Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

LinkedIn Ad Casts Me As Google Employee

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

LinkedIn’s ads which autopopulate people’s profile information into the ad can be jarring. Here’s one which gave me a shudder — it portrays me as a Googler!

Personalized Ad on LinkedIn

I don’t see myself as an employee of a huge, publicly-traded company since I was with Verizon years ago, so the ad was pretty disturbing to me! I just wasn’t ready to see that! It’s possible that (more…)

Google Local Is Now A Train Wreck

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Mike Blumenthal posted earlier this week that Google Local is now a veritable train wreck, and I don’t think his statement is hyperbole.

Google Plus Local Page Business Problems

For some time now, Google Local (originally just referred to as “Google Maps”, then called “Google Local”, then called “Google Places”) has had some problems in how it handles how local businesses can manage their own data. All local data providers struggle with the process of how to verify whether someone has the right to change a business’s information — and Google’s phone call / post card verification process is no exception. So, it’s had that problem from the beginning, although it doesn’t seem to’ve gotten any smoother in the meantime.

Then there’s the changing nomenclature — they just don’t keep consistently using the same brandnames and terminology to refer to the data display, versus the interfaces that businesses use to manage their own data. Google Local Business Center became Google Places — where you could login to manage your Google Place Pages (your business profile pages that would appear in Google).

Now, along comes Google+ (aka “Google Plus”). Which has personal profiles for people to use in interacting socially, and then they allowed companies to set up profile pages for businesses — “Brand Pages”. Then the real sh*t hit the fan when they then smashed Google Places into Google Plus, and started referring to THOSE as “Google Plus Local” or “Google+ Local” pages.

But, what of those companies that had set up “Brand Pages” already?!?  The advent of Google+ Local pages essentially (more…)

Google+ Local Pages Delurk At Last

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Well, just as previously rumored and predicted by many of us, Google+ has finally incorporated special treatment pages for local businesses.

Check out Google’s main page about the service. Google’s VP of Product Management, Marissa Mayer, helped promote the new features by going on CBS This Morning, where they referred to it as “a location-based social media search engine available on desktops and mobile devices”, which sounds borderline hyped, if accurate.

Here’s the video:

One interesting element which we couldn’t foresee was how Google would launch this with such a heavy tie-in with ratings from Zagats which they bought not long ago. As the official Google Blog post relates, one of the main aspects of the tie-in with Google Plus is how they’re intending this to push more “recommendations and reviews from people you know and trust”. (more…)

Email Marketers Wake Up To Ideograms

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

I was noticing in my email this morning that a few different pieces of spam had much more eye-catching, decorative subject lines:

Special Characters in Subject Lines for Email Marketing

As you can see above, one email note for “magicJack Plus” included a little telephone symbol, while another one for printer ink included a little fountain pen nib symbol at the begining of its subject line.

It appears that spammers have woken up to the same concept that I wrote about in “Special Characters Are Lucky Charms for Twitter“. In a list of text titles or status updates, adding a little icon-like picture to just a few lines is very eye-catching.

Of course, if this becomes too common, the notes won’t stand out at all, and they’ll risk (more…)

Facebook’s New Place Discovery Feature – A.K.A. “Spam Your Friends”

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Facebook has recently been rolling out new features and layouts, willy-nilly, risking the ire of many users who may be getting upgrade fatigue.

One of the many changes I noticed was a new feature intended to leverage users into promoting “great places” more when they “Like” a location:

Facebook's new Friends Discover Great Places Feature

Wasn’t just having Likes appearing on your wall page sufficient endorsement of a place? Now the service is trying to get you to push status updates for some places when they’re liked, and this just seems overly… pushy.

Is this what they intend to replace their becoming-deprecated check-in service feature? If so, this is particularly lame.

The “Like” activity itself is a form of endorsement and needs no further embellishment.

Google Plus Snippets Launch In Google Maps

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

I happened to see Greg Sterling briefly at SMX East today, and he alerted me that Google announced that they’ve launched “+snippets” for Maps, allowing users to share Google Maps pages with their friends in Google+:

Google Plus Snippets in Google Maps

Could this be what the “big changes planned for Google Maps” rumor I earlier reported was referring-to? (more…)

Rumored Google Maps Changes Could Involve Google+

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Google Plus + Google MapsOver the weekend, I received a credible rumor from one of the larger companies I work with. Purportedly, they were contacted by their Google Ads rep and urged to purchase more advertising now, inadvance of some “big changes” planned to happen on October 1.

It’s still early, and I haven’t been able to confirm this rumor as of yet, despite putting out feelers to a number of sources. However, it feels believable because Google Plus has promised rollout of business Plus pages at some point, and it would make very good sense in the case of local businesses to have their (more…)

University Introduces Foursquare Collegiate Badges

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Texas A&M University has just launched the Collegiate Badge program on Foursquare, and since I was in College Station earlier last week for a family celebration, I thought I’d check it out.

Foursquare's Collegiate Badges at Texas A&M University

I feel a little shiver of pride that my alma mater is the third university after Harvard and Stanford to launch an official partnership with Foursquare, starting back in the summer of 2010! (more…)

Foursquare Heat Maps

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

This is a pretty cool graphic interface I came across thanks to Giovanni Gallucci — it’s for checking out your Foursquare usage data: Where Do You Go. It displays your checkins using heat maps:

Where Do You Go - Foursquare Google Maps Mashup

The Google Maps mashup was built using Foursquare’s API, Python, and the Google APP Engine. I think it likely works better in Chrome or FireFox than in IE.

Creator Steven Lehrburger wrote that he created the display to graphically demonstrate to friends and acquaintances the areas which he frequents, and also as a project for a New York University mashups class he was taking.

It’s quite conceivable that Google could use similar user data in calculating personalized local search results and in figuring out the relative popularities of places within cities and neighborhoods. Google’s geolocation data for users is increasing and improving daily.

McAfee Labs Lists Geolocation Services As Top Target For Emerging Threats In 2011

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

On December 28th, McAfee Labs unveiled their 2011 Threat Predictions Report, and they’ve listed Geolocation Services as one of the top targets for cybercriminal activity in 2011. Geolocation services particularly include services involving check-in activities which publish your location. Geolocation services include Facebook now, as well as Twitter, Foursquare and Gowalla.


From my perspective, McAfee’s inclusion of geolocation services is unsurprising and perhaps even overdue.

I wrote back in 2007 how geolocation technology is core to click-fraud detection, as well as for credit card sales, banking, and user profile verification.

Just a couple of common risks involving geolocation services involve criminals being able to use your current location information in order to victimize you. Obviously, if a criminal knows where your home is, and you’re involved in a geolocation service which is showing that you’re located in another city or across town, they could rob your home. (more…)