All Articles Tagged "social media"

From Email To Social Media, Here’s The Ultimate Digital Etiquette Guide For Effective Online Communication

June 10th, 2014 - By Rhonesha Byng
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The accessibility offered through digital communication is a luxury. However, with that luxury comes the responsibility to communicate appropriately and respectfully to maintain strong professional ties and build effective digital relationships.

While email is the tried and true form of professional digital communication, the rules are evolving and the lines are blurring across platforms. Social media is now the number one activity on the web, and approximately 87 percent of companies use social media for business, so it’s important to master the lingo and the rules when it comes to communicating on each of these platforms.

Here are a few digital etiquette tips for effective online communication.

It’s All About The Ring: Women Get Plastic Surgery For Engagement Ring Selfies

June 4th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Blame it on Beyoncé. Ever since “Single Ladies” dropped, women have been chanting “put a ring on it” like it’s a spiritual war cry. And it seems that these days it really is all about the ring. I know you’ve all seen the Facebook pages, Instagram profiles and Twitter feeds change with each friend that gets engaged. There’s the obligatory “look at my ring” picture. Which is fine, we all understand that. Let the world know, starting your life with someone you love, truly is a joyous occasion.

But just a few weeks ago, in one of our editorial meetings we, the ladies of MadameNoire, noted how the engagement ring and not the love story of you and your new fiancé, has become the focal point of the announcement of your upcoming nuptials. We’ve seen women add a whole new series of poses to their repertoire so that the coveted ring is always prominently featured. In one instance, a woman made her engagement ring her cover photo on Facebook. Something about that just seems a bit extra.

If that doesn’t give you pause, consider the latest trend of women getting plastic surgery to improve the overall look of their “engagement ring selfies.”

Indianapolis’ ABC affiliate is reporting that more and more women are so concerned about their hands looking bad or old in their engagement ring selfies that they are having doctors inject fillers into their hands so they have a more youthful appearance. Naturally, this is all so the ring has an appealing platform on their finger.

Doctors say they have seen a spike in women of all ages turning to the procedure.

Experts attribute the trend to social media. They say that posting on social media causes people to be more critical of their appearance and we know women don’t want to get publicly or privately clowned of having old looking fingers while they’re trying to showcase and show off her engagement ring.

That was sarcasm.

Anyone who’s paying attention to your wrinkly fingers instead of the fact that you’re presumably marrying the love of your life, is somebody who isn’t happy for you and someone you shouldn’t be trying to impress anyway.

What do you think about plastic surgery to showcase the ring? Have you noticed that the rings have taken precedent over everything else these days?

The 4 Facebook Dating Rules To Live By

May 27th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From YourTango

 

You’ve probably have been meeting people in real life and you hit it off so well with them that you added them on Facebook. Great! What isn’t great, however is after adding this person on Facebook things change for the worse. He or she doesn’t seem that interested anymore or has a few pressing questions.

What went wrong? Well, it’s probably that you have been breaking these four rules, and sent them running for the hills! Luckily on A New Mode, they have broken down the dos and don’ts of how to maintain your Facebook profile while dating.

What do your pictures really say about you? Think about those more risky photos of you tagged from that drunken night out with the girls. Yeah those. Also are you friending these guys at the right time?

After scanning the comments on A New Mode, I have noticed a very common topic in almost every discussion. Somehow we always manage to fit Facebook into all relationship/hookup/guy-meets-girl talks. I understand it. The image we portray to the world is now through statuses and pictures.  But how does that fit into our special, or not so special, someone?

I am happy to do my best to shed light on how to navigate the complicated world of The Facebook with the first ever ultimate Facebook rule book!

Read more about dating at YourTango.com 

‘Stay Out. It’s Called Female Drama For A Reason.’ Kelly Rowland Reveals How She and New Hubby Treat Social Media

May 24th, 2014 - By Toya Sharee
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kelly rowland opens up about relationship

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Just a few weeks ago, “Kisses Down Low” singer Kelly Rowland tied the knot with manager Tim Witherspoon in a small Costa Rican ceremony. She revealed to Us Weekly shortly after that they chose to keep the romance that same way for a long time stating, “It’s been a while. We’ve kept it very, very low – for years, to be completely honest.”

Well since officially becoming Mrs. Witherspoon, the 33 year-old is slowly opening up about what does go down in their relationship. In an exclusive interview with Hello Beautiful, Kelly says although their relationship may have been private, she and Tim keep secrets to a minimum in their marriage.

“I guess it’s a personal preference. I follow mine. There’s nothing to hide. I feel like when you’re open and honest in a relationship, you have nothing to hide. Why wouldn’t you? It’s your friend. You follow everybody else. you follow people who take too many darn selfies. I don’t like to follow those people either,” she responded when asked should couples follow each other on social media.

She also added that males should mind their business when it comes to female drama:

“Stay out. It’s called female drama for a reason unless you have a vagina.”

On the topic of “soulmates”, the former Miss Rowland reveals that bestie Beyoncé and her sister Solange are her idea of life companions:

“I believe in soulmates. I believe soulmates are not just in relationships, but they’re in friendships. I have soulmates through Beyonce and Michelle and Angie and Solange and LaLa. I have soulmates. I’m so thankful for that too because I think they understand you. If there’s something on my heart or my mind, before I can even pick up the phone, one of them is calling me saying, ‘What are you doing? Are you ok’ We’re connected and I think that’s such a beautiful thing. It’s the greatest gift you can have.”

Remember when her bandmates were writing special dedications to help Kelly’s troubled love life? Well it seems as if she’s finally found a happy, healthy relationship. With all the speculation going on with Bey’s marriage, she may want to share some of her wisdom.

10 Apps Every Professional Should Use Right Now

May 21st, 2014 - By Rhonesha Byng
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These days there’s literally an app for everything, from sending the $20 you owe to your friend to calling a cab. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the apps out there and avoid downloading any at all. But if you’re a busy professional with the right combination of apps, you can become more efficient and more effective in your work. Here are 10 apps worth your time in order to help you leverage your time more effectively.

Instafamous: What Are You Willing to Do For Your Five Minutes?

May 17th, 2014 - By Toya Sharee
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*Warning: Contains Catfish spoilers.

I’m not aiming to be MadameNoire’s expert on all things MTV’s Catfish, but after writing last week’s Plenty Of Fish: Why Are People Still Being “Catfished”, an episode aired that was a doozy. Wednesday’s episode featured “Antwane and Tony” a story of a couple who met by what today would be seen as the unconventional and dated “party line”. The last time I heard about the party line I was telling one of my friends in high school she would end up a Lifetime movie by meeting guys she had met randomly through a hotline. Antwane is anti-social media so he sends Max and Nev out into the rough streets of Cincinnati with only a phone number to lead the way. The guys’ gangsta comes out as they knock on random folks doors whose addresses are linked to the number asking for “Tony”, the man Antwane has been conversing and falling in love with for three years.

Turns out the real “Tony” is Antwane’s cousin Carmen who can get James Earl Jones bass in her voice on command and is seeking revenge on Antwane for referring to her as a “fat a** Kelly Price” in front of their family back in the day. Max and Nev, tired of being taken for fools and risking their safety patrolling the hood get completely out of character and call Carmen on her cruelty to the point where the producer has to pull them aside and remind them to focus on the purpose of their show.

It is then that Carmen has a moment of honesty and reveals that her cruel catfishing ways are partially due to a desperate need to be on TV. She remarks:

“The biggest liars work in the biggest companies.”

When Max asks why she wants to be known for such negative behavior, Carmen plainly states:

“For my five minutes of fame. When you approach someone with an opportunity they’ll want to do anything just to be on TV for that moment.”

“People on TV make the world look different to people that’s not.”

Most of us probably wouldn’t spend three years catfishing our close cousin just to be on an MTV show, but let’s be honest: Fame isn’t what it used to be. It’s more tangible than ever and thanks to social media like Instagram and Youtube it doesn’t take much to become “instafamous” or literally become famous overnight. There’s no longer the red tape of being in the right location or linking up with the right people. As long as you have a cellphone signal all it takes is the right action and the right viewer to take someone from their bathroom mirror to BET.

This could be a good thing except for the fact that media tends to glorify the most dramatic, harsh and negative things. People are no longer famous for being talented, they’re famous for fighting, making sex tapes with celebrities and booty shots. The bad news is that fame isn’t lasting as long as it used to. With the public’s attention span growing shorter and shorter, it’s taking more effort to make a lasting impression. We are no longer encouraging folks to be good at something we’re just encouraging them to look good and shock the hell out of us or make us laugh. If you look at some of the most popular celebs in our culture from Miley Cyrus to Rihanna, it’s all based on wild behavior and them showing their bathing suit parts, not on any actual real talent they might have.  Seriously, when’s the last time you said to yourself, “Rihanna was singing her behind off on that track!” But just this morning I came across this article of her grabbing her breast at a basketball game. 146 people have already tweeted it.

I’m not saying celebrities are to blame, I think society as a whole perpetuates the mindset that fame makes everything better. Those who lead the most questionable lives are in the headlines the most and as a result they seem to be more successful, at least financially and socially. It’s getting to the point where viewers figure if they can’t be the sexiest, they’ll be the craziest. If they can’t be the craziest, they’ll be the cruelest and so on. As longs as it gets them more followers, more likes, or the ultimate goal: Five minutes on reality TV, that it must mean something, or that they actually matter in this world.

So to answer the question in my last article, why are people still getting catfished?  It’s because peoples’ need to be famous, liked or followed is at an all-time high and they’re completely missing the point that there’s more to life then what’s on TV or on your cell phone. Carmen was right, people on TV do make things look different, but it’s because most of the time those things aren’t real. And that’s the biggest catfish of all: the fact that reality TV is filled with so much fakeness. No one’s really talented. No one’s really real. And the sooner we begin to glorify the best in people and what they’re actually good at, the sooner we can get back to being authentically entertained.

Toya Sharee is a community health educator and parenting education coordinator who has a  passion for helping  young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health.  She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about  everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog, Bullets and Blessings.

Tweets To Shop For: Amazon Launches Online Shopping Deal With Twitter

May 6th, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Calling out shopping junkies! Together, Twitter and Amazon have joined forces to bring you: #AmazonCart. According to AllTwitter, the hashtag allows shoppers to put products in their Amazon cart. The process works as such: if  users see a tweet that contains a product, they respond to the tweet using the hashtag. Thereafter, Amazon will contact the client on Twitter and will also email a confirmation email. For consumers who are interested in using this, they would have to connect their Twitter account to their Amazon account. This special feature is only available for users in the United States.

Although this process sounds amazing, Gigaom reported, all purchases clients tweet to Amazon are public unless they make their Twitter account private. Another hiccup in the system: sometimes the Twitter handle @MyAmazon customer service does not work.

The purpose of the partnership is to play on the impulse of buyers and those who follow their favorite brands. Therefore, users will not become distracted by switching apps on their digital device. This also allows Twitter to carve out a special niche for themselves to entice investors interested in aspects of e-commerce.

Below is the commercial for this social media service. Look like something you might find useful?

Twitter Helps Adopted Iowa Teen Find Birth Mother

April 22nd, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From The Grio 

A 19-year-old Iowa woman is meeting her birth mother for the first time thanks to a photo she posted online.

Hannah Stouffer of Urbandale posted a photo asking for information on her birth mother earlier this week.

Three days and 53,000 re-tweets later, she got a hold of her mother. It turns out her mother still lives in Des Moines. They’ve been texting back and forth for days.

Stouffer says she needed some time to prepare for meeting her mother in person.

“’I’m as ready as I’m going to be. I’m nervous. I`m scared. Every time I think about it I just want to cry. I just can`t believe it`s happening already. I’ve waited so long and it`s finally happening,” Stouffer says.

Growing up all Stouffer knew about her birth mother was that she gave birth to Stouffer when she was 15-years-old. “I was just so angry that she would give me up.”

It wasn’t until Stouffer became a teenage mother herself that she had a better understanding of what her mother went through. “As soon as I got pregnant I knew how hard it was. I knew that decision wasn’t easy and I knew she did it with love.”

Stouffer kept her daughter and shares her story with other teen moms. Stouffer plans on meeting up with her mother Saturday afternoon at a coffee shop.

Read more about this reunion at TheGrio.com 

Make A Real Connection: Why I Have To Periodically Unplug From Social Networks

April 3rd, 2014 - By La Truly
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I do realize that social networking is necessary for many of us in 2014, even for work purposes sometimes, but that trips me out. To be consistently connected to multiple social networks, millions of people, tons of information, gossip, data, and new technology is exciting on the surface. Being a writer, I have spent many hours in conversation on Twitter, scrolled through political news sites, gossip blogs, fashion blogs, social activist sites, etc. Great things have stemmed from such connected-ness. I have met some of the most inspiring people via Twitter. My views on love, religion, politics, social activism, and even fashion have expanded as a result of this connected-ness.

However, we are increasingly forgetting how to make an actual connection because we’re so busy trying to keep up appearances online. Of the few get-togethers I’ve attended in the past few months, it was amazing how much of the time was dedicated to taking pictures and videos and not actually enjoying the moment, the people, the food, and the conversation.

Here are a few reasons why I believe it is so very important to unplug from social media at least once per week:

1. Unplug to relax! Studies show that sleeping with cell phones nearby is bad for relaxation and a good night’s rest because the radiation given off by the phone interferes with the amount of rest needed to awake refreshed.

2. Unplug to have an actual conversation! Sometimes we get so caught up in the convenience of text messages, Instagram, and other social networks that we neglect time (REAL TIME) together, in the flesh. Sit down for a cup of coffee with friends. Break bread at your favorite restaurant. Host a game night and leave all tech devices in another room. Human interaction is being lost because we’re more about convenience than actual connection.

3. Unplug to make something! It’s 2014 and that means that for whatever issue, concern or pressing need – there is some piece of technology or ready-made object that will come to our rescue, making our lives a little easier. The only problem with that is that we are losing our abilities to assess situations and create things ourselves. Even activities like camping have lost their sense of “roughing it” and ruggedness with ready-made fires and tents that can charge our electrical devices. Why not spend a weekend taking a pottery class or building a treehouse? Or what about re-purposing a bookshelf or learning how to upcycle a piece of clothing? If all of technology crashed tomorrow, how many of us would still be able to make it?

4. Unplug to control what you allow into your space. Social networks can be pretty lawless. Anything and everything can come floating down your Twitter timeline depending on who you follow and who they follow and so on. Sometimes it’s good to walk away from social networks to think about what you see daily. Is there a lot of negativity on your social networks? People arguing with no resolution? NSFW videos? Constant gossip? Being mindful of the things we let into our space – even our virtual space – is important to living a healthy and happy life.

5. Unplug to notice life. All the time I hear the stories about people who regret working so much because they missed out on so many important events in the lives of their families. They express such regret and feel such agony realizing that they can’t get back that time. That’s not so different from how all-encompassing technology can be. I can’t count the times that I’ve missed seeing amazing things because I was staring down at my phone. Rainbows. Animals not native to my geographic location. Hilarious interactions between other people. The moment someone walks into their surprise party. Life can pass us by while we’re “checking in” on Facebook, but we don’t have to let it.

La Truly is a writer, college professor and young women’s empowerment enthusiast. She mixes her interest in social and cultural issues with her life experiences  to encourage thought, discussion and positive change among young Women of Color. Follow her on Twitter: @AshleyLaTruly and check out her site: www.hersoulinc.com.

Grammy-Nominated Carolyn Malachi Uses Technology (And Bitcoin) To Further Her Brand

March 31st, 2014 - By Janel Martinez
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Photo: Samuel Copeland

Photo: Samuel Copeland

Carolyn Malachi isn’t your average artist. The Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter has garnered a large following of fans (her tribe, as she affectionately refers to them) with a sound that merges jazz, hip-hop, R&B and spoken word. But that’s not the only reason Malachi, the great-granddaughter of jazz pianist John Malachi, is in her own lane. It’s the fact that the Washington D.C. native enjoys and truly understands the worlds of technology and social media.

Always looking for innovative ways to market her music, Malachi is the first known recording artist to accept Bitcoin payments for her music, giving more people access to her most recent album, Gold, and her catalog of music—a win-win situation for both the songstress, fans and the digital currency company. Her tech and social-savvy ways have led to Flipboard recognition, placing her in its Creator Spotlight section, making her the first African American to be spotlighted by the social magazine platform. She has an Argo Tea partnership that gave customers access to stream Malachi’s entire album from their homepage, as well as a free song download to its patrons through their social media page. And she has a collaboration with social commerce platform Shopcade, which gave a fan the opportunity to style her for the music video “All Right,” a summer appearance on “The Daily Buzz” and a live performance.

We could go on and on about Malachi’s tech know-how and sure her 20.8K Twitter followers could co-sign, but we spoke with the artist to see how she’s used technology to further her brand, why Bitcoin is her new currency of choice and which items she considers her favorite tech tools.

MadameNoire: What peaked your interest in technology and STEM overall?

Carolyn Malachi: The technology at our fingertips enhances our lives. While we know this, we also know very little about how it works. I see STEM as a way of empowering each of us with the skill to engineer real-time solutions to real-time issues.

MN: The music industry has changed tremendously due to technology. Whereas some have chosen to work against the change, you’ve completely embraced it. Why is that?

CM: Consider the first printed sheet music. Think of vinyl records, cassettes, CDs, MP3s — each of these technological developments, while giving the music consumer greater access to the music they loved, also had an economic impact on the music creators. Embracing technology has kept me ahead of the curve. History says that technology will always be with the people. That is where I choose to be.

MN: One platform you seem to be quite fond of is Bitcoin. How have you used Bitcoin? What does it offer you as an entrepreneur and artist?

CM: I began accepting Bitcoin for music sales in October 2013. Because no bank or government regulates the cryptocurrency, I can sell my CDs to people who live in countries where traditional forms of payment are not accepted. When I see that songs like “Beautiful Dreamer” and “Free Your Mind” have reached people around the world, in physical CD format, I smile.

MN: What are your favorite tech tools/gadgets?

CM: Creative collaborations require frequent communication. WhatsApp meets my mobile messaging needs. I have many, domestic and abroad.

I have yet to meet a studio microphone that picks up the extreme lows and highs of my voice with the clarity and warmth of the Manley Reference Cardioid Microphone (the Aston Martin of studio mics). I need a live-performance mic with the same capability.

Coinbase is a digital wallet. I use it to accept Bitcoin for music sales.

MN: How has tech allowed you to take your brand to the next level?

CM: Well, a brand can only thrive if the real product is in top shape. Trying new tech, then adopting the tech that works for me, enhances my creative process. It reinforces the value of trial-and-error. Knowing what works is just as important as knowing what does not. That awareness keeps the music authentic.

MN: What’s next for you? Any announcements we should be on the lookout for?

CM: Absolutely! ​The NCAA invited me to sing the national anthem at the 2014 Women’s Final Four in Nashville. Playing college basketball at Shepherd University gave me the foundation for a successful music career. Still with me are the values I learned as a student athlete: teamwork, precision, endurance, and vision. It is nice to see things come full circle.

Based in New York City, Janel Martinez is a multimedia journalist who covers technology and entrepreneurship. She is the founder of “Ain’t I Latina?” an online destination geared toward Afro-Latinas. You can follow her up-to-the-minute musings on Twitter @janelmwrites