Why It Might Be Time To Dump Facebook

Everywhere I turn, a friend or colleague tells me Facebook recently sent them a nastygram about spammy behavior.  Each time, we have a laugh about it..  until someone gets suspended for the most asenine of reasons.  I have not been a fan of Facebook for a while but now it is only getting worse.  Let’s just say I am glad I did not put all my eggs in one basket…

As a free platform with full functionality out of the box, Facebook was a strong social network.  It started as a site for college students to network with each other and turned into something much bigger and better.  Facebook has blown up and become bigger than I am sure they originally anticipated.  In my humble opinion, they became too big too fast.

Due to the rapid surge in growth (and selling out with their IPO, which means now it’s all about keeping shareholders, not users, happy), Facebook has scurried to find ways to monetize.  Their strategy has been what we see so often: take away what we were already getting for free and water down the rest, essentially forcing people to pay if they want the same functionality.  It’s the old bait-and-switch at work.

The Facebook Bait-And-Switch - Make Friends, Then Pay For Them

Facebook – you don’t own my friends and fans!

The Facebook model is brilliant yet tragically commonplace: give it away for free, create a dependency (or addiction), then monetize and take our candy away.  On Facebook, we make friends and get fans only to find out they are Facebook’s property.  Fan Pages are almost completely useless now as only a small percentage of your subscribers will see updates unless you pony up some money.

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SMSCaster.com, Triberr, And Borderline Spam: What Are Some Security Considerations?

If you’ve ever received a random text message or e-mail, you may not think much of it but what if it is tailored to your interests? That’s what this brief article is about. What are the risks and considerations involved with mass communication tools?

Triberr: A Retrospect

A few weeks back, I shared my first impressions of Triberr. I think the founders are doing a good job allowing partipants to opt-in and opt-out of communications. There are automatic filters and manual processes in place to keep spam to a minimum. Of course, if you don’t like being overwhelmed with push content, it may still seem spammy.

…But what is spam, really?

I’d like to note that, now that I’ve used Triberr more extensively, I can attest that it does not lack warmth. Tribe members interact with each other and help each other out. It’s a great way to meet key influencers, cool geeks, and clever innovators. Surely, some tribes focus purely on mass reach but most care about relevance and maintaining a focus (and tone) through their collective wide-scale communication efforts. You really feel that you’re sharing valuable and useful content, not merely saturating the market with sales pitches.

Are You A Spammy Offender?

To me, spam is any unsolicited content, even if it comes from friends. If there is no warmth or relevance to your communication, I’ll treat it as spam. If it’s repetitive without due cause or real value, it’s really bad spam.

People are doing whatever they can to avoid interruptions and noise. This is why traditional interrupt advertising is on a steady decline, no matter what so-called “experts” may say. We want messages, stories even, that matter to us. The rest is unwanted junk. Continue reading

Google EVIL Panda Algorithm Update: Even Greater Urgency For Us Little Guys

UberGizmo recently posted an awesome article about the terrible Google Panda Algorithm Update (thanks to Brinked.com site owner, Will H, for sharing). To say the least, this article was not a good birthday present for me. April 19th 2011 could very well mark a turning point for all of the Internet.
 
The news about Google’s search engine changes comes with some revelations I’ve gathered over the past few years, especially recently. Several sources indicate that around 70 to 99% of (search engine) traffic goes to 1 to 5% of the web sites out there. Whatever the actual numbers are, the lesson remains the same: us little guys are in a real hard place. The minds behind Triberr, a service which helps like-minded people promote their Internet “things”, say that this is a shame because some of the best content can be found outside of “the top”, which I agree with wholeheartedly!

The problem here is that the Google (EVIL) Panda Algorithm Update essentially rewards technically-savvy web sites that lack creativity, heart, and innovation. As UberGizmo so effectively illustrated, someone can take original content, not even crediting the source, and out-rank the originator. WTF?

Google EVIL Panda

Is Google the big bad bear now?

 

I already had plans to ramp-up my creative efforts and create greater urgency for my fellow writers, marketers, and entrepreneurs but now we REALLY have to motivate! With these new rules in play, what can small businesses, bloggers, and innovators do? I have a few ideas… Continue reading

XBox Code of Conduct: Lessons in Customer Service and Parenting

Today I am blogging via mobile so this is going to be a mostly vanilla post (until I get a chance to polish it a bit, of course). My topic of choice today can fuel quite a bit of different blog entries. I wish to discuss Microsoft and their continued bad customer service. I’d also like to touch upon the concept of the video babysitter, a lazy strategy used by parents today.

Console gaming is mostly community-driven (after all, the hardware is obsolete the moment it hits store shelves) and this is especially so with XBox LIVE, arguably the best overall onling gaming service (at least on consoles). Unfortunately, console manufacturers fail to see that their customers are part of the service they offer. Microsoft has definitely missed this point by not doing right by their customers. The Red Ring of Death, Open Tray Error, and Code of Conduct are amongst many things hurting what could otherwise be an amazing, fully-engaging console experience.

While we can get into all the facets of Microsoft’s missed opportunities, let’s look at the Code of Conduct. It is dressed up as a way to preserve the integrity of the XBox LIVE online community but, instead, it only becomes nuisance to paying subscribers. More times than not, the people being reported are merely the ones defending themselves; meanwhile, the real offenders and troublemakers remain online harassing on XBox LIVE.

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Net Neutrality – Modern Communication’s Last Stand!

First and foremost, I apologize for keeping some of you waiting out there. I know I had promised a good article about Net Neutrality and I really want to put a slightly different perspective on things but, alas, it is easy to get derailed when you have lots of projects on the table. That being said, I do have tons of stuff lined up and hope to get some quality content in the next three weeks or so, but first things first… Let’s talk about Internet Neutrality and how the Internet may die soon (if we do not preserve neutrality)!

The mouse is dead. The Net is next?

With just three days left on the supposed final countdown, I am surprised that many people do not have net neutrality on their radar yet they ALL will be affected by the legislation that is in the works. I have talked to many friends about this topic in the past three weeks (basically, during my little blogging sabbatical) and everyone had all the wrong ideas about Net Neutrality. Before I get into the complicated explanations, let’s get one thing straight: net neutrality is a good thing for the common folks, the so-called “little people”, and getting rid of it only benefits the large corporations and wealthy. There’s simply no nicer way of explaining it but I will try to stick to the facts and put emotion aside (at least a bit).

We all know what the Internet is but many of us do not realize the vast scope of things. The Net is a lot more than just the Web. It’s news groups, file transfers, terminal services, online gaming, backoffices, and so much more to many different people. Our government has plans to allow private interest to supercede fairness and justice by giving business control over how we experience the Internet, thus changing the Internet as we know it forever. These companies are selling it by saying it will allow expansion of the Internet to continue at a faster rate, thus bringing broadband into areas where it is currently not available. They also tell you that those that pay a “little more” can experience faster speeds and better content. As expected with the typical corporate sales talk, they’re not telling you the full story.

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Little-Known Ways To Become An Expert Recruiter

Well, I did not expect so many responses on my recent LinkedIn question but I certainly welcome it! The discussion is brewing right now as we speak and I figured I would take the time out to write a slightly-shorter article touching upon some of the core issues and hopefully sharing some tips for both recruiters, since the job seeker side can produce a whole string of advice columns on it’s own. First and foremost, I want all my recruiting friends to understand that I do not think the value of outsourced recruiting is not there but I do feel that there is a lack of professionalism and effectiveness in the field as a whole. I base this powerful statement on my personal experiences as both a job seeker and business owner, and on the experiences of my many clients and colleagues.

Now, for the sake of brevity, I can’t explore every possible angle here. Let me touch upon the assumptions and understandings that we should all have before moving on…

  • There is clearly a lack of honesty both on the behalf of job seekers and recruiters alike.
  • The typical workload for a recruiter these days is easily three to five times more than what it was a decade ago.
  • Recruiters do not have time for small talk so, if you are loquacious, you may find yourself being cut off often.
  • Job seekers that are driven solely by money will often not hesitate to break prioir obligations and jump ship.
  • At least 80% of job seekers embellish or lie on their resume in some manner.
  • Some job seekers are driven by money, others are not.
  • Because of the above items, job seekers and recruiters alike are very jaded and pessimistic, to say the least.
  • Recruiters come in many flavors, though many have dealt with the typical contingency recruiter for the most part.
  • No one is fundamentally evil, recruiters included.
  • Every field has good people and bad people; thus, good recruiters must exist!

For job seekers, the reality is that working with recruiters may not be a worthwhile investment of time if you do not keep your scope very specific, be honest about your abilities, and do as much leg work as possible to make the recruiter’s job easier. Companies love using recruiters because most of the cost can be absorbed by the candidates (they take a percentage of your salary without you even knowing). How payment is handled depends on the arrangement that has been set up but that is definitely the typical deal I’ve seen. As I mentioned in my article about lazy recruiting practice and how it puts job seekers at risk (or at least a major inconvenience), recruiters are, at heart, sales people so it’s all about the numbers to them, the bottomline matters more (typically) than helping people.

If you happen to be one of those recruiters that wants to be helpful and really drive value to both your prospects and clients alike, this article is for you. After all, what job seekers has to do is a lot more simple: represent yourself more accurately, learn how to interview effectively, tailor your resume to the specific opportunities, and be authentic, energetic, and deliberate in all your efforts (in a nutshell). What can you, as a third-party/outsourced recruiter do to really be seen in a good light? I’m glad you asked. Read on…

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Bad Recruiters, Identity Theft, and What To Do About It

Job hunters throughout the United States have cited that their biggest sore point in the job hunt is dealing with inept recruiters. Who can blame them? Recruiters typically repost the job ads that the hiring companies post on their corporate sites then only do the bare minimum to screen and prepare candidates. It has been my personal experience in recent

years that, if a recruiter does more than give you a vague description of the job and ask you to tailor your resume to include certain buzzwords, you have yourself a keeper. The general approach seems to be this: collect as many close fits as possible, herd them together, sell the hype, and hope that the candidates can do the rest of the work for you.

The reality is that recruiters are suffering along with job seekers. Job market saturation is arguably the byproduct of overseas outsourcing, widespread “right-sizing”, 1990’s dot-com collapses, and, of course, 9/11. Our economy has taken a hard hit and, as more and more fresh college graduates enter the workforce, it is not getting any easier, even for the most seasoned veterans in their fields. Recruiters are dealing with easily three or four times the workload that was expected in the “golden age” of the mid-90’s. There is also far more competition from other staffing and recruiting firms. The Recruiting Animal blog cites that the typical recruiter handles anywhere from 26-30 projects at a time on average, which is definitely more than recruiters experienced even 5 years ago. It’s no wonder recruiters are spending less time preparing and qualifying their candidates!

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