Social Media and More

Creating Personalities and Brands on the Web

Confused About Facebook’s Photo Sharing and Privacy Settings?

Facebook Photos - Julie SpiraIt seems that sharing photos on Facebook replaced baseball as the favorite pastime for digital enthusiasts. When Instagram came on the scene, celebrities embraced the photo-sharing site and Facebook grabbed it for $1billion.

Our love affair with Facebook started to wane with the multiple and confusing changes to their privacy settings. Even social media experts like myself had to study each change in detail to be able to explain it to my clients and to use it properly without offending others.

Then the big netiquette no-no happened. Mark Zuckerberg’s sister Randi posted what she thought was a private photo on Facebook, which appeared in a stranger’s tweet on Twitter. One can easily wonder how this can happen and not know the answer. Even Zuckerberg wasn’t sure why, but her public twitter engagement with @cschweitz clearly broke the rules of netiquette.

Sure when we’re upset we post before we think. Most don’t know that the Library of Congress now indexes tweets, permanently.

According to the New York Post, Zuckerberg’s older sister, Randi, complained yesterday when one of her Twitter followers publicly posted a photo of the family, including her famous brother, standing in the kitchen reacting to the company’s new Poke app.

“Not sure where you got this photo,” Randi tweeted in response @cschweitz. “I posted it only to friends on FB. You reposting it on Twitter is way uncool.”

When Garret Sloane from the New York Post called me to discuss this story that was going viral, I explained that we create a permanent digital footprint every time we post an update, photo, video, or tag people in photos, whether they appear in them or not.

I’ve always had a digital rule of thumb that when I snap a photo of someone else or a group at a party, I stop and show them the photo and ask if I can have their permission to post the photo to Facebook. If you’re automating your Facebook feed to Twitter, it’s there for the entire world-wide-web to see, even if your Facebook privacy settings are set to “friends only.”

Another rule of netiquette is to take your digital beefs privately. If you have something to say that isn’t flattering or is attacking another, send them a private message on Twitter if they’re following you. If you need to respond, do so privately and request that they follow you as well if they’re not.

“I’m just your subscriber and this was top of my newsfeed. Genuinely sorry but it came up in my feed and seemed public,” Schweitzer responded to Randi.

“Digital etiquette: always ask permission before posting a friend’s photo publicly. It’s not about privacy settings, it’s about human decency,” Randi admonished in a tweet after the photo was removed.

As I told the New York Post, social media is about: sharing experiences. If you post something on the Internet, it will be shared by strangers.

Unfortunately, we’re learning the lessons the hard way, especially when Facebook keeps changing the rules.

Julie Spira is a social media strategist and netiquette expert who writes about digital etiquette and intersection of love and technology.  Julie’s the author of the “The Rules of Netiquette: How to Mind Your Manners on the Web” and CEO of Social Media and More.

To connect with Julie, visit RulesofNetiquette.com, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and at Facebook.com/RulesofNetiquette.

Photo Credit – maigi – Fotolia.com

Countdown to BlogWorld in Los Angeles

In less than 24-hours, over 4000 bloggers and social media enthusiasts will congregate in Los Angeles for BlogWorld and New Media Expo.

Here’s your last chance to save 20% on tickets to BlogWorld, being held at the Los Angeles Convention Center on November 3-5, 2011.

Save 20% NOW on BlogWorld and New Media Expo LA 2011 registration with the code “BWELA20”! Register now to save!

I’ll be a featured speaker on Friday, November 4th at 1:45 pm in room 518 to talk about The Rules of Netiquette: How to Mind Your Virtual Manners.

Following my speech, I’ll have a quick meet-and-greet and will head over to the Barnes & Noble BlogWorld bookstore to sign copies of The Perils of Cyber-Dating at 4:00 pm.

If you’re planning on attending, do connect with me on Twitter @JulieSpira during the conference.

For a sneak peek of my presentation, you can watch this video.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Why You Should Go to BlogWorld Expo

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With the myriad of social media events and to pick from, BlogWorld and New Media Expo 2011 is on the top of my list.

I’ve attended numerous events including BlogHer, Social Media Week, SXSW, the 140 Conference, as well as shows with a social media element including NAB, CES, and AdTech. When I attended BlogWorld last fall for the first time in Las Vegas, I was welcomed into the community with open arms. The amount of shared knowledge that I experienced over the course of several days was enormously helpful. The building of personal relationships with those you have either communicated with on Twitter or Facebook, or admired from afar is something you will easily accomplish by attending the BlogWorld and New Media Expo. BlogWorld’s CEO Rick Calvert really makes you feel at home, even with the thousands of attendees and exhibitors on site.

This year, I will have the honor of speaking and presenting The Rules of Netiquette: How to Mind Your Virtual manners on Friday, November 4th at 1:45pm. I’ll be talking about Internet etiquette during BlogWorld’s largest expected audience yet. Even for those who have mastered social networking, we’re all guilty of breaking the ever-changing rules from time-to-time.

I had the opportunity to meet some of the already announced featured speakers in real life at the 140 Conference and other social media gatherings including Peter Shankman, Liz Straus, C.C. Chapman, and Jeffrey Hayzlett. Their voices and experiences will help transform your blog and brand.  I look forward to meeting and mingling with the other speakers and attendees during the 3-day event on November 3-5, 2011 in Los Angeles.

The Social Media Business Summit is promising to be the world’s largest social media business conference. Monetization won’t be just a buzz word of something we hope to achieve at some point, but we will be educated on specific examples on how we can find an ROI on our tireless and passionate writing skills, master SEO, and engage through video and other social networking channels.

Whether you’re just using Twitter to chit-chat in real time with like-minded others, or are responsible for the brand identity of your business, information will be shared in November and I’m super-excited to be a part of it. From podcasting to sales letters, everything you need to know to be successful in Internet marketing will be covered at this event.

I invite you to join me at BlogWorld and New Media Expo – Nov 3-5 in Los Angeles!. And yes, I’m proud to be an affiliate of this wonderful conference. Prices go up on September 21st, so you still have time to get an early-bird ticket. I look forward to seeing you there.

~Julie Spira, CEO Social Media and More and author, The Rules of Netiquette

@JulieSpira

 

 

 

Imitation Isn’t a Form of Flattery

Imitation Isn't a Form of Flattery - Social Media and More

As the World-Wide-Web becomes more and more like the Wild-Wild-West with the addition of new social networks such as Google+ as well as the MySpace cyber face lift, it’s time to pause and take a look at how we are representing or mis-respresenting ourselves in the digital world.

If you ask any Hollywood agent, they’ll tell you there really aren’t any original ideas out there. To stand out in the crowded digital playing field, you need to have a unique voice and build your brand.

So what happens when you see your company logo on another’s profile on a social networking site? Perhaps they’ve found it on Google images or were just hoping you wouldn’t notice. Between Google alerts and your friends in the blogosphere, one can only hope that you’re keeping a digital eye on your brand.

Recently, I shared the story on Huffington Post of how my personal identity was copied on Twitter for the second time in two years. Twitter doesn’t take this lightly. They call it impersonation. I say, imitation isn’t a form of flattery.

In the first case, I notified Twitter. Five days later, the account of the copy-cat was suspended due to suspicious activity. In the second incident, I was fortunate that a social media friend spotted it upon first tweet. The person using my logo apologized and removed it from their profile.

Without further digital adieu, here are my recommendations on how to protect your brand identity.

  • File a copyright registration for your logo at copyright.gov
  • Create a Google alert for your personal name, company name, and tagline at google.com/alerts
  • Create a search with your keywords on Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, or other social media software management tools
  • File a trademark for your company name and logo at uspto.gov
  • Take any digital dispute offline
  • Report any blatant incidents to the social network

Social media attorney Adrian Dayton agrees with this approach. “Social networks take identity theft extremely seriously, most people don’t realize that if they are a victim the first step is to notify Twitter, Linkedin or Facebook immediately,” said Dayton.

Dayton knows about this first-hand as one of his clients, an NFL player, had noticed that someone had used his name and jersey number to create a fake account and started tweeting critical messages about the team. “All it took was a single email to Twitter and the offending account was removed. It may take more than that if you aren’t somebody famous, but most social networking sites will take action,” Dayton added.

At the end of the digital day one can only hope that our friends become each other’s social media police. We need to keep looking out for each other.

Have you experienced impersonation of your company or personal brand? Comments are welcome.

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>>>

The Top 10 Rules of Netiquette for Social Media

Last year I announced at Book Expo America that I was writing my second book, The Rules of Netiquette. The book is a social media book. Think “Miss Manners Meets Web 2.0.”

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Since that time many of you have shared your stories and have commented on those who aren’t so social-media friendly or just don’t know the Rules of Netiquette. I’ve been collecting stories about those who have broken the rules. If you have a story to share, we’d like to hear your comments.

For now, let’s talk about some of the Top 10 Rules of Netiquette if you’d like to play in the game, build a following, and enjoy the benefits of social networking.

1. The Authenticity Rule.  Have a personality that shines online. Remember that you are human and limit your automation. Engage about subjects that would be of interest to your followers.  Follow trends and comment on them. It isn’t all about “you.” Imitation isn’t a form of flattery. Compliment others and credit them where credit is deserved.

2. The Google Rule. Sure we’re curious, but should we kiss and tell? Whether it’s for business or romance, if you’ve researched them in detail online, don’t let them know. You won’t want to be accused of being a stalker. What you see isn’t always what you get.

3. The S.P.A.M. Rule. Remember, SPAM is a four-letter word. Facebook is a terrific place to expand your social and business network with people you have just met, while reconnecting with those from your past. If you have a product or service you would like to promote, send a private and personal email message to someone and ask permission. Don’t get in the habit of self-promoting your next event on someone else’s profile. If yo do so, expect to be de-friended in a New York minute.

4. Spreading the Love Rule. When you are building up your list of followers on Twitter and business contacts on Facebook and Linkedin, make sure to comment and re-tweet more often than self-promoting your own brand. Comment and share interesting posts from your friends on your favorite social networking sites and blogs. Become viral with your friends and family. Be social media friendly and click both the share and like buttons on Facebook, if you see a post or story that you think your friends and followers would enjoy.

5. The Personalize It Rule. When requesting to be a social friend on Facebook or a business connection on Linkedin or other social networking sites, make sure you send a personal message along with the request. It’s about human interaction, not numbers. When in doubt, send a private email message or direct message on Twitter if they are following you. Remember, posts, tweets, and status updates are often indexed by Google and the search engines.

6. The Off-limits Rule. Opinions on politics, religion, personal attacks, and controversial subjects that could cause embarrassment to others should not be put on the public Internet. When in doubt, don’t. You will lose friends and followers quickly.

7. The Tag – You’re It Rule. You have just connected with an old friend from grade school or college. Avoid posting and “tagging” photos of them that aren’t complimentary.  Everyone needs a fresh start and it’s only fair to be on an even social media playing field.

8. The When in Doubt, Don’t Rule. Make the conversation worthwhile. One less tweet, update, or photo won’t matter. Avoid being the one whose messages are about taking a nap. Conversations are “in.” Clutter is not. Engage in a meaningful way.

9. The Send Button Rule. Make sure to use spell-check and proof read messages before pushing the send button. Remember, you can’t take it back. Never send an email when you’re angry. Chances are you’ll feel different in the morning.

10. The Acronyms Rule. Don’t overuse acronyms in online communication. We all know what RSVP and FAQ stands for, but not everyone knows the meaning of ROTFL and BTD. Use acronyms sparingly, and avoid them in business correspondence.

Excerpts from the upcoming book, The Rules of Netiquette by Julie Spira. ©2009 – 2010 Julie Spira – Social Media And More

Like us on Facebook.com/RulesofNetiquette

If you have a social media story to share and know those who have broken the rules of netiquette, we welcome your comments or you can contact us privately at http://SocialMediaMore.com/contact

Click here for Top 10 Rules of Netiquette for Online Dating


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