Forgive But Never Forget

What happens to the way we share when the Internet has a problem forgetting?  What happens to our sense of identity when we have to be so careful and crafty about every little thing we post?  On the one hand, people adapt and take on a kind of social media identity, like speaking a new language. On the other hand, the culture causes some to opt out and lay low like hiding in a basement until the storm passes.

I don’t blame them.  “Up to 70% of employers who have used LinkedIn say they’ve chosen not to hire a person based on what they’ve found out about them online” (Forbes, see Reference).  My friend has a name that coincides with a porn star’s—nothing against porn stars—and she’s a dance teacher running her own dance production.  The recommendation (also by Forbes) is to leave no room for mistakes—i.e., “look for ways to differentiate yourself”—which some people have to consider these days.

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(The Latest Trend For Bridesmaids Is To Pull Up Their Dresses And Show Off Their Butts: http://lockerdome.com/6170040227613505/6739434813140244)

Now say an employer Googles the name of an applicant and finds that five years ago she was involved in a scandal case the ruling of which dubbed her completely innocent.  Still, this case becomes an impeding factor working against her favor until it is completely stricken from Internet search results, which likely is never because of ingenious caching mechanisms comprised as components of advanced Internet search algorithms.  This is a hypothetical that we commonly see in actual instances.  It is mentioned in blogs, essays, and commentaries; how are we called to relook at ‘forgiveness’ in this digital age?

On the other side of the spectrum we take a look at user behavior online.  This gripping short was introduced to us in a grad communications course.  We follow a coming of age teenager as his relationship slides into a digital ditch.  Oh, and the entire 17-minute movie takes place on a computer screen.  The short does an outstanding job presenting a story and how relationships carry on over the Internet, and in this case, how one can unravel amid social media.  It also offers another glimpse at the Internet backscratcher analogy and how we best think before we click.

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[“Noah” short (NSFW): http://www.fastcocreate.com/3017108/you-need-to-see-this-17-minute-film-set-entirely-on-a-teens-computer-screen%5D

A suggestion to employers: don’t overreact.  Digging up bachelor weekend photos from a potential future employee doesn’t amount to much these days.  If they currently make sexy videos on the side, that’s another thing.

The perennial reminder to all of us: if it’s private, it ain’t for posting.  We’re warned that Snapchat, in spite of its ‘auto-erase’ functionality, can be hacked if the receiver uses a third-party application to save the incoming photos and videos.  On different mediums I step out first to admit that I constantly have to learn about privacy the hard way.  A simple analogy: the Internet places a million metal back-scratchers at our ready.  Upon the slightest ‘itch’ we are encouraged to ‘scratch it’–i.e., take a picture, share it, allow so-and-so app to access it forever and ever.  Knowing when to scratch and when to let a needless urge go away could turn up a useful skill in this generation.  We’re in it together in this journey to digital fluency. We will—and we must—adapt and become smarter, more cognizant participants of social media lest the Internet fall in on itself, or fall prey to red-eyed digital bandits.

 

References

Ambrose, M. L. (2012). Seeking digital redemption: the future of forgiveness in the internet age. ExpressO. Retrieved from http://works.bepress.com/meg_ambrose/1.

Berkowitz, J. (2013). You need to see this 17-minute film set entirely on a teen’s computer screen. Fast Company.  Retrieved from http://www.fastcocreate.com/3017108/you-need-to-see-this-17-minute-film-set-entirely-on-a-teens-computer-screen.

Hamlin, R. (2011, January 14). Forgiveness might still be possible in the digital age, but how do we forget? HuffPost: Religion. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rick-hamlin/forgiveness-might-still-b_b_808198.html.

Hamilton, D. (2011, September 29). The virtue of forgiveness, not forgetting, in the digital age. Divinia Hamilton Blog. Retrieved from http://daviniahamilton.com/2011/09/29/the-virtue-of-forgiveness-not-forgetting-in-the-digital-age/.

Jacobs, D. L. (2013, May 17). How an online reputation can hurt your job hunt. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/deborahljacobs/2013/05/17/how-an-online-reputation-can-hurt-your-job-hunt/.

O’Brien, J. (2014, May 11). Snapchat not sexting-safe, cops warn. Toronto Sun: London Free Press.  Retrieved from http://www.torontosun.com/2014/05/11/snapchat-not-sexting-safe-cops-warn.

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Yeezus Makes A Risky Move

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For years, Kanye West has been a partner with one of the most successful shoe companies in the world: Nike. At first, in his career, he started off as only a hip-hop artists and nothing more. But more and more, he wanted to show off his passion for fashion and design. He has been partners with Nike for years, but there have been rumors for a long time that he cut ties with Nike for good. This weekend on his Yeezus Tour in New York, Kanye confirmed the controversial and shocking news that he did in fact drop a deal with Nike.

It was a very surprising announcement because he spoke strong feelings against Nike, which implies that Mr. West ended his relationship with Nike in a bad way. He even spoke against Nike CEO Mark Parker and said kept repeating that Nike would not let him be himself or express himself the way he wanted to in a creative way.

Kanye always complains and rants about things, but when he was talking about why he left Nike, he also confirmed that not only is he ditching the brand, but he signed up with Adidas, which is Nike’s main competition. In between songs, Kanye said ““The old me, without a daughter, would have taken the Nike deal because I just love Nikes so much. But the new me, with a daughter, takes the Adidas deal because I have royalties and I have to provide for my family.”

His main reason for leaving Nike is to better provide for his family and better express his freedom of creativity. I love Kanye and do think that he is a big icon for fashion worldwide, but I do think it is ridiculous that part of his decision to leave Nike was to better support his family. This is crazy to me because Forbes recently just marked Kanye as being worth $100 million dollars.

I loved all of the shoes that Kanye made with Nike called the Yeezy’s and I am worried that the shoes he makes with Adidas will be uglier in comparison to the Yeezy’s. Yet his other reason for leaving was because he did not like that Nike did not give him freedom to design. However, this makes sense because Nike is a shoe for athletes and professional fitness people, not a purely fashion shoe. I think that Nike and Kanye just had different visions for what they wanted in a shoe, so maybe switching to Adidas will be a better match. Even through countless Kanye meltdowns… I STILL LOVE KANYE.

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Social Media & Advertising

Social media websites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, have been around for the latter part of the last decade, primarily. These websites allow people to sign up as users and connect with friends and family. People share intimate information regarding the daily activities of their lives on these sites. They also share links to books they like, articles they read, music they listen to, political and religious viewpoints they agree with, and products they love and hate. Businesses have realized that there is a social power that can be harnessed in these sites and utilized in a way to get the site users to interact with brands and promote their message/product.

Forbes.com recently published an article, How to Triple Your Success Using Social Media Advertising Platforms by Neal Rodriguez, which illustrates how companies are utilizing Facebook’s ad program to boost sales by targeting their key psychographic areas. The article specifically studies a company called Tektronix who hired an advertising agency called aimClear to help with increasing traffic on their website. Rodriguez notes that:

“Tektronix also used Facebook ads to increase the traffic to its blog content pages. As expected, its traffic level to its blog significantly improved to 3,747 visits referred from Facebook in the most recent month while using Facebook ads; from 64 visits that it welcomed from its Facebook unpaid posts in the month prior to using Facebook ads. The conversion rate generated from unpaid Facebook traffic welcomed by its content pages was 1.8 percent in the month prior to using Facebook ads. The conversion rate increased to 5.9 percent in the most recent month while using Facebook ads.”

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The founder of aimClear, Marty Weintraub, breaks down his process of utilizing Facebook into three steps, as illustrated in Rodriguez’ article:

1) Ensure that your content is appropriately packaged using the Facebook Open Graph

2) Develop your content with the objective of helping people as much as possible

3) Targeting Facebook users based on various interests including but not limited to media consumption habits, professional roles, cultural preferences and more

Rodriguez also says that when you are using social media to advertise, the focus needs to be on collecting contact information and getting people to subscribe to or like your page or get on an email list. He says the reason for this is because “with an engaged following, you create an endless line of opportunities to recoup your investment in the advertising every time you publish new content. Moreover, now that everybody’s a “journalist,” with the immediate ability to tweet, post on Facebook, or launch an online publication with WordPress or other type of open source content management system, when something is worth citing, you’ll have an active user base of publishers that are likely to link to your content.”

Using social media to advertise is more about telling a story about your brand and getting people to subscribe to your brand and less about getting immediate sales. If you build your story and get people engaged with your brand, you build awareness about your brand, which will lead to word of mouth advertising and then funnel into more sales from an informed and loyal customer base.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/groupthink/2013/05/01/how-to-triple-your-success-using-social-media-advertising-platforms/