Social Media and Beyond

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G’day from our guest blogger in Australia.

Australian Rugby Team



Our guest blogger this week is Phil Stupples who currently is “one of those Brits Down Under”.  Phil is an experienced corporate banker, and recently relocated to Austalia. Phil is passionate about running, music and travel and started running marathons in 2009, with five completed so far,  London x 2, Stockholm, Berlin and Paris.

We asked Phil this question “Did you use Social Media in your move to Australia?”  Here is what he had to say.


I remember thinking at the time that it was an interesting question and my initial reaction was to ponder what exactly social media is and how I use it. My life has not been the same ever since that fateful night when some friends took pity on me while Mrs S (my wife) was in the US and at some point during the evening suggested I get myself onto Facebook. 

That was way back in 2009,  but until then I had steadfastly refused to play. Now even Mrs S has joined it and for us it is a great way to stay in touch with family and friends and keep up to date with the gossip and news. These days a lot of people announce things via Facebook so if you’re not part of herd you will miss out on important information like your nieces engagement or subsequent wedding plans. 

With the time difference it tends to be a bit of a catch up over breakfast on what’s been happening overnight. The other day I was spotted online and ended up exchanging messages on the bus to work – even sent a picture taken out of the window as we went over the Harbour Bridge.

Around the same time I joined the Facebook revolution I also joined Twitter. In for a penny as they say. For me Twitter is still a work in progress, I can go for several days without interacting with it or I can send several tweets in a short space of time, keep up with my timeline and interact with various people. Twitter space is a funny old place, an opportunity to interact with all and sundry on anything and everything. By way of illustration I saw a documentary programme a while back about the Stones on tour in the 70’s which featured Kid Jensen (remember him? If not Wikipedia) he looked like a kid in a sweet shop as he spent time rubbing shoulders with his heroes. So I looked him up on twitter and sent him a tweet to that effect. He duly replied saying that he did indeed have a great time and has special memories of that time. Can’t imagine that happening 20 years ago.

So what about work? As with Facebook I was a slow adopter of LinkedIn but once I “got it” and realised what a powerful tool it can be then that was me hooked! I use LinkedIn pretty much daily as a way to keep up to date. When we moved to Sydney and I updated my profile it was a great way to make sure my business acquaintances knew where I was and what I was up to. When I joined my new team I connected to as many as I could find and then reviewed their profiles to find out a bit more about them. So helpful to do a bit of research ahead of meeting someone new. I used to be a bit nervous about them being able to see I had reviewed their profile, but I think it merely shows that I am interested to know a bit more about them.

One of the fastest growing networking groups on LinkedIn (in my opinion that is) is the RBN or rugby business network. In essence it does what it says on the tin and connects people who are in business and have a love of rugby. Simple! Not long before I left the UK I attended an event and met the founder a guy called Colm Hannon. I got in touch via LinkedIn and asked for his help to connect to the RBN in Sydney. Within a day or two I was sitting down having a coffee with the guy who runs the RBN over here. I have been to several of their events, made numerous new contacts and met a number of ex Wallabies

as well. At one of their events the guest speaker said something along the lines of ” your life only really starts when you are at the edge of your comfort zone” That one resonated with me.

Another of my contacts arranged to introduce me to some of his LBS alumni who had experienced moving from Europe to Sydney. A number offered to meet and share some of their experiences. This is particularly helpful as you get to hear their stories first hand as well as some great advice into the bargain.

We have been here for more than 5 months now and are feeling fairly settled. We are hoping that we get some visitors whilst we are here but in the meantime Facebook, Google+ are a great way to stay in touch. The time difference which is now 9 hours, but in summer goes to 11 hours, means that phone calls and Skype tend to happen at weekends and tend to need a lot of pre-planning. A phone call is nice but Skype has meant that we get to see people as well and the lucky ones get a guided tour round the new house as well!

Did we use social media to help prepare before we left?  The short answer is probably a resounding “no” but then again until we finally got our visas it was hard to really believe that it was going to happen. Then the visas came through and it was a case of strapping in for a roller coaster couple of weeks and then we were gone!

With hindsight maybe we could have done more but until you hit the ground you can’t really get too into the planning. 

Having written all this stuff down I started to reflect on the first time we visited Australia. It was around March 1994 and I was lucky enough to spend 2 weeks working in Sydney. I say I was lucky, maybe it was Mrs S who was the lucky one as she flew out to join me for about 10 days so managed to see a lot more of the place than I did. Anyway my mind wandered and as it meandered down memory lane I wondered what life would have been like if we had moved out to Australia all those years ago. How would we have coped with out all those social networking sites? Then I did a bit of a double take. Whilst we hadn’t moved to Australia we had moved to Hong Kong where we lived for a year. We seemed to cope pretty well without all of those apps and sites. We stayed in touch fairly well all things considered. I guess the main difference is that these days in our on demand world we expect everything to be instantaneous, in those days it was a postcard, a letter or a phone call. You have to wonder whether we really are any better off? What do you think?





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How secure are your Social Media Accounts?

This week we have a guest blogger – Matthew Trump from Matthew works as the IT Security Officer at the University of Kent and shares his passion for IT Security with a passion for presentations.  Here are his hints and tips on how to keep your social media accounts secure.

Password Safety

Keep your passwords safe

With increasing numbers of accounts being compromised and passwords being revealed, how secure are your social media accounts?

It’s well known that people reuse passwords across different websites and across their social media accounts as well.  If you are guilty of this then think of the consequences: the loss of your username (often an email address) and password from one account may well allow hackers access to all of your social media accounts. This could cost you, not just financially, but also reputationally.

In addition there is now a wealth of evidence from hacked passwords that the actual passwords which people use are simply not secure ( and are frequently easily guessable (

So what can be done to address this problem?  The easiest way is to use a password management program. There are a number available and some of them are free.

Programs such as keepass (, lastpass( and password safe ( are all free.  1pass( another such product which costs $49.99 for a single user licence and $69.99 for a five user family licence.

They create an encrypted password file which itself contains all of your passwords. They also generate passwords for you, so you can be sure that each one is totally random and hence unique.  So if one password is compromised, the rest of your accounts are safe.

Many of these programs are cross platform so you can store your password file in Dropbox or other cloud storage and access it from whatever device you have to hand.

You can always experiment with the free products to see which one you like the most and the paid for products come with a time limited trial.


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All of a sudden hashtags are everywhere, no longer confined to Twitter they can be found on Facebook, television, magazines and now they are creeping into our language.

However when is it appropriate to use them and when is it just plain silly?

In my opinion there is a time and a place, they are great if you want to interact with a programme on TV, for example #BGT (that’s Britain’s Got Talent for the uninitiated) here you can interact with people who are watching the programme and exchange comments and thoughts about the show.   They are useful for business to help locate a certain product or service.  Even better if you are looking for something in a particular area and the town can be hash tagged.

BUT, and here comes my gripe, do not use them on every word. Firstly it makes your tweet hard to read, secondly I really doubt many people would read it, and thirdly, WHY?

Ok I know there is not a hashtag dictionary (Mmmmm now there’s an idea) but I would ask you to think carefully before using this little innocuous symbol.  We do not need to see it in a text or an email.  It is not necessary to use it in speech (as in the title of this blog), or to use it on words of absolutely no relevance, for example, “and, thanks, hello”, you get my drift?

Running a sentence together with a hashtag at the beginning is a no no too, again too difficult to read and, let’s face it, it’s never hoping to trend!

Let’s keep it for the purpose it was intended, Twitter.   So let’s just find two key words in our tweet to hashtag and I can assure you that it will have more impact and gain you more interaction and engagement.

#right #must #get #on #Ihaveabusinesstorun