Social Media Etiquette

I’ve blogged about office etiquette, but now I think is time to share my thoughts about social media etiquette. For this post I’m just going to focus on Facebook because of the higher use, and yes, because we saw in the main stream media “fake news” being addressed. This post won’t be political, but as a rule, if you want to raise brand awareness for your company I would stay away from unrelated things to your business, like religion and politics.

Having written that, let’s get on with it.

Don’t be a ________ .

I’ll let you fill in the blank. One of the problems with anything online is the faux anonymity you have to say what you normally wouldn’t say to someones face. But let’s be realistic, they know you, and if you’re not savvy they know where you are. With that, somethings aren’t worth commenting on or responding to. Muting someone on social media is leaving them screaming at a wall. Therefore, think of it like that, you’re getting the last word, but they don’t know it.

Don’t be vague

Being vague online is like being in a group of folks that are sharing an inside joke and you don’t know the joke. Snarky and passive aggressiveness could fit into this as well. If you think I’m gonna try to guess what you’re really posting about, think again. I’ve got a funny cat video to watch.

Don’t vent

I know it’s incredibly frustrating right now in our country. But we are all Americans, and its not a good idea to let all the negative and bad news completely consume your life. That’s surrendering control to someone else your will and thoughts. So when you vent on social media, you’re now a part of that conversation, when all I need is a break from it, and as your friend, I just want to know, “how’s your cat?”

Well, that’s 3 things, take that bloggers with your silly, “top 5” or “top 10″…

Actually I think that’s the biggest things I’ve seen lately. If you know any, I would be interested to hear about them. Let me know in the comments. And as usual head over to nerdbrandpodcast.com to listen to me and Brandon discuss Nerd movies and Nerd marketing. Our latest episode is now available, “Sequels, Prequels, and Reboots oh my…”

Listen here: http://nerdbrandpodcast.com/nerd-brand-s02e02-sequels-and-prequels-and-reboots-oh-my

Advertisements

New Avengers: Infinity War Logo

At Nerd Brand we love nerd movies and culture, but the brand side of us also love the promotion and branding part of the culture. And on our opinion Marvel knows how to do both.

Check out the new logo for Avengers: Infinity War revealed by Sean Gunn @thejudgegunn on Instagram.

screen-shot-2017-01-30-at-9-25-15-am

What do you think?

Also, the Nerd Brand Podcast is back for Season 2 released every other week on Thursdays starting next week. In the upcoming episode we’re talking time of releasing your brands announcements, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, and mobile responsive website design.

Visit nerdbrandpodcast.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/thenerdbrand

Office Etiquette

Part one of my series on etiquette is inner office etiquette amongst your co-workers.

Over the years of working in corporate I’ve seen some things that justify a LOL, WTF, and SMDH moment. In fact it’s pretty well known by those close to me, that as I’ve gotten older my tolerance to these things has gotten a little thin. So when silliness happens I tend to point it out, or just embarrass it because I’ve been around for a while.

Here’s some things you shouldn’t do when in close quarters with your co-workers. It’s just not nice or polite.

Whistle or sing out loud

I like American Idol, and sometimes The Voice, but not while I’m busy coding several hundred lines of code for a plugin or website. So wear earphones and listen to your music all you want, but don’t wear earphones (especially noise canceling ones) and sing along to your favorite tunes out loud. Yes, I’ve seen this happen. It’s not considerate for those around you. If you are in your office, do it with the door closed, but better yet, just don’t do it at all. Since most office aren’t like your front door to your house. We can still hear you, and want to cut off our ears.

Blow your nose or repeatedly clear your throat loudly

I’m one of the folks that has upper respiratory allergies and in the fall, spring and most other seasons it’s brutal on my sinuses. It’s a price to pay for living in the Ohio Valley Area. But if you are a real noise maker when blowing your nose, excuse yourself to the restroom and blow and blow until the doors come down. But doing it at your desk in the cubical farm is distracting and if your neighbor are on the phone, there’s nothing they can say to the person on the other end of the call short of having an elephant in the office.

Organize your workspace

I know it’s said that a messy desk is a sign of genius, or rather a sign as to why your office has ants. Your workspace is yours, but if others have to go near it, don’t make them run to the hand sanitizer station after discussing the latest news, project or whatever you do that requires them at your desk. It’s just disgusting. Old empty soft drink cups or cans shouldn’t be on the desk from last week. And that coffee cup from last week that looks like an experiment now, should be cleaned and put away.

Don’t come to work if you’re sick

This should be self explanatory, but sadly I’ve worked with folks with the sniffles, and other things coming out of other areas. Please don’t feel obligated to show everyone how dedicated an employee you are, no one cares when you show up snotty and talk like you have a muzzle on your face. I don’t like being sick, and no one else does. It’s not a joke when we all shirk back from touching you. We just we really don’t want to to touch you.

Don’t wear revealing clothing

This should also cover office appropriate clothing as well. I get that many offices are lax today about dress standards, but last I checked showing to an interview wearing that Ironman Tee isn’t sending a good first impression. I’m all for self expression, but when it comes to helping the company earn a clients trust and gain an account, dress casual or at least wear a shirt with buttons.

As for revealing clothing, that’s more for the ladies, or unless you have that one guy that forgets to button the top 3 buttons on his shirt. It may make you feel and look sexy, but no one is listening to what you are saying or its content.

Be aware of how loud you are on the phone

I once worked at a place, in a cube farm, that had that one guy. Seated over 30 yards away he still could not control the VOLUME of his voice. Don’t be the Austin Powers of sales. We know that phones have a volume button, so use it. Also, go outside if your person on the other end of the call can’t hear you. Screaming on the phone (because that’s how it sounds to the rest of us) doesn’t make you the favorite in the office, or the first to find out about cake in the break room.

Put the phone down and on vibrate at meetings

Ah modern day technology is great right? Except when it sends a social message without using it. When you attend a meeting and set you phone on the table you are sending a message that what you are there for is not as important as to whom may text, tweet or snapchat you at any moment. When in a meeting, BE in the meeting. There’s a difference in listening and “actively” listening. Plus if you like your job, your boss might wanna know you’re not distracted and are paying attention.

That’s my list of office etiquette for this post. A first of a series on etiquette. Next I’ll be sharing about Social Media etiquette. I have no idea how many parts there will be for this series, so please comment and let know if you have any ideas.

Do you have any to add to the list or stories to share about co-workers that just didn’t get how to be polite or practice good etiquette in the work place? Please share and leave me a comment below or go to my Facebook page at https://facebook.com/thenerdbrand

Thanks!

Why I Switched To Flywheel from WP Engine

In the world of hosting websites there are things that are not as cheap as the commercials and online ads tell people. If I want faster internet at my house, it’s not a plan with an ISP for under $14 per month. The more you want, the more it costs.

I’ve been hosting WordPress.org (self hosted) websites for about 8 years now, and I’ve used providers like Dreamhost, Godaddy, and then finally landed on WP Engine a few years ago. I love WP Engine but the love affair ended for me finally because of issues with support, service and ability to control how my websites are served to visitors. Also with how I can scale WordPress using marketing software, plugins and SaaS (Software as a Service) based services or plugins.

Cache

Caching (pronounced cashing) is what makes a webpage serve up quickly to visitors. Basically by definition Cached memory is for the purpose of speeding up things. Cache can be locally, on your device, or on the web server. However, in the last few months at the agency I work for we found that WP Engine caching was so aggressive that making quick style changes was daunting. Installing a cache plugin like WP Super Cache was on the disallowed plugins list and automatically removed. Therefore limiting the ability to control cache ourselves on our websites.

Other problems with cache on WP Engine is that they use proprietary cache software for their servers. Which is fine, until you want to run marketing software on your website, or other more advanced analytics tools. In order to disable their cache you would have to reach out to support to give them the page URL, then cache was disabled on the page to run forms for the marketing software. This is annoying when you have several landing pages to create from your marketing team for multiple campaigns. That’s about X number of requests a day to support, plus the time for them to complete the ticket so that forms can pre-populate and the software do it’s job unobstructed.

Not ideal for an agile work flow. Unless you are savvy enough to communicate to support to ask to exclude a cookie, you’re stuck waiting in line on chat multiple times a day.

Support

Over the past couple of years it’s not a secret that WP Engine has had trouble with support. But I don’t believe that it has gotten better since the first negative reviews about it. Honestly for a while it did, but as the months followed, at the agency we felt that their support staff we’re less educated about the platform that they were offering support for. There are many reasons I can understand, one mainly is cost of doing business. But we noticed scripted responses and sometimes it was a fight to get known issues resolved.

Imagine your customer’s website having problems and is paying you for hosting, and you in turn are paying for a VPS from WP Engine. The last thing you want to hear from chat support is something like, “Can we change the theme to a default to test?”

Now if this were a blog of an individual that didn’t care if the site design was changed (by switching the theme), sure, but maybe not. But this is a corporate website, it’s not a blog, and should not be run through the normal debug process on a live server. Staging environments are for this and having support do this on a live production server (live site) is not a good sign of being taken care of during peak hours. Plus, having managed WordPress sites for years, I already know how to debug. And if I reach out to support, it’s bad, and it’s not resolved by “changing the theme.” But having an account with them that is paying above the norm doesn’t get you any different treatment.

Granted customer support is a horrible job, and we honestly tried to be mindful of that as I worked as support in web for a solid year. A year that I never want to repeat. However, giving a customer certain expectations, then when they find out what they were sold was not the product they thought, that’s not good customer service. A repeatable offensive that we kept learning as their hosting environment wasn’t as advertised.

Not a recommended Provider by WordPress

Yup, not on the new list as of 2014-ish. Now the reason can be solely argued that this is because Mullenweg (co-founder of WordPress) expressed an opinion and excluded them, but not likely. Flywheel is straightforward in its use and easily scalable for agencies. It’s understanding of using Open Source applications and how this works, I believe won them a recommendation.

So why Flywheel?

Flywheel is easy is to scale. On the cPanel it’s much easier to understand and collaborate with teams. For WP Engine you have to create a SFTP credentials for each installation. For Flywheel, it’s one single SFTP access to manage your team. They call it Collaboration. I’m not a representative for Flywheel, but do prefer it after using WP Engine for last 5 years. But I’ve been using them for about a month, and while still in the honeymoon phase, I’m please with improvements and the platform scalability.

Now I know I sound a little jaded, but yeah, for good reason. I don’t pay the listed price for hosting on these providers websites. I pay at agency rates to give my customers a better monthly price, plus include my services, experience and skill. I work with the hosting companies to help them understand how WordPress websites are being used in their environments, and it’s critical that they can scale. I’m your outsourced web guru so that you can relax and focus on your business.

So the final judgement was that with WP Engine I could not scale, and I could not provide the excellence to my customers as I would like. But hey, things change, and technology moves forward. Maybe there’s a future where myself and WP Engine will get together again. Until then, I’m in love with Flywheel.