Protecting Your Social Media Presence By Not Being Stupid

Who remembers the name Anthony Weiner? In 2011 he was an up and coming democratic senator from New York who had given a wild and woolly speech at a fundraiser for President Obama and he was being touted by national news sources as the next big political star. He was married to a woman who was Hillary Clinton’s second in command when she was secretary of state, they were young and relatively photogenic, and he was on top of the world.

Day 23 - Addicted
nataliej via Compfight

A few months later he was notorious for being stupid by being found putting nude photos of himself out to young women (insert your own joke here) and hitting on them on Twitter and a few other online places, and of course someone knew who he was and outed him. Career gone, late night jokes aplenty, with a pregnant wife who, luckily, was able to hold onto her job because it turns out she’s good at it. And he couldn’t stop himself, getting into more trouble while trying to run for mayor of New York City.

There are many people who are scared of being on social media because they’re afraid that people are going to find out things about them that they’d rather not be known. It’s true, social media can be a frightening place when it comes to your privacy. It doesn’t even have to be you violating your own privacy; get caught doing something a bit off color somewhere and you can bet someone took a picture of it, will probably upload it, and will tag your name to it, even if you had no idea it happened.

Having said that last part, it should become clear that without being on social media you have no control whatsoever, and thus it becomes imperative to have a social media presence.

First, it’s not as bad as it might seem. Most people, if they’re your friends, will respect your privacy.

Second, you will get to work on controlling how people see you by putting up and then putting out only what you’re not scared to share. If you’re in business it’s a great way to help advertise what you do and keep abreast of what’s going on in your industry.

Third, if something shows up that you’d rather not have out there, you can always contact that person to ask them to remove it, and if they don’t then you have an opportunity to spin it your way into something positive; that is, unless it was also on the nightly news.

In today’s world, treating social media like an ostrich with its head in the ground (by the way, that’s not true, but it’s a great metaphor) can only hurt you if you allow someone else to define who you are without giving yourself a fighting chance. You don’t want to put out anything that will show you in a bad light, but if you do, at least you can fix it if you’re a part of it all.
 

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Sometimes You Should Read The Terms Of Use

Okay, stay with me for a minute. I was going through Kristi’s weekly Fetching Friday listing, where this week one of my posts was mentioned (thanks Kristi), and came upon an article she was highlighting called 10 Firefox Addons For Affiliate Marketers from the blog Ace Affiliates.

Always someone who’s looking for the next big thing, I went to read that article, and one of the Firefox addons it recommended was something called Ghostery. It seems to do two things for you. One, it lets you know how safe a website is that you’re visiting. Two, it allows you to block sites from tracking your IP address and the like.

That second one is very intriguing to me. I was talking to my friend Kelvin about it and saying how freaked out I was when I go to websites, such as MSNBC, and see all the ads that are targeted for me knowing that I live in the Syracuse, NY area. He said he didn’t know of anything that could block that, so I thought this might be the plugin for me.

When I went to the page where the addon is, it looked different than what I’m used to seeing. There’s no description of what the addon is about, and there’s this big block in the middle with only one line: Ghostery requires that you accept the following End-User License Agreement before installation can proceed. And in the box there’s only one thing: http://www.ghostery.com/terms. Now, maybe it looks that way because I’m running Adblock, but it looked strange.

This tasked me (a line from Star Trek II; Wrath of Khan), so I decided I wanted to read the terms of service for using this particular addon. Overall, it was the same standard stuff you see everywhere else, but suddenly I came upon a line I didn’t like, under privacy: You acknowledge that the Software will contact GHOSTERY and send limited information about the websites you visit to GHOSTERY’s databases.

Come on now; y’all know me! I’m the guy who has a problem with Google Toolbar tracking our movements, to the point that I won’t use it anymore once I learned it did that. I’m certainly not letting some other group of folks track where I go; wasn’t the point of using their software so you could go to websites without them knowing where you were coming from, as in “tracking” you? I’m going to give up my privacy to these guys who I don’t know to get privacy from sites that I at least have some idea of who they are?

Many times I don’t read terms of service, just like most people don’t when we want to use something. However, the way this was segregated looked, well, suspicious. They might have specific reasons for wanting to track people, as in making sure the software works. And, of course we all have the right to use or not use something.

I’m choosing not to use it; that doesn’t sound surprising, does it? So, I’m still on a quest to find something that will aid me in my privacy efforts. Sure, I know that there’s no real privacy online, but I’d still like to find a way to decide when I want to give up information about myself and when I don’t.

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Video Highlights And A New Page

I have a lot of videos on this blog. Sometimes they’re easy to find because they match up with the content. Other times they’re kind of hidden gems, something I used to add something different to the post.

Overall the videos are all over the place, so I decided it was time to consolidate them, as well as highlight a few of them here. I did this before with my post showing my early videos up to June 2008. Below are 9 others I’d like to highlight, mainly because today is the 9th of March. For all other videos on this blog, though, go to the link above that says Videos, or of course you can click on the link I just created.

This video of Tunak Tunak Tun by Daler Mehndi just thrilled my wife and I when I discovered it last year. It’s infectious and fun.

This was the video of the year in 2009, a funny wedding entrance video.

We’ve talked a lot on this blog about commenting; this was Chris Pirillo’s take on it.

I had someone recently tell me about Google 411 service; told him I’d written about it in 2008, including the video.

I had finally written about the movie The Secret, and this was the 20 minute video clip from The Secret, which is enough to get you going.

This video caused a lot of consternation for a lot of people, mainly me, on my business blog for about 2 years before I decided to move it over here instead; it’s a motivational video of a boy with Down’s Syndrome.

A very recent video showing that stupidity and racism is still alive in America, courtesy of this Rachel Maddow clip with Pat Buchanan being stupid.

Talk about people with a passion that I’m not sure I could ever find again, this one highlights something known as Free Running.

Finally, we’re coming up on St. Patrick’s Day, and even though I’m not Irish and I’m not Catholic and I don’t drink beer (let alone green beer), I figured I’d get into the spirit of things this one time by presenting the Muppets singing Danny Boy.

And there you go, 9 videos I wanted to bring some life back to. I hope you check these out, and if you’re ever looking for some entertainment, remember to check out my Video page above.

2012:doomsday

2012: Doomsday (documentary)

Price – $19.98


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Is Instant Messaging Dying Out?

I remember when I first got into instant messaging. It was 1997, and I had just learned about ICQ, which is still around. There was AIM, and I don’t remember if Yahoo Messenger was around at that time. But ICQ offered just what I and my family members needed.

Through ICQ, I was able to connect my dad to all of his brothers and sisters, a couple of my cousins, and some friends I’d met through newsgroups. Later on, I had some friends I would talk to. We’d talk often, pretty much every night, and it was fun. Of course, ICQ tanked in a big way, but still, there are other instant messaging systems; even Facebook has one.

These days, I can’t find almost anyone who’s using instant messaging. It’s pretty much been replaced by Twitter and Facebook, and even a little bit by email. Sure, email was around back in ’97, but many friends wouldn’t use it for whatever reason.

Is instant messaging dying out, or am I just too old to have many friends who want to use it anymore? I ask that because it seems the people who say they still love instant messaging are all younger than 30. Obviously most of my friends are older. I only have one family member who still has an instant messaging account, and he’s rarely on. The friends I have accounts for almost never show up. There’s a couple of people I talk to sometimes during the day while they’re at work, and when I’m out of town my wife and I will try to have conversations through Yahoo (though I use Trillian), but that’s about it. I don’t even know anyone who uses Facebook’s instant messaging, though I’m sure there are people who do.

I also wonder if it’s why having Meebo on my business sites doesn’t seem to bring me much communications during the day when I hold office hours, which I announce on Twitter every once in awhile. I mean, one would think someone would take me up on the chance to speak to me live, but nope, doesn’t happen.

What are y’all thinking about this? Anyone else lamenting the demise of instant messaging, did you care, or have I just passed by the age where it makes sense for my friends and my business?

When Is The Last Time You Searched Your Name?

How many of you ever check your name on Google to see what might be out there for you? If you have a common name, the numbers might be kind of skewed, which stinks. If I go looking up Mitch Mitchell I’m out there, but I have to deal with a heck of a lot of stuff that talks about Jimi Hendrix former drummer.

However, when I go looking under my official business name, which is “T. T. Mitchell (and don’t ask, because I’m not telling what any of it stands for), I’ll find myself all over the place. As a matter of fact, out of the first 50 references on Google, 38 of the references are to me. Out of the next 50 references, 17 are about me. I mean, 55 out of the first 100; that’s not bad if you ask me.

It can be pretty heady stuff when you keep finding websites that you’re listed on, or things you’ve written. I’ve found all sorts of things about myself that I never expected to find. I found a reference to a speaking engagement I’m giving next April on social media; never knew that was online. I found that many songs I have copyrights on are listed online in a certain place; freaky. I’ve found my articles on sites I never knew existed. I’ve found myself listed for things I’d have never expected to be found for. I even found someone who recommended both my newsletters and my services (read the article by Catherine Ryan on the right), someone I hate to admit I don’t remember, or can’t verify that I’ve met, but you know, we take recommendations as we find them, right?

Overall, how many references are there that pertain to me? According to Yahoo, more than 8,600; yeow! There’s also one thing I found that kind of freaked me out. The last year of my dad’s life, he was going to try to learn HTML so he could put up a family genealogy site. He got some of the references in, but not all that many. However, one of those references is me, and seeing that, something my dad put online back in 2001,… chills!

I guess the best thing is that I didn’t find anything negative about me, which is always a good thing. Of course, I’d probably find more if I could weed myself through all those other Mitch Mitchell’s. I’m listed at least 3 times in the top 100, and I guess that will have to do. Of course, if I add the “T T” to it, in quotation marks of course, I kill! As a matter of fact, 46 of the top 50 references are me; yeah baby! How long have I been talked about by some folks online? Check this article out from January 2004. I’d forgotten about it, to tell you the truth.

I’ve talked often about marketing and advertising on this blog. I haven’t talked as much about PR, or public relations, or press releases and the like. I have talked about being all over the internet and wondering what else I need to do to break through and become at least a well known name so that I can start making money, or at least getting more business, off my own name. No one can say that I haven’t established a presence on the internet, that’s for sure.

So, how are you doing with spreading your message, and getting your notoriety online? Are you ready for more? I am.

Microsoft Store

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