Friday, December 29, 2017

No More Fake News Flag on Facebook...It Was Click Bait

Facebook is discontinuing use of its "fake news" flag, because it was wildly successful... as click bait. More people than ever started visiting and reading what FB called "fake news."

Fake news is nothing new. It's always been everywhere: social media, TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, and word of mouth.

Do you want someone else (media company, government, watchdog organization, political party) to label items "fake news" -- or do you prefer to do your own research?

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Dangers of Free Public Wifi

While Starbuck’s free public Wi-fi is convenient, is it actually safe? NO. Never use it.

It’s not just Starbuck’s Wi-Fi that is considered to be unsafe, using any public Wi-Fi can put you at risk for hacking, malware, and identity theft.

The main reason for this is how open these public networks are.

There are either very little (or no) authentication steps required to connect. Anyone with any device capable of connecting online can freely establish a connection.

The other big reason that public Wi-Fi spots are unsafe, is the lack of any encryption. The purpose of encryption is to protect data as it travels from point A to B. It does this by scrambling the data, so that if it is intercepted, it cannot be read or accessed.

The absence of any encryption means that any data flowing through the web can be intercepted, read, and accessed.

So for instance, if you are using Starbuck’s Wi-Fi to online shop, and you enter your credit card information, this info can be read as it is traveling from your device to the store’s server.

On public Wi-Fi networks, hackers can also set themselves so that they appear to be the connection point, or place themselves in between you and the real Wi-Fi connection point.

In these cases, instead of being directly connected to the coffee shop’s Wi-Fi set-up, your information is actually being routed through the hacker’s set up.

This allows them to see everything you are doing online, and collect the information going through the web. Malware can also be distributed through unsecured networks.

Don't use public wifi -- but if you do, never buy anything online using your credit card. Wait until you're home.

Also, make sure that any software updates and upgrades are coming from the software itself, and not from a website’s pop up notification.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Hidden Value of Lurkers

Lurkers, up to 98% of your Facebook, blog, and website visitors, have a hidden value that will now be revealed to you.

Lurkers are individuals who read or watch what's posted in online forums, blogs, websites, YouTube, and social media -- but they never interact.

They don't click Like. They don't share or post comments on your content. You never hear from them via email, website contact forms, or private messages.

Most lurkers are good people who are too shy, inarticulate, or busy to interact with you online. Some lurkers have been personally attacked by trolls and want to avoid any further trouble.

However, there are also lurkers who are malicious stalkers, snooping around, spying on you, nosey about your life and beliefs.

Other lurkers may be competitors wanting to steal your ideas or exploit your expertise, claiming it as their own.

Some lurkers may quote you on their own internet platform and make fun of, or misinterpret, what you post.

But most lurkers are enjoying your posts. They're part of your silent, secret fan base. They may be sharing your ideas and expertise with other people in the offline world. Lurkers may be personally benefiting greatly from your posts.

Once in a great while, they may even tell you something like "I've been following you for many years now, and want to express my delight in your thoughtful and informative posts."

Don't have negative feelings about the good, benevolent lurkers. They tend to be 90% to 99% of the total Internet user population.

In fact, they might be your biggest, most loyal fans...and doing a lot to promote you, your business, your music and art.

Friday, December 8, 2017

What Exactly is a Troll?

Many people have a very mistaken idea about what an internet troll is. Often they call anybody who posts a contrary or opposing view a "troll."


Trolls post inflammatory remarks with the sole purpose of angering people and disrupting a conversation. They tend to hammer their opinion relentlessly.

Often, their first comment will seem civil, and just mildly know-it-all. But when you express yourself and say something the troll disagrees with, all hell suddenly breaks loose.

Anyone who tries to correct a troll,or share an idea that contradicts what the troll said, will get F bombs and words like "idiot", and filthy language insults. Personal attacks prove without a doubt that a troll is present.

Nobody "wins" a discussion that is attempting to clarify or discover truth. Each side learns a little, even if their opinion doesn't change. It's good to listen to opposition.

If nothing else is gained, you at least get better at understanding a different point of view and at advancing your own perspective. If all you do is hang around with those who always agree with you, you're going to be dumbed down and unfit to debate an opponent -- and not even realize what is happening to you.

Sometimes you may read a post and feel the viewpoint is missing a vital angle or some pertinent information. So you post a comment, politely and non-combatively, that conveys your understanding of an issue.

If some thin-skinned, intolerant, arrogant person then jumps in and accuses you of "trolling", just post a link to an article that documents and verifies your remark. Be nice, intelligent, and calm about it.

Often however, this won't solve much, because people don't like to appear wrong or misinformed. Few individuals are really open minded and fair about issues that are close to their heart.

But lurkers who stay out of the argument may appreciate your link and may learn something, even if they don't click Like on your comment.

Remember, trolls are defined by their attitude. Simply posting a contrary view is not trolling. Trolls are hateful troublemakers who enjoy stirring up hurt feelings and confusion.

I train CEOs and business managers in how to deal with negative comments and trolls. I've developed tactics and strategies that have proven to be very effective.

Need help with online reputation management or trolls? Contact me.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Google-compliant SEO

What is "SEO that is Google-compliant"? 

It's what I provide to my clients.

That means search engine optimization based on Google Webmaster Guidelines. It "optimizes" (makes as good as possible) your website, so Google recognizes it as the ideal source of information and products for customer questions and needs.

Your website must take full advantage of best practices in content format, naturally occurring keywords, HTML meta tags, robots protocols, image alt attributes, Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), micro-data markup, favicons, and much more.

Web designers typically don't focus on SEO. They seem to be unaware of how to do it correctly and how powerful it can be for your internet branding and marketing.

When your business has a Google-compliant SEO-empowered website, you gain a huge competitive advantage, that's not easy for rival companies to copy.