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

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!

 

Marketing Trend: Our Decreasing Need To Remember Anything

Years ago in the not so distant past there used to be these little black books we all carried around that held in them names, addresses and phone numbers. Ah, yes we called them address books and phone books. To those of us not well endowed with the gift of memorization, these little books were very, very important. Ok, you know I am being facetious. Along with the demise of these little black books (I personally see the iphone/ipad as the death knell), there is also a big trend, in fact a marketing trend, that we don’t need to remember much about who we know, where we go online, who we email in order to contact others. Why is this important? Well if you look at the recent trend of social bookmarking, social media and sharing sites, like Addthis.com, you are seeing a new paradigm emerging where we don’t need to know this contact information anymore. In other words, social networking and other kinds of sites are becoming the conduit for our contact information. The question is how and why can you capitalize on this trend.

Phone Numbers, Cell Phones & PDAs Start The Know Nothing Trend

Let’s step back a bit. I had been in the cell phone business back in the 90s, when the first internal phone books emerged. They were good and you could choose from a list of people to call, but when you broke, lost your phone or upgraded, you had to go through the painful move your contacts over process. But long before cell phones, landline phones, the old phone companies had those 10 digit numbers you had to remember. I am saying “had” because I believe phone numbers one day will be so obfuscated, you won’t need to know a number. In fact maybe you just say a name and your smart device finds that person.

When the Palm emerged (how soon we forget) it had all kinds of contact information apps on it. When the Palm merged with a cellphone, we were ecstatic. We would no longer need to keep that litttle black book for phone numbers. We still had to keep the address book around for the written addresses and some emails at that time. In the late 2000s as the phones got smarter, we were able to keep our contact list, integrate lists eventually with things like Google and Gmail. This made it possible when I lost a phone to get back at least an old copy of my contacts. But we were not free of having to remember some information.

Tell-A-Friend

As a little side note here, we had put the Tell-A-Friend page on almost every site we built up until recently. The problem of course with Tell-A-Friend is, if you don’t remember their email address, you couldn’t tell a friend. So how close a friend were they. So in the early years of the web, you remembered all your friend’s email addresses and if you didn’t, you copied and pasted it from your email program. But this is where the little black book came out.

Google Throws A Life Line

Gmail was the first really great implementation of a technology that naturally offered up contact information, such as email addresses and names of previous email contacts in a way that was unobtrusive. It used a natural intelligence that was not dorky or difficult and did not bother you. Using my Gmail account, I would just start to type either an email address or a name and it would show the contacts I needed. You could still search Gmail and find it other ways. Now, the geeky at-heart will email me and tell me that there were others before Gmail with this capability. I am sure of that. But this is the place I remember losing my “email” mind and not having to add email addresses to my little black book. I think it was around 2003 or so for me, but it doesn’t matter. What is important is I don’t know your email address if you asked me now!

Make It So Linkedin! Now We Don’t Have To Remember Ourselves

The emergence of Linkedin.com is much more than just a place for our business info and contact info. It created a place where we could put our resume information and not really have to maintain a physical resume. We are not totally there yet, but it is the beginning of another little piece of paper shoved into my little black book going away. The critical aspect of LinkedIn is it allowed people to change jobs, lose their primary email address, and keep in contact with you regardless. If you are LinkedIn with somebody, they can change their email address and life is good again. You don’t lose them. Next time you login to LinkedIn they have a different email address but life goes on just the same for your contact relationship. And the ability to use LinkedIn to communicate to you with “send them a message” changed the game. This small innovation in the business world has made it so even my little Gmail artificial intelligence is not that important anymore. The ability to contact and communicate within these types of applications was well underway with the big daddy of them all coming to town, Facebook.com

Social Networks, Honey Where’d My Brain Go?

So now that Facebook is upon us and seemingly consuming 90% of the online time of people who seem to have all the time in the world for Facebook, a second phase of this trend is now kicking in. We no longer need to remember not just phone numbers or email addresses. We don’t even have to remember our friend’s names. When you share a link or webpage on the web and you use one of the many sharing mechanisms, like Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, Vimeo, and there are others, life has gotten easy to ping somebody. If you use Facebook sharing to share you can send your message by searching for a face now, right? That conceptually means that you don’t need to remember anybody’s name anymore. And I see this trend increasing as Facebook logins and other types of sharing mechanisms seem to be everywhere these days.

The Final Frontier: Smarter Devices Means You Can Be Even Dumber!

When you got your first iPhone and you logged in to iTunes, and you downloaded your first Angry Birds app, the trend became apparent. You did not have to enter your email address each time. Just enter a password. Apple knows who you are, your contact info and basically we don’t need to know ourselves (email-wise). The whole concept of remembering your email address is becoming less important. Once you are on an iPad you don’t need to enter your email address to get on a list with an app. You buy things through iTunes. And if you use Words With Friends by Zynga you interact with people that you don’t really know and your contact info is embedded somewhere on a hard drive in the cloud (“the keyword for India hard drive storage”). So smart devices are making it so we don’t need to even know who we are.

What’s Next?

Well, I have no crystal ball, but obviously Facebooking your way around the web, using Facebook to contact and communicate is here to stay. The smart devices to me represent a major change in how and where this contact info lies. I noticed recently in my Android phone that I can sync my contacts with Gmail and/or the main company I use so I don’t lose it. I guess in the near future some of these mechanisms many cross paths either through mergers, acquisitions or just a central control system, like the old phone company.