Monday, October 24, 2011

Social Media - Have a Plan

 So just this past week I decided that I needed to clean up my twitter stream. I used one of the easy tools to show me some of my stagnant twitter followers. I have more than 3500 followers and more than 3300 people that I am following. It can be hard to keep track of everyone. The other issue is that I kept hitting a limit to my followers and that was just irritating when I came across someone new that I wanted to follow so I needed to do a little house keeping. What I was amazed to find was some people, companies, twitter accounts that hadn't had any activity in months and even years. Seriously?

Why am I mentioning this? Well, today in the National Post is an article about Social Media and the importance of a game plan. Part of that game plan is knowing how to use social media, and keeping up with the relationship with your followers. Tweeting a few times when you first get started and then forgetting about your account is a sure way to get you unfollowed.

Check out the article, there is some great info.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Waitress vs bad tipper

This story has made the rounds on tradition and social media.. the waitress who posted the receipt of the bad, and might I say, rude tipper on her Facebook status. He left the bill, without a tip, and then said that she could afford to lose a few pounds. There has been lots of debate swirling about this topic, here is just one of the stories responding/reacting to the initial story  Canadian Family

There is no doubt that social media has an immediate impact on peoples lives. Before social media like Facebook and Twitter this waitress would have told friends and family who would have retold the story like dozens of times. And while everyone would be shocked at the rudeness of this customer the story would slowly peter out BUT with social media this story has taken on a life of its own, become viral. Now instead of dozens of people hearing it potentially tens of thousands or even millions of people will read about this story or hear about it from their social media friends and networks. And is that fair? Sure the guy is a jerk but does he deserve to have a copy of his signature and his name spread all over the world for everyone to see and to judge him? Some would say yes that now in this day and age it is just something that we all have to live with, that all of our actions could potentially be put on display for the world to judge with the invention of social media. Some would say no that he has a right to a certain level of privacy, that he was in a private establishment and should expect that his credit card information and is name and signature would be handled in a private and professional manner. Which is right? Or is there a right and a wrong in this discussion?

What do you think?

Social Media is Social

One the biggest keys to social media is the act of being social. Whether you are connecting with friends, customers, clients or businesses it is all about being social. It is all about communicating with each other. Why is that some of the most successful people in social media have the largest communities? It is because they are social, the interact with others.

I don't think the importance of the Social part of social media can be understated. It is about creating a community, about creating relationships.

How do you do that? There are lots of ways to go about this but for me it is all about interacting with others. On Twitter is it not just about talking to people but talking WITH people; engaging others, truly interacting with others, sharing stories, ideas, thoughts and responding to the stories, thoughts, and ideas of others.  I think being authentic is also important. Be yourself.

What ways do you connect to your community? How have you used social media to build a community?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Writing a Novel in a Month

Ya that's right I said write a novel in a month. Or at least as long as a novel. 50,000 words in a month. It is a crazy number of words to write in just one month, especially when you factor in a full time job, a part time job and kids. I first attempted NaNoWriMo back in 2009. To my amazement I actually finished. It was not easy and I almost gave up more than once. The last week of the challenge was where I made up most of my word count. Last year I attempted the challenge again but my second go around was not successful. So I am attempting the challenge for the third time this year. I am hoping to complete the challenge.

I was proud of myself back in 2009 when I actually wrote 50,000 words in the month of November. I was more than a little excited about the book that I created and also excited about the potential in the words. I have always wanted to be a writer, ever since I can remember I was writing. When I was a little girl I would make up stories that my friends and I would reenact and then when I got a bit older I would spend hours writing short stories and poems. I continue to work with those 50,000 words that I wrote back in 2009 in the hopes that I can actually turn it into a novel that other people would love to read. Isn't that what most (all) writers want. Don't all writers want to share their creations with the world? I still hope to one day get my book published.

This year I am hoping to write another 50,000 words. I am already thinking about what I am going to write about. I think this time around I will write up a profile of characters and plan out a story line. I think it will really help me flush out the story and help the words to flow.

Are you going to participate in NaNoWriMo this year?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Social Media Rules

There have been a number of stories of the past few years about employers using social media, sites like Facebook and Twitter, to check on their employees or potential/prospective employees. It is one of the golden rules about social media, once you put it out there it is out there forever and that means you shouldn't say anything online that you wouldn't put on a billboard or say to someone in person. Whether right or wrong some employers were in fact lurking online to check up on people.

Well, now one province is stepping into the discussion with some rules. British Columbia's privacy watchdog says social media should not be used to help organizations make background checks. The issue came to the attention of Elizabeth Denham earlier this year when leadership candidates for B.C.'s New Democrats were asked to supply their log in information so the party could check for possible embarrassing photos or posts.The party told Denham it asked for Facebook passwords after an NDP candidate had to withdraw from the 2009 election because controversial pictures of himself were shown in the media.

Denham has issued guidelines that show the risks of using the information, such as inaccuracies and collecting too much personal data. She now expects organizations to adopt the guidelines so that there are standard practices that comply with privacy obligations.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Any advice or tips to add?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I'm All Tweet'd out

So I am going to admit something here. I am feeling a little online/social media fatigue. Can you believe it?

I have been feeling like it is all just a little much. Staying on top of Facebook friends updates and birthdays, checking Twitter mentions, updating my Linkedin profile, updating my blog, checking email, responding to email.... it can all be so overwhelming sometimes. So I was glad to read a recent piece on 
AMotherWorld  talking about the very thing I have been feeling lately.

The article reminded me that it is also important to pay attention to all the things in real life... all those real life friends and family. And of course Me. I have been forgetting about me.  I need to do things for myself ...things that make me happy in my every day life. It is all about perspective... getting some and putting things into perspective.

How do you balance your online and offline worlds? Do you every get tired of living life online? How do you unplug?