Category Archives: Social Media

Social Media Laws

After dealing with a couple of fake accounts impersonating my company, I started to wonder about laws protecting social media users and tech companies. With new technologies, we need more solid rules governing how we use them. Common sense generally does very well in weeding out ridiculous things, but just as we think ridiculous, there are people doing exactly those outrageous things we think people with common sense would never do (like pretending to be a company’s customer support, for example. Why would you even do that…?)

After some research, I came across this Bloomberg Blog that has some pretty decent blog posts concerning law and social media. Unfortunately these seem to be written for the laymen so I couldn’t get much insight into how exactly have laws changed to accommodate the rise of social media – or if they have changed at all? There are so many grey zones now, sometimes I am also not entirely sure if what someone is doing is wrong. For things like copyright or trademark violation, it is often not too difficult to track down. However, for example, if someone impersonates another person, just a very regular person, how on earth are you going to prove that you are that person?

Perhaps one part of very basic literacy is to lay down exactly what you really shouldn’t be doing on social media…anonymity (or even not anonymity) sometimes makes people feel like they can do anything to anyone because it’s so virtual and perhaps as a result feel so reversable.

A Self-Observation of Social Media Participation

This is in response to this week’s learning activity. I am not very aware of what I do on social media each day so it is actually very eye-opening after I realized what I’ve been doing all day.

Thursday, 10/23/2014
1:00~2:00AM: I have a full day of class on Wednesday from 8:40AM to 7:30PM so by the end of the day I’ve used up all the brain functions allocated for the day. I end up falling asleep between 8:00~9:00PM on Wednesday night so I couldn’t fall asleep earlier. Instead, I had my tablet and phone in hand scrolling down Twitter and Tumblr endlessly, adding ‘Likes’ and ‘Favorites’. I choose not to comment on anything or interact with anyone on Facebook at this time because my brain wasn’t working anymore, but it’s easy to participate in Twitter and Tumblr by supporting content that I enjoy.

2:00AM~: Fell asleep with phone in hand and face on tablet.

9:00AM~10:00AM: My mornings begin with me waking up but staying in bed. I spend a good 30 minutes at least responding to Facebook and LINE messages, checking my emails and work assignments. Because Thursday is a lazy day for me, I go back to checking Tumblr. I feel compelled to participate on Tumblr because of my Tumblog, so I also go through specific news sites to select content I might want to publish onto my Tumblr later in the day. I’d save links to these news articles as drafts to work on them at another time.

10:00AM~11:00AM: Some friends catch me online in Facebook and LINE, so I end up chatting for a while, before falling back asleep.

11:00AM~12:00PM: I finally roll out of be and told myself I need to stop using social media.

12:00PM~2:00PM: In class. Swiped phone twice to look at Facebook for no reason. Liked a few comments and pictures from friends. Did not comment because typing takes two hands and I was using one hand under the table.

2:00PM~6:00PM: Went about lab, running errands, etc. Did not use any social media.

6:00PM~10:00PM: This is my working hours for the day. Because I use social media in my work, I have everything from Cyfe and Hootsuite to LinkedIn and Facebook open. Here I participate by scheduling prepared content and monitoring comments about my company on social media.

10:00~12:00AM: Wind down time for the day. Thursdays are usually pretty free so I have more time on social media. There are days when I can go without looking at Facebook because I don’t have time. Watched TV and blogged a picture of a package I got from a friend on Ameba again before passing out.

It appears that even though I use social media very often, I seldom participate by contributing content. Content creation requires time and effort, and it’s much easier to participate by judging content. As a content creator, I understand that every ‘Like’, ‘Favorite’ and ‘Reblog’ means the world to the creator, so I am not stingy about what I like. Some of my friends belong to the camp where they do not want anyone to know what they’re looking at on social media, so they almost never like anything. However, I prefer to show my appreciation or acknowledgement.

When I do participate, I spend a fairly large amount of time curating the content that I post. If I’m posting a picture on Instagram or another site, I’d use a photo-editing app to trim and touch up the picture. If I’m writing an article, I’ll proofread it several times and make sure I have the right sources credited before posting. I supposed I am a firm believer of producing relevant and useful content instead of ‘just generating more crap’ on the internet.


I am going to be a Blogger.

Inspired by this class, I have decided to re-start my own blogging adventures as well. Even though I currently run a fandom news and translation Tumblr account, I have always wanted something of my own that I wouldn’t be embarrassed to show people. Thankfully, my work as a part-time writer for a popular niche media came in handy as I renovated my blog and set things up. I have actually been through this blogging process quite a number of times, usually for private blogs open only to my close friends, and I found myself going through the same set-up process every time, so I thought I’d share what I do as a reminders checklist.

1. Sourcing Content
Well, yeah. If you’re going to start a content-centric blog you’re going to need to find your niche and your sources of content. I located a few sources that I enjoy reading from and piped them into an RSS Reader. I tested a few and decided to go with The Old Reader. Despite its name, the Old Reader is actually very quick and easy to use.


I have a Notebook for articles that I’m interested in saved in Evernote, so I usually use the Evernote Web Clipper to save sources that I might want to write about.

2. Blog Makeover
While content is very important, your blog should also look nice – both on the computer and mobile. For that purpose, I generally start by checking the available responsive WordPress themes available. I am very particular about my blog being responsive because most people read on mobile nowadays, and a blog that looks beautiful on my computer but looks like it lost its CSS file on the iPhone would just be a nightmare. Once I have decided on the theme, I usually tweak them a little by changing the colors, font, and removing things that I don’t need or don’t like. For this time, I went with the theme Writr.

3. Logo
Try to have a logo for your blog that you can use everywhere. This will not only make your blog more memorable, but also make your life easier when you’re setting up your social media accounts for the blog, since everything requires some sort of a profile picture. This time I went for a fun look and used the Pixel Art Icon Generator for my purpose.

4. Sharing
Make your blog easy to follow and share. I used a wordpress plugin that automatically adds social sharing and following functions to my blog. One thing I nearly forgot though, is that you need to claim your RSS address! WordPress uses Google’s Feedburner automatically so just hop over and claim your Feed address. That way your RRS feed will not look like an ugly sheet of xml too.

5. Favicon
This might just be a pet peeve of mine, but I think a website looks better when it has a Favicon. Thank goodness WordPress has several Favicon Generator plugins that you can install, upload your image, and voila! – it will automatically generate all sorts of Favicons for you.

6. Menu and About
I like to add an ‘About’ page and have a custom menu for my WordPress blogs. Nobody ever reads them (so far) but it’s just nice to have in place I guess?

7. Content
5 hours later, my blog was finally ready to roll. Now comes the hardest part – content. This is where I screw up every time. I plan to keep a regular schedule of two blog posts a week – one on the weekends and one mid week. Making full use of WordPress’s advance scheduler is always a good idea. Now that I’ve announced to everyone I’m going to blog, I guess I’ll have to do it. (haha)

8. Twitter account – set up + link to WordPress + retweet people
Since Twitter is an excellent source of information and great way to get information out as well, I decided to use Twitter for the ‘social’ part of my blog. I set up a Twitter account using the same profile picture I had used on my blog and followed a selection of relevant accounts. I’m not just going to stick my blog posts there of course. Twitter accounts for bloggers require extra care – frequent RTs of influencer content, etc are absolutely necessary.

Anyway, I’ve written my first blog post and scheduled a tweet for it tomorrow morning. Hopefully I’d still be at it even after the end of the quarter…