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How Instagram Works: A Lesson By Evander Kane

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Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Evander Kane has created another buzz via social media. Well, kind of. Evander Kane posted a picture to his Instagram account. A whole boatload of people used this picture to create a buzz for themselves.

You see, Instagram is a social network, but in order to see somebody's posts you have to follow them. Presumably, people follow Instagram users that they like or whose posts they find amusing / interesting. Some (and Evander has many of this some) follow specifically so they can trash talk the user. These people are weird. Others follow just in case the user posts something juicy that they can use to create their own buzz. Those people had a heyday via Evander Kane on December 2nd.

There was a basic three step process used by said people:

  1. See that Evander Kane posted another picture with money.
  2. Realize that this will piss some people off.
  3. Use this to piss people off and gain attention.

You see, Evander Kane posting a picture to his followers does not create a buzz - unless he posts something truly outrageous. This was not that. This is something he has done before. This is in no way more outrageous than the pictures he has posted with his beautiful model girlfriend or the view from his seats at a New York Knicks game. Just another Instagram post.

The picture simply tells his fans and followers a little bit more about who Evander Kane is and the kind of life he lives. Learning these things is presumably why people follow him. It is also worth noting, Kane hurt no one!!

The post isn't representative of any wrongdoing and it teaches us nothing we didn't know already. It really is not news, nor is it newsworthy. Publishing it for personal gain is no more than gossip fodder trash. Before I go too far down that road I do want to say, there are places for that and this blog may not always be above reproach in this regard, but some of the claims out there are silly.

Evander Kane was not throwing money in the faces of random people. He was simply showing something that he thought was entertaining to people he thought would be entertained. The people that removed the context of Instagram from the photo are the ones throwing it in people's faces.

Anyways, onto some lessons via Evander Kane.

The quotes are from yesterday's post practice scrum. The interview can be found here. It starts a little after the one hour, thirty five minute mark. Quotes are from the interview, emphasis is mine.

Media guy: Evander, a lot of buzz with your latest Instagram picture. Why did you post it?

Kane: Because that's what Instagram's for.

Media guy: Was it taken recently? Something... something...

Kane: It was taken this morning, just caught an early flight back.

Media guy: Three years in November was the last money Tweet, does this have anything to do with that?

Kane: I don't know what to say or what kind of question that was to be honest. It was a picture I posted yesterday.

Media guy: Was it taken at the same time?

Kane: I don't know.

Kane: It was a while ago. Taken a while ago. Take a while ago. Good times obviously. That's why people follow you on Instagram and social media to see what you've done or what you're up to. That's the reason people are tuning in, to see what you post and see what picture you are taking. It's all in good fun and I thought if you're in Vegas and you are having some fun and things are going well, obviously you're going to be excited about it.

Sounds to me like Kane was scrolling through some old photos on his phone, found one he liked and posted it.

You see; Kane takes things about himself - things that he likes, things that make him happy - and he posts them on Instagram for his followers. These followers presumably want to see these things, this is the premise of a follow. That is how Instagram works.

Media guy: What kind of response do you get from your followers when you post something like that.

Kane: You guys are the media, you guys can go in there and see that for yourself.

Media guy: Do you interact with your followers

Kane: If I did, it would be very clear for you guys to see.

In the background, behind the scrum, Blake Wheeler can be heard razzing Kane about the media presence. He also says out loud that he "liked" the photo. It is pretty clear this isn't a stresser on the team. The players know Kane - they like him or they don't. The idea that this photo would change things is laughable.

Paul Maurice acknowledge that Kane's sense of humor isn't for everyone. but also said the only distraction was via the media that asked him about it.

Media guy: You apologized for the Money Phone picture.

Kane: No I didn't.

Nor should he have to. Like him or don't, that is up to you. Follow him or don't. He puts himself out there for the public to see. He doesn't hide.

All that said, one thing that needs to be clear...

If you saw the Kane pic posted on Twitter - or any site other than Instagram - that wasn't Kane rubbing his money in your face. The person who re-posted it was likely the one looking for a fuss. If the picture pissed you off, it was likely the re-poster that wanted to get a rise out of you. Evander Kane was Instagramming and Instagramming well - others were stirring the pot for their own selfish reasons.

And that concludes your lesson on How Instagram Works. Thank you, Evander.