Speak For Yourself Welcomes Karen’s New Marketing Assistant

By Arin Forstenzer

Hi – my name is Arin Forstenzer, Karen’s new marketing assistant. Born and raised in New York City, I chose to move south for  college. After spending my junior year abroad in Sydney, Australia, I graduated from Tulane University with Honors in the spring of  2010 with a B.A. in Communication then spent a year taking graduate communications courses at SMU in Dallas.

A recent social media obsession of mine reminded me of a debate I got into with a friend who works for a well-known print  newspaper. He argued that the digital world did not allow for any chance discovery of new things outside one’s interests—such as  flipping through a magazine and seeing something that piques your interest. While I can agree with his opinion to an extent, I believe  it’s  up to the individual to be curious enough to seek out new info.

Among my favorite social media websites include StumbleUpon and the more recent Pinterest. These sites are two examples of  ways to explore your current interests, as well as be exposed to new ones. Social networks can now be connected to both, letting you explore your friends likes and dislikes, that may otherwise be unknown to you, as well as exploring your clients’ and prospects’ favorite popular items.

Various other sites similar to these have become commonplace across many industries. I have discovered new music, useful apps, new restaurants and funny pictures that I may never have found otherwise.

These sites have been helpful since I’ve lived in four cities in the last five years. I’ve been exposed to new places and information that have been fun to explore.

Similarly, I’m pleased to work for Karen and I expect to discover new insights into the field of communication by learning from her expertise.

TweetDeck vs. HootSuite: It’s A Tie. They’re Both Sort of Lame

By Rachel Schwarz

After taking all the woo-“hoo” out of HootSuite, I was optimistic about diving into TweetDeck. As a competitor of HootSuite, I was expecting a similar product with a different approach. I wasn’t entirely wrong.

TweetDeck is essentially identical to HootSuite: one website to manage your social media. Like HootSuite, blogs aren’t really amenable to the 140 character limit that TweetDeck enforces. However, it does offer the same advantage of combining a facebook status update with a tweet.

Some of the perks that TweetDeck offers that go above what HootSuite can give you are the options to upload photos and videos with a single click. If this is available on HootSuite, it’s a hidden option. Also, its connection to Twitter is much more prevalent. HootSuite offers tabs for a home feed, mentions, and direct messages. TweetDeck includes these as well as trending topics and recommendations of people you may want to follow.

A drawback of TweetDeck is that there isn’t even an option to add a blog. HootSuite has yet to perfect its integration of blogs with the 140 character limit, and only supports a limited number of WordPress blogs, but at least acknowledges their presence. TweetDeck seems to ignore all Internet communication longer than a tweet. So, if you’re anything like we are here at Speak For Yourself, HootSuite will be a more attractive option once blogs are more seamlessly combined.

Overall, I’m unimpressed with TweetDeck and HootSuite. You still have to log in, and- okay- the convenience of being able to update all of your statuses at once is convenient, but there are apps available that will automatically do that for you anyway! For those of you that are doing a minute-by-minute update of your life, a TweetDeck or a HootSuite might be appealing to you. For the rest of us, however, I’m feeling more and more like this is just one more place to waste time on social media.

Next up on my list of social media investigative reports: FourSquare. At first glance, it appears to be the perfect combination of Twitter and Facebook. We’ll see about that…

Facebook – A Blessing and a Curse

I’m Madelyn Chortek and I work as Karen Cortell Reisman’s Marketing Assistant. Five years ago, I was a senior in high school, and Facebook was a mysterious website I couldn’t access because it was only for students in college. There were no photos, videos, status updates, chatting, or applications, and the URL was thefacebook.com. Facebook was a way to stay in touch with your friends from home who went to other schools and to find that person in your biology class so you could get notes.

Fast-forward five years, and Facebook is nothing like the site I dreamed about accessing in high school. Facebook is pervasive – everyone from my mother to kids I used to babysit is now on the site. This fact is a blessing in that I have been able to reconnect with people I thought I would never see or talk to again, but it can also be a curse.

Impression management is more important than ever when it comes to your Facebook profile. Before a first date, it’s probably safe to assume that your date has already looked you up. Similarly, before an interview it’s also probably safe to assume that your prospective employer has looked you up. Do you really want either of these people to know all the graphic details of your illness or your massive hangover? Do you want your boss to see on her news feed that you were looking for nails on Farmville (that’s a computer game) during that time when you were really supposed to be working on that big presentation?

The first thing you must do is check your privacy settings. You can set boundaries about who sees your profile, what you post, and what others post about you. You can find all these options on privacy settings under the Account table. Second, as tempting as it is to share with the world how you leveled up on Mafia Wars, think before you post. Does the world really need to know about that?

It’s overwhelming to control the image you portray to the world. I yearn for the simpler days of Facebook, and I’m in the Gen Y pool, but I fear those days are long gone. Instead, I’ll go play my favorite Facebook game, Scramble. But don’t expect to read about it on your news feed.

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