So yesterday I wrote an post about Trust; the breaking of it and having it be social media related. I kept my comments cryptic as to not call out the individual or point fingers. Yet, I was pissed and needed a outlet to vent. Heck, isn’t that why most of us have blogs? To be able to cherish, bemoan, gloat, and otherwise gripe about life. No, wait, that is Facebook.

Well, blogs generally are one avenue where we can share life’s up and downs, and yesterday I had a major down. Thought I was respectful in the post as I kept it short with minimal swearing and had no particulars as to offend anyone. I got it off my chest and I moved on……or so I thought.

You see, Social Media bit me in the butt once again. Kinda like a bad boomerang. My ranting, but innocuous post, got somehow ‘linked’ with my extraordinary Blissdom colleague. Who rocks. Is freaking intelligent. Is a social media maven. And otherwise makes me wonder how the heck I got to be on the same Blissdom panel as her as she blows me out of the water. (Don’t tell the conference organizers though until after the conference ‘kay?)

Anyway, in the wacky world of social media, she got a Google alert that she was linked to the Trust post. Getting such an alert and then reading the post, I too would wonder what the %&#$. My point is that even though I did not mention any person, place or thing, my fabulous colleague was alerted to the post as if I wrote it about her.

So off I delved into the world of Google. I have since discovered Google Alerts, Google Reader, Google Pings, Google Blogs, Google Rankings. I read several chat boards, spoke to Google, perused various blog posts about Google and have stunningly come to a major conclusion.

It is a massive Googly mess out there.

What I found out is that I often post a couple of times a day, but it takes Google a little longer to catch up. It is like trying to take a picture of a toddler. You sit them down to take a picture, but the time you click the button to snap the picture, the toddler is halfway across the room, and all you have is a picture of a blank wall or a picture of their butt as they toddle out of the frame.

Case in point, I did a search for Charlene Chronicles & Blissdom. The leading search result was my Dog Toy Review. Whahhhh? What does Blissdom have to do with my dogs and their new toys? Well, I had previously done a post on Blissdom, and then I did the Dog Post, but Google was directing to a page that existed yesterday; the last time it took a “picture”.

Plus, it is not only about posts, but about pages, badges and images you may have throughout a blog that could be the Google pull. Prime example? I did a post about QR code scanning called “Scan Me”, but I also have a QR code image entitled ‘Scan Me’ on my pages. (See it over there –>) So if I did a search for “Scan Me”, theoretically all of my posts – even my dog toy review – would come up because of that image over there. Just like it did when I set the Charlene Chronicles & Blissdom search because of, you guessed it, the image also to the right, about my speaking at Blissdom. However, Google would not pull posts I did in November, when I searched for Charlene Chronicles & Blissdom, because I hadn’t yet put the Blissdom badge on my website. Nor would posts be pulled from last week when I searched for Scan Me or QR Codes because I did not put that image up until after I wrote the article.

Even Google Alerts stumble into the abyss. Prime example is my Alert for when Charlene Chronicles is mentioned. After setting up the alert, I received notice that a blogger ‘mentioned’ me in her post. The post criticized the writing style of a woman at [blank] Chronicles. What!? I thought. How dare she! But then I noticed she did not mention me at all. She just mentioned the website ‘Chronicles’ and the woman writing said blog post was named Charlene. So Google alerts pulled this post just because the word Chronicles was in it and the author of the post was Charlene. “Charlene Chronicles” was not mentioned at all. So the Google Alert was misleading, but I also, in retrospect, set it up that way. (Here is a fab article to help better targer Alerts.)

So you can imagine the same scenario when my new found Blissdom friend got her Alert, based on her Alert parameters. (Oy.) Thus, I have learned that Google and all of its sub-parts, like Alerts, are fabulous, but to take it with a grain of salt.

I also think I may need to think twice about what I post because there are some things that can be lost in Google translation. While I don’t want to lose my voice and my right to be able to speak what I think, I should ponder that power, and that need, to determine its true value. There are always bad apples in social media (and in real life), but I am establishing new connections and friendships, and I don’t want to harm the growth of them. I can’t change Google, but I can change myself. So next time I might need to rant, I may call someone instead of posting, spill my heart out as my befuddled husband walks in the door, or have long talk with my dogs. Heck, they owe me. I did get them new toys….

[Anyone else have social media snafus, or ah-ha moments, share here! (and maybe make me feel less stupid?]

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  1. Charlene, we’ve all had moments where we’ve typed in 140 characters or posted on FB or sent an email and the reader did not understand our subtlety or nuance. Moreso with Twitter and FB because, like blogs, they’re public. Anyone can read it and misinterpret what is written, not understand the context (happens a lot on twitter) or somehow think that you’re talking about them.

    One great thing about Social Media too is that it gives us the opportunity to feel connected and reach out to people and apologize quickly, especially if the consequence was not intended.

    Mean people are everywhere and social media is filled with them. But social media is also filled with amazingly wonderful people who’ve got your back!

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