Facebook and Twitter Additction OK

In high school and early years of college my Facebook addiction appeared to distract me from what many others thought I “should” be focusing on. As I got older my Facebook addiction led to a fascination with Twitter and other forms of social media. Suddenly I was studying social media and digital public relations strategies in school. Within three years my degree in public relations went from cool to awesome. I was taking innovative journalism classes tailored to social media strategies and search engine optimization and all things digital. Was this too good to be true? Can I really make a career out of this?

Photo: DirJournal.com

It turns out you can. And there is quite the demand for digital agencies and social media strategist as the digital revolution continues to grow according to The Detroit News article, Aging Nation, Technology Give Rise to Five Hot Jobs. There is real value in social and digital and more and more people are recognizing that. The job market is fierce and there is good news for college students. According to The Detroit News Article. “By 2018 a million new jobs expected to be created.”  I don’t know if fate or luck or destiny brought me to my current internship in the digital marketing field, but the future is looking nice for me and for the digital agency.

The Detroit News: Aging Nation, Technology Give Rise to Five Hot Jobs

The Creative Side of your Facebook page

So the ever-changing facebook has turned to a creative side by some of its users.  Since the social media site first launched in 2004 it has had more than a handle full of revamps made to the site. Which always seems to throw users for loop as to why the site keeps changing on them.  This most recent facebook change have left most facebook users upset once again, but other users have decided to take the most recent change as a creative outlet.  The new formatting allows users to see their profile picture and right next to are pictures that have been posted or tagged of that user. Which sparked some users to look at facebook as more of an artistic side.

images provided by: mashable.com

Another recent addition to the facebook addiction is the video profile, which is relatively new. This is for all those people who are consistently making tweaks to the profiles, editing the information that is being seen about them.  This can allow users pages and fan pages to be more interactive with their facebook friends. In order to make the change to your profile picture you need to get the new Facebook app, which allows you to replace your profile photo with a video. The only problem with this is that only people who have the plug-in to the app themselves will only be able to see the video. It’s a great new idea to create some edge to your facebook profile but at the moment it still does have some kinks.

Facebook and Women’s Privacy

Trending on social bookmarking sites and blogs is the subject of Facebook and women’s privacy. Mashable published an article last week on some shocking statistics found by Oxygen Media and Lightspeed Research. A study of over 1600 people was conducted regarding their social media usage. The company found that the majority of young women check Facebook first thing in the morning even before the bathroom and 42% of women feel it’s “okay” to post pictures of themselves drunk. With so much time being spent on the internet and the little effort to protect one’s own privacy, Facebook can ruin careers and reputations.

Last week I went to a networking lunch and met a very nice accounting student. She was friendly, intelligent and seemed like she’d be a great contact. I asked her name and told her I’d be looking her up online to connect later on. My first stop was Facebook. Her profile picture displayed ample cleavage, the page was littered with profanity and her photo albums included multiple pictures of alcohol and drugs… I went no further and decided not to befriend her online.

The Eco-Friendly Internship has put together a checklist to make sure your Facebook is not only clean, but also easily found. These tips are relevant to males too, but are geared especially towards young women.

The Facebook Clean Up Checklist

  1. Get rid of all alcohol and drug related content.
  2. Monitor pictures others are posting of you. Anything remotely questionable, delete.
  3. Defriend anyone you don’t know personally. The use of fake profiles to steal information is growing.
  4. Go through your applications and get rid of any you don’t need or trust.
  5. Edit your interests to things that will promote your talents and strengths instead of hurt you.
  6. Make sure all of your information is complete
  7. Communicate with others effectively and professionally: People, brands, pages.
  8. Keep notes and videos relevant and re-post worthy.
  9. Create a URL tag that matches your other social media profiles (http://facebook.com/yournamehere.)

Photo Credit: Flicker user Marisa beth

Facebook is about marketing yourself and connecting, so do your best to advertise yourself well because all of the information is going to be shared (no matter what Facebook says otherwise.) Employers will be looking at this information so target to them as well. You wouldn’t show up to an interview drunk or in a micro-mini, so don’t let those images be the first thing someone sees. Once you’ve made sure your content is clean, ensure that you are found easily. Facebook pages are no longer just to keep in touch with John Wewenttopromtogetheronce. It’s an effective marketing tool so that you can promote yourself without a single word leaving your lips. Remember: first impressions are crucial and YOUR first impression may happen online without you knowing.

Sharing is Caring

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Without a doubt, one of Twitter’s most defining features is the @Reply, which allows you to in a sense “notify” another user within a tweet for the purpose of sharing information or just communicating a message. Just this past week, Facebook introduced a copycat feature by allowing you to “tag” other users in wall posts, links, statuses and even private messages. At first glance, one might say what is the use of this feature; I can already post directly on peoples walls. The biggest advantage of Facebook’s new @reply feature is the ability to share information more efficiently. You can in a sense now do mass wall posts in one status update by tagging multiple people and the recipients will all receive notification updates. The heart of social networking is the ability to establish networks and share information and Facebook really hit the mark with this latest update. Already in the week that this feature has been available, my friends and I have jumped on it. Not only is it a great way to share media with a multitude of people, its a fun way to to interact with people on wall posts and status updates. The only real difference between the reply feature in Facebook and Twitter is that Facebook actually posts the reply the tagged person’s wall, whereas Twitter merely notifies the user that they were mentioned in a tweet. Facebook has really stepped its game up in the past 6 months, shifting from being a site focused on finding people, events, and pictures to a real time source of relevant media and information.

Using technology to stay connected

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So I’m writing this post nearly 4000 miles away from a little city in Spain called Granada. These days, one doesn’t have to be at home to stay close to the events of the week or even to work. With modern technology, specifically social networks, I am able to not only sufficiently complete my work remotely abroad from Spain, but I am able to stay up to date with my social circle and inform my family of my doings and whereabouts. Here are some of the tools I use and how I use them while traveling and working abroad…

Twitter: Without a doubt my favorite and most efficient tool. In the past, I kept a log of my travels via a blog, but it turned into a narrative of cathedrals and bars. I think the best parts of traveling are the little things you encounter, the things you don’t really remember to put in your blog. By connecting Twitter to my mobile phone, I can let my family and friends live my travels as they happen in real time simply by tweeting my experiences for the entire world to see. I did however run into a bit of trouble though when I promised my family I would tweet that I was safe as soon as I was done running with the bulls. My phone ran out of euros and I wasn’t able to let anyone know I was safe, chaos ensued and my parents and girlfriend started calling hospitals in Pamplona and everyone thought I had died. Have no fear I’m still here and am NOT writing this post from 6 feet under.

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Skype: In my opinion, this is the best video chat application on the market. Not only can you chat for free Skype to Skype, but for mere fractions of a penny I can call anyone in the world. Skype has given me the ability to stay close with my family and friends without costing me a dime. As a messaging utility, Skype is fast, robust, and lightweight. Skype also allows me to have the ability to SMS anyone in the world for some outrageously cheap rates. Another amazing snippet about Skype, they have opened their communication protocol for others to use. In laymen’s terms, other software engineers can integrate Skype’s VOIP technology to offer even more incredible features in the future.

Wikitravel: This is without a doubt my favorite website for traveling. Everyone loves Wikipedia, but Wikitravel takes it a step further and specializes the information strictly for traveling. Don’t k

now where to go for the weekend? Simply hop on Wikitravel and start surfing until you find that hidden little gem nestled deep in the woods or on a beach miles from civilization.

Facebook: This is an obvious one. One of the depressing parts of traveling is not knowing what is going on at home. Facebook’s mini-feed does an incredible job of making me feel like I am still sitting on my couch in East Lansing. Through traveling, I try and friend nearly everyone I meet. I have established my network around the world which I will be able to rely upon in the future. Too often people limit themselves to a close social network, my intention is to establish small networks all over the world and leverage them all as one. The possibilities are simply endless, upon my return next year I will have friends in just about every country imaginable.

NMDL: Back in the Driver’s Seat

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Michigan State University is now offering, to both undergraduate and graduate students, a new course on social media entitled “New Media Drivers License.”

The New Media Drivers License course, or NMDL for short, provides students with a comprehensive overview of new media and digital marketing, and the relevance and importance of each for today’s businesses.  The course is taught by Ingenex Digital Marketing CEO and MSU alum, Derek Mehraban, as well as professor and Chair of Advertising, Public Relations, and Retailing at MSU, Dr. Richard Cole.

NMDL shows students how to take social media, like Facebook and Twitter, normally used to communicate with friends, and turn it into a valuable commodity for companies and clients.  In addition to social networks, the course covers the use of blogging, podcasting, search engine optimization, and a number of other digital marketing areas, including the never-ending uses of Google.

Paul Kanan (me), an MSU alum and a passenger on the maiden voyage of the NMDL ship during the 2009 Spring semester, says of the course, “This class rocks!  I recommend it to anyone going into public relations, advertising, or simply wants to have their finger on the pulse of the future.”

This summer marks the second offering of NMDL at MSU with three full sections.  The class meets at the beginning and end of the semester at Walsh College in Novi, MI, with everything in between taking place online.  For more information on the class, the course site can be found at http://newmediadl.com or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.

So that’s the official Eco-Friendly word, but like I said, this class rocks!  And another thing, it’s long overdue, so check it out!

Virtual Conference; more than just a green way to network!

Not in a million years would I have fathomed receiving digital marketing advice from David Plouffe, President elect Barack Obama’s campaign manager, let alone be able to ask him questions.  Thanks to the incredible Digital Maketing World conference held by Marketing Profs on April 1st, 2009 I can actually say I have. 

A week ago if I was asked to attend a conference where David Plouffe was to be the guest speaker, despite my interest in it, I would have declined thinking it would be out of my budget to travel to the conference, pay for a hotel, and actually pay the fees to attend the varied events and seminars.  Today, my answer would be different. 

Marketing Profs Digital Marketing World virtual conference allowed everyone and anyone with an interest in digital marketing to attend a conference with some of the leaders in the Digital Marketing industry from the comfort of their own home at no cost.  Platform provider InXpo in conglomeration with Marketing Profs created an online conference that was far beyond any I have been to in person.  The conference included everything from an image of a beautiful convention centre where the conference was being held, to an auditorium where the speakers would present, an exhibit hall where companies could hold their booths, a resource center where you could download information provided by vendors and the event schedule, to a lounge where you could mix and mingle with others attending.

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The conference also eliminated the need for vendors and participants to travel to the site.  It eliminated the need for vendors to create elaborate exhibits, print stacks of pamphlets and informational packages, as well as spend money on chotchkies and doodads to give away.  Making it one of the greenest conferences I have attended.

Other benefits to the online aspect included the fact that there was no line up in front of a booth for a chance to have a conversation with a vendor, there was no rush to get a seat at a seminar, or even the awkward conversation about the weather whilst trying to mingle with others around you. 

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When you arrived at each booth a chat window would open where you could see all the conversations going on and join in, or ask for a one on one conversation.  There were several representatives at most booths so there was no waitin in line necessary.  Each booth also had ample information for you to look at with links to their websites, blogs, and so on.  Some vendors even went as far as to provide an opportunity to win prizes like an I-Pod or a book to those stopping by.

The auditorium held a scheduled set of speakers who provided visuals to go along with their live podcast as well as a question and answer session to which you could submit your questions via the live chat window, or via e-mail. 

It was an easy to use, entertaining, intriguing event with so much to offer.  Thankfully all the content and resources from the Marketing Profs Digital Marketing World virtual conference are still available for 90 days for anyone that missed out.

Deepti Dewan Chowdhry

David Meerman Scott’s “The New Rules of Marketing and PR” receives rave reviews from Michigan State University graduate students.

David Meerman Scott’s “The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing and Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly” is being used as the lead text for Michigan State University’s New Media Drivers License course offered to Communication Arts and Science graduate students.

 

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The New Media Drivers License (sm) is a graduate level course designed to provide its students with the tools and techniques to best use new media and digital communication tools which include: Facebook, Linkedin, Blogging, Podcasting, New Marketing, Digital Public Relations, Google Tools, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM) including Google Adwords, and Presentation Zen techniques.

 

David Meerman Scott’s The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing and Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly” is the prime text used to provide the groundwork for the New Media Drivers License (sm). “The New Rules of Marketing and PR” gives the students a perspective into new media that is relevant and up to date through a conversational style of writing exclusive from other textbooks they may have used in the past. Scott’s unique ability to provide information without any fluff in an easy to understand, unambiguous way have students raving.
Scott is an “award-winning marketing strategist, best-selling author, conference speaker, and seminar leader” whose words will truly help you get to where you should be in today’s digital world.
With a price tag of under twenty dollars and wide availability through chain bookstores and several online vendors “The New Rules of Marketing and PR” should be at the top of any advertising, public relations, or marketing professional/to be professional’s wish list.
More information on the New Media Drivers License (sm) can be found on the digital bus.

More information on David Meerman Scott and “The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing and Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly” can be found on Scott’s website.

Deepti Dewan Chowdhry

 

 

 

 

Google Latitude: useful social utility or stalking device?

As many of you may be aware Google has a very advanced and user friendly application called Google Maps.  Google Maps provides traffic details, satellite views, list views, map views, hybrid views, GPS, driving directions, public transit details, and so on.  Google has now taken this application one step further by adding Google Latitude into the mix.  Google Latitude allows you to locate where your family and friends are as well as show them where you are in real time within Google Maps

The privacy settings have an opt-in-only feature, meaning no one can see anyone else’s location without permission.   Once permission is granted the settings can be adjusted and can vary from your location being automatically detected, manually entered or completely hidden from other people, another way to hide is to sing out of Latitude altogether.  Users can also adjust the level of geographic information they are willing to share from a specific spot on a street to a city location.  These settings can be individual specific. 

Users can also upload a picture and change their status line through this account which will both appear as the icon on the map representing them.  The changes here will also reflect in the users Google Talk account (the instant messenger within G-Mail).  This is a great feature as users will be able to update their pictures or status dependant on where they are allowing them to share their surroundings with their friends and family.  The downside to this is that there are many other ways to send instant pictures to others like simply sending a picture through a text message for starters. 

I personally see this as a great tool for parents checking on their kids, or to keep track of elderly relatives that may live on their own.  It is a great security measure but not something you can solely depend on.  Friends and family can use it as a tool to share their whereabouts with each other in a fun, visual way. 

My only concern with this tool is it’s ability to be used as a stalking device.  Scenarios can range from people in shaky relationships cyber stalking their significant others to make sure they know their every move, all the way to predators looking for their vicitims.  Everyday the news reports new ways predators are using to reach their targets; through chat rooms, facebook groups, virtual gaming like X-Box Live.  These tools are giving them the platform to create relationships and have the ability to con, especially children, into providing information that shouldn’t be given to strangers, I wouldn’t be surprised if their are criminal minds out there already plotting to use this tool to know the exactly where their so called “friends” are located. 

Although there are several competitors out there with similar tools, most in the past have been for specific mobile devices.  Google has made this tool easily accesible to the masses.  Still in its early stages I will be interested in what this tool leads to as a social utility.

Deepti Dewan Chowdhry

Linkedin: a more professional Facebook.

LinkedIn  is a business-oriented social networking site founded in 2002 and launched in 2003. I like to think of it as a professional networking version of the popular MySpace and Facebook sites. As of October 2008, it had more than 30 million registered users, spanning 150 industries. Statisitical information grabbed from Wikipedia.

I like to think of this site as your personal business card holder. Instead of having a rollodex of business cards taking up room on your desk you should use Linkedin. The people in the list are called Connections. These are your electronic business cards which can’t be lost or ruined when you spill coffee on them. On Facebook/MySpace it would be equivilant to Friends. Users can invite anyone to become a connection, but the person has to verify they know you before you are officially connected.
Ways connections are used:

  • Use your connections to build your network. Make your life easier and build a network. Ever heard of the phrase, “it’s who you know, not what you know.” When people in your network change jobs they will often update their profile so you don’t lose that connection. With business cards once that person leaves you are often stuck not knowing what company they went on to. When you want to meet someone, you can see if that person knows anyone that you know and gain an introduction through a shared individual you both know. Talk about a easy ice breaker!
  • Your connections can post jobs so you can finally work next to your best friend when the opportunity becomes available. Im keeping my fingers crossed for CEO of Apple in California.
  • Job seekers can review your profile and it can act as your resume. You no longer have to format resumes for each new job you apply for, or trim it to 1 page! Your profile can have recomendations on it which avoids having to ask someone for a letter of recomendation over and over again. You can show your new job that you are online/savy since it is becoming increasingly more popular and job seekers want you to have these skills of being able to talk/network online.

Linkedin Groups allows users to establish new business relationships by joining alumni, industry, or professional groups. There are even groups for people who prefer red staplers over black. Michigan State Univesity for example has a alumni group set up for most states so it is easy to meet fellow alumni when you get a job in a new area.

If the above reasons don’t at least get you to visit Linkedin you should visit a magazine site and eventually give in and create a Linkedin profile silly.