands of the people or something like that. This is probably inaccurate because when I hear things like this my eyes kinda glaze over and I start worrying more about going into a coma.

I don’t really interact with beBee as much as I probably should. Mostly I go there to answer comments on my posts and to seek out posts of many of the people you mentioned previously. But I have noticed that scanning down the titles of the posts on my wall I come across a lot of what you like to refer to as ‘insipidipity’.

Since I am almost completely cynical about social media, especially in light of what some of the big sites like Facebook & Twitter have been up to lately, I have no trouble empathizing with your point of view on the decline of or, at least significant change in beBee.

You may be more concerned about your intellectual property here than I am because, as you well know, I am a major league attention slut, and will post anything anywhere, any time. I’m also too old now to give a shit about any possible ramifications. My worst case scenario is just walking away and going for a swim or a bike ride.

I can understand your concern, and the case you make is certainly evidence of some weird shit going on. As far as a reality check, I don’t really have one, because what you have described in your own inimitable style, is the reality of social media today. Bots are everywhere. Cheap, low rent content is everywhere too. People generally only look at it briefly and then move on, so in a way, it really doesn’t matter to me at least.

And judging from one of Javier’s recent posts, I think they might be starting to enter into some sort of re-examination phase, where they can actually get a handle of what’s real and what is not on their site. Which is a lot more than anyone can say about Facebook or Twitter or probably even LinkedIn.

From my perspective, social media activity these days involves mainly memes of different kinds, my perennial obsession with (getting rid of) Trump, and now Doug (The Slug) Ford, the new idiot premier of Ontario.

But, Phil, honestly, as beBee has never really been any real source of true business audience for you, I would ask you this simple question…. Beyond the old ‘company you keep’ chestnut, why would you care?

9f50b7ac.jpgPHIL: I get where you’re coming from on this, Jim. And I appreciate the question you pose, namely, “Why would I care?”, because it throws some cold water of Reality into my face.

First, however, I’d like to clarify a side issue, if I may, one on which I’ve tried in probably half of the 36 installments of He Said He Said to get through to you, bud namely, that the term I coined several years ago on LinkedIn to describe much of the content there is “insipidipity”, I-N-S-I-P-I-D-I-P-I-T-Y, not “insipidity”. The difference is important as my word is a play on “serendipity”. Just for the record, of course.

Anyway, my being concerned with that might lead you to conclude that I care about all manner of things which are less than world-shattering. Which, I guess, is probably true.

But I care about what’s happening on beBee because, as a writer and a small-business person, I publish on various social media platforms, including beBee, in large part, not only to build an audience but also to raise my marketing profile or to use the PC jargon, strengthen my personal brand.

And it’s been working reasonably well. For each month that passes, I receive a greater number of queries concerning the marine industry consulting services I offer.

I grant you that I have, at times, noted the lack of B2B response on beBee, as well as the dearth of posts genuinely concerned with business topics. (Those other than posts extolling the virtues of staying positive as an entrepreneur, and so on, ad nauseum.)

However, notwithstanding that fact, beBee’s publishing platform is comfortable to write on and offers excellent tools for sharing to other social media platforms. As well, Javier and crew have apparently done a good job of dealing with Google in terms of its page and site authority and, consequently, helps guys like you and me with our author-authority.

Although I can’t say for sure, I believe that publishing more than 200 articles on beBee has helped me build my author-authority with Google and an indication of which you can see by searching on Phil Friedman Yacht.

Now, as you can well understand, building author-authority under Google’s search optimization guidelines involves a lot of time, a lot of digital publishing, and a lot hard work. Years of it, in fact. Among other things, author-authority ranking depends on the connections (cross-links and back-links) an author has to websites and pages whose authority ranking is strong. Therefore, there is indeed a potentially detrimental effect on my branding if beBee loses a significant measure of its own authority because its website is filled with garbage content. And if you doubt the importance of whom you’re seen as keeping company with, you need to read Google’s latest update of its SEO guidelines.

daab172c.jpgJIM: Ok. So insipidipity it is. BTW, I have corrected it in my previous section as well. And also, BTW, it's a good pun.

I think anybody who is serious about playing the personal branding game on social media would be wise to read your last section again, because though I may be a bit of a luddite (not that there’s anything wrong with that), I can understand just where you are coming from.

And that really is one of the significant differences between your business and mine. You are in what people like me call a vertical silo named ‘Marine’. And quite honestly that makes things a hell of a lot easier for you than it does being out on the fruited plain called Marketing or Creative Development or Advertising.

The only way significant business comes to me is through client referrals, face-to -face networking or meetings arranged through warm calls. Very little, if any, of this business has to do with any my online activity other than the fact that my portfolio is all posted on my WordPress site.

But having said that, I want to have readership, and beBee, warts and all, is still the consistently best network and readership I have been able to achieve, outside of the odd completely disruptive newsfeed post on LinkedIn.

So in answer to your original question, “Has The Buzz Left beBee?”, I would have to say no with extenuating circumstances. The main extenuating circumstance is stamina. The majority of people still posting frequently on beBee are those who are actual writers or chroniclers of their industry, profession or interests.

I have always maintained that if what it is you do does not include writing on even a middling level, you will eventually tire of it and your frequency will drop and you will become a lurker, like the vast majority of people on social media actually are.

I’m hoping for the best for beBee because I really like a lot of the people I have met there. And I think it’s a good place for us to foist our opinions on people.

But I also believe that Javier and company really need to keep their eyes peeled for scammers and hacks of every sort, because they are out there. I’m not sure that many of them really know what they’re doing, but the few who do can be dangerous.

So there you have it. I’m going to go lay down now and read the final chapter of my daughter’s first novel. (Past Tense by Star Spider).

33ac7cf9.jpgPHIL: Granted, Jim, perhaps I am somewhat over the top about what I’m seeing in the beBee feed. And I cede your point about my inhabiting a “vertical silo”.

Certainly, I thought at first why not just “mute” those crap-content fakes and bots? But then I answered myself which is often dangerous, even if it doesn’t cause me to go blind that simply me not seeing what was happening would not stop it from potentially degrading whatever site-authority beBee has developed and whatever author-authority I or any of my friends and cohorts on beBee might have accrued.

The irony of the situation is that I’ve published a number of harangues about the scourge of plagiarism on social media platforms like LinkedIn and beBee. As it’s always pissed me off to see people stealing writers’ work and presenting it as their own.

What I never fully realized until recently is that if someone plagiarizes good work, it’s still good work (even if it isn’t theirs) and doesn’t create an environment of bad writing that sullies everyone’s “rep” as an author in the eyes of the internet search Gods however much it might create an atmosphere of distrust among readers and writers.

Understand that I still harbor some affection for beBee, even if this latest iteration seems to mangle and refuse to load many of the images that originally appeared with the articles I’ve published on the platform. So, I for one am keeping my fingers crossed that Javier’s recent article, “1-99”, signals a recognition of the problem on beBee’s part and a coming effort to deal with it. Hopefully, well before the buzz turns into a disturbing hiss of a deflating balloon.

Phil Friedman and Jim Murray

Author's Notes:  If you found this interesting and would like to receive notifications of my writings on a regular basis, click the [FOLLOW] button on my beBee archive page. Better yet, you can arrange on that same page to follow my "blog" by email. As a writer-friend of mine says, you can always change your mind later.

If you enjoyed this post, please take a minute to share, share, and share it around to your network — whether on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or Google+, provided only that you credit Jim and me as the authors, and include a live link to this original post.

About me, Phil Friedman:  With 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.





Phil Friedman

5 years ago #93

Yes, Claire L Cardwell, I estimate that nearly 50% of what I see in my feed is either bot-crap or of such low quality as to be from some sort of spamming service. In an increasing number of cases, the profiles of the writer claim English as a "native" language, but a bevy of obvious and significant grammatical problems belie that claim. It is getting so bad, that I for one am starting to feel embarrassed by association. My fear is that beBee is encouraging this activity, or at least not discouraging it, because beBee feels that this activity is better than no activity. And that it may be time for a new iteration of the Honey Factory's business plan. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #92

I will never understand, Chris \ud83d\udc1dR Guest, how "improvements", years in the making, end up with retrograde results. Where happened to test and check before release?

🐝 Fatima G. Williams

5 years ago #91

Well I wish the comment section here has an option to attach screenshots, I'll share my app issues with all :) especially to Federico \ud83d\udc1d \u00c1lvarez San Mart\u00edn

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #90

I can still get onto the mobile site with my iPhone, but it doesn't load 50% or more of the photos. And it's slow, slow, slow.

🐝 Fatima G. Williams

5 years ago #89

Chris \ud83d\udc1dR Guest I used to love the old mobile app, simple and user-friendly, don't even get me started on why I don't use the app anymore. I used to use bebee on the way to work and during lunch breaks when the app used to work great but now I need to get to a laptop to get on the site. :(

Ali Anani

5 years ago #88

Same experience as yours Chris \ud83d\udc1dR Guest

Lisa Vanderburg

5 years ago #87

The pleasure is entirely mine Phil Friedman - such bright stars bring joy and (selfishly), a degree of safety - thank you for the fascinating conversation!

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #86

Yes, one has to be careful with Google searches because Google tracks them and seeks to filter and return what it "thinks" you'll be most interested in (localization?). Thanks for reading and joining the conversation.

Lisa Vanderburg

5 years ago #85

You're right sadly, I hope it's a temporary glitch? When I googled phil friedman yacht, the second site was LI, then 2 BB under the pics bit. But my name showed what I think is nearly every platform I've been on today - that makes no sense? Could be because of locale?

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #84

Lisa, it's possible to keep the crap-content out of your personal feed by spending a minute or two each visit to beBee to "mute" those authors. The problem, however, as I see it, is that doesn't clean the junk from the website. And I believe that the junk on beBee's platform is lowering its Google search site authority -- which may not matter to everyone, but does matter to writers who are interested, for marketing or business reasons, in being found in Google searches (SEO). Javier \ud83d\udc1d beBee used to say frequently, "Google loves beBee..." -- and it did. But my connection to beBee is no longer showing up on the first page (or even the second or third or fourth page) of results returned when searching on "phil friedman yacht". Which means as I understand it that beBee authroty ranking has dropped. Which I suspect is the result of the high level of crap-content on the site these days. Cheers!

Lisa Vanderburg

5 years ago #83

234.3k beBee in Portuguese - that's gotta be the biggest hive?

Lisa Vanderburg

5 years ago #82

As I'm a dinosaur I tend to just stick to my laptop; I address this to Chris \ud83d\udc1dR Guest; we clearly need you about to keep the riff-raff out (unless I'm one of them:))

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #81

For the record, for more than a year, if you did a Google search on "Phil Friedman Yacht" the first page of the search results returned an entry for my published work on beBee -- indicating a high level of website authority for the platform. Unfortunately, if you perform the same search today, an entry for beBee is nowhere to be seen in the results. Indicating a drop in authority ranking for beBee -- which I firmly believe is the result of all the crap-content on the platform these days. Precisely what I expressed concern about in this article. Sad.

Jim Murray

5 years ago #80

I did that, sir .

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #79

Yea, Jim Murray, you probably reported mine and got it taken down. Hey, I thought it was your turn to sprinkle HSHS wisdom on LinkedIn too this time. (How do you like that metaphor?)

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #78

Thank you, Jan \ud83d\udc1d Barbosa, for the kind words. Always good to hear from you. Cheers!

Jim Murray

5 years ago #77

Thank's Aaron \ud83d\udc1d Skogen. I noticed the same thing, actually before I posted my version. Phil was no help, other than telling me is should be there. LOL.

Jan 🐝 Barbosa

5 years ago #76

As always He Said...HE Said offers a golden plate of great debate by two great minds. Love to read it.

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #75

Aaron \ud83d\udc1d Skogen in Fractals Forever? I don't want to give the wrong impression. My post did not disappear from the platform. It is still in my author's archive. It just suddenly dropped from the feed as I see it while all manner of crap-content remains and remains and remains. Does that mean "the Algorithm" has determined I like to see scantily clad young women and enema paks and offers to write my school papers for me? Well, I guess it got one out of three right anyway. :-)

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #74

I agree with you, Ian Weinberg, that beBee remains a congenial place for writers and (would-be) thinkers to hang out. And I find myself with residual affection for the platform that keeps me around. My concern, however, is that beBee's drift toward ever-increasing levels of poor content is contrary to the drift on the Internet where Google and other search engine giants are seeking to refine their systems to deliver consistently better content. With the result that beBee's brand is degraded. For the record, I recently saw a post in the feed that was actually an advertisement by and for a firm that fakes website traffic for other firms, to make it look like they have more internet activity than they really do. Proving that if you leave enough detritus laying around, it will attract maggots. So to speak. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #73

Not to beat a dead horse, Aaron \ud83d\udc1d Skogen, but I the next step in the evolution of social media networking platforms requires a radical shift in the paradigm -- away from monetizing user/member personal and professional data to charging a nominal fee for services rendered and received. That single step eliminates the premises that drive platforms to seek to bloat the member base and motivates them to gamify activity in order to maximize the metrics used to sell data, advertising, etc. I personally believe the natural path will lead to not-for-profit platforms that are member-owned in the same way as mutual insurance companies are owned by their policyholders. Namely, that various income streams would be developed by the organizations involved (banner advertising, clearly-identified sponsored content, enterprise forums, B2B groups, etc.), with operating surpluses turned back to the members in the form of credits against future services rendered. Thus, a successful platform will effectively be "free" to members and without being driven by the search for a big IPO or corporate-buyout payday, growth and activity can develop organically. See "Switching Tracks"... Cheers!

Ian Weinberg

5 years ago #72

Thanks for the mention Phil Friedman . Two years ago things were really buzzing. Since then however we have been diluted out by bot and other miscellaneous detritus. We've also had an attrition rate of smart contributors who fell away for multiple reasons. I guess this is a microcosm of social media and indeed of life in this time. Having said all that, I generally write when I have something to say and share. Since I've said much of what I'd wanted to (in posts and comments) , my contributions are a lot less. I still however find beBee a user-friendly space and invariably find myself launching on beBee and sharing on other platforms. Additionally there are still great posts which arrive from time to time. Finally, I've established rapport with more people on beBee than on any other platform - there are easily 2 dozen souls that I've met here on beBee (you guys included) that I look forward to sharing a beer/coffee with some time in the future. And so I shall continue to park here from time to time for some banter and good cheer.

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #71

As you might guess, Proma \ud83d\udc1d Nautiyal, I am fully in accord with your expression of concern. And I too hope that beBee brings this all under control before it irreparably damages the platform. What beBee had for a while to stand against LI's enormous membership numbers was the generally high quality of its content. And it would be a shame to lose that countervailing power. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #70

Thank you, Aaron \ud83d\udc1d Skogen, for reading and commenting. I agree with you that LI and several other social media platforms are biting the hands that feed them, namely, the writers who have contributed so much of the high-quality content that has fueled their incredible growth over the past four years or so. I think the moves are motivated by the desire to maximize activity on those platforms, which units of activity are what form the basis for selling advertising and for other forms of monetization. I have come to believe that social media and networking will not achieve their natural potential until platforms emerge that are not only member-driven, but member-owned. Good to hear from you. My best to you and yours.

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #69

Thank you, Tausif Mundrawala, for reading and commenting. I agree that a piece like this calls for a lot of reflections and comments. from others, if it is to accomplish its intended goal. Thanks for adding yours. Cheers!

Proma Nautiyal

5 years ago #68

I agree, Phil Friedman. The increase in weird posts (I wouldn't even like to call them buzz because of their low-quality content) on beBee feed is simply saddening. One of the things I enjoy most about beBee is reading the beautiful buzzes and spreading them for the world to learn and share. Earlier the feed used to be so enriching which has now turned into distasteful topics and posts. I really wish something is done to correct it. The domain authority bit is also an extremely pertinent point. Google loves beBee and it loves relevant and high quality content, too. I hope the invasion of chatbot inspired literature does not affect the DA beBee has created for itself and also for its users. There is one other thing; I am not sure if many of us use the beBee app on their mobile devices, but I have happen to run into bugs on multiple occasions, which has hindered me from being a more active participant on the platform, as most of the times it is just easier to access the phone and post a buzz, comment, or share buzzes of fellow bees, rather than accessing the laptop every time. I really hope this is fixed soon. Thank you for bringing this topic to attention. Truly appreciate it.

Ali Anani

5 years ago #67

Thank you Phil Friedman. It bothers me, but I know myself. I am amazed by some characters who tag me sometimes to their disgusting contributions. Thank you for your attention.

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #66

Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee, i mentioned you in #63 below because I noticed that your photo ans a link to an article if your appeared at the end of a trulu awful post, and I wondered if that made you uncomfortable. I kow it would have made me so to be associated with such trash —! Even if by juxtapositio alone. Thank you for reading and commentiing. Cheers!

Ali Anani

5 years ago #65

Part 2 here are many more names. For what reason they scarcely appear to share a buzz or to comment I don't know. May be they lost interest, or got involved in other activities or whatever reason.I wish Javier 🐝 beBee would comment here. To lose good author bees is an alarming signal. I originally joined beBee because Milos Djukic convinced me to do so. Having great respect for him was enough to tempt me. There are key figures who act as "nucleation" centers for others to join. observe that even D. Djukic involvement has lessened lately. This is the most alarming sign for me losing the engagement of key thinkers. Hijacking the work of others and claiming it as our own isn't limited to social media. I attended once a workshop in which the presenter stole my slides from one of my presentations on slideshare as if they were his own. He didn't know me in face. Post the lecture I faced him with what he did. He didn't show up for the next lecture and ran away. Thieves they know they are and lead lives of shame. I surely enjoyed the comments and discussions here.

Ali Anani

5 years ago #64

Phil Friedman. It is a sad fact of life that hackers seek clean waters to pollute them. Recently, I have seen many posts promoting sex viewed the number of likes, views and comments and all of these posts received less than 100 views, not a single like or even one comment. Sometimes the platform becomes self-cleaning. As for the quality of buzzes, I agree that I witnessed a general drop in the quality and the disappearance of many author key author bees. I don't want to name them, but selectively I shall refer to Deb \ud83d\udc1d Helfrich. T

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #63

Milos Djukic, my good friend, you and I have been playing in this sandbox (or toiling in this field) of social media networking dating at least back to the inception of "Writers 4 Writers" and "The Unfluencers (tm)" groups on LinkedIn prior to its launch of the long-form Publisher platform. Sometimes, we've disagreed but more often we've agreed, in particular about the necessary evolution of social media and social networking. Here is what I think I've learned and where I've arrived after a decade: 1. The moguls and minions of social media (in particular, the "Silicon Valley" crowd) hold their constituents (the users of SM) in deep contempt, believing the fate of users is to play Eloi to Silicon Valley's Morlocks. (H.G. Wells, "The Time Machine"). 2. The only way for social networking and social media to reach their true potential is through organic growth, free of arbitrary manipulation, algorithmic or otherwise, that seeks only to achieve the agenda of the few who would make billions from the labor (usually unpaid) of others who are fed the Big Lie that their use of the various existing SM platforms is "free" and a beneficent gift from those who own the SM platforms. 3. In the long run, the only way for social media and social networking to achieve their true potential for SM platforms to be member-owned. In the medium term, some few platforms like beBee may prosper if they implement the principles of organic growth and distribution and avoid the snare and delusion of influencer marketing. But there is little if any chance that any given private, for-profit platform will achieve long-term stability. Thank you for reading and for joining the conversation. My best to you.

Milos Djukic

5 years ago #62

The latest trend in social networks is a real human interaction. Instagram's "Ask me anything" (AMA) and a couple of viral tweets show us that there are some hopes in the "hell". Twitter has recently wiped out millions of suspicious accounts. Facebook is, at least, saying it treats false news seriously (but actually does not treat them). Even very superficial Instagram recently offered a new "Ask me something" option. All this together is a tiny sign of the desperate situation. Social networks, if we really want to be optimistic, can still act as they say "socially". It's still not too late to start communicating, and at the same time, in some way, to overcome the manipulation imposed by algorithms and by different types of marketing and sponsorship concepts.

Milos Djukic

5 years ago #61

When users realized that their content was useless and manipulated by algorithms or exposed to a small number of active users with the minor engagement (ROI), the enthusiasm for providing additional content also stopped. Then it's too late and "the content marketing" mantra is useless. That's why user engagement is the only measure of health and the future of a social network. For this reason, usage of influencer marketing concept in social media is the major fault. Each user, his participation, and personal satisfaction are of crucial importance.

Milos Djukic

5 years ago #60

Phil Friedman, my fiend, you are very welcome, as always. Probably, some particular social media or/and professional and business networking, will eventually evolve in the near future into the more organic and nonmanipulative forms free of typical marketing (profit) and algorithms usage constrains. We already have some specific examples such as ReserachGate network or some other emerging "Users first" and member-owned platforms initiatives. LinkedIn is no longer a professional network. Building a professional network is strictly related to how you treated people - users. Users experience and satisfaction will soon be a key parameter for evaluating success of any social network. Social media and networks are above all very serious business and the source of significant income, mainly for owners. On the other side, "the content marketing" mantra was used in order to provide the free content by majority of non privileged users, which at the same time represents the core of any social network. #43 Lada \ud83c\udfe1 Prkic, I agree with you.

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #59

Well, Lada \ud83c\udfe1 Prkic, I too use emojis -- of a sort. Usually, they consist of some finger and hand signals. :-)

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #58

Well, Lada \ud83c\udfe1 Prkic, I too use emojis -- of a sort. Usually, they consist of some ginger and hand signals. :-)

Milos Djukic

5 years ago #57

You are most welcome Javier \ud83d\udc1d beBee. Great news. Thanks for your answer.

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #56

So, here is the latest entry into the competition for the trashiest post of 2018: Gerald Hecht, or @Jim Murray might not object to having their profile photos, names, and a link to one of their posts appear at the end of this bit of.... whatever. But I certainly would if mine did. What about you?

Lada 🏡 Prkic

5 years ago #55

I was also teasing you, my friend. Our little conversation stream reminded me of some comment threads I've seen lately where a less than this was the reason for the offensive discussion. The text-based interaction on social media often leads to misconception. There are no facial or body expressions to add meaning to the words on the screen. That's why I frequently use emojis.

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #54

Devesh \ud83d\udc1d Bhatt, just to be clear, beBee's closing of its U.S. office does not prevent anyone from posting on beBee. Just continue doing what you've done in the past. Good to hear from you. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #53

Lada \ud83c\udfe1 Prkic, I was just teasing you. (And Jim.) To my eye, your English is just about perfect -- certainly better than most of the population of Brooklyn and the Bronx. And I am actually old enough to understand the expression "stoning" in the sense brought forward from biblical times. Cheers!

Lada 🏡 Prkic

5 years ago #52

Am glad you understood what I meant by "stoning" Louise. :-)

Lada 🏡 Prkic

5 years ago #51

It seems I was a bit "stoned" while writing the comment and poorly translated one Croatian expression.:) It's a part of my genuineness. Thank you, Phil.

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #50

Thank you, Philippe Collard, for the kind words and for joining the conversations. Yes, I do realize there are thousands of social media platforms out there on the internet and mountains of cyber-garbage floating around. However, I look at beBee as a part of my backyard and I want to keep my backyard clean -- c'nest pas?

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #49

I agree with you, Lada \ud83c\udfe1 Prkic, that beBee should not concentrate ONLY on the long-form posts in Producer. Many excellent conversations and top-quality engagement can happen in short update posts. Indeed, that was the case on LinkedIn pre-2014 when they introduced the LI Publishing sub-platform. And the short-form does encourage "non-writers" or reluctant writers to achieve the full contribution of their ideas. As to "stoning", I admit that sometimes during my conversations with Jim Murray, I wonder if he's "stoned"... :-) -- just kidding.! Thank you for reading and joining the conversation. Your insights are always genuine and welcome. Cheers!

Devesh 🐝 Bhatt

5 years ago #48

these are not just bots, but many fictitious accounts operated by scammers. well, i was busy writing offline and it is sad to know that the US office closed. Many of us have a lot of ideas for Bebee, where doe we populate them and put them up? Javier \ud83d\udc1d beBee why not crowdsource some functional feedback? You created something beautiful and your drawing board might already have your handsful, but it never hurts to evaluate possibilities. If ideas see, far fetched then maybe a proposal?
thanks Phil Friedman we will check it.out.
Federico \ud83d\udc1d \u00c1lvarez San Mart\u00edn revisáis ésto por favor que dice Phil. Es un tema ya recurrente.

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #45

Javier \ud83d\udc1d beBee)

Louise Smith

5 years ago #44

" Like you said, and I see it that way, your criticism is in good faith, although many don't take criticism well and consider it as equal stoning. :) " So funny Lada \ud83c\udfe1 Prkic that's pretty close to Aussie humour !

Lada 🏡 Prkic

5 years ago #43

I like the comparison. :) A hug from Split!
Lada \ud83c\udfe1 Prkic many thanks. beBee is like Croatia. Few resources, great players. We still need to improve. Many thanks for your support ! a hug from Madrid !
Philippe Collard we are looking forward to your new content ! :-)
Milos Djukic many thanks !!! beBee: 1. No professional Groups. => 1 and 5 = working on improving :-) 2. No promotion of short-form posts. => 2 and 4 = beBee will have promotion of short-form posts. 3. Undefined marketing concept and slow development of the platform. => we are slow but we have few resources. Fortunately we are NOT linkedin :-). We are happy to run this marathon race. This is a long-term race. 4. Promotion of short posts=> 2 and 4 = beBee will have promotion of short-form posts. 5. Poor support for different professionals.=> 1 and 5 = working on improving :-) These are some new improvements we are developing on beBee: 1.- Better Integration with LinkedIn, Google and Facebook New registrations and logins will be able to use LinkedIn, Google and Facebook accounts. 2.- Improvements on Hives Hives are the core of beBee, so Hives need to be empowered. A lot of professionals (engineers, executives, entrepreneurs, economists, etc) are demanding it from us so we are going to develop this area. Users will be able to create real conversations through Quick Buzz, and share through hives, short texts, links or wherever they like. The conversations will not mix with the long content and all content will be shared in the hives so you will not miss a thing! Hive Owners will have new features like importing their contacts and managing their hives to exclude or include content. Hives will be enriched with presentations, whitepapers and much more. Quick Buzz = Conversations through the hives. Produce Honey = long content

Philippe Collard

5 years ago #39

Phil Friedman Very interesting discussion. Some thoughts. Bebee is one of many many many platforms. May be it has not defined very clearly what it wants to be and what it does not want to be. As for the increase in junk, welcome to the digital universe. Cyber space does not have a garbage collector so you can produce junk at will without seemingly any consequences. Bots: I think bots will eventually die (bold prediction) because people want to interact with people. That being said, a lot of companies will give bots a try. Bebee is not new any more...and in our days and age, not being new is a cardinal sin. Do you realize that there are literally THOUSANDS of social media platforms around the's tough to stand out. That being said, your posting woke me up...I am going to write on Bebee again :-) Thanks!

Lada 🏡 Prkic

5 years ago #38

Phil, many thanks for the mention. I am always surprised when seeing my name among all these respectful writers and thinkers. I have published only 20 posts in two years of blogging on beBee. I hope it's about the quality of my writing that led me to your list. :) I repeat many times how I admire your writing and your analytical mind.

Lada 🏡 Prkic

5 years ago #37

Phil, you and Jim, as always, don't pussyfoot around a subject. Like you said, and I see it that way, your criticism is in good faith, although many don't take criticism well and consider it as equal stoning. :) It is always good to remind the initial enthusiasm for the development of the beBee blogging platform as shown in your interview with Javier from March 2016. I think that enthusiasm still exists although some aims regarding the beBee growth are hardly reachable. Also, as many users included me repeated several times, beBee shouldn't only focus on long-form contents and blogging. As a social platform, beBee needs to promote other forms of engagement to attract those who are not primarily writers. The hives, at first designed as interest-based groups for people to discuss the topics related to these hives, don't have any purpose at all. We need a different kind of professionally oriented groups, modelled on LinkedIn, where users can share different types of content that would encourage discussion, e.g. a link to an article, or short-form content. The users' feedback should be essential before implementing further changes. As a user, I care about what’s happening on beBee just because of its engaged and loyal community. Despite all the drawbacks, to me, it's still the best social platform so far.

Pascal Derrien

5 years ago #36

You guys would not write about this if you did not care right ?, so in that spirit a bit of constructive criticism and discussion is pretty healthy I think. There are a lot of detritus on the platform the last few months and its frankly annoying to almost a point of irritation. The desktop experience make over needs to be accelerated in my opinion in order to avoid the current stagnation in term sof growth, the value proposition is also a bit lost in translation and there is a bit of confusion of what it stands for ? Now still my favourite hang out spot but..... the ''positive'' buzz will only come back if there is meaningful content and initiatives ... :-) :-) :-)

Louise Smith

5 years ago #35

"Jimbellina is the opinionated one of this Dynamic Duo -- unlike I who am as open-minded as a Trump acolyte. Or is that mindless?" IMHO this/your reply is an example of Pot & Kettle I am still laughing at Jim Murray 's "foist" fencing foil !

Louise Smith

5 years ago #34

Yes Phil I understand that thankyou

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #33

@Preston Vander Ven - thank you for reading and for joining the conversation. I am not sure I understand you precisely, but I'd have to disagree when you say beBee has grown. For I think the published stats show it has not. Moreover, I believe the inflow of crap content will discourage quality writers and content creators from joining the platform. Which is a shame in my book because I thought beBee had the opportunity at one point to blossom into an alternative to LI for professional and business networking. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #32

Thank you, Milos Djukic, that is not only a very concise analysis, it is incisive as well. Spot on concerning both LinkedIn and beBee. BTW, LI is indeed going to kill Groups. They say they aren't, but the fact is they are going to morph them into something no longer recognizable as a professional or industry group. I don't think social media and professional and business networking will reach its potential until users move to member-owned platforms where networking and distribution are truly organic, free of outside manipulation, and affinity is allowed to sort things out. Thank you, my friend, for joining the conversation and for sharing this post. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #31

Louise Smith - As I said, I am not the person to ask about social media marketing of an online-based business because I don't run an online business. My online marketing is what would be called "inbound" and the services I market are offline. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #30

Randall Burns - everyone is and has the right to be on beBee for their own reasons. And I don't say that everyone should or has to be concerned about the reading on the crapometer. I am concerned for several reasons, including that it clogs the feed and prevents me from seeing the work of those I respect and follow. (Because that work gets pushed down out of site too soon by the trash.) Cheers!

Milos Djukic

5 years ago #29

This is my brief overview of both LinkedIn and BeBee problems with engagement. LinkedIn: 1. Limited exposure due to the activities of manipulative ATC notification algorithm. 2. Death of LI Groups. 3. Death of LI publishing platform for all non-privileged LI users and writers. 4. Selective promotion of content and writing by Inflencers, selected group of writers - Top Voices and sponsors only. 5. Influencer marketing and sponsors only concept. beBee: 1. No professional Groups. 2. No promotion of short-form posts. 3. Undefined marketing concept and slow development of the platform. 4. Promotion of long-form content only. 5. Poor support for different professionals. General comment about social media: Most of the people are busy with their "personal brand" outside of social media. Social media should only be an addition to the real life. The essence is in balance. The content marketing games are pretty unfair games now in social media. When manipulations and content repackaging dominate in the operation of social media ("magic of algorithms"), no wonders should be expected in the business of creating personal brands. Some serious writers don't feel safe anymore to share their intellectual capital on social media. And that was probably the world's most powerful personal and corporate brand (intellectual capital), which is now discontinued and minimized by "content marketing" created by social media owners through different forms of marketing approaches (sponsorship, influencer marketing, blockchain technology, affiliate marketing, favoring of selected content and writers, so called influencers...) directed towards profit only.

Louise Smith

5 years ago #28

Previously & ATM I just participate on beBee as I enjoy the stimulation & the quality of the writers (all of whom have commented below & more) I don't know anything about digital or social media marketing & didn't really care. I was going to travel the world again when I retire at 67 ....70 + + + + (still a way off ) (a Long long long way off) ( ! ) But the Aus Gov keeps changing the age & the rules about Super/ Assets / Tax etc So I decided I can't wait till then I might be dead ! That's why recently I have been considering to change my counselling business to online with video conferencing. SO OMG now I have to learn hence I value you opinion as a "Master of All Things HSHS" Thank you

Louise Smith

5 years ago #27

Thank you for explaining this so simply Phil Friedman earlier in you reply #19

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #26

Thanks, Franci\ud83d\udc1dEugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador, for joining the conversation and for the kind words. I agree, in the main with your view, particularly in respect of a number of people on the platform. But I believe, as well, that the best vantage point for creating improvement is reality and that nothing improves by just waiting for it to happen Cheers!

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #25

Likewise, I'm sure, Gert Scholtz. And I agree that there continues to be a squad of very interesting thinkers and writers here on beBee. Sometimes it is hope for a better future that motivates us to complain about the here and now. For Reinhold Niebuhr notwithstanding, acceptance is not always an option. Cheers, my friend!

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #24

Thanks, Jerry Fletcher, for reading and taking the time to say so. It's because of the presence of guys and gals (that's Prairie talk) like you, that I stay engaged on beBee. Of course, I also stay connected, as I've said, because of SEO help I believe doing so gives me. Which is why I was moved to join Jimbo in writing this HSHS installment -- in the hopes of encouraging improvement. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #23

Louise Smith -- Pt. II - But this is my point: You do participate in those discussions, and clearly, from your remarks here in this thread, you are a connection and follower of the writer in question -- with perhaps the result that in the back of my mind, I associate you with that writer and his connections. I say this without any ill intent, but only in trying to answer your question honestly and candidly. As to your desire to "gain a 2nd income stream through [your] ... writing", that is a hard thing to do -- if you mean get paid anything worthwhile through writing itself. I've published more than 1,000 magazine articles for which I've been paid over three decades, but except for a 5-year stint as a Senior Editor for an international yachting magazine, I've never made a full-time living at writing per se. Solid supplementary income, to be sure. ROI in terms of marketing the services I offer as part of my core business, yes. But full-time income, for the most part, no. And FWIW, I have no idea what is the case for online coaches, therapists, life counselors, universal-power healers and the like because I consider virtually all of them to be snake-oil salespersons and charlatans, and I have nothing to do with them. My advice to you is to search on LinkedIn for a dozen or so successful online sellers of online services and study what they do. Good luck. And cheers!

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #22

Louise Smith, I don't really know what to say about that. Some of what you observe may result from the fact that a number of the writers I personally mentioned have been my online colleagues and connections for years, dating back to the Writers 4 Writers group I owned and managed on LinkedIn for nearly a decade. And some of what you observe may be due simply to the effects of "niche" -- that is, my reading niche does not coincide with your writing niche -- said entirely without judgment concerning your writing. You will also note that I said to Jim in this piece that a writer is known by the company he or she keeps. Which, of course, JimmyBob dismissed as beneath worthy of concern. Your comment recommending a particularly popular writer and his followers on beBee is a case in point. I neither read nor engage with that particular writer here on beBee because over many years here and on LinkedIn, he has made it clear that he does not take well to being challenged intellectually. And since he and many of his "regulars" in conversation step into areas of philosophical reflection, and because my post-graduate training and early years teaching were specifically in the area of logic and philosophy, I find myself moved generally to take issue with much of what is said in those discussions. (continued Pt II above...)

Gert Scholtz

5 years ago #21

Phil Friedman Very good to see that HSHS is still going, and probing important matters as always. Has BeBee lost its Buzz? What has made BeBee unique in my view has always been the personal and honest blogs on the platform. I find the raft of bot-blogs on the platform troubling, but glad to see Javier and his team are going to clean it up. Has the Buzz lost their Bees? Some of the earlier bloggers are no longer here which is a loss. But those that remain I find interesting, personal, and in the case of yourself and Jim Murry, thoughtful, to the point and provocative. That’s why I will always read what you say. Thanks for the mention, and for a great HSHS post.

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #20

Ren\u00e9e \ud83d\udc1d Cormier, I believe you've put your finger on something, which is that the original idea that personal connection precedes business connection was not coincident with reality. In my experience, personal relationships with business colleagues always follow first establishing the business relationship aspect of the connection. That does not mean that business acquaintances always become personal friends -- they don't. But what it does mean is that, for example, I don't buy insurance from a given agent because he or she is my personal friend, whereas I might become personal friends with an insurance agent with whom I've enjoyed a long and mutually satisfactory business relationship. To reiterate what I said in this piece, I am personally not on beBee with the expectation my activities here will result directly in B2B or B2C leads. I am on beBee because it has excellent SEO authority ranking and publishing here is a significant piece of my digital marketing program for my core business which is marine industry consulting. That said, I also need to point out that almost all of the leads received over the past decade from my marketing efforts on social media have been from LinkedIn -- at least, all of those I could track back to their generating source. And while those have not comprised the majority, by any means, of the B2B or B2C leads for my core business, they do in total add up to a significant number in terms of revenue produced. Of course, as Jim points out, that is because I operate business-wise in a "vertical silo".

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #19

Thanks, Javier \ud83d\udc1d beBee, for reading and letting us all know that you've taken those cited pieces down and that you guys are working on improving your filters. I think the approach expressed in your "1-99" article is key to improving the situation. It might be helpful if you established an @-mention address that could be used to flag bot-shit, etc. Say, something like "@low-quality-content". Which would flag the piece for review by your crew. I am not talking about things we simply don't like. I am sure there are many readers who don't like what I write. I am talking about posts that are clear examples of spam in one form or another from bots and fakes. Cheers!

Jerry Fletcher

5 years ago #18

Gentlemen (I use that term loosely being one "out on the fruited plain") I agree. There tends to be a diminishment of good writers on the platform and less engagement than previously. I, too, have become weary of obvious non-entities/no brain engaged newcomers and the pitches for products & services. BUT, I still have more affection for this site than any other I participate in. I'm not going away. I look forward to what you guys have to say, individually and jointly whenever you get around to it. And so it goes.

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #17

"While I am getting notifications these ads which I don't want, I am not getting notifications for posts of people I am connected to & like reading." -- Louise Smith Yes, Louise, that does seem to be a problem, especially since the most recent iteration of beBee was launched. Part of the problem is likely to be the way that the epidemic of crap-content is flooding the Feed. BTW, I don't expect to develop business leads on beBee -- at least not anymore. Maybe, initially, I did, but no longer. What I said in this piece is that publishing on beBee has, I believe, helped my author-authority ranking on Google because beBee has a strong site-authority ranking. So having a lot of cross-links and back-links to and from beBee has been good for me. Which is why I "persevere" in publishing here. If you give any credence to the concept of digital marketing (which I know that Jimbo doesn't), you have to be mindful of author-authority rankings, particularly since Google's latest update of its SEO guidelines. Thanks for reading and commenting. And cheers!

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #16

Thanks, Paul Walters, that's a genuine compliment coming, as it does, from one of my favorite authors (or favourite authors for the Brits and Canadians here) on beBee. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #15

Hey Don \ud83d\udc1d Kerr, good to hear from you here. I think you may have misunderstood the "tiff" Jimbellina and I were having in the Beezers email group exchange. It was all in good fun, with an eye to keeping our respective disagreeability skills sharp. Cheers!

Randall Burns

5 years ago #14

Great post again boys Phil Friedman Thought provoking indeed. Agreed that there is a lot of "crap" out there and some "bot" activity but I personally am not a really high profile "target" so what I see is minimal. Again as Jim says I'm at the place where I don't really give a shit as this is not a major, or even minor, "business" investment for me but a place for me to blog, vent and if I can teach something to someone then my mission is accomplished. beBee has been an enjoyable experience and with anything you have to take the bad with the good, (which in itself is a very subjective thing); it's out of my hands so I just don't take it to heart.

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #13

Yea, well Louise Smith, Jimbellina is the opinionated one of this Dynamic Duo -- unlike I who am as open-minded as a Trump acolyte. Or is that mindless? Cheers!
thanks Jim Murray. We did nothing. We still need to improve. A hug from Madrid

Louise Smith

5 years ago #11

I must say Phil Friedman have are very welcome

Louise Smith

5 years ago #10

so Jim Murray Despite some encroachment of lesser/disreputable content & lack of consolidation of actual work leads on beBee, you two are still persevering I don't find that there is a waning of good quality writers. All you have to do is follow Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee 's posts for access to consistent quality iosts by those contributors. I have noticed the emergence of ads for businesses selling clothing, beauty products, health supplements for better sex, sports drinks, manchester, travel posts which are ads for travel agents etc etc etc (Are these bots ?) While I am getting notifications these ads which I don't want, I am not getting notifications for posts of people I am connected to & like reading. I find them "accidentally" when I look at the news feed. Why has this changed?

Jim Murray

5 years ago #9

Dear Don....have you become ome of them 'Lurkers'? Writing is good for the soul. Plus it's really easy to reach all the unemployed consultants on LinkedIn from here.

Paul Walters

5 years ago #8

Great work guys !!!

don kerr

5 years ago #7

Phil Friedman Glad to see you boys have made up and are playing 'nice' again. Sure which I had a degree of your optimism. Hope springs eternal.

Louise Smith

5 years ago #6

"And I think it’s a good place for us to foist our opinions on people." Love that honesty Jim Murray

Jim Murray

5 years ago #5

Just so you know @Javier 🐝 beBee . We love you guys and what beBee represents to and for us. For me personally, it has been my best social media experience to date, I will continues to support it till I keel over.

Jim Murray

5 years ago #4

Going to an art show today, Will probably post it tonight tomorrow morning.

Jim Murray

5 years ago #3

ust so you know Javier \ud83d\udc1d beBee. We love you guys and what beBee represents to and for us. For me personally, it has been my best social media experience to date, I will continues to support it till I keel over.
All of them have been removed ! beBee is a great tool for SEO. We are working on improving our filters. many thanks!

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #1

Hey, Jim Murray, I've published HE SAID HE SAID installment no. 36 here on beBee. Will watch for your parallel publishing. Cheers!

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