The story appeared in the Ottowa Citizen, Cyberstalking turns web technologies into weapons. The article headline is pretty powerful and will raise several digital eyebrows.
Before you accuse me of being a “Debbie Downer,” you should know that I absolutely love social media. It’s changed all forms of communication, marketing, journalism, and helped develop strong bonds between people who have a voice that should be heard.
When it was pointed out to me that the U.S. National Violence Against Women Survey reported that 60% of cyberstalking victims were women, I realized that we all have a responsibility as friends on Facebook and followers on Twitter to take notice if any of our digital friends are in trouble.
In the U.K., a cyberstalking study conducted by the British Electronic Communication Harassment Organization at Bedford University found that harassment via social networking sites, mobile phone, and email was greater than stalking in-real-life.
As an estimated 4% of cyberstalkers appear on traditional online dating sites, my advice in the article was as follows:
“If a date goes bad or someone breaks up, the jilted person can use the very sites through which they met their victims to turn around and harass them,” says Julie Spira, creator of the site Cyberdatingexpert.com.”
It’s my mission to help people safely navigate the web, both in matters of the heart and in everyday life. Cyber-safety is at the top of my list and I hope you join me in making the the world-wide-web a safer place to reside.
Julie Spira is a cyber-relations and online dating expert and the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating. She’s the CEO of Social Media and More and Editor-in-Chief at CyberDatingExpert.com.
Photo Credit: © MacX – Fotolia.com
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.
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!
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.
Mashable and CBS News joined together at the rooftop studio of CBS.com’s What’s Trending for the second annual Social Media Day in Los Angeles.
The event, created by Mashable and held in 90 countries around the world, included 1400 meetup’s. I was fortunate to have attended the Los Angeles gathering at CBS’s What’s Trending headquarters along with many of my social media friends.
Adam Ostrow, Mashable’s editor-in-chief welcomed us at the rooftop party with a 360 degree view of Hollywood. Shira Lazar, producer and host of What’s Trending gave us a tour of their studios, where Evan Lowenstein, founder of Stageit was performing and streaming live [video below].
Guests enjoyed cocktails from Veev, wine from One Hope, a photo booth from Polite in Public, and snacks from Pop Chips and Pretzel Chips.
No social media event would be complete without a contribution to social good. HeadBlade, who provides razors and grooming products for the shaved head look, donated $1 for each tweet with the hashtag of #SMDayLA to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives.
Among the attendees were my social media friends Amanda Coolong, Marsha Collier, Curt Buthman, Michale Pilla, Heather Meeker, Matt Meeker, Melissa Rowley, Marla Shulman, Seth Shapiro, Calvin Lee, KW Low, AV Flox, Alana Joy, Robert Moran, Kevin Winston, and Andy Sternberg. Many thanks to Marsha Collier for taking the photos.
Ever since Steve Jobs announced on March 2nd that the iPad-2 would be released on March 11th, I waited with enthusiasm for the day to arrive.
The fear of standing in long lines at the Apple store resulted in my calling the Apple sales line early this morning to find out the details on how to purchase my iPhone 64 GB 3-G model. It’s expected that over 600,000 iPad 2 tablets will be sold this weekend and I was determined to be one of them.
The sales representative at Apple was extremely helpful and told me there would be a 3-week wait to receive the device. Impatient as many others were, I called Verizon Wireless to see what their turn-around would be and found out that the local store would be getting their arrival at 4:00pm, local time. iPad enthusiasts had the opportunity not only to purchase their iPad today at their local Apple Store, but the tablets were also sold at Best Buy, Verizon Wireless stores, Walmart, AT&T, and Target.
The sales associate at the Verizon Wireless store told me to stop by just before 5:00pm and assured me there wouldn’t be a wait. It sounded too good to be true, so I decided to arrive 2-hours early at 3:00pm, local time along with a book to read and my own folding chair. I checked in on foursquare and happily tweeted that I was first in line waiting for my very first iPad.
Unfortunately, there was some confusion at the local store and we were told we needed to sign a 2-year data contract. Angry purchasers insisted the information was wrong and a confrontation erupted. The information was indeed incorrect. No apology was given for the miscommunication.
Those waiting in line shared which model they wanted to purchase. I knew I wanted one in white. The gentleman behind me wanted one in black. One woman was buying an iPad-2 for her fiancé as a birthday present.
Unfortunately, the local Verizon store only received four boxes of the long-awaited tablet in their shipment. There were many angry people who waited in line for over an hour, only to find out the store was out-of-stock after the first few in line finished their purchase.
At 5:10pm, I went home with my new iPad-2. Although my first choice of a red leather cover was unavailable, I realized I was one of the chosen few in the neighborhood. I’ll be using the iPad-2 for presentations, editing in iMovie, and to write content for a variety of websites and blogs.
Did you get an iPad-2? Will you wait for the frenzy to be over?
You may have a social networking profile on Facebook and Linkedin and spend time tweeting with friends on Twitter. What you may not have is a Google profile, which I highly recommend.
I view my Google profile as a combination of Linkedin and Facebook profiles. It allows you to have a bio about all of your work, not just one particular industry or job. As I’m the CEO of two companies, I direct many people to my Google profile. It allowed me to have a photo gallery of pictures from Picasa or Flickr. It allowed me to add links to articles I was featured in as well as links to my book page, sizzle reel and more. I was socially in love with my Google Profile.
Although Google profiles have been around for a while, when Google Buzz, their version of sharing your updates and whereabouts was introduced, they made a big mistake and forced that to become their landing page. Many of us were upset. If you found the profile, you never made it to the beautifully customized “About Me” page. We were stuck with Buzz and I stopped posting. The only way to get rid of Google Buzz as the landing page was to deactivate it, and along with that your entire Google profile which would disappear completely. As an end around, I created a bit.ly/JulieSpira which would go directly to the “About Me” page, but it was a social bandaid.
Finally, last week I took a peek at my Google Profile and was thrilled to share that they did a cyber face lift to make everyone ecstatic. The new look and feel is perfectly aligned with other social networking sites. You could select your 5 favorite photos, looking quite like Facebook’s profile stream. They call it the Scrapbook. Even better than the Facebook profile, you could actually describe what you do at the top under your name.
The only problem with the new version of the Google Profile is they shortened the space for your custom links, so the description appears to be cut off. At the end of the day, it was worth getting my profile back. You can still enjoy sharing on Google Buzz as it now appears as the second tab on your profile. I’m sure everyone is thrilled with this change and I’d like to thank Google for making this long overdue revision.
If you need help with your social media and creating your Google Profile, let us know at SocialMediaMore.com/contact
It was an honor to be a featured speaker at the 8th Annual Internet Dating Conference in Miami Beach.
My presentation, Dating 2.0: Using Social Media to Create Brand Loyalty shows examples of how online dating sites are successfully using social media. For more information on how Social Media and More can help your brand become more social, contact us at SocialMediaMore.com/contact
Mike Michalowicz , on the Toilet Paper Entrepreneur blog curated a list of 37 social media experts with some of our best tips on how to avoid social media blunders.
Social Media and More is proud to be on this list as the number 11 entry with our tip, Tag, You’re Not It.
Many of us are enjoying roaming down memory lane as we reconnect with people from childhood to the present. In your enthusiasm of scanning photos onto Flickr and Facebook, remember don’t tag unappealing photos of people on Facebook or post on your favorite social media sites. The man who tagged a photo of a woman from 35 years ago where she was 50 pounds heavier, got de-friended in a New York minute. When in doubt, don’t.
Thanks to Julie Spira of Social Media And More
For a complete list, visit the TPE blog
Millions 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
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Julie is the consummate professional. She is a recognized expert on social media and is a sought-after presenter for many organizations. As President of the Los Angeles chapter of the Women's National Book Association, I asked Julie if she would present at LA Bookwoman Day. She did an outstanding presentation regarding social media for writers and authors and answered many questions from the audience. I would ask her to present again without hesitation and always learn from Julie and consider her a valuable resource.
President, Womens National Book Association, Los Angeles