My thoughts on when to fwd, RT, re-post etc

This week has been a busy one for Bournemouth, hitting the headlines for a couple of the wrong reasons:

  1. The flash flooding
  2. The tragic loss of a red arrow at the airshow

We’ve also seen what has been dubbed as the “Schrodinger’s dictator” (conflicting reports of Gadaffi being alive and dead), which in a similar way closer to home also occurred with the red arrows pilot: some saying he was rescued alive by dog walkers, whilst others that he died on scene.

Add to this the false reports of riots doing the rounds on social networks and I felt a blog post was in order.

My thoughts in no particular order on when to RT / FWD or re-post:

  1. Please THINK before you post – it’s to easy to get caught up in the “first, first, first!” online culture.
  2. Forwarding unconfirmed rumors can become self-fulfilling (as I’m sure was partly the case with some riots around the UK). I saw (and due to past involvement in radio, started receiving phone calls!) a growth in rumors that the McDonalds in Bournemouth was on fire… having walked past it only 5 minutes earlier, I was quick to point out it most definitely was not to those asking me and subsequently onto twitter & Facebook.
    In the case of the pilot, whilst mainstream media was careful to state the situation of the pilot was unclear, many were saying he was alive – while I’m generally an optimist, imagine what his wife would of been going through if she’d been anxiously scouring the web for news…
  3. Consider the reliability of your sources – having a large number of followers does not necessarily make you either a reliable, or authoritative source – exhibit A: @queen_uk – a lot of people were RT’ing a post from a twitter account with a following in the ten of thousands, a quick look at it’s history made it clear it was a barely reliable (or literate!) source.
  4. Rule 32 of the internet: “Pics? or it didn’t happen” – if someone states something as fact, challenge them to provide proof, if in doubt don’t re-post or clearly label it as unconfirmed/unreliable.
  5. Use NSFW if the item you are forwarding is Not Safe For Work! (As a rule of thumb, if I wouldn’t share it with my mother, it’s NSFW).
  6. Remember not everyone loves: LOLcats / motivational saying / Jokes…

What would you add to the list?

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me2everyone

Anyone else had invites to this as yet un-launched social network?

The basic pitch is that you get shares for signing up and once the site is the new Facebook these nominal 0.01p shares will be worth £££’s (sigh).

Is me2everyone a scam?
Is it a clever viral campaign and, as it claims, destined to be the next big social network?
Is it a spam harvesting exercise?
Is it a waste of time?

Well one of my aims for this blog was to do the research into these things so you don’t have too… I signed up with one of my mail.com accounts (no addr book for it to spam, no real details) that I use for testing such things.

Alarm bell 1

Both invites I received were suspiciously similar – despite one being from a mid-30s business contact and the other a 20 year old musician contact.

And, sure enough once I’d logged in if offered me stock emails I could send to all my friends, like this one:

Recommending your friends, family, work colleaugues and even complete strangers is a great way to earn bonus shares. At the moment we are giving you 200 bonus shares for EVERYONE who you recommend using the link given above.

This is a real world value of GBP £0.20 today: but by 2012, we are forecasting these to be worth GBP £0.58! So imagine receiving GBP £116 for every new member you find!

Plus EVERYONE you recommend today will receive 100 shares for registering here for FREE. SImple…

Alarm bell 2

Perhaps I’m being a snob, but the site is distinctly amateur looking, apart from the intro video, the T+C’s are copy pasted from a £15 service i had come across before (website-law).

Alarm bell 3

The about us for the website lists an address in Kent that is distinctly residential – see here if you really want to (google map).

Any REAL “new facebook” would surely at least have a registered PO Box or… an office!

Alarm bell 4

Once registered ALL of the text reads like a run of the mill MLM scheme, talking about levels of membership and share options.

Remember the plan to close off recruiting at 300,000 members?

Well 10 minutes ago one of our Founder Members gave us the green light to keep the recruitment process open. This is wonderful news as we begin to expand towards the first half a million members. It also signals a change to the way we do business here:

1) Later today the first 40 Global Exec members will be named online

2) We also let you know the leaders in our “10 MILLION SHARE CHASE”

3) We will also give you a glimpse of the new Beta test pages… a chance to see where m2e will be very soon!

4) We are looking at the prospect of meeting with members to launch the Customer Care Manager team

5) News will be coming online a lot more frequently from today.
PLEASE READ THE NEXT STORY TO FIND OUT IMPORTANT CHANGES TO THE SHARE LEVELS

Alarm bell 5

NONE of what I’d call the big 5 tech blogs have written about it, its not (as of 2200 GMT 16th March) on Mashable, Wired, The Register, boingboing or TechCrunch.

Me2Everyone in Summary

A clever, mlm kind of social network scheme, most likely not malicious in intent but an idea that plays on all the usual tricks of “get rich quick” type schemes, hell its the oldest chain email in the book! “Send this email to all your friends and you’ll get £100 from Bill Gates” – and those earned people… how much money again?

I call scam – avoid it.

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what if twitter

started charging to sign up?

Part of the value in Twitter for a user is the ability to communicate with a wider circle of influence than you might otherwise of been able, as the masses join twitter the danger is that the noise to signal ratio increases making it less useful – but what if they’d started charging when they hit a certain number of users?

Would it start to make some real money that so far it has only hinted at being able to earn? Would people of left the service for another? Certainly charging existing users, would create a mass exodus… but some of the attraction for early adopters is the exclusive club feel – that would be, in some ways, amplified.

This is a very hypothetical post btw – it came from being asked why twitter was anything more than “the next big thing” – in their words, “it was all about friends reunited, then myspace, then facebook… now everyones joining twitter – its just another fad, I’m not signing up”.

That conversation led me to the thought above and also to wonder, what’s the next big thing?

What if twitter IS just a fad?

Some people lose a lot of money, the cool kids move on, the spammers and randomness takes over – this is based on what some people would perceive happened to myspace as a platform, although I would argue its reverted back to its “native” state of being a good place for bands/musicians/DJs/performers.

So what do you think?

Is it a fad?

If so, what’s next?

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the power of the network

I needed to tap into my network of people across a few social networking sites today, to recruit a part-timer for a project and to see if anyone could help find a home for the Social Tech Solutions empire.

In total my update went out to around 750 people across three platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) – through a status message I sent out a simple request for people to get in touch.

I’d hoped for 10 or so, during the day…

…within 30 minutes I had 30 replies.

Wow.

THAT is the power of the network, to be able to broadcast out a simple message – in this case on twitter, which automatically updated my Facebook status (would be nice if LinkedIn status could be done via twitter too – hint hint, any techy friends listening?) and get 30 replies in 30 minutes.

An hour later, I was visiting an office space with a friend/business partner of mine which we’ll likely rent together and I have plenty of likely candidates.

In further evidence of the power of the network: I noticed a business contact had changed their LinkedIn status to mention they were working on a particular project… which I was writing an article about for here (to be published later in the week – when its finished) a quick email exchange later and a meeting is set up so we can collaborate.

Within 2hrs my network has provided:

A good group of potential employees
A business partnership
and Office space

My “Springers final thought for the day” – courtesy of GrindVision:

the most successful people are great networkers and in in this day and age the most successful businesses are great at social media

I couldn’t agree more.

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why your business needs to engage with social networking

Facebook now has 120 million active users.

That is 2% of the worlds population.

Think about that for a minute, if you take out those who dont use or have access to the internet – thats a high percentage of people.

We’ve decided to conduct a simple survey of 100 people who work in businesses around our area – how many use social networking, how many have a business strategy for it… now that’s something else to think about!

As soon as we’ve completed and compiled our survey, we’ll publish it here.

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