Monday, March 29, 2010


A friend of mine just expressed confusion on the usefulness of networking. It can be a foreign concept if one doesn't live in the world of social media, which was surprising to me, since I've lived in social media for the last few years. Social media is networking applied on a wider scale; you're making contacts, but with more people. It is one of the most important aspects of business, but it doesn't have to be scary and insurmountable to get into. Even a Twitter account can let you follow companies relevant to your industry without much time commitment or technical know-how.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Online Security

Reading articles about Google, particularly Buzz and the problems blogger Harriet Jacobs faced, brings home a lot of the attitude shift that has come with a lot of new internet technology. At the beginning of the noughties, the internet was seen as a foggy area full of malicious predators, and one was supposed to never, ever share information about one's real life - address, phone number, and real name were all taboo. Then came social networking; we found our friends on sites like Facebook and Myspace, and now we search for new business contacts that way. And on our profiles, like the Google profile, there are blanks just begging to be filled with all of our email accounts and IM accounts and address. And if you have the Android operating system on your phone, you can have it tag your updates with your exact GPS.

If one has a network of only close friends, family, and business contacts, that might not be such a bad idea, but when one is using the internet for prospecting business contacts, or has a wider social network, it becomes an issue of balance. You want new prospective clients to be able to contact you, but not to know where you live. I think I've found what works for me; my city and my email are everywhere, my age on some things, and my real name, while my offline contact information is kept private. But my business is conducted largely online or in an office, where it's the office and not my personal information being used as contact. Business-people in different fields, especially writing and editing, where marketing of yourself matters so much, need to find their own balance, and one that takes into account every tool they put out there. If you want to be anonymous, putting your full name and address into your gmail (and in turn your Google profile), might not be the route for you, whereas if you want to be highly public, you don't want different nicknames and out-of-date information on every account.

So check your settings, and google yourself so you find what other people can find about you. Make sure it's what you want them to be able to find. I'm off to check my Facebook privacy settings.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Google Fiber

Google is continuing to revolutionize the internet with their latest project, Google Fiber, blogged about here. Accessible broadband is an important step forward for any country; the old ideology of the 'information superhighway;' information about everything available to everyone, only holds true if everyone has access. But, with growing access, including projects like this, it becomes more and more important for a business to have an internet presence.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Many Wonders of Social Media

Today I got to give a mini-tutorial on Twitter at my workplace, and talk about the benefits of it for a business. It's exciting to have it branching out in different ways; this started as a simple question of publicity for an upcoming event.

Twitter really is a necessity for any business or business-person; there are a growing number of businesses advertising positions on Twitter, sometimes exclusively. And with news sites, retweets, and the ability to sort into timelines, it is a growing Internet hub.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Mid-way through reading Accelerando by Charles Stross. It's an interesting take on the dot-com boom and what might have happened if it didn't bust. It's also an interesting look at evolution; technical modifications allowing us to continue to advance and adapt. Our ability to adapt is key to staying on top. That, and those are really awesome glasses.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Social Media Packaging

It's quite a paradigm shift, reading about social media in articles like this one. I've been on networking sites of various kinds since early in high school; at that point, we were the young end of the target audience, and it was a good way to find and make friends with and procrastinate on homework by talking to people all around the world with similar interests. Now, as I'm becoming a young professional, and looking for ways to reach my target audience, I'm encountering all of this information and excitement about the uses of social media for professional networking. And I realized; I can do this. I had to be kicked off Facebook late at night in high school, and I had a Twitter to follow some of my favorite comic artists. But the approach was new, the view of it as a real professional tool and not just a way to keep in touch with friends half way around the globe. It really is an exciting thing, altering my views and approaches to keep up with this wave.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The perfect solution

The meeting for the Victoria Writers Society tonight was fascinating. Nicola Furlong spoke about e-publishing and social media, and was largely the impetus for me to finally get this going.