The Freelancers’ Show 064 – Social Media

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Panel Curtis McHale (twitter github blog) Reuven Lerner (twitter github blog) Ashe Dryden (twitter github blog) Jeff Schoolcraft (twitter github blog) Charles Max Wood (twitter github Teach Me To Code Rails Ramp Up) Discussion 42:46 - Social Media Panel Activity Levels SaneBox 03:12 - Primary Social Networks Twitter Facebook LinkedIn 04:07 - LinkedIn Recommendations Job Leads Resume @ProBlogger: The Ultimate Guide to Making Money with the Amazon Affiliate Program 10:25 - Twitter Censorship Visibility 16:54 - Facebook Games Facebook Ads Rob Walling: The 5 Minute Guide To Cheap Startup Advertising 22:10 - Social Media Management Apps Tweetbot HootSuite Buffer Instapaper If This Then That (IFTTT) Pinboard 24:57 - Automated Tweeting 27:47 - The benefits and pitfalls of using Twitter Is that Owned Content Worth Anything? - Curtis McHale Building and maintaining relationships 31:45 - Google+ Google+ Communities SEO Benefits Google Authorship 35:15 - Forum Sites Reddit /r/freelance FreelanceSwitch Hacker News Harassment and bullying Paul Graham: What I’ve Learned from Hacker News 43:11 - Membership Sites 5000bc Dynamite Circle Picks HappyCow: Vegetarian Restaurants, Vegan Restaurant, Natural Health Food Stores  (Reuven) Mouseflow (Reuven) Python Module of the Week (Reuven) xkcd: Is It Worth the Time? (Jeff) 78,000 Apply for A One-Way Ticket to Colonize Mars | Singularity Hub (Jeff) Favstar (Ashe) feedly (Ashe) TripIt Pro (Ashe) Chrome Messenger Bag (Curtis) Philips O’Neill Over-Ear Flex Headphones (Curtis) Review - Philips O'Neill The Stretch Headphones - Curtis McHale (Curtis) Ergotron Monitor Stand (Curtis) Authority by Nathan Barry (Chuck) Candy Crush Saga (Chuck) Next Week Handling Prospects' Poor Technology Choices with Jevin Maltais Transcript CHUCK: My daughter put, "My dad's job is cutting the grass," and my son put, "My dad's job is working..." [Hosting and bandwidth provided by the Blue Box Group. Check them out at] CHUCK: Hey everybody, and welcome to Episode 64 of the Freelancers Show! This week on our panel we have, Curtis McHale. CURTIS: Hello! CHUCK: Reuven Lerner. REUVEN: Hello there! CHUCK: Ashe Dryden. ASHE: Hi there! CHUCK: Jeff Schoolcraft. JEFF: What's up! CHUCK: I'm Charles Max Wood from And this week, we're going to be talking about "Social Media" for freelancers. How active are you guys on your social media? ASHE: I'm on a limb here and say I'm probably the most prolific Squidoo-er of all of us. CHUCK: I would guess you're right. [laughter] CURTIS: I'd certainly go into heads down mode, probably once a day or I don't post anything for extended extended periods. CHUCK: Yeah. I put funny odds and ends that people say on Twitter and then I do interact with people on Twitter. So if you tweet at me, then I'll probably reply if you say something that is more interesting than just yes or no. But other than that, I'm really not on there too much. REUVEN: So I'm going to be at the other end of the spectrum from Ashe, and I think I might have not tweet once. I'm starting to get convinced that it's worth doing, but so far, that's like -- once you are sent out a note on Facebook, so in everyone, thanks for all the happy birthday wishes. So if there's anywhere I'm active at all, it's on LinkedIn. But even there, it's pretty moderate. CHUCK: Wow. CURTIS: Yeah, on Facebook, I always checks as my wife were saying happy birthday. So I'm going to get like a million updates in a day, and they all email me because I check it so infrequently that I just have it set to "email me". CHUCK: Yeah, mine set to "email me", and then I use "SaneBox", and SaneBox sorts it all off so I never see them anyway. [laughter] ASHE: Awesome!


CHUCK: My daughter put, "My dad's job is cutting the grass," and my son put, "My dad's job is working..." [Hosting and bandwidth provided by the Blue Box Group. Check them out at] CHUCK: Hey everybody, and welcome to Episode 64 of the Freelancers Show! This week on our panel we have, Curtis McHale. CURTIS: Hello! CHUCK: Reuven Lerner. REUVEN: Hello there! CHUCK: Ashe Dryden. ASHE: Hi there! CHUCK: Jeff Schoolcraft. JEFF: What's up! CHUCK: I'm Charles Max Wood from And this week, we're going to be talking about "Social Media" for freelancers. How active are you guys on your social media? ASHE: I'm on a limb here and say I'm probably the most prolific Squidoo-er of all of us. CHUCK: I would guess you're right. [laughter] CURTIS: I'd certainly go into heads down mode, probably once a day or I don't post anything for extended extended periods. CHUCK: Yeah. I put funny odds and ends that people say on Twitter and then I do interact with people on Twitter. So if you tweet at me, then I'll probably reply if you say something that is more interesting than just yes or no. But other than that, I'm really not on there too much. REUVEN: So I'm going to be at the other end of the spectrum from Ashe, and I think I might have not tweet once. I'm starting to get convinced that it's worth doing, but so far, that's like -- once you are sent out a note on Facebook, so in everyone, thanks for all the happy birthday wishes. So if there's anywhere I'm active at all, it's on LinkedIn. But even there, it's pretty moderate. CHUCK: Wow. CURTIS: Yeah, on Facebook, I always checks as my wife were saying happy birthday. So I'm going to get like a million updates in a day, and they all email me because I check it so infrequently that I just have it set to "email me". CHUCK: Yeah, mine set to "email me", and then I use "SaneBox", and SaneBox sorts it all off so I never see them anyway. [laughter] ASHE: Awesome! REUVEN: I'm about to send you a happy birthday there, Chuck. [Ashe laughs] CHUCK: Yeah, I usually get my happy birthday wishes like a week or two after my birthday. Oh! I've got a bazillion updates here! [Reuven laughs] JEFF: I've had friends that set wrong birthdays on like Facebook and stuff. And then you'll see who really aren't your friends because they'll see the update on Facebook that says it's your birthday or on Skype that says it's your birthday, you get a bunch of birthday wishes from people that have no idea that it's really not your birthday. [Chuck laughs] ASHE: Aww, that's terrible! [Reuven laughs] CHUCK: That's not helpful. CURTIS: That's why I always say that "Skype informs me it's your birthday, is that correct? Or, are you lying?" CHUCK: Yeah. The other thing with Facebook is that, the frequency with which I check Facebook is directly proportional to how much work I'm doing on an app that integrates with Facebook. Because then I'm logging into it regularly, otherwise, forget it. So we've talked about Twitter and Facebook, we've mentioned LinkedIn, which one is kind of the primary network for you guys? ASHE: Twitter definitely for me. I actually recently deleted my Facebook account and I haven't had a LinkedIn account in quite a while. JEFF: Yeah, Twitter for me, too. I have Twitter go to Facebook, and all it does is piss off my family because they have no idea what I'm talking about, except for like the 100 tweets that are about my daughters and they get it. But, Twitter is definitely up for me. REUVEN: I basically only use LinkedIn. Again, I sort of look at Twitter every so often, look at Facebook every so often but if I'm going to post something. I guess I take LinkedIn as being very serious - serious in business life. So when I'm going to be giving a talk at a conference, when I'm going to be publishing something, then I put an update on LinkedIn, and so that sort of the appropriate minimum for it. But even there, I'm not quite much of a heavy user. It's much more of individual messaging there. JEFF: So LinkedIn stuff -- Curtis, I know you haven't said what you're suggesting -- but the LinkedIn stuff fascinates me because that's the impression; it's supposed to be some business stuff or gain thing. And I've heard of people have gotten leads through it and found work through it, like actually closed a sale through LinkedIn. But, the only thing it does for me is send recruiters to my email... CHUCK: [laughs] Same! CURTIS: The only thing LinkedIn has ever done for me is, I guess a recruiter that always had like a quarter of the budget thing is actually needed. And when I said my hourly rate, they’re like "Oh, we're expecting $25 an hour", and I hate them contacting me. And then people recommend me for weird things like, I don't know, SCO and hospitals and stuff, and I've never worked for hospitals in my life. [crosstalk] JEFF: Well, I can type whatever I think. I was at a conference, I think someone -- I forgot what it was, but it was funny -- it's like drug running or hitman or something, but you could recommend for anything, and there's no filter -- [Curtis laughs] JEFF: I don't know if they go back and do this, but I mean it's -- CURTIS: [laughs] That sounds awesome! JEFF: Yeah [laughs]. CHUCK: Yeah, I get job leads for like VMware and stuff, and I haven't done that stuff in like 7 or 8 years... CURTIS: I just got recommended for WordPress this morning, which is accurate. But then, one of the auto-field recommendations was for a friend of mine who was like a hardcore mobile developer with mobile products, and he was recommended for SEO and Drupal or something. And he doesn't do either of those things at all and hasn't to my knowledge ever. That was the pre-field ones! REUVEN: The whole LinkedIn recommendation system, I think, is purely a play to get more people to click. Because you get email saying "Hey, someone's also recommended you for such and such technology", and in many cases, I've never heard of the person and I haven't used the technology in the decade, but I get the email. And I'm sure that many of the people who get such mail messages then click on the link to find out more about the person and more about the technology or just double-check their LinkedIn profile. More clicks is better for them. CURTIS: Yup. That's what I did this morning. So I got recommended for WordPress and I actually looked at my LinkedIn profile for a bit. I keep thinking about deleting it, but I don't know, it's the closest thing to a resume I suppose I have at this point. CHUCK: One thing that a friend of mine, Cliff Ravenscraft (you can find him at, one thing that he's done is that he decided that he wanted to be recommended and known for on LinkedIn specific things. And so what he did is, he actually went to his audience and said "These are the 5 things that I want to be recommended for that to show up at the top of my recommendations' list", and so that's what a lot of people have done for him. So those top things aren't necessarily in the order that he wants them in, but I'm pretty sure the top 5 are the top 5 that he wants. And so I thought that was pretty interesting where if you want to be known for that kind of thing, talk to your friends and see if you can get recommended for that. [crosstalk] CURTIS: I think you got to decide if it's worth it, though, right? Like for instance, you recommended LinkedIn to me as just amazing thing as well, but you'd get tons of leads from them and I've only got one lead that was that terrible one; I've got more leads from Twitter. I think about the clients that I'm running even over the last 6 months, I've probably picked up about $20,000-$40,000 that leads from Twitter. CHUCK: Oh, wow! REUVEN: Wow! CURTIS: Yeah. And it's people I met. Some, I only interact with 3 or 4 times and they know me and read my blog and recommended a client to me because it was outside of their skill set, and that project specifically was $15,000. CHUCK: Well, how much interaction do you do on LinkedIn? Have you tried putting in time into it to see if you can get leads? CURTIS: Not in a long time. I did for a while and I was in a bunch of groups, but it's been quite a while. I'm more active on Twitter and actually Google+ than anything else. CHUCK: Yeah. Because that's my understanding; the best way to get leads and stuff is to get involved in the groups where people are talking about business and stuff, and then you're talking to your target market and providing them with value because you have the expertise that they need and then they hire you. CURTIS: Yeah, there's only so much time. Like there's so many cell phone network that participate in that anyhow. At some point, it's got to draw the line and understand and say "I'm not going to bother". So, I used LinkedIn as my resume. CHUCK: Yeah. REUVEN: I use LinkedIn sort of, now as a resume, but also as a tool when I meet people at conferences instead of swapping business cards. Or, if I swap business cards, then I basically get rid of the business card and I just make sure I connect with them on LinkedIn. And then first of all, sort of reminds them on who I am and they know something more about me than they can just get from business card or even a short conversation, and then I have information about them. But I've definitely gotten leads through it and I've definitely gotten new clients through it. People who contact me, and maybe it's just a thing in Israel, but there definitely been people who have made initial contact "Hey, we see that you're Rails developer; we see that you do training or consulting in these technologies. Could you give us a call?" Now, my phone number is pretty easily available on my website and there's link to my website from LinkedIn, but for whatever reason, they prefer to reach out to me that way, and I'm certainly not going to complain. CURTIS: Yeah, that's just people being lazy in general all, right? Like I know I was just on and someone asked how much the pricing of Evernote was for a certain service. Then I scrolled to the service and looked in at said 'PRICING' in big bold letters... [Chuck laughs] CURTIS: He just couldn't be bothered to go look - that was it! CHUCK: [laughs] That's awesome. CURTIS: And I was like "Let me Google that for you link". JEFF: Yeah, there was -- I don't know how long Google was now, maybe 2 or 3 years ago -- some guy wrote up a big blog post about how he basically scam Twitter, not scam Twitter, but use Twitter to make some money. So he had it bought and ran and looked for people that ask questions "What's a good book on whatever topic?” and then he had a script that would run out to Amazon, search on the topic, find the first link, and then send that link with his Amazon affiliate ID and it easily made (I feel how much money he made), but since everything, people are either too lazy to look or whatever simple for boughts to do or some of that stuff. CHUCK: That's wild. So let's talk about Twitter for a minute. Curtis, you said you gotten business off of Twitter, it sounds like Ashe is pretty active on Twitter, how do you guys use it and what benefits do you get from it? ASHE: Yeah, I've definitely got work from it, I've got speaking engagements from it, I've been hooked up with people that I normally wouldn't have access to because of Twitter. So because I, obviously I’m a freelancer, like I don't have coworkers so I kind of use Twitter as like my coworkers; it's like the watering hole. So I go there, I socialize every now and again, but I also go there for help. Like if I'm doing a research project, I'll ask people "Do you know somebody who does this?" Or, by friends that are looking for jobs and I'll post comment, and that helps me connect to other people, with people who have [inaudible]. So I use it mostly as kind of like in everything ground - everything social, everything business related. I don't have a separation between my social and like my business stuff. CURTIS: Yeah, neither do I; I've got a business account officially, but I don't think I've checked it in a long time. I ran two, I guess one for the WordPress tutorials, I got one for me, and that's about it now. And yeah, I just talk about what I'm going to talk about and that's what happens. But I found even just helping people -- I had a guy messaged me this morning who felt that I was the best person to talk to about his brand new freelance client, which is his first freelance client. We direct message for probably 20-minutes on advice, and 9 things you didn't think that you should be charging about instead of giving them away for free - hours upon hours of free work. CHUCK: Yeah. So that's one thing that I'm a little bit curious about. Because I know that a lot of people out there in at least the Ruby community that I talked to, we don't see eye to eye on a lot of things; on coding and stuff, we usually do. But on some of these other things, we don't. And so I tend to tone that back a little bit because I don't want to fight on Twitter. Does that make sense? CURTIS: Absolutely. CHUCK: Should I just put it up there anyway? CURTIS: Well, there's tons of discussions I don't even bother with. When I see go by online discussions that even say my religious -- you may not agree with other people and there's just no point. There's a whole wealth of things you can't have a reasonable conversation with online that you could talk about face to face easily. CHUCK: Yeah. Well, especially on Twitter; I mean120 characters then you had to cut it. [crosstalk] REUVEN: I knew out of discussion is not Twitter for a day. ASHE: Yeah, I don't know, I have tough conversations on Twitter a lot. I think that maybe the nature of the things that I talk about is a little bit different than a lot of other people. I talk a lot about issues around diversity and tech and why we don't have enough and the kinds of problems that are facing marginalized people in tech. And it's actually been a really great place to have those conversations because that's where everybody is. So it's been helpful to reach people on a larger than one-on-one basis for me. Because the one-on-one stuff can get really tiring when you're talking about something that needs to have a lot of progress and requires a lot of discussions and realizing that not everybody is always going to participate in those, but they get the value out of it just by observing. So, my [inaudible] is a little bit different; they're definitely some things that I send to myself on or I specifically don't get involved with because I can't tell if they're not going to go well. But I do have a lot of tough discussions on Twitter, too. CHUCK: Yeah, that makes sense. The other thing is, a lot of times I'll get on, I'll check it, I'll reply to people, and then I'm gone again. And so if those conversations are going to happen with me, it's going to be every like 3 or 4 hours to get a response. REUVEN: I'll tell you as a non-Twitter -- as I told you guys on the pre-calling, I currently in Beijing teaching a course here -- and so, for the first time of my life, I feel like "Wow! All these things that I'm seeing and I'd love to share with people”, but you can't because it's blocked [laughs]. Twitter and Facebook were just 100% blocked in the country. So it sort of like I'm only fond of it now that it's actually absent. CHUCK: That's interesting. I don't even think about that where some countries my censor or even completely block some of these social networks. REUVEN: I'll tell you the funniest little [inaudible] from that. So I'm teaching an advanced Python course here, and so typically when I'm teaching in Israel, if I give a break, everyone immediately goes to Facebook or to Twitter. And here, they don't [laughs] because they can't. So maybe they're checking their mail, but they generally like I know what they're not doing at least - both when I'm teaching and when they're on break. ASHE: Interesting. See, that's interesting to me because like I speak at a lot of conferences, and I kind of rely on the power of other people using Twitter so I'd be able to get my message out there a little bit further and hope raise awareness. So, do you feel like that hinders some of your network building or like your visibility because people aren't able to share that kind of stuff? REUVEN: You're asking like does the limited visibility where I'm now in China? Or, when I'm back home in Israel? ASHE: Does it limit the visibility of the work that you do? So if you don't have people that are talking about your work in front of a lot of people who don't necessarily know of you or know what your work, do you find that it kind of doesn't look great as much as if you're in a country that Twitter or Facebook is not only allowable, but a lot more use? REUVEN: I don't know! I mean I don't know if I can really make a clear comparison because I was invited to teach one course at one company here. So it's a 20 people or 30 people in the room who'd really be sort of spreading the information. And for all I know, they are. I know there's some sort of Twitter equivalent within China in Chinese that is obviously owned or controlled by the government to some degree. But the fact that I don't have people sort of re-broadcasting what I'm doing on a general basis because they don't put that on Twitter, it probably does limit my visibility to some degree. That's one of the things I'm hearing from you and that's one of the things that I'm starting to sort of hear from other people. I'm coming around 2005, this Twitter thing might actually take off -- I don't know exactly when they were established, but I'm guessing it was around them. And so, maybe it would be useful as an additional sort of way of getting out what I'm trying to say. At the same time, I feel like "Well, I've got this monthly column in the next journal and supposedly have like 80,000-90,000 subscribers" so I feel like I've already got a bunch of people hearing some things that I have to say each month so I don’t feel quite as compelling I ever need. ASHE: Sure. CHUCK: So what about Facebook? Ashe just quit Facebook. Does anyone using Facebook actively for anything like this? CURTIS: I use it a bit to help my wife's kind of personal blog and business get out (sure it's more about like family stuff and finance and food and stuff). So, for that to help her, but past that, not really. CHUCK: Yeah, I have a Facebook page for Ruby Rogues, and every so often I'll go on there and I'll ask questions "What's your favorite episode and why?" or this or that. I always get the same responses from everyone, which means that I don't get any responses from anyone. So I think it really depends on your audience. But there, it's just not a big place for folks like this to engage - and the Ruby on Rails is Ruby on Rails group on Facebook, and I've checked that out. Sometimes, there's something good there; but most of the time, I could take it or leave it. So, it's kind of interesting how the different communities have kind of gravitated toward one and not the other. REUVEN: There's been an email list in Israel for Ruby and Rails developers for a good number of years now, probably close to 10 years; certainly since 2004-2005. And it was really active for a while; really active being, say, a few dozen posts a week. And about 2 years ago, someone set up a Facebook group, probably quite innocently like "Hey, let's have something on Facebook as well". And slowly but surely, I've seen that the Facebook group has kind of sucked the life out of the mailing list. I think it has led to different dynamics where people are interacting less. Also, the Facebook group has slightly different rules where you're not allowed to post that you have open positions in jobs. So that's kind of stifled some of the discussions as well, I'd say. JEFF: Yeah, audience is weird. So Facebook, I try to do -- you hear people doing some businessy stuff on Facebook, and I've never been able to figure out how to do it. I mean I haven't put a bunch of time in it, so I'm not saying it can't work or wouldn't work for me. But I definitely think our audience -- for Ruby Rogues, you're talking about pretty high-level geeks so, if they're into that, and Twitter -- seems like it would be a great place for those people to connect with. On Facebook, I've heard a couple games like iOS games at market to consumers and not to geeks. A lot of good feedback can push their game ahead using Facebook groups as opposed to Twitter or other mediums just because that's, I don't want to say normal people, but that's where a lot of the normal people are. REUVEN: I think if you're under 30, like the younger you get, the more likely that the Facebook is you're primary means of communication. And so you're going to want and expect information to be around on Facebook, and not pay much attention to it elsewhere. That's my experience from my kids at least. CURTIS: Yeah. I use that -- I guess I am sort of still using it for my WordPress site, the tutorial site -- but it gets very little traffic. Unless I was paying for ads, and then I get like a couple of likes on my page a day when I was paying for ads for a couple of weeks. When I'd go visit the preyed people, like their actual Facebook profiles, I don't think they were anywhere near my target market. It's like a mom with a bunch of kids and she loves quilting liking my WordPress tutorial stuff, so I stopped paying for ads needless to say. JEFF: That's interesting because Rob Walling talked about using Facebook as one of his best converting ad networks, one of like 2 or 3 that performed really well for he'd tell an SEO tool. I've tried to do ads on Facebook, but I don't there were weird. I think ads (was it there or LinkedIn?), one of the place is really weird; I think LinkedIn was the worst because you had to go base on job title so you had to try to (I don't know) hit CEOs, or CXOs, or whatever, and try to pimp to them. Facebook ads are supposed to be fairly decent and they're not supposed to be super expensive. But, I have no idea how many of that would convert to leads for -- CURTIS: Yeah, certainly wasn't expensive. I was just trying to build the kind of the community on Facebook. But like I said, probably 80% of the people that liked it, when I clicked through their profile, I had a hard time finding anything that was in anyway related to what I would figure was a target market. REUVEN: Can I just understand what you said a little better? You're telling me that LinkedIn is spending all this time, energy, and money getting people tagged by topic and by skill and they won't let you advertise to people by topic? You have to go by job title? That seems kind of crazy to me... JEFF: Unless I'm doing it's perfectly valid assumption to think I'm doing it wrong. But I thought when I went to set up ads, you hit a target, you could target company size, you could target a job title, but I don't believe you could target skills because that would have been a whole lot nicer for me. CHUCK: [laughs] I think it'd be a whole lot nicer for... JEFF: Everybody. CHUCK: Anybody. Yeah, anybody who wanted to target ads… JEFF: I have to go look and see if I'm stupid. [Chuck laughs] REUVEN: Either that or we have a marketing proposal for LinkedIn. CHUCK: Yeah, there you go. I'm also kind of curious, what apps do you guys use to manage your social media? ASHE: I, because I really only use Twitter, I exclusively use Tweetbot, which is on OS X as well as iOS. I really like it because it's accessible and it's easy to use and it has a lot of features that I like, like I can mute tags or I can mute someone like there at the conference that I'm not really interested in: I can mute them for a day or for a week while they're there, and it's just really convenient to use. I like that it sinks a lot of the information between the desktop app and the iPhone app. CHUCK: Yeah, I'm using Tweetbot as well, primarily actually on my desktop machine, not on my phone. Every once in a while, I'll actually get on and check stuff, but Tweetbot is just awesome. And the nice thing is this, they just got this little icon up in my taskbar, and so if I tap it, then I can see all of the tweets of the people I'm following, or how many there are, how many mentions, how many direct messages, all that stuff, and it's really easy to drill in and see what's going on there. So it's really nice; I really like it, too. CURTIS: Yeah, same for me. Tweetbot for Twitter and then -- because I still do a little bit on Facebook for my business page -- I use HootSuite; I collect up a bunch of links and then kind of put them up on schedule the night over the next 3 or 4 days, paste the post to the Facebook page. CHUCK: Yeah, I think I'm going to automate that a little bit more and see if I can get a little bit more interaction, at least get like the episodes posting when they get posted to the site and things like that. ASHE: Yeah, I like the Buffer app for that as well. Especially I read a lot of articles, so I use Instapaper a lot, which is really nice that Tweetbot has Instapaper integration. But I'll go through a spree, where I'll spend a couple of hours and read a bunch of my Instapaper. Instead of kind of spamming Twitter with all of them, I'll throw them in Buffer, and I have it post them like once every 2 or 3 hours so they're separated enough where it doesn't look like I'm just dumping a bunch of stuff on Twitter. CURTIS: Yeah, I keep looking at Buffer, but haven't actually dug into a lot. CHUCK: I looked at Buffer, I looked at IFTTT -- CURTIS: If This Then That? CHUCK: If This Then That, yeah, which I'll hook into Buffer. I like both of those, but I don't know -- My problem was just that I didn't want to take all of the time that it would take to figure how to get them all to plug into each other nicely to work. So that's something on my list, but it's probably something on my list that I pay somebody else to do. I just tell them "I want this. When this happens over here, I want that to happen over there. Please figure it out for me”, [laughs] I don't really care how. One other thing that I've heard people do on social media is like they set up time to tweets and things so that it's "Hey, here's a Ruby tip", or "Hey, here's a database tip", or "Did you want to learn this? Then here's an article about it". Do you find that that kind of thing really helps? Or, do you more organically just, when you find something cool, you just tweet it? ASHE: Yeah, I definitely “just whenever I find something”. I tend not to like have a giant list of things that I think about. It's just like I hate this weird bump in something. And if you ran into it, this is how you fix it. CURTIS: I automate -- like when I put in a new blog post stuff -- I automate that through If This Then That, but that's it; just the first toast that happens. After that, it's all manual. JEFF: I used to be a lot better when I was doing -- I used to have a RSS field on my iPad, but the demise or prophesize announced demise of Google Reader, I abandoned the one I was using because it sinks directly to Twitter and can live on its own. And I haven't find a decent replacement on the iPad so I moved all my RSS stuff back on the desktop and I don't have a great way to show the stuff I find through RSS anymore. I guess I could send it to Pinboard and have If This Then That pick it up and send it to Buffer and have Buffer tweet it out for me or something. But I'm picked up by clubs since I’ve had to switch, have a consumer RSS. CURTIS: Yeah, I have been issue with Google Reader. I had If This Then That when they got start sending it HootSuite as a draft; I just abandoned it as well. So my auto-drafting in HootSuite has not been happening, and so then I have been posting less to Facebook. CHUCK: Hah! Interesting. I'd really like to see you guys’ RSS setups or what they used to be back when Google Reader was a thing or back before you abandoned it. But yeah, it's interesting. If I find something cool, I tend to just tweet it, too. I'm more along the lines of what Ashe does. JEFF: It's easier for me to use Buffer in that case especially if I'm just surfing because the Chrome extension for Buffer is just in the toolbar, so if you're on the page and you click it and then it's there; I don't have to copy and paste to whatever like Twitter client as Echofon or something -- ASHE: Yup! JEFF: Buffer is great for that. ASHE: The mobile experience for Buffer is really nice, too. There's a lot of app integration so like I use that a lot for when I'm reading Instapaper on mobile, and then I'll just throw stuff in Buffer from right there because it has integration; it's just so much faster and nicer. REUVEN: There's basically 2 reasons why I haven't really use Twitter so far. The first was, I don't really see what benefits I already got from it. And the second was, it only seem to me like it would take a while. I know this sound silly to say they'll take a while to write 140 characters even that I'm spewing out incredible amount of email each day. But I'm convinced here that there's actually utility in using it because you're speaking with the community and can actually have conversations, share things with people. But it sounds like these tools then make it also more or less instantaneous and trivially easy to share things with others so the time factor basically goes away as well. Am I right in saying that? ASHE: It depends. I use Twitter as my preferred means of communication; I really don't like email. And I like that Twitter kind of keeps you to very small limits so it gets ideas across really well. So a lot of the communication I do is over Twitter anyway. But I spend a lot of time on Twitter, and that's because a lot of the work that I do involves the community and it involves people. So I probably spend all set and done about an hour a day just on Twitter, but it's considered part of my job for me. So, it depends. You are talking about the benefits, and Twitter is really - the work of it - is really in your network. So if you don't have a lot of people that are providing value that you're following on Twitter, I definitely can see why a lot of people can't find the work in Twitter. But I kind of strive to have a lot of high-quality people that I follow that I either really care about them personally or I care about the things that they're passionate about or we have a lot in common. So, that provides me a lot of value. JEFF: The thing about conversations on Twitter, though, is at some point, they just get obnoxious. Not the content or anything else, just the medium. Curtis was saying earlier that he spent 10 or 15 minutes this morning DMing a guy about some client stuff. After the third DM or fourth DM, it'll be like "Find me on Skype where I am because this Twitter thing is really obnoxious", in my opinion. CURTIS: Yeah, but it's really just like I am. I suppose it's got a character limit, but it's just as instant, right? JEFF: Yeah, I guess. I don't know. I guess there’s something about IM clients that I tolerate more than Twitter clients maybe. ASHE: And the other thing, like if it's going to be a long form conversation, I also prefer IRC over Twitter for that. But the downside of Twitter is that your stuff kind of goes away so your DMs will be secured after a while; you can't go so far back in your archive, unless you actually download it and have something like constantly sinking all of that stuff, so it's difficult to get like box. So if it's something with a client, I definitely want to log that so I'll do it in Skype or in some other kind of InstaMessage system that allows me to log that so I have information for the future because I know that Twitter is not permanent. CURTIS: I think there's almost zero-value in like all the tweets you've made -- tweets I made in my entire life, not like I can do anything else with them. I don't care if I can download them, it just doesn't matter; it's the relationships that I think matter. JEFF: I'm sure my rants on some obnoxious obscure system were worthwhile. CHUCK: [laughter] Yeah, I have to agree with Curtis. The real value in most of these systems, Facebook, Twitter, what have you, is that you're able to build or maintain relationships that were something either. They’re fulfilling just because you know somebody and have interactions that make you feel good about life or feel good about hanging out with them or whatever. Or, whether there's value in them because they eventually lead to work. And whatever the case is, it really is the relationships that are going to pay off the most for you one way or the other. So are there any other social networks that you guys use? I can think of a few, but I'm curious. JEFF: Of course, Google+. And I have been convinced to try to use that occasionally. I don't know, it's probably been a long time now that they said you can merge all your Google accounts to One Plus account so that you'd -- because I have an App account for a whole bunch of other stuff, but I never sign in as my regular Google user -- but apparently I can merge all that stuff and it'd be interesting now. I mean it seems like...I don't know. Why do use that, Curtis? What do you get out of Google+? CURTIS: Oh, I just have some better longer form of conversations there. I have at least one group that has some decent talk about entrepreneurship and running -- yes, they tailored towards a WordPress business, but really it could be any business; it's not necessarily only one. And I think it's pretty; I like the new design. JEFF: And that's on a group? That's on a Google group, this WordPress business one? It's, I don't know, circle or something? CURTIS: It's a Google+ Community. It's essentially just a group, but it's only on Google+. CHUCK: Yeah, I really like the Google+ Communities or circles or whatever you want to call them. I like those, I like the Hangouts. The real problem I have with it is that there aren't any third-party clients out there that I can use like Tweetbot; I kind of like having that notification. I have to say I've been using it more since I downloaded the Google+ app on my phone just because I get a notification that somebody said something to or about me or things like that. Or, somebody in one of my circles said something interesting. But other than that, I don't get on there as often as I'd like to. JEFF: There's at Chrome - so, Chrome extension for everything… [laughter] JEFF: It's so much like there's an app for that, there's a Chrome extension for that. I thought it was a Chrome extension for Google+; I know at least it share, I don't know if it does anything else, but I use share stuff. REUVEN: I feel like even if I'm not using -- I sometimes go in there and sort of see if anyone has posted anything -- it's less of a ghost town than it used to be from what I can tell. But I feel like Google, with emerging of all their services, I'm a Google+ user even if I'm not a Google+ user. It's taking my connections into account; it's turning the UI into one unified taskbar at the top there. JEFF: If you listen to the SEO folks, Google being the inner bomb guerilla of search engines and they own YouTube and Google+ is there, is that (I don't know) that's the social media now work; you should be targeting it as your another stuff just because it integrates so well with safe results. CURTIS: And they have some neat stuff around authorship so you can tag yourself as an author in Google+. And then in your search results, actually, it will come up with your picture beside it, and there's actually a much larger increase in conversions. I know WordPress.Org even set up their site so you can tag yourself like on your plugins or anything else you do on WordPress.Org and have your picture come out beside them. REUVEN: Oh, that's very clever. CURTIS: Yeah, it's the Google+ authorship stuff and you have to work with your Google+ profile and you can do it on any site so you just have to put special HTML tags in your header to refer to your profile and then you can go with any system really. CHUCK: Nice. Any other social networks you guys want to talk about? I can talk about a few that I've used, one is Reddit. I tend to post things on Reddit, depending on the community again, but it's more of a link sharing site for me. But I have seen folks getting there and start conversations on Reddit and have big long discussions about important things that I don't care to read through. JEFF: I'm a big fan of Reddit. For me, it's just another way to consume more junk to try to figure out what to do with like RSS. But, I think there's some pretty decent conversations happening on certain sub-Reddit's. /r/freelance is decent; it's a typical discussion, almost forum-type site. So every year, someone will ask about contracts, and then few more months someone ask about pricing, and also other stuff. But it's nice to have fresh perspective and I get a lot out of Reddit. CHUCK: What about forums? Do you consider forums to be a type of social network? Or, is it too focused? Or, a different thing? JEFF: I don't know -- CURTIS: At least most of them have died, but I used to use FreelanceSwitch; it used to have good forums, but mostly it's spam now, and it doesn't ever get cleaned up. JEFF: Well, they got it killed, right? I mean they got taken down by some malicious hack or something and they could never recover from it. They tried to switch -- CURTIS: Oh, media... JEFF: I think they tried to switch their -- CURTIS: I don't know if the forum is still up as of like 2 months ago -- JEFF: No, I know it's still up, but I think this thread has switched their forum software like once or twice from like Vanilla to phpBB or something to try to deal with the spam issues. But yeah, it seems like it's been pretty dead and not very useful anymore. CHUCK: Yeah. And I think somebody else mentioned Hacker News, which sometimes I found it kind of hit or miss. Like sometimes, there's great stuff on there; and sometimes, there really isn't. CURTIS: Yeah. When my [inaudible], they always just wait for the trolls. CHUCK: Yeah. CURTIS: You're going to get like "Hey, you made a spelling mistake. You used the incorrect form of "their", you're obviously a moron", and "Why did your mother gave birth to you?" of which I’ve had email like that. Really, like, this is what you had to do today. I wish I had that much free time! CHUCK: And I also have to mention that -- and Ashe has pointed this out in the chat -- I've seen some pretty awful stuff on those two. Not awful in the sense of word thoughts, but awful in the sense of just people being mean to people. ASHE: I've blocked them both; I don't visit them. I blocked them both on Twitter just because they're definitely not a safe place when you're a woman or when you have a name that leads people to believe that you're a woman or person of color. So, it's just not a productive use of my time and it raises my blood pressure a little bit too much [laughs]. [Chuck chuckles] CURTIS: That's unfortunate; you have to do that, though. ASHE: Yeah, especially when so much of the tech community, a lot of the social stuff and knowledge-sharing goes on there and not to place that is basically like a gated community, that's not a safe place for a lot of [inaudible] want the community to go. [crosstalk] CHUCK: I've actually seen things that made me uncomfortable. And so, it's not just women; there are sometimes other things on there that are things you don't want to necessarily be involved with. What were you going to say, Reuven? REUVEN: I was just curious, Ashe, I guess, Chuck, you sort of answer this, but I was wondering if the bad feeling as harassment (however you want to describe it), bad community feelings that you've had, if those applied to the public forums or people contact you directly individually, and are nasty in person as well. ASHE: Not in person, but it's definitely -- the unfortunate thing about the way that things like Reddit and Hacker News work is that you have people that are basically like jacking to get the most points for a comment that they make. And unfortunately, a lot of our community isn't necessarily super mature and a lot of like sensationalism or just being kind of terrible will get people a lot of attention so people are being rewarded for acting really terribly and just kind of a race to the bottom in that way. So not only if you get treated terribly in the comments, but I've also seen people like follow the Twitter or follow the Facebook. I think people's websites being taken down because of the way that they were treated. Or, I have friends who like written articles, and the second they show up on Hacker News, they'll delete the article because they just can't handle the kind of negative attention that they're going to get for something that would be otherwise totally benign. REUVEN: Wow! CHUCK: I have to say that when I use them, I typically don't read the comments. If the link looks interesting, if the description looks interesting, then I'll click on it. Otherwise, I won't. Because, same thing that Ashe is saying, most of the time, I just want to read them. REUVEN: I have this feeling that when I next look through the comments on Hacker News, and I probably will check it out like once or twice a day, my eyes are going to be open in a new way because I was totally unaware of this sort of thing. I wouldn't be surprised if I saw such comments on occasion just to rolled my eyes and said "Oh, those stupid kids are trolling again" without paying attention to how often that was happening, though. ASHE: And I think that there's definitely difference, too, between just like immature trolling and like a lot of danger that happens in our community especially around the harassment of women and people with color. There've been a number of situations that happened in the last few months that have definitely created very unsafe situations for people and their personal lives, in their jobs, in their homes. So it's just not something that like, as a woman, that I feel like it was open to me whether I'm even interested in participating in. REUVEN: I'm curious -- this might have no effect, of course -- but have you tried contacting the people or Reddit as a big company, but maybe a wide combinator? I'm curious to know what their reactions would be... ASHE: This is kind of a known problem. There's an article from probably the last year or so where polygram was kind of woman think the direction that Hacker News is taking impart because of this kind of behavior. And it's kind of a symptom of the problem of this type of communication I think. I think it has to do a lot with, like I said, works specifically rewarding people for their negative behavior. But also, that's the kind of simply gets your attention and one of the driving factors, or uses these things, having the most point; you have the most up votes and that kind of thing. So part of it is that it's just kind of the way that the system works; and the other one is, especially on Reddit, they believe that this is a free speech issue. And free speech only go so far when you're creating like a physically unsafe atmosphere for people. So Reddit hasn't been super quick to respond to a lot of like -- I'm not going to go into specifics -- but you can easily Google them like Reddit has a lot of really bad places on there, but people had protested for a long time. And Facebook is getting to be this way as well, where that’s popular content, that's keeping people coming back to their site that tends to be their bait to users. So, it's just their business at this point. CHUCK: Yeah. The only thing I want to add to this is that, I have used them in the past -- I don't use them as much anymore, mainly that was because I'm not out there consistently trolling (not trolling) looking around and trying to find new things to go into, usually I'll ask people at this point -- but I used to use them to find new and interesting things to learn about. And for the most part, the links are pretty good; it's just the community that makes it really hard to deal with. CURTIS: Yeah. On Reddit, I stick to one community group that is fairly small and fairly technical, and that's about it. I share some good links and after that, I don't bother with anything else; most of friends sends me an anime to kind of gift or something. CHUCK: [laughs] Yeah. Anyway, I'm trying to think if there are any other social networks that -- JEFF: Well back to forums, I think we ever answer that question unless Reddit and Hacker News -- well, I guess Hacker News is truly a forum -- but there are some like, and this probably gives away outside of social media because it's not completely social, but like membership sites, even when they get really big like 5000bc is big, it should (I don't know how big it should is) maybe 500 people, and that's not huge. And DC, Dynamite Circle, by the guys that do The Lifestyle Business Podcast, that's another one. There are a bunch of these membership sites, and I guess they would never be classified as social media just because they don't have the reach. So, I guess that answers that question. CHUCK: Yeah. But at the same time, for me, a lot of the relationships that I build -- because these are smaller communities that I belong to and so the interactions are a little bit closer or more personal -- they kind of serve the same purpose; it's just that you're more in a tighter knit group. JEFF: Yeah, definitely. CHUCK: But yeah, that's kind of where I was going with "Are they or aren't they", and I think you can drive a lot of the same benefits, but you're also better able in a lot of ways to build personal relationships with the other people in the group. Anyway, I don't know if there are very many others that we could talk about. And to be honest, we're just about out of time. JEFF: Myspace. Come on! CHUCK: [laughs] You mean, "My Funky Looking [inaudible] For"? [laughter] JEFF: Yeah, I have no idea. REUVEN: Do they still use it? JEFF: I don't know. I just said it. CHUCK: They got bought, they've been redesigned; I've heard they're coming back, but I haven't heard it from anyone who I would actually get on there to interact with. So, let's just put it that way. Anyway, let's go ahead and wrap up the show and get to our picks. So, we'll make Reuven go first. REUVEN: Oh, shocks! Thanks! Okay, so I have 3 picks for this week. The first is -- as I mentioned earlier, I'm in Beijing, and someone like me who keeps go short, avoiding pork in Beijing - not an easy task! Fortunately, there's “”, which is a worldwide directory of vegetarian restaurants with reviews, definitely useful, and often a complimentary the TripAdvisor, so definitely recommended. I've also been doing -- I mean I'm still working on my PhD dissertation -- and I recently signed up with cycled “Mouseflow”, and it's pretty amazing. It takes snapshots of people using your website, so you can see them moving their mouse around; they're clicking on things, and not clicking on things. You can even download the movies. I know there are few companies that do this; I spoke with the company called ClickTale and found that they were way more expensive and also do not let you buy it online. In Mouseflow, they have really cheap option. I went and bought it with my credit card, upgrade it when I saw how great it was, and their service has been pretty responsive as well. And my last pick is, since I'm teaching a Python class, I've been looking into a bunch of Python resources and I found this site called "Python Module of the Week". I'm not sure if it's really updated every week, but it's an amazing thing that basically every so often, perhaps even every week, it goes through one of the modules even in their standard library, or that's available on PyPI – on the repository for Python Modules - and describes it. You can see that's sort of like Rails cast, but not video. It's really great and very well-written and has a pretty rich and deep list of modules for people who are using Python. So anyway, those are my picks for this week. CHUCK: Awesome! Jeff, what are your picks? JEFF: I've got two. The first one is xkcd comic from (I don't know) last week, it's called "Is It Worth the Time?" It's basically to grasp to say whether or not it's worth really trying to automate something. And the other is of absolutely no use at all to freelancers, but just interesting to sci-fi nerds. SingularityHUB has an article about “78,000 people that signed up for the colonization of Mars” from Mars One; that's just nerd stuff. But, that's it! CHUCK: Nice. Ashe, what are your picks? ASHE: I've got a couple. Since we were talking about social networks today, I use “Favstar” a lot. It lets me know when people are retweeting or favoriting my tweets, and it also kind of lets me see what my friends are favoriting and retweeting in their streams to see what extra value I can be giving on Twitter. The next one is "feedly", and that's kind of where I decided to go after Google Reader. It's really nice; it has a really nice mobile app as well as a desktop app. I really love the keyboard shortcuts on it and it's a pretty different way that I'm used to navigate RSS feeds. If you try, that is free; you'll kind of see what I mean that it's really neat. And then my third one, because I'm travelling so much and it saves my life so much, is "TripIt Pro", which is kind of like an itinerary aggregator. But it's also nice because it'll tell me if my flight is delayed or if my dates change. A lot of times, it tells me long before the Delta app decides to notify me; especially I had some travel issues over the past couple of weeks, so it definitely made my life a lot easier. Those are my three! CHUCK: Awesome. Curtis, what are your picks? CURTIS: First one would be the "Chrome Messenger Bag". I do a lot of biking and it is a fully waterproof messenger bag that is very large. I've actually taken it as my sole bag to go down to Seattle for a conference even, which is like an 8-hour bike ride for me. And my second one would be the "Philips Flex Headphones", which is a super comfy pair of headphones I take out to the coffee shop. And my third, I have a nice dual monitor setup and I have an "Ergotron Monitor Stand" that allows me to have them I guess one in the standard and one flip to side beside it. And you can actually put this monitor stand up to 4 -- 6 monitors actually if you get a different arm and it longer upholds to make the back higher. CHUCK: Oh, nice! I've got Ergotron, but each of my stands only holds one monitor. I love those things, though. CURTIS: Yeah, I have a fairly tiny desk, like I cannot fit two monitors in the normal orientations side by side to lay it; there's two shelves on either side, so I can't. And then my desk goes right against the wall, so I can't have like one that you can move around or anything. It's just a fixed pole that you can inside adjustable and you can slide them kind of in and out on the arm, but that's it. CHUCK: Nice. Alright, well, I'll go ahead and share my picks. My first pick is a book called "Authority". I'm trying to remember who the author is, but I've been reading it and it is really really useful, it's by Nathan Barry, B-A-R-R-Y; I'll put a link in the show notes. But anyway, he talks about basically the business of writing books, ebooks, in this book, but there's a ton of great marketing advice in here and it's actually inspired me to go and pick up a few other books on email marketing and landing pages. So, I'm really really enjoying it. Another pick that I have is a game that I picked up from my iPhone. My nephews were giving my Dad crap because he was only on Level 1 of "Candy Crush", and apparently that's a big deal. JEFF: Oh my god! I hate Candy Crush! [laughs] CHUCK: [laughs] So, I went and got it and I've been playing it, and it's pretty fun! Anyway, those are my picks. And I guess we'll wrap up the show, we will catch you all next week! We're going to be talking to Jevin -- I'm going to slaughter his name -- Jevin Maltais, something like that. Anyway, what he's going to be talking to us about basically technology-based objections during the sales process. So if you're selling Rails, how to handle objections where people want PHP or something else, that kind of thing. Anyway, we'll wrap up the show, we'll catch you all next week!

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