Almost everyone is aware of the growing number of social media that allow you to stay in touch with your friends and spread the word on matters and events that are important to you. That goes from Presidents of countries to stay-at-home moms and includes their young teenagers as they move around on their social whirl. Companies now see that this is an ideal way to communicate with their customers and prospects. Everyone wishes to make the most of this new dimension in their lives. Continue reading
If you’ve not been aware of the viral growth of social media such as Facebook and Twitter, then this was the week to change all that. It started with the news that the Pope now has a Twitter account @Pontifex and even though he has not tweeted he has more than half a million Twitter followers. Continue reading
It you need any confirmation that social media are where it is happening then the headline that Obama tweet sets record should convince you. Social media provide an opportunity for any business activity also. What may have worked in the past may no longer be the most effective way of working in this social media world. Continue reading
It used to be easy to stay in touch with your friends when the telephone system was less automatic. Calls were put through on a switchboard when a human being physically connected two telephone lines. If you lived in a small village, the telephone switchboard lady could probably tell you whether your friend was at home or not. Continue reading
This is a guest post by Gagan Deep.
A business blog can gain new eyeballs to your business, and build great loyalty among your existing customers. It can also boost brand awareness, and help build a customer community. However, all this is possible only when business blogging is done correctly. Continue reading
This is a guest post by Heather Green.
Giveaways are a great way to generate excitement around your blog and to drive more traffic to it. Everyone loves getting something for free, and giveaways are fun and exciting. You can leverage this enthusiasm to create awareness about your blog, pick up some additional traffic, and grow your subscribers. Continue reading
If Phishing is a new term to you then please read this post. Wikipedia will tell you that “phishing is the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.” Often it may look like a message from your bank, or it could be Paypal or eBay. The phisher does not know whether you really have an account, but tries everyone in the hope that some may fall from it.
Here is one of the best phishing exploits I have seen. I have now twice received a message apparently from Google within the past three days that read as follows:
When you click on the link, then you see the familiar Google Gmail Welcome page.
Except that this is not the regular Google page. If you look up at the address field, you will find the URL is on the domain, .
Checking WhoIs for this page you will find that the administrative contact is the following person.
Undoubtedly if I had keyed in my Gmail username and password, that gentleman would have had access to my Gmail account and could do whatever he wished with it. Needless to say I immediately changed the password, in case he had already been there.
This is a particularly difficult one to spot, so it is important to be extra vigilant. Google has some good information about Messages asking for personal information. It also provides more detailed information about Suspicious results and strange behavior: Phishing attacks in other words.
You can forward such phishing Gmail messages to firstname.lastname@example.org and can send the Phishing URL to the Google Phishing team using their Phishing Report. Google also provides a link to Stopbadware.org, where you can learn more about malware that can infect your computer.
Some phishing attacks are not too difficult to spot, often including spelling mistakes and somewhat curious links. This particular current Gmail phishing incident is highly professional and the only clue is that URL address when you click on the apparent Google link.
Please spread the word rapidly. If you are on Twitter, then please ReTweet the message below.
Undoubtedly many people will be taken in.
If terms like URL shortener or RT are unclear to you, then you may be missing the next major trend in social media. The last major trend which is still active is Twitter where, as Collective Thoughts suggested you can create your own Social Bites – (which are) Like Sound Bites But Different
We are all used to “Sound Bites” – a short few seconds of words which are normally taken out of context to create sensational headlines. Few people realise that speech writers have for years worked on developing speeches to include a couple of perfect “sound bites” for use by others. Of course while some social media is audio based we are much more likely to rely on humble text to create a “social bite”.
What Is A Social Bite? – A social bite is a short piece of text to describe an article, post or idea which is easy to understand and easy to distribute through viral networks. A social bite must still carry the post’s message and goal but in a way that quickly impacts with users. The Perfect Social Bite has two parts, the hook and the line.
The hook are the words within the message – the thing to grab attention. This is doubly important as the hook will have no context once it has left the site. For example a hook is unlikely to reference the site so must be compelling, so that someone would visit the page without knowing where they were going. The line is simply the url, sometimes this will be the page url but more likely to conserve space a url shortening service would be used. This compounds the need for a good hook as the only other potential reference to the site will be hidden.
Done well, social bites can be very effective, so the Twitter stream now seems to have more social bites than mere status messages as in ( … off to feed the dog. )
If you are unaware of ReTweeting, then this is the next big buzz item in the Twitter world.
A ReTweet is based upon the word Tweet. Tweet is slang used in Twitter that means whatever message you post up on Twitter is considered a Tweet. Hence a ReTweet is a Tweet that is re-copied that begins with either a RT or ReTweet.
Techchrunch wrote a post on how ReTweets are viewed as a proxy for Authority in the Twitter world. This means that the more Retweets you gain from other Twitter users based on the article you have written or have found and submitted to the Twitter world, will prove that you are an Authoritative expert in Twitter.
Your tweeting efforts therefore should be focused on creating social bites that will receive the maximum retreats. That is where the choice of URL shortening can be important.. Lee Odden did a fine survey and review of URL shorteners and covered the following URL shorteners:
- twurl.nl (aka tweetburner)
- snipurl.com (aka Snurl Snipr Sn.im)
- ad.vu (aka adjix)
He found that cli.gs was the most used and certainly it has many fine features including powerful analytics. One of its most useful features is that it can be used in a plugin by Joe Dolson (WP to Twitter) that automatically creates a tweet when a WordPress post is published.
One URL shortener that was not included was that created by Digg. It has received some adverse reactions since it puts the original post within an iFrame that is part of the Digg online presence.
Another one that is just now in beta might appear to be similar in ‘framing’ the original post. However I go along with Pallab in saying that su.pr from StumbleUpon is Awesome.
Like Digg, su.pr also frames the contents of the target webpage and displays floating toolbars which is what make su.pr so awesome. The sidebar automatically highlights other popular content from your website(s) and encourages the reader to further explore. Not only that, su.pr also provides the option to retweet your message, and share the link on Facebook. Other options include the standard thumbs up and thumbs down buttons and option to stumble through the URL submitter’s favourites.
That ReTweet (RT) option is highly visible in the top right corner and should maximize the chances of getting even more RTs. If you want to see what it looks like just check out the URL in the following social bite.
StumbleUpon is one of the more effective social media in bringing website visitor traffic, so this URL shortener should be a most useful complement.
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What sort of question is that? Isn’t everyone on Google to a certain extent? However you probably do not believe it is something you join like Facebook or Twitter.
Well that has changed although you may have missed the memo. As MG Siegler has pointed out, Google Profiles Is Taking An Important Social Step With Vanity URLs.
The problem with Google’s movement towards becoming more of a social entity is that it lacks one cohesive place to tie everything together. Google lacks a singular area – like a Facebook profile page – where all that Google knows about you can reside and be easily seen. Actually there is such an area, Google Profiles and Google is now making it quite a bit easier to find.
So are you on Google? You can check this out with the following search for your name on Google Profiles.
If you already have a Google Account and have a Gmail address, then you are well along in joining this new potential social network.
Mike Elgan believes this will be Google’s ‘Facebook Killer’. He feels that Google is just one acquisition away from offering a social network that does everything Facebook does, minus all the things everybody hates about Facebook. That acquisition he is pushing for is that Google should buy Twitter.
The end result of this integration would be a social network far better than Facebook. Rather than being a link dead-end like Facebook, Profiles would be a launching pad of discoverability for everything you want to promote. It would be cleaner, faster and easier to use than Facebook. And it would be a one-stop shop for both social networking and Twitter.
I believe he is over-valuing what Twitter would bring to such an acquisition. Twitter has relatively rudimentary features and undoubtedly the Twitter owners will put far too high a price on their social network. If Google was of a mind to add the social media trappings to Google Profiles, it would not be rocket science to do so. The Google name would ensure people would flock to it. Indeed how many of you reading this have already claimed your Google Profile once you heard about it.
All the concept needs is a little marketing. Google Profiles is clearly a no-no. Thinking over possible names and remembering the precedent of the Google Chrome browser, one name jumps out.
Google Glitter! The name would almost market itself. The related concepts are multitudinous. Status reports would be glints of course. Perhaps if some related helpful ideas come to mind for Google, you could add them in the comments. It undoubtedly would be much cheaper to buy the appropriate domain(s) and/or trademark(s) to allow the concept to shine than it would to buy that tottering whale.
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- A Public Apology to My Blog (markevanstech.com)
You may know that you can vote for websites you find appealing at a number of websites and thus make others aware of your finds. They carry names like StumbleUpon, diggit and reddit to name but three. A new one has now appeared on the scene called Zoomit .. and this is a site for proud Canadians.
That’s not just for the Proud Canadians Top Ten but for everyone who is a Canadian and proud of it.
You may wish to consult a good review of Zoomit, which gives more details. As it mentions this is a Canadian social bookmarking website that features Canada’s News chosen by patriotic Canadians
David Leonhardt, the founder of Zoomit.ca says, “We have created a free place where Canadians can have their say on Canadian stories about politics, sports, entertainment and other topics. Mr. Leonhardt saw a need for social bookmarking with “Canadian-only” content because Canadian stories can get somewhat buried in the U.S.-based sites mentioned above.
Some Twitter Contacts
Since the question came via Twitter, my mind turned naturally to Twitter for the answer since this service seems to be growing by leaps and bounds. Increasingly people are using Twitter to inform their friends about interesting websites. It seemed a natural fit. How could I develop a list of Twitter members that could receive the good news.
Unfortunately Twitter is a very rudimentary service. Although you can find your friends by name fairly easily, there is no easy way to identify which are Canadians. Some names came quickly to mind and here is a short list of their Twitter identities.
I have undoubtedly offended many others who might assume that I would not forget them. I will prepare a more complete list in another post and encourage any other proud Canadians who wish to be mentioned to follow the steps outlined at the end of this post.
Twitter Contacts Google Knows
Although Google seems to be having a difficult time indexing the Twitter output, I decided to use a Google search to try to find more proud Canadians. The following seems to include more agencies than individuals, but who knows, perhaps they would wish to be using the Zoomit service too.
How To Get On The List Of Proud Canadians
For those proud Canadians who would like to be included in the list, I would encourage them to do the following:
- Make sure your Twitter profile identifies you as a Canadian in some way
- Tweet the Zoomit Review Article
- Add a comment to this post, including your Twitter identity.
I then undertake to cover the Twitter identities of at least the first 100 Proud Canadians in a subsequent post. Even if you do not wish to be so identified, why not make Zoomit part of your world and help Canadian news get the visibility it deserves.
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