Are you #TeamSecret?

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I’m sure everyone knows the phrase, “Secrets, secrets are no fun unless you share with everyone.” We are told this phrase when we are young and to keep quiet about certain matters because who really knows every little detail about someone? We definitely keep mum about specific details in our life… it’s only normal, right? But it’s also normal to share some of our secrets. To our friends and family, though? Hmm… why not share our deepest and darkest secrets with strangers? Yes, good idea!!! Wait, is it? What about when our parents taught us to never talk to strangers? WAKE UP CALL… stranger danger is everywhere, yet we share WAYYY too much about our life whether we like it or not… we’re the generation who is obsessed with social media who talk and share too much. Do we stop and think before we post our secrets? Probably not, but since we have no one we can trust in our inner circle, why not share with others? Instead of being protective of our online personas, anonymous networking sites do the trick for the people who like to share! The anonymous site/app I’m going to dissect for this post is Whisper.

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Before doing my research in full, I only knew one anonymity site– such as PostSecret.com. Of course, in my search, I found more sites like www.secret.ly, Social Number, Simply Confess, Raw Confessions, True Confessions… the list goes on. It’s clear there’s a theme here… these sites are solely on your confessions. Not interacting with others like how the usual networking sites are but just straight up confessions where people can like what you say or comment.

For you visual learners out there, here’s what I’m talking about:

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What I’m hear to discuss with my fellow readers is if these sites are healthy or not. To me, my answer is yes and no. Yes, because it’s healthy to have a creative outlet and let go of your worries. But, in that case, people can buy diaries or journals. Well, everything is on the Internet these days, so why not?! What’s the harm? … Plenty!! Which brings me to my no explanation. No, because when you put your dirty laundry on the Web, it’s there for life. You’re allowing people to read your soul and negativity is bound to happen. We keep learning in our class, Fundamentals of Social Media, to think before typing/think before speaking/think before tweeting/think before instagramming/THINK! THINK! THINK! Not only is this a HUGE problem for my generation but also for the younger generations and the older generations. Everyone’s in trouble here. So, what are some ways to maintain the good to these sites?

According to digitaltrends.com and their guide to help us learn how to be anonymous through communication activity,  we can learn how to:

  1. Hide our IP address
  2. Create an alias and disposable email account
  3. Lay off of downloading too much

DigitalTrends is an excellent resource for those people who enjoy “How To’s” and I know I’m talking to a big demographic here! I can’t help but repeat myself, protect yourself by thinking before doing the action.

Of course, I found an article to back me up on my “Are anonymous networking sites healthy?” To reiterate from Wired.com‘s article, “Why Anonymity Apps Are So Healthy – And So Rotten,” Issie Lapowsky writes that there was a debate at the annual TechCrunch Disrupt conference in New York City over what Whisper is truly for. By the end of the conference, the answer was left unclear.

For those who aren’t familiar with the background of Whisper, let me clue you in. Whisper is one of many anonymity apps (as I stated earlier in my post). It allows anyone to write something without their name on it, set it against a pretty background and share it with the world. Many of these sites/apps advertise their product as a safe place for people to unload and feel connected online. However, while many use these platforms as a dialogue, we need to make these talkative people aware of the consequences.

Just the other day, my sister asked me if Tumblr is considered anonymous. I told her, “Those who have Tumblr accounts have the ability to message one of their followers or someone they don’t follow as anonymous.” This rages us Tumblr folk because normally an anonymous message tends to be negative. There are times when it can be positive, as well. These negative comments bring these bloggers down and making them believe their comments were true. I think when anon, there aren’t many consequences because we can’t track them down. The ultimate lesson for people who receive anon messages is to simply delete the incoming message. In an article on USAToday, it states, “comments can be bad for science.” Matt McLernon, a YouTube communications manager, writes, “The essence of commenting and sharing runs much deeper than what’s below a story. That conversation, that two-way element is going to happen one way or another.” Well said, Matt!

In any which way, anonymous networking sites and applications are healthy and unhealthy. Some see the ability to comment as a valuable tool while others rely on safety. In an attempt of just that, The Huffington Post recently banned anonymous commenting.

The trouble with these sites is that the user doesn’t know how to use it and ultimately abuses it then has to face the consequences. Just like on Snapchat how the snaps don’t go away like we think they do, these networks may be anonymous but they’re not secret. Uh oh! People can reuse and share your secrets however they can. Mashable has a great article discussing the privacy policies of Secret and Whisper- check it out!

As we learn at a young age and throughout our years, don’t trust just anyone. I think the new phrase that needs to breakthrough is this: If you don’t trust someone or something, then don’t share. Simple as that. Put your thinking cap on before divulging!

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LinkedIn: The Most Astounding Statistics Site Around

I decided to read Chapter 9 on “LinkedIn: Social Networking for Professionals” in our textbook, “Share This: The Social Media Handbook for PR Professionals” because I wanted to educate myself about the networking site. I don’t know anything about it yet I have one, so I thought “Hmm.. why the heck not?!

First and foremost, let’s learn a definition. Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) defines social media as “the building of communities or networks and encouraging participation and engagement.” This is spot on! We are encouraged to engage with people in real world and then there’s also our favorite way of interacting, the Internet. Seriously, what would we do without the Internet? God bless Robert E. Kahn and Vint Cerf! We certainly wouldn’t have the sites nor applications we love so much today and we wouldn’t be able to link with our peers, mentors, friends, family and professionals AKA LinkedIn.

I was astounded to read that over 135 million professionals use LinkedIn to exchange information, ideas and opportunities. And, as of November 2011, there were more than six million members in the U.K. (The site’s UK homepage, p. 80) As I am always trotting the web, I wanted to find out how many people in the states use it. I found a great resource telling me all about the statistics of LinkedIn. I was expecting to find statistics on just USA but I was happy to learn about other countries association with “Facebook’s sensible older brother site” (Appleby, Matt p. 79). As of November 2013, it shows the Top 10 countries with the most people on LinkedIn, which I am going to share with you!

  1. USA – 84,851, 462 (Sidenote: #GOMERICA!)
  2. INDIA – 20, 959, 886
  3. BRAZIL – 14, 623, 515
  4. UK – 12,772,853
  5. CANADA – 8,095,417
  6. FRANCE – 6,103,611
  7. ITALY – 5,651,460
  8. SPAIN – 5,076,834
  9. MEXICO – 4,895,155
  10. AUSTRALIA – 4,688,775

WOW!! I am so happy to learn that LinkedIn is such a hot commodity in the world! I was thrilled to know that the US LinkedIn population is greater than the rest of the Top 10 LinkedIn countries combined (minus Australia) and 3,769 times BIGGER than the least popular country (Montenegro). Some more statistics (fun facts, if you will) that I found fascinating is when I read what the population of US LinkedIn users is equivalent to:

  • The entire population of Spain
  • Twice the population of South Korea
  • The population of the entire US in 1906
  • Canada’s population as a country will catch up to LinkedIn’s US population by the year 2056 (HOLY COW! If you were curious, I’ll be 65 years old then!)

So, what’s in it for me? Matt Appleby writes, “LinkedIn sells itself as a platform to connect/reconnect, boost your career and find answers; simple really – just an online extension of our offline networks.” So it’s basically for us college students who are eager to find a job after graduation. It is so FOR me! LinkedIn is a fabulous outlet. “It gives you the opportunity to belong to multiple networks based on school, university, employer, shared skills, professional bodies, shared interests, local business networks and so on.” It’s also a “highly effective tool for managing a personal professional brand online.” With LinkedIn, we (the users) have to differentiate between ‘PR person’ and ‘person’ (Appleby, Matt p. 81).

It was also interesting to know that not only Facebook has branded pages, but that LinkedIn have developed Company Pages since November 2010 and that two million companies have created their own LinkedIn Company Page! Way to market! Appleby says “What Facebook has become to consumer marketing, LinkedIn is for business-to-business.” He also says, ” ‘LinkedIn is strictly business, and that’s what makes it such an attractive option for business-to-business marketers.” He then goes on and talks about what the original Company Pages involve; which allows members to follow, share and see who in their networks was linked to the business or recommended its products and services. Company Pages present opportunity for many reasons such as “to reward the human side of a company, to see individuals behind the brand and highlight how these people use its products.” The Cluetrain Manifesto is talked about in this section which I found fitting because we’re reading that right now in class! (Appleby, Matt p.83-84)

The final thing I’d like to touch on is where LinkedIn is going. As I read, I can tell it’s definitely moving forward. As I keep researching online, I see articles on what’s new with LinkedIn. Just 11 hours ago, they welcomed new features to the site, such as:

Making the most of who’s viewing your LinkedIn profile with ‘How You Rank’:

Who’s Viewed Your Profile is one of the most popular destinations on LinkedIn – after all, we all secretly love to see who’s been checking us out. For many savvy professionals, Who’s Viewed Your Profile is more than just a glimpse of who looked at your profile, it’s filled with customized insights designed to help you build your professional brand, generate new opportunities, and manage your network.

Stay Up-to-Date with your LinkedIn Groups

One of the easiest ways to boost your professional brand on LinkedIn is to find other like-minded professionals to connect and exchange ideas with in LinkedIn Groups. 

Find “People You Know”

Strong professional relationships can make a successful career. But building a healthy, thriving professional network takes time, experience, and especially a little know-how. LinkedIn’s all-new People You May Know page is taking some of the mystery out of building that network. The new People You May Know simplifies the experience of growing your network.

By incorporating these new features, it seems as if some of Facebook’s features rubbed off on LinkedIn, don’t you think? As we know by being media literate people, familiarity and intimacy make up formula. As long as LinkedIn keeps growing, the better the business-to-business campaign will get!

I’m glad I informed myself on LinkedIn because I’ve definitely introduced the site to myself whereas at the beginning of the semester, I had no idea what LinkedIn was all about. I’m looking forward to use my resources and find opportunities that will gear me into the right direction – a job! 🙂

I’m going to leave my readers with this question…

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edited with PicMonkey

 

 

Twitter will become Facebook? OY!

After reading the article, “Like It Or Not, You’ll Have Twitter’s New Profile by May 28,” my heart sunk. I’m going to have to learn to love a new format?!?! UGH! Though change can be a fabulous thing… yadda, yadda, yadda… Twitter is changing their profile to how Facebook is these days.

If you’re not familiar with Facebook’s profile, this is it:

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So, Twitter will now look like this:

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This new change was announced this past Tuesday, May 6, 2014 via Twitter!

The article suggests Twitter users get acclimated with the new profile before May 28th comes. The new Twitter profile, as you can see above, has larger profile and header images, timeline views and has the capability to pin a tweet to the top of your page. So it’s Twitter meets Facebook meets Pinterest, in a way.

Because I am an avid tweeter and Facebook user, I think I’ll be able to deal with the new changes. I’ve dealt with many social media changes for the past decade. How many times has Facebook changed its profile? Too much, so I think we’ll be alright.

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Speaking of “keeping calm,” there have been some tweeters who aren’t so keen on the new Twitter. If you click on the Mashable link, you’ll see the tweets but if you’re feeling lazy today, let me show you couch potatoes.

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@TheWallenWay tweeted:

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@ValAbnormal tweeted:

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and finally, @EvanD tweeted:

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There seems to be a pattern. The common complaint is that the profile resembles Facebook too much. I guess “copy cats” are coming back as a trend?

Mashable said, “Based on Twitter reaction to the design change, it appears that a number of users are still using the old layout (and are not happy about the impending switch.” (GMA News) I am including myself into this statistic, although I do embrace change. It just takes me time to get used to certain things, as I’m sure anyone would feel.

As I researched in depth, I found out  the “new and improved” profile features from another blog. The new profile will let you use a larger profile photo aka your avatar. It will also customize your header and show off your best tweets and more. Now, I bet you’re thinking, “Best tweets? Aren’t all my tweets the best?” Best tweets are the tweets that have received more engagement will appear larger on your profile so your best content will be easier to find instead of scrolling through the past two months. Seems smart to me! Some other features include the pinned tweet which allows you to pin one of your tweets to the top of your page so your followers can see what you’re all about! The last feature I’m going to talk about is the filtered tweet. When you hear filter, do you think of Instagram? Or filtering in/out messages? This filtered tweet allows us to choose which timeline to view when we’re looking at other’s Twitter profiles. We have three options to choose from: Tweets, Tweets with photos/videos, or Tweets and replies. A little bit confusing, but like I said earlier, we’ll get accustomed to it in no time!

Going off of the “three pronged approach,” I am not surprised that this is happening. I feel like we should know everything changes. We learn to embrace change and I just know we’ll appreciate it in the long run. As long as I’ve known, social media is evolving!

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So, get ready and get accustomed by May 28th!

My first day of #LRNSMPR

Today is my first day of Fundamentals of Social Media. Since registering, I’ve been super excited for this course. I didn’t know what to expect but when I got the email stating that we needed several social networking sites, I knew I’d love this class even more. After the first hour and a half listening to the syllabus aloud, I am still excited but stressed, as well. I am a social media enthusiast so I believe I will do just fine in this class. I am happy to learn about the blogosphere of WordPress and other networking sites like bit.ly, Hootsuite and LinkedIn as I already have the sites needed for the course – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

After reading the first two chapters in our textbook, “Share This: The Social Media Handbook for PR Professionals,” I learned a lot just from those 18 pages. I like how at the end of each chapter that it has a little biography on the expert of said chapter along with their Twitter I.D. So, if we have a question for them specifically, we can tweet them and hopefully, we hear back.

Overall, I am excited to learn more about the social media world. Even though I am a social media fiend, I am always going to be learning something new. That’s my hope for the next 6 weeks of this course. Cheers to a great semester!

 

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