Mountain Lion Upgrade is Done!

I mentioned a few posts back that I was holding off on OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) until the first major patch was released. Well, 10.8.1 is here, and so I took the plunge.

“So far, so good.” is my verdict, though with a few qualifications on that statement overall.

First, upgrading. As I had recently reinstalled 10.7 due to a goof in deleting pref/kext files, I had already removed all applications that I didn’t run or need. This is a good thing, as not every app out there is ready to roll on 10.8. SoundSource, a small tool used to flip which output (headset, speakers, etc.) audio is played through, for example, isn’t available for Mountain Lion yet. So I do suggest going through your installed apps and properly uninstalling any you don’t use, don’t need, or don’t want. Use an app delete utility (like AppDelete or CleanMyMac) to completely uninstall them, as just dragging them to the trash can leave bits of the app behind.

After you clean up what you no longer need, have a look at what’s new in OS X 10.8. There are many new features, several of which you will probably want to shut off. For example, I don’t want my Mac to natively talk to Twitter or Facebook, as I have several accounts (home, web, work) that I use those services with, and don’t want anything automatically posted to the wrong one. So before you even start downloading Mountain Lion, find out what features you will use, which you won’t, and make plans to turn off the unwanted ones.

Make a backup of everything on your Mac. You could use Time Machine, but I prefer a 3rd-Party tool such as CrashPlan or ChronoSync. It’s rare that a 10.8 upgrade causes any kind of issue, but it has happened, and you should be prepared.

After that, provided you’re on 10.6 or higher, head to the Mac App Store (Apple menu, App Store) and purchase Mountain Lion for US$19.99. The software will first download – which could take some time as it is a 4GB file – then pop up a window offering to begin the upgrade. Close all applications except the upgrader, and you’re ready to roll.

The upgrade itself happens in two parts. First the upgrade app will configure settings and write out new files within your OS X session. This prepares the Emergency Recovery system and sets the Mac’s boot system to load up the rest of the installer. When that’s done, you’ll see a prompt to reboot (the system will reboot automatically in about five minutes if you do nothing here).

Once the Mac reboots, you will automatically see the OS X installer come up. If you have used FileVault, you’ll be prompted for your disk password, but otherwise the process is completely automatic. A progress bar tells you about how long you have left before the upgrade is complete, and like all progress bars, it lies. For my iMac, it took about 40 minutes to perform the upgrade, start to finish. The MacBook Air took about 30.

In my case, after the installer was done, I found myself at the normal Emergency Recovery screen. Varied reports say that you may or may not see that screen when the install is complete, but if you do, all you need to do is go to Apple Menu and choose Restart. This will reboot the Mac into the newly-upgraded OS.

All settings and preferences that exist in both 10.7 and 10.8 were maintained, and the new feature sets were in their default configuration. This means that you will need to — for example — define your settings for the new Notifications Area, but not change your display and power settings.

One special note on 3rd-Party applications: GateKeeper is a new security system in OS X 10.8 that blocks any app from running if it does not have a signed Apple Developer signature on file. This means that many apps will be unable to run, unless you change your GateKeeper settings in System Preferences. Turning GateKeeper off is a matter of some debate, if you’re unsure, then you should leave it on. Apps already installed to your Mac should run fine, and you can set exceptions and/or turn it off later if necessary.

And there you have it. Mac OS X Mountain Lion installed and ready to roll. I’ll be blogging more about features and settings in future posts, but I can indeed verify that the upgrade process is smooth and easy.

Engage, Don’t Just Broadcast.

When using Social Media for work, there is a massive temptation to simply dole out information to the masses. While it’s important that you tell folks what’s going on in your business or industry, simply blaring out links to press releases is a sure way to lose followers and influence.

Twitter, Facebook and other networks are designed to be interactive platforms. This means that you need to both speak and listen in order to get the most out of this form of medium, and broadcasting is only half of that equation. Stated another way, if you’re shouting continuously, you can’t hear what people are saying around, about, and to you.

Instead, take a cooperative approach. Definitely tell folks what’s going on, where you’re headed, who you’re seeing, etc. Share customer stories (where appropriate) and successes, as well as lessons learned. But, also ask questions and pose theories about your industry and products. Ask about general ideas, even some that may not be directly related to something you’re selling. This gets people talking with you, and means that more people see the replies and re-posts, increasing your audience dramatically.

For each RT, there’s a chance that someone else will discover your Twitter account and read your non-engagement tweets. Put simply, every time you show up in someone else’s timeline, you get seen by more potential customers. Broadcasting will indeed get some RT’s and re-posts, but frankly nowhere near as many as talking to your customer base and listening to their replies will.

Added to that fact, you will also see your influence rise as you engage. One-way communication is static, services like Klout and Kred tend to discount static accounts. By interacting with customers and potential customers, you can generate more activity overall, and dynamic activity at that. This leads to more strength and influence from ranking systems and analytic services.

Finally, engaging activities can uncover new leads and opportunities for your business. Posting a press release may be ignored by the masses — they see dozens of those every day and have learned to ignore them. Posting questions gets people to answer them, and if the answer is “We have that problem and haven’t figured out how to solve it yet,” then you have an opening to suggest using your products to fill the need. More engagement means more traffic to your website and more interest in your products.

So, by all means, do share white papers, case studies and press releases; but don’t stop there. Pose questions, offer answers to other users’ questions, and make your Social Media activities interactive. Doing so will gain you influence, followers, and probably some new customers to boot.

Dealing With the Latest SMS Hack

Recently, a security blogger put up a post that set the iOS world on fire. That, in and of itself, isn’t exactly a rare occurrence, but this particular problem is pretty serious.

The basic upshot of the post, in plain english, is that someone can send you an SMS text message and make it look like it came from someone else. That means your iPhone would show that the text came from your Mom, even though it came from an attacker instead. The reason this is a problem is that your Mom might ask for sensitive personal information — like your Social Security Number — and you’d be likely to give up that info if someone you think should have it is texting you.

One thing to note before we go forward. The security hole is in SMS itself, not specifically in anything iOS does with text messages. iPhones are simply the first major platform to be publicly outed as being vulnerable to the issue.

So how do you fix it? Well, you cannot directly fix the issue, as it is part of the core code-base of iOS and not something you can fiddle with. Apple may fix it with iOS 6, and so it may not be an issue for much longer, but the fix is NOT in the beta releases so far.

In the meantime — and even if you’re not on Apple gear — you can take some security precautions to protect yourself:

1 – Always assume the person texting you isn’t the person who shows up in the name header of the text itself. Much like with email, it’s just too easy to forge the “From:” field, allowing people to masquerade as whoever they want to be.

2 – Never give out personal information in SMS text messages. This is a basic rule of thumb online, you do not email or text anything that’s private information, even if you DO know who you are talking to. Call the person and tell them the information instead. This goes for Social Security numbers, medical information, system passwords, or anything else you’re not comfortable sharing with the whole world.

So, if Mom does ask for your SSN in a text message, tell her you’ll call her in a few minutes and tell her what it is on the phone.

What Twitter’s New Policy Means, in Plain English

Scumbag twitter 1

Twitter has released new guidance regarding their policy toward 3-rd party developers on the Twitter platform. While the technical details are pretty confusing for non-app developers, the impact of the new guidelines is going to be felt by everyday users.

Here’s the basic details you need to know:

1 – Twitter wants to rank you. Systems like Klout got spared from a lot of the new regulations that Twitter is putting forth. That means that Twitter is more interested in how you rank compared to others, regardless of how you get that rank. Due Disclosure: I use Klout as a way to see what I appear to be influential in across my social networks.

2 – You should only be using official Twitter clients to get your feed. This is the one that has pissed off the entire 3-rd party community. The new rules make it difficult (though far from impossible) for non-Twitter client tools to work, or at least continue working the same way they do today. That means apps you use every day like Echofon, TweetBot, Oosfora, and tons of others must either change the way the work — quickly — or risk being cut off from Twitter’s network.

So why is Twitter doing this? Same reason as everything anyone does… money. Twitter makes money by selling advertising. 3rd-party clients traditionally don’t show the advertising at all, or at least not the same way that the official Twitter clients and website do. This means that if you use a 3rd-party client, then you may be missing ad content, and costing Twitter money.

Secondly, Twitter can make more money when they target ads to people who will see them and share them most. That means Twitter needs to rank users, to serve the right ads at the right price to the right people. Since they have very few native tools to do this, Twitter is giving systems like Klout a lot more… well… clout.

I can’t fault Twitter for wanting to make money. It is a business first and foremost, and the goal of any business is to gain revenue and market share. However, by turning their backs on 3-rd party software developers, Twitter is hurting itself. Most of the innovations that Twitter has adopted into its own software were developed by non-Twitter developers. Even Twitter’s own client software on many platforms was actually purchased from 3rd-party developers and re-branded as Twitter’s own.

I believe this is a very bad move on Twitter’s part. As they continue to restrict innovation, they continue to risk becoming stagnant and losing market share. Other services will rise up to fill the gaps soon enough (see App.Net as one example) and eventually one will overtake Twitter if this keeps up.

For now, most of the major app developers have said they think they can re-rig their apps to fit within the new rules. While functionality will be lost, the apps will survive — at least short term. Hang in there, hopefully Twitter will see the error of their raise when they start losing money instead of making more.

Reinstalling OS X

For the majority of users, reinstallation of an entire OS isn’t something they need to deal with. Ever. That being said, there may be instances where it’s required. In those cases, you can indeed re-install OS X from scratch, and here’s the basic overview of what you need to do.

NOTE: This is critical. BACK UP everything. Read that again, and then read it once more. Be certain you have a non-Time Machine-backup of every piece of data that you will need. This includes (but is in no way limited to) documents, music, other media, application installers, and your mail, contacts, and calendars. Time Machine backups may be restore-able, but it’s highly likely that they will not be if you reinstall the OS, so use some other tool to get your data onto removable media first.

NOTE 2: Is this trip really necessary? Usually, you do not have to install a fresh copy of OS X from scratch unless you’ve seriously messed up your Mac. Starting with 10.7 (Lion), the OS installs a hidden partition on your hard drive which permits emergency reinstallation while keeping everything it can keep in place. If you’ve just corrupted part of OS X, you don’t have to completely wipe the drive and start over. Just reboot, holding CMD+R from the time you hear the “bong” sound until you see the Apple logo and spinner show up on the screen. That will boot you into the Recovery Volume, which will allow you to re-install the OS in-place (by choosing Install Mac OS X), retaining apps and settings whenever it can.

Now, if you have trashed the OS – perhaps you got infected with malware or something else took out most of the OS itself – then a fresh installation may be the only fix available. If you’re not familiar with installing OS’s (Linux, Windows, OS X, etc.) then go to an Apple Store and let the Geniuses do it for you. If you have installed OS’s in the past, then a fresh install of OS X is actually quite easy to perform.

If you already have Lion or Mountain Lion installed, you have two choices:

1 – Use the Recovery Disk by holding CMD+R from the time you hear the bong until the Apple logo and spinner appear (just like for an in-place refresh), or

2 – Get hold of (or create) a USB or DVD OS X installer.

Then, after you are sure you backed up everything from the existing install (since I know you skipped over that part earlier), you can begin.

Boot into the Recovery Disk with CMD+R or boot to the DVD or USB image by holding down Option when you hear the bong and holding it until the Apple logo and spinner show up, then selecting the USB drive listed as “EFI Boot” or the DVD drive.

Once booted into the Lion or Mountain Lion installer (from DVD, USB or the Recovery Disk), the first thing you’ll need to do for a fresh installation is to erase/wipe the existing OS X partition. From the startup page of the installer, choose Disk Utility. Then chose the partition that holds OS X (note: NOT the physical drive, just the partition beneath it that holds the OS X system). If you used FileVault, you’ll need to unlock the partition with your login password in order to do anything with it. Just right-click the partition in the left-hand column of the page, then choose Unlock and provide your password.

Erase the partition (you DID follow the instructions to back everything up, right?) using the MacOS Extended (Journaled) choice for how the drive should be formatted. This erases all data off the drive. Choosing to overwrite the data (called “wiping the drive”) is more secure, but can take upwards of 8 hours on large disks, and is totally unnecessary on SSD’s – the choice is yours though. Once the erase/wipe is complete and you have a blank system partition, you can close Disk Utility.

Then, back on the start page for the installer, choose to Install Mac OS X. This will guide you through the basic configuration information. Choose the same partition you just formatted as the install partition, give the installer a few other pieces of data, then sit back and relax. In about 10 minutes, the installer will reboot the system.

Do not hold down any keys during this reboot, and the Mac will boot into the newly-installed OS X partition, install remaining components of OS X, and walk you through the standard OS X first-start routine.

You now have a newly-installed version of OS X on your machine, with no trace of any of the old apps, settings or data. At this point you should immediately go to the Apple Menu, select Software Updates and let everything download. Do this at least twice, but optimally you should do this until no updates are available. On Mountain lion, this will take you to the App Store, follow the same idea and install any/all updates that are waiting.

Note: Unlike other OS’s, when you download OS X you get the very latest version of the software, not just the original build that was released when the OS first came out. That means that the number of updates you’ll need is going to depend on when you downloaded the OS X image you are using for the reinstall, so keep running Software Update until no other updates are available for you.

Now you can install applications and start restoring data from your backup to your fully renewed OS X installation.

Remember, it’s nearly never necessary to do a complete reinstall of the OS. If you’re not sure, don’t do it. Try some of the tricks in previous articles (reset PRAM and other system settings, clean up permissions, etc.) and/or bring the machine to an Apple Genius. However, if a clean reinstall is called for, at least for Lion and Mountain Lion, Apple does make it pretty painless.

It means WHAT in Ukrainian?

Social Media is a worldwide phenomenon. Millions of people from hundreds of countries around the world can see and read your tweets, posts, blogs, and other online information. For the most part, this is a good thing. Social media helped to foment positive world change with the Occupy Movement, Arab Sprint, etc. Sometimes, though, not being sensitive to international considerations can lead to mix-ups, gaffs, and even outright offense.

Let’s take the semi-recent introduction of Nokia’s Windows Smartphone line. While the phones are spectacular (I’d recommend the line to anyone looking for a basic smartphone who doesn’t need the tinker-ability of the Android system or the alerts/notifications of iOS), the name caused a bit of a stir in the international community.

Lumia was meant to invoke the feeling of light, bringing clarity to the darkness of the smartphone landscape. The problem is that the word lumia is also a slang term for a person who takes money in exchange for sex. That’s right, folks, Nokia called their Windows Phone line a whore.

Twitter and other social networks ran with the story for weeks. Both with snide references to how Nokia had sold it’s soul (among other things) to Redmond in order to get into the non-Symbian smartphone market, and also queries as to how the marketing team didn’t pick that one up way before it ever became a product name.

Sometimes it’s not product names. A company I’ve had dealings with nearly launched an entire campaign around a Lucha Libre (a form of entertainment wrestling from South America) theme. There was a problem though, the professional wrestler the company hired to act as the spokesman for the campaign used a stage name that translated into a slang term for the perineum. In this case, not knowing the repercussions of a translation nearly led to a PR disaster as everyone would have been comparing their product line to a certain part of the human anatomy.

This type of thing has been going on for as long as broad-spectrum marketing has existed. Though the Chevy Nova didn’t see a sales hit due to its name (the rumor that it was rejected in South America was an urban legend), calling the car “doesn’t go” wasn’t the best idea when marketing to Spanish-speaking markets. With the advent of the age of social media and real-time communications, the problems get worse. Instead of taking months for rumors and jokes to spread, it happens in hours – even faster in some cases.

These days, it’s best to ask around to see if what you named your product or campaign means what you think it does in other languages. Because if you don’t, then once the product or campaign launches you’re stuck with the whore forever.

Product Review: CleanMyMac

Periodically, we all need to clean out the crap that collects in any OS. OS X (in my case Lion) is no exception. I noticed a lot of left-behind files and daemons from software I thought I had deleted, as well as various caches and leftover files. So, I went looking for ways to go through and clean up the detritus and came across about five hundred different pieces of software that claim they can do it.

Being the cynical type, I didn’t take any of the claims at face value, and did a bit of research to find a tool that could do what it said without destroying my Mac in the process. Many tools that provide automatic cleaning can remove things you may actually want to keep, causing more problems than they fix. I have had that particular problem with Windows-based “speed up” tools, and didn’t want to get bitten by that bug again. Others are thinly-veiled malware, looking to take advantage of desperate users trying to clean up their systems by serving up ads and solicitations for services you don’t want, don’t need, or can’t use.

In my searching, I found CleanMyMac by MacPaw. The software received generally good reviews from folks across the web, and so I felt secure in at least installing it and trying it out. What I found was a great piece of software that was flexible enough to let me do what I wanted, without forcing me to do *everything* at once.

The interface is pretty simple, you install the software from the DMG file, then run the app and are presented with a one-time dialog box asking what languages you routinely use on your Mac. I selected a few, and then was taken to the main screen with the ability to run scans, delete apps, shred files, etc. I clicked “Scan My Mac” and let it roll.

About 7 minutes later, the scan was done, and CleanMyMac had found a ton of different things I could get rid of. The problem is that I might have a bunch of things that CleanMyMac thinks are worthless that I really want to keep. Thankfully, the software doesn’t just go and automatically remove things by default.

Clicking on each category (Caches, Logs, Language Files, etc.) brings up a list of what the tool found in a right-hand pane. You can check/uncheck items to either confirm you want to get rid of them, or keep them. There is also a setting to permanently ignore anything you don’t want CleanMyMac to even check for in future. So I unchecked what I wanted to keep (or those things I wasn’t even sure about, just to be safe) and watched as the system efficiently cleaned up everything that I told it to.

While that alone is a great help, what I needed was to pick through the system to find left-behind preferences and extensions from apps I had deleted before I learned that you really need to use something like AppDelete and not just drag apps to the Trash. There were quite a few, and they all showed up on the various tabs of the Manage Extensions section. I was able to pick just those I had definitely tried to uninstall in earlier days, and let the software then go through and remove them for me. This section works the opposite of the main scan, with files being de-selected until you manually check the boxes of those you want to trash. That’s a huge thing, as you’re talking about the guts of your applications here, and don’t want to accidentally rip out a preference file for something that’s still installed.

Right below Manage Extensions are sections for *properly* deleting applications and securely or quickly erasing unwanted files. This keeps you from getting stuck with the left-behind preferences and extensions in future. Yes, there are many tools (some free, some paid) that can also do this, but it’s nice to see them included in once tool with the rest of the cleanup functions I’d want to run.

Overall, I give CleanMyMac 4 out of 5 stars. The one-star ding is for very sparse information on the info panel that slides out to the right when you select and item and click the “i” icon in the lower-right. Native and built-in plug-ins, for example, are not listed with any detail. This required me to do some web searching to find out what the preference or extension was, to determine if it was safe to delete or not. I can completely understand that info not being available for 3rd-Party tools, but those tools that are part of OS X should have some details there.

There are – as I mentioned – free or lower-cost apps that can individually do all these things (including removing unused languages and cache files). For me, having all these tools and controls for handling them in one piece of software is worth shelling out a few bucks.

CleanMyMac is well worth the price (US$14-25, depending on options) and a good bet if you have pesky files hanging around way past their welcome. Just remember not to delete anything unless you know what it is – which will usually take some web searching to figure out. When in doubt, leave it alone, but otherwise this software can help clean out the crap in your Mac.

Oh, are the Olympics Going on? (Curiosity killed the peacock)

A funny thing happened earlier this week. NASA blew NBC off the social media map, without even trying.

When the Mars Rover Curiosity made an absolutely flawless landing on the surface of the red planet, Twitter, Facebook and many other social media networks went berserk with the news, blowing the concurrent media frenzy of the London Olympiad out of the spotlight – much to the chagrin of NBC, I’m sure.

There were three distinct phases to the blowout, and we can learn from all of them when talking about how to manage social media messaging:

1 – Time delays should only be caused by actual distance.
Curiosity’s landing was broadcast in near real-time by various parts of NASA, with photos taken by the Rover being transmitted out to the world almost as soon as they were taken (there is a 14-minute delay for the transmissions to reach Earth from Mars). This is a big difference when you compare NBC’s six hour delay for events happening on the same planet. There is no such thing as Prime Time online, and NASA knows how to leverage that always-on mentality to the fullest.

2 – NASA lets the information be free.
While it’s understandable that NBC wants to keep a tight rein on information and news coming out of London, NASA has no commercial reason to restrict information. Therefore, there was simply more available news and imagery from Curiosity than from the Olympics flowing at any given time. More info means more blog posts, tweets, posts and broadcasts. If NBC and the International Olympic Committee had allowed a small portion of the information to be freely available, it would get a better spread and more play.

3 – NASA has a surprising sense of humor, and appreciates it in others too.
Funny stuff gets more play, simple fact of Internet Life these days. NASA was quick to crack jokes, and to encourage others to do the same. Because people felt more free about posting jokes and jibes about NASA, the landing was followed by a slew of sharp comments and posts about things like the NASA Flight Controller with the mohawk haircut, or the fact that they could have very well missed one of the most stunning images (the one at the top of this article) if the timing of the landing was off by just a tiny bit. The result? Everyone started talking about NASA and Curiosity. Satirical twitter accounts sprang up instantly, and got great play. When a video of the event got pulled from Youtube due to an apparent copyright issue, NASA shrugged it off as just one of those SNAFUs that happen. The whole internet erupted in support of NASA, mostly because NASA didn’t make a big deal out of it. By not taking themselves too seriously or chastising others who refused to do so, NASA ended up becoming the darlings of social media.

So, lessons learned.

1 – Move fast. Delaying data only means that someone else who you may not want to talk about it will get the story published first.

2 – Always get your message out there, even if that means losing control of some parts of it. You’ll quickly lose control of all of it in ways you do NOT want if you try to put a stranglehold on things.

3 – You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Poke fun of yourself, or laugh it off when others do. Laugh with the crowd, or they’ll just laugh at you instead.

Holding Off on Mountain Lion

With much fanfare, Apple released version 10.8 of the OS X platform, named Mountain Lion. While there are many features and functions in ML that are great, I’m holding off for a bit. Here’s why:

First, it’s brand new. Apple has become much like Microsoft in producing OS software that isn’t quite ready for prime time right out of the gate. There are generally a few highly annoying issues that launch with new OS X versions. Luckily, Apple does fix them quite quickly, and within 30-60 days after release there will be 10.8.1 to address them. So I’m waiting for that release.

Secondly, a large portion of ML was written to merge with iOS 6, which isn’t yet available outside of the Apple iOS Developer Program. So until I have what is seen as “the other half” of OS X 10.8, there’s no real reason for me to rush to upgrade.

I’m definitely looking forward to Mountain Lion. The Notifications system, next generation Messages client and a few other features are big for me, and I’ll happily upgrade in the very near future. I’m just not ready to leap on the bandwagon yet. When the first major patch is out, and iOS 6 is ready to roll, I’ll be downloading ML from the App Store and will be writing what is – I’m sure – the first of many blog posts on it for you then.

Olympic-Level Social Media Issues

I’m a huge fan of the Olympic Games. There’s two main reasons for this. First, I was in the US Junior Olympic Shooting Program (Indoor/Outdoor Running Game Target, for those interested) and secondly because the Games represent a triumph of the human will over everything that human beings can throw at it.

Social Media is one epic example of that latter idea.

There were two major issues that sprang up out of the 30th Olympiad that center around two immutable Laws of Social Media:

1 – Information always will be free.

2 – In any instance where those who own the information desperately do not want it to be free, see rule 1.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) decreed that – in effect – Social Media was banned from the games. No one was permitted to tweet, post, or blog about what was going on. The presiding factor for this was overall security – something that was proven to be a concern when Olympic Athletes began posting photos (with close-up detail) of their security ID badges online. The decree was fiercely criticized as being more about economics (NBC wanted to time delay the games for US consumption, thereby making tweeting live problematic) than security.

However, even the massively edited footage NBC aired of the Opening Ceremonies showed hundreds of people with mobile phones happily snapping photos and taking videos, so the ban was not quite successful. Athletes and attendees have been tweeting non-stop, even getting themselves into very public battles over negative tweets that had been thrown at them.

In the second example of these rules, NBC ran afoul of most of the world due to an ill-edited time-delayed version of the Opening Ceremonies themselves.

In a widely publicized gaff, NBC chose not to show a tribute portion of the Ceremonies in their US telecast. The tribute was – outwardly – for all those who the Olympic Family lost in the past 4 years, but was widely viewed as a tribute to the victims of the 7/7 attack against the UK the day after London won the right to hold the Games. Instead, NBC chose to show an interview segment between Ryan Seacrest and Michael Phelps.

Immediately, Social Media erupted with tweets and postings about the missing segment. The outcry was swift and vicious, with people from dozens of countries lambasting NBC for insensitivity, misjudgment and – in several cases – outright stupidity. What followed was three days of criticism against NBC for time-delaying key events, clueless commentators, horrible editing of segments, and the overall lackluster coverage of the Games in general.

What can we learn from this? First, no information is safe from Social Media. Try as you might, the info will get out there, and the more you try to restrict it, the further it will spread. Secondly, NBC has attempted to ignore the outcry, issuing semi-meaningless public statements (NOT via Social Media) that did nothing to placate the social mob. Your company needs to be ready to address these outbursts with a solid plan of responses and information to plead your side of the case. The age of the press release is definitely over.

Enjoy the Games, celebrate your country’s victories and cheer with other countries in theirs. Also, always remember that when the eyes of the world are watching, these days those eyes come in the form of cell phone cameras and instant communication.