>"Facebook called me a bad name."

>We’ve all heard how social networking sites have advertising based on what items you click on and which sites you visit. All fun and innocent, right? Not anymore.

Facebook is playing hardball.

A writer from the Washington Post told her story here about Facebook calling her “fat” and how she needs to lose a few pounds before her upcoming wedding day. Talk about in your face advertising! How awful.

For those of you not familiar with Facebook, you select your relationship status from the options of: Single, In a relationship, Engaged, Married, It’s Complicated and In an Open Relationship. (This particular individual had her relationship status set to “engaged.”)

After she got married and changed her relationship status to “married” she was then presented with “Are you infertile?” ads.


Just to see what would happen, I logged in to my Facebook account to see what ads it would show me.

Here is a summary of my profile:

Sex: Female
Age: 26
Location: Ohio
Relationship Status: In a Relationship
Interests: THE BEACH. Cleveland Sports. Photogrpahy. Writing. Traveling.
Favorite Music: I have very random taste in music.
Favorite TV Shows:Sex and the City, Survivor and Ally McBeal.
Work info: Marketing and Advertising

The ads I am greeted wtih are trying to get me to buy competitor’s secrets, the Gambling Addiction Hotline (that’s odd), the DMA conference and a new hair eliminator promising to remove all of your unwanted hair.

I’m not horribly offended by these ads – aside from the Gambling Addiction Hotline because I’ve been to one (1) casino in my lifetime and spent roughly $10. None the less, this was a fun experiment.

Has anyone else noticed these in your face advertisements?

>Now that’s a shame

>PlayStation Portable (PSP) made its debut in the United States in March of 2005. Afterwards, like any smart company, Sony decided to beef up the advertising and chose to include larger than life PSP units mounted on billboards.

Very neat. Oh, but wait… what is that error message in the lower right corner?

That can’t be good! Sadly, it was too late to fix this problem and PSP billboards all over the world crashed.

How could this have been prevented? Well, I have never claimed to be a technowiz, but certainly I am no stranger in the field. But, this is a matter of simple testing. It was a great idea, one that is very unique and very appealing to the eye… that is, when it is actually functioning up to its capabilities.

What can we learn from this failed (and very expensive) advertising lesson?

When marketing something (or yourself), make it appealing – but also ensure you are in it for the long-haul. Nothing is more frustrating than learning too late about a problem that could have been solved before launch – imagine how Sony felt!

Also, make sure you are emphasizing your capabilities and strengths. People will see you for your abilities and respect that you have challenged yourself in your weaknesses before launch. That’s a lesson we can all learn from.


>Tough decisions: when to say enough is enough

>I remember when I was in 6th grade, went on a bike ride around my neighborhood and caught two boy friends of mine smoking. They warned me not to say anything, and I didn’t… and it really didn’t matter.

In my past life as a manager, I caught two of my work friends leaving mid-shift to go outside and have a cigarette. (Our company had a VERY strict policy on this.) They warned me not to say anything, but I did – and this time it did matter.

Why was it different?

They were each similar in that both times people were caught doing something they knew they weren’t supposed to be doing. Either situation did not hurt me in any way, so why did I care the second time? I was in a position of authority, and I had to set an example.

Unfortunately, I was the new manager and expected this to happen. If people knew I didn’t hesitate to rat out those I was friends with, they knew I wouldn’t think twice about doing it to anyone else.

We’ve all been there: your boss is out of town, it’s casual Friday or on the brink of a long holiday weekend and you just can’t help but to push the limits of the person in charge. The “substitute teacher” attitude, if you will.

As a new manager, when do you say enough is enough – and how do you say it?

Here is my advice:

1. Stand your ground. Even if you were just promoted, you have to be tough and no when people cross the line.

2. Set your limits. Unless you have zero time to prep for your new position, consider how far you will let things go before you step in.

3. Have a disaster plan. Know your approach and reaction techniques based on the situation. Perhaps make up an action plan based on already witnessed employee behavior.

4. Know your staff. Have an honest conversation with the person whose position you are overtaking. Encourage them to tell you about any potential problems that may arise.

5. Be confident. You are in that position for a reason, even you should respect that.