Musings About Online Marketing

Facebook Auto-Sending Friend Requests?

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While setting up a new Facebook account to test out some Facebook apps, a coworker noticed that he had a Friend Request (not a People You May Know suggestion) from his personal account, along with a number of requests from other people.  Clicking ‘confirm’ automatically added him as a friend to his personal account, even though he had never sent a request in the first place.  Has anyone else had some new friends pop into their list without your knowledge?  I tested this out by setting up a new account, and had one friend request show up in that manner (screenshot below), and it was not from my personal account.

Let me know if you have knowledge of this and what causes it to happen.  I’ve found a few things about people maybe experiencing the same thing, but no official word from Facebook.

Facebook is now automatically sending Friend Requests?


Written by rogersikes

July 20, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Hiding the Trolls

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One of the most frightening things about reading any article posted on a website are the inevitable comments that you will reach at the bottom. Among the items you will see: a few smart comments, a lot of ignorance, and several trolls looking to incite a web war. There’s something about the allure or being anonymous that empowers some people to post things that they would never say to anyone’s face in public, and to be completely honest, it causes me to question the future of mankind… Perhaps Mike Judge wasn’t too far off with his movie Idiocracy:

Kings of Leon recently cut their show in St. Louis short due to a… well… a shitty situation. While reading the statement made by one of the opening bands, The Postelles, I noticed that instead of putting the comments and their inevitable trolls and flamebait at the bottom, they have a separate tab for ‘Discussion.’

When you navigate to the Discussion tab, you will see the comments along with some rules that are tacked on at the bottom.  I love the rules – they can help diffuse those wars that sometimes rage on in comments.

My only suggestion would be that these rules be visible either on the right side of the page or somehow make them fit at the top without pushing the first few comments below the fold.

Anyway, just thought I’d share.  This method might be something to consider if you don’t want to force people to register on your site just to leave a comment.

Written by rogersikes

July 27, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Double Rainbows! They’re So Intense!

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So, I think I’m having fail at updating this too often about things that this blog is supposed to be about, so I’m going to just see if I can update it more often with completely irrelevant items that I find around the Web… just because I can.

So, for starters, I’m sure many of you have seen the guy who gets REALLY excited about the double rainbow he sees while camping (I guess he’s camping). He’s super happy about it and begins to get all deep on us before breaking down into one of those laughing/crying fits. Because I have not experienced a double rainbow personally, this could be the reaction any of us would have.

Here’s the original:

Here’s a mashup with “Rainbow Connection:”

My personal favorite is this one, where an autotuner is used to make him “sing:”

Written by rogersikes

July 9, 2010 at 10:36 pm

Posted in Misc

Set Your Content Free

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Look Ma! I’m not ranting about Google!

This one’s going to be about the people who say “Leave my $#1+ alone” when it comes to how they want to display their content across the Web. While I don’t think it’s this huge, massive issue, and most people understand the power of viral marketing, it’s still funny to see that a few industries still don’t get it.

Yes indeedy, I’m going to talk about this article that gives a great illustration of the power of viral marketing, notably this portion of the article (which is a quote from the New York Times op-ed piece referred to in the Mashable article):

“When EMI disabled the embedding feature, views of our treadmill video dropped 90 percent, from about 10,000 per day to just over 1,000. Our last royalty statement from the label, which covered six months of streams, shows a whopping $27.77 credit to our account.”

I’ve never understood why anyone would want to disable embedding on YouTube – you’re cutting so much potential traffic off, and the numbers referenced above show that. 10% of their views came from people watching the video on the actual YouTube website. That’s all. So, if you are restricting access to a video on YouTube, you are limiting yourself to 1/10 of your potential audience. Why would you ever do that? This especially applies to the music industry, but anyone who restricts their content in such a manner limits the potential of what they can achieve through social media channels.

This is my best guest as to why some companies restrict their content so much:

People might use the content for their own evil purposes.

There’s really a couple of ways to look at this one – if your content is a video or podcast, and someone is embedding it – the only way they could steal any sort of credit for it is if you did a poor job of branding yourself within the video itself. In 4-H, we always had an lead-in, introduced ourselves, and included a summary at the end for our method demonstrations. If you follow that formula, you are identifying yourself and your product within your presentation, so if someone is embedding your content, what do you have to worry about? They can’t alter that content in any way shape or form… by embedding it, they are showing your video as you intended it to be.

Does the same thing apply to blog posts and articles? I would say that as long as it’s only an excerpt and links are provided, then there should be no issue. Again, the key is to identify yourself or your business within the content to make it harder to steal.

The bottom line is to educate yourself. Understand how these things work and how you can make them work for you. If you can’t do that, I promise you there are people and companies out there that can. Don’t fear it simply because you don’t understand it. Word of mouth is by and far the most powerful form of advertising out there, and viral marketing is simply the digital form of that.

Just a random Wednesday morning thought. OK Go has shown the power of having great (even unbelievable) content. By making it available to the Web in general allows you to reach an audience that extends far beyond whatever venue you are using to display the content. Below is the “unofficial” video for “This Too Shall Pass.” Notice the State Farm product placement throughout. Both OK Go and State Farm have the right idea. 🙂

One other video to enjoy is this song from the Coathangers (the language is NSFW, so put your headphones on). This one goes out to all the haters who don’t want to share their crap… in a tongue in cheek manner, of course.

Written by rogersikes

March 10, 2010 at 11:23 am

More Privacy Stuff That Concerns All of Us

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This article at Mashable brings up some good points about how we are perhaps a little too eager to share things via social media, including our location.

Are you an avid user of apps like FourSquare, Google Buzz, or Yelp that allow you to ‘check in’ at the location where you currently are? Have you ever considered that when you do this, you are publishing your current location and the fact that you are not home to complete strangers? Sites like Please Rob Me even help people figure out your patterns and see if you are not at home. Just call it burglary 2.0… or stalking 2.0… depends on what the person viewing your info wants to do.

Is it ever acceptable to publish your location? Sure. If your Twitter feed and Facebook profile is set to private, you are limiting that info to what should be family and friends. However, if your information is getting published publicly, you might be putting yourself at risk. Note that in Google Buzz that if Google knows where you are, they will publish it (oh yeah, had to get my paranoia infused into at least one post today).

So, use these services at your own risk. Is becoming the mayor of McDonald’s truly worth all your valuables?

Written by rogersikes

February 17, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Social Media Tip: Know When To Say It

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Just a quick hitter after observing some companies and their social media efforts this AM:

When planning out your social media, it’s important to think about when you’re sending out messaging. Take some time to figure out what times of day you get the most attention from your following on Facebook, blog, and Twitter, and try to base your timing upon those peak times.

What constitutes activity? Generally, you can do this by observing when you get the most comments, replies, retweets, and anything else that indicates your tweets are being seen. By deploying your most important messaging at these times, you’re ensuring that you are reaching the maximum amount of people possible.

In a lot of ways the timing of your social media parallels your email strategy. The big difference, however is that while your email will sit in the recipient’s inbox and likely be visible after several hours, your tweets and Facebook messages can get buried and be pushed out of visibility within hours or even minutes. It’s important to get in front of people’s eyes when they are active and looking for information.

Let’s say that your peak times for social media come at 5am in the morning for you, and you’re simply unable (or unwilling… we’re talking about sleep!), how can you make sure these messages get out on time? Fortunately, there’s a million tools out there to schedule tweets, Facebook messages, and blog posting. I recommend using Hootsuite. You can schedule Facebook, Twitter, and blog messaging within their interface. WordPress also has a scheduling feature if you’d like to use it. That way, you can be soundly asleep as your tweets happen. Just don’t forget to follow up and respond to any replies or comments you might get!

Increase your effectiveness. It’s one thing to have a social presence, but it’s another to make sure your strategy is built around reaching the maximum number of potential leads and customers possible by targeting peak times.

So, there you go.

Written by rogersikes

February 17, 2010 at 10:09 am

Posted in social media

Clarification and More Google Privacy Stuff

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Thanks to @Tamar, I came across an article that points out how Buzz can expose EVERYONE you email from your Gmail.

UPDATE: To completely rid your Gmail inbox of Buzz, here’s what you do – remove and BLOCK all followers, then unfollow everyone you have followed. Once you have done that, scroll to the bottom of the screen, and find the link that says ‘Turn Off Buzz.’ Click that, and you’re rid of the mess. Click here if you’d like a more detailed guide on how to do this.

Also, I don’t want anyone to think I’m completely anti-Google. I think that Google means well, and they offer some innovative and powerful tools that anyone can use. My issues mostly stem from how they treat user data, and even though the other search engines may collect the same type of data, they don’t hold on to it as long (Bing deletes after six months, Yahoo! 90 days).

With any service you use online, it is your right and your responsibility to know what is being tracked and how it will be used. If you’re not comfortable with it, either leave the service or learn how you can turn those features off. In the case of Google, you simply log in to your Google account and go to your dashboard.

Written by rogersikes

February 11, 2010 at 10:50 am

Posted in Misc, Online Marketing