Facebook Infographs

Which one of the following 3 infographs might be the most accurate?

Children and Facebook-15 links to Help Parents Learn

This is where my head is at right now. I’m listening to the pushback from Facebook users and parents who are concerned about Privacy. I’m compiling an exhaustive list of blog posts and articles related to Facebook, children, and privacy and how it impacts all of us.

Stay tuned for the wiki. In the meantime, here are 15 links to posts that address the issues that dominate not only my thoughts and hopes to see something done about Facebook’s complete disdain for its users; but also what keeps parents up at night… Some of the links here are to not only open parents eyes to what they are forced to deal with right now, but also in “how” to deal with it. I hope it helps.

Facebook: Children evade social websites’ age limits

Social media create new bullying issues for schools; Collier forum set for Monday

Too young for social networking?

Facebook, states set bullying, predator safeguards

How can parents access their children Facebook account

What is Facebook Doing to Protect Children from Sexual Predators?

Facebook ‘fails to protect children’

How To Monitor Children On Facebook

Should you be Facebook friends with your children?

Facebook urged to add ‘panic button’ for children

Facebook May Share User Data With External Sites Automatically

The Big Game, Zuckerberg and Overplaying your Hand

NYU Students Start Privacy-Minded Social Media Site

Social Media Parenting: Raising the Digital Generation

Why Facebook Can’t Be Trusted

On Trust and Children in Social Networks

So I’m at my 12 year old daughter’s softball game last Friday night and as the game is concluding I reach for my cellphone and I see a text from my wife it reads:

Your daughter is on Facebook”?

I text back

She better not be”.

As I’m waiting for her to emerge from the dugout, I decide to call my wife who is in Ohio for the weekend for my nephew’s first communion. The first words out of her mouth are that her sister Terry tried to “Friend” my daughter on Facebook. I was shocked and stunned. But there were some legit reasons why. Here’s 4 of them.

1) Not 2 weeks prior to this happening, I was on television and in front of a live audience, as well as members of the school board, explaining why I did not see the point in children (freshman to sophomores on down) using Facebook, let alone a social network at all. They’re too young.

2) I had explained to those that attended, how important it was to monitor your childrens online activities.

3) I had outlined how important it was, to explain the implications of privacy and what can happen when you are “out” there to your children.

4) My daughter saw the event on television

Apparently I suck at drinking my own koolaid. I did not do a good enough job of monitoring my child’s online activities. I took for granted that my straight A’s student, great athlete, daughter would never violate the trust that I thought we had. She had asked previously if she could get a Facebook account and I said no and I explained why.

Here’s the cautionary tale.

  • First off, I felt completely betrayed by my daughter,
  • Facebook has no idea of the challenges that parents face.
  • Even “good” kids will do what their ‘friends” tell them to do and what their parents tell them not to.
  • My daughter knew she wasn’t supposed to be on, but her friends told her to set up an account.
  • As smart as my daughter thinks she is, and yes she is,  she still set the account up wrong, but luckily she had not put “that much” info out there.
  • There were dozens of other “friends” waiting for her to “friend” them back. Dozens.
  • Those other “friends”, were no older than 13, but the majority were younger than 13. That means that they worked around the so-called age limit to join Facebook.
  • Children have no clue what privacy settings are and how to set them up on Facebook.

So what’s my point? I supposedly was monitoring my daughter’s online activities. I live, eat, breath and sleep this social media stuff, and yet she did it while my wife and I were down the street trying to hit tennis balls.

The parents of the others that I saw on there? Chances are, they do not live, eat and breathe social media. I bet if I were to at least look at the privacy settings of those accounts, 90% of them would be wide open. That’s a problem. One of many.

As social networks and mobile phones continue to evolve, and as the age of innocence continues to evaporate, and entry into owning a phone continues to be lowered-issues about content, behavior, ignorance, and privacy on social networks are going to continue to escalate and magnify. Take it from me, or maybe not…

We didn’t mean that transparent…

Transparency and openness are so 2008 and you’re so 2000 late.. OK so I’m paraphrasing Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas a bit there.. But I have a simple point to make with a larger concern. look at these latest headlines.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Doesn’t Believe In Privacy

What Do New Facebook Features Mean for Your Privacy?

See What Facebook Publicly Publishes About You

NJ Principal Asks Parents To Ban Social Networking

Facebook’s High Pressure Tactics: Opt-in or Else

Facebook’s Eroding Privacy Policy: A Timeline

So where’s our head at? When some of us first got into social media we touted, and admittedly I still do, the transparent and authentic nature of it all. How social media connected us or would connect us, in ways that we never dreamed of. It was our sales pitch if you will.

Sadly those days are over. Transparency and openness are the old defaults.

A funny thing has happened along the way. Some of us are not as cool with that as we thought we would be.

We care about our privacy. We just didn’t realize how much social networks didn’t.

We didn’t start to care about how much was “out there” until we started to see it abused and blasted all over search engines and showing up in our mail boxes.

The pushback has started. Privacy is the new default, and it’s time for Facebook to quit making it so damn difficult for people to understand how to control what others can and cannot see.

18 reasons a social media snake oil salesman might want out

Last week I wrote a post that got a tremendous amount of love from the folks over at social media today and rightly so, it was all the reasons why I love social media.

But what if you were sick of it? What if you were a snake oil salesman trying to cash in on the social media phenomenon and you were starting to realize that this social media stuff sucked? What might be your reasons for getting out and jumping into real estate short sales or something?

Your excuses, er reasons might look something like this:

1) You didn’t realize how much work it took

2) You realized that people aren’t into your “get 200 Twitter followers” for $19 a month program

3) Your social media certification classes didn’t really take off like you thought

4) Stealing other peoples content was hard work

5) Spamming hashtags wasn’t driving any business

6) No one is calling you or responding to your sign up landing page with exclusive offers and social media tips

7) People were not sharing your viral videos that you stole created

8. Strategy? What strategy?

9) The trusting client is pissed because the Twitter account you created for them with the 30 tweets, 30 followers, and the 5000 people you’re following, hasn’t really amounted to anything

10) There was too much to learn

11) You’re tired of RT’ing others on your 6 month old Twitter account

12) You never figured out what that Facebook vanity URL thing was

13) Case studies? On what?

14) Social media is dead anyways

15) You hate creating content and no one was coming to the blog

16) Social Media ROI isn’t important

17) It doesn’t work

18) When someone asked you about Gowalla and Foursquare you looked at them like this…

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The relationship viewed as transactional

As January 2010 slowly slips away I’m struck by thwo things I’ve read today, actually 3. Lets back up a week to add some context to what I’m about to say. On January 8th  Mark Zuckerberg the founder and CEO of Facebook made the following comment:

If he were to create Facebook again today, user information would by default be public, not private…

Here is the full blown article as found on ReadWriteWeb: Facebook’s Zuckerberg Says The Age of Privacy is Over

Following that admission, Shel Israel and I had an exchange on Twitter that started with this from Shell…

At which point I said:

@shelisrael Agree. I know I’m pigeonholing here but millenials have a different notion of what privacy is or should be..

To which Shell responded”

@Marc_Meyer I don’t know if you’ve asked Millenials how they feel about privacy. I think you should ask them b4 making a blanket statement.

and…

Would you see it the same, if FB also started posting street addresses? phone #s? SSN? How about photos of kids? Does he decide? 10:38 AM Jan

and…

It would depress me greatly to think an entire generation had lost a sense of privacy. That would be Orwellian.

My point in all of this? Mark Zuckerberg comes from a different place, he operates in a different space. Millenials treat privacy differently and so does he. I’m not making a blanket statement as much as I’m referring to Zuckerberg, who is a millenial, and who has created a completely different notion of what privacy is and should be. Relationships and privacy mean different things to Zuckerberg.

Now lets take danah boyd who says:

Publicity has value and, more importantly,  folks are very conscious about when something is private and want it to remain so. When the default is private, you have to think about making something public. When the default is public, you become very aware of privacy. And thus, I would suspect, people are more conscious of privacy now than ever. Because not everyone wants to share everything to everyone else all the time.”

Yes, but here is why I titled this post the relationship viewed as transactional.  As danah has so accurately stated, publicity has value. As a society we have always been attracted by and to celebrity, be it as tragedy, comedy or otherwise. Our society devours celebrities as three squares a day. Because of this,  and because of the social web, that potential for celebrity exists at every turn. But it comes at a cost in 2 forms. One form is what we hope to gain from that transaction and the other comes in the form of what we give up or are willing to part with. Look at it as a deal with the devil if you will.

We like our privacy but we love our 15 minutes of fame. In fact we love it so much that Josh Harris, of internet shooting star fame stated:

Andy Warhol said that, in the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes,” Harris told me. “But I think he misunderstood what was happening. I think what people are demanding is 15 minutes of fame every day. And mark my words, they will get it. That’s where we’re heading, whether we like it or not.”

Relationships as transactions. We might not admit it, but what the social web has created is an unstated platform for every social interaction to have the potential to catapult one at best, into a cult of personality. In fact I would venture that though most might not admit, but part of their social strategy is to be “found” or to create a connection that results in…yep you guessed it, some type of transaction..Disingenuous? It depends on who you ask.

The upside/ 15 minutes of fame. The downside you may lose control of your privacy.

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Social media is free…but I’m not

free

It’s been one of those days… so I’m going to allow myself just a wee bit of time before I snap out of it.  I’m going to vent. It started this morning when I heard back from a prospective client who liked the 5 page social media strategy overview document but…

The “but” was they wanted more specific details on what I was going to do. I told them that I would give them the specifics in time. but that I thought that it was important that they understand the how and the why before we got into the how to and the what for. I did this because we’re talking about a client that knows virtually nothing about social media.

If I would have given them the latter, 2 things would have happened. 1)  It would have been so over their head that they would have not understood and probably bailed and or 2) Believe it or not, they could take the document and either try and implement it themselves, or use it as a blueprint with another company and leverage their new found knowledge. You might not think that happens, but it does, as well as some other things  Why?

The ease of entry into social media is less than zero. I can sign up for a majority of social networks in less than a minute. I can create social profiles in less time. So the assumption with a lot of companies and people is, “What is so hard about being social”? or creating a Facebook page, or a Twitter profile?and you know what? They are right. It’s easy.

Boom.

The thinking is really as simple as the majority of social interfaces that you see. Just create a profile and now you’re part of the social media revolution. You don’t need a consultant or a company to tell you how to do this. It’s easy. Plus there’s all of these killer blogs and sites with free information on social media, all these free tools, you can just figure all of it out on your own.

Sure. You can figure it out until it falls flat and you have one comment on your blog post. You have 19 registered members in your community, or you have 5,000 followers and you’re  following 5,000 but you have 111 tweets and zero conversations. Or maybe that Facebook page of yours has 56 fans but is doing nothing else. Or the YouTube video you made, has driven approximately 24 views.  When stuff is free, you get what you paid for.

There are some seriously smart people in this space. I value what they do and say and we value what we do and say, and we value what we create. But we also are working for a living. As much as we would like to give it away, we can’t. As it stands, the majority of people in this space, give away a lot. In fact, the amount of time that a lot of the social media marketing people that I know, give away, is extreme.  In terms of amounts of their time and resources-there is not a more giving  bunch. That’s the essence of social media.

But… at the end of the day, bills have to be paid and you’re going to have to take that leap of faith.

I’m done venting.

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The art of search reputation management

I was asked recently by a company interested in my skill sets about search reputation management and I essentially said it is all about listening. Knowing how to listen and knowing where to listen and knowing what tools to use to listen are all critical. The reason is, there are so many places where your company, brand, or name can be discussed, but trying to be everywhere at once is a challenge, so it’s important that you use as many monitoring sources as possible to keep as on top of it as is humanly possible.

 

But more importantly, it’s also imperative to consolidate or use as many aggregators as possible. Here are some of the ones I use to listen and why I think they are important in just the listening aspect. Once I get past the listening, then I will show you the tools I use to specifically manage and drive down a negative online reputation. Your methods might be different and I understand that, but these are just mine.

 

Google Alerts and Google News and Google BlogSearch– I absolutely love these because of the simplistic nature and the ability to tie it into igoogle/reader/email alerts.

 

Another monitoring tool I have been using a lot of lately has been Filtrbox.  The results are not where I would like them to be on a consistent basis, but that might just mean I need to tweak and adjust them some.

 

I’ve also used Trackur, it’s a pretty robust tool that can track any news mention of a particular term but… it also searches over everything from images, blogs, news sites, and videos. Great filters.

 

Some others I’ve used are Blogpulse to track conversations but not as extensively, as well, I’ve obviously used Delicious to see who’s book marking our sites and Keotag for a down and dirty quick look to see who is tagging certain key words.

 

Don’t discount the usage of tracking your reputation on forums and BBS sites. I met these guys Twing, at the Web 2.0 expo up in New York and they have a sweet product. Prior to meeting them, I had been using Boardtracker, which I still use from time to time.

 

With the 10 tools/Sites I have mentioned you can have a pretty good handle on monitoring the online reputation of your company or business. If you desire more, then you can set up RSS feeds from other sources to pipe in the information that you desire. Speaking of Pipes, I’ve been playing around with Yahoo Pipes as of late but haven’t really formulated an opinion on it yet. Finally I’d be remiss if I did not mention Radian6, another monitoring type of company, but more on a social media level. I have done a few twebinars with them in which they hosted the event.

 

 My thoughts on this are simple: Identify the point or source of pain and then you can begin to treat it.

 

By Listening, we can now determine the amount of management that will be needed to drive down the noise. In some cases the noise may be contained quickly and effectively with a few choice blog posts or articles or comments. But in some cases, it requires a larger and more concerted effort.

 

Now To manage and drive down a bad reputation, there are certain things that are a must and if you have not done these things yet, then you are way behind the eight-ball so to speak. First and Foremost, I would like to see/audit your current website. Is the message working? Is the content serving the right purpose? Is there any content that’s worth it’s weight? Sure most will admit that having a website is sufficient, but a website that doesn’t work for you, for SEO, or for your customers is useless. Even more-so, if it’s with reputation management in mind. So lets see what we can do right off the bat that may improve your company’s web presence just by improving a website that might be hurting. In some instances, just optimizing a few more pages either better, or for the first time may be enough to at least drive negative press off the first page of the SERP’s.

 

However, another way to continue to push down a negative reputation is to create a blog-site. A free one, no less. It doesn’t have to be a robust, busy, “chock-full of stuff” type of site. Just a site that has the right key-words, tags and page elements will do. And who knows, if you allow it, maybe it will become another viable channel of doing business for you? This effort is completely measurable as well because of the analytics associated with some of the Free services like Typepad and WordPress. Again blog sites are very search engine friendly. Speaking of analytics, you better have something in place, I’ll assume you do.

 

Once the blog-site is done you have a couple more website options. You can create some micro sites devoted to your company, product, or keywords and or you can create sub domains. Either way, the more pages you can get out there that have more to do about what is right with your company than what is wrong, the better off you will be.

 

The great thing about all of these suggestions is that they are completely measurable, can happen very quickly, and you can adapt or change your tactics on the fly. The proof is there for the client to see.

 

Taking a cue from what social media has to offer, I would highly recommend creating a social media presence via LinkedIn, Ning and Facebook, Flickr or YouTube or a Podcast. Doing none of them is not a good thing. Of the group, obviously if we’re talking corporate presence I would go with Facebook first followed by Ning and Linkedin. Since LinkedIn is more of a personal networking, branding type of social site, I would rank it a tad bit lower.  With Facebook, you can create a group devoted to your company. With YouTube, Flickr, or a Podcast, you can create audio visual elements of photos, videos or audio, tagged with key words and company references which will all be search engine friendly and also increasing the company reputation.

 

I’d also suggest creating a wiki devoted to your company as well. You could even created a wiki-how on something that your company might do. Search engines love wiki results.

 

One thing that seems to work rather well, actually 2, are creating or writing articles that you can submit about a topic that can be linked backed to you and your company. This is huge in pushing down negative elements. The other is PR Press releases. There are at least 20 Free PR sites out there in which you can create a PR release that can become SE friendly quicker than you can say Widget.

 

Speaking of widgets. If I wanted a viral reaction to my company, my product or my service, I would look into the creation of a widget that can be shared and virally spread to users. SpringWidgets allows you to create a Free widget which you could then drop on all of your social networking sites in which you have a presence. I know it might not be relevant to everyone, but when it comes to managing a bad reputation, I have to look at this challenge almost from a Guerilla marketing standpoint. Everything is fair game, in other words.

 

One last option would be to create a Google page devoted to your company through Google sites. Google sites is a way to create CMS type of web pages that the public can actually see and that are searched on. Anything that originates through, Google, has to be Google friendly, right?

 

In conclusion, managing and monitoring your reputation online are 2 very separate but equal acts that are uniquely joined at the hip. To ignore one for the other or vice versa is not highly recommended.