Buzz and Brilliance: Week ending January 7

{EAV:791908013b0aa24e}Welcome to the first Buzz and Brilliance of 2012! Judging by the number of articles in my RSS reader the last few weeks, the world of social media hasn't slowed down one little bit for the holidays. As if anyone thought it would! The buzz this week is pretty mild - nothing earth-shattering going on. I suspect social news is going to take a backseat to the hardware goodies everyone (but me) is going to be drooling over at CES next week.

Before I jump in, I'll just mention that I'm going to strip down the B&B just a tad this year. I'm limiting the amount of time I can write it, so that means I have to pick fewer stories to highlight. I'll pick five of the top stories of the week, though I'll likely include more links to related articles still. I'll pick five articles that are worthy of being called Brilliant as well. This week I have a few bonus New Year's suggestions and some fun to share.

This tool is so interesting that I couldn't not include it: If This, Then That (ifttt) is a fantastic-sounding tool to help you automate and organize some of your social activity. I haven't logged in to check it out yet, but it's on my To Do list. I know there's more to it than any of the articles I've read and they had enough that piqued my interest quite easily.

If you ever had any doubts about the power of the Internet and social media, doubt no more. GoDaddy is feeling the wrath from (now) former customers for their formerly supportive stance on SOPA - proposed legislation in the U.S. that will be very bad for the Internet if it passes. GoDaddy's support has led to massive defection of customers transferring their businessto other providers. They saw the light within 24 hours and removed their support, but trust has already been broken.

When I saw this article about Twitter users being labeled anti-social, I wasn't bothered in the least. How many accounts are out there who do nothing but broadcast? (I won't even get into spam-bots.) At the same time, I personally have Twitter accounts that are mostly broadcast accounts, but they are for communities and I tend to interact more from my personal account. So, this may not be a good thing after all.

Have you ever wanted to communicate privately with someone on a Facebook page? It's quite the process. You have to go to the Web site (assuming they have one) or hope that they've included their email contact information on the page. Then you have to go to your email client to send the email. Why isn't there a solution built into the Facebook interface? Well, my guess is that now that Tumblr has fan mail, we'll see Facebook build this kind of functionality into Pages. I just wouldn't want to be the Starbucks page administrator when that happens.

In a story that, honestly, annoys me a little bit a privacy group is urging the FTC to investigate Facebook's Timeline - for privacy violations. This attempt just seems ignorant of the new layout. In fact, there are far better privacy controls now than ever before on Facebook. My wall had two options before - leave content posted or delete it. Now I can change who sees individual posts after they've been posted. (And I do.) Do you want to cleanse your wall before your Timeline goes live? Go for it! I encourage that. Do you want to complain about all that information being accessible? Please don't. It always was - even though it wasn't easy or pretty.

I don't know about you, but occasionally I start to feel overwhelmed with everything there is out there in social media. Partially because I try stuff out - I bring this feeling on myself. But I'm realistic enough to know that I can't do it all if I want to do anything else in life. With hundreds of networks to choose from, social media use can be daunting and intimidating for newcomers. And it's only getting worse. Mitch Joel is calling 2012 "The Year of More".  I see it every week in my RSS reader - more and more and more apps, sites, networks, gadgets to plug in to. He wraps his post by saying more isn't always better and I agree. Sue Murphy has provided some excellent tips for taking control of your social media use and the best advice she gives? "Social media is not about spreading yourself around to as many tools as possible." Fitting social media in to your day doesn't have to be hard if you adopt a social media lifestyle, as Ali Goldfield suggests.

Privacy is a hot topic around here and I have my own views on it. But what about you? The Next Web wants to know if you will care more about privacy in 2012 or less. Personally, I can't see ever caring less about privacy. We should all care a lot. What we should not do is expect anyone other than ourselves to take responsibility for it.

Starting a social media program is a great step for any company, but without firm commitment to do it properly and consistently, it can be difficult to achieve any success. Jen Zingsheim has shared some ways to avoid some of the common pitfalls that can derail a social media program.

New Year's Social Cleanup
The beginning of a new year is a good time to reassess things, whether you make resolutions or not. Take a few minutes this week to review the permissions you've granted on social sites. Are you still using those tools regularly? I'm also going through my 500+ "likes" on Facebook to get rid of inactive pages and any that I've forgotten why I liked them in the first place. It's all about reducing the noise and keeping things clean.

Here are a few other suggestions from Mashable. What other social cleanup are you doing this time of year?

A Little Fun
It doesn't surprise me that people are creating Facebook profiles for pets. The sheer number does surprise me. 14% for dogs alone!? That's a lot. I'm pretty sure that violates Facebook's TOS, too. And if you feel you're missing out on Facebook in the shower, well...here's a solution.

I love that more guys are getting into Pinterest.

As someone who met her husband on ICQ's Random Chat feature (not terribly long after it was introduced), I never thought I'd be surprised at the way people meet online - well, in our connected world, anyway. But the couple who met on Words with Friends did surprise me. How unexpected!

Finally, I'm a little squirrely around needles, but apparently these social media users aren't.


Recently, inspired by Chris Brogan's practice of identifying three words to define your year, I posted my own three words and a request for my readers to share ideas or requests for content that they would find useful from The Media Mesh.