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

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>>>

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

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?

Google and Video Tips at the Social Networking Conference

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Last week, I had the opportunity and privilege to be a presenter on using social media to create brand loyalty at the Internet Dating Conference. The conference coincided with the Social Networking Conference in Beverly Hills.

Several members of Google led a 3-hour presentation on the use of Google tips, the Google Content Network, Google TV, and the mobile landscape.

Google shared some statistics on their study of online videos. Some of the statistics about video included:

  • 46% said that video helped them learn more
  • 35% said video provided them with information on where to sign up for services and offerings
  • 25% said video introduced them to sites they didn’t know about

Other tips from Google included:

  • Participate in online communities and social media thoughtfully
  • Make sure others are talking about you and are linking to you
  • Put video advice on your YouTube channel and get others to subscribe

YouTube statistics are off the charts:

  • More than 1 Billion videos are viewed daily
  • YouTube is the 4th largest site on the Internet
  • 448 Million unique global users
  • 20 hours of videos are uploaded each minute
  • YouTube is the #2 search engine in the world (second to Google)
  • Internet users spend more time on Facebook and YouTube than any other sites

The key takeaways from the Google presentation were that online video represents a huge opportunity to reach your customers with a new compelling format. Track your success with YouTube insights, create a call-to-action, and make YouTube your home.

If you are interested in learning how Social Media and More can help you with your video strategies, we’d like to hear from you.

Contact us>>>

Has video changed the way you do business? We’d like to hear your comments and thoughts.

Being Social at Book Expo America

Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) and Julie Spira( @JulieSpira) at Book Expo

Gary Vaynerchuk, @garyvee and Julie Spira, @JulieSpira at Book Expo America

I just returned from New York from Book Expo America, the largest industry conference in North America. At the show, authors, publishers, agents, and distributors met to discuss the state of the industry. A big subject this year was the value of e-books and their impact on the industry.

Although the show was a day shorter and the exhibit hall was noticeably smaller, BEA expanded their offerings this year by adding three new events to their packed agenda.

Let’s get Digital included co-location with the International Digital Publishing Forum in a pre-day event on May 25, 2010 as well as the Digital Book Zone on the exhibit hall floor to learn about the latest apps.

New York Book Week was added to the agenda this year. It was an honor for me to have been selected to speak at the New York Public Library as the first of ten authors this year. I read excerpts from two chapters of my book, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online as part of their Meet the Author Series. A discussion with dating advice followed the reading.

As an author who uses social media to extend the shelf life of my titles and those of my social media clients, it’s imperative for any author who has an idea to start thinking about their social media strategy. In 2009, a record 1 million books were published.

This year, Book Expo America got a face-lift and became extremely social media savvy. They were tweeting during the show, have a whole new look and feel with a new logo, and were engaging with authors in real-time.

Julie Spira at Book Expo America

Julie Spira at Book Expo America

On day one of BEA, I enjoyed signing copies of my book in the Authors Autographing Area. Close by, was Sarah, The Duchess of York as well as romance writer Robyn Carr, who I shared a cab with at the end of the day. I met with several publishers and agents about my next two books.

On day two of BEA, as the conference was about to end, I heard a familiar voice. It was Gary Vaynerchuk, better known as Gary Vee.  Gary was speaking at the Downtown Author Stage, sharing his passion and enthusiasm on how he lives his life.  Gary’s first book, Crush It! became a New York Times bestseller.  He was talking about his next book, The Thank You Economy (Harper). Gary said he was driven by gratitude. He shared with us his dream of buying the New York Jets, and brought it to our attention that 80% of drivers actually text while driving.

Gary also gave some sound business advice which included “Giving a gift certificate to an unhappy customer is like giving hush money.” Gary added that he treats his employees better than his family because he wants to keep them for life.

I enjoyed sharing social media strategies with my author friends and look forward to next year’s BEA conference, to be held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on May 24-26, 2011.

Let’s Get Digital – Creating Brands at Digital Hollywood

This week, once again I attended Digital Hollywood at the Loews Hotel in Santa Monica, CA.

It was a very enthusiastic iPad-friendly crowd where the theme throughout the past few days was branded content.

On the first day, Variety held their bi-annual Entertainment and Technology Summit. The event kicked off with Variety’s Publisher, Brian Gott, introducing Revolution Studios founder, Joe Roth. The summit included a lively web video panel with actors Illeana Douglas, host of the Ikea sponsored Easy to Assemble and Kevin Pollak from The Kevin Pollack Chat Show, who called YouTube “Entertainment for the groin.” He reminded us that soap detergents created the soap opera. Brian Firenzi from 5 Second Films praised the iPad as a television that you can carry with you. Jason Goldberg, Co-founder of Katalyst said, “We create marketing networks for brands.”

At the “Hollywood and Media Reinvented” panel, the word was clearly that content now needs to be conceived as more than just a television show. “It’s a combination of branded entertainment going forward,” said Greg Kahn, panelist and EVP, Business Development and Director at Optimedia, U.S.

Sharon Waxman, Editor in Chief of TheWrap.com led a packed panel on “Hollywood 2.0: Content and Commerce” She talked about how the entertainment industry is changing along with Funny or Die’s Marcelo Camberos, Reveille’s EVP, Digital and Production Jared Tobman, Roy Bank, President, Television for Merv Griffin Entertainment, Joe Michaels, Sr. Director, The Online Audience Business Group at Microsoft, and Eric Berger, SVP, Digital Networks and GM of Crackle.com.

After a standing-room only crowd at the “Web Series Development – Pilot season without a Net” panel, I had the chance to speak with Internet TV pioneer, Jim Louderback, CEO of Revision3 about the future of Internet Television.

Revision3 creates and produces all-original episodic community driven programs and has close to 10-million downloads per month.

Their shows include Diggnation and Tekzilla, which bring in $1 million or more in revenue each, with well over one million views per show. Diggnation took home the award for Best Hosted Web Series in the 2010 Streamy Awards.

I asked Louderback what makes a good Internet TV show. He replied with, “It starts with an engaging host that talks about topics they are passionate about.”

Louderback takes a “best available” screen approach and said, “If all you have is your cell phone, you’ll watch on your cell phone.” He added, “If the iPad is the best screen available in the house, it won’t be the only one. There will be a plethora of screens to choose from.”

As far as monetization, everyone agreed. “Bring in the brands.”

Julie Spira is an author and social media expert. She is the founder of Social Media and More

Personal Branding Interview

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Dan Schawbel, a world renowned personal branding expert and bestselling author of Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success interviewed me recently on his popular personal branding blog about how I created the brand of Cyber-Dating Expert.

Read the interview to find out my thoughts about personal branding as it relates to online dating as well as what I see for the future of the Internet dating industry. While you’re there, check out Dan’s terrific social media tips and the other interviews.

Click here to read Personal Branding Interview: Julie Spira>>>

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

Making Friends for the World to See – Thoughts on the 140 Conference

After an inspiring week in New York at Jeff Pulver’s 140 Characters Conference, I feel more empowered than ever about the “Power of Now,”  social media, and the authenticity of the friendships that have developed over the years through twitter and the real-time web.

When given the opportunity to meet people you have connected with IRL, it is a powerful gift which marries technology and friendship. It felt like I was a child at summer camp meeting new friends, bonding in a deep way, and then saying goodbye, wishing it wasn’t over.

After a gruelling trip back home to Los Angeles, I arrived feeling like a lost and weary traveler. It was at that moment, that I started humming the lyrics to the song by Elton John and Bernie Taupin entitled “Friends.” Although the song was released in 1970, it has now become my personal theme song from the 140 Conference in 2010.

Some of the highlights for me at the 140 conference (in no order of preference) included:

1.  A hug from MC Hammer @MCHammer at the VIP party the eve before day 1.

2. Being on the Stage at the 92nd Street Y on day 2 with Tom Miller @TomfooleryTM from Your Tango on the 1st-ever dating panel.

3. Cheering on my New York friend Andrea Syrtash @AndreaSyrtash on day 1 and extending the experience in our radio interview on Saturday

4. Chatting with speaker Mo Krochmal @Krochmal about education.

5. Meeting the elegant and eloquent Ann Curry @AnnCurry.

6. Seeing @GaryVee speak again for what he said would be his last time on stage. He’s gotten tired of life on the road.

7. Meeting New York tweeps at my book signing who have appeared on my #FF list with support from  Imal Wagner @ImalWagner.

8. Reconnecting IRL with Alexis Maybank @giltfounder before the fashion panel.

9. Crying during the Social Media for Social Good panel with @AdventureGirl @AutismSpeaks @Malaria_Envoy and tweeting on the spot to raise funds for these causes.

10. Meeting @Loehmanns and talking about my fashion tweets she saw during the Oscars.

11. Dining with @CateTV @Lori Moreno and others before meeting @Kelsey_Grammer at the Broadway Tweetup.

12. Having Kelsey Grammer personally send me a tweet before his performance at La Cage Aux Folles.

13. Playing with Silly Putty from my new friends at Answers.com.

14. Cherishing the first 140 Conference yearbook as a reminder of those I met during this powerful week.

15. Knowing that the 140 Conference Meet Up in Los Angeles is on May 10th and the 140 Conference returns to LA in October.

What is the theme throughout this message? It’s about friendship – Connecting,  Reconnecting, and creating memories together both online and offline. Whether you met back in the 70s or met for the first time on twitter, friendship is powerful. Friends now announce their engagements on twitter and facebook. Friends unite to support friends. We cheer on our friends when they are successful. We feel sad for their losses.  We send virtual happy birthday messages. We post obituaries online of those we love and will miss. We engage in a dynamic and powerful way, often in 140 characters or less.

Thank you @JeffPulver for bringing meaning to every element of our lives, through education, inspiration and friendship. All of the videos are now available for viewing by clicking on the watch this button on the agenda. I do hope you have the opportunity to view my panel, Experiencing: Love, Dating and Romance in the Real Time Web where we talked about the theme of authenticity. It was a joy to share my stories with you and to hear yours in return.

And now, with permission, the words to Friends, by Elton John and Bernie Taupin.

I hope the day will bring a lighter highway
For friends are found on every road
Can you ever think of any better way
For the lost and weary traveler to go?
Making friends for the world to see
Let the people know, you got what you need
With a friend at hand you will see the light
If your friends are there then everything’s alright
© 1970 Dick James Music Limited


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