Back in the day…
The London 2012 Olympics are being hailed as the first “social media Olympics” and it seems like this is only because social media happen to be the current, mainstream arena of choice, not because of any particularly successful social media strategy on the part of the IOC, sponsors, or broadcasting networks.
I just read a very interesting piece on the failure of Twitter itself, as well as social media gaffes by NBC in particular, around the London 2012 Games, that really highlight the necessity of having a solid social media strategy in place and of knowing your audience and purpose.
#Olympicsizedfail? You tell me.
I know there has been a lot of media coverage about cyberbullying and with the new movie/documentary Bully coming out, I hope there will be even MORE awareness and coverage about this, but there is also another incredibly scary side of social networking sites and the amount of access to information there really is out there, brought to light by a recent UBC app* and then what I just came across today (ironically a friend shared it on Facebook), another app called Girls Around Me.
There is a great, detailed article about the app that you can check out called This Creepy App Isn’t Just Stalking Women Without Their Knowledge, It’s A Wake-Up Call About Facebook Privacy [Update] that explains how it works etc., but the principal message is watch what you post and who can read it. Too many people are naive about putting their information online and they don’t seem to check their privacy settings and ensure they don’t plaster contact info, locations, etc. everywhere online.
What creeps me out is that the site homepage wording seems to imply that the ‘check ins’ are related to the app/by consenting users of the app itself, instead of highlighting that these people don’t know that the information they’re using on other sites (e.g. Facebook) is being pulled into this app. Of course people are responsible for their own safety, but this seems just plain unethical.
I’ve been leery of Facebook Places and have NO desire to use Foursquare or any other check in or location based tool, but many people don’t seem to have the same qualms, nor think about the implications while they merrily provide the world with information on their every move.Kudos to Foursqaure, though, they’ve banned the application and have stopped the app developers from accessing Foursquare user information – a small victory!
It certainly is the ugly side of social networking; despite the fantastic access to information and the potential for knowledge sharing, there is such a thing as too much information! You don’t want to become a target. So check those privacy settings NOW, and educate yourself.
Be safe out there.
*I’m trying to locate information on this – I saw it on the news recently but haven’t been able to find any info about it – I’ll update you when I find the name and some more concrete details.
I have become a bit of a podcast addict recently, and am even contemplating learning to do these myself, but I’ve been thinking a lot about something I was listening to on The Nerdist. Chris Hardwicke was interviewing his life long friend Wil Weaton AKA Wesley Crusher from Star Trek: The Next Generation and was talking about how he has always engaged with new technologies as soon as they come out and they were laughing about how there have been explosions of social media douchebags who talk about “how to do Twitter properly” and what a ridiculous notion this is.
It got me thinking., yes, if you want to monetize (blegh, I hate these kinds of poncey terms) or advertise or draw in clients using social media, then there are things to do and things to avoid with social media, but for someone like Wil Wheaton, is there really a wrong way to do it?
And really, who cares?
I do believe you need to be sensible when using social media – the list of stories of people getting fired or getting into trouble is now endless, but you have to be pretty careless and quite frankly, a little dumb, to get caught, but beyond that, if you are running your own social media profiles and your main intent is to connect with people, share knowledge and perhaps gain clients, is it really that complex a system? And what designates someone a “social media maven” (besides them calling themselves that)? I’m often surprised too when I read the tweets of all the so-called ‘Twitterati’ (both locally in Vancouver and elsewhere). They’re very often boring, bland, or just plain arbitrary, and I wonder – how did they make it big and become ‘the’ person to follow?
Take Guy Kawasaki. I get he’s some kind of guru or something (self proclaimed?), but very often his tweets are incredibly boring and yet there is a flurry of retweets and everyone oohs and aahs. Granted, although the same thing seems to happen with the Mashable tweets, I do actually find these very interesting and ahead of the game with tech news etc, and often the links posted are informative and point to quality articles and posts. Sometimes, however, particularly with local Vancouver tweeters, I read what they’ve posted and the interactions they have with others and I think ‘remind me why I’m following you?!’
Now of course I am by no means claiming that I am some champion tweeter or that what I have to say is brilliant or life changing, and I do get the fact that I don’t have to follow these people or even engage on Twitter, but I really feel that if I stop and think about something and realise it has no appeal to anyone, or really is just for the sake of it, I tend not to post, and rather spend some time listening instead to what others are saying (the old adage about not having something nice to say and all that….). I also have never proclaimed to be a social media guru/maven/expert or any other bold title out there. I am a social media enthusiast and advocate, but let’s put it in perspective. It’s really not rocket science.
Live long and prosper, Wesley.