The Good, The Bad and The Very Ugly on Facebook

From January 9 to January 13, Real Simple magazine encouraged all of their subscribers to “be nice on the Internet”. It was the beginning of an annual movement by the women’s lifestyle publication to create a nicer Internet.  They said after looking at the “negative impact of rudeness online” they would provide expert tips on etiquette for the age of social media.

While the Real Simple movement didn’t gain national attention, it’s a reminder to all of us to watch out for our own rude online behavior…especially when it comes to Facebook.  Facebook can be downright ridiculous when you scroll through your newsfeed. Braggadocios posting about their children, jobs, money, nail polish, clothes, cats, cooking skills and everything in between can make you want to say “screw it all” and cancel your account.

We believe there are three types of Facebook users, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. After outlining those three, I’ll take you through a few tips to make sure you fall into only the first category: The Good.

The Good: This Facebook user posts when they have something important to say or a picture that is unique and fun. They don’t post to wrack up comments and Likes and they never leave you guessing with posts like “Something good is about to happen.” If something good might happen, they tell you what it is. This is a kind, courteous Facebooker who never uses profanity and posts their political or religious views in a thoughtful, unobtrusive way.

The Bad: The Bad Facebook user shows up in your newsfeed a few times per day. It’s usually to make a comment about politics, quote the Bible or post yet another blurry photo of their cat. They also like to post self-portraits where only half their face is in the photo.

The Ugly: This is a person you have definitely considered unfriending on Facebook at one point or another. Their constant barrage of complaints and emotional outbursts in the form of Wall posts is tiring and stressful for all 1,400 of their Facebook friends. They post a lot of profanity and want someone to comment or Like every post they make. They don’t interact well with others and post a lot of ambiguous information (“crying today”, “someone doesn’t love me”, “it’s going to be an amazing day” etc).

Which Facebook user are you? Hopefully you fall in the Good category, but just in case you’re on the edge, here are five tips to make sure you are a great Facebook friend.

  1. Give all the details. If something is great say what it is and why it’s great. If something isn’t great, don’t post it unless you need help from one of your friends or are willing to provide the details. For example, if you have a big move coming up and need to ask for help or want advice on moving companies, give all the details and expect to get some comments.
  2. Post only good pictures. Just because it’s Facebook doesn’t mean that blurry photos or photos where only half of your face (or dog, or child or boyfriend) is visible are okay.
  3. Limit your posts. Don’t be the person that shows up in the newsfeed every single time someone scrolls though. Post only when you really have information that’s worth sharing.
  4. Keep it clean. Keep posts clean of profanity, nudity, complaints, negativity and even consider using sarcasm on a limited basis. It can be hard to be sarcastic in two sentences and can come across as snarky instead – simply bad taste is bad form.
  5. Be a good friend. Encourage your friends, like their posts, comment with positive, helpful and caring responses.

You should treat people online how you would treat them in person. Isn’t that the way you want to be treated?

Note:  Literally everyday I get asked about Twitter as people understand Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Pinterest and even Snapchat.  However, Twitter seems to hard to grasp or understand.  Here is why Twitter is important.  First, Twitter is a newsfeed as people don’t go to websites any more they go to Twitter first and if they see an idea or headline they want to see or know more about they will then go to your website as most people do not think your website has all the news they want or need.  Second, Twitter is social media you can find and meet prospective clients and discuss business easily.  I am not suggesting you do as many do “thank for following me and here’s my sales pitch.”  I am suggesting like every other kind of business connection, you offer thought leadership first in the form of blog posts and great content – why your business is the best business to do business with.  Third, Twitter is fun, you can find interesting facts, topics and political pandering.  Fourth, most important Twitter is social media like a cocktail party you engage and have conversations with others not just toot your own horn.  Being nice will bring you more rewards than just being boastful.

If you need help with you Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or other social media efforts, please email us cross@gocross.com or on Twitter @techtionary. You should also follow one of the great social media experts who has worked hard to gain followers and you should consider his services to help you – @evankirstel.

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10 Twitter Pet Peeves – The Good, The Bad & Often Ugly

If you’ve been reading ChicsTech for a while, you remember the post we did on the Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Facebook. We talked about those Facebook users who post countless photos of their cat, gross details about what their eating or doing and posting 50 times a day in general. Unfortunately, some of these users are also getting Twitter accounts and their behavior on Twitter isn’t much better.

Granted, one of the greatest benefits to Twitter over Facebook is the 140 character limit but in addition to that, so many tweets are sent each day that tweets don’t stay in your “feed” for very long.

Even so, users are using and abusing the power of the tweet and we’ve compiled a list of our 10 biggest Twitter pet peeves. Do any of these apply to you? Step away from the computer, set down your phone and tweet with care and consideration.

  1. The excessive @ tweeter. This is the person who has an @ sign in every tweet. Frankly, they’re just hoping for a re-tweet from someone with more followers than them. Hate to tell them but tweeting @ celebrities all the time isn’t necessarily going to help you grow your following.
  2. The excessive retweeter. This is nearly the opposite of the first person as this person never creates original content. They just scour their feed and retweet anything they find interesting. What’s worse is that they never edit the tweet and add their own thoughts, they just retweet verbatim.
  3. The “read my blog” tweeter. We all want people to read our blogs. But tweeting only links to your posts isn’t a good policy.
  4. Too many abbreviations. Believe it or not, Oprah does this all the time. Her feed is full of u, r, 4, 2 and multiple other super strange abbreviations. Yeah, you only have 140 characters but plan your tweets accordingly.
  5. A moving avatar image. This is so weird. It’s way too small to actually tell what you’re doing so just use a .jpg and call it good.
  6. The complainer. When one tweet a day is a whine about something, you should probably not have a Twitter account. If you don’t have something interesting to tweet, don’t tweet anything at all.
  7. Pointless profanity. There is so much needless profanity on Twitter. Way more it seems than on Facebook. Keep it clean the majority of the time and respect other Twitter users.
  8.  No description of your account. At least say your first name in the short description of you on Twitter. While you don’t have to give away your street address, come on, tell people a little bit about what they can expect from your Twitter feed.
  9. The moocher. Some people tweet for the single purpose of trying to get companies to give them free things. This goes along a little bit with number 6, the complainer, but tweeting @ companies all the time hoping for something in return is obnoxious.
  10. The person who follows everyone. If you have 10 followers and are following 10,000, there might be a problem. Don’t follow everyone immediately after you join Twitter. Choose your follows carefully to keep some sort of balance between following and followers.

Some of you may have peeves on #hashtags, we don’t but open to your thoughts.  Just like with Facebook, be a respectful Twitter user. Of course, have fun with this social network but do unto others as you would want others to do unto you.  And since we’re talking Twitter, don’t forget to follow this blog @BeautyApps for more great information.

Note:  Literally everyday I get asked about Twitter as people understand Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Pinterest and even Snapchat.  However, Twitter seems to hard to grasp or understand.  Here is why Twitter is important.  First, Twitter is a newsfeed as people don’t go to websites any more they go to Twitter first and if they see an idea or headline they want to see or know more about they will then go to your website as most people do not think your website has all the news they want or need.  Second, Twitter is social media you can find and meet prospective clients and discuss business easily.  I am not suggesting you do as many do “thank for following me and here’s my sales pitch.”  I am suggesting like every other kind of business connection, you offer thought leadership first in the form of blog posts and great content – why your business is the best business to do business with.  Third, Twitter is fun, you can find interesting facts, topics and political pandering.  Fourth, most important Twitter is social media like a cocktail party you engage and have conversations with others not just toot your own horn.  Being nice will bring you more rewards than just being boastful.

If you need help with you Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or other social media efforts, please email us cross@gocross.com or on Twitter @techtionary. You should also follow one of the great social media experts who has worked hard to gain followers and you should consider his services to help you – @evankirstel.

Creating a ChicsTech Plan for Getting & Staying Organized

Most people hate being organized but yet some people love making lists for things that have to be done.  Still others for whom the very idea of creating a to-do list is, you pick the adjective that fits. The fact is that there are many benefits of making, at least, some to-do lists. In essence, a to-do list is a list that lists all the things that you have to accomplish within time frame or rather deadline, not often referred to as a “hard stop.”  These action oriented time-dependent items can be easily ticked off the list when they are completed which ensures that you don’t forget to get something done and hopefully get it done.

A completed to-do list will give you the satisfaction of being on the top of your game and you will only feel more in control of your life. There are many other benefits of to-do lists.

Benefits of Writing it Down

These to-do lists allow you to concentrate your focus on a task that is both important and urgent. This way you and possibly others to prioritize everything that you or they need to accomplish and work the way through the list in a given time frame. Putting things down in writing helps people to prioritize as well as think clearly knowing that there is no aspect of planning that you have missed. This also helps you and your teammates or colleagues focus on a particular task that is high on your priority to-do list. When you already know what you have to accomplish on a given day or even week, it becomes easy to manage the time to actually get the task done.

Another benefit of writing down ideas to comprise a to-do list is that it frees your mind. It is very similar to a movie that impressed audiences in the summer of 2011 called X-Men: First Class. There is a scene in that movie when the character Erik Lehnsherr is talking to Raven or Mystique about the fact that she could reach her full capabilities if she stopped concentrating on being normal. He told her natural self was blue skin and she should accept that and not worry about blending in all of the time. By trying to blend in, she was wasting concentration power and by looking like a normal human was forcing her brain to utilize a section of it that could be devoted to harnessing her full strength and mental capacity.

Making a to-do-list also falls under the same concept.  It frees your mind. When you have the notion in your head in regards to a task that needs to be completed, just write it down. Compile a list or put in a calendar like iSportcal, CrossPinPoints or iREcal. Then you do not have to continue to remind yourself about it or think about it as the day or days go on. In addition, writing something down reinforces that idea into your mind anyway.

Finding Like Tasks

There may be come tasks that have certain similarities. For example, you may need to speak with one person to get two kinds of information or two stores that you need to visit for specific items but that are in close proximity to each other. You will be able to work out a better routine once you can see the likenesses between the tasks.

Be Calmer

In case you are still not convinced, to-do lists are known to decrease stress and anxiety. Writing it all down gives you a clear plan of how to make it happen which in turn, removes the ambiguity out of the situation. Not only are to-do lists a great boon to effective time management, they also help you with energy management. You can pace yourself through the day, depending on what needs to be accomplished so that you do not end up too tired at the end of the day or week. This sort of touches on what was mentioned before about allowing your mind to concentrate on the task at hand rather than focusing on something that needs to be completed at some point in the near future.

Using Technology

Creating to-do lists is one of the top principles and tips of functioning time management. You will be able to assign a set number of hours or even minutes in a day to obtain the biggest as well as the minutest things that should be tackled. Many people become bogged down by the whole paper-pen aspect of creating lists. With advances in technology, this is no longer the case. You can easily use our calendar/planner (click on banner), and/or your smartphone to create effective & poignant to-do lists that you can update and change while on the run and have you complete a task. After all, there is not any reason to keep a task around if you have already managed to complete it. So make that to-list or even better put it in a calendar and stop procrastinating.

College FlipCard Tool, Corporate Presentations, Multimedia Training and Personal Notecard-Study “Flipcard” System – Official Announcement

iFlipTips – Flipcards-Flashcards and personal multi-media notecards for iPhone and iPad Now Available

Create Corporate Presentations, Multimedia Training and Personal Notecard-Study “Flipcard” System

iFlipTips announced today approval from iTunes for distribution for iPhone and iPad. “iFlipTips is an exciting way for professionals to create multimedia presentations and personal corporate libraries. iFlipCards is an exciting way for professional trainers and students alike to create multimedia study ‘flipcards’ for fast access Q&A learning,” noted Tom Cross creator. iFlipTips consists of two key programs – iFlipTips and iFlipCards.

iFlipTips can be created with simple, single button notecards with text, audio, video and pics. The app is designed to help clients seeking easy and rapid ways to build mobile “self-help” and “just enough and just-in-time” tools for their sales, support channel partners and others. iFlipCards lets users make Q&A flipcards, capture audio, video, text and take/use pics and answer with pics, video, text and audio, not just text. College students need a simple app to replace their 3×5 paper notecards writing Questions on one side and “flipping” them over to see the Answer(s).

 

iFlipTips can be shared/posted to Twitter, Facebook or email. Both iFlipTips and iFlipCards can capture information and file it fast with unlimited Library Folders and Subfolders. In addition iFlipTips blog, tutorials, blog, newsletter and more information are available at http://ifliptips.com

Here are some user comments:

– “By having access to iFlipTips, I can get the latest sales and support tips, feature updates, bug fixes and other corporate info improving coordination and communications between with the our customers. Simply put, I am more successful and effective.”

– “As a college student, I can create iFlipCard Quiz and answer card easy and fast and I can have them with me anytime where I can use them right up to the exam.”

– “This really overcomes the problem when team members say, “email, what email, I never got the email providing a tool to help them see all the steps involved in the training, event and social activity and stay organized, not just endless emails.”

– “This app is so helpful as strategically, the faster you can communicate, the faster you can change, and those corporations that change the fastest will be the most successful.”

Corporate training, slide show presentations and studying for college exams is an increasingly demanding and complex. iFlipTips was developed and will continue to be an innovative solution for trainers, customers, students and users. iFliptips also provides tutorials, webseminars, and a newsletter to help improve your use of iFlipTips, iFlipCards and FlipQuiz’s and other ideas on sports management, social media practices and technology.

The app is available via this link: http://ifliptips.com/

The current version of unlimited cards is available for free during a short introductory period.

iFlipTips is part of a suite of communications and collaboration tools designed to improved personal time management and customer communications.

Independent Product Review – Learn Faster and Smarter with iFlipTips

By Hannah B. TechEditor – London-England

“iFlipTips is a new learning and training app for iPhone and iPad by TECHtionary. Whether you’re studying for a big exam or preparing notes for a corporate training session, this app provides a simple tool to help you remember important information when you need it most.

The iFlipTips app contains two different programs: iFlipCards and iFlipTips-Ideas. Like flip paper notecards, iFlipCards is a study aid that caters for all styles of learning. Each tip contains space for text, an audio clip, video and an image, making the app perfect for auditory and visual learners. iFlipTips-Ideas allow users to create study aids in a way that works for them. Take pictures of chemistry formulas or anatomy images, along with recording videos or audio clips on your iPhone or iPad save them in the app for use later. The app also allows you to organize your “Tips” into different folders so you can access them quickly when you need to look something up.

When you’ve finished studying using the iFlipCards, you can test what you know. Using this part of the app, users can create question and answer digital flipcards. With iFlipCards, you can create text, video, image or audio clips for both questions and answers, giving you flexibility to test yourself on your knowledge in a variety of ways and prepare for viva exams, presentations and training, as well as written tests.

The app is well-suited for students, and provides a helpful way to learn foreign languages, study concepts and ideas for essays, prepare for multiple choice exams and create prompts for talks and viva examinations. It also, however, has a wider reach, especially within the corporate world, and is the perfect tool to use for seminars and presentations. The iFlipTips-Ideas or iFlipCards can act as prompts to help with public speaking, corporate training or teaching.

iFlipTips is a versatile and powerful study and prompt tool that replaces traditional 3X5 index cards and helps you keep all your information in one place. With its simple, intuitive interface, and customizable appearance, the app, just like everything useful in life, is both fast and effective.”

Company

iFlipTips along with CrossPinPoints http://crosspinpoints.com and other cloud online solutions from TECHtionary (http://techtionary.com). Other iPhone/iPad apps include iMakeupMirror, iCompactMirror and Pictagrams all available on iTunes.

More details can be found at: http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/techtionary.com/id379186267

CrossPinPoints, iSportsCal, iComcal and iREcal are all integrated MARCOM-marketing communications solutions designed for small to large business manage small to large marketing efforts. Thomas B. Cross is the creator of unique marketing communications and an avid social media expert focusing primarily on Twitter with @techtionary  and @beautyapps account, CrossTalk blog, Linkedin and CrossPinPoints (online marketing communications solution). He posts daily to Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and CrossTalk blog. He assists businesses maximize their social media marketing and teaches professional development courses in social media which are approved by the Colorado Supreme Court for attorneys and Colorado DORA for real estate professionals via Social Business College http://socialbusinesscollege.com/.

Contact & Social Media

Contact: Tom Cross

Email: cross@gocross.com

Twitter: @techtionary & @beautyapps

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Social Media Addicted? – The Text You Take is the Life You Make

Social networks were once an extension of our everyday lives, something we used when we were bored and had some free time in our hands. Over time, socializing over the internet has taken over our lives, to the point where many people are now suffering from social network addiction and shunning real life relationships in favor of virtual ones.

A number of studies are now showing that our love for virtual socializing has become an addiction for many. Gadget-advice site Retrevo conducted a study in 2010 and found that 42 percent of people open their Facebook or check their Twitter account as soon as they wake up – sometimes before they even get out of bed. Probably more telling is the fact that 24 percent of people text message while in the bathroom and 32 percent would interrupt their restaurant meal just to answer a message. Begin by look at your own uses and think about how annoying it can be to others when you interrupt a conversation for a text message.  One of the best movie lines is from “The Devil Wears Prada” where her boyfriend says to Emily, “the person who’s call you take is the relationship you are in” when Emily takes a call from Miranda while in a conversation with him.  Also, if you’re text message is more important than the person you are with then they run your life because you don’t.

That need for virtual interaction has moved beyond social networking places. Social shopping is a new form of e-commerce that allows you to interact with virtual friends during the actual shopping experience.
Social shopping marketplaces such as Groupon act like a bazar of sorts, where you can get in touch with others who are buying or selling their wares, while shopping communities such as Kaboodle allow you to discuss products with fellow shoppers or ask for advice on an item you’re considering.

Social shopping apps such as Pose and Fashism are blurring the lines between social shopping and social networks. Pose allows you to take photos of your shopping experience (or the items you take home) and immediately upload them online, so you can get feedback from the virtual community.  Fashism is a similar app, although Pose has a “friends-only” setting option, while Fashism allows everybody in the network to see your posts. Part of the attraction of these sites relies on the fact that they allow you to “take a friend along” when you go shopping, even if it’s not a real one.

Experts believe people with low self-esteem problems or suffering from depression are more likely to become virtual addicts. Virtual lives don’t present the same level of challenge and risk than real-world connections, which is why many people decide to rely on them to find friendship and “conversation.”

Could you be a social media addict? Experts recommend looking out for these clues:

  • You spend more time online than interacting with real people
  • You cancel plans with your real-life friends in order to follow a Twitter chat or series of updates
  • You feel panicky if you’re on vacation somewhere and you can’t access your Facebook account regularly
  • How important is it to check for updates? In the Retrevo study, 19 percent of people admitted to checking their Twitter account in the middle of the night if they happened to wake up to use the bathroom, and 40 percent admitted to doing it while driving. If this sounds like something you would do, you might have an addiction problem.

As long as you use it in moderation and not as a replacement for real-life interaction and relationships, social media can improve and enrich your life. It’s only when it becomes an excuse to hide from the world that you should start to worry.

 

 

Bully Movie – Cyberbullying – The Darker Side of Social Networking

This is another view on cyberbulling by a guest blogger to get another set of eyes and views on this critical issue.

The internet, and particularly the rise of social networking, has helped people all over the globe connect. This increased ease of communication, however, has its dark side, demonstrated by the dramatic rise in instances of cyberbullying or cyber-bulling.

What is CyberBullying?

An unknown word until recently, cyberbullying describes harassment via a digital medium, such as a social network, email, chat board or even text message. Victims and perpetrators of cyberbulling are usually children or teenagers – once adults are involved, it becomes cyber-harassment.

Cyberbullying covers a huge spectrum of behavior, from ‘minor’ instances, that might involve a a few teasing text messages, to full-blown campaigns of humiliation and torment that have led teens to attempt or commit suicide. Cyberbullies might carry out all the bullying themselves, or they might enlist the help of others, who – knowingly or not – help them with their campaign.

How CyberBullying Affects Children

Cyberbullying has all the effects that in-person emotional bullying has on children. Arguably, these effects can be worse with cyber-bullying, as children often hide it from parents, teachers and friends through fear of humiliation, and because they’ve been threatened by the bullies. Cyberbullying is rarely just one message, email or text. Instead, bullying campaigns can go on for months, even years.

As the bullying is digital, it might also be anonymous, which can make it very difficult to find and stop the bully. Perpetrators have also been known to pose as other children, leaving them difficult to identify.

Several prominent cyber-bullying cases have made national headlines in recent years. In March 2012, a Maryland teenager left messages on social networking site Reddit, threatening to commit suicide if her school didn’t do something to stop her cyber-bully. In the same month, a student was convicted of a cyberbullying campaign that led to his roommate’s suicide in 2010.

How to Respond to Cyber-Bullies

Every cyberbullying case is different and will need to be treated differently. Cyberbullying victims should always keep a copy of messages they received, as this could be used as proof later. However, they shouldn’t respond to the bully, no matter what they say or do, and should try and block the bully from contacting them. Telling the victim’s school and potentially even taking legal action could cause the bully to stop. During and after bullying cases, it’s important that victims receive appropriate counseling to help them deal with the situation.

Where to Find Help

As agencies, communities and companies start to realize just how pervasive and damaging cyber-bullying is, more groups are coming together to raise awareness and encourage young people to take action to stop cyber-bullying. MTV recently teamed up with the phenomenally popular Angry Birds app, offering users the chance to unlock a hidden level in “Angry Birds in Space” if they spread the word about MTV’s anti-bullying campaign.

A cyberbully can have many different motivations for their behavior, and both victims and perpetrators of the bullying need help and support. If you or someone you know is affected by cyberbullying, or if you would like to learn more, the following resources offer support and advice:

–  Stop Bullying is a national resource that provides advice and guidance to everyone who might be affected by cyberbullying, including schools and parents, and also run a 24-hour hot line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

–  Stomp Out Bullying is a resource specifically for teenagers, raising awareness and running campaigns to try and stop bullying.

–  For parents, PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center gives advice and information on how to support bullied children.

“Bully” the movie tracks five students who faced daily bullying, and has sparked The Bully Project, which offers information to students, parents and teachers.

Be safe, get iPeersafe – free app.


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College Tutoring & Business Coaching Idea Tracking Using iFlipTips – Q&A Tool, Organizer & Session Notetaker-Recorder

iFlipTips is a new study and training app for iPhone and iPad from TECHtionary. Useful for students, facilitators, and trainers, this app is invaluable for professionals in a coaching role. Not only can iFlipTips help you facilitate coaching sessions, but it can also help you record and organize client records, and send them notes of what you discussed afterwards.

Whether you’re engaged in business or life coaching, iFlipTips can help you prepare and record successful sessions. As a note-taking app, it allows you to create flashcards containing bite-sized pieces of information using different mediums.

The app is divided into two sections: iTips-Ideas Cards, which help you create training notes, and iFlipCards, which use a question and answer format. Each iTips-Ideas card or iFlipCard contains a box for text, an image, an audio recording and a video clip. Using different mediums, you can create notes for clients using a format that suits their learning style, and that they feel most comfortable with.

Some clients might prefer brief text notes covering only the most important points of the session, while others might prefer receiving audio or video recordings of key moments, or even the whole meeting. By sending them notes in different formats, you could help speed up their learning process, and increase the rate at which they retain information you discuss during their sessions.

iFlipTips’ folders system helps you organize your notes in a way that enables you to store and retrieve them efficiently. The folders are fully customizable, so you can create a filing system that suits your way of working. Potential methods of organizing your notes include using main folders as a calendar system, creating a separate folder for each week or month, then sub-folders for individual clients you will see within that time period. Ordering the folders in this way helps you organize session material in advance, and plan when you need to conduct mid-contract evaluations and reviews.

Alternatively, you can use the folders to organize notes and prompts structured around your methodology or framework. For example, if you use the GROW method, you could create a main folder for each separate session, with separate sub-folders containing prompts for each step of the framework detailed on individual iTips-Ideas cards. This can help remind you of useful questions at key moments in the session, and to stick to a boundaried framework. You could also consider organizing prompt cards by issue, creating separate folders for motivation, procrastination, indecisiveness, and so on, so you can reference relevant questions depending on what struggles your client raises during a session.

While iTips-Ideas cards can be helpful for making general notes about sessions, you can use iFlipCards to create questions and answers around key issues for your client. For example, you can prepare sets of questions before a session, then record the client’s responses during your meeting using brief text notes, or through the audio or video functions. This can be helpful discussion material during the session, and you can also share the notes and clips with the client via email afterwards, giving them material they can use for reflection in between sessions.

Identity Protection & Reputation Management

Since its introduction to the public, the Internet has brought us a great deal of convenience, allowing us to find a wealth of information we wouldn’t otherwise have access to. Unfortunately, other Internet users also have easy access to the same levels of information and sometimes it pertains to us. The rapid pace at which technology and information availability has grown has made it easier for Internet identity theft and cyber bullying to occur.

Nowadays, it’s important to protect yourself, your reputation and your privacy on the Internet just as you would in the real world. According to Reputation.com, Kerry Harvey, a 23 year old sales executive, fell victim to identity theft and had her reputation ruined when someone stole her personal information from her Facebook account and set up a new account, promoting Harvey as a prostitute. Although the fake Facebook account was eventually deleted, the identity thief was never caught and Harvey’s life and reputation were both adversely affected for years after the incident occurred.

Internet monitoring is a proactive practice every user should employ to keep track of information posted about on the Internet. A proactive approach can help you avoid the presence of potentially damaging information on the worldwide web where it can affect the rest of your life. This type of careful proactivity can protect your online reputation and safeguard your identity, job status and personal reputation if you incorporate some of the following common sense practices.

  • Find and Alert You to Posts About Yourself. It’s one thing if you voluntarily post information about yourself on social media venues such as Facebook. But if you discover someone else is posting about you, especially in a negative light, it can be alarming, hurtful or even scary. Some of the people who create these harmful or negative posts are cyber bullies. The ability to find these types of posts can help you act to deter a cyberbully from continuing this behavior. Google Alerts can send you notifications of posts and responses as they occur so you have the opportunity to act fast when something potentially damaging is posted.
  • Find Personal Info Exposed on Internet. We all enter personal information on the Internet. If you bank, shop or conduct business online, chances are you’ve set up a personal profile that contains various pieces of personal data. Proper protection can prevent identity theft by protecting your passwords from being swiped via the Internet or cellphones. According to Science Daily, anti-virus, anti-adware and anti-spyware programs offer comprehensive protection that provides a triple threat against identity thieves. Programs such as McAfee and Avira protect you from self-installing software that can glean your passwords, as well as information about your computer use.
  • Clean Up Damage to Your Reputation. The ability to clean up your online reputation can have a great impact on your career, personal life and family life. If the damage is extensive and impactful on your career, litigation can be effective in having slanderous material removed. AutoBodyNews.com encourages businesses whose success has been affected by false information posted on the internet to counteract it by building up their reputations with positive information on their website or blog.

The wrong information in the wrong hands can prevent you from being hired, cause you to be fired from your job or harm your reputation at home or in school. The ability to be proactive is critical to ensure that your reputation and image are safeguarded in a way that allows you to progress through life without having to lose days, weeks or months trying to undo the mess created by damaging or personal information on the Internet. Practice common sense when posting on the Internet and use these suggestions to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft or damaged reputation.

Reputation Management: Business Warfare – Top 5 Steps to Respond to and Diffuse Negative Comments and Attacks

 Business Warfare – Top 5 Steps to Respond to and Diffuse Negative Comments and Attacks 
As a midsized business, it’s always nice to receive positive comments and feedback so you know what you’re doing right. But criticism and negative feedback are just as useful, sometimes even more so. If you can take a step back and avoid taking negative comments personally, they can also serve as a guide toward greater business success. Being on the receiving end of unpleasant feedback or even insults and attacks can turn out to be the catalyst that helps you build your business. To use them in the most effective manner, follow these five steps for responding to negative comments and diffusing insults and attacks.

  1. Be Quick to Respond. According to a study conducted by Cone, a Boston communications and strategies agency, 80 percent of all consumers opted not to purchase from or frequent a business due to negative feedback they read on the internet. Review sites such as Angie’s List and Yelp have the power to impact your business positively or negatively depending on the reviews left there by customers. Although you might not be able to stop a bad review, you can respond quickly to avoid it escalating and damaging your business in the process.
  2. Be Personable and Professional. Respond to negative feedback in a personable and professional manner. Introduce yourself and your title, whether you’re responding online or in-person. Rather than making excuses, acknowledge that you appreciate the person’s words and will convey them to the rest of the team.
  3. Refrain From Defensive Behavior. When responding to a dissatisfied customer or bad online review, refrain from comments made out of anger or defensiveness. Stooping low in your response only makes the company look worse and may cause the situation to escalate.
  4. Listen and Take Action. New Jersey-based marketing expert JC Dawkins told Entrepreneur.com that she and her husband decided not to try a new restaurant in the area based upon a horrible review she read online…one that had been left unanswered by the owners. Whether the negative review was warranted or it was left by someone who’s being insulting and attacking for no reason, it’s important to listen and take action to avoid a repeat situation. Ask yourself if there’s a kernel of truth in what’s being said. If so, how can you change things for the better?
  5. Follow Up. Whenever bad reviews or negative feedback prompt you to make changes in your business it’s important to follow up with the customer to let them know. This gesture of good faith can be the deciding factor that converts an unhappy customer to a happy and loyal one. Take the time to post a follow-up comment or contact the customer via email, by phone or through the mail.

The perceived value of your products and services can decrease significantly based solely upon negative reviews. By responding promptly and in a professional manner, you can diffuse bad reviews and negative comments and turn them into business-building opportunities. Although negative feedback can impact your business, it won’t cause as much damage as your lack of response.  

Following these steps shows that you care about your business and how you can best serve your customers.