What is wrong with social networking and social media. (I mean Facebook)

[This article was originally posted on Linkedin here https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/whats-wrong-social-networking-uh-facebook-dan-gudema?trk=pulse_spock-articles.  The reason I repost on my personal blog is Linkedin does not get indexed on Google it turns out!]

I and many of us have resisted social networking.

I have had a dozen or so people look at me with a smirk of “why are you asking that”, when I ask if they are on Facebook.

That’s because most of us understand what Facebook is.

It’s a way to chitchat with friends and family! It ends there.  At least for me.

Yes, I hear the world is on Facebook.  I hear it all the time.  But they should know where there is a line to stop at on Facebook.  There is a limit.

I don’t see Facebook as a way to market much of anything to me personally. That does not mean you can’t use it to sell.  I am referring to Business to Business ads and connections. And I don’t see much of anything of interest to me, other than checking on my friend’s kids and their sports teams and who is still kicking out there.  I don’t look at ads there.  I don’t click on and learn about brands or products or services there.  I don’t do my networking there to meet new people.  I don’t go there to find people I have something in common to chat with them about.

That is not what Facebook is for!

And Snapchat and Instagram are to me just other forms of Facebook, for sharing mobile, faster and quicker.  They are even more popularity driven among your friends.  The day will come for many kids where none of these social networks will make sense and they will move on, because they know they can’t really talk about anything of substance and be taken seriously by their peers through these early social networks.

Almost all social networks are basically high school proms on steroids!

I know what you are thinking.  I see several tech groups on Facebook I am a member of and they think it is just fine to be there.  I don’t.  I think it just opens up a big can of worms running groups there, because you are not going to be able to separate your personal life from your business persona. I don’t have anything to hide, but if I did, I would not want it on Facebook.  That’s because you are vulnerable on Facebook to people posting pictures of you and if you have a secret they can release it there whether you want them to or even if they really understand they are doing it.   Yes, you can hide photos or fix things, but essentially you are at your friends’ and relatives’ mercy so be good to them or beware!

So if you friend me on Facebook, what goes through my mind is what third cousin of mine are you related to or were you one time in my fraternity Tau Epsilon Phi at the University of Maryland (have to give a plug here, because we are oh so happy with the basketball team this year), or maybe you were in my AZA chapter in high school.  Ok, that makes sense to me.

I don’t want people I don’t know seeing pictures of my kids and me jumping in the waves of the ocean (I am thinking about visiting the beach today so that is appropriate and today is nice and breezy out there).

I don’t want to be required to chat with you about business through your Facebook account because you only use that as your mechanism to communicate. (That’s apply to Mark L).

So, don’t friend me on Facebook unless you want to shout out about Maryland Basketball.  (They are on tonight at 6pm!) That’s reasonable.  It tells me that you just don’t know how to mix business with your personal life when you friend me there and you met me a business networking event.  You are a bit confused. And you are probably making a vulnerable personal mistake now by combining the two.  Protect your personal life!  And keep your Facebook safe.

 Ok, so why am I so excited about Seyopa.com

Seyopa is a website where you can join or create online communities about things you are passionate about. Unlike Facebook, you are not there to hook up with your high school sweetheart or see old prom pictures or pictures of your friend’s kids at the beach.  There is a world outside of Facebook, the internet and all the wifi connected devices we have laying around the house.  That is simply pursuing a non computer based activity, like going to museums and travel and the things we should be doing.  I had to mention that because I am finding so little time to pursue anything outside of trying to pay the bills (trying is an ok word for this at best), getting my kids through school and just trying to put out the garbage on the right morning.

Use Seyopa.com to chat with like-minded people about subjects you are passionate about!

Seyopa is a place you go to discuss what you really would like to be doing or chatting about, instead of our normal work or personal family activities.  It means talking about art, sports, food, travel, writing, life in general, politics, kids, parenting, diseases, photography or whatever else you want to discuss with people who are like-minded.  It is about finding people to have that connection with.  Because that is something I never got out of Facebook.  In fact, I think if I chatted on Facebook about the things I really want to pursue in life, I would have some friends and relatives basically say “OK. why are you telling me this? Where are the pictures of your cute kids?”  They would answer with, “Dan why don’t you just get a full-time job?”  So, not putting my friends and relatives into the non-caring bucket,  but they don’t care much about my passions or what I do for my career. And this is fine, because it does not matter to them or me.  It is not a subject we need to discuss.  We are already friends or related.  I don’t have to sell them on joining Amway. Thank god I don’t…

So, if you have read this post this far god help you.  You may have to go back to work right now, so I understand that.

Just to let you know I am biased. I have been an advisor to Seyopa, so you know why I am giving them a plug!  But it is not just that I have to give Seyopa a plug. I actually sat with the founder and gave her my input and our team helped her with the direction of Seyopa.  And honestly Seyopa is needed and really is different.

So, please go to http://seyopa.com and register.  The site is not just a website with a simple idea, the founder is looking for feedback about how it should work and what should be the next direction.  The site is looking for thought leaders in each area.

And please forward or invite your friends to Seyopa.com who think like I do.  I think that is a majority of people out there!

By the way if you are introducing a startup and want to have me take a look at it and give you my input in a blog article like this one, let me know!  If you are in South Florida on December 8, 2015 at 6pm, we are running the next tech startup pitch event.  Here is a link :  (120 RSVPS so far and counting for this event) http://www.meetup.com/Boca-Raton-Tech-Start-ups-Meetup/

Please contact me if you want to work with me!

Thanks and have a great day.

Dan Gudema
dan@startuppop.com

#Periscope For Business Is It Real?

I have been an avid following of Periscope.  I think that it is rocking great compared with Facebook for business.  I understand brands using Facebook and other social media to improve their brands.  However, Periscope and to some extent Meerkat are seemingly for the first time a way to market services and products, live!

So I think that Periscope is real for business, and there are a dozen ways it can be used, such as:

  1. Sending out a scheduled Periscope session with existing users to demo a product or service.
  2. Getting random visitors to find you on Periscope and listen in and follow if you are compelling.
  3. Getting better indexing or links on Google for your business.
  4. Getting additional twitter generated links on Google.
  5. Just being able to find a live community of people that you don’t have to pay for.

Please check out StartupPOP.com and our new StartupPOP.com Blast service we have not go live with it yet.  Please come to StartupPOP.com and get on our email list!  Have a great day.

Keeping Your #Personal #SocialMedia Presence Separated

This blog entry is about your social media presence and how I believe you should deal with each part of your personal social media presence.  I am not exactly an expert at Social Media, but I would say that I pretty understand 95% of it.  So, in essence I know a little bit.

What Is Your Social Media Presence?

Your social media presence is simply the media outlets that you push your content through, like your Facebook page, your Twitter handle, your Linkedin Link, Your Instagram name, your Blog with tags and categories, and any other place where you publicize yourself and your content online.  I would go further and describe any social media site you have a presence on.  For instance I am running events on both Meetup and Eventbrite, so I would give them some thought to being part of your social media presence.  I am now big on Periscope and Meerkat, the new streaming social media peer to peer apps, that are part of your new social media.  There are also a bunch of new sites like Behance and Thumbtack.  They are for finding work, but they have your profile there, so they are contenders for social media.  There are others like Snapchat, Ello, Path and so on, and so on.

What Do I Mean By Separated?

Now that I have identified the media outlets that can be referred to as social media, you should make a decision about who you are online.  Who do you want to be?  And to whom do you want to be that person?  I personally think that Facebook has nothing to do with business or personal networking.  That’s just an opinion.  Therefore, if you meet me at a business networking event and then ask to Friend me on Facebook, I am basically going to ignore the request.  If you ask me to link to you on Linkedin, that makes sense to me.  If you are my cousin from Holland (shout out to Nico) and you want to share some photos of the family then friend me on Facebook, not on Linkedin. Twitter is similar.  I think its all business, but you have to decided what it is for you.  If you think that all social media is open to you for your personal life, I think that this a big mistake.

What Is Your Personal Persona?

I believe Facebook is more of a personal network thing.  I think that you don’t want people eventually to be able to find a photo of you drunk in college on your Facebook page.  That will have a long term impact on your being hired for work.  I think that people need to understand what each of these social media outlets are good for and how they are going to use them.  I am also seeing Instagram and Snapchat as being purely personal relationship based and not for business relationships.  You need to make sure you control your personal social media and decide once again who you are online.

What Is Your Business Persona?

I personally think that Linkedin is purely a business relationship social media.  It has been used for some personal use, but once again leave that to Facebook or Instagram.  I am not even a big user of Facebook , but I am advocating to use it solely for personal use. Twitter I use for business purposes.  I have seen it used for personal uses, and that is ok, maybe.  It depends.  If you ever wanted to change who you are, what you believe and keep a business profile, you need to make an early decision about what you tweet about.  If you want to keep a personal Twitter account separate from a business account, then set up a second twitter account. I have about 5 I use.

What Is Your Political Persona?

Finally there is the point of view social media from a political point of view.  This is one that I always felt would trip me up, so I have never tweeted my political opinion or written a blog entry on my business blog about politics.  Nor have I entered a political opinion on Linkedin.  I think that you could do this, but you have deal with the repercussions.  For instance, half the people you work with will never agree with your point of view.  If they can read your tweets about who you hate running for president, then you are really giving away your political point of view. I don’t even think using Facebook for this is a good thing.  Trust me, half of your family has another point of view.  Why piss them off as well?  So, how to deal with this is to create another personality on twitter and in my case political blogging.  I have a pseudo name I have been politically blogging under for 12 years.  I don’t do it often, but when I have an opinion I use my alias, not my name.  I don’t like it interfering the other parts of my social media world.  It is not necessary.

Lessons Learned

Don’t mix your personal, business and political personas!  Keep them separate and up to standards that make sense.  Mixing these social medias at will between personal and business are quite dangerous.  Next time you don’t get that job offer, it could be because of your highly voiced opinion.  There is tons of space for opinions on-line.  In order to have good relations with everybody in your life, you need to make sure you keep these worlds segmented and separated so you are not seen as the enemy.  In fact, if you do a great job of this, your friends or associates with differing opinions will come to respect you.  Keep it out of the office. At DSX Labs, our tech incubator over the past year we have a saying, when the republicans come in the door we are republicans and when the democrats come in the door we are democrats!

 

Built In: Our Decreasing Need To Remember Anything – Part 2

On March 15, 2012 I wrote this article/blog post “Marketing Trend: Our Decreasing Need To Remember Anything“.   This post is a follow up. You may want to read the original and then this post.  Of all the things I have written about in the past couple years, the decreasing need to have to remember most anything, because of the efficiencies of technology, has been one of those things that I not only think about, but live everyday.

In fact we all do.  When was the last time that you had to memorize a new phone number?  How many email addresses do you know by heart?  In fact do you find that you used to know them all by heart, but as time passes and technology changes we need to know less and less.  How many times have you emailed or Text/SMS somebody asking for their mailing address and then fumbled around in Gmail looking for that email so you can buy them a gift!  This trend and the ensuing impact on our lives is what I had touched on in my first article.  And the reason I was saying that I am living it everyday is my involvement with Connect Address.

Connect Address

Around the time I wrote this first article I had just started to work as a consultant with a small group in Boca Raton, Florida that was trying to find a business model for a start-up.  That start-up had already developed a Facebook store and a bunch of great technology.  Their issue at the time was they did not have a serious direction.  Their Facebook store really did not have a great brand, great products or even a reasonable profit margin.  It was a dead-end.  Over the next few months after meeting the owners, we changed the direction of that business from being an online retailer to being a technology company.  The trend or piece I observed within their technology, or the turning point, was when I recognized something different in their process that would be of great value to other players in the market.  They had put together a process to allow a buyer on Facebook to purchase, but that buyer did not have to know the shipping address of the recipient.  The process would send a message off to the receiver and ask for it, providing a form to enter the address where they would like the product shipped.

Seeds of Not Having To Know Anything

Well, the ability to order without knowing where the order would be shipped intrigued me.  A few months later I began writing my first blog post about what we can call “address-less” shipping.   And when we went to the first fortune 500 company to pitch this concept, their answer was Wow, that is different, and yes we want it.  So, within a few months there was a prototype app and Connect Address has been on their way since.  That app has been improving and changing over the past year, but the concept is pretty much the same.  You are buying a gift for somebody and you don’t know where they live, so you use this third party service to get it.  So where does the not having to know anything come into play. Well, if you are using this new, disruptive service, you will notice that you simply login to Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Gmail, Yahoo, etc, and get access to your names and email address.  Most of their technology requires you to click on a picture to choose who you are sending the gift.  End result, address-less shipping, without the pain of having to send an email off to your gift recipient, waiting for the address, keeping two browser windows open and then copy and pasting 7 times…

The History

When I wrote the original blog post, I realized that this is not just a one off event that turned into a product.  Address-less, Phone-less, and not having to know things is a product of the evolution of technology.  I was able to trace this decreasing need to know anything trend back to the original speed dial.  It was innovative at the time.  Store a phone number and then just click a button.  Many old phones used to have that little piece of paper you would stick in the phone that would say the name.  Then it got better and better until virtual phone systems appeared.  The cell phone network introduced both on board address books and voice activated address book look-up and dialing.  Then gmail (that is one I remember) introduced a bit of AI (Artificial Intelligence, which are often now just JQuery lookups), that figures out from the few letters you have typed in what the “email” possibilities are; basically what we are going to think of next…  Gmail figured out who to send email without the email address.  Once I get an email from you and send to you, next time I just type the name, not the email in and it goes to town popping in the email address.  So, cool stuff.  Life is better. Now, people don’t own address books anymore.  Now people don’t need to know your phone number.  Everything is becoming built-in.

Built-Ins

So, just like your cabinets in your living room that are part of the walls, the information that connects us is built-in to the technology.  Soon the next couple generations will not even know what a phone number is.  Maybe they will just bump or square you and it will move from phone to phone, stored somewhere far off in a cloud server.

Google Glass And Beyond

I am not one of the 8,000 chosen to test Google Glass (Irreverently spelled, but obviously about eye glasses), but let’s just say it is the next step in this evolution.  With everything not having to be remembered, improving upon how you can easily access that information is the next step of this evolution.  Google Glass seem to work great and I saw a user who was very happy with them.  As far as Connect Address, they are still just getting started in a brave new world of helping you to not having to know one more thing, the shipping address of who you are buying a gift.  It’s Built In.

Need To Build A Social Network, Read On

Over the past year I have been working on the first serious social networking site, with heavy Facebook and Linkedin integration, and I have found the following to be true.  When you first start out looking to build out a website with social networking functionality you come across the following solution “methods”:

1. Free/Opensource “Downloadable” Social Networking Solutions
These are things like BuddyPress (WordPress), Drupal Based, Joomla Based Solutions, and Others.
Pros: Sometimes easy to deploy, designs easy to find on ThemeForest.net.
At first glance this seems like a perfect solution.  4 or 5 standard functions like friending people, messaging, groups and chat.  Well, it’s a perfect solution for small outfits that want a social network to be added on to something like a store or a group that has all the needs for social-like functionality.
Cons: Biggest con of them all is niche functionality.  If your social networking-like site (I use “like” because this is a qualifier) is anything other than a social networking site these solutions are not really what you want.  Trust me, all the developers in the world that do development will tell you they can take BuddyPress and add on all kinds of functions, make groups do this or that, but in the end, the amount of customization involved is going to be higher than the original cost of something I am going to mention later.  Another big con is the overhead.  You wanted a social network, but you got  a big pile of code, and with this overhead and complexity.  So, this is a good solution for your book club group or groupies of a band, but if anything needs to be different, like you don’t want the ability for people to friend and groups are kind of different, than stop now!

2. Hosted Social Networking Solution
Ning and others
Pros: Sounds great, right!  You use Ning and they generate a site for you. Speed to market is the biggest pro and learning curve is lower because you don’t need to learn WordPress for BuddyPress so you are not having to take a class!
Cons: Well, the biggest con is you don’t control your data.  You may be able to get a download, but who knows where it is and what they are going to do with it.  You have to read the terms carefully.  But even more so, like the con in the downloadable opensource solutions, you lose control of your app.  If you want to do something or anything outside the norm, you are going to be limited to their functionality. So great for these little social networking sites, but not for prime-time or something serious.

3. Customized Solution In-sourced Social Networking Solutions
Having a customized solution built by a local programmer or programming team is plausible, but it is financially practical.
Pros: Control over the project.  Able to meet with the guy in charge. Get it general close to what you want.
Cons: Cost.  You are going to get burned financially.  A good social networking implementation should cost, in the US about $35,000, and that is for a basic implementation of friends, connections, groups, specialized forms, contacts, and any facebook like or Linkedin like functions.  It could end up over $100,000 if you choose the most expensive team or use a web agency.  That is what it costs to build a site with this kind of functionality, using a typical american development firm!

4. Customized Solution Outsourced Social Networking Solution Without Team or Specialized Experience
You meet some guy on oDesk who says he can do it at $15 an hour.
Pros: Cheap
Cons: If it is a sophisticated implementation, this is going to be a disaster.  Let’s just start with communications.  Even the best outsourced firm will get things wrong.  That’s because english is often not their primary language.  And they most likely will be truthful, but you will find that most of these implementation, especially one man team ones. turn out to be 10 times more costly than you thought and all the functions will be completely wrong!  In fact, I have seen 3 in the past year that were disasters!

5. Customized Social Networking Solution Outsourced With Specialized Experience In Building Social Networks!
Contact us about building a customized solution!
Pros: If you are serious and there is a serious budget or opportunity to build your social network the way you want it, then do it right and control the project.  This is not cheap, but it is cost effective.  In the end, it is cheaper.  This particular team I work with are experts at social networking functionality, so that is the key to working with them.  Just choosing a random solution provider, based on price, is pretty much a mistake.
Cons: I am sure there are some, because there are few in this situation.  One con that comes with all outsourcing-like projects is that the communications must be continual and work correctly.  That is why the team I work with has a specific process for managing the web development from design through html, to a final website or app.

Ok, now that we have gone over all the options for building a social network, please consider building one with the team I have used.  Just fill out the form below and start the process of working with us:

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Phone:

Tell Us A Little More About What You Are Trying To Build And Why!