Social Media and More

Creating Personalities and Brands on the Web

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!

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.

Social Media Day Los Angeles with Mashable and CBS

Social Media DayMashable 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 .

Social Media Day

Jeremy Pepper, Marsha Collier, Adam Ostrow, and Julie Spira

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.

How did you celebrate Social Media Day? Share your thoughts and follow Julie on Twitter @JulieSpira and like us at facebook.com/SocialMediaandMore

Social Media Obituaries

hands and a candleReactions to death and dying are spreading like wildfire on social networking sites. From live tweeting of Michael Jackson’s funeral on television to the overwhelming, emotional, and political responses to the death of Osama bin Laden, people are turning to social media to mourn the loss of loved ones, leaders, and opponents.

I first started studying what I call the “Social Media Obituary” when I started writing my second book, The Rules of Netiquette: How to Mind Your Manners on the Web. I had observed how friends of mine were reaching out to express their sadness when friends and family members were ill and passed away. I noticed how people connected on Facebook to advise friends of funeral arrangements. At first, I was uncomfortable with the “Social Media Obituary,” but have now that when handled in good taste, which is very individual, there is a place for a web page, site, updates, and a way to remember your loved ones.

In my article on the Huffington Post entitled, “The Social Media Obituary,” I went into great lengths to discuss not just it’s position as a place to hang your social media hat while mourning, but the responsibilities of friends on social networks when someone is crying out for help. The comments on my Facebook page were thought-provoking. They ranged from, “We must look out for  each other,” to someone who wished a school friend a Happy Birthday on Facebook, only to find out that the friend had passed away.

In the most recent case, Emily Longley, a single woman, was found dead in her home in the U.K. after posting a Facebook update saying she had a stalker and was scared. A memorial page was created in her honor on Facebook, which now has almost 16,000 comments from mourners and strangers. In other cases, teens and students who were cyberbullied took their lives. These tragedies might have been prevented if we took time to look at their Facebook updates and jumped in to help.

The primary focus of The Social Media Obituary are on tribute pages being created on Facebook. It’s become both a home for us to share our joys and successes, while dealing with real-life issues such as sickness and death. While our relationship status updates include, “Single” to “In a Relationship” to “It’s Complicated” to “Married” and “Divorced,” we don’t have a category to say, “Deceased.” Some profiles stay active on Facebook as a memoriam. Others remain due to lack of digital housekeeping. Tribute sites have been filled with inappropriate comments and have been pulled down. One thing that is known for sure, we now mourn and grieve with the help of our social media friends.

The full article can be found here on Huffington Post. I look forward to reading your comments on the issue. If you get a moment, do like us on Facebook.com/RulesofNetiquette where you can add your comments and thoughts.

Early Bird Special for BlogWorld

Join the top bloggers and new media experts in the world at BlogWorld Expo 2011

If you’re wondering why you should go to BlogWorld and New Media Expo – May 24-26 in New York City this year, there are several excellent reasons why.

First: BlogWorld is being held in conjunction with BookExpo America for the first time! This is excellent news for social media enthusiasts and aspiring authors. As one who has been featured at BookExpo, I can tell you that it is the largest book conference in North America. Your entry fee gets you into BEA for Free!

Second: You’ll have the chance to meet agents, publishers, and other authors who will sign copies of their books for F.R.E.E! As an author who was in the exciting Authors’ Autographing area the past two years, it’s an incredibly exciting experience.

Third: You’ll have the chance to hear social media giants and bestselling authors Gary Vaynerchuk and Jeffrey Hayzlett, who are both Keynote Panelists along with numerous social media experts.

I have attended both BlogWorld and BookExpo America and can tell you this is a marriage made in social media heaven.

BlogWorld pricing increases on 4/15! Save up to $300 on your registration TODAY!

Will You Set Facebook As Your Home Page?

Will You Set Facebook as Your Home Page?

Will You Set Facebook as Your Home Page?

Admit it. You come home and log onto your computer, check your iPad or PDA and look at Facebook before reading your emails. If this is the case and Facebook has taken over your world, do you want to change your browser’s home page to reflect your online behavior?

Apparently Facebook thinks you should do so, or at least they would like to make it easier for you to spend more time on their site. Already most users log on daily for 45-60 minutes to the social networking giant. Today, when I logged onto my account using the Firefox browser, I was greeted with the option of setting Facebook as my home page. Although I frequently look at Facebook before I settle down to write, I still prefer having my own business home page appear when I open up my browser.

For those whose love affairs have Facebook are at the top of the totem pole, this new feature might be for you.

If you plan on making Facebook your home page, please let us know. If you think they’ve gone overboard with taking over your life and the world, we’d like to hear from you.

Why You Need a New Google Profile

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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.

At the end of the day, everyone needs to have a Google Profile. Click here to get yours at google.com/profiles.To view mine, visit google.com/profiles/juliespira

If you need help with your social media and creating your Google Profile, let us know at SocialMediaMore.com/contact

googlenewprofile

Why It’s Important to Use Twitter for Customer Service

Today, I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Deepak Gupta on his terrific site, Marketing by Deepak. The question was posed to me about why businesses need to use Twitter for customer service.

Although I recommend it daily to my social media marketing clients, when you have a personal story to share, it becomes more meaningful.

In this particular case, I was one of many who were affected by the holiday snowstorm in New York. Unable to find out if my flight was canceled or not, and after being on hold for hours with the airlines, I reached out to Virgin America on their Twitter account.

Fortunately, someone on the other end responded to me. Situations like these will make the difference on whether you retain clients or they leave to go to your competitor.

Click here for full article>>>

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>>>


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