Yay or Nay

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I used to turn my nose up when I heard the word “blog.” I thought it was a vain way to get attention and inform people about your life (as if they cared). However, much to my surprise, as I have been assigned to blog through this social media course I am taking my mind has been opened to the blogging world. I have realized there are thousands of reasons as to why people blog and what they blog about. Although there are some vain blogs where people simply write about what they did that day, there is a whole other world of blogging that is informative, colorful, engaging and contains a plethora of knowledge. Blogging is not at all what I expected it to be. I have learned how to reach an audience and address the things they are interested in. I have learned how it can benefit non-profits by growing their audiences and furthermore bring in new potential funders.

There is a part of blogging that I have learned to be very important when trying to engage your audience and that is Netvibes. Netvibes is a tool that anyone can use in order to see what topics are trending, what people are talking about, questions being asked, etc. It is a perfect way to “listen” to your audience. This past week I explored netvibes a little bit and found that there are topics upon topics upon topics that you can choose to search in order to see what people are saying about them. For example one of the topics that I chose to create a dashboard for was popular movies and there were an unbelievable amount of results. There were movie reviews, movie histories, popular movies broken down by holidays, years, and much, much more. I only decided to type in movies because I was wanting to go see a movie that night and netvibes actually helped me decide which movie I wanted to go see. Although this particular topic was pretty noneducational and playful, netvibes can provide a wealth of information on just about any topic you might be interested in and will give you just as much information as I got on movies.

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Blogging has moved up in favor with me due to the new appreciation I have for it. Now that I understand what a true blog should be trying to accomplish and that is to feed the curiosity of it’s readers. To entertain. To inspire. To strike new interests. To educate. To expand the world the writer lives in by leaving open doors for anyone to enter.

Here, anyone is welcome.

Fortune Favors The Brave

Recently I have been exposed to the realization of how much I actually use social media. I use facebook, twitter, instagram, Linkedin, and now a blog and I can’t help but wonder if I am over exposed.

Do people know too much about me? Do complete strangers know my personal life? What about people that I don’t want to share this information with…do they still have access?

I have come across a couple of interesting articles recently about privacy in social media that have provided some food for thought about the reality of these questions. California has recently passed a law to defend Facebook privacy. Should employees be able to make you hand over your social media login information? Lawmakers and lawyers are now having the discussion about what should happen to one’s social media when they die. This is such an interesting notion. So even when you’re dead people can access your personal life…? Is this invasive and disrespectful? Or did they permit this when they dipped into social media?

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The issue of privacy within the world of the internet is more prevalent than ever before. I went to a party the other day and 7 people that were not in attendance knew I was there. How? I wasn’t on Facebook, I didn’t tweet about it and I hadn’t put any pictures on Instagram. There was no way for anyone to know. Wrong. Multiple other people at that party utilized their social media and “tagged” or “mentioned” me. But this wasn’t my choice….but it didn’t matter. It’s like we’re on constant watch even when it’s not our decision to inform, which brings me to my next point: What about when it is our choice? What about when we reveal something personal on the internet in what we think are private parameters….are they really private? To reveal something on the internet in this century seems accessible by anyone who is interested and pretty permanent. A known blogger, Beth Kanter, would say the same thing. She writes a  lot about privacy on the internet. All of this concern about privacy seems to be affirmation that there is a shortage.

Annnnnd the question….Are you brave enough?

Now that the realization has hit of privacy online not existing to the extent we hope for, are we still going to share personal information? Are you brave enough to expose yourself to the world? That is a tough question. I know that when I am on social media I try and filter everything to a product that I wouldn’t mind anyone coming across. Do you? I wonder as I get more comfortable with blogging if I will allow myself to be more vulnerable. There is quite a risk at stake. The thoughts and emotions I intend for one group of people are realistically accessible to everyone. Will I still share my story?

So as it all comes to a simmer….. How brave are you in sharing information on the internet that may be available to the world? And how brave am I?

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