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New social network for women entrepreneurs

SavorthesuccesslogoI've come across news of yet another social network for professionals. This time, it's for female entrepreneurs.

Savor the Success, savorthesuccess.com, launched in July and offers a combo of online networking and monthly in-person events. It's designed to help women reach their entrepreneurial goals.

The site was founded by Angela Jia Kim and Marc Stedman, a wife-husband team in New York. Angela Jia Kim is a concert is founder and CEO of Om Aroma & Co., a luxury organic spa and skincare line. Marc Stedman is a web developer specializing in social media network websites.

"We’ve seen a 1,000 percent growth rate every month since we launched in July," Kim said in a press release. "This shows that although there is a tremendous interest in other social networks, women still want to connect with like-minded entrepreneurs to develop meaningful friendships and connections." 

If you join it, let me know what you think.

Posted by Bridget Carey at 12:33 PM on November 20, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New social network for accomplished black professionals

IcabaICABA, which stands for Identifying Connecting Activating the Black Accomplished, is a private social networking community that officially launched Tuesday night. The website, icabaonline.com, has directories, video profiles, a lifestyle channel, blogs as well as a social networking tool. It's headquartered in South Florida, but is designed to be a global network.

I spoke with Davie resident Jerome Hutchinson Jr., 49, chief executive officer of ICABA Media Holdings, who said he came up with the idea in 2007 while he and his wife worked on the book "Who's Who In Black South Florida." He said he realized there was a need to go beyond just reading about successful individuals, but rather have a way to connect with them.

"We're not LinkedIn or Facebook in that our goal is to connect with the world," Hutchinson said. Rather, it's about connecting the connected. "We're giving individuals who have already reached a level of accomplishment in their life, who don't necessarily need to network at every opportunity ... the chance to grow business or career opportunities."

He said there's a lack of institutional networking environments that target a black audience. And the network is not just virtual -- there will be events for members to get together in the real world.

"Another thing that is missing in the social fabric of the black professional community -- particularly in South Florida -- is that there are not many venues where black professionals can meet, greet and interact."

The few events ICABA has already hosted have been well attended, he said. About 175 people came to last night's launch party, which he said shows there is "a very strong appetite for the opportunity to connect with other accomplished black entrepreneurs."

The website also offers a place for members to share information about their expertise and promote their business. An advisory board chooses which members to spotlight with a profile on the homepage.

The only way to join is to be invited or referred by someone who has been profiled on the site. There is also a print publication that will go out to members quarterly that includes a directory of members.

Aside from networking, Hutchinson said ICABA is working with the Urban League of Broward County to set up network members to mentor at-risk youth.

Posted by Bridget Carey at 06:43 PM on November 19, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thinking about a job at the White House?

President-elect Barack Obama has been widely credited with innovative use of technology that helped him get elected to the White House, and it looks like he's maintaining at least some of that tech savvy in terms of who can be hired in the new administration.

The application process for the job may be the most "extensive" ever, according to this New York Times story about the job process. The process includes looking at family members, but what caught my eye was how much they are vetting people's online lives. Like what? According to that story:

  • Any potentially embarrassing emails
  • Links to blog posts and Facebook pages
  • A list of "all aliases or 'handles' used to communicate on the Internet"

Pretty extensive. And probably what any thorough employer is doing these days, besides the quick Google search and Facebook, MySpace perusals. Could this become a new hiring standard?

Posted by Niala Boodhoo at 03:27 PM on November 14, 2008 in Facebook , LinkedIn | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Stupidity in Facebook

Sometimes I feel like there aren't many people out there talking about how insensitive people can be online, so I was really pleased to come across this post entitled "How Not to Be a Jerk in Facebook", especially since its by Chris Brogan -- I'm a fan of his blog on social media. He's made a few relevant and funny points about people misbehaving, artfully captured with screen shots of their offenses. Check it out, and let me know...what are some of your pet peeves about social networking?

Posted by Niala Boodhoo at 01:37 PM on November 13, 2008 in Facebook | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Teachers face firing for Facebook postings

Some people just don't have any common sense.

The Charlotte Observer has a story on teachers that are in trouble for putting derogatory comments about students on Facebook. One teacher listed "teaching chitlins in the ghetto of Charlotte" as an activity and drinking as a hobby. Here's the story:

By Ann Doss Helms
ahelms@charlotteobserver.com
Posted: Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2008

A Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teacher faces firing for posting derogatory comments about students on Facebook, while four others have been disciplined for posts involving “poor judgment and bad taste,” spokeswoman Nora Carr said Tuesday.

WCNC, the Observer's news partner, turned up questionable pages on the social networking site by searching for people who identified themselves as CMS employees.

Superintendent Peter Gorman has recommended firing a teacher who listed “teaching chitlins in the ghetto of Charlotte” as one of her activities and drinking as one of her hobbies.

In her “About Me” section she wrote: “I am teaching in the most ghetto school in Charlotte.”

Thomasboro Elementary, where most students are minorities from low-income homes, lists that teacher as a faculty member on the school Web site. She has been suspended with pay, Carr said; the dismissal is not final because teachers have a right to appeal. The Observer is not publishing her name, pending the district's final decision in her case.

Reporter Jeff Campbell of WCNC said he showed district officials pages involving seven CMS teachers. Carr said four faced unspecified discipline that is less than suspension or dismissal. She would not provide details about the offensive material, but the pages Campbell submitted included photos of female teachers in sexually suggestive poses and a black male teacher who listed “Chillin wit my n---as!!!” as an activity and had a suggestive exchange with a female “Facebook friend” accompanying a shirtless photo of himself.

CMS is still reviewing the case of a high-school special-education teacher who used a Facebook “mood box” to post “I'm feeling p---ed because I hate my students!”

District officials are working on a memo reminding all 19,000 employees that information they post on the Web can be viewed by the public and should be appropriate. “When you're in a professional position, especially one where you're interacting with children and parents, you need to be above reproach,” Carr said.

The teachers in question chose to identify their employer and skipped an option that blocks public viewing of their pages. “I think they just didn't think these things through,” Carr said. “That's kind of mind-boggling.”

CMS has an investigator who specializes in online issues, including reports of inappropriate material posted by students about teachers. Carr said “several” employees a year are disciplined for inappropriate posts. CMS generally responds to complaints, rather than randomly viewing pages.

CMS and other districts also check Web pages, especially popular networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook, before hiring, Carr said.

Teachers across the country have faced similar situations – enough so that NEA Today, the journal of the National Education Association, published a roundup this year. It included a Colorado English teacher fired for posting her sexually explicit poetry on MySpace, a Florida band director fired for a MySpace profile that included “his musings about sex, drugs and depression,” and a Virginia art teacher fired for posting photos of his “butt art,” done by painting his private parts and pressing them onto canvas.

Last fall, according to NEA Today, the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch found teachers writing about sex, drugs and drinking on their MySpace profiles.

“There's an old lawyer's saw that goes something like this: Never put in writing anything that you wouldn't want read in open court or by your mother,” concludes the article, written by Michael Simpson of the NEA's legal office. “Maybe it's time for an updated adage: Never put in electronic form anything that you wouldn't want viewed by a million people, including your colleagues, students, and supervisors – and your mother.”

Posted by Bridget Carey at 12:51 PM on November 12, 2008 in Facebook | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

They're just not into you...getting rejected online

       

    Rejection is rough -- and it doesn't hurt any less when it's done virtually.

Here's a question that relates to refusing or rejecting a friend or connection request on a social network site:

Why do we take it so personally when someone such as a former high school friend rejects your friend request? It happened to me, and I must admit that it still bothers me. This person has accepted other people from the same circle of friends but not me.    

   

''Friending'' is a highly individualized process. We've said it before, but it bears repeating: Everyone has different reasons for using social network sites. People also have varying levels of dedication to the sites and may not be as voracious as you. Rejectees shouldn't feel so bad.

If you're talking about co-workers, it's probably best to maintain similar behavior online as you have at work. If you want to be civil to everyone in your workplace, keep it up online. If you don't really want them to be your friend, to avoid an awkward situation add them under a limited status.

We both dislike people who nag you about requests, both virtually and in real life.

One word: don't. You may have different standards for your social network than they do, and you should respect that.

When it comes to accepting or rejecting, keep this in mind:

If you don't want a professional or work contact to hang with you on Facebook, extend an invitation to them on LinkedIn. Odds are, they won't notice you never accepted their Facebook request. And if they do point it out, they're the ones who lack tact -- direct them here!

Posted by Niala Boodhoo at 02:19 PM on November 11, 2008 in Facebook , Friending , LinkedIn | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Be cautious when using the Web to screen job candidates

I recommend reading today's Business Monday guest column by Mark J. Neuberger, who is of counsel in the Miami office of Foley & Lardner, where he represents management in all aspects of labor and employment law. He writes about the complications recruiters are facing when it comes to social networking. Here's a snippet of his column:

"People who post personal information online expose their private lives and share details about themselves that would otherwise never be known to prospective employers. Photos of nights partying on South Beach can come back to haunt. At the same time, employers need to act responsibly with the information they have access to online.

By looking at a candidate's ''Web presence,'' employers will likely find answers to the types of questions they should have stopped asking 40 years ago. As a labor and employment attorney representing employers, I am frequently asked what is proper.

Unfortunately, the law has not caught up with technology, but I don't think more legislation or regulation is the answer. Rather, I would offer the following: Anyone thinking about getting a job should carefully analyze their image as reflected on the Internet. For the most part, individuals can control what is on the Web and use it to project an image which enhances employability. People who insist their lives are private and not fair game for Googlers ought to wake up to the realities. Simply put, if you don't want people to see it, don't post it or say it on the Web."

Read the whole column here: [Use Internet carefully for job screening]

Posted by Bridget Carey at 02:42 PM on November 10, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Have you checked out the new applications on LinkedIn?

Have you had a chance yet to check out LinkedIn's new applications? If so, what do you think of them?

As of last week, LinkedIn users have the ability to add applications to their profiles, similar to Facebook and MySpace.

As per LinkedIn's theme, they're mostly work-related: you can share presentations, documents and your blog feed with your network; view Twitter activity associated with your company; and even publish your travel plans so others can see if you're in another city. So far, there are nine applications to check out.

Posted by Bridget Carey at 05:45 PM on November 6, 2008 in Applications , LinkedIn | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Yet another way for your non-friends to see your "private" Facebook photos

TinkerbellFacebook photos of my Halloween costume (pictured here) came up in coversation at work, and one of my editors -- who isn't my Facebook friend -- said they also saw the photos.

The Halloween party photos were posted by fellow Poked blogger Niala, who hosted the party. The editor -- who isn't my facebook friend -- also is not Niala's facebook friend. (But if that editor is reading this post, I'll be happy to add you! Heh, heh...) So if the editor isn't connected to either Niala or I, how did the editor have access to the party photos?

A friend of the editor was tagged in a party photo, so the editor was able to scroll through all the photos in Niala's party album.

I don't mind. Heck, I'm proud of my Tinkerbell outfit! If there was a bad photo in the mix, I would have asked Niala to take it down. But it's just another thing to keep in mind of how people who aren't your friends can still see your photos.

Normally, I block my bosses from seeing photos that friends tag me in, since I don't have control over what stupid photos my friends will share. But here is a case where a privacy setting wouldn't have made a difference.

I guess Niala could have made the party's photos super private. That's not always fun, but I would recommend doing that if you post photos that might be deemed scandalous... or just deemed embarrassing to show the boss if they are of a co-worker. Luckily that wasn't the case for me... this time.

Posted by Bridget Carey at 04:07 PM on November 4, 2008 in Facebook , Privacy settings , Tagging | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

If you thought privacy settings kept your privacy, think again...

This week's column is a tale of caution: Beware the co-worker that pulls up your social network profile at work. If you open up your party photos to a few co-workers, don't be surprised if they open them up at work and show others... like the boss.

Many of my co-workers are blocked from seeing my more ''social'' moments on Facebook . . . such as the booze-fueled housewarming bash I threw a few months back. Not exactly something you want the bosses to see.

So imagine my horror when I saw a co-worker (who had full profile access) not only browsing through my party photos at work -- but also showing them to someone who walked by!

Lucky for me, the person who saw it already was my Facebook friend. And that co-worker quickly realized that a social network faux pas had been committed.

I thought I had it under control because I used privacy settings. I trusted that co-worker with access, but I didn't take into account that the pictures could be shared with others at work.

So the lesson learned goes two ways. First, assume that things you see are for your eyes only. It's disrespectful to let the whole department huddle around your monitor to look at someone else's profile.

And, of course, don't assume bosses won't see a photo just because you blocked their access. Unless you block all co-workers, someone at work could share it in the office. Nothing is 100 percent safe from being seen just because you use privacy settings.

Niala has experienced this same problem, a little differently. Here's her story:

I've had a few incidents with co-workers who aren't on social networks but like to get into people's business. Hey, we're all journalists -- it's sort of a hallmark of the trade that we're all nosy. But I have to draw the line when they are hovering over my computer, and, in some cases, asking me to click on things in people's profiles. I'm not sure that I've done the best job telling them to back off. I usually just tell them they need to open their own account.

For some reason, people who would never read an e-mail on your screen have no problem being social network voyeurs.

Had a similar situation? Post a comment or e-mail us at poked@MiamiHerald.com.

Posted by Bridget Carey at 06:35 PM on November 2, 2008 in Facebook , Privacy settings | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

 
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