- by Mark, "the Mind", Sarro
I came across an interesting news piece on the BBC News site regarding a Russian Governor who posted a tweet w/photo of an earthworm found in his salad that was served to him during a state dinner at the Kremlin for the German President Christian Wulff. His post was quoted as saying “That’s an original way to show that the lettuce leaf is fresh…”
Well, needless to say the backlash that ensued from the Kremlin’s top foreign policy advisor Sergie Prikhodko would not be gentile. According to the state run news agency RIA Novosti ; he was quoted as saying: "I should probably have advised my lawyer colleagues to add to the list of formulae for assessing governors' performance a provision for 'dismissal on the grounds of imbecility'…"
Exercising common sense would be the lesson learned here; should I really tweet about this considering that I am a government official? …Hmmm, probably not. The same goes for the rest of us in our work and corporate environment. Should we be Tweeting or Facebooking about something that happens at work during work hours? The answer simply and plainly is no. The idea of doing it even after work about something that happened during work would be ill advised. Especially if it is related to your company or someone associated with your company. Many employee contracts/agreements would consider this a breach of contract if you have any type of privacy or confidentiality clause in them.
More and more over the past few years there have been news stories related to incidents involving employees and the social media. There was a local story not so long ago about an employee working for the Philadelphia Eagles posting an opinionated blog (he happened to be diehard fan too) and the result was him losing his job because it was found to be a conflict of interest.
The bottom line is exercise common sense. Don’t Tweet, Myspace or Facebook during company time or off company time about things related to your company. The end result could be losing your job and I bet you would be hard pressed to explain in an interview why you aren’t working where you are anymore…. Hmmm, something to think about…
Great stuff, "The Mind". If you'd like to hear more about the policies that we help introduce to clients, be sure to contact us at your most pleasant convenience!
- by Andrew Neumann
I recently read a thread on my iPhone about Dr. Frank Ryan and his unfortunate demise - Death by ‘Tweet’. While this may sound like I am making light of a very real and very tragic circumstance, I assure you that I am not. . . well maybe I am.
Sure, I can hear you bad mouthing me already and I haven’t even gotten what I wanted to say spit out of my mouth. Perhaps you can give me a moment to finish my thoughts before you pass judgement. At the risk of sounding absurd, while Dr. Ryan’s death is certainly very tragic, it could have been, beyond the shadow of a doubt, prevented. For those who may not know, Dr. Ryan, while driving and tweeting, managed to miss a very important curve in the road and drove off a cliff in Malibu CA, plunging to his death.
We managed to master walking and chewing gum why can we not do the same with driving and tweeting? Let me hit you with some knowledge – they don’t go together. In this equation 1+1 does not equal 2! I am overwhelmed at the idea that our addiction to social media streams and the need to be ‘in the know’ may cost us our lives literally, figuratively and however else you want to look at it. Who would have thought that the grim reaper would trade in his cloke and sythe for a pair of coke bottle bottom glasses and a handheld device – what a nerd! C’mon folks, let’s get real. Is it really worth it? Can we not go more than a few minutes without getting the information at our fingertips at the speed of light, all news all the time, hit me up with a tweet or did you see the latest status update for your best friend on FB type of lifestyle even when death is parked just around the corner maybe not even parked anymore but zooming straight up your tailpipe. I suppose a few minute lull in texting or streaming would be a God send for some. I appreciate life far too much to risk death by tweet (yeah I will tell myself that while I write this article . . the next time I am on 76 though . . ) I have this discussion with my wife all of the time – that common sense, as much as we would like to believe it is a real thing, does not and cannot exist, especially after reading about the unfortunate and untimely demise of Dr. Ryan. Surely he had to think that what he was doing was not the ‘best’ possible combination – driving and tweeting – surely he had to think that. We will never know.
The next time you get behind the wheel you need to ask yourself or reaffirm the fact that life is worth living, that the information will still be available to you when you reach your destination, that you can tweet responsibly – when the time is write (sounds like a Cialis commercial) and the right time is not while you are speeding down the highway, or for that matter when you are stuck in traffic. I offer to you, if you want to tweet and drive, play the lottery – win a boat load of money – and hire a car service to tote your technologically superior lifestyle around. If your life is not worth it, I assure you mine is!
I did a quick Google search on ‘People who have died by tweeting and driving’ – I thought the results would come back with just 1 Result, Dr. Ryan. I was humbled to read 1 thread posted through Wiki that suggests over 100,000 souls lost their lives to this deadly combo. 1 life lost to this phenomenon is tragic but 100,000, c’mon what are we doing wrong? We may not be far off from car manufacturers needing to install an Interlock device in our automobiles that will force us to dock our handhelds before the engine can turn over. Not such a bad idea considering – don’t ya think?
Leap year this year, well maybe not unless you are a PlayStation 3. It was discovered starting at midnight on the 28th of February, that some consoles believed that it was the 29th instead of March 1st. This caused various problems for all affected users. Some of the reported problems were the inability to connect to the internet, problems with trophies, and problems with certain games. It was so bad at one point, and no fix was forthcoming, that Sony actually announced that if you had one of the "fat" PlayStation 3's, that you should turn it on until they had found a solution to the problem. Now is the point in time where I get to the point of all this. In the time of twitter and the like, it seems the users were way ahead of Sony on this.
Users on twitter were working faster and posting more useful information then the official tech support from Sony was. It kind of made them look foolish when a user had posted a gathered bit of information that they did know. I would even venture a guess that users had actually identified the cause of the problem, even if they didn't have a solution, before it was addressed by the company that should have been responsible for that kind of information. I guess it goes without saying that companies need to be more aware of social media sites and their users. They need to have faster responses to issues if they don't want to end up looking more silly then useful.
Trigon supports Social Media! We have been on Twitter for months now! Check us out @TrigonIT. For more information on the Philadelphia IT Company, Trigon, email us at solutions@TrigonIT.com or call us at 1-888-494-TRIGON.
Wait sorry, they also signed a deal w/ Facebook. Still nothing? Me neither.
On October 21, Microsoft announced that it had formed a non-exclusive partnership with both Twitter and Facebook, to include live status updates of searched topics into its results. Microsoft will be using a certain algorithm to determine how to show tweets by relevancy. My guess is whichever includes: "OMG Windows 7 is MZING LOLZ RT!".
I don't know about you, but when I search for the nutritional value of a small ice-coffee from Wawa, the last thing I want to see is some doofus posting a picture of himself pouring an iced coffee AT Wawa. Or, some tween remarking: "LMAO I need a coffee, SOOO TIREDZ". Get out of my Bing results, jerks.
Though, truth be told, when I saw a bunch of people talking about a balloon in my Twitter (which is awesome, BTW), I instantly went through the trending topics to see what everyone was blabbling about. And it only took me seconds to be instantly made aware of what was happening. I'm certainly not going to close my Twitter app, and fire up Bing Mobile to see why there is a boy flying across the US in a flying saucer. That's precisely what the hordes of intelligent people I follow are for.
That and telling me what they're eating for breakfast that day. Lord knows I can't LIVE without knowing that.
(It was eggs.)
Windows 7 operating system? Check. High speed DSL connection? Check. Twitter account? Check. Facebook account? Check. Shovel, rake and a very, very tolerant attitude?? Whaaaaat?
I have always prided myself on being a person who is very tolerant of what others choose to believe in or how they occupy their spare time. I am all for getting the latest and the greatest, regardless of potential first generation ‘Bugs'. So it goes without saying, that in a world flooded by social media outlets like Facebook or Twitter, that I should shrug my shoulders and think nothing of an unusual application surfacing...until now. Consider this my official notification that I am drawing a line in the sand, getting on my soap box and speaking my mind (what little of it I have left) about an absolute abomination . . .drum roll please. . . FarmVille.
For those who may not be aware, and realizing that I am blogging, and my target audience is more than likely going to be in tune to the technical saviness of the world, Farmville is an application that allows users to grow their own farms by planting seeds, planting trees, buying farm animals, and harvesting crops. Awesome! Fun for the whole family! A complete and total waste of time. At the risk of sounding like someone stuck in a rut (no farming pun intended) I cannot see what the appeal of this application is. If it is the excitement of gardening you desire, here's an idea pick up a shovel and start digging. . in the actual dirt (you know that brown stuff) . . . cut loose the IT strings that bind you and get the heck outdoors! I assure you that you will feel better about yourself and the actual greenery you plant and harvest, more so than sowing row after row of blueberries amongst your palm trees and pink cows and then selling them off for a gaggle of geese and a few magic pumpkin seeds. Biting into a carrot that you harvested from your garden?? Priceless. Mindlessly planting, harvesting and selling off your crops on your 21" flat screen? You must be joking. Reaping the nutritious rewards from doing something that you may not have thought you were any good at will far outweigh the rewards of selling that chocolate milk that came from the brown cow in your virtual pasture.
Do you really still have a Facebook profile? Even after your little brother and your mom created one? Let's face it; Facebook is not what it used to be. Have you gone through your "friends" list recently? I bet there are at least 500 people on it that you do not know or talk to. What is the point? In the beginning, it was a great way to keep in touch with old college friends or coworkers who you did not get to see that often. It was fun to share pictures in a place where everyone had a profile and could be tagged. But today, Facebook has morphed into a commercialized and corporate version of what it once was. Sure you set your profile and photo albums to only be viewed by "friends" but are they really your friends?
Previously, one of my coworkers wrote a blog about social networks, and how they have been used to terminate or suspend people from their jobs. The major issue is, however, do you offend coworkers, managers, and bosses by not accepting them as a friend, or do you make them a friend, and let them see all the comments your high school buddies post on your wall along with all of the old tagged pictures of you from college parties?
This "social networking tool" is wasting hours of your life that you will never get back and drawing you further from your actual friends. According to a study conducted at Duke University, in 1985, people had one third more friends than they did in 2004 due to social networking sites. Now, twitter has become extremely popular and Facebook has seen an immense increase in the amount of new profiles being created. Instead of being creepy and looking at pictures of your old friends to find out what is going on in their lives, pick up the phone and call them.
Just admit it; Facebook has gotten to be just as bad as MySpace with the random pokes and messages coming from people you do not actually know. Also, with the addition of all the pointless status updates, gifts, and applications like Mafia Wars, SuperPoke, We're Related, and Bumper Stickers, Facebook is becoming more and more of an annoyance. Join the new movement and delete your profile... oh wait technically you can't. Facebook's Terms of Service (TOS) Agreement states that "you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content." Although you thought you had a profile on Facebook, Facebook really has a profile of you on their website. But that is a blog for another time.
Here is a really funny video about the annoying parts of Facebook:
Julian Smith - 25 Things I Hate About Facebook
Is this a joke? Twitter has been down all morning. While us marketing and sales guys are trying to push out blogs and get our name out there via Twitter - their site is down. Luckily for you Facebookers - you can still get on FB (although we were having slight issues with FB this morning as well). But I am new to this social media thing, and rely only on Twitter - which means I am SOL. And to think I was going to #BlameDrewsCancer
(GoodSearch it or Google it - if you don't know what it means) for this crappy weather - now I can blame him for Twitter being down, well I can do that once Twitter gets back on its feet.
I know you are probably saying to yourself, "Who cares?" Well, sadly enough, a lot of people. This isn't like their earlier outages where they were having issues with their growth - now more than 45 MILLION PEOPLE around the globe use Twitter as a resource of communication. It's just sad to see such a great tool be down for about two hours. :(
DISCLAIMER: This Post Does Not in Any Way Mention Apple.
Recently I created a Gmail account to act as a secondary email for myself. For the sake of conversation, let's call it email@example.com. I was going to use it just in case I needed my password reset for various websites and also as a poor mans auto-archive of my main email. Boy what a mistake that could be.
Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo shut off inactive email accounts after 6-9 months of in-activity, meaning that my secondary email could be deactivated if I don't log in often. So one day a greasy haired nerdlinger who dreamed of getting firstname.lastname@example.org would be inundated with glee to find it was finally available. Imagine his surprise when he started getting banking and password information into his inbox. What he would want to do with my Twitter account is beyond me, but rest assured I want to be the only one alerting the world that I just had breakfast!
So the morale of this story is that you shouldn't forget to log into your email early and often and also to eat your vitamins. For the record, C is my favorite.
So if you haven't been sitting in a cave for the past decade or so - you understand the power of a quality website. But it's 2009, and there are still so many companies that aren't harnessing the power of blogs and social media. For those small and midsized businesses out there who think it's stupid and a waste of time - you are wrong!
First off, blogs are a powerful way to constantly create new content - which search engines love! They have these things called web crawlers, and guess what - if you aren't publishing new content - they come back less and less. This means less pages are getting indexed by the search engine and people who could actually use your services can't find you because your site is 23 million results away from the top spot in search engines.
It couldn't get easier than putting together a blog every day - if you have a few employees you can have tons of fresh new content. If you are a one-person-business - write about your experiences day in and day out. Believe it or not - people read them!
So how do people come out and find the content you put out EVERYDAY (yes, you should add at least a blog EVERY DAY - or at least every work day)? Well that is where the power of social media comes in. You have friends right? Well I hope you do at least. You write something really cool about the newest (fill in the blank here) and you post it to Facebook, Linked-In, or Twitter. Now at least your friends know about it. If they find it interesting they can repost it for you on their page and so on. Then you have all of the social media sites for the big world out there that doesn't know you. So what you do is you go out to Digg, Redditt, StumbleUpon, and any other blog submission site and they go out and read it. Now you have real traffic - all reading your content! And guess what - they will click through your website to see if there is anything else of value to them - so next time I write I will address that but for now - START BLOGGING and GET SIGNED UP FOR SOCIAL MEDIA SITES!
So you still don't believe the power of the blog? Check out our site's statistics. We went from practically none in the beginning of the year to this month we will break 1,000 NEW viewers - all because of blogs.
About two weeks ago, after being tangled in a lengthy love affair with the ever popular social networking site Facebook, I grew tired of the service (what can I say, the apps and requests that pollute my page really started to get out of hand). So just like any other social networking junkie would, I went out and found myself a new mistress, Twitter. After being against the idea of "tweeting" for quite some time, I gave in - and much to my disbelief, it's pretty cool.
Over the first few days, to be honest, it was rough. I wasn't even sure what I was supposed to do on the darn thing. I watched the "How To Use Twitter" video , which wasn't all that helpful, and then decided to make the best out of it. I started following my friends (only the close ones, Larry David and PDiddy - me and Puff go way back) and then I started to grow a small following.
What really started to spark my interest in Twitter though, was my coworker, Liz. If you didn't already see it, last week she wrote a pretty interesting blog discussing the idea that Twitter is for more than just socializing. I read her blog while at work that day, and was massively impressed. Upon my arrival home that night, things got even more interesting. While talking to a friend of mine, I found out that wanna-be celebrity scumbag, Perez Hilton, got punched in the face by someone associated with the Black Eyed Peas. That's pretty cool to begin with, but what I found out next was even cooler. Perez, after taking what was probably a much deserved pop to the face, sent a string of tweets out to his followers saying that he was being "assaulted" and needed the police. Like all good sheep should, people began calling 911 for him. In fact, there were so many people calling that the Toronto 911 phone lines became tied up!
It's really interesting to see the effect that social networking is having on our everyday lives. We are completely entangled with it. As terrible as it is that some idiot had his followers tie up 911 lines while there were other emergencies that most likely warranted more attention; it's amazing to know that something like tying up the Toronto 911 lines over a social networking site is even possible.
Before I wrap things up, I wanted to mention something else I've been reading about Twitter lately (that's far more notable than Perez), Iran. Over the past couple of weeks, Iran has been going through something along the lines of a revolution over their recent election crisis. Twitter has been playing a major role in the on goings over there. The mainstream media has been banned from the cities, and with so much violence and chaos amongst the land, the Iranians have been using Twitter to spread news of what's going on. Twitter has become so important in this crisis, that when it was scheduled to go down for maintenance during peak Iran hours, the U.S. Government asked that it hold off and let the flow of information continue.
I don't know about you, but I think it's pretty cool to see the transition that these social networking sites are going through, and how they are becoming prevalent and important tools all across the world.