Personal v. Professional Use of Social Media

 The seemingly non-stop rise of social media has led us into a world where whether you like it or not, you have to develop your own personal social media use policy with regards to how you utilize services. 

By this I mean that you have to develop parameters in which you work and communicate through social media, on both a personal and a professional level. Some of my friends have no problem posting obscenities, rude or insulting statements and compromising photos. I attempt to stick to posting music video’s from YouTube, communicating and commenting with friends and supporting political issues – not to say that these things don’t sometimes go wrong as I have had to delete two “friends” over multiple abusive comments they have posted about politically related issues. As we have all heard before “Don’t feed the trolls”….

My opinion (and advice) is that no matter whether you are using social media for personal or professional reasons, keep in mind that everything is public and open to scrutiny. If you don’t want someone finding it, don’t post it, if you are not ready to deal with opposing comments, then don’t open yourself up for comments, if you don’t want people seeing a picture, then make it private or just don’t post it, if you don’t want to be found, then don’t “check in”.

The difficult part about this issue is balancing your use of Social Media from a professional perspective especially when you work at an agency that may demand extreme privacy (like a shelter for battered women), may be highly stigmatized (HIV Care or Addiction) or may focus on a oppreseed group of people (Homeless or transgendered). Any “sharing” of information could have disastrous consequences for your own job prospects or for your clients. The question is, how can you constructively use Social Media and promote the issues associated with your agency while at the same time protecting the safety, personal information and identities of your clients?

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Choices

So as we enter Tuesday night’s Florida Republican primary – the choices are pretty much narrowed down to 2 candidates:

Yes, you can argue that the NOT-Romney campaigns of Rick Santorum & Ron Paul are still in the mix but in reality, neither will ever be the actual nominee. I just can’t imagine that there are enough people in America that have not “googled” SANTORUM!
As Santorum and Paul start to run out of money and resources, their voters will eventually peel off and side up with one of the two big candidates. I’m sure that most Paul supporters will hold out in hopes that he runs as a third-party candidate in November but that is yet to be seen – and that would also eventually doom any Republican candidate in a face to face with President Obama in the National election.

So let’s look at some numbers:

The latest Wall Street Journal poll (1/26) shows Gingrich with a lead of 9% points over Romney with 30% of the vote still going to Santorum and Paul. When Santorum eventually drops out, and he will drop out, his “conservative base” voters are most likely to run to Gingrich – I could see 12% going to Gingrich, 4% going to Romney and 2% not being able to hold their nose and vote for either front-runner. That leaves us with Gingrich with a strong 17% lead over Romney from a National Republican Primary perspective.

So, is Newt the man? Not so fast, let’s look at some more numbers……

NATIONAL (NBC/Wall Street Journal): Obama d. Romney (49-43); Obama d. Santorum (53-38); Obama d. Gingrich (55-37); Obama d. Romney and Ron Paul (45-32-18)

NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Obama d. Romney (46-42); Obama d. Gingrich (49-39)

NATIONAL (YouGov/Economist): Obama d. Romney (47-41); Obama d. Paul (47-40); Obama d. Gingrich (49-39); Obama d. Santorum (49-39)

MICHIGAN (EPIC-MRA): Obama d. Romney (48-40); Obama d. Gingrich (51-38)

MINNESOTA (PPP): Obama d. Romney (51-41); Obama d. Santorum (52-40); Obama d. Paul (51-38); Obama d. Gingrich (53-38)

NEW YORK (NY1/YNN/Marist): Obama d. Romney (58-35); Obama d. Santorum (61-33); Obama d. Gingrich (63-31); Obama d. Paul (62-28)

WISCONSIN (Marquette Law School): Obama d. Romney (48-40)

Three National polls and 4 statewide polls released this week show Romney as the only viable Republican that can even keep pace with Obama in a National election – Romney lags behind Obama from anywhere from 4-6% points but Gingrich comes in behind Obama by at least 10% points and as much as 18% in the WSJ poll. So……as a Republican, who do you vote for ? The guy that can’t win the State primaries or the guy that can’t win the National election – Rock, meet hard place…..

So where does this leave us?

What this tells me is that the Republican primary is far from over and there is still much blood to drawn – Let’s see what happens on Tuesday night – I predict a win for Romney but then the show goes on the road to Nevada & Maine – Find the full schedule here – Republican Primary Schedule 2012.

On a side note, I sure do miss this gal and all her crazy talkin’ ideas!!!! Check the video at 1:45 for a real good laugh!

Payroll Tax Credit Debate

Since Obama is talking about the payroll tax credit – here is a post from a previous blog:

 http://www.dailykos.com/blog/buffaloerik/

What Would I do With $40 – Well, $53.64….

Mon Dec 26, 2011 at 01:01 AM EST

by buffaloerik

I’ve had a fairly up and down last few years – I lost my job almost 3 years ago but I went back to grad school and met a wonderful girl and got hitched last October. I am a bit rough around the edges for most Southerners as I grew up in Buffalo N.Y. and lived 9 years in Philly whereas my wife was raised in Florida and her father is a Baptist preacher in Mississippi – I guess that opposites attract?? The one common theme that we and our families share is the notion of giving back and providing for others – some do it through church, some through family, and some through good words, deeds, and actions……

So this “battle” about the payroll tax has been going on for thepast few weeks and the question came up – what would you do with the extra $40 per week – it seems like a small amount and of course the Fox News crowd shifted positions and claimed that we were making a mistake by giving this money away when it should go into he Social Security coffers (further proof that Dems want to depletee the system and are lying when they claim that SS benefits will be around by the time I’m ready to retire) – but at the same time, 100% of that money will be spent my the folks that recieve the “tax break” to just pay basic bills, etc to keep themselves and thier families afloat…..and therefore supporting local businesses, paying mortgages (you are welcome banks), and putting cash back into communities….

Honestly, even given the loss of income for 3 years, I am OK – my wife has a wonderful job and I collected unemployment while searching for a job. Unemployment expired and I headed back to school and took out some student loans to help out financially with bill, tuition, books, etc…(can’t imagine why any sane person would want to cut funding for student loans – aside from Republicans).

One way that I have also managed to keep paying bills and everyday expenses is that I run a vinatge clothing store on Ebay . Selling stuff on Ebay puts me at the Post Office (can’t imagine whay any sane person would want to get rid of the Post Office – aside from Republicans) which is right down the street from an embattled homeless shelter (details here – http://www.ajc.com/…). Needless to say, I have seen the effects of the homeless situation in Atlanta on a daily basis over the past 3 years just driving by the shelter everyday….

On Thursday morning my wife and I were getting ready to leave town to visit relatives in Florida and I decided to clear out the fridge and cabinets as we woudl be gone for a while and I did not feel the need to toss away good food. I set out for thr Post Office to mail out some last minute Ebay sales and swung by the shelter to drop of the food. Of course I always get hung up talking with the folks there and handed out a pack of cigarettes with the food and left to meet up with my wife so we could hit the road for Florida. On the way home, only about 2 miles, I switched on Rush Limbaugh and lo’ and behold there was the screed that the payrol tax cut issue was not important and $40 dollars means nothing, blah, blah, blah……

I decided that I would see what I could do with $40 – I stopped at McDonalds, ordered 50 cheeseburgers and told the manager what I was doing. He threw in 50 orders of fries and I had myself 50 meals to distribute at the shelter (it’s amazing what you can get if you just ask….). I took the 50 burgerrs and fries (I am not claiming that this is a good or healthy meal by any stretch BTW) and headed back  to see my friends at the shelter. When I pulled up they knew exactly why I was there. One guy held out an umbrells and had his crew form a line by the side of my car and maintained order while I handed out the food. Everyone was in good spirits and thanked me for the offerings – some asked why I was doing it or stated that I must be rich, but in the end I think that they just enjoyed a bit or normalcy for a few minutes (just a cheeseburger and fries – something we all take for granted). The food went pretty quickly and soon I had just a few empty bags that one gentlkeman gladly disposed of for me. I stuck around for a few more minutes and handed out 4-5 more packs of smokes and wished them a nice day.

I wont pretend that it really helped or made a difference but who knows. I just know that most of the folks appreciated someone taking the time to stop and show that they cared. To me, it was $53.64, maybe to them it meant more? maybe it meant nothing? Either way, I am happy with what I did with my payroll taxcut money.

The Real Co$t of War – Iraq v. Libya

Tonight, President Obama will deliver his third State of the Union address. He will lay out a sweeping vision of what’s at stake for the middle class and two visions for the economy. Entangled in his speech will surely be references to the debt ceiling debate and the budget. The President has requested to have the debt limit (how much we as a country can borrow) raised to 1.2 trillion. The Republican held House has already voted “no” to this request on their first day back in session from the holiday break, so we come back to the discussion of how do we decrease spending and balance the budget so we don’t need to raise the debt limit a trillion dollars at a time?

This got me to thinking – how can we cut government expenses to balance the budget if we are unwilling to have honest discussions? Do politicians really believe that teachers unions or janitors are the reason that we are all in a hole financially? or do they just say that to pander to constituents that need someone to blame?

Let’s look at some facts:

  • The war in Iraq cost upwards of $120 Billion per year
  • The total cost stands at over $806 Billion today (predicted to be over $1 Trillion once all is said and done, but “only” $50-60 Billion by the Bush administration?)

Don’t believe me? Check the War Cost Calculator – 

*PLEASE NOTE*

Although most of the troops are out of Iraq, that does not mean that we are still not paying for operations in country! 

OK – now let’s take a look at the chart below – what stands out to you?

Essentially, both conflicts produced the same outcomes – 1 dead dictator – it’s just that the path that we took in Iraq cost the U.S. about $805 Billion more than the path that was taken in Libya – could we have used that money to diminish our debt? and could the budget be balanced without this huge expenditure? You betcha! Is anyone really willing to have that conversation – Nope!

But let’s now take a look at what that eventual $1 Trillion price tag (some are actually predicting the total cost of the Iraq War will exceed $3 Trillion) for the war could have could have bought us……

  • $1 trillion could pave the entire U.S. interstate highway system with gold, 23.5-karat gold leaf
  • It could buy every person on the planet an iPod
  • It could give every high school student in the United States a free college education
  • It could pay off every American’s credit card
  • It could buy a Buick for every senior citizen still driving in the United States
  • It could buy 16.6 million Habitat for Humanity houses, enough for 43 million Americans
  • America could double the 663,000 cops on the beat for 32 years

For more ideas – Look Here!

Hopefully in the future, policy makers and politicians will consider the Real Co$t of War before we jump headlong into and endless military engagement. But don’t forget, the $806 Billion price tag does not include what we have spent in Afghanistan – that is a different discussion post all together folks!

****** Update ******

Obama just noted in his SOTU address that we as a nation should “take the money we are no longer spending at war, use half of it to pay down our debt and use the rest to do some nation building right here at home”……..great mids think alike huh?

Is Privacy Possible?

Yes, privacy is possible – if you don’t get a Facebook page, don’t open a Twitter account, don’t comment on web pages, limit your e-mail and internet use and don’t create profiles or blogs. Two of my best friends live this way – granted, it’s tougher to contact them but they also understand that when they see my name pop up on their cell phone that I am not calling them to tell them about an awesome video I just saw on YouTube or to tell them that I am at a certain restaurant with friends – they know that I am contacting them for a real reason that means something to them. These friends are able to filter the information that they deal with down to the point where they avoid the “nonsense” of most Facebook posts (let’s face it, I really have no desire to see a picture of your cat and I am honestly amazed that you received 25 comments on the picture within the last hour – and one of them was from me! – true story, it happened last weekend).  

Marshal Kirkpatrick states that he does not “buy” Facebook’s excuse that they changed their privacy settings to reflect a change in social norms (found here). Yet Facebook’s newer technology of allowing people to “check in” has exploded in recent months. So let me get this straight, you are upset that the “pages” that you “like” can be seen by anyone yet you have no problem with the entire world knowing that you just “checked in” at a local strip club or that you are visiting your parents 3 states away and your house is empty or that you drank so much last night that you have the worst hangover ever…….? If you are relying on Facebook or other social media sites to act as an arbiter of personal responsibility, please don’t hold your breathe

On the other hand, Mike Gotta (found here) argues that “Only grudgingly will they (social networking providers) be transparent when it comes to options available to manage privacy settings” which I find to be 100% true as increased privacy works against their goal of getting users to “share” everything. Is this a good thing or bad thing? Think about it this way, you are an attorney, do you share your client list with other firms? No. Do you share your client list with other clients? Probably not. But, would you like other firms and your clients to share their client lists with you? Absolutely. Not only would you want them to share their lists you would also ask for a contact name and e-mail for every client that they referred you to. So, as an attorney, you would want total privacy of your own information yet you would love to have complete access to everyone else’s information – double edged sword right? From a social media user standpoint, would you use Facebook if it took you 5 minutes to find your friend? Nope. 3 minutes? Nope. 3 seconds – Yes, and that is why you use it. In other words, you want privacy but you want to have access to information concerning all of your friends, family and interests at your fingertips with no limitations…..

In the end, I do agree with the notion that social network providers are driving the messaging and notion that “Privacy is Dead” and that only people in certain demographic groups are concerned about privacy (found here) due to the fact they need to convince their masses of users to share as much as possible while limiting as little as possible. Are there ways that social media consumers can leverage their power as uses to ensure their own privacy? In my opinion, of course there are ways, but this complex issue will most likely only be addressed by providers when consumers stop using or limit the use of their product OR if providers find a way to remain profitable and relevant while maintaining high levels of privacy for their users.

What I Want……..

I want more people to get engaged like the folks in this Occupy Movement video. Watching this actually gave me goose bumps…I want people to have more access and a say in how their government works. I want people to worry less.

I want YOU to stop being AFRAID

of other Americans

of other Religions

of other Classes

of other Nations

of SPEAKING OUT!

#OccupyCongress Cop: ‘If This is Democracy – I Don’t Like It…This Sucks!”

Check out what the bike cop says at 7:27 into the video: “if this is democracy I don’t like it – this sucks.”

Do you think he means that it sucks that democracy allows for such public protest? or does he mean it sucks that we have to go to such lengths to prove a point or to get politicians to take notice? What do you think? Leave me a comment & Let me know!

The 2012 election will be dominated by the forces of social media messaging. What type of messages do you want to hear? What are the issues that burn you up or inspire you to action? Are you willing to inspire or open to being inspired?

 Are you willing to get involved? to make your neighborhood better? to help others around you? to clean up messes that you did not make?

Are you willing to speak up when you hear hypocrisy? Are you willing to embrace change when it comes? or act as an agent of change for others? 

I am so excited for this Fall – I want to see all of your faces in a crowd (check the cowd at 7:49), holding a sign and speaking up for the issues that you support and embrace – You are not getting any younger so you better start stepping up now…..

This is a beautiful thing – and the perfect song to go along with the video – Band of Horses – “The Funeral”