Archives for the month of: October, 2013

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Image Courtesy of: NBC News

I can’t speak for everyone, but I think many people might agree with me that too many people are posting downright inappropriate or unpleasing content online. Just today I was going through my Instagram feed to find – and scroll past as quickly as possible – a picture of a dissected cat from an acquaintance’s anatomy class. Please excuse me as I go hurl in the corner.

There’s nothing that makes my stomach turn faster than having to be exposed to an image like that, especially without warning. I understand that everyone on social media just wants to share what’s going in their lives, however, there IS a fine line between sharing and oversharing. If I wanted to see a cat’s inner organs, I would have taken that class myself…but I didn’t.

Facebook is dealing with their own displeasing content issues as of recently themselves. They’ve received major criticism for temporarily lifting a ban on graphic violence on its site. For example, Facebook said on Monday that videos, such as one where a man is beheading a woman in Mexico, are permitted as long as they are not celebrating the violence.

According to a report on NBCNews.com, immediately following a huge backlash against Facebook’s comment, the No. 1 social network said on Tuesday that they are going to “strengthen” their policy. They also admitted that their original ruling on the beheading video was flawed.

For Facebook execs, at least, this can cause them to make serious judgement calls on whether certain violent images, such as terrorist attacks, can be posted online in the public’s interest or for someone’s twisted pleasure. However, as a user, we should keep in mind that not everything we see online is going to be pleasing to us, but something that comes along with being on social media with the rest of the world with their own tastes.

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Image Courtesy of: Mashable

According to the New York Times, Twitter bios are now a post-modern art form. Your bio is meant to reflect who you are, and convince someone that by following you you can somehow enrich their lives in some way every time they scroll down their timeline.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not the most Twitter-savvy user and most definitely could use some help in making my personal profile more appealing to potential followers. Your bio is one of the most important factors in gaining followers, but it is also what determines how your account will show up in keyword searches. If you care about how you’re being perceived by the hundreds of millions of users on Twitter, you might want to take your bio more seriously.

An article on Mashable recently offered a guide in “How to Write a Rockstar Twitter Bio.” These are some of the things that they advise to keep in mind:

  • The Bio as an Art Form: Don’t think of the 160-character ‘limit’ as such, but a way to creatively or commercially be concise. If you’re more about selling yourself to a desired audience, then make your bio to be your best pitch. But, if you are more of the creative type, then think of your bio as a beautiful poem where all the words fit just right.
  • The Bio as a Cliché: There are remarkably too many bios in the Twitter-sphere that look somewhat like this, “Comic Book Expert. Car Buff. Caffeine Addict.” Bios like this can make you easily interchangeable with others, and takes away from your own special uniqueness.
  • Bio Basics: NO TYPOS! Use spellcheck, love spellcheck. Also important, be consistent! Find a format that works for you (list-based, separating words with commas, periods, or vertical bars) and stick with it.
  • Learn from Others: Don’t be afraid to look at what other people have done. Pay special mind to users who have huge followings and apply it to your own bio.
  • Find Your Unique Sell: If you’re a professional, make it clear what it is that you do. Establish yourself as an expert in your industry sector and make yourself stand out against the rest.
  • Consider SEO: Besides the regular Twitter searches, third-party organizations are searching for Twitter bios by using keywords, such as location, age, and interests. By optimizing your bio to give out the most perfect details about you, you’re telling the world why they should follow you.
  • Be Unusual: Put out what makes you STAND OUT! What is it about you that is going to enrich someone’s timeline? Put your personality and your quirks in your bio that represents the value in what you have to say.

So with all that in mind, hopefully you’ll be able to write up that impressive Twitter bio once and for all. Good luck Tweeples!

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Image Courtesy of: Mashable

In my last post I talked about how Facebook is now allowing 13 to 17 year olds to have a public voice on their social platform. Now just in time nearing the end of October, which is National Bullying Prevention Month, Facebook is helping kids in a different and undeniably positive way. This past Friday, just by making a couple posts in some of her car fans groups on Facebook, an Oregon aunt was able to gather an enormous support team for her bullied nephew.

After having lunch with her nephew one afternoon, she saw that he was being bullied by one of his peers taunting him and saying that he had no friends. This woman then turned to Facebook for assistance, and come Friday afternoon an entire rally of car aficionados turned up in the Oregon high school’s parking lot, coming as far as Vancouver, Canada.

The crowd of about 100 supporters really made a world of difference to the young teenager. The boy, Halsey Parkerson, told a local news station, “I will know that whenever I get bullied, I’ll just raise my head up and say, ‘Sorry, I have too many friends to think that I’m getting bullied…This is one glorious day.'”

This event is clearly an example of how social media can in fact have a positive impact on people’s lives. If just a couple posts asking for help can make that much of a difference in one person’s life, imagine what an entire campaign can accomplish.

To read the full article on Mashable.com and watch the KATU news telecast click here.

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If you’re anything like me, someone who kind of sort of has a Twitter account, but rarely uses it and has few followers, a lesson in proper Twitter etiquette is just what you need.

Mashable recently posted an article on how to look your best on one of the most influential social media platforms. This guide is meant to make sure you aren’t unknowingly driving followers away. And honestly, what is the point of having a Twitter without any followers? Unless all you care about is Kanye’s latest rant or Amanda Bynes’ latest breakdown, there are some key things to keep in mind in order to lure potential followers.

For starters, your posting frequency can really affect if someone thinks twice or not about following you. If you’re not someone who is comfortable (and interesting enough) with posting at least 5 times a day, make sure you’re posting relevant stuff at least once a week. If not, you could be seen as just a lurker or a robot and ‘Unfollows’ will soon follow.

Also, just because someone follows you does not mean you have to follow them back. Think of it as your own PR; the more followers you have compared to how many you follow gives you some sort of elite status. However, if your close friend or colleague follows you and you don’t follow back, that could be considered a direct snub. And if you really don’t want to see what that person posts, don’t put them on your private list of the tweets that you actually want to see.

If gaining followers isn’t really your problem, but you want to brush up on the rules of oversharing, spoiling, or the appropriate (or inappropriate) amount of hashtags to use, check out the article here: The Complete Guide to Twitter Etiquette.