Social Media Networking: Gone Is The Luxury of Privacy


Over the past going, on eight years, of working in the social media industry I've had the pleasure of interviewing many amazing people. One question I often ask is, "What does social media mean to you?"

Sometimes the responses focused on the defining the tools like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs. Other times the answers centered on building customer relationships.

For me the tools are digital avenues to acheive the people-to-people end. As with our highways and byways, some will be around for a long time while others will be plowed under or turned back to sleepy paths seldom traveled on. 

Author and strategist Brian Solis' answer was an ah ha oh yes moment.  -- "We’re forming incredibly vibrant and extensive networks around relationships and interests. We’re learning how to live life in a very public, and searchable, space." Interview with Brian Solis

Privacy free digital photos Stuart MilesBrian addressed the critical relationship concept. Then he took it into a direction that most people are aware of but often sends chills up and down the spine. We are building relationships and networks in very public forums. Gone is the luxury of privacy. 

 MSN Business On Main has an interesting video interview with designer Camilla Olson. Her story caught my attention from a social media marketer's point of view. (Although her designs are most wonderful .. perhaps my next project will allow an indulgence for me to purchase one of Ms. Olson's pieces!)

Ms. Olson's big break came through a traditonal networking opportunity when a friend in a book club introduced her to James Franco's mom Betty Franco. Ms. Franco needed a fabulous gown for the Oscars .. and as they say in the movies Ms. Olson dressed her for her close up. Camilla Olson Camilla olson illustration by jungah lee of becky franco wearing camilla olson

In exploring her digital branding I found Ms. Olson is also active in multiple social channels. She's on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Linkedin, Blogs and Pinterest. A different world than a private book club networking connection. 

Online Ms. Olson gives a glimpse of behind the scenes of in the design world. She also posts a photo of a personal moment with her daughter and Gloria Steinem. Post by post, tweet by tweet, comments that she makes on Pinterest boards give an image of a personal brand beyond her talents as a designer. 

Camilla Olson and Gloria SteinemI applaud her efforts to "live in a public space." One might say that fashion designers, like models and people in the entertainment industry, should be use to living in the public. However, the social media public world is different.  

It's not only traditional media that is snapping photos of stars as they walk the red carpet in designer gowns and jewels. It's you and you and you and me who has access to the most influencial media channel in history .. the Internet. That changes the game for everyone. 

To the people who are authentically and bravely exploring what it's like to create and nurture relationships without the luxury of privacy .. a toss of a pink boa to you! My hope is that the agencies and companies who tap you for "brand champion" and blogger relations programs understand that it's not only  "influence" you bring to party but the risk and courage you took to cultivate relationships and networks in a new world.  

Perhaps the next time I interview some one instead of asking, "What does social media mean to you?" I should ask, "What does living in a public space without the luxury of privacy mean to you? How would you answer that question?

Diva Marketing is part of an online influencer network for MNS Business on Main. I receive incentives to share my views on a monthly basis. All opinions are 100% mine.

Graphic credit: Stuart Miles /


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Rather than luxury, perhaps it's the perception of privacy in B2B. With social media, companies have to give up the fantasy that they're in control. One disgruntled employee on Twitter - and there goes every privacy policy and confidentiality agreement.

As for what SM means to me personally - it's like anything else in life. It has its good and its bad...sometimes the ugly. (Note to self - remember to never, ever read the comments on political articles.) I do my best to walk my talk. That's why - wherever I go - here, on my blog, on Lipsticking, political blogs, etc. - I'm me. My name. My face. If you're going to say it, you've got to own it. And that goes for businesses too.

Posted by: Mary Schmidt on Feb 22, 2012 12:59:50 PM

You gave me lots to think about back there Toby. I think most of us are aware of this loss of privacy thing but were not really consciously do something about it. I mean, if we are, then Facebook or Twitter will loose most, if not all, their subscribers. We are willing preys to a predator which can somehow give us satisfaction as well. I guess it's really up to us to be more moderate in our social media activities. Do you think we can ever go back to the old ways and operate as if nothing, not one form of social media, ever happened?

Posted by: Vincent Jacobs on Feb 24, 2012 1:26:45 AM

@mary - thanks for reminding us that transparency builds this - "My name. My face. If you're going to say it, you've got to own it. And that goes for businesses too.'

@vincent - you've given us an interesting idea to think about also! putting aside the way most social networks are run e.g. taking content that others created and considering it, at the least co-owned, .. i don't know where social networks are going .. what i do believe is that since people are taking for granted the ability to connect with each other online it's social media/networks will change but are not going away. at least anytime soon.

stay tune for then next post from Jessica Robyn where we interview people about how her disengaging from Facebook has impacted them (not her).

Posted by: Toby @tobydiva on Feb 25, 2012 10:25:43 PM

I like this post, because it addresses a question that regular people (not just corporations and celebrities) have been asking for last few years: What does living in a public space without the luxury of privacy mean to you? As a PR student, I’ve heard the typical advice of professor and professionals to “not post anything on the internet that your parents would not approve or be proud of.” I’ve come to the conclusion that to be successful in any line of work, people are going to have to start being their own best PR counselors.
The Internet became Camilla Olson’s best friend as she began to brand herself as an A-list designer. In the same way, college students can use it to be superstars among hiring employers. Many young people have used social media to gain popularity (fame) with their peers by posting videos that went viral on YouTube or being getting a retweet from a celebrity follower. But, teens and young adults should be aware of the downside of instant fame, followers or friends. In other words, if you were the CEO of a company you wouldn’t post your nude picture to the company website; so why is all right to post pictures of you in your underwear on Facebook?
Overall, this was an interesting article. However, there was some cognitive dissonance between the two topics: Social media privacy and Olson’s success story as a designer. It would’ve been nice to focus on one, but I can see how the two themes mesh.

Feb. 27, 2012

Posted by: Issac Profitt on Mar 13, 2012 11:59:01 PM

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