Google+ Profits From Your Name and Image

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Take 2: Google+ Profits From Your Name and Image

Take 2: Google+ Profits From Your Name and Image

Google has probably used your name and photo in an endorsement of a product or service. Did they pay you? I didn’t think so. That’s because, like on all “free” websites and social media networks, you are the product. This means they profit from your presence. Now that’s not to say there isn’t a symbiotic relationship, but it does suggest there may be a few lines crossed depending on your perspective.

This short article shows how to limit Google’s use of your image and name as an endorser of a specific product or service without directly compensating you for that use.

Here is the link mentioned in the audio file https://plus.google.com/u/0/settings/endorsements (you did listen, right?)

Google Privacy Settings

While you are visiting the Settings part of Google, go ahead and take a look around at all of your privacy settings. You may find that there are events you prefer to keep more private and that may be possible while you are editing your settings. You can also control which things you are notified about and how you are notified: by phone or by email, for example.

Short, Sweet, and Pointed Wins

"'Occupy Paradeplatz' in Zürich 2011-10-22 14-52-16" by Roland zh - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

“‘Occupy Paradeplatz’ in Zürich 2011-10-22 14-52-16″ by Roland zh – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

A couple of years ago, having found myself in an elitist circle, I heard these self-appointed thought leaders regurgitating each other on the importance of lengthy, meaty, highly intellectual articles… <crickets> …yeah, don’t do that. There are three very simple but immutable laws of online evangelism:

  1. use simple language so people don’t have to think
  2. strike a chord from the first word and finish your message before a squirrel runs by
  3. use pictures and/or sound whenever possible

An article on Slate by Farhad Manjoo addressed the good old “bounce rate”. My wager is these elite power-bloggers have a dismal article completion rate. Statistically only 1 in 200 people will read a complete 700 word article. 1 in 80 may complete 200 words. According to the Nielsen Norman Group even those who “read” your posts only read around 20% of the words. How does that make you feel about written communication online?

Twitter Spam or Good Use of Prospecting Time?

I used to be a really big fan of Twitter as an engagement platform. Then, back in 2010, Guy Kawasaki was my guest on Social Media Edge Radio and he explained why, to him, Twitter is a one-way, information firehose. (My words.) With that said, and to my chagrin, he was right. And, today, Twitter is the least personally engaging “social network” I am a part of. I, too, use it as a broadcast network most of the time.

twitter marketing techniques

Is this a Twitter marketing technique you use, recommend or at least accept?

With all of that said, take a look at the attached image. Is this really a good way to build trust in this “brand”? Obviously it is multiple copies of the same account. Will they broadcast identical information on each account? Is this how the spammer they hired to handle their social media hedges in order to not have all 13 accounts terminated by Twitter for abuse at the same time?

And The Really Big Question: Is this a method you recommend or accept?

Twitter marketing does work. I have had varying levels of success with broadcasting on Twitter. Traffic results are instant and can quickly surpass the 1,000 visits per hour mark when using the correct broadcast account. (My average is about 80 visits in the first 5 minutes depending on time of day.)

For those reading and considering hiring me to handle your online branding I do not personally recommend what I believe is happening here. However, if that’s what you want and have reason to believe it will work for your purposes I will set up multiple, identical accounts for you.

Missing Facebook Messages? Look In The Other Folder

missing facebook messages

If you are missing Facebook messages they may be in your “Other” folder.

“I have sent you several messages,” the note said, “on Facebook.”

It was a real message I received some time ago. The frustrating thing about it is they were from a possible customer and I’m supposed to know all these things about Facebook and social marketing. And, I did know about it; I just forgot to check.

The Other folder…

To help control spam messages, or at least provide some layer of filtering, Facebook introduced the “Other” folder in Messages (sometimes called “PM” for Private or Personal Messages) so that an message sent from a non-friend would be held separately. The downside for people doing business through and on Facebook is that inquiries sent from prospects who were not my friends went to the folder I was forgetting to check. So, don’t be like me; Check your “Other” folder frequently.

What about on the mobile app?

facebook-messenger-other-messages-folderWhen I made a quick post about checking the Facebook messenger for this folder in a group I’m active in someone immediately replied, “It’s not visible on laptop, tablet or phone”. Well, (A) a laptop is the same as a desktop so yes it is and (B) it is able to be accessed anywhere you can access your messages. And, here’s how:

Here’s the answer to your question, “Yes, if you can see Facebook on whatever device you are using you can see messages including the ‘Other’ folder on that same device.” If you don’t want to or don’t want to take the time to figure out how that’s a different story.

Edit your Facebook messenger preferences

To help control what you do or don’t see in your Facebook messenger you can set your preferences. You can follow the directions here https://www.facebook.com/help/188872764494245 which outlines how to get to your messenger then select the preferences and make the necessary changes.

Enjoy!

How To Make Money On Fiverr

Fiverr is the Israel based service website that connects providers and clients for jobs, called “gigs”, for as little as $5. Yes, you read that right: five dollars US. It requires becoming a member, which is free, and then hiring someone from just about any nation in the world to do work for you.

Like many things, at first I didn’t get Fiverr. I used it mostly to buy “gigs”. Then I thought, “wait a minute, there are a lot of things I would be willing to do for $5 that may lead to more work!” So I started offering a few gigs. At first I offered to install WordPress on a ready hosting account for $5 figuring this would lead to more advanced WordPress work. Then I started selling an automated response system which would ask for a visitor’s name then send them an email. I sold several of both gigs, but the success wasn’t exactly what I had in mind.

Here is my Fiverr page fiverr.com/thekencook

Not too long after I started with Fiverr I had some personal issues which took me “out of the loop” so I left it to sort of rot. And rot it did. I lost a good rating and angered a few people who left some rather nasty comments. So I just didn’t go back for a few years. Until one day I thought, “wait a minute, I’ve done hundreds – maybe thousands – of voice overs.” That’s when I started offering voice overs on Fiverr for about the same price I charge in the “real world”. Boom! Almost immediately I started getting 2 or 3 orders a day. No, that’s not much, considering Fiverr takes a 20% cut right off the top, but it lead to other things like script writing, background music, and even a few character gigs.

use fiverr extras

Fiverr extras are what separates the success stories.

Here’s Where It Gets Good

After you have delivered a few gigs and have maintained a good rating your ability to charge more, through gig “extras”, for your work. In fact I am now a Level 2 and I can charge up to $160 additional per gig. Now we’re talking! Most of my gigs these days are for more than $5. Some of them are for $165 and even then I have repeat buyers.

As soon as you qualify for the extras start using them. This is where you can go from $30 or so per day to literally $500 or more per day. I’m not at that level, but the potential is definitely there.

Ten Important Things About Fiverr Success

  1. Don’t offer more than you can truly do for the fee
  2. Respond as immediately as you can (sometimes I deliver in less than 30 minutes)
  3. Communicate with brevity and pointedness (Fiverr doesn’t allow much room)
  4. Use attachments to communicate when you need to be verbose
  5. Describe your gig very accurately (the better you do upfront the more success you’ll have)
  6. Suck it up and do it over when they tell you they don’t like it, don’t argue – just do it!
  7. Create a video to talk about your gig
  8. Use descriptive images where you can to talk about your services
  9. Share your links in social media and on your blog
  10. Treat every order like a lead who is already interested in your services

There Are Some Limitations

Fiverr is very aggressive about protecting their relationships. They don’t want you contacting the buyers directly, though it’s possible of course, and they never want you to make any money from Fiverr customers outside of Fiverr. Here you just have to weigh the risk of “getting caught” against whatever profit you make. I have been contacted outside of Fiverr by Fiverr leads and sent them back to my Fiverr page to place the order. In fact, if you visit my voice over order page on Greensabi you’ll be sent to Fiverr to place your order.

Gotchas! Thing To Beware Of On Fiverr

Like anything else there are people on Fiverr who really want to take advantage. For example if you offer to write 500 words about on keyword they may place the order then send you 8 keywords. Or, if you offer to read 200 words of voice-over they may send 289. One of the really big “gotchas” is when they order multiple gigs and only pay for one super-fast delivery. See, Fiverr lets you charge more for fast delivery. This is fine if someone orders, say, 500 words which is normally delivered in 2 days and they pay for 1 day delivery. However, when they triple or quintuple the order (order say 2500 words) and only pay one rush fee, it gets sticky.

Other gotchas are when you deliver work and they continually reject it. Cover yourself and do a search a few days later to see if your work turns up somewhere. I have been hit by this recently by a buyer from India.

Nanu, Nanu. Goodbye Robin Williams

Robin Williams entertaining the troops on a USO tour in 2010. Camp Victory, Iraq.

Robin Williams entertaining the troops on a USO tour in 2010. Camp Victory, Iraq.

Like many people my age I watched more than one episode of Mork and Mindy. That’s where I first saw the enigmatic Robin Williams. Weird, goofy, wide open, and amazingly talented.

Other comics and entertainers are posting their condolences and shock at the star’s apparent suicide.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Phone Number 1-800-273-8255

Safe Isn’t Safe Anymore

Old Passwords Are Dangerous Passwords

Passwords are the combination to the safe containing all your secrets. But they are easier to guess - or steal.

Passwords are the combination to the safe containing all your secrets. But they are easier to guess – or steal.

In the high speed world of computers, 30 days is old. Did you read about the Russian hackers stealing 1.2 billion passwords? That means chances are fairly good they got some of yours. This also means it’s time to change passwords. Yes, it’s a pain to constantly change passwords, but it may also save your bank account, your credit rating, your business, and even your criminal future. Yes, you may become a victim of identity theft which could result in your arrest for criminal activity. It happens, and it happened to Tallie Gainer in Tampa on August 1:

Tallie Gainer III became a victim of identity theft. Adding insult to injury, police arrested him in front of his children, and he was charged with check fraud, even though he had earlier reported his wallet, identification and credit cards stolen.
From http://www.totalcriminaldefense.com/news/articles/unusual/identity-theft/

While password keepers may provide a way to store all of your passwords in one location so you don’t forget them – they also store all of your passwords in one location which, if compromised, would give the hacker all of your passwords. So what’s the work around? Use long phrase passwords with numbers and punctuation. An example may be:

MyBirthday01JAN1970+GotMarried15APR1990!

Of course you think this is ridiculous. I doubt you also think it’s ridiculous to change clothes every day, change toothbrushes every month, and change the oil in your vehicles every 3 months or 3000 miles. But, you do it. Why? To protect your self and your vehicles. Digital compromise now is simply a part of modern life – a part of modern life that is constantly under assault from people who would love for everyone to let their guard down. Change your passwords regularly; Every month is highly recommended. Or, leave it to chance and see if it works out okay for you…

We talk about “EDC” (Every Day Carry) so let’s talk about “EDCD” (Every Day Cyber Defense)

1. Use a different password for every site
2. Install updates on your Mac, Linux or Windows system regularly
3. Keep your browsers up to date on all systems including mobile
4. Use HTTPS Everywhere (it’s a browser extension) to connect to websites
5. Keep your Anti-Virus and other security applications up to date and scheduled to run
6. Install and use MalwareBytes or a similar application to supplement your A/V
7. Turn your device off when not in use (any connected device is a target while running)
8. Learn how to handle emails with attachments even from friends
9. Learn what to do when you encounter a security warning online (site certificates)
10. When in doubt, Google it or phone a friend (better to be embarrassed than compromised)

Here’s one extra tip: using different passwords for every site is challenging. So, use part of the name of the site somewhere in the password. Using the same example from above try this:

MyBirthday01JAN1970+Gmail+GotMarried15APR1990!
MyBirthday01JAN1970+Facebook+GotMarried15APR1990!
MyBirthday01JAN1970+Twitter+GotMarried15APR1990!
MyBirthday01JAN1970+LinkedIn+GotMarried15APR1990!

Questions? Ask! Comments? Give! (Please)

Do I Need A Mobile App?

Probably not. In fact for most people a mobile app is simply a waste of money, time, and street cred. Think about how many apps you have on your phone or tablet right now. I bet you have 30 or more. Do you really want to download, install, and fiddle with an app for a local restaurant, car repair center, real estate agent, or retailer? Not likely.

Who Are Mobile Apps Good For?

If you have a list of really loyal customers who really need to have information pushed to their mobile device then maybe you are a candidate. If you’re a fisherman who needs to notify several restaurants and retailers of today’s catch – you’re probably a candidate. Maybe you are a travel agent with several hundred loyal customers who need to know within minutes after you get a weekend of cabin nights at their favorite mountain get-away. But, if you cut hair, patch tires, unplug toilets, or set broken arms…not so much.

What’s So Bad About Mobile Apps?

Apps are dangerous. If they are not properly coded they could allow exploitation of their weaknesses resulting in deep troubles for you, the app “owner”. That’s an unlikely scenario but it could happen. The truth is virtually everything almost every small business needs can be accomplished through a simple, inexpensive, relatively worry free, mobile optimization of their website. Statistics say only 18% of sites are mobile ready. From what I see I’d say even less than that.

What is Mobile Optimization?

Since the full introduction and support of HTML5 and CSS3 we have had what is called “responsive design” with “media queries”. What this does is allow the developer (not the designer so much) to code web pages so that they look differently for various browsers and orientations. This means no more squinting on your iPhone to see your favorite website or pinch zooming and scrolling all over the place on your Android. It’s the same content just delivered in a way the user can actually interact with your site.

It’s usually less expensive, faster, and easier to maintain than an app. Plus it doesn’t have to be compiled in different languages with different configs and commands for a variety of devices. HTML5 and CSS3 work on virtually every device that uses a browser and makes the web viewable, and usable, by almost all users.

Ready for it? Come see me…

Creating A Memorable Message

help people remember your message

Why say it if no one will remember it? Marketing is a tough game and a memorable message is the only way to truly compete.

“Did you know that visual aids have been found to improve learning by up to 400 percent? Did you realize that we can process visuals 60,000 times faster than text? Would you guess that the average person only remembers about a fifth of what they hear?” Source

Visual Aids Improve Learning Up To 400%
60000 dots
20percent

Our friends at Copyblogger also agree. The use of simple images is better than long, verbose posts or wordy audio.

Bottom Line?

Use more images and fewer words. /End

You’re A Loser! But, There Is Hope (For Your Web Content)

According to the Netcraft January 2014 Web Server Survey there are 861,379,152 domain names. Internet users, web superhighway visitors, have no time for bloated, droning content unless you are publishing a detailed research report perhaps.

Web content is plenteous. Web content secrets aren’t really secret. There isn’t any topic which has not been written on. In search it is crucial to catch people’s eye, get them to your page, give them the info they want, and let them get on with what they are doing. Three seconds…that’s all you have.

The Secret of High Speed Marketing

Billboard advertisers learned long ago the secret to high speed advertising is short and pointed.  Just as it is hard to read wordy billboards while blowing down the Interstate so is it to read long posts or even slow down for long titles. Squeeze pages are the billboards of the Internet (when properly designed).

Well formed landing pages yield excellent results.

  • Short titles
  • Concise content
  • Bite size servings
  • Small words
  • Short sentences
  • Short paragraphs
  • Well chosen/created graphics

There you have it. Now how long did it take you to read this and how much value did it bring?