Duplicate content, digital etiquette by Evan La Ruffa

When Facebook, Twitter and every other social network started letting you post the exact same content to other places, many of us were fooled into the more is more paradigm. I'm not saying I've never been guilty of the duplicate content error, especially in the early days of social media, but things change and it's up to us to shape digital etiquette. Toggle a few boxes and now the (beautifully taken) photo of your brunch is posted to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, Tumblr, and more.

The problem with duplicate content is that if we follow someone on multiple networks, we end up seeing that brunch  photo 5 times. It feels like someone telling you the same thing repeatedly without pause.

I just posted a photo, I just posted a photo, I just posted a photo, I just posted a photo, I just posted a photo.

We really don't have to share the photo 5 times, we also don't want to subject our friends to a barrage like that. The sentence above kinda shows how ridiculous this is. If you have entirely different follower bases on each network there might be an exception to the rule but that's rarely the case.

If spaced out over weeks and months, it makes sense to post root content with new copy on multiple networks, especially if you're a brand, firm or freelancer. Another worthy exception. That said, if you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Linkedin, I promise not to blast duplicate content.

Whadyasay, shall we all make that promise?

Let's disagree by Evan La Ruffa


It's easy to curate consent in the digital age. Algorithms that batch & feed, the ability to unfollow "friends" on Facebook, and demographic grabbing advertisements that are all about how we label ourselves, and what we do or do not want to hear.

That goes from our latest purchase on Amazon to whatever political candidate currently causes us the most stress.

If we want to avoid anything contrary to our current belief, it's a fairly simple exercise. What's more, if we're looking for proof of something, we can surely find it.

I'm probably guilty of it as much as the next person, but it's given rise to a question about how to access information outside that which will merely confirm our biases. (It's also made me think of a digital property that could be the solution, but I better keep that to myself for now.)

One media outlet that helps me check myself is The Economist. It's always full of great information, supports a global citizen worldview, and gives plenty of insight into macroeconomic trends.

It's also hilariously biased in favor of free markets, is borderline unethical in their manipulation of graphs & tables, and can't help but lavishly romanticize capitalism of years past.

They've taken a stance and they're out to prove it.

All in, I know they're going to help me learn because I know how to decode the real info from the bullshit. I subscribe every other year, inevitably, because I need a break from the machinations of it all.

That said, I propose a resolution: when someone advocates for an idea contrary to our own (outside of racism, sexism, or any other -ism we have no lack of moral clarity on) lets invite them to tell us more, and ask them why, without condescension or sarcasm.

I don't expect us to do it every time we hear something that seems far out, but it's a good reminder for the certain, jaded, lummox in us all.

Even if that person doesn't satisfy our curiosity, it'll at least it give us a chance to listen and something new to research.

Let's gain more perspective. Let's disagree.



Umm, what is digital strategy? by Evan La Ruffa

Facebook amassed users, then sold our eyeballs to the highest bidder. At first people thought that social media was this massive microphone, but decreased organic reach has significantly turned the volume down. The idea went from getting "Likes" to figuring out how to make sure the people who had "Liked" your page could actually see what you were posting. The page turned, and people who had thought ahead were already creating great content via newsletters that were chock full of value.

I, personally, am annoyed at how long it took me to see the light with respect to this exact pivot.

The takeaway for me has been about making sure we're agile enough to understand the platform (whatever it is), how it fits into our overall strategy, then see where it's going and adapt preemptively.

The questions for any business owner with respect to digital strategy are:

  • What is our digital strategy?
  • What components does it include and in what proportions?
  • How often do we evaluate the strategy?
  • What indicators will we use to measure effectiveness?

And perhaps most importantly, how will this work best connect us with interested partners, collaborators or clients?

Outreach, marketing, and advertising are never free, and the cost goes up without a strategy.