Posts Tagged ‘privacy settings’


Gmail Changes = Time to Revisit Your Online Settings

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Gmail changes Google plus security privacy settings Ellis Friedman BurrellesLuce Fresh IdeasThink you’re anonymous online and your Gmail account is confidential? Think again. Last Thursday Google announced changes to Gmail that will allow someone to email you at your Gmail address even if they don’t know that address, as long as both of you are Google Plus and Gmail users. Even better: this capability will be enabled automatically, and requires manual opt-out (and here’s how to do that).

On its official blog, Gmail frames the change as allowing you to “reach the people you know more easily.” Of course, if you don’t actually know the person, this does away with one more layer of protection from your email and effectively integrates Google Plus and Gmail into one messaging service. The flip side is that this could make it even easier to network with other industry figures or potential clients whose email address you’ve forgotten to note, but it seems like a lot of changes and automations actually leave more room for breach of privacy than ever before.

Aside from getting emails from people you don’t know – and maybe don’t want emailing you – there may be more worries with Google Plus’s automation, as in the December case of a man arrested for violating a restraining order taken out by his ex-girlfriend because he sent her an email to join Google Plus. The catch? He says he didn’t send it – Google did, and he didn’t know about it. It’s not clear whether that’s what actually happened, but Google’s automatic invitations have caused ire for some years.

Though the aforementioned incident occurred before Gmail’s announcement last week, the takeaway for PR pros is to never assume that automation by default works in favor of your privacy. And PR pros, who tend to have prolific breadth in their social media and online accounts, must be extra cautious with their social presence.

So take this as a New Year’s reminder to take a few minutes and review the settings and privacy on all your social media accounts. And always make sure you or someone on your team closely monitors changes made to social media, search, and email platforms – you don’t want to have to jump into crisis mode over a preventable online slip-up.

MySpace vs. Facebook: Which Site is the Current Cool Kid?

Friday, June 4th, 2010

by Lauren Shapiro*

In high school, you have the “cool” kids, the “cool” new song, or the “cool” thing to do. As adults, you have the “cool” office, the “cool” gadget, the “cool” place to have lunch, or the “cool” car.

It seems like such a clear distinction: this jacket is “cool,” but these jeans are not. But who dictates what is “cool” and what is not? I don’t recall how we first learned to determine the cool factor. They were more like a set of unwritten rules that everyone just seems to know and agree upon.

Even though we have left high school far behind us, every organization and professional still wants/needs to be with the “in crowd.” And when it comes to social media, the cool social networking site, theoretically, will provide the greatest reach. So, it is imperative for companies utilizing social networking sites to be conscious and ahead of changing trends. But in the great debate, MySpace vs. Facebook, which site is currently the coolest?

Both sites launched within one month of each other, spearheading a cyber revolution of connectivity and networking that would change the way we communicate on both a personal and professional level.

As shown in the chart below (compiled by me from various sources), MySpace officially launched in January 2004 and grew from a start-up to having 1 million users in only one month’s time. Before year’s end, MySpace reached 5 million users. Facebook started just one month later, but had a much slower growth – reaching 1 million users 10 months after launch and 5.5 million users 1 year later.

MySpace vs Facebook: Who is the current cool kid? (A BurrellesLuce Image)

However, Facebook was first released exclusively to universities who requested to be added to the application, starting with Harvard and expanding to Stanford, Columbia, Yale, and later all colleges and universities, high schools, and eventually to anyone with a valid email address. MySpace, on the other hand, launched as a site open to everyone who cared to join. Perhaps, this could be one explanation for Facebook’s slow but steady rise to the top.

Yet, on paper, Facebook is still the perceived cool site – despite the recent fallout over dubious privacy settings – with almost double the U.S. users. But, just as in high school, there is no clear divide between cool and un-cool. Mimicking the lesson we learn post high school, no one thing is the standard cool for everyone. Rather as marketing and public relations professionals we must recognize that different mediums exist for different preferences and thus attract different users.  Although Facebook trumps MySpace with their overall number of users, organizations debating on which site to use should research the demographics and lifestyles of the key user they wish to target and then focus their message and branding appropriately. Then they can be sure that both their company and clients are “cool” because they resonate with the preferred target audience.

When it comes to Facebook or MySpace, tell us which site you’re using and why. Which is the cool place to reach your target audience and clients? What are some tools for leveraging these mediums? How have these sites helped your client service initiatives? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

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*Bio: Soon after graduating from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, in 2006 with a B.A. in communication and a B.S. in business/marketing, I joined the BurrellesLuce client services team. In 2008, I completed my master’s degree in corporate and organizational communications and now work as the supervisor of BurrellesLuce Express client services. I am passionate about researching and understanding the role of email in shaping relationships from a client relation/service standpoint as well as how miscommunication occurs within email, which was the topic of my thesis. Through my posts on Fresh Ideas, I hope to educate and stimulate thoughtful discussions about corporate communications and client relations, further my own knowledge on this subject area, as well as continue to hone my skills as a communicator. Twitter: @_LaurenShapiro_ LinkedIn: laurenrshapiro Facebook: BurrellesLuce