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Musings About Online Marketing

Archive for February 2010

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?

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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

More on The Google Monster

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Google’s announcement that they will be dipping a toe into the ISP business awoke the paranoid freak part of my mind once again. Sure, it’s going to be cheap, but what’s the real cost to you as a user?

The more I thought about the last post I made on this blog, the more I think it just comes off like a half baked opinion, so I thought I would highlight how Google uses your online data, including search behavior, etc. First, watch this interview with Eric Schmidt back in December as he makes the “…maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place” comment.

Here’s where he goes into a little more detail:

Okay, so it’s not down to the computer level… UNLESS you are logged in to Google at the time you’re doing the searching, then no IP address is needed (although it still can tell Google where you physically are). And the data is anonymized within 18 months, right?

Not so fast, my friend.

Google Dashboard displays a lot of info about your activity while you’re logged into your Google account – YouTube videos viewed, search history, web history, blogs, documents, and much more. The info gathered that is tied to your account is not anonymized – as this report states, it shows the history for the past 4 years! The CNN report below is quite the eye opener if you weren’t sure about exactly what Google knows about you.

If you want to disable Google from tracking your account in this manner, you can go to your Google Dashboard and follow the instructions on how to disable the history.

Do you really want all those breadcrumbs for hackers to determine where you shop, gain access to personal info, and more? The recent cyber attack on Google from China are a reminder that the bigger you are, the bigger the target you become.

This video of Rachel Maddow discussing these issues with Eric Schmidt is also very interesting:

From that interview, it’s better to not think about what Eric Schmidt is saying, but what he isn’t saying. More food for thought as we think about exactly what Google knows, and just how powerful they could become.

Written by rogersikes

February 10, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Posted in Misc, Online Marketing