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Get 25% off Anti-Virus or Security Suite Software

I received email today announcing a 25% sale for two-year licenses of the security software that I use on all my machines. I don’t see a time limit on the sale, but I thought I’d pass it along today. The email says the lower rate is in celebration of the release of a new version of their products… whatever! I like the product and a sale price is something to celebrate.

Check out ESET NOD32 anti-virus and SMART SECURITY programs.

ESET Smart Security Logo

I have used ESET’s software for several years.  I like it because it doesn’t slow down my computer when it scans for problems.  You may notice some slowness on older or less beefy computers when it’s running a scan, but in my experience ESET is much less of a computer hog than Norton, McAfee, or the other better-known programs.  ESET also rates well in tests by independent labs for actually doing its job and stopping attacks on your system.

I use SMART SECURITY which includes the NOD32 antivirus programs and adds a firewall and other features like an anti-theft module that locates your stolen laptop and locks down the files on it via the web.

Yes, although ESET updates its list of known viruses several times a day, I have been bad in updating the program itself.  I was a couple releases behind and have been missing out on some of the newer features that are now included with NOD32 or SMART SECURITY.  I didn’t know about the anti-theft feature, so I paid for that separately by buying LoJack for laptops. Stupid! And, I didn’t know that the anti-virus program will also scan my Facebook and Twitter feeds to make sure I (or someone else) hasn’t posted a malicious link in my feeds.  You know, a link to a phony status line that takes you to a spammy site that tries to get you to download something evil to your PC. The current versions of NOD32 and SMART SECURITY run through your social media streams and makes sure that there’s nothing dangerous on your steam.

I also like the summary they give of the information I share with the public on the two social media sites.

ESET Social Media Dashboard screen shot

ESET Social Media Dashboard

Finally, unlike security software programs I have seen on other people’s computers, ESET’s suite doesn’t give me a stream of alarmist warnings about what what I should be doing.  So, I chose to run the check on my Facebook account, I didn’t get a warning message that my Facebook feed was unprotected.  This is a big deal, in my opinion.  I have watched friends ignore important warnings from Norton et al. When I asked why they didn’t react to the message, I have been told that the program is always sending them messsages that aren’t important so they don’t read anything it pops up.  A security program that cries “Wolf!” is a bad watchdog.

Enough of mixing metaphores. If you’re tired of Norton, McAfee, or whomever slowing down your system or annoying you with endless off-target warnings, check out the lighter touch of ESET.  Scroll down the page to see a comparison list of features to see if you want NOD32 or SMART SECURITY.

By |2013-10-23T13:20:12-07:00October 23rd, 2013|Facebook-social-media, Product Recommendations, Twitter|0 Comments

Would You Read Your Own Post?

San Francisco Internet marketer knows what grabs attentionSurfing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vines, and other sites has become an exercise in speed reading.  My little finger is getting callouses from all of its hits to the  “Page Down” key.

Whether it is newsletters I have subscribed to or a Facebook wall, I am giving everything less and less time to grab my attention.  I do appreciate a well-reasoned argument on stopping nuclear proliferation.  Really.  But, I don’t often click on a link that a friend has posted as “important” in a good-for-you way.

I admit it.  I am looking for instant gratification for my intellect, wit, and aestetic sense.  I make split-second decions on whether to skip or linger.  And, if I have to think about whether I want to read your post, it’s too late.

If I, a 59-year-old sophisticate,  am giving you a second to make me want to read your stuff, see your deal, or learn about your company, how much time do you think a  20- or 30-something prospect gives you?

Fortunately, the basics of marketing are unchanged whether the medium is a high gloss magazine or an  app that shows a photo that self-destructs in 15 seconds.  People are attracted to pretty women, puppies, and cute babies.  “Women” includes “men”.  “Puppies” includes “kittens”.  And, “children” includes “toddlers”, “children”, and sometimes even “young adults”.

Right now Facebook and other top-tier sites promote users’ photos and videos more than text links.  That’s because their metrics show that users click on those type of stories more often.

So, make sure that you remember to include lots of pictures of women/puppies/babies… or similar gut-grabbing ones… in your online activity.  I am happy to help businesses develop attention-getting photos and campaigns — just give me a shout for  professional marketing help.  Of course, you may have all the ideas and photos you need on your smart phone with its pictures from the last family vacation.



By |2013-05-30T15:11:16-07:00May 30th, 2013|Facebook-social-media, Social Media|0 Comments

Skype’s Sharing Violation

Skype's Request for Permissions

List of he Facebook Permissions Skype Wants

I bought a new HD webcam this month and downloaded Skype software so I can talk with someone who’s living in the Middle East with spotty phone service.  To recoup my investment I decided that I would expand my Skype universe and import my Facebook contacts into Skype.  That would let me know when more people are online, and maybe increase a chance for a chat or two.

But, really, Skype. You aren’t that good a friend for me to give you all the power you’re asking for!

I like my friends too much to let Skype do everything it wants.  Here’s what the Skype app wants:

  • Access my basic information which includes my list of friends.
    This makes sense if I want Skype to give me a list of my Facebook friends that use Skype.
  • Send me email.
    Okay, they already know my email address because I registered their software on my PC.
  • Access Posts in my News Feed.
    Why? So, no.
  • Post to Facebook as me
    I think this is just a scary way of saying that Skype can post to my wall as me when I am doing something with it.  But, no.  I want Skype to get my contact information. No more.
  • Access my data at any time.
    Huh?  Why?
  • Access Facebook Chat
    This stumps me.  Do they want to access chat as me?  Would this let me use Skype to video chat on Facebook?  Tell me more, Mr. Skype.
  • Access my profile information.
    No.  And, I am running out of polite ways to ask “whatever for?”
  • Access my photos
    Skype, keep your paws off my pictures.  I’ll give you a profile picture, but the rest are off limits, okay?
  • Access my videos
    No. See above on photos.
  • Access information people share with me
    No.  They are my friends.  Find your own.

I don’t mean to pick on Skype. It’s a good service.  But, really, the intrusiveness of corporate Social Media apps feels increasingly like the stalking of a creepy, socially inept voyeur who peers into your windows whenever they need a fix of humanity.

I don’t want Skype to tell people when I am using Skype to talk with other Facebook friends.  It’s just not anyone’s business.  And, I don’t want Skype to go digging around in my circle of friends of juicy marketing opportunities.

For me, it’s “No!” to Skype and to other overreaching corporations.  I am reading the Facebook permissions they want and saying know when what they’re asking for has nothing to do with what they need to deliver service to me.

By |2011-11-28T07:50:09-08:00November 28th, 2011|Facebook|0 Comments

Google+: Another Technology Time Sink

My mantra at the computer system integration company I worked at was, “Just because the technology exists, that doesn’t mean you need to use it.”

My comment was a variation of  bemoaning “a solution in search of a problem.”

Which brings me to Google+.

This afternoon I set up Google+ for [email protected]. I spent a very short time figuring out what I think I’m supposed to do. It was pretty straight-forward. Quickly I spiffed my profile, played with my circles [friends lists], and spewed an offering to my stream [news feed].

So far, my experience has been very Facebooky… except that there are not many people on Google+ (so there’s not much to read) and there isn’t a mechanism I see for business/personality fan pages.

Google+ Link gets a 404 ErrorThere is one nice feature that Facebook lacks, and that’s the ability to edit a posting that you’ve already made. And, I am hoping that Google’s search technology will let me search my own stream [“stream” still sounds dirty to my perverted Puritanical mind] for things I posted in the distant past. That’d be a big improvement over Facebook’s operation where the old material that you’ve written goes into the cosmic bit bucket.

Google+ also lets you include people in your stream messages who aren’t on their service. You can include anyone in one of your circles, whether or not they’re using Google+. If they are not members of the cult, Google+ will send them email with your stream entry. Unfortunately, this notification of non-Google+ people wasn’t working so well this afternoon. Google+ sent my test account an email with my posting, but the link to see more resulted in a 404 error code. Hmmmm!

But, back to my initial comments.

Do I need another social network technology to check and update? Do I want to spend more time keeping in touch? After Facebook and Twitter… and the corresponding accounts for my business clients… I think I may need more time to DO things instead of talking about what I’ve done.

By |2011-07-09T09:32:34-07:00July 8th, 2011|Google+, Social Media|0 Comments

When the Facebook Tail Wags Your Business Dog

Friday night I went to a concert by a well known San Francisco community group.  They’re talented. Although they are a non-profit volunteer group, the back orchestra tickets were $25, and the show was well attended.

Of course, the organizers want people to keep with the group’s future concerts and events, and they’re on top of social media.  So, they naturally pushed their Facebook page.  The master of ceremonies suggested that people take photographs during the evening, post them on Facebook, and compete for prizes for the best photographs.  The concert program even suggested when photographs should be taken.

Instructions from the Concert program to take a photo and post it on Facebook

Instructions in the Concert Program

So, after the house lights dimmed, audience members starting turning ON their cell phones and snapping photos.  Folks were maneuvering in their seats for the perfect angle, holding their phone up and out, and snapping away.  The man in the row in front of me really got into the spirit by starting the video camera and he recorded a section of the performance.

  • Cell phone displays are very, very bright.  In a dark hall, they are somewhere between distracting and blinding.
  • Some cell phone cameras flash in dim light.

The benign suggestion to share the performance online with your friends interfered with the experience for people who had already were fans. At the intermission and the end of the show, our group talked about the flashing and lights and not about the music.  Professional theaters ban pictures and videos both because their concern about intellectual property rights AND they don’t want amateur paparazzi disrupting their shows.

There’s a lot of good will for the organization sponsoring the concert I saw, and I doubt that their misplaced suggestion that people take pictures will impact their following.

But, what a good lesson for your business on what you should and should not to do!

  • Use social media to build buzz and get people in your doors.
  • Use social media to get your customers to tell their friends about you.

Do NOT let Social Media distract or de-focus your customers from doing what you want them do:

  • When I am already at a concert, don’t degrade my current concert experience in attempt to get future clients.
  • If I am already in your business, don’t suggest I check social media for deals or future events.

Just like in so many other areas of life, the bromide of “Moderation in Everything” will help your business use Facebook successfully.

By |2011-06-19T10:26:35-07:00June 19th, 2011|Facebook, Social Media|0 Comments
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