Category: Social Media

Thoughts Three Weeks After Deactivating Facebook

Three weeks ago I left Facebook.

It feels weird.

I’ve been on Facebook ever since my sophomore year of college. Back then it was for college students only. Facebook slowly added one college at a time to access the network. I mean, the social network lollll. We celebrated the day Facebook finally added our college.

We excitedly added the high school people we hadn’t thought about for three whole years and our new college friends.

Before all of the privacy settings you could totally stalk your ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend or you could poke people. Statuses were limited to “[Insert name] name is ________.” We also wore ties as belts, bra straps as head bands, and blazers over graphic tees. It was a strange time.

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The Worst Kinds Of Tweeters

I’ve only been on Twitter for about a year and wonder why I didn’t join sooner. Facebook had been my primary social networking tool of choice, but now the party’s on Twitter.

Twitter is a convenient tool for spreading and gathering information. News is disseminated faster than the traditional outlets that used to run the show. I like looking at everyone’s beautiful fall photos and family pets. Most importantly, I appreciate Twitter’s value in networking and connecting with people I would have never met in my daily life. I think social media can enhance relationships instead of hinder.

I have a lot of love for twitter so this post is a tongue-in-cheek rundown of my least favorite types of tweeting behaviors. I was inspired by Ed Kohler’s post, #Twitter #Behaviors #I #Can’t #Support.

Massive Quantities of Tweets: 
I don’t mind semi-frequent or even frequent tweeters. What I’m referring to are people who take tweeting to the extreme. Just the other morning, I woke up to find my feed dominated by a woman who literally tweeted 30 times within a single hour. They weren’t even original thoughts, but links to promote her website.

Now, I realize many bloggers use HootSuite and other social media managers that send out scheduled Tweets, so I’m unsure whether or not people are hand typing these repetitive tweets. Either way, I really don’t want to know about your giveaway every half an hour. 
Includes I Follow Back in Their Profile:
Do you actually follow everyone back? Including the weird porn bots and random Long John Silvers franchises in neighboring states? This statement screams desperation.

When I was new to Twitter, I learned that if you follow one of these f*****s back, an onslaught will immediately find you. If you want to increase your number of followers, then go ahead and follow them back, but you will soon come to HATE your Twitter feed. It’s not worth it.

People Who Think They Are Regina George and Twitter is Their Lunch Table: 
I might occasionally send a tweet to Anthony Bourdain for the heck of it, but I’d never actually expect to him to respond. I’m referring to people with exponentially less followers who won’t respond to tweets, but want to solicit everyone’s donations for their latest Kickstarter projects.
If you don’t enjoy when the general public tries to interact with you, then make your tweets private. Personally, I’ve connected with a lot of cool people by responding to thoughtful tweets from those I didn’t already know and my life’s all the better for it.

Then, there are the Tweeters who blast too much of a certain type of content that includes the following:

Inspirational QuotesQuotes are great. We can all use a little extra inspiration on some days. It’s satisfying when you find a sentence that perfectly summarizes how you feel. I don’t mind the occasional inspirational quote, especially from people who don’t make a habit of it, but I’ve found there are people who only tweet inspirational quotes.

Life coaches are the worst. I would choose a life coach based upon any other factor than the volume of Rumi quotes he or she regurgitates via Twitter.

Lots of Links: I love that people share interesting articles and photographs through Twitter. But I don’t love the people who tweet vast quantities of links that contain no description of the link or explanation about why the link is significant to the tweeter. Worse, yet, if they all link to something self-promotional.

Sometimes my Twitter feed is dominated by tweets announcing that so-and-so posted a photo on their Facebook account. I’m sure you can imagine what happens when these they update their Facebook photo albums. You get an individual tweet for every photo that’s added.

Give-aways and Sponsored Tweets: We all want to win prizes. Now, companies and bloggers ask participants to retweet things like, “I just entered _____’s giveaway for a free _____! Retweet to enter.” It’s a clever marketing strategy but I just find these tweets so annoying. Maybe I’d find them less annoying if I actually won something.

Corporate tweets are usually pointless, such as McDonalds asking who’s excited for Halloween or Walmart requesting people to retweet if they plan to visit their local branch to purchase holiday meal supplies. Do sponsored tweets actually move people to click on them to get more information? Do they actually make consumers feel engaged? I think I’m so jaded that I my eyeballs automatically gloss over them.

So, Someone Stole Your Photos & Posted Them To Yelp Or TripAdvisor. . .

This past week, I was surprised to find two of my original photos posted on TripAdvisor’s website. They were uploaded as the main images for both both Fargo locations of Extreme Pita and Lakes Country Buffet, located in Fergus Falls. I also found that one of my photos was being used as the main image for Brass Lantern, Alexandria, MN on Yelp. Ironically, the photo uploaded for Extreme Pita featured pita I baked in my own kitchen and the photo for Lakes Country Buffet was actually taken at a different restaurant.

These photos were used without my permission, did not link to my blog, or provide me with compensation, even though they were used to promote the restaurants. To edit a restaurant listing on these sites, one has to have set up an account and register their business, but anyone can upload photos. I’m not sure who uploaded mine, but guess it may have been someone associated with the restaurants. Otherwise, I’m not sure why a random individual would take the time to upload photos from my blog, especially considering they didn’t feature the correct restaurants.

I immediately requested that TripAdvisor and Yelp remove them by filing a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notification. Tripadvisor removed the photos within 24 hours of the next business day but ignored my requests to send me confirmations the issues were resolved. Yelp was slower to respond, taking about a week to remove the photo, but they did send me an email confirmation.

Keep in mind that the other party can send you a counter-notice if they feel they were not infringing. You can read more about this process on the links to the Electronic Freedom Foundation’s website, below. In my experience submitting DMCA notifications, I’ve only received one counter notification from an individual bold enough to claim they had the right to use my photos however they wished because I published them on my blog. A simple reply put an end to this nonsense and it was promptly removed. In my experience, companies take these requests seriously, as they are liable if they do not enforce copyright law.
One could add a watermark to their photos, which may prevent them from being stolen. I choose not to. Watermark or not, you still have a right to protect your photos.
I learned a lot about bloggers’ rights and the DMCA notification process on the Intellectual Property section of the Electronic Freedom Foundation’s (EFF) Legal Guide for Bloggers.

To send a DMCA notification to TripAdvisor, simply email it to: copr@tripadvisor.com. Include the following text and customize it to your individual case. Keep the paragraphs separate and marked.

a.) Describe the work you claim is infringed and provide a link to the source where the work is taken without permission.
b.) Provide a link to your own website to show the work is your own.
c.) Include your contact information such as a phone number and email address. Some companies may ask for your home address.
 
d.) Include the statement,”I have a good faith belief that the material that is claimed as copyright infringement is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.”
e.) Include the statement, “I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and I am the copyright owner, or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.”
f.) Provide your electronic signature by typing your name as you would normally sign it.


There are a several ways to file a notification with Yelp. First, you can send them a message on this Contact page. The word space is limited, but if you condense some of the the DMCA notification above, you can fit in the whole request. I received the fastest response when I created a Yelp account and flagged the offending photo as inappropriate, explaining the issue in the space provided. Yelp sent me an email response and removed the photo. The email confirmation was sent from feedback@yelp.com and made not mention of not responding to the email address, so you could give this a try. Finally, you could contact your local Yelp Community Manager on Twitter. Ours responded to my direct Tweet quickly, while the individual managing the Yelp headquarters account did not respond.

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