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Monday, January 21, 2013

Thriving in Cyber Space...

Author: Virginia Benedict

How to Thrive as a Cyber Citizen

Whether you are a Professional cyber dweller, a Social, or both, if you wish to thrive in cyber space, it is imperative that you create a pleasant and affable atmosphere around your cyber-self.

You do not have to ever give out personal data such as your birthday or divulge sensitive company information, etc. In fact, I highly recommend against it.  However, presenting facts regarding your skill sets, career path, industry(ies), hobbies, philosophy, outlook, is the way to go if you wish to develop a strong presence in cyber space.

There is a fine line between elegantly sharing with your peers in an effort to create alliances and recklessly blasting out for the sake of “sharing”.  

ProSocial Platforms such as G+ provide you the ability to design/architect your cyber identity with ease using elegant granular controls. You can decide on the fly what information you wish to make visible to whom when creating or editing your profile.
Likewise, when publishing discussion posts you can decide whether to target the public; all/several, just one of your circles, or one individual in your circles; or a community you own, manage, and/or belong to. 

Practice makes perfect...

Quality Discussion posts are also highly recommended. Always be at your best when navigating in cyber space.   It is important that you have an overall mission and that you are aware of what your vision is if you wish to be more than a casual dweller.

Remember that less is more

and that it is ultimately important that your posts are simply well written. I have always recommended the proper use of paragraphs, syntax, and grammar.

Using a word processor configured to alert for spelling errors, grammar, and style is highly recommended before publishing your post, even if you are a native English speaker. Please note that I specify the importance of English as the publishing language because it has become the Cyber Space Lingua Franca of the Twenty First Century and if you wish to thrive in this space your will need to make the effort to develop your natural language skills-sets to include English.

It is an investment

If you invest adequate time to developing a strong, adaptive, and dynamic foundation you will reap the rewards because others will circle you and thus you will build an expansive Sphere-of-Influence (SOI). 

This foundation must include your Cyber Tech skills.  That is extensively knowing and understanding the features, functionality, and tools offered by the social platform(s) within which you are interacting.  Additionally, understanding your Privacy Rights and the User Agreements the given platform imposes upon its culture will help you stay safe.  I recommend that you review profile settings on a regular basis.  In fact, reading your Privacy Rights, User Agreements and Profile Settings is the first task you must master upon creating an Account and thereafter for maintenance.  I personally recommend browsing your privacy and other settings on a regular basis to ensure that your settings are up to date since quite often platforms update features and functionality.

Join Communities

Joining special interest communities is the best way to begin creating professional alliances or to continue nurturing your existing ones. I do not know about you but my sole cyber space existence throughout the years has been to nurture my existing alliances and to always thrive to create new viable ones.

Everyone has a great deal to offer both professionally and socially.  Most everyone I know or have keenly observed throughout the years have and nurture diverse interests and they graciously want to share.  Hence, a great way to begin building presence is to +1 or Like posts that you find noteworthy and/or match your career path or social interests.  In addition, I navigate to their profile to verify if they are someone, I wish to Circle. I spot-check their followers as well as whom they follow for good measure. 

You see, that is what makes a SocioPro Networking platform a true ProSocial Networking platform... i.e., the ability to seamless circle/connect with anyone you deem worthy of mutual social interaction without negative repercussions from networks that wish to control who you can or cannot interact with.  In true ProSocial platforms such as G+, this is left to the individual and is rightfully a personal decision while providing you with tools for granular control.  Platforms that encourage anti-social behaviors by imposing negative controls do not understand the meaning of social media as a networking medium.

A Social Platform’s Lack of Vision may lead to Anti-Social Control Practices

Platforms that have no inkling on how to monetize their wares gracefully and/or wish to control your interactions, who you can contact, and how, will usually place negative controls even when you are a Premium Customer and follow/respect their User Agreement. 

Some platforms provide you the tools then they punish you for using them.  These platforms give you mix messages on what is and is not “allowed” not to mention that the code is unstable and not secure.

As a Social, dwelling in cyber space, you need to be aware and fully understand these nuances if you want to minimize your exposure and have a user experience as seamless as possible.  


What do I mean by Worthy?

From a Security Perspective

It is ultimately important that you keep yourself safe.  Architecting and building awareness of your cyber presence means that you may be exposing yourself to people from all lifestyles.  From wonderful, kind, generous, and socially adept individuals all the way to malignant, hackers, dishonest criminals driven by jealousy and petty competition, or self-hate as is usually the force driving these sorts of deviant behaviors.   Hence, you have to develop an eighth intuitive sense.  You need to trust your instincts and hone your people savvy skills more than ever.  Your motto in this realm of probabilities should be “when in doubt, Don’t.” Count to ten and allow yourself to think…

This means that the people that you interact with in cyber space must be who they say they are and that you feel good about interacting with them.

From a Professional Perspective

As a professional doing business in the professional cyber orbit, you want to introduce yourself simply and elegantly.  Always portray a transparent and seamless image.  If you wish to be construed as a trustworthy professional, you must behave like one.  This starts with developing a strong presence by creating an enticing profile.  Again, less is more.

From a Job Seeker Perspective

Marketing your skills-sets effectively is a must-develop skill. That is, whether you are seeking a full-time permanent, free-lance, temp work, or you are promoting your consultancy work.

If you are going to be able to negotiate your remunerations effectively, you will need to start by engineering an excellent campaign.  (I will write a separate blog post to address this topic in detail.  If interested subscribe to this blog or contact me directly.)

Present your target audience with a seamless means of contacting you.  G+ gives you the ability to place an eMail envelop on your profile above your marquee. Other platforms allow you to communicate with others if you both belong to the same group or you are connected.

From a Marketing Perspective

For now all I am going to say here is that traditional methodologies are no longer effective.  Creativity is no longer sufficient when targeting your market.  (I will write a separate blog post to address this topic in detail.  If interested subscribe to this blog or contact me directly.)

From a Social Perspective

Always prepare your face to meet the faces that you meet and always stay safe. 

The following link will help you learn more about how to stay safe:

Real vs. Rogue Security Software – Can You Tell The Difference.


All constructive feedback Welcome!