Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

Social Media and Tribes #3: Mob mentality

by Deepika Bajaj on June 23, 2010

Tribes today have shifted to multiple affinity tribes.   For instance, professional tribes, social identity tribes, etc. People move into and out of tribes online…..for work, fun, and play!

Herd mentality implies a fear-based reaction to peer pressure which makes individuals act in order to avoid feeling “left behind” from the group. Herd mentality is also sometimes known as Mob mentality. A related idea is that groups which hang out together tend to stick up for each other. As can be seen on MySpace, FaceBook & Twitter, members of a tribe will work to promote each other.

The Classic Mob-Mentality

When we think about play, from Facebook to MySpace and now Twitter, Mafia-themed games have more or less taken over. Mobsters, a game created by development company Playdom, is the most popular application on MySpace’s platform. The mechanics of the tribes of this games involves that  you can  join a “mob” with friends on a specific social network on which the game has been built on. You can carry out missions, including “killing” other players in rival mobs, in order to earn points. Your activities are broadcast, via news feeds or Twitter posts, to your friends.

Tapping into Ego

Every tribe has ego associated to it. And that is why violence is a popular factor in making these games successful. When someone kills your character, you tend to avenge it forcefully and engage in missions that feed your ego. Similarly, the tribe derives special pleasure when they “get on the top” or “get recognized” (a.k.a. earn respect of your tribe) for some mission. This gives the biggest boost to your ego.

Social Tribes reinforce your beliefs

Contrary to popular conventions about the Web opening minds, people are more likely to read information or participate in social groups that reinforce what they already believe. In some cases, a tribe can show dramatic increase in the undesirable action compared with doing nothing at all, because it demonstrated that lots of others engaged in the behavior.

Is the Tribe capable of making a positive change?

Yes.

It simply depends on what is your message to them. And its quality.

Look for early adapters of your message and bring them into your fold. They are more likely to have a BIG impact when you have a critical mass. It has been seen that you get more comments on a blog where other people are commenting, you get more subscribers when you show the number of people who have subscribed or number of tweets for a specific post.

Try to keep the message positive and focus on where you want to go. Most likely people will have no fixed thinking of the future and you can then enable to act in a positive behavior. And since they belong to this tribe of positive change, soon they will adapt the behaviors that will have positive impact on the Tribe’s future.

Now is the time for you to begin using video to market and sell your books and build your personal brand. Video is easier than ever. In fact, the cost of getting started has dropped to zero.

That’s right: free!

I’d like to show you can start building your online video presence today, even if you haven’t had any previous video experience!

What do you need to get started?

You probably already have what you need to get started. You need:

  • A Twitter username and password. The solution I’m recommending, Screenr.com, is based on your Twitter.com username and password. Screenr will automatically notify twitter each time you publish a video. After that, you can manually ReTweet your video on your blog and website. You can also embed the HTML code for the video.
  • Microphone. You’ll also need a microphone, or headset, connected to your computer. Headsets are better because they free your hands to advance the visuals. If you already use Skype, you’re all set.
  • Presentation software. I recommend using a presentation program like PowerPoint as the foundation of your initial videos. PowerPoint makes it easy to plan, illustrate, deliver your videos, pacing the delivery of your message.

You can, of course, use MindManager mind maps, or a desktop publishing to illustrate your points as you describe them.

What is Screenr?

Screenr.com is a web-based recorder integrated with a hosting platform and close ties with Twitter.com.

Screenr eliminates the need to:

  • Buy, download, and install new software
  • Learn new software
  • Choose a hosting platform
  • Upload files after recording
  • Manually create links to each video

Screenr is part of the Articulate Group, an established e-learning firm. Articulate publishes leading e-learning software. You may already be familiar with their Rapid E-learning Blog and their Articulate Word-of-mouth Blog.

What can you do with it?

As I see it, the most important tasks Screenr helps authors do for free is:

  • Build anticipation for your book as you write it, walking readers through your book’s table of contents as you discuss your goals
  • Preview the front and back covers of your book as soon as they are finalized, showing different options and discussing why you made the decisions you did.
  • Prepare for your book launch by sharing the details of your book launch with your marketing partners
  • Walk readers through each chapter, describing the goals of each chapter as well as previewing the illustrations and reader engagement tools, like exercises and questions, to help readers put your ideas to work

The number of ways you can use Screenr to promote your book is only limited by your imagination. You can also use Screenr to share audio and video testimonials from experts and readers. You can share new information as it becomes available. And, you can drive readers to your website and build your e-mail list by showing the bonus materials you offer to readers who register.

How do you use Screenr?

Start by visiting screenr.com and watching their 1-minute video. Then, register using your Twitter.com username and password. Screenr will verify and remember your Twitter information.

To begin your first recording, press the Record Your Screen Cast Now button. This takes you to the Screenr record screen, where you’ll be prompted to resize your screen to highlight just the portion of the screen you want to record. In my case, I set the recording screen to the size of my PowerPoint presentation, as shown in the picture.

When you’re ready, press the red Record button. When you’re finished, press the green Done button.

Screenr then takes you to the Publish Your Screencast page, where you can:

  • Preview your screencast
  • Describe your screencast in 117 characters, or less
  • Tweet! your screencast and add it to the screencasts displayed on Screenr
  • Delete your screencast, so you can start all over

What’s the most important thing to remember?

If you’re new to video, the biggest surprise you’re likely to experience is how quickly 3 or 4 minutes go by! Because time flies when creating a short- -i.e., 5-minute, or less- -video, you have to limit the number of ideas and points in your videos and you must limit the number of words used to address each point.

To master the power of conciseness, I encourage you to follow a 3-step process:

  • Step 1. Use PowerPoint to create a structure. Begin each video by creating a short PowerPoint presentations, like the one shown here, to storyboard, or organize, your ideas and provide a pacing tool for narrating each slide.
  • Step 2. Prepare a “script” for each presentation. Use your favorite word processing program to select the words to accompany each of the PowerPoint slides. The script is not for you to read word-for word during your video, but simply to drill the main ideas into your brain and guide your discussion of each point.
  • Step 3. Record, preview, delete, and re-record. Don’t expect to get it right the first time. You’ll probably require multiple takes to get it right, but, that’s OK. (That’s what Screenr’s delete button is for!) Do it again and again, each time eliminating a few ideas or unnecessary words, or replacing long words with short words. Pay attention to the elapsed time indicator as you record, if you find yourself spending too much time on a slide, do some editing!

Like so many of the other skills needed during your Author’s Journey, video success is a matter of doing it over and over again until it’s right. As you work, your comfort with this new medium will quickly advance.

My first video, for example, took me about five hours to prepare. My second video, however, took less than 3 hours! Most important, the more I work with Screenr, the less time I need. I need less and less time because I’m becoming better able to judge the number of words needed to accompany each slide.

Have you been putting off video until you “have the time?”

If you have, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to build your personal brand and sell more books. Screenr is not the only option, of course, and- -at some point- -you may select a more powerful video platform. But, right now, it offers you an easy way to get started creating an online video platform and building anticipation for your book without spending any money. Share your experiences with Screenr, or any other online video solution. Share your experiences and lessons-learned with other Active Garage readers as comments, below.

Visit my Active Garage Resource Center, where you can download the script I created for my second video, plus additional worksheets for previous Author Journey topics

Week In Review – Apr 18 – Apr 24, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on April 25, 2010

Webinar Strategy and Elephant Chunks

by Wayne Turmel, Apr 19, 2010

Most small companies and startups do not have the time and money to create marketing webinars, customer training and recordings for the website. The task may seem daunting, but not so if you break it up into small bite sized chunks. In this article Wayne provides a concise strategy to attack this problem. more…

In Sharing look for Caring

by Guy Ralfe, Apr 20, 2010

Great article! A must read. In your entrepreneurial endeavor, you will meet a variety of people. Guy has made it really simple to identify them into 4 distinct categories. Partners are those with high level of domain knowledge and have the inclination and capacity to assist you. Seek them. At any cost stay away from onions and decoys. But make sure your assessments of people are correct though. more…

Leadership Cancers #6: Leave your heart at home

by Gary Monti, Apr 21, 2010

Yet another deeply thought provoking article by Gary! Life is challenging and business is even more so. Every day you come across situations that require you to make tough decisions. When at a cross road, reach out to your inner compass. This reminds me of the great speech Al Pacino delivers in the movie Scent of a Woman. more…

Announcing 99tribes.com – People discovery engine for Twitter

The Active Garage Team, Apr 22, 2010

This is a great day for us at Active Garage! We are proud to announce the launch of our newest project, 99Tribes – A People discovery engine for Twitter.

What distinguishes 99Tribes from all other people directories on Twitter? 99Tribes helps you find and DISCOVER twitter users who share their interests. Based on the patented Rawsugar technology, you can start discovering people by typing what you are interested in (popular examples being: marketing, sales, blogging etc.)

Don’t wait. Go ahead, check it out, add yourself to 99Tribes and have fun discovering others with like interests!

Author’s Journey #18: Evaluating your current online visibility

by Roger Parker, Apr 23, 2010

After going through the first two steps Planning and Writing, we are now at Step 3, Promoting. The first thing to do in this stage is to evaluate your online platform that determines your online visibility. In this article Roger provides some great tips and techniques to cultivate and enhance your online assets. more…

Is using Social Media an impediment to your Organization?

by Himanshu Jhamb on February 8, 2010

Au Contraire, it can lead to improved productivity and branding.

First and foremost, let’s get one thing clear about Social Media. It is not just a tool, or a tactic or even a strategy. It is simply a channel for having online conversations. Depending on if you know and intend to use it purposefully or not, it can increase productivity… or not. There are two kinds of stances organizations that do not believe in the power of Social Media take when it comes to using Facebook or Twitter, at work.

  1. Employees will be distracted. They’ll spend too much time on these sites and it will be an impediment to the actual work. So, they should not have access to these at work.
  2. Social Media is not useful at all. I don’t want to know when someone is going grocery shopping or cleaning his car.

The issue with the first stance is simply not about social media. It is about ethics. Just like you shouldn’t be browsing the internet for 7 hours a day in your 8 hour workday and you shouldn’t be chatting on the phone about your favorite football team with your buddy for the better part of your workday, you shouldn’t be using the different social media channels for extended periods of time. Blocking the websites wouldn’t do a lot of good if the people in your organization are looking to spend the majority of their working hours elsewhere. You might want to look at “Why are they distracted”? more than “What distracts them”?

The issue with the second stance is simply ignorance and a fixed way of thinking about social media. There are some Social Media Rockstars who have branded themselves impeccably using the various social media channels. It does not mean they have never got subjected to online conversations about grocery shopping from other folks. It simply means they have been participating and contributing to the social media space purposefully and with an open mind. They do not allow themselves to be led by popular opinion. They are in the department of changing the popular opinion… or even being a source of a new one! There is a reason why companies like CNN, BestBuy, Dell and JetBlue continue using Twitter and the reason is simply that were ready to experiment and they’ve found a way to make it work for whatever it is that they are after. Contrary to popular belief, these companies not only use Twitter as a channel to market their offers but also to have online conversations with their customers which, mind you, involves listening to the customer’s concerns and then engaging with them by taking action to best take care of them.

Regardless of your organization’s stance on Social Media, Social Media is here to stay. It’s not any different from any new practice or technology that is invented. About 30 years ago or so, with the advent of computers, we got a real taste of what machines can do from a small microchip. About 20 years ago or so, we got a taste of what connectivity means with the advent of the internet. Perhaps it’s time for organizations to give up their rigidity on Social Media and leap into this new decade with a sense of exploration and genuine intrigue to see what conversing online means with the advent of this dangerous opportunity (Social Media).

Week In Review – Jan 24 – Jan 30, 2009

by Magesh Tarala on January 31, 2010

Quality #14: Process Improvement and the 3E’s

by Tanmay Vora, Jan 25, 2009

When process improvement initiatives fail, it is typically due to the lack of one or more of the three E’s – Lack of Empowerment, Lack of Education / Training or Lack of Empathy. Upper management needs to show they are serious about process by allocating the right resources. Implementation staff need to understand what they need to do and why. Lastly, there should be realization across the board that one-size-fits-all approach will not work. Focus on the three E’s and your journey will become easier and fun. more…

BLOGTASTIC!: You have to give back!

by Rajesh Setty, Jan 25, 2009

In life or on your blog, there is more joy in giving than getting. Your blog expands your capacity to give. Invest some of your time expanding the capacity of fellow bloggers who need your help. You’ll quickly find that the effort will produce its own rewards. You will quickly realize that the incremental costs will be quite low for you to provide high-value to someone or some cause. more…

Change Management #1 – Leadership: Navigating with an Executive Map and Compass

by Gary Monti, Jan 26, 2010

Welcome! to the first post in the Change Management Series. This blog is a simple user’s guide to a change management map, compass, and navigation method. We will look at their make-up and how they work. Later blogs will go deeper into how they work.

In this post Gary talks about the three essential components required to lead your company through change – The Map, the Compass and the Navigation Method. In an ever changing environment (the map), you need to be able to adhere to your values (the compass) and adapt your (navigation) methods to reach the goal. more…

BLOGTASTIC!: Say more than “me too.”

by Rajesh Setty, Jan 26, 2009

You may come across blogs with great content and you may link to them. But if you don’t have anything original to say, your links won’t help much. It’s like giving somebody free movie tickets to a bad movie! Understand that the “me too” comments and links only add to the noise and don’t add value to the conversation. more…

Performance comes from Performing People

by Guy Ralfe, Jan 27, 2009

An organization’s goals and an individual’s aspiration will both be successful only if they intersect with each other. Guy illustrates this point in this blog through his recent experience on an airport ramp waiting to get into a plane undergoing tests to make sure the aircraft is clear to fly. more…

BLOGTASTIC!: All about comments

by Rajesh Setty, Jan 27, 2009

How do you create online conversations? Well, in the blogosphere, you do it via comments. Leaving comments on other blogs is a powerful mechanism to build traffic to your blog, build your credibility and in the process build valuable relationships. But before you start commenting, be sure to learn the basic commenting etiquette. more…

When Securing Your Data and Network, Just Look Inside

by Robert Driscoll, Jan 28, 2009

When securing data and network, the most obvious threats to guard against are the external intrusions. Studies have shown time and again that a great number of attacks originate from internal sources. You can safeguard against these risks by constantly reviewing your security policies, following a stringent hiring process and having more than one administrator for critical systems. more…

BLOGTASTIC!: The ultimate leverage engine

by Rajesh Setty, Jan 28, 2009

Whatever you do offline, you can leverage your online presence to your benefit. For example, you can use your blog to generate business or get speaking engagements. What you get out of it depends entirely upon you. You can read a good book and get nothing out of it. Or you can be moved to change the rest of your life. Same thing holds true for your blog. more…

Author’s Journey #6 – What’s the best size for your book?

by Roger Parker, Jan 29, 2009

Common thinking triggered by the word “book” is the long and never ending text books in school and college. Not true anymore. With the dawn of twitter and blogs, smaller books from 140 to 160 pages are popular. It takes less time to create, the cost to publish is lower and also the books are more focused. The trend is not to “tell all” but tell just what’s needed. more…

BLOGTASTIC!: Increase your capacity to do more good

by Rajesh Setty, Jan 29, 2009

You can use your blog for good causes too. In this post Rajesh talks about David Armano’s experience in raising money for a woman who recently separated from an abusive husband – through his blog. This illustrates that your blog can change who you are, your blog can change who your readers are and best of all, your blog can change the world! more…

Branding – Don’t get caught in the hype!

by Laura Lowell on October 7, 2009

hypeSo…you have an exciting strategy; your messages are relevant and consistently integrated throughout your brand and all customer touch points.  Now you need an actionable marketing plan that delivers your message to your customers in ways that will increase the chance that they will pay attention, and ultimately buy whatever it is that you’re selling.

There is a lot of talk about the latest new trend (Twitter, vlogs or who-knows-what’s-next) and the coolest new technology.  However, these things are only useful if they are being used by your target customers.  This point bears repeating…these things are only useful if they are being used by your target customers.  This is the kind of thing that sounds so simple – it is common sense.  Unfortunately, it isn’t commonly practiced.

It is critical to the success of your brand that you identify customer-preferred communication vehicles and prioritize those above things that are “really hot” at the moment.  While they may be the latest fad, they might not generate the results you want.

Different marketing tools are good at doing different things – think screwdrivers and hammers.  This is, again, why it is so important to know what your goals and objectives are so that you can select the right tools for the job.  The right balance between online and offline marketing vehicles ensures that you are reaching your target customers in a variety of ways which will improve your overall results – whether they are to increase awareness or to generate demand.

For example, if you are a start-up just launching your company, you need to generate awareness that you exist. PR is a very cost-effective tool to do this.  You also need a website to explain what the company does.  To get the ball rolling you might launch an email and/or direct mail campaign with an introductory offer so that customers connect their business problem with your company.  If you are a small company trying to generate demand, a combination of webinars and SEO with speaking engagements and telemarketing could prove to be very effective at generating quality leads.  It is important to focus on the quality of the lead rather than the volume generated as the conversion rates tend to be much higher.

It is easy to get excited about the latest technology and cool marketing techniques.  Be careful, and remember that the end result is to achieve the business objectives – which is typically to sell more of your stuff.  This means you don’t need to do everything, but you need to strategically select a few key vehicles and do them exceptionally well.

Online and Offline Tactics for Lead Generation:  Ranked as % Very Effective at generating Quality Leads

Online Tactics for Lead Generation

%

Offline  Tactics for Lead Generation

%

Webinars

45

Speaking engagements at trade events

49

Searh engine optimization

44

Telemarketing for lead qualification

46

Paid search ads

34

In-person seminars/roadshows

44

Solo emails to house list

29

PR

35

White paper syndication service

28

Telemarketing for lead generation (cold       calling)

28

Online ads (industry specific)

20

Winning/publicizing awards

24

Offers in your email newsletter

18

Trade shows booths/marketing

24

Offers in 3rd party newsletters

13

Print newsletters

18

Online Ads (general business sites)

12

Direct (postal) mail

16

Solo emails to 3rd party lists

9

Print ads (industry specific)

11

TV and/or radio ads

8

Print ads (general business)

5

Source:  Business Technology Marketing Benchmark Guide 2006, MarketingSherpa, 2006

Branding – What’s the point?

by Laura Lowell on October 1, 2009

whats the point brandingWe’re all bombarded with thousands of messages each day – personally and professionally. Maybe it’s because of new media like Twitter, LinkedIn or FaceBook. Maybe it’s the internet in general.  Whatever the cause, the effect is the same. The volume of marketing messages is overwhelming to most Americans. In fact, 60 percent have signed up for the do-not-call registry; 33 percent have installed Web pop-up blockers, and nine percent have signed on to a do-not-e-mail list (and 40 percent may want to). So the question is: “How do you break through in this environment?”  One answer: Branding.

Everyone has a different definition of branding – everything from your logo, your message, to your visions and personality.  Each of these is correct in a way.  My definition (just so we’re clear) is that a brand is a promise; a promise of authenticity and value and sets our expectations about the product or service we associate with the brand.

That’s all well and good, but here’s the real question:  What’s the point of having a catchy slogan if it doesn’t strengthen or support your business? Why invest in PR if it doesn’t translate into increased awareness and recognition? Why go to trade shows if they don’t produce high-quality leads? Branding, or a promise to your customers, is a way to differentiate yourself in a crowded market so your company can sell more stuff.  Short and simple.

Independently, without a coherent brand strategy, these tactics do little to attract customers and drive revenue. However, as part of an integrated brand and marketing strategy, these and other tactics are the foundation that will deliver results for your business. Sounds simple, right? Well, often the simplest things are the hardest to do.

Here are three things you can do today to make sure your brand is doing it’s job – helping your company sell more stuff.

  1. Look at your website: Is your brand consistently applied on your website?  Do you use the same logo, or do you have multiple logos scattered about the place?  What about your messaging, are you delivering similar yet different messages and confusing your customers?
  2. Ask 10 people what they think: You want to know what they think your brand stands for.  Hopefully you get similar responses, and hopefully they are right on target.  If not, well, you have more work to do.
  3. Step out of the box: Life doesn’t happen in a vacuum.  Step outside your company and look at what’s going on around you.  Is your brand relevant in today’s market?  Are you linking with current events and trends?

Marketing should get people’s attention, and convince them to consider your company’s products or services over the competition. An integrated brand including strategy, messages, visual identity, and other marketing tactics extends the impact of your marketing investments. You can more efficiently and effectively improve awareness, produce leads and ultimately drive revenue. After all, isn’t that the point?


Let the Games Begin!

by Deepika Bajaj on September 17, 2009

As human beings, we are always in a game in our lives. We have characters who play different roles in our lives. There are jobs we are doing to earn money (points). There are times we WIN and times we LOSE. There are rules for the game of life – try not showing up for work to understand this point. And there is start and end.

These games keep us entertained, challenged and engaged. Every time we are too comfortable, we need to change the game to keep ourselves going. Imagine! sitting in your living room, changing channels on the TV, you are restless and then suddenly a friend comes in and takes you for a game of basketball – suddenly he changed the game you’re in… and what’s better! You find yourself enjoying the new game you’re in.

This is the underlying foundation of why Gaming is so popular on social networks like facebook, myspace and bebo. Your friends keep pushing the bar of the game you are in and you enjoy the time spent with them. You can form guilds and communities with your friends and discover new friends who have similar interests to accomplish big milestones. Many games give you the choice to pick an Avatar that speaks to your favorite fantasy character. Most importantly, the fun is in planning and coordinating with your friends… and of course, Winning!

It is clear that the intent of gaming and social media is to bring SOCIAL back into the game.

Here are the trends that show how social networks are integrating with games.

1. Play Games on Facebook:

Looking for a new game to play? Discover games on Facebook — Tetris, Bowling, Scrabble and more. Games: Better with friends.

2. Twitter and Facebook on XBOX 360

Social Media and Live gaming on Xbox

So, let the games BEGIN…


—–

DD-new-pic-headshot Contributed by Deepika Bajaj, President and Founder, Invincibelle, LLC. Invincibelle helps women who live and work in a multicultural world to accelerate their professional growth.

Deepika is also the author of the book DiversityTweet: Embracing the growing diversity in our world.

You can follow Deepika on Twitter at invincibelle

Be socially responsible with your Social Identity

by Guy Ralfe on September 2, 2009

hacker

The social media call today is to get online and participate. Over the last year a day hasn’t gone by without someone mentioning a new contact through a social network site or some new statistic about the presence and reach of social media networks, but more often of late we are hearing more news of misfortune surrounding social media.

This is not unexpected as this is a common characteristic of social groups. It has gone on for centuries and is to some degree the cause of wars and organized crime – where there’s a large group that appears to have something relative to another it produces an opportunity to exploit. In social media this has manifested itself in Identity Theft and Brand Damage (topic of next post)

Identity theft seems to be rampant today and rather intimidating. An article in the Daily Mail quotes a large UK insurance company Legal & General as warning that insurance premiums may rise if household members utilize social media sites.

This is on the back of the claim that criminals are preying within these network sites for opportunities such as burglaries, personal account details and identity theft. What appears to be an innocent use of your ability to broadcast everything from your thoughts through twitter, photos on Flickr and everything about yourself on facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn or such sites, can potentially provide key information to criminals to utilize against you.

What this means is that we have to be conscious about how we configure our accounts on these sites and responsible with what information is shared through which channels.

Here is some edited advice published by Robert Siciliano on bloggernews

  • Before you post anything online, think about what a criminal could do with that data.
  • Don’t post specific details about yourself such as address, date of birth, kids’ names, pets’ names, phone numbers, or any account numbers or financial information of any kind. This information can often be used to retrieve passwords and help get fraudulent access to personal accounts.
  • Do not tell the world you are going on vacation! This is an open invitation to any would be burglar. Remember posting pictures of your vacation while on vacation is much the same as writing that you are on holiday.
  • If you’re a “partier” and like to imbibe, informing the world that you just smoked a joint is not only one of the worst things you could do for your career, it also makes all your friends guilty by association.
  • Before posting pictures or videos, consider what a criminal or potential employer might see. Could they be used against you in any way?
  • If you let your kids use social media, you must monitor every aspect of their Internet activities. Pick up McAfee’s Family Protection software and take control of your childrens’ Internet use.
  • Take advantage of privacy settings and lock down your profile, so that only those who you approve can view everything.
  • Get a credit freeze. This is an absolutely necessary tool to secure your credit. In most cases, it prevents new accounts from being opened in your name. This makes your Social Security number useless to a potential identity thief.
  • Invest in identity theft protection and prevention services such as Intelius. Not all forms of identity theft protection can be prevented, but identity theft protection services can dramatically reduce your risk.

Remember that it is not only criminals that are potentially scouting you out! Today it does not take a lot of effort to perform searches on individuals. Posting something that may be illegal or unsavory can just as easily be picked up by a prospective future employer, client or worse used against you in court!

Social media is built on trusting relationships. It is this trust that is manipulated to exploit your situation and information. As aptly demonstrated in Himanshu Jhamb’s article Social Media: A Dangerous Opportunity, this does not need to be intimidating and there are many things we can do to protect ourselves. We just need to be aware how these tools can be utilized and act responsibly to protect ourselves from criminals or others carrying hidden agendas.

Don’t be intimidated, enjoy your social media experience!

Social Media: A dangerous Opportunity!

by Himanshu Jhamb on September 1, 2009

social media dangerousNowadays, the web is full of success stories on Social Media. Indeed, the arrival (and the acceptance) of Social Media has opened the gates to many opportunities: enabling individuals and communities to brand themselves being perhaps one of the biggest. However, as is the case with every opportunity, it has the potential downside, too. The downside, if not paid attention to, can turn this opportunity on its head into a “dangerous” one.

Here are two fundamental questions that you must strive to answer, before you can turn any new tool into an opportunity for yourself.

1. What is my purpose of using it?
2. How do I use it effectively to get the outcome that I am after?

Take, for example, using a knife for the first time. You need to have a concern of cutting/chopping something before even thinking about using it. Without that, you are simply wasting your time (might I add, dangerously) if you’re running around with it. Then, you need to learn how to use it effectively – if you don’t, it is equally dangerous as you might end up slicing and dicing your fingers (didn’t mean to go to this extreme… but, you get the point!) instead of what you intended to use it for.

Social Media can be like a knife. You need to know what is your purpose behind using it first because, if you do not have a clear purpose, then you’ll end up squandering away the other opportunities in your life that you could have availed in the time you’re spending dabbling with Social Media.

You also need to learn to use it effectively… without that, you are playing with a dangerous tool.

I recently read a great CNN post on How Social Media can hurt your career… and though I loved the examples the author shared in there (some of them were downright scary), I felt the title of the post would’ve better served the content had it been “How you can hurt your career through Social Media” instead of “How Social Media can hurt your career“. You see, there is a subtle difference if I say it like that because the conversation you have with yourself on Social Media after reading the former title is on the lines of “Oh! I better learn how to use this properly” instead of “Oh! Social Media is too dangerous… I better stop using it”, which is what comes forth after reading the latter. Yes, there is a very subtle difference between the two but clearly, the former opens the possibilities of “getting better” at it and the latter closes the possibilities by instilling an unfounded fear in the reader.

Getting good at leveraging the opportunity that Social Media is, is a skill that beckons to be learnt and exploited to the maximum potential. For this is how your level of engagement will start reaping you the maximum returns… and you can be assured that you are playing on the “Safe” side of this dangerous opportunity!