Happy Halloween! Some folks at work today (including my boss) are dressed up for the occasion. (I'm saving my pirate outfit for later this evening). I couldn't help it..I took a picture and immediately wanted to post it on Facebook. But since he's my boss, I did ask first -- "Hey, mind if I post this on Facebook?". He said, sure. Sometimes I wonder if I'm hypersensitive to photos posted on Facebook. What do you guys think?
What if you had a party and no one showed up? Most people would probably be crushed, right?
But what if you had a party where you just invited people you knew from Facebook? Say, 700 of your closest FB friends? That's what happened to the writer of this New York Times story published last week.
It was fascinating to me because it brings up the interplay between life in the "real" world and life online. But it also highlights how you friend people. I'm fairly cautious about who I friend on Facebook -- I don't really accept friend invitations from people I haven't met. (I mean, I accept Friend requests from people I met once, for sure, but not usually strangers). What's your take?
If you don't already have a professional presence on a business-oriented social networking site like LinkedIn, there's no better time than now to create a profile. It doesn't take much time at all to set up a basic profile, and there's no need to feel intimidated. Having an online presence can give you a serious advantage when trying to advance your career, especially is today's tough economy.
Click the link below to see the Miami Herald's interactive tutorial for tips on how to set up a profile and use it to advance your career:
Have more questions? Post a comment or e-mail us at Poked@MiamiHerald.com.
This week's Poked column talks about people who love sending application invitations. It's fine to send stuff to friends, but too many requests to the same person can start to look like spam.
And if you're sending application invitations to co-workers that aren't your close friends, think twice before clicking send. If the application revolves around a topic that HR would frown upon, then chances are you can make that person uncomfortable.
And remember that you don't have to respond to every poke or application request that comes your way -- ignoring them doesn't make you rude. But if you are worried about offending the person, you can always send a short message to them saying you're just not that into their application.
For more on this topic, check out today's Poked column here: Be polite when sending online applications
Especially in this economy, it's more important than ever to look good professionally online. This column we published today is about how to manage especially your LinkedIn profile.
We also answered a question that came in during the blog last week about how to juggle keeping your online profile look appealing to a future possible employer while keeping your current bosses happy.
Any other thoughts out there on how to maintain that balance?
Do you really look at who is requesting you as a connection or friend before you click to accept? A question came to us the other day about being a little too relaxed about requesting and accepting friends. A perplexed reader writes:
Q: My 18-year-old college freshman niece recently ramped up activity on her Facebook page. I suspect that’s partly due to the fact that she’s far away from home and can sit up at all hours online in a way she couldn't do back home.
Anyway, one of her first moves upon learning I was on Facebook was to send me a friends invitation. Of course, I accepted it. But then she proceeded to contact several of my adult male friends – people whose names/profiles she saw on my friends list – and invited them to be her friends.
Maybe I’m old-fashioned or over-protective, but I had a huge problem with my teenage niece reaching out to guys in their late 20s, early-to-mid 30s, and so on, to be "friends" with them online.
I don’t want to be the old curmudgeon uncle, and tell her something outdated like "it’s unbecoming of a young lady..." - something our great grandmother might have said to us.
But something about those friend requests she made bugs me. In several cases, my buddies are married or in serious committed relationships. I asked each one of them what the deal was, and they all said they never look at friend requests to see who they’re from. They just hit the accept button and keep moving. I haven’t said anything to my niece, ‘cause I’m still not sure yet if I’m overreacting.
A: You're not overreacting. It's one thing to friend people who are acquaintances. I have 420 friends. When I request someone as a friend, it's just to keep in touch. As my 24-year-old roommate once explained it, friending someone just means: "Hey, if you die, I'd like to be notified of it."
But it's a whole different story if she never met your friends. There are lots of spammers with fake accounts on Facebook and MySpace who only friend strangers. It's happened to me a few times where I never met the person, I have no friends in common with that person, and yet they requested my friendship so I would go on their page and see the spammy sex site links on the profile. It's amazing how many people just accept the friendship to complete strangers.
And most people who do that get reported. A stranger she friends might report her if they think she's a spammer by requesting people she doesn't know. In the worst case scenario, she could lose her Facebook account (I doubt that would happen). And at the very least, she is perceived as being creepy.
It's not proper for her to just grow her collection of friends from your friends list when she doesn't even know these people. It also makes you look bad with your network for having a niece that is pestering all your friends. If she doesn't care about looking weird, then she should care that it makes you look bad for having an annoying niece. If you want to approach her about it, I would suggest making that point.
There's also the option of using privacy settings to keep her from seeing any of your friends.
And what is the deal with these friends of yours accepting her request without knowing who she is? I'm guessing they see that they have you as a common friend. And then they think: "Am I supposed to know that girl? Maybe I do and I forgot. I don't want to be rude and ignore it in case I did actually meet her before."
But it's OK to not accept a friend request from someone you don't know! It's your profile. You have to be choosy who sees it. And that's coming from the gal with way too many '"friends."
Ok, so a few people brought up the fact that in our first column we didn't actually SAY what we thought about poking your boss.
Hey, we said it was tricky. Bridget and I both think it depends on your workplace and your relationship with your boss.
My direct editor is actually my friend on Facebook -- in part because we were FB friends before he became my editor. We poke each other, but it's kind of a joke because we've talked about it -- it was actually one of those conversations that started this whole blog/column idea. (This was way back when throwing sheep was in vogue). And when he's having a bad day or vice versa, it's kind of a hey, "I'm sending you a cheer up" message.
But our workplace (by that I mean the newsroom at The Miami Herald) is a fairly casual office environment.
p.s. This brings up another netequitte/pet peeve of mine -- I don't like it when people blog about you without asking if that's okay first. So yes, I asked my editor for his permission to talk about him in this blog post. (Obviously, he said yes.)
Ever been poked by a co-worker and didn't know what to do? Then this blog is for you ... especially if you have no idea what we're talking about.
Here we'll discuss social networking etiquette as it relates to the working world. For the record, poking is a virtual way of getting someone's attention on Facebook. It's a tricky move.
Too often Niala and I find ourselves cringing over social network faux pas being committed in networks like Facebook and Linkedin. But it's understandable, since social networking is a new frontier for many. We want to use this blog to clear up some of the dos and don'ts. And for that gray territory, we want to hear how you would handle things.
Read our first column with basic tips for bosses and workers in today's Miami Herald.
In the meantime, e-mail us your questions, comments and tales of awkward business netiquette to poked@MiamiHerald.com.
And here's a poll just to get things started: