Where is the line on professionalism?

Posted in Self Improvement, Social Media by diptoe on December 17, 2010

Where do you draw the line between your professional identity and your personal one?

Recently, a leader of a worldwide social media organization took his personal Facebook profile private, saying that he wanted to reserve that space for people he actually knew in real life. He then started a fan page on Facebook for friends he has yet to meet personally. His only other option was to manage complicated friend lists. Meanwhile, another worldwide leader in the social media field continues to add friends to his personal Facebook account.

On Twitter, one respected professional tweets only professional content – no personal tweets are posted beyond the occasional follower interaction. Yet another respected professional tweets out their rants, ravings, LOLs, location, and what they had for breakfast along with relevant and valuable content.

Which method is better? Should a person maintain a professional identity or should you be free to be yourself online? Does who you work for affect that decision? Do you have separate professional and personal identities or are they one and the same for you?


Cola Plunges To Its End

Posted in General by diptoe on October 29, 2010

KITCHEN NEWSWIRE– A can of Meijer brand Diet Cherry Encore Cola is no longer with us after it plunged more than 36 inches from the top shelf of the refrigerator to meet its end earlier this morning.

“I am deeply saddened by this tragic loss,” said Edgar Diaz, witness at the scene. “I was putting my food in the refrigerator when I saw it fall.”

The can reportedly sprayed cola all over the kitchen floor and walls. Cleanup crews wiped the area down with paper towel, and there are reports that a mop and bucket could be required to finish the job. “It was a mess,” says Diaz, “and the floor might still be a little bit sticky.”

Diaz said he is troubled by the thought that there might have been something he could have done to prevent the accident. He is offering cola-replacement therapy for others who may have been affected by the loss.

Speak With Authority

Posted in Self Improvement by diptoe on October 2, 2010

I’m sharing this video because (1) I love typography; and (2) I love the message of the poem. You should watch it. When you’re done, let me know what you think in the comments.

HOW TO: Change your Facebook Places privacy settings

Posted in Social Media by diptoe on August 19, 2010

Facebook just announced Facebook Places, which lets you ‘check in’ to places you go to (basically, it helps you tell people where you’re at). There are a few privacy concerns:

  • By default, your check-ins will show up on your profile, friend’s news feeds and the activity stream for the location;
  • Your check-ins are visible to your friends and anyone else nearby; and
  • Your friends can check you in to a location without your permission or approval.

You can controll all of this by changing your Facebook Privacy Settings. Here’s how you do it:

Step 1: Go to your Privacy Settings page (it’s under the Account tab on your Facebook page).

How to change your Facebook Places privacy settings

How to change your Facebook Places privacy settings: Step One

Step 2: Select “Customize Settings” (note the highlighted default setting on this page).

How to change your Facebook Places privacy settings

How to change your Facebook Places privacy settings: Step Two

Step 3: Change these three settings:

How to change your Facebook Places privacy settings

How to change your Facebook Places privacy settings: Step Three

“Places I check in” controls who can see your check-ins; “People Here Now” controls whether or not you are visible to friends and people that are checked in nearby; and the last option lets you control whether or not friends can check you in to places without your permission.

Step Four: For ultimate privacy, choose these settings:

How to change your Facebook Places privacy settings

How to change your Facebook Places privacy settings: Step Four

Step Five: Return to your Privacy Settings page to double-check your new settings:

How to change your Facebook Places privacy settings

How to change your Facebook Places privacy settings: Step Five

And that’s it! For more info on Facebook Places or using Facebook places, check out Mashable’s A Field Guide to Using Facebook Places article. I for one cannot wait to start using Places. What about you? Will you be using Facebook Places?

UPDATE: There is another control setting under “Applications and Websites.” Go to Account > Privacy Settings. Under “Applications and Websites” on the bottom left of the Privacy Settings page, select “Edit your settings.”

Once there, select the “Edit Settings” button next to “Info accessible through your friends.” There is a checkbox on the bottom right that says “Places I check in to.” You may opt in or out.

Also, Lifehacker posted a really cool video on disabling Places here, and Mashable has a good article here.

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Get Foursquare, Get Money (maybe)

Posted in Social Media by diptoe on July 2, 2010

Is your business on Foursquare? Because if it’s not it should be. Chances are it already is, but you just don’t know it yet. So what is Foursquare and why should you care?

1. What it is

Foursquare is a mobile application that let’s its users “check-in” to places they go to every day. Foursquare’s official description calls it a “…cross between a friend-finder, a social city-guide, and a game…” Users can win points, badges, and mayorships for checking in to places they visit.

2. Why it should matter to you

Because you can potentially (1) get more customers and (2) make more money. This is somewhat dependent on the type of business you own. Here’s my experience.

I started using Foursquare 38 days ago. I wanted to track my experience with the game and see firsthand what the possible value could be. Results?

Over the past 38 days I’ve checked in 247 times, which means I now check in or visit about 6.5 places per day. I’ve visited 58 different venues, 46 of which were new. Before this, I didn’t get out much. I usually did maybe three places a day max: Home, work, groceries 1x/wk., gas 2x/wk. and church 1x/wk.

Also during the past 38 days I’ve spent $63.79 at ten different venues as a direct result of Foursquare. That’s almost $6.38 per venue (or $1.68 per day) of my income earned with my own blood, sweat, and tears (and I don’t like parting with it easily), that someone else now has. And $50.13 of that was spent in the past 14 days (I’ve really started to get into this).

That is $63.79 I would not have spent otherwise, and it does not include indirect costs – gas for driving from place to place, time for going out of my way to get a special check-in, or money that I probably would have spent anyway. And I’ve influenced or indirectly influenced 6 other people to start playing the game too. And now they’re going places they wouldn’t have gone, and spending money they wouldn’t have spent.

Point: Foursquare is addictive, it gets people going to new places, and it gets them spending money they wouldn’t have spent otherwise.

3. So how do you benefit?

You want more money? Give people a reason to check in to your business.

For example, offer the mayor a free “something.” The mayor is the person that checks into your business the most days out of the last 60. You could have a dozen people fighting it out to become mayor. The more days they check in, the more likely they’ll spend money. And all it cost you was a free drink/sandwich/whatever.

Or, offer your customers a discount or special if they check in on Foursquare. This option is great for new or first-time visitors. They probably aren’t sold enough on your business yet to spend the next 60 days trying to become mayor. So give them a reason to visit you in the meantime.

4. How to get started

Go to http://foursquare.com/businesses/ to claim your venue. Their system is great because your special offer will get broadcast to anyone that checks in within a certain distance of your location. Users get a check-in message like, “Welcome to Burger King! Since you’re so close to Wendy’s, Foursquare would like to let you know that Wendy’s is offering a free Frosty today!” Would YOU stay at Burger King after getting a message like that?

As a warning, Foursquare does not accept all businesses. You can get around this by becoming a Foursquare user and adding tips. For more info on how you can get started use the sources listed below.

5. More info

By the way, I’d love it if you would share your Foursquare experiences in the comments. Share what you like about it, hate about it, if you’ve used it for your business, etc.

DISCLAIMER: Individual results may vary. I am not affiliated with Foursquare or any of the organizations or persons linked above. I just really like Foursquare. And I want more of you to start giving me free stuff when I come visit you.

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Testing a Video Post

Posted in General by diptoe on June 14, 2010

Last week I experimented with a minoHD Flipcam. My goals were to (1) test the audio quality and ease of use, (2) complete Blogging 130 from Lee Aase’s SMUG curriculum, and (3) have something I could use to experiment with embedding videos on my blog. I did a few takes before settling on this one. It’s not perfect (for example, a video production guy once told me to not use hand motions during a taping like I did at 0:13 seconds), but it works.

As for the FlipCam, audio quality is good. If I sat more than 5 or so feet away the audio became noticeably quieter. It also picks up background noise fairly well. It would be nice to have a a plugin for an external mic. Importing, cutting, and uploading the video using FlipShare’s program was very easy. It is no comparison to a true video editor, but a test export to one of those programs was no trouble at all.

As noted in the video, I used a tripod and level to set up the shot. What are your thoughts on using a tripod and/or professional set up versus doing a shakycam video? Is one more “personal” than the other? I’d appreciate your feedback.

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Why Use Google Chrome?

Posted in General by diptoe on June 9, 2010

Why use Google Chrome? Easy.

1. The integrated search box and address bar.
This is my favorite feature. It eliminates the separate search box and incorporates it into the address bar. This means no more hopping back and forth – just type the website or search query into the box and hit enter.

2. Chrome remembers where you like to go.
So if you go to BPGlobalPR on Twitter a lot, whenever you type in “BP” in the address/search bar “twitter.com/BPglobalPR” will be one of your top suggestions.

3. It’s really stinkin’ fast.
My understanding is that it pre-loads the web page before you even hit enter. All I know is that Google Wave works faster on Chrome than on any other browser I’ve tried.

These are my reasons for using Chrome. What are yours? let me know in the comments.

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Facebook To Unveil New Privacy Settings

Posted in Social Media by diptoe on May 26, 2010

Tomorrow, Facebook will unveil new, simplified privacy settings. Great. I’m looking forward to it, especially if they deliver as promised. On the other hand, I am not looking forward to having to relearn the system, or the possibility of having to of go through and reconfigure all of my current settings. I guess that’s the price of privacy in an ever-public world. Even our own office machines are against us.

How do you manage your online privacy? Does privacy matter? Let me know.

14 minutes.

Update: This post was originally titled, “Five-Minute Blog Challenge, Post Seven.”

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When Is It Smart To Give Away Two Things For Free?

Posted in General by diptoe on May 25, 2010

When is it smart to give away two things for free?

These days I expect most businesses to have wi-fi access. The only question is whether or not it’s available for public use, and whether it’s paid or free. I refuse to use paid services, so the availability of free wi-fi influences where I spend my time and money.

I am writing this from a hotel room using free wi-fi access provided by Google. Their version of free wi-fi is brilliant – after getting online and agreeing to the terms and conditions, users are given an opportunity to download a free Google product. If I download it, Google wins because another person is using more of their services. The hotel wins because their customers get a free service. And free wi-fi and free Google tool = win for me too. Even if I don’t download the product, Google still got exposure – maybe I’ll download it later.

What do you think? Does free wi-fi ever play a role in your spending habits? Is this a smart move on Google’s part? Let me know. And to answer the question at the beginning of this post: Giving away two things for free is smart when it provides a win for you and me!

35 minutes.

Update: This post was originally titled, “Five-Minute Blog Challenge, Post Six.”

Wanted: Social Media Management Tool

Posted in Social Media by diptoe on May 24, 2010

Here we go ladies and gentlemen, a question for you! I manage ever-increasing numbers of social media outlets, Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, e-mail addresses, etc. I need something to manage, keep track of, and update all of those. Google is great for research, but I’d like some  personal end-user feedback.

Can you recommend any apps/programs/what have you that I could use? Let me know in the comments.

4 minutes. Sweet!

Update: This post was originally titled, “Five-Minute Blog Challenge, Post Five.”