The Importance Of Being Genuine Online

10 Truths About Me: The Importance of Being Genuine: ”

Jason Teitelman

When scouring the web for information about online marketing and community building, one of the topics that frequently surfaces is the importance of being genuine. The popular sentiment among online marketers and social media experts seems to be that being sincere is a key part of developing trust and building a relationship with a reader, a client, or an entire community.

This should not be a hard thing to do. In fact, being yourself should be the easiest and most natural thing in the world. Since it’s so widely discussed though, I assume that for a lot of people out there it’s not. And it’s not hard to imagine why.

For years, schools and businesses have told us to conform, to downplay our individual personalities and promote the values of the institution. Now, we are being told to be sincere—to be ourselves—but after years of conditioning to the contrary we find it difficult to do.

Sincerity is important though, and it’s important to take the time to get past whatever it is that’s holding you back from putting your genuine self out there. Are you used to operating by the “give the people what they want” philosophy? Well then it’s time to realize that what people want now are relationships with people and companies that are sincere and trustworthy. Are you afraid of criticism? Well then take comfort in the idea that the reach and the strength of your message can be measured by the number and the fierceness of your critics.

Why is sincerity so essential? It’s imperative because, like most healthy relationships, a healthy online relationship is based on trust. This trust is cultivated through displayed consistency and passion, neither of which will exist until you are true to yourself. Readers, clients or community members need to be able to trust that the information you give them is reliable, that the actions you take are taken with their best interest in mind, and that the products you provide do what they are supposed to do. If they sense that your online presence is not sincere, then having faith in the information, products or services you offer becomes difficult.

For some of you being genuine is no problem at all. For others this seemingly simple idea is much harder. For those people, I have thought of a simple, two-step exercise aimed at putting you back in touch with your genuine self:

Write 10 statements about yourself you know are true. These could be beliefs by which you live your life or simply things that you do everyday. Here are mine:

1. I wear flip flops as much as possible.

2. I can make up a silly song about pretty much anything.

3. I say goofy stuff to myself all day and make myself laugh.

4. I am a nerd.

5. I like change.

6. I don’t take anything too seriously, even the serious stuff.

7. I truly love my friends and family.

8. I think people who drink Budweiser are stupid.

9. I look good in blue.

10. I am a hippy at heart.

After you have your ten statements, print them out and hang them in a place where they’re visible while you’re working. When you are writing a blog post, commenting on someone else’s blog, or even posting a quick tweet, take a look at your 10 statements and ask yourself if what you’re about to share genuinely reflects who you are.

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Getty Images Sues Little Guy For Copyright Infringement

Hey Getty, leave the little guy alone!: ”

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A colleague of mine recently received a letter from Getty Images informing him that he has an unlicensed copy of one of their images on his website and that he not only has to take the image off of his site immediately, but he also has to pay them for the copyright infringement.

 

Now, I support copyright laws. I feel that both Getty Images and the photographers they represent have the right to collect from individuals who have used their images illegally. The problem is that many individuals, such as my colleague, are not using illegal images knowingly. In his case, the image was provided in a library of stock images that was part of the site editor his design/hosting company provided. After contacting the company, he learned that they had similar issues with Getty because the library of images they provided was compiled by the design firm that they paid to design and program their entire site building platform.

 

So, where does the responsibility lie? From what I understand about copy right law, it lies with my colleague because the site is registered in his name. Even though he was unaware that the image was unlicensed, he is still considered to be “innocently infringing” upon the copyright, and he is, therefore, still responsible for paying the penalty.

 

I realize the law is a complicated subject and there are probably many intricacies I can’t even begin to understand. I can comprehend how hard it would be for a company like Getty to try to go through process of determining who provided images to whom and how many of those people did so knowing the images were not licensed. I can see why the easiest thing to do is to lay it on the end user. But, is the easiest thing to do also the right thing?

 

I am guessing a lot of people getting these letters are, like my colleague, small business owners operating on very tight budgets. Their budgets don’t allow for paying thousands of dollars for the use of an image that unbeknownst to them was provided to them illegally. So, while I am all for photographers and the companies that distribute their work receiving just compensation, I also think that compensation should come from the person who knowingly infringed upon the copyright and not the poor guy down the line who was using images that he believed were alright to use.

 

For instance, let’s say Bob stole a truck. Bob then sells the car to Mike. Mike is not aware the truck was stolen because Bob has done his legwork and made the transaction appear to be legitimate. Mike then unknowingly uses the stolen truck as part of a rental fleet. Well, the next day I come along and rent the truck to move some furniture and while in the process of moving I get pulled over for speeding. It is soon discovered that the truck is stolen, and to my dismay, the truck is confiscated by the police.

 

As the guy who rented the truck in this scenario, I am put out because I no longer have use of the truck. Mike is put out because he loses the ability to rent the truck and has possibly lost the money that he paid for it unless he can sue Bob get it back. Bob, however, is the only one legally responsible for the theft of the truck. Neither Mike or I are asked to financially compensate the truck owner for the time we had use of the truck because we were not aware the truck was stolen.

 

I think the same should go for a stolen image. If I can prove that I used that image thinking that the company providing it to me did so legally, then I should not be responsible for paying damages. I’ll gladly stop using the image, but paying for the unlicensed use should fall back on the person who consciously made the decision to illegally copy it and distribute it.

 

What are your thoughts? Is it the responsibility of the end user to make sure everything on their site is used legally? Is it their responsibility to pay for unlicensed images even if they were provided by a supplier who passed them off as being licensed?

 

 

 

 

What Are The 16 Best Facebook Plugins For Your Blog?

16 Best Facebook Connect Plugins for Your Blog, Forum, Wiki, or CMS: “

facebook-connect-logoEver since Facebook Connect launched late last year, it has brought reliable identity to blogs and community sites for the first time. Because everyone knows who’s talking when a user authenticates through Facebook Connect, the quality of online conversation has increased: more people are commenting, and comments are more authentic.

Over the last nine months, several third party plugins have been developed to make it easy for you to integrate Facebook Connect with your blog, forum, wiki, or CMS tool. We’ve included the best ones below – take a look and find the one that bets fits your needs.

WordpressFacebook Connect Plugins for WordPress

  • WP-FBConnect – This is an open source WordPress plugin created by Facebook engineer Adam Hupp. It’s very simple and adds login and commenting to your blog through Facebook Connect.
  • Sociable Plugin – This is also an open source WordPress plugin. In addition to commenting, the Sociable plugin also offers community features like recent visitors, inviting friends, and sharing comments with friends on Facebook.
  • Gigya Socialize – This plugin not only lets users login through Facebook Connect, but also aggregates APIs from MySpace, Twitter, and webmail platforms including Yahoo, Gmail, and AOL. With Gigya, users can log in, post content to the News Feed, and update their status.

MovabletypeFacebook Connect Plugins for Movable Type & TypePad

  • Movable Type Plugin – This is an open source plugin created by Six Apart which adds Facebook Connect to any site powered by Movable Type. Facebook users can sign in, comment, and share links back on Facebook.
  • TypePad Plugin – This plugin is available to all TypePad bloggers that lets users easily login to TypePad blogs with their Facebook accounts to make comments, share posts through the News Feed, and invite friends to check out the blog.

Blog Services with Facebook Connect

  • jskitJS-Kit Echo – JS-Kit Echo is a powerful cross-site commenting package for publishers to let lets users sign in, comment, and share using their Facebook account. Ratings and polls are also included.
  • DisqusDisqus – Disqus is a cross-site blog commenting system that includes powerful tracking and bridging features. Users can now authenticate with their Facebook accounts.
  • RPX – JanRain’s RPX authentication system allows users to authenticate with Facebook through Facebook Connect, as well as MySpace, OpenID and other logins.

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Facebook Connect Modules for Drupal

  • Fconnect – This is Facebook Connect module for Drupal developed by Vishal Sood. It lets visitors use their Facebook accounts to login and interact.
  • fbconnect – This is a Drupal module developed by Xinhui Xu that includes core Facebook Connect features like login, inviting friends, and publishing feed stories back to Facebook.

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Facebook Connect Plugins for Forums

MediawikiFacebook Connect Plugins for Wikis

joomlaFacebook Connect Plugins for Joomla

  • jConnector Facebook Connect Component for Joomla – This is an open source Joomla component that allows users to sign in using their Facebook account. A regular Joomla! user account is created and can be administered as usual afterwards.
  • JFBConnect Facebook Connect for Joomla – This Facebook Connect component that for Joomla allows users to register through Facebook and also creates a standard Joomla user and allows for user profiles to be automatically imported into Community Builder or JomSocial.
  • FBComments Joomla Plugin for JFBConnect Powered Sites – This is a Joomla plugin that places the Facebook Comments widget at the bottom of articles in selected catagories.
  • jwFacebook Comments Plugin – This is an open source Joomla Plugin designed to create a Facebook Comments box below the full article view in Joomla 1.5 articles.