Gave a Speech on Social Media Risk Management in Ottawa

Last night I had a wonderful experience, giving a Mac on the Road alumni lecture on “Social Media Risk Management” in the St. Laurent Room of the Lord Elgin Hotel in Ottawa.

There was a great, diverse crowd of people out, ranging from professional communicators from the Ottawa area to different generations of McMaster alumni, to several young people who were alumni of my CMST 1A03: Intro to Communication class, across the years, since I started in 2001. There were also several current and former Hill staffers there. There were also a couple of my current students in in the Master of Communications Management Program – I was so happy to see them!

I was so very pleased to see my former students present. Their success is my success. I am very proud of them all and honoured that they would take time out of their busy day to see their old professor!

It was a good night. The lecture lasted just over an hour and then we had approximately 30 mins for questions. People were very interested in the idea of social media as a new country that has been opened up parallel to the “real” one we live, but which is just as real to many people who participate in it, especially young people who have grown up in a social media world.

I touched on security particulars for the following social media sites, for both individuals and organizations:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • On-Line Dating
  • Geotagging
Then I discussed emergent risks that weren’t linked to any specific social media setting, but rather to more general trends as computing becomes a more fundamental part of our lives:
  • Cloud Computing
  • Surveillance
  • Facial Recognition
  • Security of information
  • Device-Specific Usage (spreading your data across a multitude of devices)
I also had a brief discussion of the concepts of trust and reputation, as foundational concepts that both individuals and organizations have to be concerned about when they use social media services.
After the talk, we had a lively discussion about how social media use is affecting our individual identities and how organizations are being affected by this seismic shift in our business and leisure cultures.
A big thanks to John Popham, from McMaster Alumni Services, who organized the talk. He did a great job!
All in all, an excellent night.
I am just getting warmed up at the Lord Elgin. (photo: John Popham)

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