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OMG McCain just ate an apple!

I can’t quite believe that in a couple of months it will all be over, this Presidential race seems to have dragged on forever. It has been impossible to escape from, whether it’s the TV, newspapers or radio…and this is in little old England for goodness sake! I can’t actually fathom how you folks in the glorious US of A are coping with the incessant coverage. Sarah Palin just changed her hairstyle, **STOP THE PRESS**, Obama bent down to tie his shoe! The Presidential race is the greatest show on earth and the internet is definitely helping the whole world to be its stage.

Granted, it’s pretty darn important

Let me make clear that I do not underestimate the importance of the role of American President. I mean gosh, you get that really cool plane for a start. But I think the excitement and anticipation that comes with the build-up to election day can lead to many a professional faux pas.

Politics in Britain is very different, we don’t have two polar opposite parties to choose from. Realistically, it’s not a great deal that differentiates our two main players. Different personalities, different ideas on tax and the NHS, but nothing radically different. In the US on the other hand, there’s a very clear choice that has to be made.

Aren’t elections supposed to be anonymous?

But one thing that has shocked me about the US election is how passionately people publicly air their political views. We just don’t do that here, well not on such a prolific scale anyway. The sheer brilliance of democracy is that all adults get one vote to do what the bloody hell they like with, in perfect anonymity. I wouldn’t feel comfortable waxing lyrical about my political views, because I don’t really want to offend anyone (unless of course you have a strange beard and I am mocking you for the purpose of the best video blog ever, in which case…prepare to be offended). And it’s not just that I don’t want to offend people, I don’t want people to judge me by what is a very personal decision.

Do I know who you’re voting for?

It has amazed me to see the number of real estate bloggers that really slur the opposition’s candidate and lay all their political views on the line, or should that be the timeline? Twitter has been the worst place for watching RE pro after RE pro make super clear their views. It staggers me that I know some real estate agents’ views on sensitive topics such as abortion.

Maybe I’m just being prude, I am British after all, but I just don’t think the internet is the place to discuss politics. Not when you’re blogging/tweeting/whatevering under your professional identity anyway.

It’s definitely super for potential clients to see a human side of you, and nothing is more boring than the person that only talks house price trends and what a bloomin good broker they are, but next time you’re tweeting about how dumb/stupid/lame you think presidential candidate X is, take 5 seconds to think about who might read it. Because if it’s that candidate’s biggest fan, I doubt they’ll be straight on the phone to work with you.

Poppy Dinsey works in Business Development at Globrix, the UK property search engine. She lives and works in London, which she loves except for the awful weather and lack of good pecan pie. She's got a pretty nifty degree in Eastern European Economics from UCL, which she readily admits she's never put to good use, although she did once dress up a Russian Bond Girl. You can find her on Twitter, 12Seconds, Seesmic and pretty much everywhere that's ever had a website.

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21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. Elaine Hanson

    September 24, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    Putting my politics on the web is absolutely out of the question for me. I have my personal views and do NOT enjoy discussing politics. That is me. Some people just live for an intelligent political debate. That is them. Some people cannot discuss politics without disparaging others views, or worse, making personal attacks. That is appalling.

  2. @mikeneumann

    September 24, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    Poppy,

    I typically avoid politics in work scenarios – there are plenty of good issues to debate just within my little work world.

    The frustrating thing to me about this election is that most of the people (I did say _most_, not all << had to emphasize that because, well, you’ll see why here in a sec.) aren’t paying attention to the issues. They’re voting on “personality” and likability, as defined by our mainstream press. This all started back with the Kennedy/Nixon debate, btw.

    Our press likes to stir the mud, well, so does yours, but yours is funnier. Ours is, just, uh, completely biased for that other guy, except for one network – which gets castigated for calling both sides out on their B.S. I digress.

    The last three elections have been a statistical dead heat. Reason? The candidates are more alike than they are different. That, and America is fully of wishy-washy feel-good Oprahfied Afternoon TV-watching Gimmies. Hi Mom.

    This election is darn important. We’re truly at a precipice between full-blown Socialism, and only partial Nanny-state. You “RE people” ought to pay close attention. If you want things to really sink, just hire that guy who wants the Govt. to totally take over mortgages, investments, and watch – soon, credit card debt.

    My $0.02, er, pesos, for you in Miami.

    — Mike (sure to be feelin’ the love)

  3. Todd Carpenter

    September 24, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    From time to time, I make a decision on whether or not I’m going to let a car merge into traffic based on the bumper stickers on the back of their car. Imagine how much scrutiny I would put into paying someone 6% of the sales price on my home.

    The thing is, I don’t care if someone has an opposing view, it’s when they feel they have to wear that view as a badge of honor that gets me. I think you’re right Poppy. Just because we have the right to free speech, doesn’t always mean it’s a good idea to use it.

  4. Bob

    September 24, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    I’m not one to back away from a debate, but I limit myself to those issues where facts exists. That pretty much takes politics off the table for me.

  5. Steve Simon

    September 24, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    You will not win in the long run if you do make it a practice (discussing politics).
    Why? Well you will instantly cut your spheres of influence by half. Whether you meant to or not. The discussion of Religion and or Politics raises the blood pressure to almost the identically dangerous levels. Soon you are surrounded only by those of a like mind; but even that doesn’t last. Those with the same main mindset can be broken down into subsets or factions of the main sector and you begin to again cut the pie in half (or worse).
    I know it’s not a good idea, and every time I break my own rules about having forceful discussions on the subject matter,I get punished 🙂

  6. Thomas Johnson

    September 24, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    I am happy to do business with the 50% of the folks that one of these politico real estate bloggers just pissed off!

  7. Vicki Moore

    September 24, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    My mother always told me politics and religion – both no-no topics. Did I listen to my mother? Wth for? Watching the RNC the other night my friend got so angry she got up and left my house – while her comment “Have an open mind” rang in my ears. It’s funny today. We both laugh about it – thank goodness. I do have an open mind. That’s why I’m watching the dang thing. If I had made up my mind, I would have been watching something on HGTV.

    I want to understand the positions, issues and who the heck the man is. I will be really pissed if I have to listen to another leader of this nation say, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman…”

  8. Missy Caulk

    September 24, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    “Twitter has been the worst place for watching RE pro after RE pro make super clear their views.” yea it was bugging me so I had to stop following some of the more blatant ones. Oh well, it only comes around every 4 years.

  9. Mark Eibner

    September 24, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    we’re at it again Vote For Your Business This November: Get out of the feed reader and .. https://tinyurl.com/3m4bna

  10. Bill Lublin

    September 24, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    Poppy; Managing the flood of online information that we want to share is a huge issue that isn’t limited to politics, but your point is well made. We talk about “joining the conversation” when we talk about social media, so you would think we would remember the old recommendation that you don’t talk about religion or politics in polite company.

    Its no different when its a virtual conversation-

    😉

  11. Paula Henry

    September 24, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    Poopy – Politics rarley mixes with anything, except maybe a few beers and a bar brawl. Many are jsut too opinionated to hear an opposing point of view.

  12. Mack

    September 24, 2008 at 8:30 pm

    Poppy, if you think the election process seems to go on forever you are right. For about a year and a half we basically can’t turn on the radio or TV with out some thing being discussed about one of the candidates. Now that the election is getting closer the ads are so frequent I can’t imagine how much money is being spent. Vicki Moore hit the nail on the head – Religion and Politics are off the table for my blog and client conversations. I’m Mack Perry and I approved this message.

  13. ines

    September 24, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    Poppy, I’m known to put myself out there – but there is no room for politics in Real Estate (IMHO) – it’s too controversial and personally, I can do without it. I avoid politics and religion and know many don’t agree with me, but it’s my thing.

  14. ines

    September 24, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    Oh, I forgot – it’s nice to get the point of view from someone from the UK – (I have the S. American perspective and the Spaniard one)

  15. Jay Thompson

    September 24, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    Excellent points Poppy. I’ve attempted to steer clear of politics on my blog (aside from the occasional “informational only” posts about ballot propositions and presenting both sides of issues of local interest).

    I did have a serious backslide during one of the party’s conventions while watching the candidates acceptance speech while Twittering. That was a mistake that I won’t repeat.

    I was even torn about whether to place a “Support Our Troops” ribbon on my Jeep. I’m sure it annoys some, but oh well — it’s staying there. One nutjob gave me an earful about it at a gas station. I wouldn’t want her for a client anyway.eve

  16. Lisa Sanderson

    September 25, 2008 at 5:14 am

    Poppy: How many times does your name ‘accidentally’ get spelled ‘Poopy’? How do you feel about that? LOL

    Seriously, I am glad you brought this up and I am even more glad to hear that the politics-on-the-sleeve thing annoys other people as well. I have been thinking about un-following a couple because I am so tired of seeing it in my feed. I barely watch tv anymore because I just can’t stomach the spin, so why do I want to hear these regurgitated arguments in twitter?

    One last thing, @mikeneumann…leave Oprah out of this. She is one of the few positive voices out there and we all would do well to have more of the ‘wishy washy feel good’ stuff playing over and over in our brains instead of the crap that tries to overtake our minds.The world would truly be a better place.

  17. Matt Stigliano

    September 25, 2008 at 10:57 am

    But one thing that has shocked me about the US election is how passionately people publicly air their political views.

    Poppy – You have to remember that this is the same country that when our children go missing or our family is murdered, we jump on the television to give interviews in seconds flat. My wife, being English, is always amazed by that. I never noticed it so much, until we were married, but it is a bit twisted at times. In America we love to be on TV (ever seen the kids that hang out behind a reporter giving a live report?). It just seems like something that’s embedded in us. And the same goes for politics. We love to know people are listening to us.

    Me, I keep it to myself. I have strong opinions, but am always listening to both sides of the argument no matter what the topic. Sometimes I learn something and find myself reconsidering my position. That’s what adaptability and change are all about.

    I agree with the idea of politics being a bit much for some public forums, but then again, I’ve actually seen a few business cards here in San Antonio that proudly declare their religion in real estate…which shocks me just as much.

  18. Eric Bouler

    September 25, 2008 at 11:15 am

    50 % are for your canidate and 50% are more than likely against your canidate. If I had a political blog that would be different. I do talk issues that may have things to do with politics and each side has its pros and cons.

    Much better to talk about politics face to face. Then its better to review one issue at a time because there are always 2 sides and nationally we see very little facts and lots of fiction.

  19. Teresa Boardman

    September 25, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    I don’t talk about politics anywhere on the internet. I don’t mention religion either., and you just explained why for me. thanks

  20. Brad Coy

    September 27, 2008 at 4:17 am

    What Todd, Thomas, and Teresa said 🙂

    And just for the asking. Could somebody from across the pond come over and teach our politicians a thing or two about keeping their religious views and rhetoric private?

  21. Poppy Dinsey

    November 4, 2009 at 12:02 am

    I wrote this post on politcal views and tweet streams over a year ago, but I still agree with it https://bit.ly/5o8ei.

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Social Media

Social media site by Wikipedia founder – lofty goals, limited functionality

(SOCIAL MEDIA)Wikipedia founder has created a news social networking site to help people escape from the shady practices of other sites, but is it all that good?

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social media by wikipedia

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales announced the launch of WT:Social last week, a social network sprung from the WikiTribune project. In addition to creating the global encyclopedia that your high school teacher won’t let you cite as a source, Wales is also behind the Wikimedia Foundation and the Jimmy Wales Foundation for Freedom of Expression.

WikiTribune is a volunteer-driven platform focused on delivering “neutral, factual, high-quality news.” (There’s a lot that could be said about the ethics and logistics of trying to “fix” news by paying reporters even less/nothing, but that’s another article.)

Springing a social network out of a news site means that WT:Social’s focus is largely going to be on fixing what’s wrong with Facebook’s news. They’ve drawn criticism over the last few years for their news policies.

Among other things, despite theoretically banning white nationalist content, their list of “trusted” news sources includes Breitbart, a site whose founder has called it a platform for the alt-right. (The alt-right itself is a self-avowed white nationalist movement, among other things) Zuckerberg has also (as we’ve pointed out) claimed that politicians have the right to lie in advertisements. Refusing to hold advertisers to any sort of standard of truth is deeply concerning, to say the least.

So WT:Social is out to improve the way that people consume and share news. But is that enough to make it succeed as a social network? After all, people looking for FB or Twitter alternatives aren’t just looking for news. They’re looking for a less toxic platform.

Facebook and Twitter have both received criticism for how they handle user experience and advertisements alike. Both have problems with bubbling extremist movements, and both have struggled with public perception in the wake of persistent allegations that their moderation systems are under-resourced, and tend to side with abusive users over the marginalized people those abusers were targeting. For their part, Twitter has overtly stated that people who violate their terms of service regarding harassment or threats will not be banned for it, so long as they are sufficiently newsworthy.

This might have something to do with the fact that they see some of those same TOS violators as enough of a draw to their platform to feature them in advertisements. And of course, Twitter kept conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his InfoWars media company on the platform despite rules violations until he confronted CEO Jack Dorsey in person.

One theoretical point in WT:Social’s favor is that they’re planning on being donation-supported, rather than ad-supported. Which is fantastic from an end-user standpoint, but raises issues on buy-in from others. And that’s not the only potential stumbling block in WT:Social’s path.

As yet WT:Social hasn’t really stated a particular interest in competing with Facebook and Twitter on the social aspects of social media, and so far, that lack of interest comes through on the site. This writer signed up for the social network (looking, as ever, for a Facebook alternative) and was greeted by a number of baffling things.

First, my attempts to log in were greeted by a notification that I was “number 65538 on the waiting list,” and that I could send invitations to get earlier access to the site, to make posts.

WT waiting list contribute

Then, I made posts.

But now I can’t find them?

Beyond that, I’m not sure what the waiting list is actually for. On top of the mysterious queue, there’s a place where I can subscribe! But once again, I don’t quite know what I would be subscribing to, and $12.99/month is a lot to ask for a service that’s completely undefined. I suppose that I could track down other sources to explain this to me, but if the user experience is so confounding from the outset that I need to learn about it secondhand, do I really want to pursue the site further?

A friend and I, both eager for a Facebook alternative, started writing on each other’s walls to test the service out. But in lieu of any kind of notification system, we found ourselves writing on each other’s WT:Social profiles, and then returning to Facebook to let the other person know that we had done so.

It’s not an auspicious beginning.

But at the same time, something needs to happen. With Facebook’s reputation for promulgating fake news, Twitter’s notoriety for abuse, Reddit’s haze of toxicity, and content hubs like YouTube and Tumblr cracking down on adult content (and seemingly defining the existence of LGBT people as inherently “adult,”) people are looking for some kind of life raft. The person who creates a robust social network that commits to rooting out toxicity could have quite the business opportunity on their hands.

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Twitter’s crackdown on deepfakes could insure the company’s survival

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Twitter is cracking down on manipulated and misleading content—will other social media platforms do the same?

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deepfakes

Twitter isn’t renowned for things that other social media platforms lay claim to—you know, setting trends, turning a profit, staying relevant—but the oft-forgotten site finally has something to brag about: cracking down on deepfakes.

Oh, and they also finally pulled out a profit this year, but that’s beside the point.

Deepfakes, for those who don’t know, are videos which have been manipulated to portray people—often celebrities or politicians—saying and doing things that they never actually said or did. The problem with deepfakes is that, unlike your average Photoshop job, they are extremely convincing; in some cases, their validity may even be impossible to determine.

Unfortunately, deepfakes have been used for a variety of unsavory purposes ranging from moderate humiliation to full-blown revenge porn; since ruling them out is difficult, the long-term implications of this type of video manipulation are pretty terrifying.

You wouldn’t be wrong for thinking that all social media platforms should address deepfakes as a serious issue, but the fact remains that many platforms have taken decidedly lackadaisical approaches. Facebook, for example, continues to allow content from producers who have histories of video manipulation, the dissemination of misleading information, and flat-out false advertising—something that has been generally glossed over despite being heavily addressed by media.

This is where Twitter is actually ahead of the curve. Where other social media services have failed in the war against “fake news”, Twitter hopes to succeed by aggressively labelling and, in some cases, censoring media that has been determined to be manipulated or misleading. While the content itself will stay posted in most cases, a warning will appear near it to signify its lack of credibility.

Twitter will also remove manipulated content that is deemed harmful or malicious, but the real beauty of their move is that it allows people to witness first-hand a company or service purposefully misleading them. By keeping the problematic content available while making users aware of its flaws, Twitter is increasing awareness and skepticism about viral content.

Of course, there is room to criticize Twitter’s approach; for example, some will point to their act of leaving deepfakes posted as not doing enough, while others will probably address the tricky business of identifying deepfakes to begin with. Luckily, Twitter’s policy isn’t set in stone just yet—from now until November 27th, you can take a survey to leave feedback on how Twitter should address these issues going forward.

As Twitter’s policy develops and goes into place, it will be interesting to see which social media platforms follow suit.

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This LinkedIn graphic shows you where your profile is lacking

(SOCIAL MEDIA) LinkedIn has the ability to insure your visibilty, and this new infographic breaks down where you should put the most effort

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LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a must-have in the professional world. However, this social media platform can be incredibly overwhelming as there are a lot of moving pieces.

Luckily, there is a fancy graphic that details everything you need to know to create the perfect LinkedIn profile. Let’s dive in!

As we know, it is important to use your real name and an appropriate headshot. A banner photo that fits your personal brand (e.g. fits the theme of your profession/industry) is a good idea to add.

Adding your location and a detailed list of work-related projects are both underutilized, yet key pieces of information that people will look for. Other key pieces come in the form of recommendations; connections aren’t just about numbers, endorse them and hopefully they will return the favor!

Fill in every and all sections that you can, and re-read for any errors (get a second set of eyes if there’s one available). Use the profile strength meter to get a second option on your profile and find out what sections could use a little more help.

There are some settings you can enable to get the most out of LinkedIn. Turn on “career interests” to let recruiters know that you are open to job offers, turn on “career advice” to participate in an advice platform that helps you connect with other leaders in your field, turn your profile privacy off from private in order to see who is viewing your profile.

The infographic also offers some stats and words to avoid. Let’s start with stats: 65 percent of employers want to see relevant work experience, 91 percent of employers prefer that candidates have work experience, and 68 percent of LinkedIn members use the site to reconnect with past colleagues.

Now, let’s talk vocab; the infographic urges users to avoid the following words: specialized, experienced, skilled, leadership, passionate, expert, motivated, creative, strategic, focused.

That was educational, huh? Speaking of education – be sure to list your highest level of academia. People who list their education appear in searches up to 17 times more often than those who do not. And, much like when you applied to college, your past education wasn’t all that you should have included – certificates (and licenses) and volunteer work help set you apart from the rest.

Don’t be afraid to ask your connections, colleagues, etc. for recommendations. And, don’t be afraid to list your accomplishments.

Finally, users with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn. You’re already using the site, right? Use it to your advantage! Finish your profile by completing the all-star rating checklist: industry and location, skills (minimum of three), profile photo, at least 50 connections, current position (with description), two past positions, and education.

When all of this is complete, continue using LinkedIn on a daily basis. Update your profile when necessary, share content, and keep your name popping up on peoples’ timelines. (And, be sure to check out the rest of Leisure Jobs’ super helpful infographic that details other bits, like how to properly size photos!)

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