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Anti-social Networking

by Randall Craig on May 11, 2010

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Social Media

Tagged as: , ,

Have you ever been in a business meeting where some people are focusing intently… on their BlackBerry’s? Or have you been on an airplane, where most people are listening carefully… to their iPods? Or perhaps with your family at the dinner table, with several people texting, checking Facebook, or doing something else with their network?

Ironically, the technology that connects us with other people can also disconnect us with those we are closest with: our colleagues, clients, suppliers, and even our families.

Social Media etiquette, when it comes down to it, is rooted in common sense. The challenge, however, is that the immediacy of connection that the mobile web provides, distracts us from the “important” activities that we are doing in the real world. And since many of us consider ourselves excellent multitaskers, being in two places at once (in the meeting and in our mobile devices) the problem is compounded.

This week’s action plan: Social networking shouldn’t be anti-social. Choose to focus on the task at hand – and to be “with” the people who you are physically with. Don’t just turn your smartphone to vibrate, but when you are in a meeting, put it in your briefcase or purse. Not only will you get more out of your real-life interaction, you’ll send a message to those that you’re with: they matter.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Social Media Manners Matter

by Randall Craig on March 10, 2010

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Social Media

Tagged as: ,

There is so much written about what TO do with Social Media, there is so little written about what NOT to do. More than any other medium – telephone, written letters, email – Social Media is incredibly risky. Whatever you write can be broadcast worldwide, is archived forever, and can have an impact well beyond the intended audience. Watch out for these pitfalls:

1) If you’re upset about something that was written, and you know the person who wrote it, it is far more productive to pick up the phone and ask them to retract than to engage in a public “flame war”.

2) Don’t post pictures of yourself that could be embarassing later on. (PR pros will tell you to use this test: if your mother or your manager would approve, then it’s probably OK to post. It’s too easy to be disqualified from jobs based on inappropriate Facebook pictures or comments.

3) Don’t ask others for recommendations on LinkedIn unless you’re pretty sure that they will agree. If you’re unsure, pick up the phone and have a conversation first.

4) Be careful of flooding your “friends” with Too Much Information in your status updates. They’ll eventually tire of it… and disconnect from you.

5) Don’t gossip about third parties (your boss, friends, etc) – even if it is supposedly “private” they’ll eventually see it, and you’ll be terribly embarrassed – or fired.

6) Social Media is really a connection to a person – not their wallet. If you abuse your connection by always trying to sell your stuff, it reflects poorly on you.

7) When you comment on others’ posts, remember that others (their family, co-workers, boss, etc) may read them.

8) Likewise, be very careful about posting photos of other people: they may not wish other people to see them in that photo.

9) If you quote someone else on your Blog, or if you refer to something else on Twitter, acknowledge (or Retweet”) the source with a link and their name. Otherwise it’s stealing.

10) Don’t forget that not everyone is on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and the myriad of other Social Networks. If you’re trying to reach out to your community, don’t forget those who aren’t fully connected. Picking up the phone, or jotting a quick note will make sure that everyone is included.

This Week’s Non-action Item: Social Media manners DO matter: try to avoid these mistakes.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Sweat the Small Stuff

by Randall Craig March 7, 2006

Several years ago. I decided to change my voice message to one that ended with an enthusiastic “Have a Great Day”. Soon afterward, something funny started happening. When clients and colleagues left messages, they invariably ended with “Have a Great Day” too! This got me thinking about how something as simple as a changed greeting […]

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