Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sue Scheff: Are you jeopardizing your job with social media?

Source: Baltimore Internet Examiner
By: Chip Dizard

You have heard the horror stories, last year, a North Carolina school district disciplined several faculty members for Facebook content such as personal photos and comments about students. reported that an Associated Press staffer in Philadelphia was reprimanded for a Facebook posting that criticized his company.

According to Sharlyn Lauby, president of ITM Group, a human resources consulting firm says "If I can put up pictures of the kids, I can put up pictures from a meeting,". "If I can talk about a recipe I saw with my sister, I can put up an article about something I saw that's work-related. ... People are talking about you, whether you want them to or not. As a company, you need to think about how you want to be positioned."

Companies are now dealing with this dilemma because work and personal lives often collide. Many companies have resorted to blocking social networking sites due to lost productivity and network concerns.

The key for employees to know is that whatever you post online can be used against you. Employers are often checking your online profile as a condition of employment. I had a client recently come to me about a web site link , she consented to do an interview on a major cable network, but it was for a surgery she wanted to keep private. So when you googled her name her employees found out that she had cosmetic surgery. This was something she agreed to with the cable network and it couldn't be taken down. For those people who want to protect their reputation, there are a few companies that will do that for a fee. One that is very popular is Reputation Defender.

Whatever you do, just be wise and trust your gut, if it seems inappropriate it probably is, I always err on the side of caution, especially in the workplace.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The New Facebook Family: Reevaluating Social Media

By Adam Tanguay

Over the last few months I have observed an interesting change in the world of Facebook. Where I used to see friends socializing, I now see mothers producing safety-themed wall posts on my friends’ pages. Where I used to see old classmates partying it up, I now see pictures of younger siblings conducting acts better left undocumented. Call it the new Facebook Family.
The evidence of the new Facebook Family is everywhere.

Directly below [above] my friend’s recent post decrying a party-induced headache is his mother’s serene avatar, reminding him politely about the dangers of drinking. Distant cousins who I might not see for years at a time now receive glimpses into my daily life and inquire about personal family matters on a regular basis. It is obvious that there is a new family present in the once esoteric world of social media, and this burgeoning group has drastically altered the core dynamics of our digital space.

As a brash teen with a passion for creative media outlets, I relished my early social media experiences with MySpace, LiveJournal, and Friendster. These digital spaces were exciting because I felt like I belonged to an innovative new web faction separate from popular culture. My grandma didn’t have a MySpace profile and Wal-Mart wasn’t going to post comments on my LiveJournal posts.

But all that has changed. The geeks, hackers, and techies are now shoulder to shoulder with moms and business executives in freshly commercialized social media channels. I even heard Tom Hanks talking about Twitter last night on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien. It appears that, as the social media family continues to expand into new domains and infiltrate the general public’s collective conscious, the subculture that spawned it all is destined to quietly slip away into a new corner of the Web.

I believe social media’s move into the mainstream is positive. The amazing benefits of this space are now accessible to everyone. Average Internet users now wield the tools to control their online reputation and identity, empowering average people to explore a world that was once extremely difficult for outsiders to understand.

However, this drastic accessibility shift has also changed the nature of social media. Savvy advertisers and recruiters were successful in early Web 2.0 channels because everything was still relatively “underground” in the eyes of users. Now that your mom Tweets all day long, the edginess early social media marketers once enjoyed has been severely incapacitated.

It is hard to say whether the new Facebook Family has inhibited social media from influencing interactions. However, if our favorite social media sites weaken with an influx of ads, fake-users, and a general loss of DIY spirit, it could signal the death of the industry. I like to remain optimistic. I believe a strong base of users reflecting their true online identities and a spirit of positive interaction will help maintain the integrity of the new family in which we find ourselves.

What do you think? How have you adapted to the new Facebook Family?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

ReputationDefender: Bing vs Google vs Yahoo People Search

Source: ReputationDefender

Last week, we wrote about Bing, Microsoft’s latest foray into the search engine market. At that time, the search engine was only open to private users. Today, however, Bing was released to the public, setting the Internet alight with buzz about whether or not Microsoft’s new “Decision Engine” is better than Google at delivering valuable results.

What’s the verdict?So far, the results are mixed.

While many are impressed by Bing’s search capabilities, particularly when compared to its predecessor, Live Search, the prevailing notion is that most people won’t find enough good in Bing to leave Google.

Of course, it is important to note that I said most people and not all people.You see, some users might actually switch their preferred search engine. This is why it is more important than ever for individuals to understand how their online image appears in not just Google, but Bing and Yahoo as well. After all, 30% of all Internet searches are person-related.

So how does Bing stack up against Google and Yahoo for people searching? Let’s check out the results with the world’s most famous PC: Bill Gates. (For a different take on the state of search engines, check out Danny Sullivan’s thoughtful post at Search Engine Land.)

Check it out here: