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Are privacy issues with your social networking sites making you want to throw in the towel? On the January 11th webinar, I presented the various issues that are pushing people to the brink and the reasons why you may not want to give up quite yet. Terms of service will continue to change and companies will get smarter about how to communicate with users. As companies seek new ways to make a profit, users will start to shift from a sense of entitlement to an understanding of the price they pay.
We ring in the New Year with articles from people who suggest that we quit social media because it harms your self esteem, increases your blood pressure, and keeps you from networking face to face. Really? If you have found no value in it, or you feel that it causes you to waste time, then maybe you should do some research to find out how you could be using it differently.
Unfortunately, those people without an online presence are viewed as suspicious by many. Either they have something to hide, or they are not trust-worthy. Reputation management does not mean trying to keep your information from going online, it means trying to make sure that more good stuff about you goes online. What “good stuff” means to you will be different than what it means to your neighbor. I advocate that most of the stuff people find on you be professional. You also need some information on who you are as a person. Let people know that they can trust you because of what you have shared about your life.
Now that Facebook has gone public, it has to get serious about making money. It is fascinating if you think about how they got us all hooked on this free to use, ad-free platform where we could connect with friends and family, share important moments in our lives and start to create our online reputation. Now, we have to transition along with them and accept that we will start to receive messages that people pay to send, see advertisements in our news feed that companies pay to appear there. Most of the data that companies collect on you is used to help that company make decisions about large groups of people, not just you. However, the future will definitely see an increase in personalized advertising. Many people are on the opposite sides of this idea. Either you hate it because it feels like “big brother” or you love it because you think that if you have to see advertising, it might as well be relevant to something you actually need or want.
If you see no value whatsoever, then I am assuming you haven’t tried using it for professional networking. Maybe the people you should connect with are colleagues (past and present); people who work in the same industry as you, and people you have met at face to face networking events. If you took some time to make the professional information about you public and share interesting and relevant content with these people, they will think about you next time they have an opportunity to hire or recommend someone that does what you do.
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