I’m Not Here to Be Your Friend

The other day I read a great post by Carlos Miceli titled “The Media Attention Whores“. The post brought up the issue of media professionals that put more value in talking about what they’re doing, than actually doing it.

The post was spot on and the phenomenal (and heated) discussion in the comments provided even more insight.  It got me thinking about a common misconception that has been brewing.

I think perhaps we’re forgetting why we’re all here..so let me tell you why I’m here, why I blog, why I tweet, and why I engage in this community.

I am a business person first.

My activities and interactions in this “social media community” have the primary goal to succeed as a professional. If my time spent here doesn’t help me to perform my job better, and to benefit my career, then I am wasting my time.

Does that mean I can’t make friends during the process? Of course not.  I have made amazing friendships along the way. I consider people like Lauren Fernandez, Arik Hanson, Keith Burtis, Gloria Bell and Stuart Foster to be some of my closest and most trusted friends.  I didn’t engage with them to become friends though.  I engaged with them to benefit my career, and the friendship resulted from the process.

Don’t forget why others are here.  YES, most people are participating in this community for the sake of “conversation and networking”.  But conversation and networking aren’t a result, they’re tactics.  The purpose of building these relationships is to drive more traffic, build more opportunities etc…we’re building relationships for business purposes.

Maybe I’m the one being naive.  Maybe I’m selfish, and I should stop being so “self-promotional”.  If I don’t promote my work to the network that I’ve built, however, then why am I here?

Remember…a community manager is still a manager.

67 thoughts on “I’m Not Here to Be Your Friend

  1. I wholeheartedly agree with you David. As long as we always remember that not everyone are here for the same purpose that you and I are. Many people really are here just to make friends. Heck, I’m actually leaving the “job” part a little bit on the side and focusing on having fun every now and then.

    Also, no matter the reason, respect for others is always the number one priority. Some people forget this.

    1. There are people in the social media space that are here just to make friends? Who? lol There may be some people who act like they’re here just to make friends, but I doubt that’s the real case.

      You’re absolutely right that we have to remember that everyone is not here for that purpose that you may be. Therefore, if you are here just “for fun”, then it’s alright to be upset when people message you directly to promote their own work. You shouldn’t however, get mad, if people choose to use twitter to promote themselves. That’s just why they’re here.

      Thanks for stopping by Carlos.

  2. It seems people lost sight of the “I am a business person first” thought process during the social media euphoria that was in effect from about 18 months ago to 6 months ago. During that time it seemed like the mentality was “we’re all friends and we want all of our friends to be friends and that’s all that needs to happen for this to work.” In the past few months, there’s been more of “we need to drive business” mentality, which I consider a good thing.

    Often, my non-social media savvy friends ask me why I get paid “to Twitter and Facebook all day” (which, as anybody in the industry would recognize, is about about 1/30th of what we do “all day”). The truth is, nobody should get paid to Twitter and Facebook unless there’s some business-driven purpose behind it. I’m glad we’re all getting more comfortable with building relationships AND driving business as a result. I’m sure most of the companies and organizations paying for marketing/PR/social media consulting are glad to see it too.

    Good thoughts, David. For what it’s worth, self-promoting your work can be just beneficial to the folks in your network as highlighting someone else’s work. Especially when it’s done to help the community, not just point out one’s own awesomeness.

    1. Thanks Mike and well said. Don’t get me wrong, I love that the social media space injected a little humanity into business. It made the relationships real and has started the fight against “cut-throat” business mentality. The incorporation of real human relationships is why I am so passionate about social media in business. We can’t forget why we’re here in the first place though.

    1. Of course, you should look to help others and build relationships. You can promote yourself all you want. If the content you’re promoting isn’t quality and helpful, you’ll fail.

  3. Totally agree with you. I feel similarly about my workplace – I’m not here to make friends. I’m here to learn and grow personally and professionally. Making friends along the way is simply an added bonus.

    1. For a workplace setting, I think perhaps friendship may play a bigger role, but it’s still the same concept of business first friendship second. When you see someone every day in person and work with them every day, you should probably try to be friends as well.

  4. Business should ALWAYS be at the forefront – it’s the foundation of all professional relationships. You foster them by constantly communicating, which is something I know we have done over the past months.

    Unless someone stumbles across you, how can you not self-promote? What the difference is – if you keep shouting and no one echoes, you’re failing.

  5. David – Spot-on post, and thank you for saying something that I’m sure has been on a lot of our minds for quite some time now. Let’s all be honest: You look around most strong Twitter feeds, blogs and online communities. Many of them have a friendly business purpose to them. It’s human nature to want to engage with others to advance ourselves – both personally and professionally – and I don’t think we should have to apologize for that.

    I like what Melissa had to say about making friends in the workplace. Yes, it’s great to make friends along the way at work, but at the end of the day, I’m here to prove my worth, both to my company and our clients. I want to grow – personally and professionally – and see what I can help to achieve for our clients, because I know that in the end, that is what is going to boost my career along the most.

    It’s all about prioritizing what is most important to you in terms of enhancing and building your career.

    @KeithTrivitt

  6. All great points…for business people, but let me point out one thing, the earliest adopters were into social media to be….social.

    They didn’t have ‘tactics’ and people aren’t ‘target markets’ to them. They are human beings who actually care about their friends and family and don’t see everyone as potential revenue. They aren’t here to advertise, promote themselves or even name drop. It truly a way for them to keep in touch with friends and family.

    We are not them, but we can’t discount them or be so isolated from them either. They are, after all, the people who our clients need to converse with.

    1. Michael, thank you. Great point. Let me clarify that when I talk, and when most others talk, about the social media community, I mean the business/marketing community.

      You’re right. Social media, as a recreational tool, is a place for communication with friends and family. But keep in mind, that these platforms cannot survive without revenue, and so business must play a role.

      The key for us “social media marketing” types, is to tap into that conversation, without disrupting it.

  7. I actually completely disagree with you on this one David, and I’ll tell you why.

    I believe you when you say that you’re in the social media game to help your career and to grow professionally – I’ve seen your work and I respect it as you know. The truth is though, without the friends that you make, learn from, and connect with using social media, that wouldn’t be possible. (as you mentioned….others promoting you, etc.)

    Can you name one person who you have learned from and grown from, or made even a business connection with that you wouldn’t consider a “friend” at least on some level? Now I understand that you consider the Lauren Fernandez’s and Arik Hanson’s of the world trusted friends (as you should) but the truth is, any contact you make – be it through social media or other networking means – is going to be labeled as a friend in some way. Otherwise, what are they? If they’re just “someone you met” you certainly can’t leverage them for your greater goals, like a job, advice, reviews, collaboration, etc. And would you want to leverage/trust someone who you didn’t consider a friend? I know I wouldn’t.

    I actually think you’re trying to draw a line where there shouldn’t be one. Just because the motive for you engaging and networking is to help your career, that doesn’t mean that you aren’t out to make friends. You are, but maybe you’re just defining it a bit differently. The people you’re interacting with every day are friends, no matter what purpose they might serve for you. If they’re not, they’re not going to help you much, are they?

    Lastly, why wouldn’t you engage with people to become friends? If you can find 100 people on here you consider friends AND who help your career, that’s power that you can’t buy. And friends are going to be much more willing to go out on a limb for you or extend a helping hand when needed. If they wouldn’t, then why bother in the first place? SM is all about connections, and while you don’t have to go out and have a beer with everyone you meet on Twitter, etc. you should at least feel comfortable enough to ask them for an opinion, advice, or whatever else you need. And each friend will be different and offer different things you might need. That’s invaluable. It’s like having a toolbox with all the tools you could ever need, AND an expert standing there to explain how to use each one.

    That’s what a friend is. But because they’re also a business connection, they can give you the value you said you are looking for. It’s a win/win really.

    Like I said, I think you’re trying to draw a line where there shouldn’t be one. Would love to hear what others think though.

    Finally, and this is mostly intended to be a funny comment, but are we friends? =)

    1. Jay, great points as usual. Glad that you’re taking the conversation further here…

      re: “Can you name one person who you have learned from and grown from, or made even a business connection with that you wouldn’t consider a “friend” at least on some level?” Sure why not? I communicate with different business people every day. I guess this is a personal interpretation of “friendship” but a simple business interaction isn’t enough for me to call someone a friend.

      You’re right, I am trying to draw a line, but like every other line in these business conversations, it isn’t definite. It’s not clear and it changes from person to person. Friendship and business have always blended together, and maybe more so now with the incorporation of social tools. The line is perhaps, more blurred, but it is still possible to cross.

      I think it’s unfair to call an interaction for the purpose of business, a friendship. A friendship consists of two people who both honestly feel a bond with each other. If you’re connecting with someone to benefit your career, that’s okay, but is isn’t the intentions of a true friendship.

      True, a friendship can benefit your career. But if you’re looking to make friends, to benefit your career, then you’re not a friend at all…you’re using them for your own gain.

      Call a spade a spade. If you’re building a business connection, don’t call it a friendship unless it really is.

      …and don’t confuse the point with friendly. Friendly, is a state of personality. You can be friendly, and should be friendly, in your interactions, business or not (=

      Are we friends? I think so but to be safe, Want to grab a beer and talk about it? ^_^

  8. David, there’s an interesting segment on the show This American Life that you would probably like. It’s called “I’m not here to make friends” and they interview a blogger who covers reality television.

    He’s discovered that almost every high-ratings reality show has at least one character (not a person, since these people are portraying characterizations of themselves) that will scream, “I’m not here to make friends!” It’s something that reality show producers have actually goaded contestants into saying because it instantly creates an uncomfortable and adversarial situation.

    I see what you’re saying about keeping your eye on the prize, business-wise, but I worry that some people might take your honest point of view as being just deliberately provocative.

    1. Of course it’s deliberately provocative. I try to make my readers think and to engage in conversations that forces them to look at things differently.

      It’s not JUST deliberately provocative though. It’s also my honest opinion. Just because it’s provocative doesn’t mean it’s not something I believe in.

      I think this context is very different from that of a reality tv show. I’m not saying this to provoke controversy, but rather thought.

      Let’s put it this way… I’m not here to be your friend, but if I didn’t have friends like you here, I wouldn’t be here.

  9. I kind of have this problem where I skim e-mails and never get the full message, so we can all assume I did this again, so I apologize for repeating what people said, if that happens. (I also never comment on blogs, so ignore bad grammar)

    I wouldn’t say that no one comes to social media to meet people. Surprisingly, Twitter is used like Craigslists posts for sex. There are actually tons of people who just come on twitter to find a local sex hook up instead of Craigslist. (I am not one of them) The reason we don’t know about it, is because we don’t follow them…

    I agree with JayKeith. I never once thought that I would get someone to be interested in a client via twitter. I joke around a bit saying “@douchebag you didn’t like my pitch??” but that’s about it. I really can say I’ve made some amazing friends on twitter. I’m still living in my college lifestyle, so if someone is talking about booze, i’m there.

    Twitter is just another way to keep tabs on a different group of my friends.

    I honestly would not be where I am sitting, right now, on November 24, 2009 if it wasn’t for the friends I made on Twitter. We talk about poop. You think that got me the job I am at? Nope, but definitely got me the in 🙂

    1. I think that the distinction your missing is between professional and personal use. Many of the people that read this blog use it for both. This post is focused on my participation in the “professional” corner of social media.

  10. David, I thank you for including me in your ‘trusted friends’ list, but I as Jason does completely disagree with what your saying, and I’m not even sure you really mean it the way it came out. I could basically reiterate what Jason said, but for me it is all based on intentions. My intentions are to build relationships and help others in any way I can first. The fact is…. I don’t care if they ever reciprocate. I don’t care if they ever retweet a blog post or pimp my next event. I’m not in it for that.

    A while back Chris Brogan talked about keeping your community pure and monetizing on the companies at the fringe. The fact is that if you do really good work and you give your ideas the ability to be shared, they will. I look at social media in the sense of my close knit friends as a network to collaborate and share ideas with. Fact is David, I have no immediate intentions of ever doing business with you, but if you called me today for advice I would make the time in a heartbeat. Does this mean we would never have the opportunity to maybe do business at some point? No. However, for me the friendship comes first.

    And for the commenters above that think it’s all kumbia I can tell you that I have been out of a full time job for three months, started a company and I rarely have time anymore to tweet or comment on blogs. The network of ‘Friends’ I built has been instrumental in helping me with all things business and I am very grateful.

    1. Keith,

      Perhaps it didn’t come through the way I meant it to and for that I apologize.

      I think your last line is really what I’m talking about:

      “The network of ‘Friends’ I built has been instrumental in helping me with all things business and I am very grateful.”

      True, you help others as much as you can. You Keith, do that more than anyone I know. The fact is though, that by helping others, you are in fact helping your career.

      I wouldn’t tie in closely “helping others” with “building friendships”. When you took the time out of your day to help me once, did you do it to become friends? Or did you help me to be a good person, and the friendship resulted from our continued interactions?

      By no means am I saying that everything a professional does should be selfish. They should absolutely help others as much as possible and to the best of their ability, keep it unselfish. I help others as much as possible. I learned that from people like you. Sometimes the favor is returned, sometimes it isn’t. My helping them, however, does not translate to friendship. At least not for me.

      I should also clarify, that like you, the friendship comes first for me. Friendships are invaluable. They’re real, and they make life worth living. If today I had to choose between a business deal and our friendship, our friendship would win every time.

      The point is I’m not participating in the social media professional space to make friends. I’m here for my career to and help others in the industry. Friendship is something that occurs alongside my career here, but without friendship, I wouldn’t be here at all.

      I hope I spoke more clearly than in my post.

      1. David- You have a great discussion going here. I respect your position, being up front about it; one way to turn around Dale Carnegie I guess: influence people by not winning friends.

        Like you I am out here for my career: to develop skills, meet and network with smart people, share what I know, help others and by working at all of this, help myself professionally. Work-personal friendships are okay as long as both parties can separate the personal from the professional. But it’s not always that easy, so I am more likely to develop business connections, relationships, or associations than “friends.”

        Old joke: a friend will help you move, a real friend will help you move a body. Yes I have made some very friendly, personable connections, but it’s not like I’d ever ask anyone for a ride to the airport or help moving 😉 FWIW.

      2. Thanks for joining the conversation Davina.

        That’s exactly it. I’m not here to win friends. I’m an extremely friendly person and I think I’m pretty easy to get along with. I have developed a ton of friendships in the short time since I graduated less than half a year ago. But that’s not my focus.

        That’s always a good joke (= But it is still very relevant to this discussion in that there are different levels of friendship. The ones I listed in my post are a few of my closest friends in this space. I have a few others at that level. I’d probably ask them for a ride to the airport if they weren’t the ones I’m probably flying out to see ^_^. Then there are many many others who I consider to be friends, but probably wouldn’t ask for a favor like that.

      1. I am so unhip that I don’t even know what BFFL means! 😉

        I agree with you David. I didn’t get involved in social media tools five years ago to make friends either, I just wanted something (i.e. information/knowledge). The friends came along the way… It’s the same now. I am seeking information and sharing information, friends made along the way are great, but I have a job to do. 🙂

              1. Damn! You got me…

                You know…the B2B Forum is coming up soon. Only $695 until 11/30 AND it gets you a year premium membership too!

                What do you say David? Want to whip out the ol’ credit card??

  11. Great post! I was thinking a similar thoughy the other day that although websites like Twitter are a great tool (the best in my opinion)many people including myself have spent wasted hours making friends and not business relationships. The friendships will arise out of business relationships once you can actually meet or talk on the phone.

  12. This is spot on. Also, a great example of why I think the personal branding talk is b.s. It’s professional branding. You develop relationships online based on professional benefits. Certain ones seem to evolve into friendships.

    But also, I think it’s important that we don’t confuse “business” with profit, per se. I’m not here to sell you anything. I’m here to learn and share with you. If you happen to trust me and form a relationships with what my goal is and purchase said product, great. But these business relationships aren’t advertising, they’re PR & marketing.

    1. Good addition. When I say business, I don’t necessarily mean sales/profit.

      Don’t get me started on “personal branding” hahaha.

      Thanks for stopping by Kasey. Very big of you after the rough loss =P

  13. David

    Doesn’t the friendship have to start from somewhere? You cannot go and follow someone on twitter and immediately be friends. There has to be a common interest and sometimes that common interest is business. This does not mean that you will necessarily do business together as Keith points out but sharing information that is valuable starts a conversation that leads to a friendship.

    1. That’s exactly right Suzanne. That’s the point though isn’t it? A friendship is a natural development. It can start from a career interaction.

      Focus on your career, and the friendships will develop on their own.

  14. But isn’t that the whole point? “Professional” and “personal” are becoming/have become distinctions in name only? I never stop being me and the me that is on Social Media is the same me that walks the streets. Am I in Social Media just to benefit me? Only in the same way a fish stays in the fishbowl rather than hopping out and taking a stroll in the air! No, I’m in Social Media to be social (something all humans need): to give and to get. And, for me, the former always comes first.

    1. Mike, I agree completely. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be yourself. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t give and that you shouldn’t build relationships, and even friendships. All those things are great, and even essential to professional and personal success.

      My only point is that in this professional space, the content we produce is for our careers. Everything else is a result of those interactions.

      I started participating in this space for my career and I continue to do so. Now I have friends in this space and so I have other reasons to interact here, but my primary focus is still my career. I can interact with my “social media” friends anywhere. I interact with them here, because I’m already here, building my career and doing my job.

  15. Bottom-Line: I don’t see a lot of real-life business successes that have been documented and proceduralized. Sorry, it might be the scientist in me, but, unless your selling internet based services, social networking does not necessarily connect you with your market. Facebook (the original “friend” site) seems closest, followed by LinkedIn(which presupposed a business intent). As for me, my business is so regulated I can really use (and don’t attempt to use) social media to promote it. Social media does give me something I can’t easily get elsewhere, a place to go in the wee hours to post my creative musing and a venue to get feedback. It’s not monetized and that’s not the primary purpose. I hope that’s OK Dave.

    1. Thanks for commenting Chris. Not sure what your business is, but social media certainly isn’t a golden resource for every industry. It depends on what you’re trying to do and who you’re trying to reach.

      I’ll be happy to chat more if you’re interested. Email me any time.

  16. I think people are afraid to admit that they’re really here for business, self-motivational purposes. I’m glad that you are honest in your assertion, David.

    I do think that many people have different priorities. Honestly, one of my favorite pieces about blogging is the connections that I am perpetually making. I meet new friends, host blogging friends who move or visit Boulder, establish new friendships, learn of people I DO not like, etc. Those connections are important to me and I’m not blogging to “be everyone’s friend,” (no way) but I would be lying if those connections weren’t based in progressing business and professional goals.

    Plus, why does business have to not be about friendships and genuineness? It isn’t always cutthroat and to be honest, some of the strongest business ties I have are based in friendships and real, honest connections.

    1. Grace,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Plus, why does business have to not be about friendships and genuineness? It isn’t always cutthroat and to be honest, some of the strongest business ties I have are based in friendships and real, honest connections.

      I hate, and condemn a cut-throat business mentality. That means you’re putting business in front of your friends and that’s not what I’m saying. You should probably put your friends first (I always will) before business and money.

      My point, as you said, is that your connections are based in business and professional goals. You’re here because of your career. Friendship is a huge and important aspect of that career, but to sacrifice successful business tactics for “potential” friends probably isn’t a smart career choice.

      For example, someone might not like that I tweeted out links to this post 3 times today. They might, view it as too self-promotional, hold that against me personally and not want to be my friend. That’s okay, because I’m not here to make friends, I’m here to build my blog and the community around it.

      I think we’re on the same page for the most part…

    1. I like that idea. I’m definitely casual, I’m definitely laid back and I’m extremely friendly…but I’m still a professional first and I’m not here primarily for personal reasons.

  17. Thanks David for taking the risk of a cold reception by igniting this discussion. The quality of the commentary is excellent, and it’s brilliant that some of your friends completely disagree with you and in so doing bring out even more interesting and useful points.

    Coincidentally I had this conversation (via telephone, how retro!) with a friend yesterday: we both agreed with you. My take on it is similar to Mike B’s: the issue only arises because the “we have to approach social media like we’re all friends” point of view rose to dominate the professional social media community. So much so that contrary views are almost heretical.

    I think this point of view arose for two reasons. First, it’s a push-back against the Twentieth Century’s “sell-sell-sell” approach to business promotion that we ALL find so annoying and self-defeating, whether door-to-door or via online posts. Second because (as Chris Brogan and Julien Smith cogently point out in their intro to Trust Agents) the increasing transparency of the online world means that when we, or our employers, fall to the temptation to hype ourselves at the expense of our relationships (as many who should know better still do!), we’ll get burned.

    I think the “we’re all friends” mindset is kind of an unconscious prophylactic positioned to smother the sell-sell-sell mindset. It’s a mantra that keeps us on the path leading to productive relationships and away from our inner sell-sell-selves. But its rigidity simply doesn’t fit my world view, or the world views of the majority of my clients and social circle, who see business as being both profit-driven and social, neither to the exclusion of the other.

    I ask both “where is the profit in this” and “how are others going to benefit from this.” Even when profit is deferred or indirect–like corporate social responsibility, wherein hundreds of millions of dollars go to charity instead of advertising–that doesn’t mean profit is not a consideration.

    By the way, I DO commit acts of altruism on occasion–but I only consider acts altruistic if I’m certain they’re untracably anonymous, which is not only hard to achieve but can detract from the power of the acts.

  18. David – I think you’re right to point out the inconsistencies in the ways we talk about social media. We (some) talk to their clients/bosses about engagement. Friends on Facebook. Followers on Twitter. But we all know what it’s really about…selling more stuff, generating more leads, generating more links, improving reputation…all things that generate bottom line impact.

    Speaking only for myself, I’ve found tremendous value in networking through social media with like-minded professionals. I never went into it thinking that I was going to become someone’s friend. I think the times that we see people joining to become friends, they are doing it on Facebook, and are already friends with the person. I don’t think it’s necessarily commonplace for people to join Twitter, follow someone and then immediately assume they are friends. But, perhaps I am being naive.

    What I will say, though, is that there’s plenty of opportunity to do both at the same time. We can “work” our agendas, and be friends at the same time. Will those agendas conflict sometimes? Sure. Are we professionals and able to work through those conflicts and remain friends? Guess what? We did it WAY before social networks were even created.

    Always appreciate your posts, David. They make me think.

    1. Hey Chuck, thanks for sharing your thoughts… and I’m a bit disappointed because it doesn’t sound like we disagree at all. You’re spot on.

      “Speaking only for myself, I’ve found tremendous value in networking through social media with like-minded professionals. I never went into it thinking that I was going to become someone’s friend.”

      EXACTLY

      By no means am I saying that we can’t have both. As I’ve said in a few of the other comments, without friendship I wouldn’t be here. I couldn’t do it without the help and support of my friends.

      Really, this post was in response to many of the comments over on Carlos’ blog. Some called individuals out and some made general statements, but the main issue that everyone had was with people self-promoting. So I wanted to clear up any confusion about why many of us are here in the first place.

      Business is what brings us here. Business and friendship is what keeps us here.

  19. “Social Media” is just that “social”
    “Networking Media” is just that “Working Your Business” To me & for me, Twitter is BOTH so we all need to remember to be PATIENT since everyone is in a different “phase” of our lives. Some just beginning, some beginning over, some in between, some expert [at what they do]… AND we are doing DIFFERENT things or what you might call “Business”. To me, NO ONE INDIVIDUAL is an Expert at everything AND I am going to build my TRUST in People before I PAY them for anything over the interNET therefore “Get to know you”… =)

  20. Some people are in it for social rewards. Friendships. Not everyone is looking for more traffic, more business opps. Some just want a distraction.

    As someone whose business is very dependent on the relationships I build in social media I would include myself in the business first boat, but not the “I’m not here to be your friend” boat. I like doing business with friends as much as possible. I like knowing people before either of us leverage a relationship for business. I don’t always have this freedom, but it is the goal.

    I think universally everyone knows that everyone else is out for themselves, no matter how much we all give and create content and help one another. I’m ok with that. Most people are… until one of us starts being too selfish, too much of a douchebag.

    1. But my question is, if someone is looking for friends, why would they choose a business community to do so?

      The people that create friendships in the social media business community only came to the community for business purposes. Friendship is a side-benefit.

      Perhaps the confusion comes in that we’re doing business on the same platforms where we used to escape from work.

      I’m with you in that I love to do business with friends. I have long term goals with a few close friends to work on business projects in the future and would choose to work with someone I know and trust whenever possible. In fact, if I don’t know you at least on some level on friendship, I probably won’t work on any projects with you.

      “I think universally everyone knows that everyone else is out for themselves, no matter how much we all give and create content and help one another. I’m ok with that.” Exactly. Me too.

      Thanks for reading and sharing Jason. Humbled.

  21. Hmm it seems like your blog ate my first comment
    (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say,
    I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog writer but
    I’m still new to everything. Do you have any recommendations for
    rookie blog writers? I’d really appreciate it.

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