Your Profile Is Missing

Last week I highlighted Wayne Sutton of Social Wayne on that week’s Black Web Friday post. Earlier that week Wayne had put out a shared circle on Google+ of nearly 400 black participants, including me, such that if any of us wanted to hook up with that circle we could, and then if we wanted to hook up with people in that circle individually we could do that as well. I thought it was a great idea and I know it had to take him a long time to put it together.

I hooked up to the circle, then started looking at some of the names and checking out profiles of many of the people. I stopped after about 25 people and was somewhat dismayed. That’s because out of the nearly 25 people, only 4 of them had completed profiles on G+. Some of them had links to their Twitter accounts or Facebook accounts, but no other information about them.

I thought that was a major waste of resources, and I didn’t even consider adding any of those people to my personal stream. I mean, how long can it take to fill in some business information, which I assumed was the reason they signed up for it, or to put a link to a website or blog and get some link love or publicity from it?

I have to admit that I’ve wondered about this sort of thing for awhile; why do people create accounts on social media sites and then never complete any information on them? This isn’t only an issue with G+; there are many people on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter that don’t put any information in either.

Now, Facebook I can kind of understand because people worry about the privacy aspect, and although it can be used for business many people don’t use it for that purpose. Facebook is really more for personal use, and if people just want to connect with their friends and nothing more, so be it.

Twitter and LinkedIn are another matter. Let’s talk LinkedIn first. It’s for business networking; there’s no other reason to sign up for an account. If you don’t want to network with other business people, then why are you there? No one wants to hook up with anyone that hasn’t completed their business profile, and if I don’t know who you are I’m not hooking up with any account that doesn’t have some kind of picture either.

Twitter is a duplicitous animal. I almost never reach out to anyone first on Twitter these days; it’s hard enough trying to get people I am connected with to talk to me. Twitter allows you to put a brief bit of information about yourself in your profile, but it also allows you not to put anything in.

If you’ve created an account only to talk to specific people, and you’re protecting your account, I can understand why you don’t put in any information. But if you write anything that looks like you’re in business, why don’t you have a link of some kind, and a legitimate one at that? What’s the purpose of cloaking your link? I’m not clicking on any cloaked links, and thus I’m not following you. And if you haven’t put any info in except a link, I’m probably not following you either. And sans image; nope, I’m moving on.

Here’s my point; nothing says you have to be on social media to begin with, but if you’re going to participate at least do the bare minimum of participation in whatever platform you’re creating an account on. Just like I say about people who create blogs and then abandon them, you look worse creating a profile and not doing anything with it than not creating one at all.

At least those are my thoughts; am I alone here? Come on, someone try to justify why you think this is a good thing to do.
 

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Does Your Profile Or Niche Turn Some People Away?

I have to admit that it was tough coming up with a title for this post. Writing posts are never a problem for me; titles… well, I wrote a long time ago about trying to come up with a title for my book. So, it’s not my strong point, yet it does convey the point I want to address today.

Are there certain describes niches that turn you off from even taking a look at the blog or website? Are there certain things a person will put into their profile on Twitter that will keep you from adding them? And are the perceptions you have for those things fair, legitimate, or at least honest?

Y’all know that I’m always going to be honest about what I talk about on this blog; after all, I’m sure my post last week on decluttering my online life will affect some people who might have thought about visiting this blog in the future, but it was truthful. So here’s some more honesty.

I won’t visit blogs that mention that they’re WAHM, or “work at home mom” blogs. The connotation with that is that those are blogs for other mothers only, certainly nothing for someone like me, and thus I just avoid them. Sometimes you don’t know, but when I do know I won’t visit them.

Now am I wrong? Well, it’s not 100%, but overall it seems that I’ve been correct in what I’d be interested in reading on those blogs. I gave it a shot early on, but found that I just wasn’t interested. It’s not that it’s such a bad thing though, not having me stop by. I also won’t read blogs on cars, shopping, shoes, religion, serious politics, et al. They’re things that I know I’m not interested in reading or talking about, and thus I avoid them.

I mentioned “religion” in that last paragraph. On Twitter, if someone found it was important enough for them to list their religion in their profile I’m not following them. I don’t believe in any religion, and I’ve found that those who really feel they’re serious about it aren’t reluctant to throw in a religious statement in the middle of any conversation. Frankly that irks me. A person wins a tournament and says “I want to thank God for allowing me to win”; did that mean God meant for the other person to lose? Should that person be thankful for losing?

Now am I wrong? No, I don’t think so. I’ve seen it happen more often than not from those people who put it on their Twitter profile, where they start quoting scripture and adding the chapter and verse of where they got it from. That type of thing prompts me to do something that’s somewhat catty and immature, and I don’t like that type of thing coming from me. I don’t mind people having their religion overall. I tend to think religion is responsible for both a lot of good and a lot of bad. I’d rather not be a party to it, and following my post talking about destressing my life, I just feel it’s best not to go there. Some of you know this line well: “Don’t start none, won’t be none.”

Still, it leads us to think about how we convey things up front that might affect whether someone wants to even give us a shot or not. For instance, Beverly has a site called Boomer Diva Nation, which targets baby boomer women 50 or older. Does it mean that there won’t be anything for people younger, or for males? Nope. Does it mean, however, that a lot of men probably aren’t going to check it out? Yup. I’ll admit that the only reason I ever checked it out was because we were talking on Twitter and I was curious. Any other time, I probably wouldn’t have given it a second thought.

Does that mean Beverly should change her focus? Not in the least. Does it mean she’s probably accepted that not every one will visit that site or look at those articles? I don’t really know; Bev will probably stop by to answer that one for herself.

But all of us end up doing the same thing with our blogs and websites. I write a blog on financial issues; do I really think everyone will stop by to take a look, especially if they’re not interested in the topic? Nope. Will I change its focus or its title just to attract visitors? Nope.

It was something I had to come to grips with with my business site on the bio page. There aren’t a lot of black people who do what I do in health care, and I thought that having my picture on my site would drive people away. Actually I still think it does, because I get way more visitors than I get people contacting me. But my dad said it was who I was, and I certainly couldn’t hide it forever, and wouldn’t it be better if people knew up front so that neither of us were shocked if we ever met in person? And thus my picture is on my business page; a shame that even in the 21st century that has to be a concern. And, oddly enough, I don’t have it on my SEO site About page; I’ll have to think about that.

I’m comfortable with the folks who visit my websites and my blogs, and I hope they’re comfortable as well. I hope everyone is comfortable with their websites and blogs and their presence online in general. However, it’s definitely something to think about, how you’re being perceived by your presentation and whether it’s what you hope to project. Are you comfortable? What would Yoda say?

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Firefox, I Love Ya But…

Firefox and I have always had a love – less love kind of relationship. I left Netscape for Firefox and I never looked back; I often thought that maybe I killed Netscape (no, we all know who killed it), but it didn’t matter. Firefox was better than IE, and that’s all that used to matter.

There are just so many things to love about Firefox. I love the add-ons. I love how I can change the look. I love how I can go into the config.about settings and change stuff if I really want to (don’t do this unless you know what you’re doing). I love how it’s just a bit more protection than IE. I love the tabs. Frankly, there’s not much I don’t like about it.

And yet, there is something I don’t like, something that’s irked me for years, the one thing that I just can’t overcome. Sometimes Firefox hangs, and when it does, that’s it. By hangs, I mean that it just suddenly stops. You can’t do anything because it’s pretty much said it’s had enough. You can’t even go into the task manager and turn it off; I mean, how many programs do that?

I have researched this issue for years and tried to find a workaround. It was suggested to remove Zone Alarm because they don’t play well together; I tried that. It was suggested that maybe it was AVG; I tried that. It was suggested to change your profile; I tried that. Nothing has worked. There have been some suggestions that I don’t have the technical knowledge for, so those I haven’t tried. However, my thought is that someone at Mozilla, the group that makes Firefox, would have addressed the issue at some point.

You know what? Never. Now, that’s a strange one, isn’t it? Through all the forums they have, with this issue coming up often enough, not a single Mozilla person has ever chimed in with a fix. They won’t even acknowledge that there’s a problem; isn’t that weird? I mean, even Microsoft eventually came clean on the dog that is Vista (which I’m still stuck on). And folks, it’s not Vista that’s hanging Firefox, because I had the same issue under XP.

So, I’m stuck. I’m not crazy about Opera, even though it’s never hung on my system, and I’m not a major fan of Chrome. Don’t even try to talk me into, what, IE 8 or 9 now? I guess I’m stuck in “bootup loop” city, and I’m not overly happy about it. There just has to be a solution, right? Someone? Anyone?

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Facebook Says “Privacy? Pffbt!”

All the talk lately has been about Facebook, and with good reason. With just a few strokes and almost no real notification, Facebook has pretty much said none of us deserve privacy anymore.


Moments Of Privacy

Luckily, I was alerted to the first thing that they were going to do, which was releasing all of our information to their marketers. I even got a fix from one of my friends, which I posted as a comment, but now I’ll post here:

On the first one, go to your account. Under Privacy Settings for Applications, if you click there, you’ll see “Instant Personalization.” Unclick the box and you’re all set; supposedly.

At the time I thought that was that, but nope. The next thing I knew, I was on the site doing something else when this window pops up, telling me that I get to select which of my interests I want to link to some big pages that they were putting together. I didn’t think much about it, but selected two items and went about my business. It wasn’t until I read a post on a blog called Cre8pc Usability & Holistic SEO titled Facebook Removes Profile Choices (Kim must be big time; even Matt Cutts commented on this one lol) that I had to go back and see that indeed they had removed everything I had put onto that site 2 years ago that I said I liked except for the two I kept, one of which went to a fairly nonexistent page. That irked me so I went in and removed the other two, which wasn’t easy to figure out but I finally got it done.

At the same time they were doing that, they were creating community profiles for everyone to link to as well. I live in Liverpool NY, and they popped something up there for me, as well as where I went to college, the industries I listed on my business, where I went to school, etc. I only hooked up with one of those and canceled the rest, but to date at least they haven’t deleted any of my business information.

We might also end up having to watch out for some of our photos being used for purposes outside of our posting them just for our friends to see. That’s one of the rumors that’s going around, and based on everything else I’ve seen, I don’t doubt that could come. So, for those of you who have embarrassing images that you thought only your closest friends might ever see, you might want to think about whether you want to keep them on the site or not.

To say I’m disgruntled would be to minimize my feelings. To say I’m at the point that Dan of Rocket.ly is at, which he expressed in his post titled Top Ten Reasons You Should Quit Facebook is would be overstating things a bit. At this point I still get more benefit out of Facebook than how much they’re irritating me, but it’s getting close to a point where it’ll be Sydney or the Bush (anyone who’s a long time Peanuts reader will understand that quote). The idea that we were all lured into something just to build up numbers so they could spring all of this on us bothers me, especially if it was always the plan. Facebook has almost turned into Google, since neither one believes that anyone should have any privacy whatsoever (I wonder if Sergey or or Larry will share their bank account numbers with me for a few days ), only Facebook got us to give it up voluntarily.

Although I’ve had some interesting conversations with my buddy Blog Bloke over his post Privacy and Security in a Social Media World, I have to admit that he’s got it right on many aspects of what’s going on now. Not that I ever thought he was totally wrong; after all, Google has shown that it has the power to segregate whomever they decide they don’t like for whatever reason they don’t like (such as taking away my page rank), which destroys the aura of links and activity being the only determinant as to how well a person’s website is doing on the internet. It’s really just more of a warning to us all that Pandora’s Box is open, and none of that stuff is ever going back in.

For his part in this, Zuckerberg had this to say at f8: “It really has no privacy implications. I think this means people will be sharing less information when they don’t need to around the Web.” As Dr. Phil would say, “did someone write the word ‘stupid’ on my forehead?”

Decide now if you want to be online or not; it may be the only way you keep even a modicum of privacy in your life, because trust me, there’s a lot of information on almost everyone online already, whether you did anything or not.

Meanwhile, if you want to take a shot at protecting your information, check out the video below; if you’d rather read, follow this link to the Electronic Frontier Foundation site.

By the way, remember that tomorrow is Mother’s Day!
 

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