Social Media and Online Issues

Social media has forever changed the way people interact with each other.  People are interacting more online and less in person. This is good news for people like me that don’t like to talk to people face-to-face.

Qualman, Chapter 4: First of all, I love this book because it makes sense and I think almost anyone could learn a lot from it. If I believed that the management at my company could read and comprehend good information, I would have them read this book. Unfortunately that is not the case.

Anyway, I loved how Yahoo saw a trend happening and then shared that information with Pepsi so Pepsi could sign a contract with Brittney Spears before she became really popular. This showed me how powerful the Internet really is.

On page 70, Qualman talked about how they can create kind of a “flu neighborhood” due to how and where people are searching ‘flu symptoms’ online. I never realized that this could happen and I think it’s pretty remarkable that the Internet can actually be used for good instead of evil.

Everything that seems to happen online is tracked, charted, and used to try to make some money. That sounds pretty familiar to any company.

Qualman, Chapter 6: On page 124, Qualman talked about how the NFL set up fake Facebook accounts to spy on cheerleaders. This is something that I don’t understand. Do people actually accept the friendship from people that they don’t know on their personal Facebook account? Maybe I’m missing something but I only friend people that I know. If you’re an NFL cheerleader and you friend everyone because you’re kind of celebrity, then you should know better than to post something that could affect your job.

It also seems kind of stupid for the NFL to spy on people. The world has become too politically correct and I can’t stand it anymore. It seems like if one person gets offended then you have to make a huge apology to everyone.

Where do we draw the line about what’s appropriate and what’s not appropriate for social media? I don’t think you can. Social media seems to have created a problem where companies cannot only interact with their audience; they can offend them, too.

Spilka, Chapter 2 by R. Stanley Dicks:  There were two things that jumped out to me in this chapter—Paper catalogs doing the same thing as Web sites and using electronic data storage instead of paper when possible.

At my company, I write catalogs for aftermarket power-sports products that get printed and I also write the same information for the Web site. The problem is doing this is a lot harder than you would think. The catalog is easy to write because it’s more of a linear document and all the necessary information for a certain product is in one spot of one page. When you put a product from the catalog into the Web site, you have to figure out how many different ways a user might search for that product. The user might search by the fitment, part number, color, brand, cost, manufacturer, material, style, size, and so on. In the catalog, the user can only search by brand or the name of the product. As an author, I have to be careful so I make sure that all of the necessary information is in the Web site for the user. If the information is not there, then the user might get frustrated and shop at one of our competitors.

The other thing about my company is they are super old-school when it comes to documenting everything. They want everything on paper. We could save a ton of money if we would store and share information electronically but they won’t because management thinks it would cost too much money to supply everyone with the proper software. The thing is, the money the company would save on paper would offset the cost of the software over time. It’s frustrating to work for a company that is stuck in the past when you’re used to working on the front line of the future.

About natefellows

I don't know karate but I can scream really loud.

Posted on October 9, 2011, in Social Media. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Your reference to the difference between a “print” catalog and one that is viewed as a hypertext “online” got me to thinking. Over the last few years I have noticed a change in print catalogs.

    Until it is sold, I own a trophy and awards business. Over the years, my suppliers have sent print catalogs for components to the shop on a yearly basis. The last few years, I started to notice a trend in format. Not only will there be an index in the back for different catagories such as:

    *engraving stock

    Now I notice that the pages themselves are color coded. This shows up on the right side of the catalog in the form of colored tabs. By doing this, the authors have created different ways of searching for the information I need – much like a website. In addition to this, they have cleverly tried to emulate the web page as much as possible. I assume that this is to present a more seamless transition.

    Notice I said emulate the WEB PAGE and not the other way around? This is because there has been a shift from print catalogs to online. It seems now that in many industries the online catalog is more important than the print one.

    What do you make of all this?

  2. Nate, this is a very comprehensive post and I appreciate the reactions to Qualman [I, too, don’t understand why someone would accept a friend request if they didn’t know the person…I also had a friend who was a Saintsation cheerleader in 2007 and was told by the NFL/Saints Organization that she wasn’t allowed *any* profile pages, MySpace or Facebook. They must’ve changed that rule!]

    Furthermore, your point about your company being stuck in the past is something you could possibly explore as a final paper topic, perhaps even a proposal to them for how technology and social media could improve things?

  3. Hey, Nate. Thanks for the interesting post. It got me wondering about this year’s flu predictions. It looks like we all need to cowboy up in February.

    I agree with both you and Daisy that only a total ding-a-ling would friend someone they don’t know. I kind of think of being that cavalier with your privacy is the equivalent of an online Darwin award.

    Your organization’s insistence on documenting everything on paper is pretty much the opposite of what’s going on in my office right now. I am in charge of recordkeeping for the department. Stout has made a pledge to become paper free. That means scanning every single document in all our filing cabinets. I end up “tagging” each and every document so that people can search for the document by different criteria.

    I’ve also been tasked with creating all the different tagging fields for the different doc types/folder types/categories for our curriculum and governance “drawers.” I have to imagine what criteria any future employee might want to use to search. It’s tedious. It will be nice when it’s done, though. I won’t lose any more documents…I hope.

  4. Nate, you said, “it’s pretty remarkable that the Internet can actually be used for good instead of evil.” Isn’t it amazing? It’s funny that you never hear about the good thinks and only hear about the great evil.

  1. Pingback: “it’s this thin geeky line that keeps it going” « Communication Strategies for Emerging Media

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