About Me

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Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Tracey Holden-Quinn has developed and written content for communications plans and websites, social media applications such as Facebook and Twitter, and blogs. She is experienced with conducting needs analysis, establishing goals, recommending and scheduling tactics and strategies, and evaluating results.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

6 Tips to Avoid Social Media Burnout

I’ve noticed a disconcerting trend lately; more and more articles about social media burnout.  This isn’t surprising considering the sheer volume of information that speeds toward us at an exponential pace, making it even harder to sort the wheat from the chaff.

People who work in the field of social media remind me of the early pioneers and explorers of the new world.  We are toiling in a field of tweets in order to clear the trees and make the ground fertile for growing a sustainable social media plan. 

No one has come before us.  There is no road to follow.  We are the trailblazers and greenhorns of this new world order. 

The enormity of this task may make us clamp down and try to force order and calmness on this mess.   With social media, that is like taking an aggressive bird of prey like the Accipiter hawk, and trying to put it in a cage.  Often times we find ourselves on the fast-moving train of social media distraction.  Without realizing it, we move further and further away from home base until we can barely see the platform that we started from.

Here are 6 tips to stop our swashbuckling ways:

1.  Apply calm attention versus worried attention to the task at hand.  Realize that it is possible to stay positive, serene and inspired in the midst of chaos.  Do one thing at a time.  Go slow and start small.  Let the hare pass you.

2.  Be mindful of what you consume on-line.  It’s easy to fall into the “I have to learn this, or I should know more about that” trap.  With every good intention, we try to learn everything.  Remember to maintain balance.  None of us are perfect.

3.  Put down books like “Socialnomics” or “Six Pixels of Separation” and pick up a fiction book.  Not only will this clear your mind but it will improve your writing style.

4.  Put away your pride and benchmark.  Don’t re-create the wheel.  Use other people’s knowledge.

5.  Take time to know what you really want and need from social media.  What are your goals?  If you aren’t getting them – move on.  Don’t look back . You are no longer going in that direction.

6.  Be kind to yourself when you need it most.  Working in the field of social media means we are constantly trying to keep up and we are continually propelled into the future.  Be wisely selfish and know when enough is enough.

“Well arranged time is the surest mark of a well arranged mind.” – Sir Isaac Pitman.  Taken from the book The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Is Facebook Too Big to Fail?

Is Facebook Too Big to Fail?

Yet again, Facebook has come under fire about its’ lax, opt-out vs. opt-in privacy policies. Yesterday, the cyber world was buzzing about Facebook’s intention to share a user’s home address and phone number with external sites. Despite a barrage of negative coverage, Facebook meekly issued the following statement to The Huffington Post:
Despite some rumors, there's no way for other websites to access a user's address or phone number from Facebook. For people that may find this option useful in the future, we're considering ways to let them share this information (for example to use an online shopping site without always having to re-type their address). People will always be in control of what Facebook information they share with apps and websites.

Even though Facebook discreetly announced this new policy, it caught the attention of privacy czars and US politicians. Only then, did it back down under the proviso that it would be "re-enabling this improved feature in the next few weeks".

There’s a lot of negative and often justified “ink” surrounding Facebook’s privacy issues. Still, the company forges ahead without apology or excuses. Goldman Sachs recently invested $500 million in the company which led many pundits to predict that Facebook is here to stay. It is too big to fail.
Or is it? Facebook owes its’ success to its' users. The users turned it into the “social media” phenomenon that it is. No amount of investment or money can define the quality of a user’s experience. No company is completely immune to the pull of a crowd. At what point will Facebook users become disillusioned with the product? When will “the crowd” decide enough is enough and move-on? We have all witnessed how fast people discover and use new platforms in this age of social media. A small drip (for example Twitter) can turn into the breaking of the Hoover Dam virtually overnight. 

Surely Facebook hasn’t become so omnipotent that it feels no need to properly inform and protect its’ users. There are times that Mark Zuckerberg appears to be dipped in gold and subsequently makes his own rules. The only problem with being dipped in gold is the unprotected "Achilles’ heel".
If I were him, I would hire someone full-time to do nothing but look over his shoulder.

Mr. Zuckerberg; call me. I'm free.