Learn to Keep your Mouth Shut Online

1 comment

in Online Footprint

, , , , , ,

Human beings have centuries of experience keeping their mouths shut and to not always say what they are thinking.  Some people still have a problem determining what should be said and what should only be thought.  Even when someone slips and says something that he shouldn’t have said, he usually catches himself and takes it back or feels bad about it after realizing.  The online world is a completely new place that we are just getting to know.  The average person has been online for less than a decade and a half.  Social networks have been around for about a third of that and have only been popular for much less.

When it comes to keeping our mouths shut, our parents have been telling us to do it for years as their parents did for them and so on.  Our parents and grandparents never told us not to write things down, in fact, many parents suggested writing things down as opposed to saying them.  Things that were written down were safer than things that were spoken. Even with the invention of the typewriter and then later the computer, the user still had complete control of the content produced.  You can write whatever you want and hide it in a drawer, tear it up or burn it and no one would ever see it.

Taking Writing Public

When writing a story or an assignment for school, the author had the opportunity to revise it as many times as he liked before submitting it.  Even when passing notes in class, it was just between 2 people with a 99% chance that no one else would ever see it.  A 1% chance or even a little more is a risk that most people are willing to take.

Taking Writing Even More Public

I’m not sure why but speaking and writing are very different.  In most cases, a person can have a conversation with a friend without pausing to think about what they want to say.  When having a conversation via an instant messenger online, people often have to think about what they want to say before typing it and often type and delete before they hit enter to send their message.  That may be one of the reasons that Google Wave shut down their development as was announced last week.  Google Wave, a product they launched to combat email and invested a ton of resources into made conversation so public that everyone in the wave saw the words as your were typing them, not giving you a chance to delete and retype.  If you had to think about what to write, everyone else in the wave knew exactly how long you were thinking.  I’m sure there were many reasons that Wave didn’t catch on but I think a big part of it may be that we are just not ready for it yet.  We are not ready to give up that much control yet.  When it comes to technology, we don’t know how to keep our mouth shut yet.

And Even More Public

On social networks, things are a little bit different.  The networks (especially Facebook) are set up by default to be as public as possible.  When you tell something to a friend in real life, there is a chance that someone will overhear it and even repeat it but online, everyone in the world will have a chance to check out exactly what you had to say from the original source because once you post it, it is there forever.  For some reason, people still feel that some areas of the Internet are intimate enough to have conversations or post pictures without thinking about the consequences.

Because of these social networks, people have been caught slacking off at work, cheating at school, defrauding their insurance, cheating on their spouses and playing Farmville.   It is not natural or second nature for us yet, to keep our mouths shut and filter what should be public and what should be private online.  This generation is beta testing conversation online.  We are the guinea pigs that are figuring out what is acceptable and what is not in this new technological and open world.  I am sure that the next generation will have rulebooks and accepted practices for online behaviour to which people will adhere.  I am positive that the next generation of parents will instil modern common sense into their children and teach them how to keep their mouths shut online because they would have grown up with it and seen the consequences firsthand.  Until then, be very careful how you behave online and think twice before posting anything that you may regret later on.

Pic Credit: Hamed Saber

Early Adopters Make the World a Better Place


in Social Networks

, , , , , ,

iPhone Geo Tagging

Everybody wants to make the world a better place for the next generation and most people today think about the environment and going green as the best way to save the world and help our children.  The environment has definitely taken a beating through this “disposable age” of pollution, disposable utensils and pretty much plastic everything, and helping turn things around is absolutely a noble cause.  I think it is great that so many companies are going green but that is not the only way to help make the world a better place.

Think about the internet and how it has changed the way we do business, communicate with each other, and how it makes life a whole lot easier at times.  We can talk to relatives across the world face to face for free, we can find friends that we lost contact with many years ago and we can instantly be notified when something important happens in the world.  On top of everything else, the internet is the best place on earth to do research and learn everything about anything.  Wikipedia is often the first place to look when researching a topic or wanting to find out about a specific event.

Now think about the services that you use personally, how they are helping the world and how they got started.

Wikipedia: The Encyclopedia Built on Passion

Wikipedia is run by thousands of extremely passionate people who take it upon themselves to make sure that every article is as accurate and up to date as possible.  Don’t believe me? Try to change a popular entry on Wikipedia to something ridiculous and watch how quickly it gets changed back.   There are even people who roam around the site to make sure that words are spelled correctly.

Twitter: One to Many Communication

Twitter is an incredible tool that lets anyone broadcast whatever they want to many people at a time.  During the semi-recent Iran election, a country dead-set on silencing its citizens was unable to compete with Twitter’s ability to get the news out into the public.  It also allows individuals to network with people outside of their circles and comfort zones like never before.  During local emergencies, like a bomb in Times Square, there is no quicker way to get the word out.  (Follow me @flid2)

Foursquare: Location Based Social Network/Game

Foursquare is a relatively new social game that is played from your smart phone that allows you to tag locations every time you go out.  You can compete in your local city for points or for the title of “Mayor” of specific locations.  It all seems pretty pointless at first glance but there are tons of benefits to the game.  It can introduce you to people with common interests by showing you who else has been to the same venues as you and also introduce you to venues you otherwise would never know about.  Each time you check in, you can see which of your friends are at the same location.   By being somewhat competitive, it also encourages you to go out more often instead of just staying at home.  To help others out, you can leave a tip at any location such as “get the poutine, it’s awesome” at a certain restaurant or “say hi to Tony for great service”.  (Friend me @flid2)

Yelp: Review the World

Yelp is another location tagging platform but one of the main ideas on Yelp is to leave reviews about any place that you go to.  When you are walking down the street and trying to decide which of the 20 places to eat, wouldn’t you love to be able to read reviews about each before stepping in?  You can do that from the palm of your hand.  Not only that, but on the newer versions of the iPhone, they introduced what they call “monocle mode” where you can just point the camera of your iPhone in any direction and see what’s around you and worth doing.  (Friend me on Yelp)

Amazon.com: Buy Books and Products Based on Reviews by People Like You

When buying a book, there’s no better place to go than Amazon.com.  Because of them, you never need guess which books are going to be worth reading.  You can just scroll through the reviews and get a good idea of what would be right up your alley.  At a regular book store, you will get the store’s expert opinion but on Amazon, you will get reviews from tens or hundreds of people just like you.  Because of the amount of people that use the site, they have a great recommendation engine which suggests books that you would like based on what you have previously purchased and other people with similar interest’s recent purchases.

These platforms don’t just make life more convenient and easier, they can even save lives.  People are sharing their knowledge online.  Doctors are communicating better.  You can find videos online on how to do CPR and other life saving techniques.  People are able to eat healthier and exercise better because of information online.  Charities and non-profit organizations with great causes are now able to reach more people.  The benefits are immeasurable.

All of these platforms work because early adopters take the time to use them, write reviews, tag locations and take the time to make them as helpful as possible for the next person.  Who knows how helpful they will be in 10 years from now.  I can just picture being stuck traveling in the middle of nowhere, turning on your phone and finding every restaurant, gas station, bathroom, coffee shop and visitors center in a 25 mile radius, all with reviews and tips.

A couple of weeks ago I mapped out a route on Google maps and found a mistake.  I sent Google some feedback with their mistake and how it can be corrected on their maps.  My sister was amazed that I took the time to report the mistake and asked why.  I told her, I am just trying to make the world a better place.

How are you making the world a better place?

Photo Credit William Hook

Would you “Like” a “Dislike” Button on Facebook?


in facebook

, , , ,

Facebook is attempting to take over the internet with their “Like” buttons which allows people to share with (Facebook, but that’s for another post) each other articles, blog posts, pictures, web pages and even articles of clothing that they like.  There is no “dislike” button yet even though there are about 2900 results for “dislike button” on Facebook alone including an application to add a “dislike” button to your own page.

Sites like Digg.com have always allowed you to give a thumbs up or thumbs down to an article but those thumbs down would usually come from boredom as opposed to actual dislike of the article.  The way Facebook is using the “like” feature is a little different.  If they added dislike buttons everywhere that “like” buttons are found, it could cause a lot of heat online.  It would get discouraging if a company created a page to all of a sudden, find more “dislikes” than “likes”.  Now, a company can boast that they have thousands of “likes” on their Facebook page but things may be a little different if it had just as many “dislikes”.  It may even be an interesting experiment to add the dislike button because it would get more people involved on each page and open up many new conversations.  It can give companies a chance to convince their “dislikers” to become “likers”, after all, some of the best raving fans are made from angry customers who are appeased by the store.

Personally, I am all for a “dislike” button or option.  It will let companies and people be honest with themselves, sometimes brutally honest.  It will be a way to crowd source criticism which can help companies and people improve at a much faster pace.  At the same time, it could cause damage because one person telling you that they didn’t like your article or product is bad enough but thousands of people telling you the same could leave a mark.  Just imagine the damage that one “dislike” from Ashton Kutcher, Ellen or Oprah could do to a company.  On that note, I am also a believer that most people are good and will mostly use the “dislike” button appropriately.

What are your thoughts?  Would you “like” a “dislike” button?  Feel free to “like” this post by clicking the button above/below and if you would like to “dislike” it, keep checking back for the button but in the meanwhile, let me know in the comments.

No Silly Rabbit, Deleting Profiles is for Fools


in Social Networks

, , , , , , , ,

MySpace used to be the most popular social network on the internet.  It revolutionized how we communicate with our family, friends and acquaintances online.  At a certain point, it started filling up with spam, stalkers, pointless glitter and other nuisances that caused people to look for an alternative.   Thankfully, Facebook was there to pick up the pieces and surpass MySpace as the general public’s virtual home.

Facebook was far more structured and consistent.  You didn’t have to scroll around a friend’s profile in 4 directions to find what you were looking for.  Pictures, were in the picture section, information was in the information section and best of all, if you wanted to read or see more, there was only one direction to scroll.

As they made the transition from MySpace to Facebook, many people deleted their old profile just to start anew on the new platform.  It may be habit from the old days of Hotmail that would delete your account if it wasn’t used in 30 days but it’s a habit that needs to be broken.  Profile s are being deleted not only when switching platforms but also when individuals are getting fed up with a service.  Tons of people deleted their profiles when facebook changed from their old format to the new format.  Profiles have also been deleted at each sweep of annoying viral applications such as Mafia Wars, Farmville, and which “fill in the blank” are you. Thankfully, Facebook now has a “hide” feature to help your ignore the crap.

Deleting your Account is Stupid

Deleting your account could be one of the stupidest things that you can do.  There is no charge for leaving your account alone.  You can change the privacy settings, not allow anyone access to your account and never receive another email notifying you of anything related to the platform.  When you change your mind 3 months later, all you have to do is log in, change some settings and clean things up a little.

Deleting your account is like burning down your beautiful garden because you don’t want to attend to it anymore.  Instead, you could just leave it alone and if you ever decide to take care of the garden again, all you have to do is some cleaning and get rid of some weeds.

Contacts are Crucial

If you watch Donald Trump’s Apprentice, you’ll see how important one’s contacts are.  Each new job calls on celebrities to call on their contacts for help (usually charity donations).  Contacts are Crucial and every successful businessperson, marketer, fundraiser or job seeker knows it.  The more contacts you have, the more potential you have and the more opportunity that can come up.  Some jobs are filled based on the applicant’s contact book alone.  By deleting your profile, you could be cutting off some important contacts.  Just ask Ryan McMahon, a comedian who got fed up with Facebook at a certain point and deleted his account with 2300 friends and followers.  A move that substantially decreased traffic to his site and online material.

This past week Facebook surpassed Google for most visited site on the web according to Hitwise Intelligence.   As a business person or celebrity, do you want knock down your Times Square location because there are too many tourists around?

It’s Getting Really Hard to be a Jerk These Days


in Transparency

, , , , , ,

It’s really funny and I think it`s really great and a sign that society is moving in the right direction but it is getting harder and harder to be a jerk these days.  It used to be pretty easy to get away with because you were able to treat some people badly and suck up to the people that are important in your path to getting ahead in life.  Today, the world is smaller and communication has never been better.  Through blogs, micro blogging and social networks, everyone is connected from the lowest level worker to the highest executive or CEO.

In the past, companies would ignore individual customers and focus on the much larger target market.  If they ran over one customer along the way, it didn`t matter because there were always plenty of others waiting in line to deal with the company.  Today a single bad experience with a customer can really hurt a company.  Everyone has a voice and an internet connection these days.  Anyone can write a review about a company that they dealt with on hundreds of review sites and anyone can create a blog or Facebook group in response to how they were treated by the company (positive or negative although negative experience are much better fueled).

Some companies such as Comcast, DELL and Amazon.com, realize this and are turning their haters into fans and their fans into loyal evangelists.  Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library TV is very careful about what he says to every single person he deals with and if he accidentally says something to upset someone, even completely unintentionally, he spends hours of his time apologizing to every single person involved.

In the online world, if you (or your company) are a genuinely good guy, you have very little to worry about and if something negative does come up, you can easily protect yourself by being transparent.  If you are a jerk, you will end up trying to hide everything until it blows up in your face.  At that point, you have very little hope of winning your audience.   The public will like and respect the “good guys” for their transparency and they will really dislike the “jerks” for not being transparent.  Worst of all, they will start speculating about every aspect about the jerks because it will always seem like they are hiding something.

Over the last couple of years and even over the last few months, there have been tons of politicians, athletes, executives and others exposed in the news and on blogs for being “Jerks”.  Everyone has an opinion and now we can share our opinions with the world.  These opinions get indexed by search engines and lead to comments and more opinions which are also indexed in search engines which save the opinions forever.  It is getting much harder to hide “Jerky” behaviour from the world.

Although it has never been a good idea to burn bridges, people have always been able to burn a bridge or two over time.  The burnt bridges may have in some cases, prevented them from a couple of opportunities but nothing compared what a burnt bridge can do today or what it will do to you in 5 or 10 years.  Google records, indexes, maps out and allows comments on every burnt bridge with pictures and all.

The saying goes “good guys finish last”.  The good guys always got the short straw and were pushed around by the jerks.  Now, the tables are turning and the good guys are going to start winning.  So please do yourself a favour and embrace the change, be helpful, treat everyone well and most importantly stop being a jerk!

They’re All Going to Laugh at You!


in Blogging |Social Companies

, , , , , , , , , ,

They're all Going to Laugh at You


As part of the transition from the 1900’s to the 2000’s and more specifically the last few years, we all have to get over a major obstacle in order to move forward.  The major obstacle as made famous by Adam Sandler is the fear that “they’re all going to laugh at you!“.  As individuals, many have been held back because they were afraid of consequences, they were afraid of what people would think and they were afraid that people would laugh at them.  It may not be those specific fears but pretty much, they were afraid that what they produce would not be accepted as well as they would hope.  Growing up, we have all heard the saying “better to remain quite and looked a fool than opening your mouth and removing all doubt”.  We are trained to keep quite until we are certain that everyone else will agree with us.

On a corporate level, every department fears what other departments will think, what their superiors will think and even more what the public will think.  This thinking leads to being less productive, less innovative and more boring.  Before doing anything at a large company, a department will have a meeting, then propose it to other departments or superiors and then test it out on a small sample of the public before even thinking of moving forward.  During this time, they can be losing out on potential profit and allowing their competitors to get ahead.
Obviously there are times when you need to test things out to make sure that they are on target and won’t damage the company image but that doesn’t mean that internally they have to shlep on forever.  By keeping things to yourself and hiding forward thinking from your company or target market, you are doing yourself a huge disservice.

Companies and organization now have the tools to connect with their audience and to communicate on a daily basis in real time.  They can blog, connect on Facebook, Twitter,  Youtube and many more social networks.  Your audience is waiting for your thought leadership.  They are waiting to hear about your organization, what you are thinking about and what you can do for them.  There has never before been a time that you can give your audience more than you can right now.  If that’s the case, what are you waiting for?  Nobody will laugh at you for jumping in.  The only time they will laugh is if you don’t take advantage of this amazing opportunity to connect with them.

What are you waiting for?  Jump in and leave a comment.
*photo thanks to Linny http://www.flickr.com/photos/linnybinnypix/

The Beauty of RSS Feeds and Readers


in Search Online

, , , , ,

(For the “How To”, scroll to the bottom of the post.)

You don’t really see the benefit of RSS feeds and a reader if you are working with very few sites.  If all you need is to check cnn.com for your news and yahoo finance for your investments, you might look at an rss reader as a hassle or a way of complicating your daily routine.  If that’s all you are using them for then I agree.   But what if you end up visiting the same 10 sites every day which is very common and becoming more common each day.  At that point, you might start seeing the beauty of the rss feed and reader and start using them regularly.

What an rss feed essentially does is it pulls news and articles from all over the web and brings them into a nice, easy to read format.  By just visiting your reader, you will get the same information that you would have from opening each individual site but with a reader, you don’t have to keep checking if each site updated every day (or every hour or even minute).  Even breaking news travels to your reader fast enough to be on top of it.  All you have to do is open your reader and if the sites updated, the new articles are in your reader.  Simple as that!  You can relax knowing that all the information you would be looking for will come right to you as it happens.

Alerts: Google and Other

RSS feeds are not exclusive to Blogs and news sites, you can create your own feeds based on many criteria including google alerts, blog alerts, keyword alerts and searches from most search engines including twitter.  By setting up the right alerts, you can pretty much listen to what the entire world is saying about any particular topic (including your business) in real time.

Every company, organization and in most cases, even individuals should have alerts set up for themselves, their businesses, organizations, products and industry.  It will put your finger on the pulse of the trends and what the future may hold.

Where the rss system works exceptionally well is in a misunderstanding or crisis such as a scandal involving your business or organization.  During a crisis, you become overwhelmed with everything that needs to get done, responding to the situation and building a strategy to get through it.  You don’t have time to sit and search the web over and over again to find  everything that is being said about you.  With an rss reader, you can create as many alerts for websites, keywords, terms and people as you like and have them come right to you as they happen.  All you have to do is keep the reader open in a browser and refresh every once in a while (if auto refresh is too slow for you).   In many cases, you can subscribe to comment feeds as well and hear what the average people are saying that don’t have their own platform.

To put all of this into practice, use some of the resources below:  I suggest using Google Reader for all.

1) What is an RSS Feed? Some Quick FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions): Learn the basics.

2)      Google Alerts: http://www.google.com/alerts. First, sign in to your Google account or create one if you don’t have one yet.  Then enter your search term such as your company name, an individual at the company or any other related term that you would like to keep track of (enter it as if you were searching Google).  Choose what types of information you would like collected such as news, blog posts, videos, etc.  I would suggest “Comprehensive” so that you get it all but it would really depend on what you are looking for.  Then in the deliver menu, click “feed” to have the results delivered to your feed as they happen.  Rinse and repeat for all of the terms that you want to be updated about.  You can create up to 1000 Google alerts so don’t be shy.

3)      IceRocket.com: http://www.icerocket.com/. Enter your search term into the search bar and results will appear.  In the left sidebar, towards the bottom, there will be a “subscribe” link to subscribe to the feed.  Right click the link and choose to “copy link address”.  Then log into Google Reader and click on the “add a subscription” button at the top of the left sidebar.  Paste the link that you just copied on the IceRocket.com search.  The feed is now in your reader and will be updated as new posts are created.  Once again, rinse and repeat.

4)      Twitter Search: http://search.twitter.com/. Enter your search term in the search bar.  At the top right of the results page is a link to the “Feed for this query”.  To add the feed to your reader, follow the same steps as for IceRocket.com above.  You should be getting the hang of this already but once again, repeat for all keywords and terms.

The above resources should give you a very good start to using RSS feeds and reader to listen better to what the world is saying about things you care about, and save a heck of a lot of time in the process.

Do you have any other hints, tips or resources? Let me know in the comments.  Also, if this helped you, let me know.

If You Become Friends with your Customers, Act Like a Friend, not a Business


in Social Companies

, , , , ,

Joseph Jaffe, Chief Interruptor at Crayon and one of the leading specialists in conversational marketing and social media, recently had a really bad experience with American Express and took the time to rant about it for a few minutes on his online TV channel.  He got upset at American Express for doing something to him that any credit card company or business would do in that situation.  The only difference is, that Amex differentiated themselves as a company who cares.

Watch this video and you’ll see what I mean:

You’ll notice that he was upset because they claimed to be  “Open” for small businesses, that they understand their customers, the spirit of the entrepreneur and the American dream.  American Express opened their arms and offered friendship to small businesses and Jaffe accepted.

After the friendship started and his credit card and limit were in hand, Amex came over to him and began to act like a business by asking for all of his personal information and tax records.  Multiple personalities if you ask me and nobody wants to be friends with someone that’s only your friend some of the time.

At the end of the story, his credit card was declined because he was $16 over his limit.  For a business, over the limit is over the limit.  They have rules and must follow them.  For a friend, $16 is nothing and would quickly be forgiven.  Jaffe was not upset that a business was following rules, he was upset that his good friend just stabbed him in the back and made him look like a fool when he was checking into the Renaissance Hotel in Orlando.

Jaffe points out that there “was no courtesy call, no courtesy message, no courtesy text message”, all things you would expect from a friend, or a business you consider your friend.  A company that cares would never do this to their customers.

If a company says “we’ll give you the world” and then disappoints you on even one point, they will lose their customers.  If a company says “i’ll give you ‘X’” and then gives you “X” and “Y”, they have made a friend, possibly for life if they keep it up.

Consistency is a Must

Consistency is extremely important.  People want to know what they are getting when they make a purchase.   Michael Gerber in the E-myth Revisited mentions that the success of McDonalds is because of their system and consistency.  When a customer visits the store, they know exactly what they are going to get.  If the customer has a great sandwich the first time but the same sandwich the next time is not as good, he will subconsciously stop going to that restaurant.

We are in a world where social relationships rule and traditional one-way company monologues are on their deathbed.  Customers would always prefer to give their business to a friend as opposed to a corporation.  As a company, becoming friends with your customers is a smart move and the friendship will gain their loyalty.  Just make sure that if you become friends with your customers, you act like a friend and not a business.

You Can’t Be Anonymous Online, So Be Yourself!


in Online Footprint

, , , ,

I want to clear up a huge misconception about the internet:

You are not anonymous online, no matter how hard you try to hide your identity.

Everything you do online is recorded and traced back to your computer with the time and date stamped on it.  Everything you post online is indexed by the search engines and is there forever.  You may not even remember the time that you used a nickname years ago but if you ever use the nickname again, Google will make the connection.  You don’t have to be a detective anymore to find the clues, the search engines do the work for you.

You Can Find Anything Online

I am one of the admins for a blog that received a nasty comment.  When looking into it, I noticed that the name given in the comment was the equivalent of a “John Smith”.  Just for the fun of it, I took all the information that was provided in the comment and entered it into Google.  Within 2 minutes and 3 or 4 quick searches, I narrowed my search for the commenter down to a person who lives within a few blocks of the blog owner along with his full name, address, phone number, possible relatives, websites he recently visited, his current job and his work history.  I’m not going to do anything with the information but I’m just saying that it is all out there and easily searchable.

Most People Leave Their Digital Fingerprints All Over the Net

Most people, whether they realize it or not leave some sort of digital fingerprint when they comment online.  They may use a certain alias or user ID (when trying to be anonymous), use a word or expression that can be traced back to them or some other piece of evidence they can leave without realizing it.  It may even be different variations of a word such as adding a number or using that word for an email address on several providers (yahoo, hotmail, aol…) Any of that information can lead you right to the commenter.  If all else fails, the internet provider can be court ordered to surrender the commenter’s identity if need be.

Participate Online as Yourself

That being said, there is no reason to be afraid of getting online if you are honest and authentic.  Treat the online world as you would treat the offline world.  Be transparent and friendly and you will attract friends and loyal fans.  If you choose not to be transparent, your customers will be wary and if you try to do something anonymously, you will be found out.  It’s just so easy.

So go ahead and participate online.  Just please, do yourself a favour and be yourself.

Once You Press Send You Can Never Take It Back

1 comment

in Online Footprint

, , , , , , ,

Everything You Say Online Stays Online… Forever

As Peter Parker/Spiderman’s Uncle Ben once said “with great power, comes great responsibility”. In this digital age, we all have a “great power”, the power of our voices. Anyone in the world can have his opinion heard and it is as simple as commenting on a blog post or video online. What many people don’t realize though is that once you use your voice, you can’t really take back what you said. Every webpage, post and comment is indexed in Google and other search engines and will probably be around forever in one form or another.

E-mail Can Be Just As Public As The Rest Of The Web

E-mail as well can be a tool to project your voice. Even if you just send an e-mail to one individual, it doesn’t mean that he won’t forward it to the rest of the world. Once you press “send” you can never take it back.

News Spreads At the Speed of Light

Yesterday I received an email from an organization that was sent to their entire mailing list about an event which I thought was pretty important. Immediately after receiving the e-mail, I posted it to Facebook, tagged all the local people I could find and then asked people to spread the word. Within less than an hour, three other major organizations sent out the exact message word for word to their entire mailing lists. A few minutes after that, I got a call from the original sender who told me that the event was not supposed to be on such a large scale and they wanted to keep it a little quieter. My response was that first of all, if that was the case, they should have specified and second “once you press ‘send’ you can never take it back”.

Mail Goggles

A while ago, Google Labs (which I’m a big fan of), introduced Mail Goggles as an optional add-on for Gmail. When enabled, Mail Goggles requires you to answer several math equations before being able to send emails at nighttime. This was created because too many people send emails out at night that they regret the next morning and can never take back.

Emails Gone Bad

Don’t think that just because you are friends or partners with someone that you can send them anything and it will be kept quiet. There are so many cases of blackmail and lawsuits based on these types of e-mails from friendships that fell apart. Every other week there is a case of teenagers sexting each other and causing major problems.

We all have a great power to use our voice but we also have the responsibility to think before we click “send” or “post”.