Every social media platform on the Internet today has security problems of some sort. Typically, the more popular the platform, the bigger the problems. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and similar social media are all lucrative hunting grounds for spammers, phishers and hackers because they have large – and usually pretty relaxed – user bases.

Experts in the online security industry frequently moan and groan about all of the problems with social media. True, some services aren’t as sharp about protecting user privacy and other digital defense measures as they ought to be. A lot of them try to plug as many security holes as they can, but it doesn’t matter how top-notch their development team may be — there will always be one big security flaw that they can’t counter.

You.

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Toward the end of April, Facebook took a stab at upgrading its security efforts by announcing a partnership with five major anti-virus software vendors: Microsoft, Trend Micro, McAfee, Sophos, and Symantec. The partnership is a sort of one-two punch security effort. Facebook will use the URL blacklists provided by the software vendors to augment its own URL blacklist service. At the same time, they’re offering free versions of five leading anti-virus software packages.
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Online review sites are becoming more and more vital to consumers as they research businesses and products online.  Sites like Yelp and Google Local allow customers to post their reviews for others to read, making them a powerful influence in consumer buying decisions. According to the MIT Technology Review, for every one dollar U.S. consumers spend online, another five or six are going to off-line purchases that are influenced by online research. In fact, 97% of Internet users in the U.S. gather shopping information online. Yet many business owners still have not ventured into the world of online reviews, even though their customers are researching them and making purchasing decisions based on the online reviews they find.

Here are some tips to help you get started and take control of your online reviews: […]

Social networking can be a time-consuming endeavor, so the temptation to cut corners is big.  There are tools, techniques, and add-ons available that seem like a great idea to help you streamline your social media strategy and save time… until they start to undermine your efforts to connect in a real way to your customers.  Here are 4 things you should avoid: […]

So you’ve heard that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the U.S., second only to Google (who owns YouTube and includes YouTube search results in Google SERPs as well), and that 20 million visitors search YouTube every month.  A savvy web marketer would jump on the opportunity to corner search results on YouTube. But just uploading a digital version of the commercial the cable company produced for you will probably not result in more website visitors and increased sales.  Follow these steps to create and promote effective online videos that generate business. […]

Search engine experts and online marketers agree that the key to attracting search engines and customers to your website is useful, unique, relevant content that can’t be found elsewhere.  Therefore, content creation is the most important task for all website developers and owners. Unfortunately it is also the most difficult.  It is very tempting to recycle content available elsewhere on the web (like manufacturer descriptions of products), or to provide bland, dated material that doesn’t engage your website visitors.  However, there are a few content types you can focus on that will drive engagement, higher search engine ranking, and conversions on your website. […]

Quora’s goal is to be able to answer questions that Google and Wikipedia can’t. They are accomplishing this goal by posting user generated questions answered by the rest of the Quora community. A rating system that pushes answers up or down depending on community agreement moves the “best” answer to the top. Currently Quora is generating a large amount of buzz online. The main reason for this buzz isn’t the concept – questions and answer sites like Yahoo! Answers have been around for years – but instead the user group is Quora’s greatest strength. It seems that very influential business owners, celebrities, and other major industry leaders are actually active Quora users. Case in point, the question “What is an ideal use case for Amazon PayPhrase?” was personally answered by Amazon CTO Werner Vogels. […]

The term social media is being used pretty much everywhere now. It’s popularity is on the rise, and in turn the methods for sharing through social media are also growing. It can be a bit overwhelming choosing how to share and what to share. I would like to share some guidelines on using social media effectively for your business. This is going to be a long post, so you may want to bookmark it for future reference. […]

Years ago I was babysitting my nephew.  He was sitting on the floor in his diapers with a boatload of toys and I was sitting on the floor next to him doing my best to entertain him.  I noticed that whatever toy of his I was playing with he wanted.  He’d reach out his little hand for the toy I had, dropping his current toy in the process.  Doing what any good and caring uncle would do, I decided to experiment on him.  I started picking up random items nearby and playing with them like they were really cool toys too.

“Brrrrrrrr!  Bam Bam Bam!” I exclaimed as I made a rolled up extension cord fly by like it was a fighter jet.  Sure enough, the little hand reached out to grab it, dropping a perfectly good Star Wars X-Wing fighter in the process.  It wasn’t long until I had 2 more Star Wars toys and a Buzz Lightyear figure that shot laserbeams from his wrist while my nephew had various cardboard boxes and an old shoe to play with.

We are naturally inclined to reach for whatever the next big thing is.  Right now, social media is that thing, and for the most part, it is worth reaching for.  But what shiny toys might we be dropping in the process?  Likely it is email marketing. […]

Last month I had the extreme privilege of being selected by NASA to report live at the launch of STS-132, the last scheduled mission for the space shuttle Atlantis.  After a thorough screening process I was issued press credentials and allowed 2 day access to the historic NASA Launch Complex 39 Press Site next to the Vehicle Assembly Building where they prep the shuttles (and the Apollo Saturn V rockets back in the 60’s and 70’s), put them on a giant crawler and move them out to the launch pad.  The funny thing is: I’m not a reporter.  But here I am at the final launch of Atlantis with news crews and media outlets from around the globe.  I’m meeting astronauts, NASA engineers and getting up close and personal viewing at the launch pad where Atlantis proudly stands getting final prepping for launch. How did I, a non-reporter, manage to trick NASA into giving me press credentials for a shuttle launch?  It’s simple: Twitter.

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…or How a Blog is Like a Puppy

Blogs are the new “it” internet technology. All the cool kids have one. And everyone seems to be buzzing about all the great things they can do for you:

  • Build organic traffic from search engines
  • Establish you as a trusted authority in your field
  • Build buzz for new products and developments
  • Serve as a communication tool between your company and your customers

All of that is true, but if you don’t consider all the responsibilities that come along with your brand new blog, it may just come back to bite you… […]