Category Archives: Growth

Taking a look at Facebook Insights

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This semester I was asked to take a look into the University of Florida’s Facebook page and make recommendations as to what I think would be the best practices going forward for their brand.

To take a look at my full less than 15 minute presentation, click here: UF MMC Final ASC 2.0

Images on the Internet

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Boston

When it comes to the internet and images, it truly can be a dangerous place. There are so many people taking images of everything around them, or sharing content that they deem interesting or something that should be shared that there is no way for people to be safe from all images. When someone posts something on their page, it shows up on others and whether or not you are ready for them, they can be seared into your mind.

Such is the case with photos from the Boston Bombing. While it is important for people to see the tragedy, and understand the horror that people went through that day, there is also the case of people being bombarded with horrifyingly graphic images. Ethically, how does that work? What if you knew a loved one was running the marathon and while you were looking on their Facebook to see if they had posted something, an image of them in pain showed up on your feed unknowingly posted by someone else? Can you imagine the gut wrenching heartbreak? While someone did this unintentionally, while trying to get the information out to the public, it still should be thought about in more ways than one.

What about children who are on social media? On one hand, the argument is that children shouldn’t be on social media, but what is the age requirement, 13 years old? If they are friends with their aunts, uncles and cousins, odds are someone can share something that is graphic and unsettling and someone who should have warning is shocked by the images. While these occurrences are important and should not be diminished or ignored because of wanting to not scare people, at the same time, sometimes I think a graphic image warning would be great.

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I know that images that are “Not Safe For Work” or NSFW have warnings, why not images that are graphic enough to emote a reaction of shock and horror? This way people would be aware of what is going on while not having the shock of seeing an image they were not prepared for.

Ethically, I think that people do not always take into consideration that what they are posting will be seen by others. I know I have not always considered the implications of what I am posting, it is natural to only think of what you want to post, and not of what other people will be seeing. However, I think that if people put a little more thought into what they post and if major companies took the time to create a warning on articles that are being shared across the web, it would make social media a safer place.

Social Media Misinformation

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boston-marathon-bombing

When people see information on Twitter, even if they are on the platform every 20 minutes, there is a high chance is something is shared and it is incorrect, people will not see the corrected information. People want to be the first to share information, however if that information is unverified, they are just sharing the problem. While some people do take the time to post a retraction through social media, or a new post that reaches out to people with the truth, that is few and far between.

Ethically, that can be a major problem for people who are out and sharing the information and for the people consuming it. When it was the Boston Bombing, people were hurt by the misinformation. There were a lot of people who were hurt and upset and by sharing information out that is incorrect, it just grew the cycle. Here is an article that speaks about all of the different kinds of misinformation and how it is spread not only during the Boston Bombings, but during the Sandy Hook shootings as well. Below is a map of the most used hashtags during the Boston Bombing time period. These led to people connecting and finding information out, however, it also led to people connecting and trying to find the truth from the misinformation.

Twitter-mapWhen it comes to ethics, there is always a chance that companies will capitalize on a tragedy with targeted marketing. However, when it happens, people traditionally get highly offended and call companies out on it. There are times when people commend companies for being quick to capitalize on an event, such as when Oreo quickly got an image out during the Superbowl power outage. It was considered brilliant by many! However, at the same time, when Ford thanked the Boston Bombers emergency responders, on Twitter it was quickly deemed self serving.

Looking at that link, I do think that it was a self serving image. While I think that what Ford was trying to do was done with the best intentions, there was a certain lack of thinking things through correctly. Ethically, showing their own cars during a tragedy, probably was not the best idea, however, thanking the responders for doing a great job, was a great idea. At the same time, execution is everything and when things are done, they can’t be undone, social media posts included.

Data Mining and Privacy

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data_miningWhen people here about data mining, a lot happens. People are very passionate about whether or not they are losing their privacy since it means that they will become vulnerable to identity theft as well as being tracked. However, for some people it weighs out and is worthwhile. For instance, I know many people who feel as though they would hate to be followed online or tracked, but do use a credit card since it is more convenient. There are ethical questions to consider when it comes to identity theft since so many companies are being shown how vulnerable that they are when they are hacked. Another factor is how people feel that since companies are using different ways to track information, it means that they will be sold to more and monitored. A lot of people have a problem with that since they don’t know where the information is going.

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While I do think that in times of national security issues or threats to the nation as a whole, I do think it is important. However, since September 11th there has been a constant theory that everything is justified. People have now gone to the other side of starting out willing to share information after the tragedy that occurred to now being upset that their privacy is being tracked.

I think there are some benefits and some things that need to be considered. While it is important for national security to have access, when the government has lost the trust of the people they serve, it is a huge problem. People need to have confidence that their country is trying to help them and not abuse their power and unfortunately I do not think that at this time the majority of United States citizens feel that data mining is done in their best interest.

When it comes to companies data mining, I think there should be an opt in option. People should have the right to give information or not to. For instance, when I would fill out surveys and forms online and in person and it asked for race information, I always circled “other” and wrote human. However, online I can’t hide that information. It is known who I am and what my race is, even though I may not want to share that information. I think there is always the chance for identification since any electronic device that someone is using can be tracked by an IP address. In the end, I think nothing is safe and everything is being tracked, but I am used to the idea since it is what is coming and will only get worse as technology advances.

Being Accurate and Ethical

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Accuracy

When it comes to news organizations and social media, there are a lot of ways that things are wrong. People try to compete to become the first one to break the news and sometimes give up accuracy for speed. This can be because fact checking hasn’t yet taken place or because people are spreading the wrong information when news breaks. For instance, when the Boston bombings occurred, there was a lot of misinformation and people ended up becoming injured by people in the area since they were wrongfully accused.

One way to make sure that this doesn’t happen is just by taking the time to investigate what is going on and where the information has come from. Even ten minutes makes a difference. While audiences do tend to be more understanding when things are wrong, when the wrong people are named for things, it may be very dangerous for them. I think that should not be forgiven so easily. While a news organization might be able to delete a post, nothing is ever truly deleted from the internet once it has been posted. It might mean the difference between someone getting a job or not later on in life.

In order to truly acknowledge a mistake, they would need to comment on the original post to continue the conversation as well as send out an UPDATE post, so that people can change the information and know what is truly going on. While it may reach some people, it will always be a fraction of the amount of people the first post reached.

While it may be appealing to report quickly and see your numbers spike on social media, it is not worth ruining someone’s reputation or their life. People are unpredictable and you never know what will be the turning point that will make people who seem normal, snap. People really need to watch what they post on the internet in order to protect themselves later on and to avoid lawsuits from wrongfully accusing people.

How I would respond..

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This week I will be deciding how to respond to the two quotes. I have decided to respond to both since I feel that people should be acknowledged when they reach out to you. I think that while I do not appreciate people who approach me by cursing, it still warrants a response, especially since sometimes when you don’t respond you just fuel the fire and make people feel justified in their anger. Sometimes you won’t change anyone’s mind when they are already upset, but at least they and others will know that you are listening and trying.

Number 1:

I am disgusted about the state of your store on 1467 Justin Kings Way. The counter was smeared in what looked like grease and the tables were full of trash and remains of meals. It makes me wonder what the state of your kitchen is?!!! Gross.”

I completely understand why you would feel this way about horrible conditions. I would like to contact you to get more information and I would like to investigate this further. If you can direct message me your information I would like to connect so that I can get to the bottom of this. Thank you for reaching out to us about this matter.

By responding in this manner, I want the person to get the point that I would like to resolve the matter and that I would like to find out more. The person feels heard and the company doesn’t look as though they are ignoring anyone.

Number 2:

Your reporting on the Middle East is biased in the extreme. You gave almost all your air time to spokespeople for the Israelis last night and there was no right to reply for the Palestinians. The conflict upsets me so much and your reporting of it, saddens me even more and makes me f**king furious.

I want to start off by saying that I don’t appreciate this type of language on my site, and if you continue in this way, I will begin deleting posts. After reading your comment and outrage, I took a look at the footage and I believe that we made every effort to have both sides debated. I am sorry to hear that this conflict upsets you, but I understand that this is a controversial issue. If you would like to continue this conversation, I would suggest taking a closer look at the video again and really seeing if we were biased. Thank you for your comment.

While this may be upsetting to the person who wrote the original comment, it is a good way to make sure that they understand that the cursing will not be tolerated and the comments will be deleted if the comments continue. I think that it is also a good way to empathize that it is a controversial topic, but that I believe the reporting was fair. I do not expect a great outcome from this person since they are already fired up, but sometimes it is best to comment and then ignore. After the original comment there is no need to continue and debate.

Behavior and Values

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Social-Media-Sites

I think when it comes to various networks there are subtle differences in the way that people act on all of them. For instance, I act differently on all of my platforms. On LinkedIn I stay completely professional and only join groups based on social media, on Instagram I keep things focused on my daily life, my dogs, what I eat and fitness. On Facebook I focus on my friendships and sharing various funny stories that I come across, on Twitter I focus on social media and occasionally interesting thoughts. On Pinterest I focus on crafts and things I want to do in my house as well as recipes and wedding planning, and on my blog I focus on social media and how various companies handle social media.

I feel that I am not the only one who handles different platforms in different ways. I feel as though it is common practice to act differently since people follow you for different reasons and it is boring to follow people on all of the same platforms and see all of the same things everywhere. If I see someone auto-posting the same information of various sites I would honestly want to unfollow them because it would be boring.

When people connect on Facebook I think it is to see what people do in their lives, on Twitter I think it is for quick information and for inspiration, Instagram is to visually share everything that is happening in a day in the life, LinkedIn to connect professionally, Pinterest to share great ideas and more. I think it is easy to see why people would share differently on different sites since there is an accepted difference in how to act. When people post pictures of their day to Facebook all the time, people get annoyed because that is what Instagram is for. Just like when people consistently post everything that they are doing to Facebook, since that is what Twitter is used for.

While I do not think that it is a big deal when people commit social media faux pas, I do think it cause people to not want to stay in communication with them on that particular platform, if at all.

There are different ways to handle connecting with people on these platforms, and a good rule of them is to never engage in a fight on any of the platforms. In fact, a lot of people that I know have a policy of “if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing” especially on posts regarding fitness. I personally don’t delete anything whether it is positive or negative, but I do reward people who post by commenting. I think it reinforces the fact that I love engaging with people who read my work, so comment below!