Just go with the online buzz

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more; it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.— William Shakespeare

Avoid being bottled in by the crowd

Avoid being bottled in by the crowd

You have to sit back in awe of the social media tools on offer. They just keep getting more powerful. So you’d be crazy if you didn’t tap them for all their worth to get your message out online.

Despite this it is hard to be heard when there’s so many competing for the same social media space. It’s an individual revolution that can’t be ignored and doesn’t appear to have a saturation point!

Don’t give up. Where there’s a will there’s a way, and while on that journey best ignore the non-believer. How in this digital day and age can people think social media is a passing fad?

Sitting a world away in California typing madly to repurpose content for 14 different social media outlets, I appreciated listening to satellite radio to pick up Aussie broadcasts … until a stand-in commentator invited listeners to call in to explain why Facebook and the like were so important. He didn’t get it.

It was the slow midnight slot in Melbourne and I desperately wanted to get through. Frustrated I listened to all those who did get on the show talk about how they detested social media.

Of course, few even had a Facebook account. Where was the balance in bringing an even debate to this subject, educate listeners and especially such a luddite radio jock. All I could think was he still believes he’s working for “old media” and has failed to grasp a future that’s well-and truly arrived.

Despite concerns about bundling social media together under one account [read previous blog Mass social media cyber threat], there’s no denying  individuals and companies can’t afford to ignore the influence of one joining forces under such a powerful collective.

So the present state-of-social-media play for anyone wanting to get into this space to effect change, is this:

  • Get a grip on the power of social media
  • Learn about every medium that’s out there
  • Tap into all and sundry to get your voice heard

Simple. However you really need to research which are best for you or your business.

Listen for the Thunderclap!

Listen for the Thunderclap!

The small start-up I’m involved with has been considering Crowdsourcing as a way to raise funds to do bigger things but given our business is seasonal, based on an annual event, we’ve opted to launch a campaign on Thunderclap.

It’s a way to combine social media to achieve a goal. Our small campaign if successful will achieve a big outcome. And it’s free.

All we need do was define our goal, which for us was twofold: Yes, get the maximum 500 Facebook page likes AND gain the necessary exposure to the online masses to rise above the online crowd spruiking about Halloween.

As Thunderclap’s website says: “If enough people support it [your campaign], Thunderclap will blast out a timed Facebook Post or Tweet from all your supporters, creating a wave of attention.”

It’s been used by the White House, United Nations to Levis … so, as a small-bit player we can only hope our campaign signifies EVERYTHING should we get our 10 minutes of fame.

Judy Wilkinson is a freelance journalist turned app and website developer with one foot, arm and leg in numerous social media camps.

Mass social media cyber threat

The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn’t understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had. — Eric Schmidt, Google

Cyber-cessation bullies take right of way!

Bumped off: Cyber-cessation bullies falsely take your online rights away!

As any new start-up company will attest, maintaining a presence across numerous social media sites is time-consuming unless a plan is put in place to combat one’s assault across all mediums from the get-go.

When you’re a micro company with few employees, chances are one person in the team services all those sites. Supposedly Facebook and Google make it easier by allowing access to all accounts using their sign-ins but what if you’re the recipient of a hacker attack? That simple one-sign-in-fits-all approach that saves time now won’t allow access to any account, potentially bringing your business to its knees.

Seriously, it’s that easy: shut out of one social media site such as Facebook and you’re shut down from all others. Therefore, in hindsight, it makes sense to have individual logins for all sites so that if one is targeted the rest won’t be.

As a new start-up this threat needs to cross minds. Each time a social media outlet asks for access to Facebook most of us blithely press OK. Talk among colleagues and friends only spurs the action on given how efficient it is to be able to bundle all mediums. What is posted on your website or Facebook appears on Twitter, Flickr, tumblr, Instagram and Pinterest to name but a few of the more popular social mediums business and consumers are addicted to.

It’s exciting, like one giant press release going out as often as an individual or business feels the inspiration to post an update to fans, followers and friends. Until the day you’re the target of a hacker.

Where do you go then? The faceless men of Facebook only allow users to email problems. There’s no one to call to vent the frustration of being shut down. Navigating Facebook’s “support” pages is equally disheartening as losing control of all accounts.

What if your business is seasonal and you have only a small window of opportunity to communicate with the masses, your potential clients? The frustration level rises to fever pitch and all a user or business can do is kick themselves for bundling all social media under one login. Delve more into this issue and it becomes apparent how dangerous an action it really can be.

And yet it is the norm. Every time you open a new social media account you’re asked whether you’d like to use Facebook to sign in. Usually it’s the same username and  same password.

Maybe that’s the motivation behind why hackers go after large corporations, like Apple and Facebook. Such domination over our lives in their minds is too influential.


Don’t ‘knock’ the tiny nouveau e-nerd on the block!

So while it does make one rethink reasons behind social media tie-ins based on a one-sign-in-that-fits-all approach, there’s no denying that hackers appear to be changing tack and going after small operators, perhaps bored with taking down all the big guns who can rectify the problem in no time.

Since immersing myself in the new media age, my tiny operation has been hit three times directly or indirectly by random acts of what I’m coining “cyber-cessation” — an attempt by someone I don’t know to stop me doing the things I want  online.

It’s not a sensation that feels good for the recipient. To hack someone’s account isn’t clever. Those behind it must be small-minded to believe their actions really make a difference. Sure it stops someone in their tracks intermittently but people are resourceful, they’ll regroup to find a new way to get their message out.

Judy Wilkinson is a freelance writer whose small start-up business survives and thrives on communicating across mass social media sites.