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Nom de plume thoughts courtesy of Google+

While I have been stewing, and posting draft after draft after draft, doing research, fact checking, image crediting and generally living life outside the view of Wednesday Walk on WordPress, I finally remembered – This is not intended to be some fancy schmancy blog that educates, entertains or informs others! It is intended to be a space to keep me accountable about mindful weekly walks, and sharing the thoughts that arise. If it happens to educate, entertain or inform, SUPER! Hopefully at least one occurs with each post for you my dear. So, without further a due, a first draft post on the idea of nom de plume’s.

With the vast research and delving into the blogosphere I have seen more and more brave souls placing their personal pictures, names and descriptors. My latest hero in this regard would have to be Sharon Howard. (She seems pretty interesting, you might wanna check her out in a minute or two.) I have also seen the push on Google+ for “honesty”, “authenticity” and “real”ness.

If you are new, or thinking of Google+, make sure you have some sort of picture uploaded for your profile pic, preferably one that looks like the “real” you, if you want people to interact with you! Oh, and brand pages, in my opinion, are a waste of time right now. Having just a brand page is extremely limited, unless you already have a loyal following that will follow you over there!

So I ought to upload my personally identifiable picture for you to relate to then right? And tell you stuff like my a/s/l (age/sex/location) right? Hum…. Then I came across a great blogger on G+ that had some other thoughts on the topic that I have to agree with wholeheartedly. She articulates my ethereal thoughts extremely well, and expands on the topic too!

Image found at Tracy Campbell's blog as seen clicking though

Excerpt: Most of us lead compartmentalized lives. We go to work, we have great parties, we give our time to causes in the community, we have our sexual proclivities, we attend church (maybe only during holidays), we support certain political causes — and so on. The first rule of courtesy is to understand the place and time. You shouldn’t speak about your delight with new anal beads at work. You shouldn’t regale your family at brunch with endless details about a merger. You shouldn’t speak about your wild parties at church. And you would do well not to divide the room by mentioning religion or politics at a cocktail party. Real life allows us to keep the various facets that make us who we are separate so they do not cause discomfort to ourselves or others. This is for a variety of reasons, some dishonest, many not. It doesn’t make us dishonest to encompass our share of contradictions. It makes us human.

The problem with the web is that it largely began as a world separate from meatspace. Today, most people use their real names, but this wasn’t always the case. When I started going online in the mid-90s, no one even knew my gender. I preferred that, not because I was hiding, but because I feel very strongly that I should be judged by my thoughts, not who people assume I am by seeing I am a woman, by attaching a handful of preconceived notions to what I am saying because they see my photo and think I’m too young or too old or attractive or unattractive.

Being an intangible essence allowed me to be more myself than I’d ever been before. Posting on different niche boards enabled the level of frankness that we experience when we’re in a group of like-minded people with whom we can openly debate or discuss topics. But this is no longer how the web operates and the transition hasn’t been an easy one. In a world where employers can easily find out everything about you, where insurance companies can decide to give or deny coverage because they see some status update as representing a liability, where a judge at family court can take away your children because — God forbid — you had a photo taken at Playboy West some Halloween… It’s not a matter of the web exposing you. It’s a matter of no longer having the ability to segregate different aspects of your life as we were once easily able to do and the concern is entirely valid.

A.V. Flox

So then dear reader, I ask you – Which is more real?

Further reading can be found through the excerpt link to find A.V.’s full article, her name to see her Google+ profile, or Tracy’s thoughts on nom de plumes visible clicking through the picture. Oh and don’t forget the non nom de plumer Sharon linked above 😉

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2012 in Confessions, Social Media

 

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Social Media Madness

Walking today there was a distinct quietness… alone-ness… calm… As the squirrels run, chase and jump between trees, bushes, snow and one another, it got me thinking about all our connection points and our own evolving forms of communication with one another…

“Are getting it? Really getting it? Come on give it to me! Get signed up on linkedin! Give me all of your tweets! Come on baby be friends! Never want it to stop! Oh! Are you getting it? Social media! Really getting it? Social Media! Come on Joey! Uh!”

Maybe not the next American Idols, but a nice short intro to the myriad of social media. I think that diagram at the end of the song says a lot!

Just tipping the iceberg of social media sites with this full diagram, it can be a stormy sea of social media. Since emails came along in 1966 (did you know they have actually existed that long?!) the communication scene continues evolving. Ed Kang says it well with: “anybody tells you that they’ve figured it all out is lying, selling you something, or a combination of both.”

Facebook touts 800million users so that’s where it’s at right?

One user noted that their video store disconnected their phone line as they take facebook DVD reservations… (watch out they probably won’t even be around with more ubiquitous sites such as netflix) Other users commonly note: “Got really irritated by all the posts that were meaningless chatter.” So maybe those millions of users aren’t too sure how to appropriately use each channel of communication… “would you get in your car and go around to someone’s house to tell them that?” Can be a good reality check question for users… I like to think of it as an online billboard, notorious for privacy breaches… so would you be okay posting your message on a busy highway billboard? Or downtown? If not, then why would you post your message on your computer screen that could potentially reach out globally?… Retweets, reposts and copy/paste are some pretty basic tools for average social media users…

Twitter may be nearing 1/4th the number of users as facebook, although it can be just as addicting for tweeters. Focused on short 140 character messages it can be fun to chirp away like Demi Moore or Lady Gaga.

With more people carrying smartphones and data plans there seems to be a push of personal messaging boundaries… with a facebook user noting exasperation at “Having people post messages to me at any time, expecting an instant response”. (I agree! When did we become pavlovs dogs?)

My fave facebook user comment on the platform I just had to share:

” I absolutely hate how intrusive it is. I hate the stupid little ditties that people put on thinking they are so interesting when they really are not. I hate that I feel a need to even read the stupid little ditties!!!! I do, however, love getting to see my nieces pregnancy belly growing as she is too far for me to see it in real life. I love that the girl who was my best friend, when I lived in a different city, traced me on it and we are now back in regular communication. I love that I can keep up with those family members in other continents, and at the other end of this country, and not just talk at funerals!!! Very undecided!!!!”

Google+ appears to be the latest fad in social media. With only 40 million users thus far, it is definitely a quieter, less frequented communication space. Which may very well be a good thing! Personally I enjoy the circles and “follow” method rather than “friending” as on facebook… Just be sure to sort your people into your appropriate circles up front! Think of your purpose and what kinds of segments of society you want to interact with… Not only do you have friends, family, acquaintances, coworkers, you may have your own blogging friends circle, or book club. Super great being able to easily post to your profile (equivalent of your own facebook wall) and easily specify who sees it… Not to mention if you want to close your profile, you can download all your google+ related info to your own computer prior to closing your account. Use-ability, generally love it, still learning the appropriateness, and kudos for google demonstrating better boundaries!

If you are interested in spreading your online presence with a google+ profile, or business page, what better time to get in and figure things out before all 800million facebook users jump on board? 😉 Today I discovered a succinct online article on google+ pages that may be worth a perusal…

As my first official blog kicked off somewhat recently (as you may well have noticed), I often pondered why Blog? With google+, facebook walls and notes, windows live, myspace, personal emails, texting, blackberry messenger, etc, and even phone calls, who would have time for a blog and why would you invest in creating one? Well, don’t knock it till you try it “they” say… so here I am pulling back a little from some other inundated forms of communication to give this medium a try… According to a recent online article, blogging is here to stay! Are you?

What is your preferred form of communication lately? Do you maintain a blog? How do you maintain your sanity in the sea of social media? Where do you get your info on current events?

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2011 in Business, Social Media, Squirrels

 

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