Tag Archive | "Social Media"


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Social Media Rules: Ethics and Disclosure in Blogging

Posted on 13 October 2013 by Administrator

I recently read an article on SocialFish about FTC rules relating to publicists and social media managers and bloggers. Basically, it puts the onus on these publicists and anyone in social media representing a company to require that bloggers disclose an freebies. “The difference between honesty and sleazery is disclosure.” A good quote from the article, it goes on to say that it is all about trust and you can’t gain that if you don’t disclose that you as a brand have given something to bloggers for free.

But what about us bloggers? We have the responsibility as well to disclose when we get anything for free, whether the restaurant / manufacturer asks us to or not. I wrote about an experience where a company explicitly asked us bloggers NOT to disclose that we had gotten anything for free. It left me with an icky feeling, and the result is that I never wrote a word about t them.

Has this ever happened to you? You are approached by a company that says they will pay you to do put a sponsored post on your blog. There’s just one catch – they don’t want you to disclose that it was a sponsored post! The reason is of course they want it to appear as if you are truly endorsing this product, restaurant, etc. The other reason is search engines discount anything that is labeled as a sponsored post. But the fact remains, if you were paid, then you need to disclose that to your readers.

The bottom line is that besides it being ethnical to disclose freebies and sponsored posts, it goes back to trust and your reputation. If you fake it, your readers will be able to spot it. The best thing we as bloggers can do for ourselves is to protect our reputation at all costs and be as transparent as possible to our readers.


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When Social Media Bites You in the Ass

Posted on 10 July 2013 by Administrator

Be careful what you put on Social Media, or it could get you into hot water. That’s a lesson we can learn from the experiences of several people who’ve gotten fired recently over things they’ve put on Social Media.

At a technology conference two men making crude jokes were overheard by a female. She took a picture of them and tweeted to her 10,000 followers. One of the guys was fired on the spot. Surprisingly, the woman was also fired after pressure from her company.

Then, there’s the story of the Bitter Barista. Matt Watson, 30, of Seattle, Wash started a website that posts all of his snarky tweets of satirical content about customers. With tweets like, “When I ask, “for here or to go?” I’m only curious what kind of cup you want…Not what your plans for the day are.” Or, “Yes, coffee is expensive. But you’re more than welcome to go to Ethiopia and get it yourself.”

Although he didn’t identify himself on the website, it only takes a little digging to be unmasked. Another coffee-related site wrote an article about the site, blowing his cover. It wasn’t his mocking of customers that did him in, however. What sealed his fate, was when he poked fun at his boss. If there is one surefire way to get fired, it is to make your supieror look bad.

One of the most unjustified firings of late resulting from social media, is the firing of an Applebee’s waitress after posting a customer receipt picture to Reddit. The server had waited on a large party where a gratuity of 18 percent was automatically added to the bill. The customer crossed out the tip and wrote in “0″ then wrote “I give God 10 percent why do you get 18″

Anyone who chooses to dine out should know that servers don’t even get paid minimum wage and depend on tips as part of their income. Shame on this “pastor” for stiffing the server. But in the end Applebees’ obligation was to keep their customer happy. And after this customer complained, the waitress was promptly fired.

Social Media doesn’t have to be a scary thing, but it does require some common sense. Be careful what you say or do in public. Assume that any picture or anything you pen is going to be seen by the world. There’s no anonymity on the web. If you want to be comical, sarcastic and snarky, then make sure you don’t out others in the process.

Many food bloggers have day jobs and work for organizations that have reputations. Don’t ever put your employer in a situation where they may have to defend your actions because of what you’ve put on social media. The momentary chuckle you will get from the post will not matter in the long run if you end up canned.

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Do You Four Square?

Posted on 28 September 2010 by Administrator

Four Square is the latest (or one of the latest) Social Media sites to hit the scene. Four Square is a tool which has a goal of keeping track of where you’re going and where you’re friends are going. I didn’t get Four Square at first, kinda like Twitter. I kept seeing those check-ins all over Facebook and Twitter and thought to myself “Who cares that Joe is at Starbucks??” But as someone who is fascinated by Social Media, I signed up for an account and started using Four Square. Now, I can’t relax at a venue before I check-in. Perhaps you are already in the know. But in case you aren’t, here’s a quick rundown on Four Square and why it’s great.

Whenever you go to a new place, you tell Four Square where you are. You just download the Four Square application to your cell which tracks you to find where you are and what’s near you via GPS in your phone. When you tell Four Square where you are, this is called “checking in.”

Basically, there are 3 things you need to know about Four Square to get started:

1. Points – whenever there’s points involved – I want them and lots of them! You get points for checking-in, if it’s the first time at a venue, etc, etc. Some businesses give discounts when you show your Check-in to. This could be a percentage off your bill or something of the sort.

2. Mayorship – if you “check in” the MOST at a location, you are the mayor. A crown appears beside your name. I don’t think that I need to explain the appeal any further. I am currently the mayor of the pizza joint by my house (of course I never cheat and check-in when I’m just driving by) and the hiking trail near my house. Woot. Some businesses will even reward you for mayorship (ie free drink, appetizer, insert inexpensive token here).

3. Badges – You get badges for accomplishing tasks or visiting different venues. Think of them like your Four Square Flair. This is why I said it encourages you to explore your city.

You get one for being a newbie so your page isn’t naked, but there are others.

The Swarm Badge…
…..When more than 50 people are checked in to the same place.

Like the Crunked badge…
…you get that if you go 4+ stops in a night.

Or the “bender” badge…
…which you get for going out 4/nights in a row.

Or the school night badge…
schoolnight_bigEarn this when you check-in after 3 AM but before 6 AM.


Of course there are some badges whose attainment remains a mystery….a la the Douchebag badge….
….which probably involves checking-in to some pretty seedy destinations.

They now have badges for when you check-in to 10+ movie theatres, 20+ different pizza restaurants, 10 trips to the same gym within a 30-day period, 3 karoke trips within a month, 3 places with a photobooth. You get the picture.

Sign-up, and get your friends to sign up too. Several of the badges require check-ins with friends in order to receive them like the Player badge which you can only receive if 3 friends of the opposite sex check-in with you.

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