Good Spirits in now on Facebook

The latest account I have been working on is Good Spirits Package Store’s Facebook presence.

With over 128 million active users in the U.S., the owner and I decided that we should first introduce the business’ presence on Facebook before investing in other social platforms. Though we have yet to publicize the Facebook account to regular customers, we have opened the account and started putting content online. Content will feature information about promotional events, educational material and contests to engage with followers.

Please “like” the Facebook page and join in on the fun at Good Spirits, here.


Social media for job candidates

By Gaoli Moua

Social media are fun and convenient. They reunite us with people from the past and helps us forge new connections effortlessly. They amplify the extroverts in us with its allure of easy updating and commenting. They allow us to share anything and everything with disregard to our overall viewers⎯and that is where the danger lies.

Social media are still in the developing stages, but they should not be treated like pages of a personal diary or the stage on which life’s drama plays out. Instead, they should be treated like extensions of our professional personas, because over sharing has the potential to stunt career advancement.

As technology becomes more sophisticated, employers will rely more heavily on social media to discover talent. In a 2011 Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey, 89 percent of respondents said they used social media in their recruiting efforts. 64 percent of respondents had previously hired people through social networks and 55 percent planned to increase their budgets for social recruiting in 2012.

Most employers are looking for the fastest way to sort out the rejects when recruiting. Part of sorting through resumes is researching candidates via the Internet for a first impression. A 2010 study conducted by Execunet, a membership organization dedicated to helping executives, found that 70 percent of business managers had rejected job applicants based on information found online.

“You never want to give people a reason to say ‘no,’” said University of Georgia, Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications Professor Barry Hollander. “Too much information is a bad thing because you’re not really controlling the information. You aren’t emphasizing the right things.”

Cynics might say social media activity won’t affect the careers of people who are not actively job hunting or seeking promotion. However, employers can use it as a tool to check employee performance through monitoring online behavior during work hours and checking employees who might play hooky on the job.

The significance of social media can vary depending on an individual’s industry and job title, but that doesn’t negate its effects. An opinion writer has more leeway to publically critique politicians than a doctor who could offend his or her patients. In addition, some companies, like CBS, have social media policies in their employee handbooks.

One could argue that specific social networks have certain appeals and rules governing their usage. Facebook is thought of as more personal and private, while other networks like LinkedIn are considered to be more professional. However, Facebook remains one of the predominant sites employers are tempted to check when sourcing candidates because, not only does it show up in a search, it is the most popular social networking site.

Despite privacy settings that have been implemented for the popular site, there is always a way to get around them⎯not to mention users who don’t know how to use them. In a 2012 survey, Consumer Reports found that almost 13 million users did not know about or had never used any of Facebook’s privacy tools.

Facebook’s privacy tools does not protect the other social networking accounts synced to it, whereby users can simultaneously update a string of social networking sites. Viewers can see Facebook updates regardless of whether or not they are subscribed to it if it is available on another site.

Many social media users have a false sense of privacy that enables them to share intimate, and sometimes inappropriate, details of their lives. Sharing too much could put off a “friend” and could get you “unfriended.” So why couldn’t sharing also put off an employer.

Should users censor themselves? No. But they should be more cautious in what they choose to publish online.
“It’s okay to use social media to make yourself seem like a real person to your customers, your clients, followers, readers, or whatever it may be,” Hollander said.

In this day and age, employees and job applicants are expected to stay on trend. We are expected to know how to leverage social media while we interact with each other and brand ourselves by showing off our personalities and latest projects. Understanding how sharing can impact your job, or the job you want, is essential to success.

It is inevitable that technology will become more sophisticated while our lives become more transparent. Your social media profiles and activity should reflect who you are and who you want to be. Don’t be the candidate who gets passed over for an opportunity that could have transformed your life.

This Op-Ed piece was originally written as an assignment for Pulitzer prize winner and Commentator Cynthia Tucker’s editorial/opinion writing class at the University of Georgia. (Fall 2012)

OWS eager to mobilize in Athens

As published at UPIU:

10 a.m. at the University Arch, demonstrators are making more signs to promote their cause.

ATHENS, Ga., Oct. 7 — It is the start of the second day of protesting; a quiet morning as commuters drove through Downtown Athens, Georgia at 10 a.m.

Varying signs that communicate grievances ranging from the “The crisis is Capitalism” to “We are the 99%” surround the historic University Arch.

A rotating of 20 Occupy Wall Street demonstrators are putting together more posters – posters that outnumber the number of protestors at present. Pamphlets are available for anyone interested. Embedded in them, it states that the “demonstration will continue for as long as the occupation of Wall Street in Manhattan lasts.”

Despite the efforts of the demonstrators to make their movement known, passersby only glance and smile upon seeing the signs as a few students stop to ask questions. Two police officers casually walk near the location, while students throw a football on the North Campus lawn as a family settles down for a leisurely picnic.

Sitting in a foldout chair, knitting, is Patty Freeman-Lynde, an unemployed social worker who previously helped the homeless in Athens. Like many other protestors, she has a long list of complaints that she wants addressed, though she admits that change will probably take its time before the movement will cease.

“I am here because I think that the corporations have too much power. I think the government hasn’t done enough to limit their power,” Freeman-Lynde said.

“I think the bulk of our tax money is going to loopholes that are allowing these organizations, like oil companies, to make money while people are starving because they aren’t working and are not able to make a living.”

The Occupy Wall Street literature offers 22 grievances against the “corporate forces of the world” that range from failure to recall faulty products to secretly misinforming people through the media and killing innocents abroad for monetary gain.

“Obviously we here are here with the Occupy Wall Street movement, but not everyone can go to Wall Street to be supportive. We believe in the same thing they believe in. And different people have different aspects that are most important to them. I’m an environmentalist, that’s one of my biggest concerns,” Freeman-Lynde said.

Sympathizers of the movement are starting to realize that their lack of common goals are scattered, which can be a major weakness in their cause, as is evident from comments on their Facebook group “Occupy Wall St Athens, GA.”

University of Georgia students Mehreen Sultana, a sophomore studying pre-med, and TJ Alfonso, a senior majoring in history, were present to help make more signs and support the movement.

“Right now, I just want to help support,” Sultana said. “I don’t want this to be just about workers’ rights… [or] avoiding foreclorsures. This is about changing values.” Sultana contends that currently, “money has more valuable than people.”

Unlike those rising up in foreign countries against regimes, Sultana said, “We have rights here and we should be aware. We are being robbed of our rights and robbed of our money.”

“Part of the reason why [the movement is] here is to make sure it lasts long enough to mobilize a change,” said Sultana.

Alfonso emphasized that major cities all over the country had similar demonstrations going on.
“We can make this accomplish things,” he said. Demonstrators may not have swayed spectators to join, but they have started a discussion throughout suburban America.

The grassroots movement spreads its rhetoric through public demonstrations but primarily uses social media to inform followers of its operations.

Carter Adams, organizer of the OWS demonstration, has been updating Facebook statuses and Twitter feeds regularly since the start of the demonstrations.

The group’s last assembly meeting was announced to have begun at 9:30 p.m. tonight.