Social Media and More

Creating Personalities and Brands on the Web

The Facebook Facelift – A Review

facebooksmallMillions of people watched 60 Minutes last night to see Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg talk about the latest new look on your Facebook personal pages. Called the Facebook Facelift, I jumped on the social media bandwagon prior to the broadcast with enthusiasm on what the new site would look like.

To Update, or Not to Update

To start off with, if you haven’t updated it yet, don’t rush to the nearest computer to do so. Take some time to view other profiles to see how you like it during this transition period. As of now, I can’t push a button to revert to the profile with my preferences, not Facebook’s.

It’s All About Their Photos

Now that 24-hours has gone by, I miss the profile box where I could describe on my own, who I was and what I was about. Zuckerberg says it’s all about the photos. Sure we love exploiting our personal lives and uploading photos onto Facebook. Facebook claims that every day, 100 million photos are uploaded to their social networking site. Having tagged photos pre-selected by Facebook on the top of my page with the heads cut-off from my friends who tagged me is not that appealing. It’s like a game of mystery when you delete a photo, as you won’t know what the next picture will be from your various online photo albums. Perhaps I won’t like the new photo as much as the old one, but it’s deleted from the stream. You can’t bring it back as a featured photo.

Losing the Social in Social Networking

Gone are those wonderful hyperlinks to my personal websites, Google profile, Amazon page, Facebook business pages, and my twitter account. To “like” me or “follow” me, or anyone for that matter, will require some effort. One will have to click the info page on the left side bar under a profile photo if they really want to know more. It’s time consuming and very likely that you won’t get additional page views.

For many serial entrepreneurs like myself, I have several businesses that I run. Facebook only allows one to appear under my profile name. The previous version of Facebook listed all of them as I hand selected them to appear in the left sidebar.  If I delete one business the other will appear. I can have more than one business, but Facebook will decide which one will be displayed on my home page.

Friendship vs. Money

Although Zuckerberg says Facebook is all about friends, why is the left side bar with your friends listed significantly smaller than the right sidebar with the advertisements? I guess it’s all about money and the price of friendship. I do like that you can see your friendship history with someone easily on the top right hand side of the profile. But wait. What if you just broke up? Do you really want to see his photo in your stream? You can take the time to change the privacy settings, but when you have a falling out with someone, there’s a digital memory book that you need to uncreate, or simply just ignore.

To Poke, or Not to Poke

In the several years that I’ve been on Facebook, I haven’t poked a soul. Sure, I’ve received a few pokes. I never poke back. I was stunned to see that Poking ended up as a prime piece of real estate in the game of Facebook. At the top right you can either send a message, chat, or poke. I don’t know why Facebook is encouraging poking. Will you poke more often? I’d like to know.

I wanted to love the new Facebook. As a social media expert, I spend hours on the site every day. With any change, it will take time to get used to. One can only hope that Facebook will allow me to decide which photos best represent me on my profile and will return the box that still appears on Pages so we can truly keep the “social” in social media and invite our friends to join us on the social networking site of our choice.

At the end of the day, Facebook will continue to grow and be the giant that keeps 500 million people company, every day of the week. The 60 Minutes segment stated that Facebook’s valuation is between 35-50 billion dollars. Facebook, please give us a choice to revert back to the old profile so we can better control the information we want our digital friends to know about us.

Julie Spira is a bestselling author and relationship and social media expert. Follow her at Twitter.com/JulieSpira. Like her pages at Facebook.com/SocialMediaAndMore and Facebook.com/RulesofNetiquette

Breaking Up in the World of Facebook

With over 500 million members on Facebook, relationship status changes have become the darling of the Internet. One can’t help but notice the red heart appear and disappear on the profiles of our  friends and our new friends, better known as the friends-of-friends.

When Michelle Yarn from GalTime.com contacted me to contribute to her article on the topic, I was quick to chime in. Our interview took place over a month before the widely publicized Facebook Breakup Chart appeared on the web, created by David McCandless. We’re heading into the holiday break up season, so here are some excerpts from the post.

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Breakups used to be so simple. You get dumped. You cry about it. You get advice from close friends and family. They tell you how much better off you are without him. You cut all ties from your ex. Then, eventually you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back into the game.

Yep, those were the good ole days. Those were the days before social networking sites like Facebook splattered your love life across the web like a tabloid. Now, as the Facebook gods have so conveniently pointed out, “It’s Complicated.”

I have a friend (a real life one) who was recently dumped by her boyfriend of three and a half years. When she came to me for advice it started out as your typical breakup pep talk.

While the situation will vary depending on the severity of the split, there are some basic guidelines to help you handle a breakup in the age of Facebook.

According to Julie Spira, social media/relationship expert and author of The Perils of Cyber Dating , one of the most important steps to consider is how to update your status.  She says, “I don’t believe singles should constantly change their status from “single” to “in a relationship” to “it’s complicated” and back to “single” for everyone to see. Unless both parties agree on changing their status to “in a relationship” and it’s a serious relationship, no one wants to see the drama. However, it’s the most commented on update you will see on Facebook. People are just curious and want to know the juicy details. If you’re hurt, just delete your status completely to avoid the comments.”

And while many couples will decide to remain friends in real life, the same decision in the world of Facebook can be hell.  “When most couples break up, it’s not usually a happy time. More often that not, one has moved on already.” Spira adds, “If you’re still hurting from the split, I suggest de-friending him or her so you don’t have the opportunity to stare at their wall. We can’t help ourselves sometimes due to the curiosity, but it delays the healing process from the one left behind.”

Kelly Spann, a marketing and publicity manager in Virginia, learned this lesson the hard way.

“First off, right after we broke up I totally put him on blast in my status. I was angry, but that definitely wasn’t a classy move. Then I didn’t de-friend him and he didn’t de-friend me. Having to see his status updates, pictures and the various other girls writing things on his wall didn’t help me get over the break up at all.”

What if you’re the one that did the dumping? Have a heart! You may be ready to move on, but the rules of netiquette say there’s no need to rub your ex’s face in it. If you remain Facebook friends, Spira suggests at least changing your privacy settings to prevent your ex from seeing your activity with your new love interest. Otherwise, your ex may find some pretty creative ways to make your single life miserable.

Facebook user Josh Gilbert says his ex knew exactly how to use the social networking site to get back at him after their nasty breakup.

“I had made plans to attend Lollapalooza with a girlfriend, but then we broke up. She went anyway, and only posted pictures of two of my favorite bands – saying to ‘no one in particular’ – ‘Live from Lollapalooza – jealous?’ I can’t prove this was an intentional dig, but I’m convinced it was.”

Even if you delete your ex, there’s still the issue of mutual friends. This one’s hard enough to handle in your day to day life, but Facebook is a whole different beast.

Spira says, “There’s no need to delete the entire world because your relationship has ended, but I do recommend changing your privacy settings in Facebook to ‘friends only.’ You can also select the privacy settings individually for each status update if you prefer, where you have the option to select ‘everyone’,  ‘friends,’  or ‘friends of friends.’

Once the drama has subsided and you find yourself ready to get back into the dating scene, Spira says to proceed with caution.

“Unless you are actively ready to date again and would like to meet someone on Facebook, take a break from the status relationship change and just don’t post any relationship status at all. If you’re ready to date, go ahead and list yourself as “single” but be prepared to be hit on. It just happens.”

To read the entire post, click here>>>

How Networking Online Benefits Relationships

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The Huntington News, the Independent Student Newspaper of Northeastern University recently interviewed me on the subject of how Internet networking benefits relationships. In the article, Marian Daniells talks about the positive relationships that develop when technology is used to supplement human interaction.

I have personally experienced this when someone who was following me on Twitter came to a book signing of mine where we met in real life. I’ve also developed wonderful friendships from people I have met on Facebook and Twitter as a result of speaking at social media conferences.

I believe in casting a wide net for both business and romantic relationships through the use of social networking. The healthiest relationships are a result of both online and offline communications.

Cyber-dating expert Julie Spira said she has witnessed the positive and negative effects the Internet can have on relationships.

“The Internet can be used as a tool to enhance your life,” she said.

Spira, who helped host September’s Social Media Week in Los Angeles, first created an online profile in 1994. Since then, she has been on “hundreds and hundreds” of dates, received four marriage proposals and learned of the many hazards of online communication.

In her book, “The Perils of Cyber-Dating,” released in September, Spira aims to inform dating site users — particularly women — of the many “red flags” of online dating. There are a lot of risks, Spira said, who claims that misrepresentation is a common problem.

According to her research, she said women often lie about their age and weight in their online profiles, hoping to appear more appealing by representing themselves as younger and thinner. Similarly, she observed, men often inflate their salaries and shorter men typically claim to be two inches taller.

“A third of men online that claim to be single are married or just separated,” said Spira. “It’s important to take time to talk to people, to see if their stories add up.”

The recently-released movie “Catfish” is a documentary-thriller about New York-based photographer Nev Shulman who engaged in a long-distance romantic relationship with a woman he met on the Internet. Eventually, he discovered that the woman he was actually talking to was a married middle-aged woman who used a stranger’s photos as her own and represented herself as her own, non-existent daughter, a 20-something amateur model. She created and monitored numerous accounts, some of fictitious people and some based on actual people.

As it turns out, the twenty-something that Shulman thought he was getting involved with was a bored Midwestern housewife with three kids.

But despite the “red flags” and perils of online dating like those in “Catfish,” Spira said the Internet is still an important — and beneficial — tool.

“It’s a combination of romantic and social networking,” Spira said, citing business relationships she has formed with men she’s met online. In one case, she was introduced to an agent by a “failed date.”

Drawing a simile between romantic networking online and sending out resumes, Spira said the Internet is “a way to expand your social and business networks.”

Spira, acknowledging the risks associated with online communication, said that it’s important to transition relationships from online to offline as soon as possible.

“You need to use the Internet as a tool,” she said.

But sometimes, she said, people build trust with those they’ve never met and share private information, including deeply personal beliefs or financial information.

“It can be risky,” Spira said.

Click here to read full article on The Huntington News>>>

Happy National Author’s Day

Happy Author's Day

Happy Author's Day

Today, November 1, 2010 is National Author’s Day. Unlike 60-years ago where most authors didn’t have the tools to promote their books, today, every author needs a social media marketing plan.

National Author’s Day was originally adopted by the General Federation of Women’s Clubs in 1929. Twenty years later, the U.S. Department of Commerce added it to their calendar. If authors had the ability to use social media back then, they would have been more successful.

As an author of a bestselling book, I’d like to both celebrate this holiday with my fellow authors and more importantly talk about the benefits of social media marketing for authors.

1. Social Media can make your book a bestseller. It happened to me and it can happen to you.

2. Social Media can help build momentum prior to your book’s launch.

3. Social Media will help you create new relationships with like-minded authors who will help promote your book.

4. Social Networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Linkedin and others give you free access to promote your book.

5. Book sites such as Amazon allow you to post your video, blog, and provide information about yourself and your upcoming book signing events and appearances.

6. There are many blogs dedicated to writers and authors who are happy to do book reviews of your title or a blog book tour.

7. Internet radio show geared towards your topic or niche will be happy to have you as a guest on their program.

For more help with Social Media for Authors, please contact us at Social Media and More, where we can help you decide on publishing solutions, create book trailers, and help create your personality and brand on the Web.

Eat, Tweet, Blog – Thoughts About BlogWorld Expo

Julie Spira and Omaha Steaks Executive Chef Karl Marsh - BlogWorld

Julie Spira and Omaha Steaks Executive Chef Karl Marsh - BlogWorld

I must admit after returning from BlogWorld 10, the world’s largest social media conference,  I regretted getting on the scale. I spent most of my time at Blog World eating, tweeting, and blogging.

There was no shortage of food being discussed and consumed at the 10th annual social media and blogging conference. The TECHmunch stage was one of the highlights of the event. Everything from co-founder Rick Calvert’s personal favorite salsa recipe to my friend and author Marsha Collier interviewing Craig “Meathead” Goldwyn, the barbecue whisperer from AmazingRibs.com.

I very much enjoyed the TECHmunch panel, Working with Brands at the BlogWorld kitchen and regretfully missed the Fancy Fast Food Challenge with Erik Trinidad from FancyFastFood.com.

One of the highlights was the BlogWorld Bistro Tasting hosted by Omaha Steaks at the Foundation Room at House of Blues at Mandalay Bay. Executive Chef Karl Marsh was on hand serving amazing appetizers including Filet Mignon Spring Rolls, Bull Wings, and Jumbo Cooked Shrimp from their collection. Much to my surprise, their dessert display included Milk Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies and Cream Puffs. They now have an iPhone app called Steak Time.

From PR plans to setting up your digital kitchen to the many private tastings throughout Las Vegas, We ate, tweeted, and blogged the whole conference through.

Congratulations to Rick Calvert and Dave Cynkin, co-founders of BlogWorld on a very successful and wonderful experience for social media enthusiasts. It’s time to go on a BlogWorld diet, but  I look forward to seeing everyone again at BlogWorld 11.

What’s Your Facebook Klout?

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For those who are addicted to their social networking sites and have enjoyed watching their Klout score rise, there’s good news for you.

Klout, who collects data from your Twitter account has now added Facebook to the equation. As a result, your Klout score may go up and there’s a bunch of new graphs to enjoy.

For those who don’t know what Klout is, it’s a system that rates your online influence in a variety of categories. It isn’t about the number of your followers or fans, but the quality of your content, engagement, and followers on the social web.

You can secretly obsess about your Klout score or share it on Twitter or Facebook for the world to see.

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Not only can see the details of your score summary, true reach, amplification, and network, but you’ll become categorized as a social media type. With Facebook added to the equation, you won’t only see your Retweets, but you’ll get a summary of your total likes, total comments, and unique likers as well.

You’ll see your network score with your true reach and a variety of graphs.

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Interested in finding out your Klout personality type? It’s uncanny, but seems to be accurate with most of the social media people I know.

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For more information, visit Klout.com

Social Media Week Special from Social Media and More

We’re in the middle of Social Media Week in Los Angeles and it’s been an exciting time for social media enthusiasts. Social Media Week is being held in Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Milan, and Bogota – Columbia. Most of the events are free and donations are being made via Twelethon.com to benefit Inner City Arts.

For those around the world who can’t attend these events, many of them are being streamed on UStream at socialmediaweek.org/live

In honor of Social Media Week, Social Media and More is offering a special 20% discount on all of our social media marketing programs.  Take advantage of savings from $200-$1500. The Social Media Week promotion is valid through 11:59pm/PT on Friday, September 24, 2010.

Spots are already filling up and I’m so excited to meet so many of you this week. Even if you are not attending the 5-day celebration, I encourage you to visit our site to learn how we can help you create your personality and brand on the web. From building your Twitter personality and Facebook page, to teaching you how to engage in a meaningful way, we’ll be at your side. Authors, businesses and individuals, it’s time for you to get more social on the web.

Contact us at socialmediamore.com/contact for more details.

Julie Spira to host Date and Skate Night at Social Media Week

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LOS ANGELES, CA – September 16, 2010  Bestselling author, dating and social media expert Julie Spira will host Social Media Week’s Date and Skate Night singles party in conjunction with Down & Derby on Thursday, September 23, 2010.

Social Media Week, a multi-city global conference connecting people, content and conversations around emerging trends in social and mobile media, will be held on September 19-24, 2010 in various locations throughout Los Angeles.

“I was honored to be asked by the advisory board to participate in a singles event during social media week,” said Spira.  She added, “I have been marrying love and technology for over 15 years.  This event is a natural combination of how we combine social media and technology to meet other singles in real life. It’s going to be a terrific event.”

Date and Skate Night is taking place at Echoplex, 1154 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026 in Los Angeles from 9:00pm – 2:00am.  Attendees are encouraged to bring their iPhone, Blackberry, or Android to download the latest dating applications at the event. Spira will be on hand providing her expert dating advice to the guests.

“It was a no brainer to partner with Social Media Week and dating expert Julie Spira,” said Richard Alexander from Down & Derby. Alexander added, “When you think of a retro roller disco, you think funky music, retro entire and couple skating. We love the idea of a Date night, Skate night at the Echoplex. It’s going to be a great night.”

During the entire length of Social Media Week Los Angeles, conference participants will be invited to contribute to Inner-City Arts, a learning oasis in the heart of Skid Row where professional artists teach students in a real studio environment.

Tickets are $5 in advance, $10 at the door. Skate rentals are $5. To purchase tickets, visit http://losangeles.socialmediaweek.org

For more information, please contact:

Julie Spira

Julie@JulieSpira.com

About Julie Spira

Julie Spira is a social media expert, dating advice columnist, and media personality. She has always been known for being on the leading edge of technology. Spira’s digital life started in 1981, where she was an executive for RKO Radio Networks, the first digital-delivered satellite radio network. Spira was an executive for several communications and Internet companies; and as Executive Vice President, Sales of InterPacket Networks, was the first to bring high-speed Internet via satellite to third world and emerging world countries, including Kenya, Tanzania, and throughout most of Latin America. She is the founder of Social Media and More, a social media marketing company and is the bestselling author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online.  She is a frequent guest in the media on the subjects of online dating and social media and was named one of the Top 10 Columnists to follow on Twitter.

Visit her at http://SocialMediaMore.com and http://CyberDatingExpert.com

About Down & Derby

Down & Derby is a retro-inspired roller skating party created and designed to give attendees a unique nightlife experience. The throwback events combine décor reminiscent of a 70s roller disco with attendees participating through fashion attire evocative of the era. DJs known for pushing the limits of mixing and music production are procured, adding vibrant energy to the event with underground and popular mixes. Down & Derby is bringing roller disco back to the forefront. Inspired by the Roxy roller skating party in New York City, Down & Derby is putting wheels on a whole new generation of skaters. Set to a backbeat of disco-inspired party anthems, complete with skate rentals and a candy bar, Down & Derby is poised to bring out the kid in just about anyone. Four wheeled revelers are encouraged to dress the part in everything from neon spandex to headbands and glitter making for a memorable party atmosphere.

Visit them at http://downandderby.org

About Social Media Week

Social Media Week, being held on September 20-24, 2010, includes dozens of events hosted at locations all over the city. Influential hyper-connected: CEO’s and CMO’s, entrepreneurs, journalists, bloggers, brand managers, social media strategists, artists, activists and the technology/media digerati will join together at over 70 events in Los Angeles. The breadth and depth of topics and participants is tremendous; from the guilds (DGA, WGA, PGA) to MySpace, LiveNation, RedBull, WholeFoods, the US State Department, City Hall, CleanTech LA, USC, mommy bloggers, the VC/startup community, and more. Select media and event partners and sponsors currently include the City of Los Angeles, The Los Angeles Times, The Financial Times, Fast Company, Wired, the LA Business Journal, LA Weekly, Meebo, iCrossing, LivePerson, Thinkwell and others.

Visit them at http://socialmediaweek.org/losangeles

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Social Media Tips for Small Business

Carol Roth has come up with a list of 80 terrific social media tips from social media experts around the globe.

Social Media and More is proud to be among the list of social media savvy companies that was selected for her piece.

Everything from “Tweet Some Love” to “Be a Clown” to “Giving Away Your Best Stuff'”, you’ll be fully armed with the advice to make yourself and your business a social media rockstar.

Our tip came in at #34

Landing Right on Facebook

One of the most important social media strategies is the creation of a powerful landing page on Facebook. You can select which tab you would like users to be directed to on your page. To create excitement and build a following, I recommend offering a promotion unique to those who like your page on Facebook. Add in a contest to engage your fans and build brand loyalty. Build up buzz for the announcement of the winners.
For a complete list, visit the post, 80 Tips Small Business Can Use to Best Leverage Social Media

Julie Spira talks about Philanthropy and Giving Back to the Community

Recently, I met Max Flower of Max Flower -TV. He was doing a series of interviews about media personalities and their roles in the community with their philanthropic work. As much of my social media marketing business is focused around charitable organizations and my belief in giving back to the community,  I was delighted to participate in this series.

An organization that means a lot to me is Jewish Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Los Angeles. As a member of the Board of Trustees of JBBBS and a “Big Sister” I discussed my involvement with the 95-year old organization.

One of the questions asked of me was, “Since you’ve been involved with philanthropy, how have you changed as a person?”  I know that when I go home at night knowing I have made a difference in the life of a child,  I can’t put a price tag on it.

Max also interviewed Shira Lazar, who talked about her support of Twestival, Charity Water and Concern Worldwide. Bill Husak, athletic director at Loyal Marymount University also shared his vision about making a difference in the world.

Our ability to use our social media platforms for social good is a gift we have been given. How has charity and philanthropy affected your life?


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