Spying on Social Networks! Love it!

I just loved this article posted by http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/6389669/US-spies-invest-in-internet-monitoring-technology.html

 I absolutely love reading that the good guys have such cool ideas! I mean what better way to apprehend criminals, uncover sinister plots, and protect our motherland than by reading and filtering through every comment, blog post, and forum discussion online?

Have you even heard of In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s investment arm?

Well, I hadn’t even heard of In-Q-Tel was until I read today that they were set up by our US government in 1999 to identify and work with companies which create cutting-edge technologies to help the CIA.

So In-Q-Tel has recently invested in social monitoring custom software development created by Visible Technologies. This software examines more than 500K sites daily (including Flickr, You Tube, Amazon, Twitter and others) searching for information and real-time data based on keywords that have been previously identified.

I feel safer already; knowing that the CIA is reading and filtering through every word that is being mentioned online.

Information Credit: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/6389669/US-spies-invest-in-internet-monitoring-technology.html

The Internet Crime Complaint Center!

Know what The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is? I didn’t either until today!

I mean I knew there had to be a cyber crime prevention agency of some sort but never gave it a thought until today when Cyber Crimes seem to be all I’m hearing about.

The IC3 was established as a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C). The IC3 is set up specifically to receive Internet crime information and to act on it by passing the information on to local, state, federal, and other agencies to investigate as appropriate.

The IC3’s website is very informational. In particular, I found reading the “Internet Crime Schemes” section very interesting. I recognize the following schemes from having “personal” but “not harmful” encounters with:

  • Spam
  • Phishing/Spoofing
  • Lotteries

Interesting, how the IC2 classifies “SPAM” as an Internet Crime Scheme; hmmm!

Oh and when you are done learning about the various Internet Crime Schemes, be sure to page over to the Internet Crime Prevention Tips page to learn how to protect yourself from Internet Crime Schemes.

Ford Gets Social Media!

Ford’s VP of Marketing and Communications, Jim Farley is currently attending the 2009 J. D. Power and Associates Automotive Internet Roundtable in Las Vegas. He stated at the conference that Ford spends 25% of it’s marketing budget on digital marketing campaigns.
 
That’s huge!

Farley obviously believes in the digital marketing revolution that is being touted as a way for companies to improve branding, engage with customers real-time, and reach a wider global audience, inexpensively!
 
Obviously they see the value of building (or should I say rebuilding?) their brand and their global reputation by creating engaging content in the form of videos and social networking.

Is Ford leading the automotive pack when it comes to investing so heavily in digital marketing? Anyone know the % of marketing budgets spent on digital marketing at GM, Chrysler, Toyota, etc.?
 
By the way, if you haven’t seen their 2010 Taurus video, click here to watch it.

 

Social Media Blog: Sales of Virtual Goods expected to reach $1Billion in 2010

"Thanks to the astonishing growth of games on social networks such as Facebook and MySpace, the U.S. virtual goods market is poised to clear $1 billion in revenues in 2009, more than doubling from a year earlier, according to a new report. By 2010, revenues could hit $1.6 billion as users become more comfortable paying for virtual goods in small transactions that are executed in a seamless fashion. But 2009 will be remembered as the year when it all took off, said Justin Smith, founder of Inside Network and co-author of the report."
 
Yes, I Billion in Virtual Crap!
     
Can anyone explain to me why ANY ONE in their right mind would want to spend ANY REAL MONEY on faux flowers, game tokens, and other "VIRTUAL" stuff? Boggles my mind!  Yours?

( Click here to read full article by Dean Takahash about Social Gaming spend reaching $1 Billion.)
  

Social Media Blog: Be careful who you Facebook Friend!

At every workshop and every speaking engagement, I stress the need for being very careful when posting content on popular social media websites. My favorite slide is the one that shows a person in jail and has the caption "what you say can put you in jail or make you unemployed".

Today I read about a Seattle fugitive who got apprehended because of his mistake of befriending a judge on Facebook. This fugitive fled to Mexico after pulling off a $200K bank fraud. He met someone at a bar in Mexico and befriended him without knowing that the new "friend" was a former US department employee. Federal agents found him when they found the ex-US department employee on his Facebook page. You see, even though the fugitive had made his Facebook page "private", his "friends list" was available to the public for viewing. Long story short, the federal agents contacted the ex-US department employee who cooperated and provided details which led to the fugitive's arrest. He's now spending time in jail, facing up to 30 years in prison.

Stupid??? Yaaaa aaa!

So the moral of the story isn't just "be careful whom you befriend of Facebook". It's also:

Be careful what you say to whom and where! Social networking sites are meant for networking. They are NOT meant for baring your soul and sharing every detail of your life (especially yucky are announcements about bathroom breaks, burps, throw-ups, hang-overs, etc.). And they certainly are NOT meant for you if you have committed a crime and are trying to avoid prosecution.
 
 

Social Media Blog: Celebrities exiting Twitter! Uhh, so?

Celebrities do things to make news. They fall in love and fall out of love in as much time as it takes me to decide which lipstick to buy from where. So what's the big deal about a "handful" of celebrities exiting Twitter? They may come back, they may really be busy, they may realize that tweeting is adding to the rumor mill and not really helping them.

A celebrity on Twitter generally tweets ONE-WAY! I for one find that to be so not about networking and SO about self-promotion. So whether they stay or go, who cares?

I must say that I can kinda relate to what Kanye West was quoted as saying back in May:

"In May, rapper Kanye West ranted against the service, writing in his "Caps Lock" glory, "I'M TOO BUSY ACTUALLY BUSY BEING CREATIVE MOST OF THE TIME AND IF I'M NOT AND I'M JUST LAYING ON A BEACH I WOULDN'T TELL THE WORLD. EVERYTHING THAT TWITTER OFFERS I NEED LESS OF.""

Bottom line is if you have time and feel the need or the desire, then you should tweet or facebook or be linkedin. If you don't, then don't!

Blog on your own site, not outside your site!

A client was recently advised by her peers that she should remove the blog utility (WordPress) from her main site and blog on www.blogger.com or an external blog portal. The client mind you is an attorney. She was told that a website should be "static" and not have any interactivity in it.

Where are these people residing? Hellllllo!
 
Web 2.0 means interactivity. The days of static, one-way websites are LONG GONE! Creating engaging content in the form of audio podcasts, video, and blogging are the in-trends.

Blogging by the way is one of the fastest ways to bring visibility to your site. That’s because blogging creates new content for your website. The more you blog, the more content you are generating.Since search engines like Google love content, they immediately index (visit and load page to their database) the page that has the new content in it. Of course when you blog, always remember that quality content is important. Blogging regularly and ensuring that your blog has relevancy to your business is also very important. (For e.g. if you are a lawyer, don’t write about trends in fashion on your business site because that’s not relevant; unless you can come up with an angle on suing people when they don’t follow the guidelines of the fashion police).

Doesn’t that sound logical?

Now if you blog OUTSIDE your own website, you miss out on the traffic, branding, and visibility because the pages that are getting indexed are not in your site, the traffic coming to your blog is not coming to your site which could use the traffic, and overall you don’t get the visibility that you deserve. Remember, Blogger (Google) doesn’t need any more visibility or traffic. They own Earth (Google Earth, lol)!
  
So my advise to all business owners out there is please, please, please, be careful to when taking advise from others who are not experts in this field. Not everyone knows what’s happening in the online marketing world. There are many who claim to know the latest trends but they only know enough to be dangerous and may not have the expertise that you are seeking>

Do your research online, there’s a lot of material available if you just want to separate the false from the correct information.

OR, talk to experienced marketing professionals like the ones we have in Jenesys Group; I promise, we won’t lead you astray!

Facebook AND Neilsen = A winning combination!

 

Facebook wants your television advertising dollars. Yep, Facebook will end up stealing a lot of the television advertising dollars if its new program Brand Lift lifts off successfully (pardon the pun!).  Brand Lift will give advertisers the ability to measure their Return on Investment (ROI) for all the money they spend on social media ads, period!

Facebook’s Brand Lift product is being released in partnership with Nielsen, the company that provides metrics to marketers. Using Brand Lift, Facebook will poll users for ad awareness, brand preference, ad recall, and whether or not the user plans to purchase the product or service. Neilsen will then package that data and provide it to marketers.

Large brands have shied away from online marketing until now due to lack of monitoring methods to gauge the effectiveness of campaigns. With the launch of Brand Lift, Nielson customers will be able to measure the how well their ads are performing on Facebook. They will be able to do market research to determine who viewed their ads and who didn’t.  With Brand Lift, Facebook will attempt to woo it’s Fortune 500 customers away from Television and on to Facebook.

These advertisers will get immediate feedback through various polls which will be run to test how users reacted to the ads.  Asking users to respond to polls before and after being exposed to ad campaigns is not rocket science. In theory it makes a lot of sense but will it work?

We’ll know soon enough.

A few more months and you can begin leveraging the Brand Lift campaign yourself. Facebook continues to kick butt in the social media arena with these innovative partnerships. Anyone know what Myspace’s doing? (Now don’t say Myspace who!)