Your Reputation Can Change in 140 Characters or Less

If you are the person behind building your brand online, what you say can have a huge impact. Your reputation can literally change in 140 characters or less!

Every day someone says the wrong thing and literally that person gets unfollowed, or even harassed. Perez Hilton was a prime example when he bashed Michael Jackson after the legendary pop star passed away. Tila Tequila bashed Perez Hilton, Kanye West bashed… Twitter, and of course, there have been other kerfuffles from celebrities, non-celebrities, and even members of the blogging community.

You of course, have a right to share your opinion, but it comes down to: should you? Regardless, of the subject and no matter how many or how few people hear you, your reputation is important. It is not censoring if you keep your mouth closed on certain things – it is common sense.

There are going to be people out there that are in for the shock value, but if you do not want the backlash, have second thoughts over what you say. On Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks, no matter how old you are, you are speaking to people of all ages.

The worst case scenario is when your social network account has been reported and flagged because of what you say. Unfortunately, Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks have a moderation team that is not sympathetic to sharing controversial opinions, especially if it may end up pretty chaotic. So… in worst case scenario, you could lose your social network account or the conversation that is offensive removed. It seems unfair, but most websites, even blogs have a responsibility to make sure things do not get out of hand.

So, think about it:

  • Will it emotionally harm someone?
  • Would you regret saying it later?
  • Is the topic highly controversial and already having trouble on other websites?
  • Are you willing to take full responsibility of the backlash?

Have you had an incident online where it was very controversial and caused your social network account to be suspended, flagged, or even terminated?

Beware of Fiverr Scammers

I have been using Fiverr for a few things and decided to try out some services out there to promote some of my business dealings. For the most part, I have had some great results.

Then, the following happened:

I saw what seemed like a good opportunity.

So, I signed up. It seemed honest and the user put together an account for me to monitor my tweets at Message Broadcaster. Once settled, I started monitoring the tweets sent out. The Message Broadcaster even has a Tweet history where you can see where, what, and when your tweet was published.

For me, because I wanted to make sure, I clicked on the link to the apparent message and lo and behold – it was not my tweet!!! It was someone elses. So, I went through that person’s twitter stream and skimmed through to see if my message even published. It did not! So, I was like… maybe it was a glitch?

After checking 5 others, I was a bit miffed. None of them had my message. When looking at the accounts, message after message was published from the Message Broadcaster and no conversation or engagement whatsoever. Which concludes one thing – a spam account. And on top of that, only 4 clicks for my link. How and who? My own twitter stream performs better on clicks for sponsored or paid tweets.

The 120,000 followers are mini Twitter accounts with very little or no click value, nor even any influential value in social media. Why would you click on someone’s link if all they do is spam you back to back?

I have to say this was a brilliantly concocted plan. While I am sure a lot of people who have taken the same opportunity may have seen the tweet history, they may not even have gone as far to investigate if it was published or what kind of accounts were involved.

Edit: Apparently, at least 1 of my tweets went through according to the user, but as to the others, is it an error on Message Broadcast, or what?

I gave them a negative feedback as well as a negative letter. While they say the accounts were real, they are not… not if there are no real people engaging in conversation. Every single one of those spammy followers that were obtained have no real value.

By the way, shortly after my account with Message Broadcaster was deactivated so I could not go back and get screenshots for proof, which is another step in the negative for user fullviewmedia.

It might be $5, but I am blogging about this to make people be careful of what they are getting into on sites like Fiverr.

What can you do that I should have done before I took this failed opportunity?

  1. Ask some examples of Twitter users that will be tweeting your message through their streams.
  2. If there are any negative feedbacks, try contacting one and asking them what happened in their experience.
  3. While Fiverr allows anonymity, social media marketing relies heavily on company and businesses to be more transparent. Make sure you trust them before going into the transaction.
  4. Ask to have your messages manually tweeted instead and that a copy of the tweet is sent to your transaction page. If they cannot do this instead, then do not take the transaction. Just because they put the opportunity to have a way for you to have an easy method to view your tweets history, does not always mean it is true… especially in what happened in my case.
  5. Use bit.ly or Tinyurl or another URL shortener site that allows you to monitor your links clicks.

Have you had any bad transactions on Fiverr? What did you learn that you can share with others?

Watch out! Facebook Might Sue You For Having ‘Book’ In The Name of Your Business

Yep, you heard it! The Los Angeles Times published the article Facebook sues start-up for using ‘book’ in its name. The small site Teachbook.com is the target of being sued. This site helps give teachers a leg up with their job by providing valuable resources to manage classes.

Personally I think Facebook just picked the wrong fight. It is not an infringement of their idea as there are sites that have been up far longer than Facebook with ‘book’ in it. Is ‘book’ trademarked? Who knows. I am not about to go through the search to find out. ‘Facebook’ is though… so why waste money suing over something that has no grounds. Makes me want to ask – “Who was smoking the peyote before this decision came up?”

If Facebook has all this time to look after small websites that focus on a niche, particularly on teachers, wonder what sites might be sued for having ‘face’ in it? Would have been better to spend that money on something worthwhile.

Regardless of money involved, trademarking ‘book’ should never be one of them and frankly, in my opinion may have been illegal. If it is too common, it should not be used. I am still a bit iffy on the whole trademark issues and wonder – do all countries have a similar process of trademark?

Who dictates what can be trademarked and how it should be enforced – or does a company just report that they think someone is purposely trying to make money off of them.

I looked into Wikipedia to just get a brief overview of what trademark really is.

Short definition-wise, Wikipedia states:

A trademark or trade mark is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, business organization, or other legal entity to identify that the products or services to consumers with which the trademark appears originate from a unique source, and to distinguish its products or services from those of other entities.

According to what I read at Wikipedia, there are policies in place that if a company wrongfully accuses another or even threatens another company over trademark issues. Hopefully something can be resolved. In this situation, Facebook needs to just grow up and let it go. If there are 500 million teachers out there, then that is when it might be a problem.

What do you think about this? Do you think Facebook is in the right or just wasting money and time?

Begging for Money Online – Effective Or Just Another Way to Abuse the System?

So, I came across my first Twitter begging scam. It was unfortunate because a couple of my regular followers decided to chip in out of their own kindness. I highly respect people who have big hearts, but sometimes I fear for them at the same time. It kind of goes hand in hand with the beggars on the side of the street or highway off ramps – it is annoying!

I am not going to reveal them as pretty much I am sure some of you have seen begging a time or two on the social network streams.

This particular begging dealt with a person who is relatively unknown with over 8,000 empty followers and yet after viewing their social stream, the majority of their messages were begging with a few empty pieces of chat with people that are smart enough not to reply. The sob story of the “woman’s” 4 kids, and cheating husband who left is enough to pull my sympathy card, but not enough to make me dish out some bucks.

Will we see more of this going on? What can be done?

My own action was to click the link to report for spam because obviously, donations were all they wanted. It is okay to accept donations… I have had my own PayPal button up from time to time, but at least people got something in return – free graphics, great advice to help them make money, or other useful resources.

Perhaps I should have sent her a direct message and said, “Hey, I have some great information that is free that you can use to start your own website and eventually make your own money.”

???

However, I did not think so in this case.

What are your thoughts about Internet begging on the social network streams? Are they a harmless annoyance or should they seek better ways to make money (like build a business or get a job)?

TechCrunch Opens Mouth And Inserts Foot About DeviantART

Recently I read an article on TechCrunch called The 100 Millionth Deviation on DeviantART Is A Gay Sex Story, But I’m Going To Show You This Arctic Unicorn Instead. I would not tell them to retract their article, but I will say it was the dumbest thing next up to the other sites they have bagged on without looking at it from more perspectives. In fact, the last major act of idiocy was publishing that they had been privy to information that had been hacked from Twitter.

I do want to note that TechCrunch is not a site that is known to not be bias, so when you read what their writers have to say, you only get that one-sided feel. However, TechCrunch is a very informative site that tries to reveal the ins and outs of the tech world.

This time, TC decided to set its sights on DeviantART, a site for all types of artists can congregate. Yes – all walks, from barely novice, to artists so advanced, you see their work when you watch movies, peruse the game aisles for that perfect game, and much more. Yes, there are a lot of work done by amateurs, and there are art pieces that may push the link of taboo, but it is a community – a VERY successful community that has been around for almost 10 years.

I am not saying this because I have a premium membership, I am a beta tester, and have been a DeviantART member for over 5 years. I am saying this from experiencing communities that have strived and failed to produce what DeviantART has done. On a social media level, they have effectively branded themselves as a top art community. The staff interacts and there are many smaller communities within that are quite active. Recently, DeviantART opened a new section called Groups. In fact, I run a few myself. There are professional artists lending their spare time to help novices. Some people I have seen improve so drastically that they have become successful professionals themselves. I have seen some amazing concept art that has been used for past and upcoming movies, as well as for gaming. There are even manga artists too!

Are you a member of DeviantART? What are your thoughts about this?

Blogging Drama: Smear Campaigns, Leave That To The Gossip Sites

I have been noticing a trend of people finding it their personal right to smear someone who they do not know anything other than the tweets or certain people. In fact, recently, an incident mentioning @AlohaArleen came up. I have never met her in person, but I tweet with her on Twitter and have been for the past year. I am not what you call a close Twitter friend of hers, but I think she is a sweet and classy lady. She does have a lot of followers and that is quite alright with me. She obviously does connect with people.

Without telling the entire situation, I received some comments on my blog in reference to a smear campaign against her by a guy who I am more than certain is posting under another alias, or what some of us who are into the fan lingo, sock puppet. I really have no reason to mention WHO, but if it is enough to come by and leave an off-topic comment twice in a month, I think it is something that needs to be addressed without entirely embarrassing the culprit of the smear campaign.

Smear campaigns are not a reason to spam or post off-topic material on others blogs. The proper channel is to find similar places that allow such behavior and post it there, like celebrity sites, or regular gossip sites. There is even a Fandom Wank Wiki. The problem is that some smear campaigns do not entirely tell the truth, or do not tell truth at all.

Unless a person loves drama, I find from most people I have talked to, they try to avoid being a part of the mess. Smear campaigns can possibly hurt both parties involved – the “antagonist”, the people for, the people against, and the protagonist. It could possibly lead to legal litigation if defamation is involved and could even hurt if employers of any party involved catch wind. It could hurt the blogger’s influence if the smear campaign is indeed baseless and false accusations. It can get parties banned from their webhost and their Internet Service Provider, or even arrested if found to be harassing. This is nothing short of being a possibly scarring event.

What are your thoughts about this type of behavior? Are you likely to read or avoid?

Facebook Feed Changes, Eliciting Negative Feedback

Facebook FailRecently Facebook rolled out their new feeds, yep, feeds as in more than 1. One is the Live Feed which is somewhat like the old stream except you are informed of your friends following others and what they became a friend of. The other is the News Feed that publishes popular posts, at least for your viewing pleasure.

Other Changes:
1. Also, the Status update fix, which apparently does not work and supposedly allows you to restore your Facebook page to its older settings and look. Instead you are telling Facebook on only display status updates that include anything BUT photos, links, videos, and applications.
2. More than 250 friends and Facebook basically chooses who THEY think you might want to listen to.

Of course I noticed some problems since this change, applications are a bit slower than usual, I have difficulty clicking on friend requests to accept and even accepting gifts to some applications. I noticed a lot more time outs on connection as well, AND the fact that I have been receiving a ridiculous amount of Facebook virus/ spam. Facebook addressed the issue of noticing the viruses going about the internet in their fan page.

I have been noticing a lot of invites from people to join the group on Facebook called CHANGE FACEBOOK BACK TO NORMAL!! with over 1.5 million people that joined as well as another called PLEASE GIVE US OUR OLD NEWS FEED BACK! that has over 600 thousand members.

Not sure if Facebook would even consider this obvious message that the changes are not welcomed. How about you – if you use Facebook, do you like the new changes?

Social Media: Coping With Negative Responses

Recently Best Buy had one heck of a run in with a negative crowd in their Best Buy Facebook community after posting the following question:

What do you think about offering Bestbuy.com in Spanish?

Maggie McGary writes the article Best Buy Asks The Wrong Question On Facebook on Social Media Today and asks basically why Facebook bothered when supposedly most of their users were English speakers. Of course, in a Facebook group such as the one Best Buy currently has, they may speak English, but there are so many different people that do not use English as a first language. In fact, I would be cocky enough to say, go for it Best Buy. The more you can reach, the merrier.

Multi-Merchant Channel‘s article written by Tim Parry called Live From Shop.org: Best Buy Learns How to Handle Facebook Cranks tells how representative and senior director of interactive marketing and emerging media for Best Buy, Tracy Benson basically said that they had to pull they whole question and comments off their page because people were becoming ‘rude’ and ‘racist.’

I am not sure how Maggie thinks some things are not racist, but when it comes down to it, it is all wrong to act in a manner that is uncivil – period. No one deserves that treatment and usually they not only effect the company, but other users as well. If the responses were negative, as in meaning that they were not for the ideas, as long as a logical answer was provided why, that would have been far more acceptable. Best Buy did not ask the wrong question, but they did not go into interacting more to find out logical pros and cons to research their question for marketing ideas.

As for Best Buy, if they get back down to their basics on talking with their fans/ clients (I almost have to assume that most of the people who are ‘fans’ on the Facebook page for Best Buy have at least been a client 1 time) as they started when they pushed forth with their Best Buy Twelpforce on Twitter. As for negative comments that constitute as uncalled for and uncivil, those comment should be removed, just like in any blog, message board, or social network community.

So, have you taken a lesson from this for your own, blog, and/or communities you either run or participate in? What other suggestions would you have if put in the situation that Best Buy had been?