Bogus, crap followers on Google+ and rant, rant, rant


Of course the spammers, the scammers, the skanks and hos always show up at any party where they can get it. I had not been on Google+ for more than 48 hours before the first ones started showing up. I even made the mistake of putting a few in a circle called “Clearing” because we had so many common connections and I thought, “surely if we know this many people I must know this person.”

Negative (see the photo).

Google+ spam follower
Google+ spam follower

Really it isn’t a new thing. As long as a few people have been able to connect to the same space over a network there has been spam. Those lovely, empty accounts and messages designed to snare the unwitting surfer. In the good old days, USENET, BBS, and the antiquated walled spheres of engagement you could get kicked, banned and IP banned … the later meant you’d have to find another connection to get back in.

Why are we still dealing with this pestilence 30 years into this game? Why do we still tolerate, nay, validate this type of behavior? On Twitter spam had a face and it was a nubile, Asian chick. Some poor girls from the jungle corner of the planet are forever burned into our minds as “that’s a spam avatar”.

Google+ is no different. While Google techs and some failure of an algorithm which seems to be a few hundred tweaks short of a beta phase. No, I didn’t get hit by it but I’ve heard the nightmare stories already. People lost not only their G+ access but all of their Google access: mail, documents, YouTube … the whole ball of wax. Which makes me wonder, since I’m an Android would I have lost my phone, too? I suppose I would have lost Voice.

Frankly this concerns me.

We joke about Google being Satan, SkyNet and the brain of the Dark Side. In reality Google making a stupid mistake and punishing any user at whim could really screw your day, week or business. How many of you rely on Docs, Voice and Mail in your daily life? I do, hands raised over here. Meanwhile accounts like the one featured in this article seem to be popping up everywhere.

Hey, I have an idea!

What about doing what Craigslist does so well and what BBS’s and USENET have done so well for decades? Let the users decide and you work on the system of checks and balances where your algorithm can sniff out whether or not a user has been gang-banged for evil purposes. Why don’t you, Google, stick to creating some awesome tools, figuring out just how important real customer service is regardless of how big you are and let the users show you how to run social? In fact, you’d be pretty much a modern first! Facebook = monarchy, Twitter = oligarchy, Google = Satan.

Good day my friends.

What does your email address say about you?

It was a resume for a position as a home loan consultant back in 2005. The name on the email “Scamma Yuass” and email address – seriously. So here I am responsible for a multi-million dollar mortgage company going through literally hundreds of resumes before they are delivered to hiring managers in their particular department and I see one from Scamma. Did I open the email? Did I even make it to the resume inside?

In today’s transparent society it is more common than ever for prospective employers to do a great deal of research on applicants before making a decision. With MySpace (decreasingly), Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and many others making information easily available you can bet: Hiring managers and human resource departments are leveraging them.

Not too long ago I was asked to participate in a relatively large non-profit organization’s national board on an advisory committee. I was vetted before they sent the invitational email. They quoted old blog posts, a news story, a story in a relatively obscure real estate magazine, talked about my number of connections on Facebook and Twitter and asked about my one podcast that seemed not to have been updated in several weeks.

They knew me.

So what’s the psychology today about emails and what your address may say to someone receiving an email from you?

Controlling how much of your post is seen on the homepage – WordPress Tips

It happens more frequently than not – a user wants to show more or less of the excerpt of a post on their index page. Just as often they want to have a “Read more” link instead of having the reader guess where to click to get the full post. Once upon a time you would have paid me, or someone like me, $50 to $300 or more to hack this for you. That changed some time ago when plugins started becoming popular.

As always I’m talking about just one or two plugins where there may be dozens and you may have a favorite not discussed here. Don’t panic, simply link to the WordPress archive for your favorite tool.

A little about “excerpt”

What is shown on the index page is controlled in “the loop” and found in the index.php file (or any other custom file which returns multiple results) and the template author chooses whether to show “the_content” or “the_excerpt”. By default “the_excerpt” returns the first 55 words of the post’s content. Many users are not aware of the <!–more–> tag which can be inserted simply by clicking the “page break” icon while editing a post. This will use “the_content” (the full post) but insert a “More” tag and stop publishing the full content of the post to the index page at the point where it is inserted.

If you would like a little more control on  a global basis try Better Excerpt to get your feet wet. Then you can search for other plugins to do the same. I like Better Excerpt because it’s old and proven as well as simple to use. It allows you to choose the number of characters (not words) to display, whether you want to use the default ellipses […] or change it, whether or not you want a link after the excerpt leading to the full article and what that link says.