Legal, Policies and Ethics: Secure Your Social Media Presence

Your Online Presence

Social media has given humans another venue to express opinions, share ideas and show where you are on the map.  With all of these great tools literally at our figer tips, do many people think about their privacy? Or do many people simply not care who sees what they are doing online?  These questions have become relevant within the past year, so relevant that Congress is talking about it.  Mobile apps have been scrutinized recently over privacy settings.  Information on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare can tell others about your location and what you are doing.  Does big brother need to take charge and monitor what is said online, or can we take care of our own online privacy?

Who’s Reading

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) paid more that 11 million dollars to General Dynamics for a system to monitor Facebook and Twitter.   This system primarily searches for content that “adversely reflect” on the government.  Lawmakers feel that this system is necessary for government and law enforcement agencies to prevent potential threats.  Other lawmakers feel that this system infringes on First Amendment rights.  The real question is whether the government is monitoring the what, instead of the who.  Many criminal organizations have moved to social media to recruit and spread the word.  There is a need to monitor what is happening online, but does it need to be policed?

What Other Can See

Facebook, Google and Twitter all contain information about you, your name, birthday, contact information and location.  Many of these social media sites sync with mobile devices that update address books.   Users are not aware of what others can see about them.  Most users are not aware of how to change privacy settings, so they can limit what is seen about them online and on mobile contact lists.  Avi Charkham has created a website that contains a link to Facebook which will block mobile devices from accessing your information, thus helping those in the dark.  The only way to be completely invisible is to revoke all apps from Facebook and hide all contact information.  Doing so would be counter intuitive to what Facebook is for, if you ask me.

What You Can Do

Maintain your online presence before someone else does!  Be smart and be savvy.  Limit what can be seen about you and be familiar with the privacy settings on all of the social media sites you use.  Make sure you are not posting questionable content that could get you in a bad situation.  Most of all, treat social media as if you were talking to somebody face-to-face.  Have fun and most of all be safe while using social media.



Collaborative and Distance Communication Tools: Getting your music out has never been so easy.

What it is

Collaborative and Distance Communication tools are exactly what they sound like: online tools that connect people and enable them to share ideas.  The most popular forms of these services are Skype, Ustream and Facetime (for you Apple people).  These services enable the user to communicate with other people and organizations in real-time, without using the telephone or email.  What I really want to touch on is how musicians have used these services to spread and promote their music.

Skype and Ustream

Although similar in nature, these two services offer the user completely different things.  Skype is like a video phone and Ustream is used for watching live events that are spread to many viewers.  Both of these services offer the user a unique experience when it comes to viewing their favorite artists.  The band 3 Doors Down used Ustream’s service to promote their album: Time Of My Life.  They used Ustream and Twitter to get listeners involved with the release.  The more people that used their hashtag, the more songs the band released from the new album.  Fans could also chat with the band for a period of time.  Denison Witmer is another artist who uses Distance Communication to get his music out to his fans.  He will do a private concert via Skype for $25, all one has to do is schedule a time and he will do the show.  Dension started doing this when his first child was born, thus making it difficult to be on the road performing.  Not every artist is going to be jumping at the chance to play private shows, but there are artists who are willing to do it, and there fans who are willing to pay.

Game Changer?

Will Skype and Ustream be the end of live concerts?  I personally don’t think so, but I do think more artists will take advantage of these services to promote their music.  Social Media has become a main component in everyday life on both ends of the spectrum.  Artists want to get their music out to as many people as possible, and fans want to hear their music.  Why not have a little fun and make a little money along the way.  I wish more artists would use Distant Communication services, I definitely would pay.