Tag Archives: social media

The Sharing Economy and the Cloud: Your Reputation

icon_cloud_trust1In the past, we’ve talked about the fact that everything you put on the internet is there forever. In the good old pre-Internet days, if someone said bad things about you, it was either to your face or to a limited circle of people behind your back.  The Web has provided a way for that limited circle to potentially reach around the globe.  When someone expresses a negative opinion about you or your company, the whole world can see it, and it never goes away completely.

Of course, most people know not to believe everything they read online. But there are also people who think, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” That’s why you need to be aware of your online reputation and know what you can do to protect it, especially if you’re a business owner or professional. When this is the case, your reputation is more than just your face, it’s the face of the bottom line.

icon_cloud_trust3Most reputable websites offer a way to remove false or incorrect information.  But that’s not the issue here. If the post is a non-aggressive opinion or a genuine criticism, there’s often nothing you can do. You can always (and should) do the due diligence: respond to legit criticism and report hate and abuse.  And never ever neglect your online persona, but take the time to create positive posts, blogs, and other data that will push any negative information farther down the search engine food chain.

Of course, that is time; and it is trouble.  That’s why there are companies such as Reputation.com (www.reputation.com) and Cyber Investigation Services (www.cyberinvestigationservices.com) that will help for a fee if you feel that you’ve been defamed online.  And if your pockets aren’t quite that deep, there are several social networking websites that can help you do it yourself.

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The Sharing Economy & the Cloud: Services On the Go

The internet has always brought people together – but it’s bringing people together in totally new ways by taking new connections between strangers off-line. People are on the move and user-based programs are helping them get where they want to be. Like so many things with the internet, there are some huge advantages to these new services, and perhaps a few disadvantages as well.

Car Services

You may have seen names like Über or Lyft in the headlines recently. This isn’t because the services have done anything wild or crazy, but because they seem to make so much sense. The way these car services work varies slightly by company, but the premise is the same.

If you need a ride, rather than pay the high prices the taxi and van companies charge, why not pay less for a ride from someone going the same direction you are? This is like digital carpooling or freelance chauffeurs.

There are differences, of course, BlaBlaCar operates in Europe for long-distance travel between cities. Users can rate themselves on how chatty they are the car as well to be sure you get a good match. Are you Bla? Or perhaps BlaBlaBla? BlaBlaCar doesn’t allow drivers to profit either – just charge riders for gas and tolls.

Uber_iconUber and Lyft are the more common names in online ride sharing. Über is more professional with its car services and charges a bit more than Lyft, which is more laid back. Über more closely resembles the traditional taxi service with a formal driver and quiet ride while Lyft can be chatty and more casual as a form of transportation.

lyft_iconMake a request online and someone will swing by to pick you up, take you where you’re going and charge you what usually amounts to a price notably less than you’d pay for a cab driver to do the same thing.

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Social Site Roundup: Getting Down to Business (Mostly)

When you think of social media, your first thought isn’t necessarily about business.  Of course, social media is big business.  On your end (the client side) you see the effects of business interest in the form of ads and promotions, and as much as these may be annoying, they’re the bottom layer of what makes it all work.

But it’s not just about ads and market-revenue.  There’s business going online that’s more personable and self invested.  From public awareness groups trying to spread the word, to small startups trying to drum up interest, everyone from the corporate conglomerate to the individual freelancer has a stake in getting seen … and getting seen in the right light.  The truth is, social media is so much a part of the professional world that it has successfully blurred the lines between private issues and public affairs.  For good and bad, social media = social attention.

In this ongoing countdown of current social movers and shakers, we’ll highlight some of the more popular avenues that businesses take, and that individuals take to show they mean business.


icon_FacebookIt may seem like Facebook always gets top billing, and that’s because it is currently the undisputed leader of social media.  Even though there are various SM outlets geared toward business (See LinkedIn below), Facebook is still as likely a place for an employers to look when they want to assess a hiring candidate.

Employers can and will investigate your posts, pictures and activities – inasmuch as your privacy settings allow it.  Your likes and interests can tell someone what kind of activities you engage in, your political leanings and your relationships with co-employees, bosses and businesses as a whole. It’s not doom and gloom though. Most people have come to accept this and so there’s a good-sense movement that encourages people to be free on Facebook, but also be careful. Many go so far as to keep professionalism in mind, tailoring or even tweaking their profiles to show not only who they are, but in equal amounts their affiliations and abilities.

On the business end though, Facebook has become a hub of keeping up.  Businesses don’t have profiles the same way people do. Instead they have pages, just like a given book or movie or tv show.  Other people can like the page, and the act of garnering likes can translate to traffic to that page.  So what goes on it?  Usually there’s a banner heading for the company showcasing the brand, and getting the word out about a great product or service. Ahem …

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Social Site Roundup: Artistic Expression

The internet is good for many things, but easily one of the best is the varied means of self-expression. The internet has truly brought the world together in many ways, and through social media websites dedicated to the arts, individuals are able to create, share and enjoy the work of others around the globe in specialized communities.

Communities like Instagram, Vine and Flickr represent some of the most well-known picture and video networks, but there are networks out there as well for just about every sort of music, film and art specialty that you enjoy as well.


icon_InstagramOwned by Facebook, Instagram brings social networking and followers to pictures and videos. With Instagram, you can follow the feeds of others and enjoy your own group of followers as well. You post your own pictures or videos or enjoy and then repost the creations of others.

Instagram is most popular for the ability to use the filters provided by the app or community. When you take a picture, you can change the appearance of the image using a variety of approaches to enhance and edit that image before posting it. These filters allow even beginning photographers (or just bad photographers) to turn out impressive images with flare.

InstaGram Filter
Filter Away!

Instagram also allows comments and discussion on the images and posts. The focus here is to post the image or video first and then make the conversation secondary. Often the comments and discussion fuel new niches within the larger community as well. Continue reading

Social Site Roundup: Discovering New Stuff

While you might stumble across a good website when you’re searching for something more specific online, there are many different social media platforms and networks that are specifically dedicated to helping you discover all the emerging and interesting things online.

Many of these networks allow you to make an account and then personalize it for your own style and preferences. Once your preferences are set, you can continue making tweaks, but the information, pictures and messages you see through your networks all reflect your own specific tastes and areas of interest.

Tumblr – Tumblr is a collection of pictures and captions. To use Tumblr, you establish an account and then follow other Tumblr accounts who enjoy the same sorts of things that you do. Usually most “Tumblrs” choose to use an avatar rather than their real personas, and the boards they follow can be from anywhere in the world. Tumblr-news

The more accounts you follow, the wider the variety of things in your feed when you log into your own Tumblr account – all of it the sort of thing you’re likely to enjoy. Continue reading