Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Facebook Cull Harming the Harmless

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Well, folks, they’re at it again. Yes, our favourite anti-social social network is doing their utmost to destroy whatever joy there is in using the site by initiating a mass deletion of any users who don’t fit their description of what a user should be.

In a nutshell: Facebook is culling any user profile from their site whom they do not consider to be of the “human” species, pets in particular. This includes many friends of mine, be they canine, feline, and ursine (including “stuffies” – ie those whose innards are not of the moist and pulpy variety). This cull also includes a large number of animal rescuers who do good and valuable work to help animals whose lives have been harmed by this apparently superior species known as HUMANS. Condescending to allow non-human users to have a Facebook page is not the same. The interactivity of pages is very limited and designed to be, therefore the experience and usefulness of social networking is greatly diminished from a page. I know this from my own personal experience using a profile versus a page. There is no comparison!

These Gestapo tactics are destroying the fun and usefulness of social networking and hurting a lot of individuals and animals. If you think the word “Gestapo” is too strong, believe me, it is accurate. There is such a fear among users these days that many are even afraid to speak up for fear their profile will be deleted. It has happened before, with people such as social media and tech bloggers who dared to call Facebook onto the carpet discovering that their profiles were mysteriously disabled. So if the Gestapo fits… (Keep an eye out to see how long I remain on the site – I might be next!)

Many users rely on their Facebook friends to bring them joy, entertain them, and convey useful information. Indeed, there are large numbers of elderly, home-bound and disabled individuals who rely heavily on their daily interaction with their Facebook animal and stuffy pals to help get them through the day and bring a much-needed smile to their faces. And I am no different. The fact that some of our pals do not fit the biological specifics Facebook claims a user must have is irrelevant and prejudicial. In fact, it is species-ist.

Since Facebook went public, there is an increasing push from their end to earn revenue off the site. This is perfectly understandable and logical. However, if this latest cull (and this is not the first by any means) is about generating more advertising dollars, non-human users are just as likely to click on an ad and make a purchase as “human” users, perhaps even more so. Facebook is missing out on a major revenue-earning opportunity by deleting all these profiles. Instead they can be targeting these users with appropriate ads and doing better than they’d ever dreamed of. Talk about being short-sighted.

If you think these deletions of non-human profiles are not important, you are dead wrong. This cull has now come to the attention of major media, including ITV television in the United Kingdom. If ITV considers this issue important, it won’t be long before other major media outlets start taking notice. There is already a backlash against Facebook regarding privacy concerns, and the shine on Mr. Zuckerberg et all is dulling by the minute. Some users have already jumped ship rather than remain on the site having their private information being used in ways they did not intend for it to be used. It seems to me that Facebook should be trying to keep our business rather than drive us away and further earn our enmity. This latest bit of nastiness with the mass deletion of non-human profiles is not the stuff a good PR campaign is made of. Nor does it make good business sense.

I urge you to contact media outlets as well as Facebook’s corporate offices and express your outrage that Facebook is deleting accounts in good standing that cause no harm, yet meanwhile Facebook has no problem allowing pedophiles, pornographers, animal crush enthusiasts, animal abusers, hate mongers, prostitutes, and every kind of scammer out there to proliferate on the site like flies on dog shit.

Please give your views about these unfair and unjustified deletions and why pet/non-human Facebook accounts are valuable and important to you or your friends or even just in general. These profiles are causing no harm to anyone. If anything, they do far more good than most of us realise!
If you’re interested, here is a petition that’s been started.
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/838/040/777/give-us-back-pet-profiles-on-facebook/

 

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Mitzi Szereto interview on The Hammer Show

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

I recently had a chance to chat with Ross Hemsworth on his UK web radio programme The Hammer Show and a good time was had by all! From the controversy surrounding my recent novel Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts and my work on Mitzi TV, to celebrity culture and Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s animal cruelty involving his own dog – no subject is immune!

Tune in for some lively discussion and a perspective on the world from both Britain and America. Clink to listen to the replay of the interview at:

http://thesop.org/story/nailing-it-international-celebrity-and-erotic-author-mitzi-szereto-up-close-and-personal


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Social Networkers Need Some Table Manners!

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

No TrespassingAs users of social media, we’ve all been the targets of online marketers and spammers and webcam girls. Of course, social media is still fairly new, and the boundaries are continually being tried and tested, not to mention pushed. We’ve all made mistakes and, we hope, learned from them. This isn’t the first time I’ve addressed this issue (see Tweet Tweet Tweet: Will Someone Please Shoot That Effing Bird?). However, there really needs to be some form of established etiquette – because the methods being employed to get one’s message across are getting out of hand.

Now I’m not exactly a novice on this subject. In fact, I’ve even given talks about the use of social media (see Social Media For Creative Artists). Although I’m going to focus on those in the writing and book business, I’m sure we can find parallels in other fields. As everyone knows, I’m a big user of Facebook. I’ve worked very hard to establish myself on the site and build up a fan and friends base. I always try to be respectful of others and respectful of the space of others. Meaning: I do not post my “advertising” on people’s personal profiles or personal fan pages. By advertising, I mean self-promotional content.

This is the kind of thing you often see manifesting itself in sneaky posts on your wall – you know, the ones that say “nice to meet you,” but a “nice to meet you” that happens to include a very handy link to a website or the jacket of a book. Add to this the practice of tagging someone in order to get your content onto their page. Further add to this a reply tweet that uses your Twitter name to spread someone else’s message. And these are just the subtle methods.

More blatant forms of such promotional trespass consist of folk posting content designed to draw attention to themselves and their product without even attempting to disguise what they’re doing with a personal message, plastering these website links and book jackets, not to mention book trailers and book events right smack dab onto your wall like a giant neon sign. Perhaps they justify this activity by saying so-and-so is a Facebook friend (and possibly a fellow writer), so I guess that means I can be a squatter in his or her house.

Wrong!

I mean, it’s bad enough when this happens on your personal profile, but you won’t believe the number of times I’ve had to remove the advertising of various individuals from my fan pages. I mean, I’ll have a fan page for a book of mine (for instance In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed), and these cheeky buggers will post a book jacket and link to THEIR book on MY book’s fan page. Excuse me, but this is really taking the piss!

Now I’m all for self-promotion as everyone knows, only this is not the way to go about it. I realise things are tough out there, and I know it’s likewise tough to make a buck, but for pity’s sake, use some common sense. If you’re posting to a fan page or group page or even a personal page that indicates it accepts and welcomes these kinds of posts, then fine. But to randomly post on personal profiles, groups and fan pages that are clearly NOT an interactive billboard asking for your advertising (and you can see no evidence to indicate that it is), well, that’s just plain tacky and rude. In fact, it’s SPAM.

Of course you can always remove these posts, and I do it all the time. However, there’s only so much I’ll tolerate when it keeps continuing, especially from the same individuals. Allowing yourself to be a graffitied wall to benefit and promote someone else’s agenda is not going to make them like you. (They don’t like you – they’re using you!) Rather than outright removing said person from my friends list, I try to give them a chance to mend their ways by making my displeasure known via a polite note requesting they cease and desist. You’d think this forthright and civil approach would work and therefore generate an embarrassed apology, right? Well, think again.

A recent SPAM-fest I was made the victim of came from some supposed “book reviewer” who listed quite an impressive CV of where he’d reviewed books. I received a Facebook friend request from said person, and I thought, well sure, of course I’d like him as a friend – until I started to get daily posts on my wall of his various book reviews, none of which were even of my books! Now excuse me, but what in hell is that about? Did my Facebook profile suddenly turn into Publisher’s Weekly? Needless to say, I sent him a polite note requesting he kindly refrain from said behaviour. And get this: he actually un-friended me as if I’d done something wrong!

Awhile back I had another bizarre run-in with some Norman Bates of a poet I’d never heard of. This individual’s personal information was vague to say the least, unless you count the hazy photos of her that looked as if they’d been taken when Nixon was president. It seemed she was hiding behind some paid membership website – and she was continually posting on my Facebook profile and various fan pages advertising said website. When I asked her to stop spamming me, I got a nasty message, followed by some extremely nasty, erroneous, and downright libelous comments she attempted to publish on my website. Had they not been so pathetically inspired by professional and personal jealousy I’d have reported her to my web-host (and my lawyer).

Then just the other day an author posted her book release event on my profile wall, likewise tagging me for the event, following it up by posting her book trailer. Since when did Mitzi Szereto become Barnes & Noble? Hey, I have my own books to sell! Rather than send a message, I removed her from my friends list. I’m not going to be nice with second chances anymore, especially when I end up being disrespected for it. Yes, I’m interested in seeing what others are doing, but I’d prefer not to have it forced on me via a space which is supposed to be for my use and under my control, especially when I can easily find out what’s happening in my newsfeed and by visiting friends’ profiles and pages! I post many things, a lot of which are not self-promotion (I’m big on animal welfare groups such as StopCrush.Org and Charlie to the Rescue), so I find it annoying to get a post that’s not only irrelevant to me, but serves no purpose other than to get a free ride off my hard graft. I don’t much care for freeloaders, nor do I know anyone who does.

So if you want to mark your territory, use your OWN personal profiles and pages to get your message out rather than trespassing on those of others – or else ask permission before you post or tag as a method of self-promotion. It’s called “having good manners!” 😀

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Social Media for Creative Artists Talk

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Everyone probably knows that I’m a big user of social media, so I guess it makes perfect sense that I’d be called upon to speak about this very same subject and how it works for those of us in the creative arts.

So for those of you who weren’t able to make it to the Social Media in Business 2010 conference in London earlier this year and are actually interested in hearing what I have to say on the topic, I invite you to sit back and relax, grab a beer from out of the fridge, and watch the replay!

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Ian Somerhalder, Where Art Thou?

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Ian Somerhalder with his mate Teddy Tedaloo

I’ve been invited to speak at the upcoming Social Media in Business Conference in London on the subject of social media for creative artists, and it’s really got me thinking (I do indulge in this on occasion). As the “Queen of Facebook” (according to Wikipedia and my hapless suitor Mark Zuckerberg), not to mention author and editor of numerous books, blogger for “Errant Ramblings” (you’re reading it now!), creator and presenter of Mitzi TV, and the mother to my famous bear Teddy Tedaloo, it’s probably safe to assume that my name carries a bit of clout. You can find me pretty much everywhere on the internet. Heck, I’m a social media goddess!

I have thousands of fans, friends, followers, tweeters, and stalkers from nearly every country in the world, running the gamut from authors, poets, tech geeks, musicians, pensioners, estate agents, educators, students, actors, film producers, social media gurus, doctors, lawyers, Indian chiefs, journalists, politicians, pervs (see “politicians”), exiled Communists, serial killers, PR people (see “serial killers”), dead rock stars, and teddy bears – to your aunt Tilly from Temecula who no one ever talks about since the cops dug up her back garden and discovered all those bodies. (But hey, they got great wi-fi at Quentin, so she’s always wired and ready to go – well, at least until they strap her in the chair.)

Sounds like I pretty much know everybody, right? Then why is it with all my contacts, not a single one has responded to my request to fix me up with Ian Somerhalder? Yes, I mean the very same Ian Somerhalder who plays the dishy but nasty vampire Damon Salvatore in “The Vampire Diaries“. What exactly is going on here? Where are all these people I’ve cultivated and made so happy with my many posts, tweets, rants, and raves? You know who you are, so don’t even try to wrangle out of it.

Fine, so you retweeted me a few times – big deal. But what have you done for me lately? Where are you when I really need you? I’m beginning to get Jewish mother syndrome here. I do so much for you, I sacrifice, oy oy oy.  Yet the minute I ask for something, everyone runs to the hills. (Hey, wasn’t that a really bad Iron Maiden song?)

Am I supposed to believe that with thousands of people at my electronic beck and call, not one of them will show their appreciation for all my hard work and sacrifice by having a word in Ian’s shell-like? Okay, I do expect flowers, but he doesn’t have to go all out and blow his entire pay packet on them. (I’m not one of THOSE girls.) But heck, if I’m willing to offer up my tender neck, I expect him to be enough of a gentleman when he sinks his teeth into it. On second thought, tell him to ditch the flowers. Some nice chocolate will suffice. Let it not be said that I don’t have my priorities right.

I’d always vowed never to get involved with an actor. Having served some time in Los Angeles, let me tell you that you can get weary of actors very quickly. And they don’t necessarily make the best waiters either, despite popular opinion. Could be one reason why there are so many sushi bars in LA – you don’t need that many waiters to staff them. The thing is, you can’t always predict or control whom you’ll fall for. Actor, bus driver, binman… It’s in the lap of the gods.

As for Ian, I think we’d be really great together. (Sorry, Mark!) And, even more importantly, Ted likes him. Ian’s a big animal lover and, although his love seems to focus more on cats and dogs, Ted’s pretty certain he can win him over with his ursine charm. In fact, judging by that photo of them together, I’d say it’s already working! (Mind you, I just hope that Ian’s not trying to use him to further his own career. You tend to get that with these artistic types.)

So Ian, what time are you coming to get me?

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