Tag Archives: Huffington Post

The Bane of Social Media

Social Media Conundrums

Social media is the bane of all brands.

@Publix crowd flow
@Publix crowd flow (Photo credit: mvndrvrt)

Things can go wrong so easily, often impacting your brand  without any warning.

You should definitely stay away from social media at all costs.

You should definitely stay away from social media at all costs

Okay, maybe I really didn’t mean all that. Actually, I did.   Just kidding.

You don’t need to stay away from social media, but you should know what people are saying about you.  Here’s a couple of recent examples where social stuff happened.


As reported by Huffington Post, #CancelColbert trended for more than 36 hours starting Thursday, March 27, after an offensively Orientalism-themed tweet from the show’s Twitter account. “I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever,” read the tweet (sent and later deleted by a web editor for the show’s account).

The now-notorious “twit,” as Colbert called it in his Monday apology, was a line pulled from a segment about Dan Snyder and the Redskins, which targeted the use of racial slurs in his aggressively offensive “Washington Redskins for Original Americans” organization.

The other social event was an April Fool’s prank pulled off by a Miami blog that claimed Publix Super Markets was going to open stand-alone sub shops to compete with Subway.  This rumor spread like wildfire in Florida, leading to huge traffic for the305 blog, and a lot of extra work for the Publix social media team that day.

In the words of Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben, “With great power comes great  responsibility”.   When it comes to social media, most people forget that.


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Life Radius: New words reflect changes in the circle of life

Life Radius – more than just a word

Radius (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you like words like I do, there is a cool website called Word Spy that shares new words.  Actually, they bill themselves as “The word lovers guide to new words”, which is kind of cool in my book.  Today’s word was kind of interesting to me: life radius.   Yeah, I know – technically it’s two words.  Here’s the full definition from the website:

n. The distance from home or work within which a person performs most of their day-to-day activities; the distance within which a person lives all or most of their life.

Example Citations:

Casual bigotry is dying off. Literally. Old people and their parents with a life radius of 30 miles.
—Will Durst, “Equal Is as Equal Does,” The Huffington Post, March 29, 2013

Now snow just means putting away my cute shoes, getting up extra early, and a decreased life radius; I basically never leave my county.

—Jamie Lynn Neal, “Snow,” A Single Girl’s Journey to a Life of No Regrets, November 27, 2013

Earliest Citation:

While trying not to be on a high horse, I drove my car 4,000 miles in the last year, because I moved close to work. Recognize that YOU having a life-radius greater than a couple miles is what caused this.

—mdh, “Oil spill: Here’s what you can do to help” (comment), Boing Boing, June 18, 2010

My take here is the more you can reduce the physical elements of your life radius,  commute to work or school, time spent sitting in traffic jams and so on, the better off you are.   At the same time, the citation related to bigotry implies that the old “small town” life radius where everyone looks just like you no longer applies. As a result, we’re all part of a global village with more open views.

This notion of life radius strikes me as a very useful and flexible construct.   Nothing in the Word Spy citations discusses applying the idea to social media.   The virtual breaks down many boundaries, and makes the global on-line community instantly accessible.  This offers virtual workers new opportunities, and the advantages of no commute.   The example of the Arab Spring probably reflects the wider life radius of an average Egyptian citizen.

I’ll be thinking some more about this and also about the personal aspects of my own life radius, which is homes in two states, lots of travel, yada yada.

What does your life radius look like, and how do you manage it? I’d love to hear from you.





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Twitter seeks to stop stupid human tricks

Twitter will soon offer a two step security process for users

Image representing Associated Press as depicte...
Image via CrunchBase

This probably can’t happen soon enough.

According to a report from WIRED, Twitter has a working two-step security solution which is currently being tested before the public roll-out.  This will help prevent users from having their accounts hacked, and will be greatly appreciated by business and major news agencies like Associated Press.
I’d be surprised if you hadn’t heard what happened to AP, but if not.  Here’s  a link to the USA today report story and timeline about  how hackers broke into the AP Twitter account Tuesday afternoon and posted a bogus story about an explosion at the White House. It sent the stock market into a brief tailspin..

The AP’s Sam Hananel, who writes about labor and employment issues, tweeted that the account had been hacked. “Please Ignore AP Tweet on explosions, we’ve been hacked.”

According to the Huffington Post, an organization called The Syrian Electronic Army claimed responsibility for the attack.

Ops! @ap get owned by Syrian Electronic Army! #SEA #Syria #ByeByeObama twitter.com/Official_SEA6/…

— SyrianElectronicArmy (@Official_SEA6) April 23, 2013

Twitter accounts for CBS News, including the “60 Minutes,” “48 Minutes” and CBS Denver feeds, were also hacked last week. The Syrian Electronic Army was also reportedly responsible.

While the two step solution may be an annoyance for users, it is something that we should all start using when it becomes available.   Twitter has become a major source of breaking news for me,  and it’s reassuring to know that they are taking steps to prevent these kinds of damaging security incursions.

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