Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Assignment 4: Facebook and Twitter

Today, we are living in a world where you are thought to be crazy if you are unaware of Twitter and Facebook.

Google Buzz is just another site used where people learn about individuals whom they are linked to. I, personally, have not used Google Buzz yet. I am still pretty busy with Facebook and Twitter. My favorite, currently, is Twitter. It could be because I have not gotten sick of it yet, but I love it.

Facebook is a site that was once exclusively for college students, but now everyone is involved. It is a site where you can share comments, pictures, personal information and views with “friends.” I knew it was epic when I received a friend request from my 50-year-old uncle. I was shocked, not knowing whether to be excited or disturbed. It’s cool that all ages can connect with people all over that they have lost contact with over the years and transition of locations, perhaps. However, this wide range of “faces” can potentially be troublesome. Everyone doesn’t want their parents to see their wild pictures from a Cancun trip. To alleviate the problem, Facebook has come up with privacy settings that limit certain people from viewing certain aspects of your profile. It’s a good idea but a forgetful memory can have an effect. It takes work to know who can see what. Then, people talk, so you dare not let an individual know they are the only one blocked. It takes skill to limit your profile without hurting feelings. As the years of being a nosey “Facebook Stalker” (you know you are guilty, too) became not so exciting. I found my new love… Twitter!

I began only using Facebook to update my status, which would mention something about my emotions for the day, my whereabouts, random thoughts, etc. Soon after I began to draw away from Facebook, there was much talk about Twitter. This site was just what I needed since it is basically allows status updates. You can also share pictures. You can tag people who you are talking to or about. Twitter even allows you to tag the long list of celebrities who you “follow.” So let’s say I tag Taylor Swift in my comment, she can view who all mention her name and she may come across my comment. If she likes it she can reply, so it’s like we are talking to each other, which is pretty cool. It doesn’t get me tickets to her upcoming concert; but, I’ll take it.

People want privacy on the web these days so Twitter allows your “tweets” to be protected. This basically means that the people who are allowed to view your page must be your followers. Of course there is a loophole. If someone who is following you replies to one of your tweets, sometimes it has your tweet on that friend’s page. It may be easier understood with an example. There is this girl I heavily dislike, who I’ll name Fox. (that’s what she looks like) Well “Fox” and I are both followers of a good friend Dave. He follows us, too. My tweets are protected so Fox is unable to see them, but when Dave replies to my tweet, it has my tweet and his reply on his page. So Fox can see what I said. This is so horrible because I don’t want my tweets shown to anyone I am not fond of.

Now Google Buzz, I don’t use. I am fine with my Twitter. Since, I am not very knowledgeable about it; I went to the site and watched a video on it. Basically, you need a Google mail account (which I do not have) in order to be connected. It allows you the same services as Twitter but it links you with the email addresses you have stored. This wouldn’t work for me either because I barely email to my friends these days.

I find it interesting how several news organizations and corporations are taking advantage of these sites. On commercials and various company sites, they have a small link at the bottom with Facebook and Twitter logos, to show they are on such sites.

It shows how they refuse to take the backseat to these media outlets. People are on Twitter and Facebook these days, getting information so corporations and organizations have created profiles where people will see their upcoming events or important facts. They use these sites to find out information about present and future employees as well. Sometimes it is even a determining factor of who will be hired, so it’s important NOT to display your dirty laundry on the internet. Businesses have also used sites like Facebook for publicity. Since so many people wastes large portions of time on the sites, businesses use this as a way to get themselves out there and into the mouth of the people. They receive feedback and sometimes find ways to make company improvements. It can also be used to find new customers and build online communities of fans. Businesses can see themselves from the eyes of the customer.

Facebook offers Facebook Pages to businesses where they can collect a number of “fans.” Many musicians and celebrities do it as well. Starbucks, for instance, have over 7 million fans. They direct us to their website and include a mission statement and company overview. There is a link to get started on your Starbucks card where you can review what is on it.

Starbucks Facebook page allows for discussions and several videos and photos. They even include any current specials or events. I am sure Starbucks has received much success and far greater business.

My favorite place to go is Chipotle Mexican Grill. Unsurprisingly, they have a Facebook page where they even allow a game to be played. Just looking at that page has made me want to go eat there. What I like most is that they have one of their own representatives there to comment back to topics and discussions people have posted. They have gained my vote.

Through the internet businesses have a “long tail” when it comes to options for increasing the business name. People get to share new ideas with them that they may not have considered. The internet does not only help businesses but it allows individuals to share their thoughts with the world.

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