Category Archives: Social Networking

Social Media Blog: Here’s a job you don’t want to apply for – Cyber Criminal Executive!

I must admit that I had to stifle a chuckle when I first read an article about cyber criminal organization advertising for job opportunities online.

According to a security researcher Kevin Stevens of SecureWorks who presented his findings at a BlackHat conference in VA, two cyber crimininal organizations are seeking individuals who will have to infect computers with malicious code through spamming or online attacks. Basically all an employee would have to do is promote links that are infected with malware to lure users into clicking them and thus providing access to private data.

And get this, each "employee" would get paid $180 for every 1000 infected computers. Employees would be paid using online payment systems such as Western Union, Paypal, and others.

I know the economy is bad and jobs are scarce. But friends, trust me this ain't a job you want to apply for. Look for another opportunity. Please.

Social Media Blog: Are Your Social Profile and Status Updates TMI?

Online profiles offer a load of personal information to anyone who knows how to search online. Besides your profile on social networks, have you considered the information you are posting online?

Online users in their need to "connect" and "interact" are sharing so much information only that it's making them vulnerable to criminals. The Digital Criminal, published by a reformed burglar Michael Fraser, provides some very eye-opening statistics which I am sharing below:

  • Approximately 38% of users publish their holiday plans on Twitter and Facebook. I used to be one of those 38% until last year.
  • 33% of people have posted status updates telling everyone that they were away for the weekend.
  • 17% of users can see other people's residential information on totally public profiles

Michael Fraser is correct when he calls social network statuses as "internet shopping for burglars". People are not only telling others that they are out but are also providing coordinates of where they are. Do we even realize what we are doing when we are baring all information for others to see.

Are you connecting with perfect strangers? Is your personal information easily viewable? Are you giving out details about vacation and travel plans readily?

So friends and colleagues, THINK whether you are giving out TMI meaning TOO MUCH INFORMATION.

Here are some other findings from the Digital Report  – remember, a little is a lot on social networks!

  • Younger people share more information with perfect strangers – parents beware
  • 34% of study participants shared that they seen personal phone numbers on people's profiles
  • People are sharing cell phone and home addresses with perfect strangers
  • Men are more open with their information than women

Next time you tweet or update your Facebook or Buzz status,  think whether the information can make you vulnerable to a criminal activity.

Social Media Blog: Interesting Study about Social Networks and News Reporting

Ok, so I'm not surprised that many US reporters and editors use social media sites for researching information for their stories. Research conducted by Cision company shows that Google and Wikipedia make up top sources for reporters researching stories.

Hmm…. Wikipedia? Seriously?

The good news from the same study is that 96% of the reporters go to corporate websites. And interestingly, 89% of journalists use blogs to research their stories.

Thank the lord that "while social media is supplementing the research done by journalists, it is not replacing editors' and reporters' reliance on primary sources, fact-checking and other traditional best practices in journalism" as reported by Heidi Sullivan, Vice President of Research for Cision.

Why do I say "thank the lord"? Well, we all know that microblogging, blogging, and social networking sites are primarily "opinion" driven. If reporters relied on those sources for information for their stories, I would think that accuracy of the content could be in questionable.

But all in all, all these studies continue to highlight our collective dependency on social networks, blogs, and search engines. And even then, businesses aren't making online marketing a priority tactic for the viability of their business. Sigh!

Social Media Blog: Facebook Friends Not Real….Nooooo, really???

I'm shocked. My mind boggles.

An Oxford University professor of Evolutionary Anthropology Robin Dunbar conducted a study which showed that the human brain can only keep up with about 150 meaningful relationships. So no matter how many Facebook friends you may have, you can only manage 150 meaningful relationships. Dunbar has done other studies in the past to determine what the threshold may be for brains to manage x number of relationships, effectively. He then took his studies to the social networks to see if the human brain has expanded in it's ability to manage more relationships. His initial research concluded that the brain still has the same threshold, off social networks or online.
Aren't you just as shocked as me to know that your 500 plus fans on Facebook are not really your friends?

One last question, who funds these studies anyway?

Social Media Marketing Blog: Twitter joins hands with LinkedIN

Twitter is what I would call the "favorite child" in the social media world.  Oh how it has just become the apple of the eye for social networkers! And as Twitter has grown its user base; it has also begun creating added value for its users. Twitter is now an important component of the online marketing strategy of major brands like Coca Cola, Dell, and Ford. Dell has even claimed that Twitter has generated millions of dollars in sales.

Twitter understands its own value too and is seriously focusing on growing it with partnerships around the social media landscape. Recently, Twitter announced a partnership with LinkedIN, one of the most respected business networking websites out there. Now you can link your twitter and Linkedin accounts; peep into your LinkedIN status updates and have your tweets sent to your LinkedIN connections. 

This Twitter-Linkedin partnership can lead to enormous exposure for those tweeps who will focus on crafting their tweets in such a way that they would appeal to the very-business oriented LinkedIn users. I’ve yet to try the features out but I’m sure I’ll give it a TweeIN soon!

Multicultural Marketing Blog: GM’s Media Outreach to African Americans Comes Under Fire.

Target Market News, a Chicago-based research company published data that showed that African-American consumers spent approximately $2.8 billion on new General Motors cars in 2009. General Motors appeared to be a big hit for African Americans who bought new cars.

The flip side of that data is about GM’s spend on reaching the African American population. According to unnamed national sources, it appears that General Motors only spent $29.9 million or 2.4% of its approximately billion dollar marketing budget on black media advertising.

So I get why “experts” are baffled over the almost insignificant spend by General Motors in reaching an audience that is clearly engaged with their brand.

But what baffles me is how GM’s negligible spend towards reaching the African American audience through black-focused media can “border on being criminal” or be “malignant”. Those are the words used by Danny Bakewell, chairman of the National Newspaper Publishers Association. Mr Bakewell wants to confront the automotive industry about their so called “imbalance”. Oh brother!

Is GM taking the African-American population for granted? Perhaps!

  • Or perhaps GM’s marketing team felt that they are doing well enough in the African American market segment and decided to spend more money on attracting an audience that is not so enamored with GM vehicles.
  • Maybe GM’s team wasn’t really tracking their marketing spend by ethnic marketing segments?
  • Or it could very well be that GM’s marketing team is taking more of their spend online and thus cutting spend across other segments.

I didn’t see any data that showed a comparison of % spent on Indian Americans or Asians or Women to know if the imbalance is towards one ethnic community or all. Data could very well show that GM’s doing pretty well marketing to the African American population and is doing really bad target marketing to Indian Americans. I know for a fact that Indian Americans prefer foreign cars for more reasons that one. Knowing the Indian American market segment and knowing what I know about GM, I would venture a guess that GM doesn’t spend any real marketing dollars on attracting the Indian American population. But then again, I could be completely wrong and perhaps GM is spending a ton of money trying to attract a population that is more interested in driving a BMW or a Lexus.

So what's my point?

In my humble opinion, GM’s lack of marketing spend to target market to African Americans is not a race issue or bias against African Americans. It also is in no way unethical nor is it a moral issue as is being made out by Mr. Bakewell. GM and other companies should be able to spend their marketing dollars where they want to spend. They have to know where they will get their biggest bang and if they don’t the loss is certainly theirs.  I mean, where do we draw the line at dictating what a company should do and not do? Government Motors or not, GM still has the onus of making decisions for itself.

Love to hear your comments if you don't agree with me.