Facebook Places – Watch Out

Location-based services will continue to grow in usage and popularity, but it always seems to raise a red flag in my mind.  Maybe this is just me, but the feeling of a “big-brother” watching wherever I venture seems a bit disconcerting.  Is this too sci-fi of a reaction?  Yes, quite possibly.

NOTE:  I have tried location-based services and am not a person who is writing about something I have not tried.

I realize there is a tremendous advantage for people and business to use location-based services, and this is by no means a knock against any service or anyone who chooses to use foursquare, Gowalla or now Facebook Places.

I believe that Facebook did a nice roll out of Facebook Places by only including it with the iPhone or HTML5 ready smartphones and only in the United States.  This will help to work out any bugs from the masses before it adds on new apps for Blackberry, Android and other services across the globe.

Also, in a Facebook conversation with my friend Mike, he raised a legitimate concern over will the wall feed on Facebook now be cluttered by Place check-ins.  Great question, I guess we will find out very shortly.

The Facebook “Privacy Settings” are already defaulted so you will need to pay attention to this area if you choose to use Facebook Places.  Under “Privacy Settings”, click on “Customize Settings” to change your preferences.

Also, a potential concern arises from this announcement.  Facebook Places lets you “tag” others you are with at a particular location.  Is this similar to “tagging” a photo?  If so, people are now at risk of being “outted” by friends and co-workers.  For example: called into work sick but instead went to a movie.  Your friend checked into Facebook Places and tagged you without your knowing.  Potential issue could arise from this moment.  But alas, there was a great article posted yesterday entitled How to Disable Facebook Pages which may be of interest to some of you.

Social media will always have risks, it is how you use the services that minimize potential risk.

Twifficiency Does More Than Intended

Wow, to be a 17 year-old from Scotland and create a Twitter trend instantaneously is quite a feat, but was definitely more than intended.  John Cunningham’s launch of Twifficiency was loud and effective.

Although John set out with a set parameter to measure Twitter users and how “effectively” they use Twitter, I believe John struck a larger chord on Twitter.  Not only were there positive conversations, but some people were a bit annoyed at the buzz this created.

People want to believe they use Twitter the “right way” and are effective in how they implement it each and every day.  Twitter became a funnel of how you should measure your Twitter effectiveness and that numbers do not mean everything.  Justifications came out of almost everywhere and it was interesting to read what opinions people shared on the subject.

I believe that in the midst of all of this, Twifficiency hit on something.  Although the metrics are not perfect, the idea behind measuring Following, Followers, Tweets, @ Reply’s and Lists can provide some value.

My score was 49% and yes it bothered me at first.  I wanted to justify why it was average and not higher.  But once I thought about this, metrics are just that – a measuring tool.  I do not post 50 microblog posts per day, I read a lot of Tweets, I click on a lot of links, I respond when I feel necessary, and I make good connections within my network.  Isn’t’ that what we should be doing anyway?

Some tools are better than others and some metrics are better than others.  But a 17 year-old computer entrepreneur launched something that got people interested and talking.  Kudos to Mr. Cunningham for keeping the rest of us thinking about what we do and why we do it.

My Response To “the 7 Link Challenge Today #7links” by ProBlogger

Darren Rowse, ProBlogger, put out a challenge which was quite interesting.  The challenge is to “publish a post that is a list of 7 links to posts that you and others have written that respond to the following 7 categories.”

Pretty interesting idea, and I like where he is going with this.  So, I’m stepping up and putting forth my entry to the #7links challenge.  Here we go:

  • Your first post – Hello World!  KWM Joins the Blogging Community – Holy cow this was a completely weak and unoriginal post… but it did get me started.  I believe I was making a silly “splash” into the world of blogging but in hindsight, this was just ridiculous.
  • A post you enjoyed writing the most – LinkedIn and Twitter… Not Perfect Together – I wrote this early on, very close to when LinkedIn announced the introduction of Twitter into your dashboard and profile.  I was very happy with the timeliness and direction I took this post.  I was also happy that I received a few comments which are always a nice result to achieve!
  • A post which had a great discussion – Foursquare: I’m Not Sold – This post opened a can of worms with a lot of people.  Yes, I tried foursquare prior to this post and (gasp!) I have tried it since this post.  Guess what, I’m still not sold.  It was a lot of fun to gain peoples feedback and see what their opinions were, quite a journey indeed.  I also enjoyed the video aspect of this post, pretty interesting to do a pro and con in the same post.
  • A post on someone else’s blog that you wish you’d written – Social Recruiting 3.0 – Fast Forward to the Era of Leveraging Conversation and Social Interaction – This post truly made connections and leveraging contacts grow up, so to speak.  Josh took a lot of time to understand connections and how they impact recruiters.  Just a really thought-provoking and forward-thinking topic.  I have this one bookmarked on my laptop.
  • Your most helpful post – Internet Safety – Protect Yourself – This is a subject that is often spoken about and rarely heeded.  Every single day you hear about someone posting something they shouldn’t and the employment ramifications that come from it.  This posts inspiration came from The Disney Channel of all places but it truly broke down internet safety into an easy to digest form.  It is one post that I refer others to whenever a question arises.
  • A post with a title that you are proud of – How I Landed My Dream Job – Simply put, I never thought I would write this post at this point of my career.  The position I have is an incredible role and I learn something new every single day.  I only wish each person has the ability one day to write a post with this title.
  • A post that you wish more people had read – Social Networking: Relationships, Encounters and Spam – I believed this to be a fairly well articulated post with a different spin on the social media relationship spectrum.

This was a very insightful exercise.  I definitely see how my blogging skills have increased over time and how the varieties of topics have expanded.  This may be worth revisiting again in the future and see how my answers evolve over time.

Photo credit to ProBlogger

*** NOTE *** I made my choices based solely on posts from the HR farmer and not from any other blogs that I have submitted posts.  I thought it only fair to choose this platform as a true evaluation (although it would be interesting to see what my responses would have been if I incorporated my additional posts).

Social Media vs. The Cigarette Break

Companies continue to block social media sites at work and this is still baffling to me.  Anyone can access social media sites and content from anywhere thanks to Smartphone’s and the ever increasing mobile technology.

The question this raises is whether companies are worried about employees using corporate property to access social media or if it is a “time drain” question.  If the answer is corporate property, this is completely understandable yet a grey subject.  Why.  More and more employees use social media to ask, answer and share work related information quickly.  Social media is (for some) a work related tool.  If the answer is that social media is a “time drain”, then this raises another set of questions.

For year, employees have been granted the right to have cigarette breaks throughout the day.  We have all seen these individuals, typically outside of an office building in or around a designated area enjoying their vice.  Sometimes these people are alone, on their mobile phone or conversing with others.

How is social media any different?  These tools allow individuals to have a break during the day to converse and share with others.   The difference is that social media tools allow employees to remain at their desks.

There is always a question of appropriate usage, time wasting, sharing confidential information, and so much more.  But hasn’t that issue been here for years already with the cigarette break?  Employees congregate in one area and share information, sometimes information they shouldn’t talk about.

I acknowledge that social media is on a much, much, much larger scale and may spread 1000 times faster than what I am describing.  The issue truly is faith in your employees.  Faith that they will make the right decisions and faith that they understand the ramifications of what they do.

Social media education is extremely important for any organization, large or small.  There will always be a portion of any workforce that will push the limits and even break rules.  This has been and will continue to occur in 99.9% of organizations.  If we educate our employees as to the risks of what is shared online, this will ultimately lead to a more astute work culture and potentially more productive.