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SXSW ’10

Extreme Makeover: Online Profile Tips at SXSW

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Web 2.0 consultant Leora Israel photographs Nick McGlynn during their SXSW panel.

One of the major themes at SXSW was how do you effectively manage your privacy while simultaneously managing a stellar online profile?

Beyond the big think talks on the subject (Doug Rushkoff and danah boyd), NY-based web 2.0 consultant and nightlife photographer Leora Israel assembled a panel to discuss this in a more intimate setting. The panel included Nick O’Neill, who runs Mediabistro partner blogs SocialTimes and; nightlife photog Nick McGlynn; and co-founder Jonathan Levy. Jo Blackwell-Preston, who owns Dop Dop salon in Soho and is Creative Director for L’Oreal Professional, offered styling services to willing participants.

Leora opened up by stating that “Everyone can be beautiful- all you need is a photographer, a stylist, and a personality.” Simple enough, but who wants to put that much effort into it? Quite a few, it seems. The panel was packed, and though people were interested in the makeover portion, the conversation quickly turned to managing privacy, particularly on Facebook. The group offered savvy advice that amplified danah boyd’s research findings: only 35% of Facebook users understand their privacy settings, which means that 65% of the user profiles are public and available for anyone to view. The advice? Know your privacy settings. Decide on your profile objectives, and how you want to be portrayed online.

But, does anyone outside of your immediate social network really “see” your profile? Yes. A hiring manager for Playboy was the first to speak up. “We’re hiring an editor,” she said. “When I looked up the candidate’s Facebook profile, she had very inappropriate photos posted. You might think that at Playboy, it wouldn’t matter to us- but, we weren’t looking for a model.” The candidate was immediately disqualified.

Jim Louderback, CEO of Revision3, and Rachel Sklar, Editor-at-Large for Mediaite, were two of the makeover participants and echoed the sentiments of the panelists. Louderback pointed out the “different rings of trust” that should determine who can view which part of your online life.

Some tips from the conversation:

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David Carr on NY Times Metered System: ‘This Time We’re All Going To Hold Hands’


We caught up with New York Times Media Equation columnist David Carr after a panel he spoke on, titled, “Media Armageddon: What Happens When The New York Times Dies.”

While Carr joked on Twitter that he would serve as the “mainstream media pinata” on the panel, he held his own, and said, “I didn’t really feel defensive up there. I feel that we’re a target because we’re synonymous with serious reporting.”

“I do think that we can do a better job telling our story,” he said, and then mentioned how the recent hiring of Dow Jones PR head Bob Christie could change that.

We asked Carr what he thought about potentially having his content as part of the upcoming metered system, where readers will have to pay for the Times‘ online content after viewing a certain amount of stories.

“This time we’re all going to hold hands behind what I think is a very judicious, metered approach, 15, 20 hits…10 hits,” he said, referring to the Times‘ last online pay model, Times Select, where only a select few writers were part of the paid content system.

“I think it’s a way to turn towards our most passionate users, and say, are you willing to pay a convenience charge?” he said.

Carr then went on to joke, “They don’t consult me, and if they do they listen to what I say, they go the other way as fast as the can.”