Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sorry, Charlie, Your Content Stinks

When I was young, StarKist tuna commercials featured a hipster tuna named Charlie who would try to convince the brand that he had the good taste to be a StarKist tuna. During each ad, you would hear something like, "Sorry, Charlie, StarKist doesn't want tuna with good taste. StarKist wants tuna that tastes good."

For a long time, I did not understand this contrast: good taste (discernment) versus tastes good. My parents tried to explain it, but the meaning was lost on a preschooler. I would puzzle over the words trying to make sense of the ads. 

Finally, light dawned on Marblehead one day, and I understood the difference. Having good taste is not the same as tasting good. I get it!

Empire Avenue Tuna

I have run into a few Charlies on Empire Avenue (EAv). 

Charlie misunderstands how social works, but he has racked up some stats that assure him he is a genius. Question him and he will point to a Facebook status with triple digit likes as proof of his expertise. 

Do not doubt he is here to do damage; he bounces G+ circles to warm up each day.

When you visit Charlie's content--the meat below the headline, the link beyond the tweet--you find it stinks. He shares content that lacks substance, originality, logic or basic grammar, perhaps even all of these at once.  

Sometimes, Charlie sends you to his Twitter stream asking for retweets, and you see his last twenty tweets were retweets. 

Does he ever have an original thought? Does he want you to retweet him retweeting someone else? How many mirrors do you think this guy has in his house? 

The Hazards of Paid Engagement

When Charlie is able to purchase social interaction, his metrics are high, but he must track everything because this engagement does not come cheap. He notices a lot of his interaction comes from low-quality contacts, and he looks for someone to blame. When his paid support network starts to fail, he panics because his numbers plummet.

Rather than improve his content or test different strategies, Charlie rails against the system.

  • Someone should set standards.
  • Someone should enforce community rules.
  • What happened to the good old days?

Too bad about the good old days, they lulled Charlie into complacency. They rewarded mediocre content and failed to discourage Charlie from producing more of the same. He watered the wrong plants and now no one is buying his crop.

Sorry, Charlie, Your Content Stinks

Sorry, Charlie, Empire Avenue doesn't want content with lots of likes. Empire Avenue wants likable content that players will not be embarrassed to share. 

If you feel you have to buy engagement, you ought to invest your money and effort in improving your content. 

EAv is a great place to get initial exposure for your content. You can connect with experienced professionals who will advise you. You can gather an audience of interested listeners across several social platforms. 

But you must share quality content in order to get quality engagement. The people worth buying are not for sale on EAv, not in missions anyway.


  1. You are such a smart lady...you are my hero. :)

  2. I agree with you Tammi. Great article! From another named Charlie (lol)

    1. You are not a tuna, Charlie. Thanks for your support!

  3. Good points and food for thought, Tammi. Thanks!

  4. Right on Tammi. You raised great points

  5. Yes, takes commitment to develop a good support base on EA. You have to give to get. : ) Thanks.

  6. Good points, Tammi, well and funnily written!

    1. Thanks Barbara! I am pleased you enjoyed the post.

  7. Nice one Tammi, well done

  8. SO appreciate this.....the sad thing however, is Charlie is too busy rewording others thoughts to get honest enough to read this. One giant CANNED TUNA on EA has pre-sales on a book he has not written. In addition to that, h e publishing stats to prove how empty is his content....WELL DONE Tammi....would love to have seen this article two years ago when I was believing everyone on EA.