Tag Archives: social-networking

You Need a Thick Skin to Participate Online

Earlier, I read a thread on Geeks about Trent Reznor, the Nine Inch Nails frontman, deleting his Twitter account. Trent embraced Twitter quite awhile ago after discovering what an amazing outlet it can be. He quickly recognized the excellent means of communication Twitter provides. He helped raise over a million dollars via Twitter for a fan of his needing a heart transplant. He talked about the band’s upcoming tours and album, and reached out to fans. Trent loved the fact that fans got to know the “real” side of him, and that they learned there is more to him than just being “the NIN singer”.

Trent told the truth as he saw it on Twitter. He wasn’t afraid to say what he thinks about anything or anyone – positive or negative. However, this created some “hate tweets” from users. Reznor wasn’t happy when people lashed out at him for something he thought or said. He withdrew from Twitter for awhile at one point, and posted about his hatred of the site on his own blog. He returned recently for a short while, but it didn’t last. The account is now completely gone. He has stated that “idiots rule” on social networks.

My advice to Mr. Reznor is to grow a thicker skin. When you are in any type of spotlight, you are going to have critics and haters. Heck, I’m not even famous, and I have my share of people who leave idiotic, hateful or rude comments on each and every social networking site I’m on. You just let those roll off your back. If someone gives constructive criticism – learn from it. If they are simply a troll, ignore them and move on with your life. There are thousands upon thousands of GOOD people on social networking sites, ones who support you. They are the ones who buy tickets to your concerts. They are the ones who purchase your CDs. They are the ones whose opinions you should care about.

There are always going to be trolls, idiots and haters. Why let people like that rule your life, how you conduct yourself, or how you perceive yourself? Why would you judge all people on social networks based on the idiocy of a few? Isn’t that a bit much?

This wasn’t the only good story that caught my eye in our community today, but it is the one that spoke to me the most! All of you have been posting some excellent things on both Lockergnome and Geeks. I hope you take the time to check out what others are doing, as well.

What’s Your Social Networking Advice?

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You can find me on pretty much every social networking site that you’ll find. If it’s a network and people are interacting in a social capacity – that’s where I am. I get a lot of questions on a daily basis, and this was one I couldn’t pass up the chance to answer. Dan wrote in, asking for detailed advice regarding social networking, and how he should venture into the world. He is new to social networking, and wants to get more information before diving in.

  • How common is it for people who meet online to then meet in person, and how might it turn out? – I think it’s extremely common these days. There are a variety of meetups that happens all over the world. It’s only natural that when you get to know someone fairly well online, that you then meet face-to-face to further your connection. It will become even more common as the social tools such as Facebook and Twitter make it easier to connect.
  • I’ve found certain people I would like to build a long-term rapport with. Before beginning, how can I go about this without scaring anyone away? – The first thing that would be a red flag to me would be if you were to say this, and it’s said to me all the time. Slow down, and just let it happen like any good friendship or relationship. Don’t force it. Interact with others, leave them comments, get to know them.
  • Once the ice is broken, I would say that the only thing people can really safely share online are opinions, likes and dislikes… would you agree? – Absolutely. You’ve got to set your own boundaries, and respect them. If you don’t know what those are, you’ll quickly learn. If someone makes you feel a little weird, then boundary lines have been crossed. Everyone, male and female alike, need to know their own boundaries and comfort levels. You may only want to talk about certain things in your life without people knowing too much about you – letting people know what you will and will not talk about.
  • Once I have kept a good online rapport with people and I decide I might like to meet them, how can I suggest it without sounding creepy? What’s a good length of time to talk online before suggesting we meet? – It largely depends on age and function. It also depends on finding people with common interests. For instance, for my birthday this year, I’m having friends over to have a LEGO build-athon, to build the Death Star that I’ve had for a year now. I’m only inviting people who are also interested in doing this. When choosing to meet someone in real life, make sure you have common interests, which could naturally lead to getting together on a level beyond the internet.
  • If and when the time comes when we decide to meet in person, the tricky part is sharing more personal information such as names and phone numbers to connect. – I’m not sure what you’re asking here. You don’t necessarily have to share phone numbers. You can connect and set up your meeting via one of the sites such as Facebook or Twitter. I tend to end up calling people by their online handles when we meet in person… so my assistant Kat is glad that she uses her real name as her online name! It’s much less confusing that way.
  • The advice I’ve read about meeting people online is to connect with people in my local area. However, many of the people I would like to meet are located in favorite travel destinations that I have. I am single, and travel alone. Therefore, I couldn’t exactly arrange to have a trusted friend present when meeting someone. Not only would it be a potential risk for me, but it could also make the other person uncomfortable. What can I do in this situation? – Again, formulate a meetup. Find a small group of people who share common interests, from places such as a Facebook group or something. Arrange a gathering in a local restaurant or coffeehouse, and have a great time. Keep in mind that even meeting one person is generally pretty safe, as long as you’re doing so in a highly public place. Arrange to meet in a restaurant during dinner hours, or at the Starbucks in town.
  • As an aside, a non-provocative photo can go a long way towards showing one on their best behavior. Should I worry about people seeing these photos, such as potential bosses? – Yes, you should always be cognizant of what you post online. However, posting innocent, normal pictures of yourself is usually never a problem. Again, know your boundaries, and keep in mind that what you post online is there forever.

A word of advice – before meeting someone face-to-face, make sure you shower! This is something that some Geeks tend to forget, seriously!

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TweetDeck is now on the iPhone. That’s right – the reversed-palate, desktop-hogging application has now gone mobile, releasing its first iPhone version today. The TweetDeck community fervently downloaded it and spread the exciting news that they have been waiting for since the idea was mentioned last summer. Some of you might have tried the desktop app in the past and moved on for whatever reason. You might want to take a second look and see what both the desktop and the iPhone applications now have to offer.

As you may know, TweetDeck is known for its multiple-column layout. Previously, the desktop application would only allow 10 columns; the desktop version released today has no limit.

Wait, it gets better: you can retain your groups through the new account sync. This is, by far, the best feature of the new TweetDeck. Your tweets, settings, and groups are saved – no matter where you are using the application – on your phone, on your desktop at work, or your computer at home.

The second best feature of Tweetdeck is multiple accounts. Since nearly the beginning, users have pleaded for the ability to use the robust application with multiple Twitter accounts (common for marketers, bloggers, and other full-time tweeters). Even though the iPhone app doesn’t include EVERY feature of the desktop application, you have the ability to set up and use multiple accounts just like the desktop. The best part about it is that if you set up your second Twitter account on your iPhone, you’ll sync your settings and be able to use it on your desktop, too.

  • When you are in the initial setup, you may crash if you try to create or sign in to your TweetDeck account. Click on “Skip This” as you can fix it later once you are running. All you need to do is go into Settings and set it up. This will probably be fixed with their first update – it’s a pretty big bug.
  • While the desktop application can have multiple columns, the iPhone app gets sluggish with too many. I encountered a crash loop when trying to use 21 columns. My recommendation is that you keep your phone columns at 10 or less. If you use more, you may wish to purge old or read tweets to prevent crashing.
  • The desktop application has Facebook status integrated, but the iPhone app doesn’t. This is a bit of a downer; hopefully, they will consider adding this for their users in the next update.

All in all, the TweetDeck app – or should we call it a “service” now, with the ability to create TweetDeck sync accounts – is evolving well. It’s far from the clunky original version – and should get better as Adobe’s AIR platform matures. You can view a full list of features for both public beta applications and download them for free from the TweetDeck website.

If not TweetDeck, what Twitter client do you use?

Five Reasons to Join an Online Community

Geek!This is Radu Mitiu’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

  1. You will always find something new. Just when you thought you knew everything about your hobby, someone posts something new. Online communities are a great source of information and can even help you be more productive. With such a large number of users pitching in for the greater good, the possibilities are endless! There are plenty of creative, talented people online who share tips and tricks for you and the rest of the community.
  2. Diversity. It doesn’t matter what field or hobby you’re interested in, you can rest assure that there is at least one large community out there with people that share your enthusiasm. Maybe you’re into photography, cooking or sports – you will literally find hundreds of social networks which you can join in just a few clicks. Communities bring users of all ages from all over the world together together, which I find extraordinary. Isn’t it great to know you have things in common with so many people?
  3. Feedback. Sharing opinions is a big part of any community, and that makes it an excellent place to post some of your work and see what others think of it. Worst case scenario, you learn how to improve yourself! Feedback is always welcomed, especially from people who enjoy the same things you do. Best case scenario, you get recognition for a job well done – it’s a win-win situation! However, don’t forget to be an active member of the community by joining discussions and by giving feedback to others as well.
  4. Interaction. Online communities are all about social interaction, but I hear a lot of people saying that online friends and relationships aren’t exactly “the real thing”. I strongly disagree with them. Communication is the foundation of such relationships regardless of how you communicate. Furthermore, remember there are real people at the other end of the line, and if the community is large enough you can even find people that live close to you and get together. It certainly happened to me more than once! Some ask, “why waste time with online communities when you can simply go out with your friends?” Well, obviously one doesn’t replace the other, but socializing online is a unique experience in itself. Besides, communities usually have thousands of people talking about a certain topic – you can’t exactly go out with such a large crowd at once, now can you?
  5. Magic word: free. That’s right, it won’t cost you a dime. You get to meet and interact with users, share ideas and feedback, all for free. In fact, the only thing that it will cost you is time; but if you ask me, it’s time well spent. There are even free solutions out there if you choose to start your own community. Who knows, you could be the start of something big!

In the end, this is what the Internet is all about: bringing people together. Being an active part of it is both rewarding and fun at the same time, so don’t stand on the sidelines – join us!

Do You Have any Social Networking Advice for Students?

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I’m originally from the great state of Iowa. Some nice folks in Kansas asked me to present their Keynote speech at their welcome back orientation. At some point during the live presentation, the video feed died. So, I re-recorded this video. I have to thank the people at Southwestern College for giving me the opportunity to share the Do’s and Dont’s of Social Networking.

When I began college in 1991, there really was no Internet. It was the next year that I first got online. At that point, you couldn’t do anything other than read and write text. Yeah, you could upload graphics, but no one could really see them. We’ve come a long way, to the era of Social Networking sites. So without further ado, I wanted to delve into my Top Ten List.

  • Whatever you do online, it goes onto your permanent record. You may think in a moment of frivolity that you should share a photo or video. But if you put it on the Internet, assume it will be there forever. Trust me, once it’s there, it’s there to stay.
  • Always be mindful of your privacy. It may be ‘cool’ to share where exactly you’re at. But anything you share can, and will, get picked up. Be careful about what you share. You don’t have to share everything. Be cognizant about how many details you share.
  • Don’t trust people implicitly. You really have no way to find out if the person on the other side of the screen is being truthful about who and what they are. It’s a sad fact that people aren’t always who they say they are.
  • Own what you do. Whatever you happen to be sharing and doing… just own it. Do what you want to do, but be careful about what you do. If it’s not yours to share, then don’t. If you want to share someone else’s material or content, make sure you have permission.
  • Engage. This would be in relation to leaving comments on articles, MySpace or Facebook profiles, or a blog. You don’t want to be stupid online. Don’t leave insipid comments. Just because it’s ‘online’, doesn’t mean it’s not serious.
  • Be respectful. Be respectable. Be respected. If you handle yourself with professionalism, you’ll be perceived as a very mature individual.
  • Be Yourself. Don’t pretend to be something or someone you are not. Be you, at all times.
  • Watch out for flame wars. This is something that happens when you get into heated discussions. Don’t resort to namecalling, or getting personal with what you’re saying. You’ll come across as immature and even rude. That takes you right back to my #1 tip about things following you forever.
  • Learn how to communicate before doing it. How do you want others to perceive you? Do you want to sound confidant, mature and professional? Using proper language skills will go a long way towards achieving this goal.
  • Your future friends, employers and colleagues are watching. I’ve said it twice now, but I cannot stress it enough: What you put online now will follow you throughout your life. Things like Google Cache will make sure of it. Before you post that rant on your blog full of cursing and angst… ask yourself if that is something you want your children or future spouse to read. Would a prospective employer be turned off by what you’ve said?

So we’ve basically circled right back to where we started. Whatever you do, it’s going to be there. Always be careful when you put things ‘out there’ online. And of course, remember that you don’t know who is watching.

To end this talk, I want to say I’m sorry to Tony. Well, or maybe not. Either I managed to obliterate his chance of ever getting a date again, or I just made him hugely popular. I sincerely hope that it’s the popularity side.

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Web Communities and Social Networks Need Transparency

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I need you all to think about your answer to this question I received in an email: “What would be the one fundamental principle every social networking community must have for maintaining its integrity to the people who are using that site?”. To me… the answer is simple. Say it with me: Transparency.

Transparency is the number one underlying principle for any website or network that plans to connect people together. It’s about transparency between the network and the people using the network. There’s nothing special there. It’s open, and it’s honest. If you’re not open with your audience… what are you? If you decide to make a change and your audience isn’t up to speed, they may not like it. However, if you’re open about the entire thing from start to finish, your audience will certainly be much more receptive.

There is such a thing as a degree of transparency. Too much isn’t a good thing. You need to be open just enough. If you aren’t, people will think of you as dishonest or hiding something from them. There are a million and one social networks out there. What’s the value of one over another? That’s up to each individual who uses them. The more transparent you are, the better off you’ll be. The people who will disagree are the one who are used to dealing with public relations’ spins. They tend to deal with creating the illusion of transparency. They always seem to forget how much we can all see right through the illusions.

I’ve been a community leader on the Internet for many years now. I’ve been as open about the process as I possibly could’ve been. It’s difficult to be transparent – make no mistake about it. It’s hard to make mistakes and deal with problems out in the open, and hope that everyone understands. However, it’s usually easier to deal with imperfections when you do so openly. People will realize you’re human, and they’ll open up to you and connect with you on a much higher level.


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Follow me on Twitter

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Who here has Twitter? Twitter isn’t really a Social Networking site. I never thought it would turn into what it has. Twitter is basically the place to let the World know what you’re doing, in 140 characters or less. Twitter has become my favorite social-type website, by far. It’s easy, it’s fun and it’s relevant.

You simply sign up for a free account, find some people to follow, and Tweet your statuses and messages any time you have something to say. Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing? Bloggers can use it as a mini-blogging tool. Developers can use the API to make Twitter tools of their own. Possibilities are endless!


As it turns out, your best friend is probably interested in knowing if you’re “loving the new Radiohead album.” And yes, your Mom may want to know if you’re “skipping breakfast in favor of a latte.” You might want to know if your significant other “feels like taking a roadtrip.” Find out what your friends are doing; keep each other abreast of your quotidian rituals.

Following someone simply means receiving their Twitter updates. How you receive the updates (on your phone, IM, or just on the web) is up to you. You can set your following preferences based on device, and then set notification preferences for each person you follow. Your followers are those who have elected to receive your twitters.


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Social Media Questions and Answers

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Social Media is a huge word in my community. It can be defined in a variety of ways. It’s a way for you to be yourself on the Web, using Websites that are available to upload pictures, text and more. I’ve been doing this long before there was even a Web, so I’ve looked at tools in a different way. Ultimately, I want people to know what I’m doing. If they choose to follow me, then I can in turn follow them, get to know them and be friends. I can’t possibly be on every Social Media website. I try to stick with the ones where my friends are.

I got an email recently from Amanda, who is doing a research project for school. She was doing some research on “YouTube celebrities” and came across my profile. She wanted to know if I could help her by answering a couple of questions in the form of a video message. Me? Do a video? Whatever gave you that idea?

  • How do you feel Social Media, such as YouTube, has affected your life? It’s affected my life in a very major way. It’s given me access to a gigantic audience, which amazes me to no end. If I was only publishing on my blog, I wouldn’t be reaching much of an audience. Most of the people in our live chat room wouldn’t be there if they hadn’t found me on YouTube.
  • How does it feel to be a YouTube celebrity, and know that so many people watch you from around the World? I don’t consider myself as a “celebrity”, and I never will. However, it’s very cool knowing how many people from all over the world… from all backgrounds… tune in to see what we’re doing. It’s great that we can maximize the number of connections between all of us. It’s not about “celebrity”, it’s about impacting people in a positive manner.
  • What would your life be like without Social Media sites? I’ve been doing things online for many years, way before these sites even came to be. My life would be the same, but I would unfortunately not be able to reach as many people. The really cool thing about this Social Media thing, is that others share my things. They may catch a clip of something really good when I’m not recording, and then upload it to their own site… or even send it to me to upload. Without YouTube, my life would be the same, but it wouldn’t be as much fun. I am grateful that YouTube IS there. It’s not about the site itself… it’s about the PEOPLE who are a part of it.
  • How do you feel about things like AIM, VirtualWorld… anything else Internet related? I think it’s great that we have so many options. I hate that the world of Instant Messaging is corrupt. I hate classifying my friends in terms of the IM service they use. Why can’t there just be ONE IM client, instead of having “AIM buddies” and “Yahoo buddies” or even “GoogleTalk buddies”. There should be an open, federated Instant Messaging application. Until then, we rely on things like Trillian, Gaim or Meebo.

I hope this helps, Amanda. Understand that once you put yourself out there, you’re out there forever. You don’t even necessarily own what you’ve put out there. Speaking of Social things… don’t forget to drop by our Live Chat Room 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


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Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

http://live.pirillo.com/ -Tonight I got to interview Matt McInerney, the creator behind the new Social Networking site… Gleamd.com.

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What is Social Networking?

http://live.pirillo.com/ – How many of you are part of a social network? How many of you have no idea what a social network is?

The big buzzword these days is "social network" – but what is a social network?

Typically a social network is a service that allows you to keep track of your friends, family, and business relationship. Why would anyone want to join a social network? What’s the big attraction?

The big reason social networks are so popular is that they allow people to keep track of their friends easily. The idea is that you can have one place to visit to keep up with everyone in your network.

Of course, the problem is that there are so many social networks that it’s almost impossible to keep track of your friends. These networks – Facebook, YouTube, MySpace – don’t interact with each other cleanly.

If you can’t figure out why you would want to join a social network, then we recommend you don’t join one.

What do you think about social networks?

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