Archive for the ‘Facebook’ category

My first BzzAgent review: about.me

May 23, 2011

As I mentioned in my last post, I recently started working as a copywriter for a social marketing company called BzzAgent. Also known as a word-of-mouth marketing company, BzzAgent enlists hundreds of thousands of “agents” to discuss brands and products (L’Oreal, Michelin, and Unilever are just a few of its clients).

The agents receive free products, free services, and discounts. I signed up to be an agent (also called a “BzzAgent”) to see what’s it’s all about (you can do so as well). After filling out some surveys, I was invited to the “about.me” campaign. About.me lets you put multiple online profiles (including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Flickr profiles) in one place.

I created an about.me page at about.me/christinelaubenstein. You decide which profiles and/or links you want to include on your page. I added my Twitter, WordPress, LinkedIn, Vimeo, YouTube, and Tumblr accounts (granting about.me access to my posts, updates, videos, etc.), but I declined to allow access to my Facebook info (including profile information, status updates, and friends’ photos).

For me, my Facebook page is a relatively private space I don’t want strangers to see. I did, however, opt to add a link to my Facebook page (in case someone wants to friend me). You can link to other pages if you’d like, or add other profiles (Blogger, Posterous, Flickr, TypePad, Formspring, Last.fm, Daily Booth, and Instagram).

You can also personalize your background, font colors, fonts, and biography. Other features include statistics about your accounts and about.me page, ideas for promoting your about.me page, and a place to add your favorite about.me pages. I haven’t yet used all these features, but I’ll still provide my initial thoughts about about.me:

  • It’s a neat idea. Unless you have your own website/blog, I don’t know of any service that lets you list such a wide variety of profiles (LinkedIn, for example, just has fields for three websites, your Twitter account, and your IM screen names). Not to mention the other services don’t let you see content from all your accounts.
  • I like how you can personalize your page.
  • It’s good from an SEO standpoint. You can use about.me to submit your about.me page to Bing, Google, and Yahoo. I did this about two weeks ago, and at least for Google my about.me page already appears on the second page of search results when my name is queried. So creating an about.me page can help push down negative links (if you have them, of course).
  • I’m not sure sure how much time I’ll devote to my page. I have a personal blog and professional website that already allow me to add my Tumblr, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. info. So if I have these sites I’ve already invested in, why do I need about.me? I guess I could use about.me to have all my content in one place. But at this point, I don’t see a huge benefit. Clicking on a link to access my content (at its source) takes one second.

Quitting your job without a new job lined up

December 8, 2010

I know several people who have recently quit their job without another one lined up. Some have saved up a lot of money, so they can afford this life change. Others have had it so much with their job they’re willing to suffer financially and even physically until they find a new one. That might mean buying cheaper groceries, losing health insurance, or ultimately moving in with a family member.

I think it’s really a slap in the face when one of your employees quits without another gig. It’s like the person disliked working for you so much that he’d rather have no source of income than one of your paychecks. Sometimes, though, it’s totally worth it to leave a company without any immediate work plans. If your job is so stressful or time-consuming you don’t have the motivation or opportunity to look for another job at the end of the day, then you’ll be stuck with this job forever.

If your job is so mindless or frustrating you are depressed each day you have to show up, then continuing with this job is probably not the best thing to do. It’s probably better to quit, improve your mental state, and figure out what you want to do next. You’ll have the time and proper disposition to identify your objective, apply for jobs or grad school, and do what else it takes to achieve your goal. (more…)

Boston.com Facebook “like” feature can be inappropriate

August 21, 2010

I was chilling on vacation this past week when I came across a Boston Globe article online (on Boston.com) about Philip Markoff (the alleged “Craigslist killer”). It was about how he had scrawled his ex-fiancee’s name  in blood on the wall of his cell before killing himself.

This article shocked me, as I hadn’t previously heard Markoff had committed suicide (due to being in Montreal/away from my computer).

It also surprised me because there was a Facebook “like” feature toward the top of the article (it has since been moved below the article).

By clicking on the “like” button you could “like” the article. It showed that 18 people had already “liked” the article. Reading this gave me a bad taste in my mouth. Boston.com was advertising that 18 people had liked how an allegedly twisted man had supposedly performed this twisted act during his suicide, and encouraging others to do the same (like the article)?

I know there are always sick people out there, but why does Boston.com have to seemingly go out of its way and expose/support their strangeness?

Anyway, my boyfriend, an avid Globe reader (buys a copy EVERY day), emailed Boston.com about this feature. His main points were that the feature “devalues and de-emphasizes the seriousness of a story of this nature.” He said it’s not the Globe’s fault that people would “like” such an article, but that it shouldn’t be promoting that more people do so. He said he understands that news outlets want to embrace social media, but that in some cases the like feature isn’t appropriate.

Just like Boston.com doesn’t allow people to comment on certain articles, it shouldn’t let people “like” certain articles, he argued. He got a response thanking him for his feedback, and stating that his comments have been forwarded to the editorial and product teams for review.

Since then I’ve noticed the “like” feature was moved to below the article where’s it’s less prominent. That’s a start I suppose. Though now one can see that the number of people who’ve “liked” the article has increased to 38!

Your life can change in the blink of an eye

April 25, 2010

I still regularly read my old newspaper, the Cortland Standard (or at least what exists of it online). Even though I’m living in the Boston area, I’m still interested in what goes on in the little ol’ upstate New York “town” (it’s technically a city) of Cortland.

Last week I learned that a Cortland State sports management professor was charged with rape and lots of other bad things (this Syracuse Post Standard article details the charges).

After reading about the case I decided to google the professor’s name. I once wrote a story about the sports management department at Cortland State and wanted to remember if I’d interviewed him. I couldn’t find the article online, but ended up finding the print version in my apartment. Nope, I hadn’t interviewed him.

I went back to my Google results. I checked out the man’s LinkedIn page, his website, and his Facebook page (it’s public).

I came to understand this guy has lots of connections in the sports management industry, and in general. Five-hundred-plus LinkedIn connections, 857 Facebook friends.

On the surface he seems like an upbeat, well-liked person. His Facebook page has various pictures of him smiling with family and colleagues. On the Rate My Professor website numerous students gave him a high mark.

One called him the “best teacher on campus,” another said “I’d have a beer with him,” and another said he was “easy going and friendly.”

His last Facebook status update was “If the Bruins can win three in a row, so can the Sabres”. It was posted Thursday at 2:12 p.m.

Apparently he was arrested sometime on Thursday as well. He must’ve been arrested following his Facebook post. I mean, I don’t think they let you use Facebook in jail (right???), and he’s likely not out on bail (it’s set at $250,000).

Well this really got me thinking about how your life can change in the matter of seconds. One instant, you’re working from home, excited about watching the hockey game with your buddies in the evening. The next second, police are at your door, telling you you’ve done all these horrible things.

I mean, obviously if he really did these things he already knew he did them. But his life turned upside when he learned he was caught.

I have no idea as to whether the professor did what he’s accused of doing. But I know that the life, career and social network he built up were upended in an instant.

What a crazy world!

Image from www.flickr.com/photos/pumpkincat210/4294336874

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All things in moderation

March 2, 2010

Four years ago I wrote an article for my college newspaper about my decision, and a number of my classmates’ decision, to not use Facebook. Here’s an excerpt:

Facebook users often accumulate a list of more than 100 friends in their profiles, but they may not utter a word to many of these friends when passing them on campus. In my opinion, these long lists of friends weaken the meaning of friendship. The “relationships” are often no more than acquaintances.

Also, when you acquire so many friends, you spread yourself thin. You invest a little bit of time into many different relationships instead of a good deal of time into several relationships.

I ended up joining Facebook a couple of years later. I guess the potential benefit from joining outweighed my reservations. Also, my opinions about social media outlets had become less radical.

Well here I am two years later, and I am sort of inching back in the direction of not using the social networking device. I mean, I have no intention of getting rid of it entirely. I now believe it’s a great way to keep in touch with family and friends all over the world.

But I plan on using it a lot less. I would find myself wasting hours a week on Facebook for no good reason. I would get anxious when I couldn’t use it wondering what I was missing out on. I finally realized that is so silly and unhealthy. So I am pretty much giving it up without getting rid of my account entirely.

I will use it when I need to contact someone, have been contacted by someone, or have another good reason. But that will be about it!

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