Influencers and social media #ramble

This week was the local elections and many candidates took to social media to try to influence us to vote for them. The turnout where I live was around 25% so perhaps there should have been an influence or nudge campaign to encourage people to actually vote. Anyway, there are millions of people on social media trying to influence us these days including me. What does it take to grab people’s attention?

Newspapers

Some newspapers like to sensationalise their stories. The Daily Express loves a good storm or snow in the Scottish Highlands. The headline will then blare out “Britain to be hit by Arctic Storm!” or words to that effect. The press like their buzz words too. A news event or series of events can be summed up in one buzzword or phrase such as “party-gate”. It is the job of a free press to hold the government to account and I think the BBC does that quite well. The likes of Laura Kuenssberg and Ros Atkins are really skilful at picking apart the story to get to the real facts and then presenting us with a fairly unbiased analysis. Those with far- right views will, predictably, accuse the BBC of left-wing bias. Empathising with vulnerable people is very left-wing of course! I have to admit I sometimes, post controversial views just to poke the far-right. I mentioned Brexit in a Facebook post the other day. I said it was a con and lots of comments followed. I grabbed their attention and probably made them look a little obsessed with this idea of Brexit freedom. I doubt if any of them have been sucked into Nigel Farage’s “Fortune and Freedom” idea because that probably means parting with cash but they cheered on his campaign against the European Union.

Entertaining

Being controversial is one way to grab attention but entertaining the masses with a joke or funny meme is better. The influencers who really make money entertain by demonstrating fashion or showing young girls how to look like their fave pop icon. There is money in making videos while looking like a 21st-century Barbie doll. I watch Youtube and really like J. Fla who is a sort of tribute act performing famous songs better than the original artists. I also watched some of Dr John Campbell’s daily talks about covid during the pandemic. I didn’t agree with his analysis all of the time but they were informative and he built up a following of a few hundred thousand viewers and probably made a few quid from the advertising. He was a bit too much in favour of “natural immunity”. A recent study by Harvard scientists seems to have revealed that omicron isn’t a milder disease, it appears milder because a majority of us are vaccinated. I’ve also been watching Big Clive opening up electronic devices to see how they work. I was tempted to get my soldering iron out again! There is also a guy on Youtube who makes gadgets like windmills to produce free electricity. The way things are going we will all be scouring scrap yards for alternators and trying to make a windmill for some free power.

Blogging and photography

Blogging does allow you to influence your readers and I will automatically post a link to this post on LinkedIn and Twitter when it publishes. It won’t influence many people, I lost my readers when my website was hacked and now I’m starting again on WordPress. My www.azillionideas.com domain name points to a free WordPress blog. I’ve reduced my costs to virtually zero. I’ll post a link on Facebook later and I have other ways of influencing people through social media. When I start to take lots of photographs again, they will be posted on Facebook and Instagram. Photographs tell a story! I might start shooting more videos this year too. I hope to photograph my first event at the end of this month and I’ll look around for more outdoor events to photograph over the Jubilee weekend. We can all be an influencer these days and grab the social media limelight for a moment or two…

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