Interaction Across Social Media Platforms

I recently received an interesting comment on my 10 Thoughts for Friday post. I mentioned in the post that I respond to invites from people on LinkedIn with a short message asking them to clarify why they’re connecting with me. My wording:

Hi x, 

Thank you for the invitation to connect on LinkedIn! I wanted to check in and see what you were interested in connecting about since I don’t believe we’ve met in person.  

Thank you and take care,

Cristina

Vicki commented on the post and urged me to accept the LinkedIn contacts, stating that “Nearly never will you be connected to by a weirdo – and if you are, it doesn’t reflect on you. LinkedIn is simply about building your network, sharing ideas, and making new business acquaintances…” In contrast, her thoughts were to be more cautious with Facebook and Twitter: “this is where I might use your response, to vet your new connections.” Lastly she said “You want your FB friends to actually be friends (or, I do).”

All of this got me thinking about how different individuals interact across social media platforms, their actions often based on assumptions or past experiences. Although there are very few formal rules governing our social media interactions, people have formed divergent ideas of etiquette- some platform by platform and others about social media as a whole.

Here is how I approach each platform and why:

  • LinkedIn: By now, you know my philosophy on LinkedIn. I accept people I know and follow up with those I don’t know. But there’s a reason that I don’t readily accept everyone: I actually had a weird experience with LinkedIn that changed my perspective a bit. I was added by an individual who was connected to others that I know and trust. Turns out, he wanted me to join his iffy business venture. I don’t think I would have been so trusting if I hadn’t seen that others I knew were connected to him. Hence my reasoning for being more cautious in accepting invites. There are also features on LinkedIn that lend themselves to keeping a curated network. You can ask contacts to connect you to their contacts. If people in the chain don’t know each other in real life, it dilutes the effectiveness of this feature because they are unable to vouch for each other. For more on my LinkedIn philosophy, see my post To Connect or Not to Connect: The Rules of LinkedIn.
  • Twitter: My love affair with Twitter is well-known. I see it as the most open of all the social networks. I welcome any and all follows that are not porn bots 🙂  Unless you have a closed account, you can’t control who follows you, so I don’t think it reflects on you (in contrast to LinkedIn, for example, where you have to make a decision whether to accept or reject a connection). As for who I follow: if I am interested in the content of the tweets, I will follow the person. I see Twitter as more about content than relationships (in contrast again to LinkedIn).
  • Foursquare: I sometimes get requests from strangers on FourSquare, which I decline. I share the check-ins that I want others to see on Twitter, but I prefer only my friends to see some, so I think it’s important to keep this network closed.
  • Facebook: As Vicki said, Facebook is for your real friends. 100% agreed! As I said in my comment to her, I see it as the only place on the internet where I can be my 22 (almost 23!) year old self. One thing that makes it slightly more complicated: Raleigh networking is very casual, so sometimes the line between friend and acquaintance blurs. In the past year, I’ve begun accepting business contacts, which I have mixed feelings about.
  • Pinterest: I’m not sharing anything particularly personal, so I’m flattered when people follow my boards. I follow boards of friends and other people that I stumble upon 🙂
  • Blog: The more the merrier!

Clearly, I approach each social media platform differently. I think it’s important to do so because they all have unique missions and features that make them more fitting for one kind of relationship over another (i.e. LinkedIn provides more value to business relationships than friendships). If I were to approach each platform in the same way, I may as well just be using one, right?

Where do you stand? Why? Do you approach social media as a whole or platform by platform? 

Thank you to Vicki for prompting such an interesting discussion!

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on my phone screen

Photo credit

There’s some magazine that features a different celebrity’s cell phone and their apps each month. I was planning to do a similar thing awhile back- now that I have a new phone, I wish I done it earlier just in case I forget any apps that I had before!

  • GasBuddy: Helps you find the cheapest gas nearby by using your phone’s GPS
  • Instagram: I’ve become a huge fan since this came to Droid. It doesn’t replace a quality SLR, but it’s a fun substitute when you’re on the go (I’m cmroman by the way!)
  • TinyShark: A free app that syncs with Grooveshark. This is what I use for music at the gym and in the car
  • WordPress: Gotta be able to check my blog stats on the go 🙂
  • GTasks: Synchronizes with Gmail Tasks, so you can type notes for yourself and see them later on your computer
  • Evernote: Like GTasks, synchronizes with your computer, which is convenient especially if your phone breaks! It’s seriously improved since I first started using it a few years ago.
  • Dictionary.com: Love learning the Word of the Day and trying to use it in a sentence throughout the day 🙂
  • Google Reader: I can catch up on the blogs I love while I’m waiting in line or in a waiting room
  • CNN: Gotta stay up-to-date on world news
  • Starbucks: Allows you to link your Gold Card account; just display the barcode on your screen and they can scan it as payment
  • Foursquare: I love keeping a list of places I want to try, as well as using the Explore feature to find cool places {especially restaurants!} nearby. This is particularly helpful since my mind goes blank when I’m hungry 🙂
  • Twitter: I stay signed into @cmroman and @theraleighforum  so I can switch back and forth easily
  • Facebook: Just a given 🙂
  • G-Talk: How I stay in touch with all my friends throughout the workday and beyond
  • Shazam: Identifies songs based on short clips- just hold the phone up to the source of music and it will give you the title and artist
  • LivingSocial: Duh!

Other apps I keep pinned to my home pages: Navigation, Places, Google Drive, and- perhaps the most useful for me- a big calendar widget with all 1,246 of my calendars.

What are your favorite Droid or iPhone apps? 

I sent out a tweet and got these other recommendations: Inkpad, HDR Camera, Tweetcaster, and Pocket

Edited: I also love the YMCA of the Triangle app! I always check the group fitness schedule before I head to the gym.

#ncmapinup event recap

When I was searching for a roommate on Craigslist, I ended up meeting a few great girls who didn’t end up becoming my roommate for one reason or another. So guess what? I turned them into friends! I realize it sounds very strange to most people, but I do have a history of making friends online 🙂

One girl I met works at the NC Museum of Art and she emailed me an invite to a Pinterest party at the museum. My first reaction was obviously “#Pinning!” {because I refuse to stop saying #Winning even though I know that ship has sailed}. My second reaction was to forward the invite along to a group of random girls in the area- turns out, I wasn’t the only one who was excited. My sister thought it was the nerdiest thing ever, but we ignored her 🙂

First stop: food obviously. We suspected that all the recipes were found on Pinterest. Such a cute set-up!
I’m not usually a fan of goat cheese but I loved these bacon and herb chevre pops! And they were the only gluten-free option so they were my go-to snack!

My beloved chevre pops with the other food in the background- strawberries and angel food shortcake with icing drizzle and ciabatta bread with roasted vegetable and white bean hummus. Since I couldn’t eat the shortcake, Sara and I tag-teamed the dessert- she ate the poundcake and I got the strawberry!

Panel of Pinterest users including Cynthia Deis of Ornamentea, Amanda of Wit & Whistle, Lee Cherry of One Bit Pixel, and moderator Kailee Brown of Ignite Social Media. P.S. Loved the simple yellow flowers in the center of all the tables!

And then of course it was time for dress up! Our fun random group: {Bottom from left to right} Caitlin, Sara, Linnie {Top from left to right} Colette, Erica, me, Linsey, and Lindsey! Some of the girls already knew each other, but it was fun to introduce everyone else to each other 🙂 Nothing makes you bond more than silly pictures {while, maybe waiting in bathroom lines together}.

Pretending to be normal

Biggest takeaways:

  • Best quote: “[Pinterest is like]  window shopping for the soul.” – Lee Cherry
  • Apparently people use Pinterest as a platform to bash others. Keep these thoughts in mind before typing a negative comment.
  • Use water marks to protect your images before they get pinned.
  • Somebody suggested that Pinterest automatically add a water mark to protect the copyrights of contributors whose images get pinned.
  • Pinterest now automatically tells you if an image has been pinned from Flickr {like this image that I used under the Creative Commons licensing for my chicken bacon lentil soup recipe}.
  • Pinterest generates revenue for items purchased through the site if the original site has an affiliate program. I had no idea!  I say good for them for monetizing so early, but disclosure is probably a good policy.
  • Just because it’s on Pinterest doesn’t mean it’s fair game- be sure to take the time to find the original source to give them credit {try Chrome’s Search by Image Extension, which allows you to right-click on an image and find everywhere that the image is housed on the web}.

Thanks so much to the NC Museum of Art, all the panelists, and of course Linsey for inviting us!

may day, may day

May 1st aka Happy May Day!

When we were younger and went to hippie school, we celebrated May Day by picking small bouquets of flowers, wrapping them in homemade paper carriers, and delivering them to the front doors of all our neighbors. Has anyone else ever done this?!

{Pretty sure ours did not look this good}

We would then travel to a big open field for a May Day celebration with the whole school. Each class performed a May Pole dance; basically, the May Pole has multi-colored ribbons fastened to it and each student holds a piece of ribbon. The class dances around the pole, and the final result is a pole wrapped in the bright ribbons! I’m nearly certain that this would only happen at a Waldorf school, but I think it’s awesome nonetheless. It’s one of those random traditions I would love to pass on to my kids eventually {you know, unless they’re too busy reading their Kindles or playing video games…}

Have you ever celebrated May Day?! Have you ever danced around a May Pole? 

public criticism: a do or a don’t?

The idea of public criticism has been tumbling around in my head for many months, but the catalyst for this post was the recent Triangle bloggers’ potluck.

Public criticism of businesses and individuals has become somewhat of a norm as Twitter continues to grow, blogging becomes more mainstream, and small businesses embrace social media.

I myself {what a redundant phrase!} have engaged in this trend. When Maddie was sick, I had a terrible experience with a local vet. After dealing with the situation- including finding a new vet- I reviewed the original vet on Google. I felt it was important for other pet owners to be aware of the negative {and potentially dangerous} experience I had.

I’m less proud of other times that I’ve publicly bashed a local company. After perusing a cute retail store, I left in a huff and immediately tweeted about the terrible service I received. To the owner’s credit, they found my email and sent me a message addressing the situation. Guess what I did? Nothing. I was too embarrassed about my behavior to respond. That was almost a year ago and I still think about it.

Several things have made me reconsider my perspective lately: as a small business owner, I know how hurtful it can be to think about negative information circulating about The Raleigh Forum. I know that there are always two sides to the story that a negative review or comment may not address. Additionally, Raleigh is small enough that you are likely to run into the very owner that you publicly chastised, which leads to excessive and unnecessary awkwardness.

But like I said, the blog potluck got me thinking even more. At the potluck, someone mentioned a hate website devoted to mocking big bloggers {I refuse to link to it}.  I think the supposed anonymity of the internet makes people feel more comfortable participating in cyber-bullying without pausing to think about the bloggers’ feelings. Another prime case study on cyber-bullying? The disheartening Juicy Campus fiasco.

I’m torn because it’s a complicated issue but here’s where I think I stand: A good rule of thumb is to first contact the business or individual privately. Admittedly,  some businesses are more responsive when criticism is made public. The idea that their brand is being publicly disparaged is often a more prompt catalyst for change than a private phone call or email, so I do think there are times when it is appropriate to take to social media to leave feedback.

Another good rule of thumb- act under the expectation that your tweet, review, comment, etc will be seen by the owner, CEO, or blogger- and that your name will be attached to it. Does that change the way you interact when your anonymity is taken away and you consider the feelings of the person receiving the feedback? I guarantee you that even the most popular bloggers have feelings too and are affected by hurtful, mean-spirited comments.

But remember my Ask and You Shall Receive post from awhile back? I stated that if you are willing to broadcast negative feedback, you should go out of your way to give positive feedback. For every negative comment I publicize, I’m sure to share my positive experiences too {like my endless love affair with Al Fresco chicken sausages}.

What do you think?  Is public criticism sometimes warranted or should feedback only be given privately?

P.S. Right after I scheduled this post,  I got a reply tweet from Raleigh author Sarah Shaber saying thank you for my tweet complimenting her novel. See? I do give positive feedback 🙂

sister entrepreneurship: the makery nc

Just a few months ago, I reconnected with the Nordgren family, who used to go to the Waldorf school with me back in first grade! I hadn’t seen any of them in many years, but I ran into Carl {the dad} at a downtown Raleigh networking event. He reconnected me with Krista Anne, who was in my class way back when. Krista mentioned that she and her sisters were starting a business and, just a few months later, it is blowing up! They were just featured on Fast Company Design, which demonstrates the potential of their idea!

According to their website, “Combining the ideas of online sales, buying local, and the renewed passion for handmade goods, we created The Makery as a new way to build community-supported commerce and support our friends, neighbors, and new favorite artists.  Here’s how it will work: Each week, members will receive curated deals on a selection of limited edition art, apparel, and homewares, all lovingly handmade by one of that week’s featured local artists.When you purchase an item from The Makery, you will pay less than you would at a craft fair or on an artist’s Etsy site, and will also be exposed to new artists and pieces that have been carefully chosen as Makery Picks.To the artists, The Makery brings a large member base of potential customers, and also provides additional exposure through features on our blog and special, one-of-a-kind opportunities for VIP members.”

I am obviously incredibly biased since this is a former classmate + I love NC + I love sister entrepreneurship + I love buying local, but it’s seriously such a cool idea!

Follow them on Twitter and check out their website! To make a pledge on Kickstarter by this Saturday, click here!

P.S. My favorite part of the video: when Krista Anne says “Sarah is the writer, Brita is the artist, and I am…the funny one.” Haha!

search terms- the good, the bad, & the eggplant 2.0

The blog girls and I were chatting awhile back about how people land on our blogs through search engines. Elisabeth said people always come to hers because of the picture of Pat Benatar!

Remember Search Terms- The Good, The Bad, & The Eggplant? Well, get ready for the 2.0 version- though nothing will beat “what is the situation,if the title of the business plan is eggplant?”

  • squatternut bash recipe: Haha! This is a Friends reference but if you type it in to Google, it just provides about 10 links to my blog.
  • mata hari membership savannah: I get this one a lot. Apparently lots of people are intrigued by the concept of a members-only speakeasy. And yes, it makes me feel even more special that I got to go 🙂
  • you should apologize: Uhhhh…I’m sorry? Haha
  • what is a roman prater: Haha! Well, in my case, it refers to my last name + my mom’s last name
  • what did the woman said in the franks red hot commercial: She said “I put that sh*t on everything!”
  • what is your learning outcome while doing in internship in kniiting: Don’t know, but I want a knitting internship. Sounds fun!
  • how to tell someone they inspire you: Aw! Just do it- be honest and don’t be ashamed. Or, you know, make it fancy and write a haiku 🙂
  • best unknown restaurants raleigh: Still working on this list.
  • a brunette and a blonde with an inseparable bond graphic: Aw, my birthday post for Lindsay pops up!
  • the best mashed potato casserole: This is the best mashed potato casserole!
  • gluten free car bombs: Haha! Count me in.
  • trendy shabbat dinner: As I said here, trendiness is always essential during a religious celebration 😉

lovin’ right now

Creative Marketing

image

Trader Joe's advertising in the freezer section

Zappos ad bin security at the airport. Genius!

Candles

Gluten-Free Cookbooks

Another Christmahanakwanza present from my sister- Gluten-Free on a Shoestring. How perfect for me!

Footie Pajamas

I'm the proud/ashamed owner of the pink ones on the right. The girls and I had a footie night the other day- just hanging out and sipping wine in our onesies!

Seasonal Teas

Candy Cane Lane and Nutcracker Sweet are my absolute favorite teas. I have to hunt them down early every holiday season so they're not all gone! They make great gifts too 🙂

Party Themes

The Raleigh Forum is hosting a party on January 26 but I can't tell you the theme quite yet. Want to be sure you score an invite? Contact me!

Photo credits: here, here, here, here, and here

creative foods

If you’re like me, you love dishes and recipes that incorporate interesting ingredients {like sunchokes} or creative displays {do you see that cupcake baked in an empty eggshell in the picture below?!}

{Click on the image below to be taken to my “Creative Foods” board on Pinterest}

What’s the coolest, most creative food arrangement you’ve seen?!

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This Day Last Year: Divine Secrets of The Roman/Prater Sisterhood

Top 10 Places An Unmarried Young Woman Should Never Check In on FourSquare

Survey says….

Ever had one of those “Hahaha….but seriously” moments? Well, here you go! As I was checking in to Humble Pie at brunch the other day, my friends and I started brainstorming places where FourSquare should probably not be used.

Top 10 Places An Unmarried Young Woman Should Never Check In on FourSquare

  • Your house {safety first!}
  • The bathroom
  • Planned Parenthood
  • Strip club
  • Engagement ring store
  • Bridal store
  • Jail**
  • Rehab**
  • A competitor’s office {while interviewing}**
  • Anywhere other than your house if you call in sick**

We came up with most of the list but I had a little extra help from here (the asterisked ones)!

Haha, young social media addicts- take note!

This Day Last Year: Ahh my aptly named post Best Meal of My Life. Now I just need to buy a gluten-free spinach ricotta ravioli, like this.