Social Faux Pas

by Jonathan Goodman on June 25, 2013

This is Jonathan Goodman. Welcome to another episode of The World of Internet Marketing. It’s great to have you with us. Today’s episode is “Social Faux Pas.” An interesting thing happened at a recent Meet Up I attended and I want to talk about it on the show. It’s a little bit of a rant, as usual, but we’re going to move my Rant of the Week to the full main event. First, though, let’s get back to our segments.

Social Media

Facebook Instagram

This week Facebook revealed a new way to share 15 seconds of video on Instagram. The users on Instagram for iPhone or Android can now shoot and share 15 seconds worth of video with a few editing filters. There are 13 filters available only to the video version, and you can edit out certain clips that you don’t want. There was a quote during the announcement:

“A total of 16 billion photos have been shared on Instagram, there are 1 billion likes each day and 130 million users monthly.”

That’s quite incredible.

Your Semantic Minute

Let’s look at what’s happening in Semantic World. Google is adding Schema to Gmail. So let’s step back because an interesting thing happened at this year’s Google I/O 2013 conference. There was a presentation that I believe was called Goggle Actions in the Inbox. The presentation focused on using Schema data from within Gmail. Google is rolling out four types of Schema action. Rating and review, which brings up an overlay allowing you to enter the data directly from within email. One Click, which allows you to click on a coupon or dial a phone number. That basically means that even before you open up your email, you are immediately presented with the title that we always see in our listing of Inbox, but on the side of it, it’s going to have these little buttons that are going to say Rate and Review. They’re going to say Coupon. They might say the phone number that you need to dial. Another one is RSVPs for events and a Go To, which is a shortcut.

What they’re basically trying to do is narrow down the element of number of actions needed in order to fulfill an event or a goal. What they showed was that now today you get an email and then you have to leave that email. You then either click a link or you take an action like you have to go to another website. Let’s say that it’s for review. That then opens up the browser that then shows you the website which you then go to fill out the review. And then you go to submit it. Now they’re trying to condense all that down basically and say here is the email title and here is the action we want you to take. We want you to rate and review this restaurant or product or whatever it might be. I’m sure Amazon is going to jump on top of this in two seconds.

So there’s Rate and Review. There’s One-Click, which is coupons and dial in the phone number. There’s RSVP to events. For any of you who use any of those services on-line to send your friends emails about events, this is going to be very critical. It’s going to narrow down the amount of actions that somebody is going to have to take in order to RSVP. The Go To Shortcuts are very complicated. I’m going to try to explain it, but if can find the video for this, it’s really great. You can now check into your flight through this button. So if you see an email coming in from United asking if you’d like to check into your flight, you would click that link, which would bring you into a deep link within United that would have all your data and information. Then you would just simply click that and you would immediately be checked in. So this is really incredible stuff.

This Schema data that they’re working with can be written in either microformats or JSON. There is also a tie-in to Google Now, which is Goggle’s push data. The byline for Google Now is Instant Information right when you need it. Users are going to be able to type in “my dinner reservations” or “my flights” or “my events” to get quick answers and the users search can bring in personalized information from Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar and Google+. Of course, all of this is thrown into panic if we start talking about the NSA because now everything is connected within Goggle. But we’ll get into that a little later. I don’t want to have a whole discussion on that.

For developers, Google is actively looking for good use cases. Now there is a slight issue here because it seems like Google has jumped the gun in defining some of these standard processes and they’re not actually ready to be live within schema.org. There is an approval process, and some of these features have not actually been approved through Schema. So Goggle is trying to kind of do it on their own. Hopefully, Schema will nip that in the bud and stop them from doing stuff like that because everybody benefits when Schema becomes standardized.

Yandex

Yandex is also working on a similar type of action integration. I haven’t mentioned Yandex in the past, but they are actually the Russian comparable to Goggle. They are also part of the coalition for Schema, and I know I’ve mentioned that the coalition is Google, Yahoo and Bing, but I’ve left out Yandex. That was my fault. They are a major player in schema. They’re calling their Schema integration Islands. They’ve got a really funny video introducing the concept to their Russian audience. It’s not really a funny video; overly dramatic might be a better description. Anyway, you can check it out on Vimeo. I guess Vimeo works a bit differently. You go to Vimeo.com/66087548#.

We’re going to include Yandex in more and more of our conversations because their staff just seems to be cooler. That might just be a European thing compared to the Goggle nerds that are running the place over at GooglePlex. But the Yandex guys seem to have that European flair. You’ll have to check out the video.

Hacker News

Moving on to Hacker News. It looks like at Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC), in San Francisco, which I believe took place last week, Apple announced a completely revitalized lock screen for iOS 7, which is currently only available to developers. But in less than 48 hours, a 36-year-old hacker named Jose Rodriguez was able to bypass the pass code screen and access the photos on the device. What really amazes me here is that this is a complete testament to just how vulnerable security is online and on mobile.

There is another interesting story with the NSA. It seems that a former NSA software developer, Craig Heffner, says there is a zero day vulnerability to nearly all digital video surveillance currently on the U.S. market, and probably the world market, including equipment sold by Cisco, D-Link and TrendNet. These video surveillance cameras are located everywhere basically, but particularly in industrial plants, prisons, banks and military facilities. They can all be accessed through the public Internet. He is not revealing anything yet. He is not going to give anything away, but he is going to talk at the Hacking Conference in July, where he is going to outline these issues. But essentially a hacker could freeze frame the video signal and gain access through that to the entire network. Obviously, that is a huge vulnerability that he has figured out. He’s going to be presenting it to the right people who can then do a patch.

The Main Event/Rant of the Week

WordPress NYC MeetupI want to spend some time on my main focus for this week. I go to a lot of Meet Ups. Meetup.com is a great website where people can join together under specific subjects. I go to the technology one, but the subjects can really range from sports to diseases (meaning that maybe you suffer from the same ailment) to entrepreneurs to just about anything. You can start a Meet Up and people will go to it if you grow a good base. I go to the WordPress NYC Meet Up and that one easily has 100 people every single time at their meetings. I also go to a smaller Meet Up. It’s called the Affiliate Summit Meet Up, but it’s actually not associated with Affiliate Summit, the conference that I’m going to be at. I think that at some point, the founders of Affiliate Summit kind of got the idea – and probably rightfully so – that if you create all these different meet ups, the name Affiliate Summit kind of helps in the search ranking. And there’s a lot of benefit to having a meet up under that name.

The only caveat to that is that if nobody from your staff is actually personally running it, then you don’t really know if it’s sending the right message. That’s not the case here. It is run very well, and we get great speakers. We had a great speaker this last month. What I want to talk about today is social faux pas in both affiliate marketing and at some of these meet ups. Believe, me I am extremely sympathetic to social awkwardness. You might be listening to this right now and thinking, “Oh, he’s so energetic, he’s so interesting, he must be great at parties.” I am not. I am terribly socially awkward in groups and large gatherings. I’m much better one-on-one, as I’m sure most people are. But I wouldn’t say I’m as socially awkward as some of the people that I’ve met whether at these Meet Ups or just in life who really have a tough time. They sometimes don’t even understand that they have a tough time, which makes it even worse. I have a voice in the back of my head says, “Oh, you’re socially awkward.” So I’m trying to improve upon my social abilities at these events because of that nervousness. Other people don’t have that, so they aren’t able to try to fix that.

This rant is kind of centered around one particular event that occurred at this Meet Up. The Meet Up was great. The place where we meet is really good. It’s a great facility. The speaker was fantastic. To me, when you’re a speaker and there’s an audience, there needs to be a little bit of a wall. You’re doing a presentation to educate people so that they understand the benefits of why you’re talking. And if you have a group of 100 people or less or even more, you’re going to have different people who might not understand that, right? And my big pet peeve is that if you need to ask a question, just wait until I’m done presenting. I have a set amount of things that I need to say. After that, I can spend all the rest of the time on questions.

However, that isn’t even touching on the social awkwardness. That occurred, but it occurs at every meeting and every conference. So there are two types of socially awkward people. The first type are those people who haven’t really educated themselves on what the subject matter is and therefore may not be able to ask questions at a level where there is the ability to answer without kind of hand-holding. So if you came into a conference about HTML and you start your question off with, “I’ve never used HTML,” that is probably a really good sign that you are not at the stage yet to ask questions. Now I’ve been in the industry for a very, very long time. And it’s still daunting for me to raise my hand in a large group and say, “I’ve got a couple of questions,” because I don’t want to be perceived as lacking knowledge. Yet everyone has a limit to what they understand until it is explained to them. I would just say that questions need to be held until the end.

So let’s get to the main social faux pas that occurred. This was an hour-long presentation, and at the end of the presentation, with just five minutes left, someone walked in. He was not even someone who necessarily knew that that particular meeting was taking place, but instead started talking to the host. He asked a couple of questions, and the host said, “Well, I’ll answer those questions afterwards.” There was a presentation going on, and it was very obvious that there were people listening to the speaker. But this guy comes in and immediately starts asking a whole bunch of questions. And so I’m thinking, “Oh boy. Here we go. Here’s one of these people who is in the wrong place and is going to disrupt everything.” He didn’t even sit down for a minute before he had a question for the presenter. Now you have to realize that the presenter has been speaking for almost 55 minutes and you’ve come in and you have a question. That is inappropriate. It doesn’t matter what the question is. But what the question actually was ended up being a self-promotion of his services. Not really his services. I don’t even know for sure because I turned myself off at the moment. I said to myself, “Okay, this person is disruptive.” And I tuned out.

But it was a question that led to a kind of self-description of his situation. Then that continued after the presentation where he went to each individual person and pushed his wares on people. Terribly inappropriate. It was just amazing to me. Now should someone have stepped in? Yes.  They didn’t. That’s why I need to talk about it because I found it very disruptive. I’m sure you’ve all been in the same situation, and you’ve been involved in these types of things. I understand. We don’t like to get in the face of people who seem to be having a tough time and he definitely seemed like he was having a tough time. But there has to be point at which you say, “Look. You’re being disruptive. You’re out of turn. You need to cool down.”

It’s very interesting. When I went to the Affiliates Summit meeting, they had two microphones at either side of the big room and they basically said, “We’re going to have 20 minutes. Anybody can come up here and promote themselves or promote their affiliate brand or promote the affiliates that they work with.” Great. Excellent. Because I can tune in and tune out as I want. But that’s not what happened here. This person honestly looked like he had come out of a 1960’s movie as a news reporter. It was a moderate day out, but he was wearing a trench coat. It was just a mess.

So I just needed to relay that. I needed to express my disappointment at myself for not stopping that. For not going over and saying, ‘What are you doing? This is inappropriate.” I don’t want to be pointed at as the bad guy. Obviously, this guy is having a tough time, so just let him speak. Well, by the time he got around to me – I’d avoided him at every corner and hadn’t even gotten in the elevator with him and it was obvious that I was the only person he hadn’t hit up for this sales pitch. So when he got to me, I just did my New York thing and excused myself from the group I was talking to. I waved to them and I walked away. I just walked down the street and I went home because I didn’t want to be the crazy one who got in this guy’s face.

So that’s my story of the week. It’s a little bit of a rant. It’s a little bit of an education for people. Just before you open your mouth, ask yourself: Is this is the right venue? Am I being appropriate? So that’s my rant. I love doing this podcast, by the way, if you can’t tell. But now let’s move on to the App Highlight.

App Highlight

First of all, my App Highlight is an apology to Grammerly. I gave a review of Grammerly vs. Copyscape. I said, “Oh, I can’t believe they’re charging this much. I can’t believe that this is basically the same as I can get on Copyscape.” But it’s not. I don’t know why I said that. So I had a little bird in my ear that was chirping away saying to try it out and test it out to see if you like it. And sure enough, it really is a very good piece of software. Yes, it does the plagiarism very, very well. I would almost say possibly better than Copyscape, but it has this whole other set of capabilities including sentence structure and grammar that really is excellent. I started using it, and I really like it. So that’s my apology to Grammerly.

Duck Duck GoThe app segment I want to talk about today is DuckDuckGo, which isn’t in itself an app, but it is a search engine. What’s really interesting is that the fallout from the NSA PRISM scandal is having a sociological effect that’s benefiting DuckDuckGo. If you’re not familiar with DuckDuckGo, they are a private search engine. Many people are moving to private search engines and away from Google. Despite the adamant statement from all the major search engines that they are not giving data away willy nilly, many people have just had it. DuckDuckGo is the most known of these private search engines, and it’s got a pretty cute name to boot. It’s seen record traffic in recent weeks since this scandal. It even had a record best day of 3 million searches doubling previously recorded daily traffic before the scandal broke.

From the date of the launch of DuckDuckGo, which was just a couple of years ago, it took 1,445 days to reach 1 million searches. It took another 483 days to hit 2 million searches and then only 8 days to surpass 3 million searches – this is per day – because of the scandal. They also have a great link on their homepage. They actually have two great links on their homepage. You go to DuckDuckGo.com and click on their search anonymously. It brings you to donttrack.us, which gives an example of a searcher using the word “herpes.” So when you then click on a link, your search term is usually sent to that site, along with browser and computer information, which can often identify you, the user.

“That’s creepy, but who cares about some random site? Well, those sites usually have third-party ads. Those third-party ads build profiles about you. That’s why those ads follow you everywhere.”

Not only is that creepy because of the search that you did, but your profile can also be sold and potentially show up in unwanted places like higher prices when getting insurance. So they’re basically saying that you’re going to get higher prices for insurance because you did a search on herpes. Then it remembers your searches, such as for bankruptcy. Goggle saves those, and the saved searches can then be legally requested and then come back to bite you. Or a bad Google employee could go snooping. Obviously, we know now that the NSA is also snooping. Or Goggle could get hacked. And that’s why DuckDuckGo doesn’t send your searches to other sites or store any personal information about you. That’s in their privacy policy. It says,

“Don’t get tracked when searching. Use DuckDuckGo instead. Add it to your browser. Privacy is just one of the many reasons why it’s awesome.”

Another awesome thing is their other link, Find Instantly, which brings up a very cool thing called Duck Duck Goodies. Goodies are special search queries that give you instant answers on top. “If you have an idea of something new, please suggest it”. So Everyday Goodies: Calculations: 20% tip on $21.63; 64 x 343. Basic calculations. If I click on Geography, it says: How long is the longest river? How many countries on earth? How tall is Mount Everest? I guess this is all data that’s being provided. I don’t know where they’re getting that data, but obviously it’s not track-able by the individual. So that’s DuckDuckGo. I’m going to start using it. Obviously, it’s hard to separate myself from the parasite that is Google, especially since I use Goggle Drive and Google Gmail and all the applications that are now available. They’ve got plenty of data on me anyway, but maybe on my searches, I’m going to take a break and not use Goggle. Instead, I’ll use DuckDuckGo.

We’re wrapping up for today. Again, this is Jonathan Goodman.  You can follow me @HalyardConsult on Twitter. New episodes of The World of Internet Marketing can be heard every Friday. You can access the archives of my previous shows on Spreaker.com – user name Jonathan Goodman. The podcast is also available with transcription at halyardconsulting.com and geekcast.fm one week after the episode airs. I’ll be speaking at Affiliate Summit East on August 18-20 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA and also PubCon Las Vegas on October 21-25 at the Las Vegas Convention Center South Halls.  Thank you all for listening to another episode of The World of Internet Marketing. Don’t forget to pick up my book The World of Internet Marketing on Amazon and if you like this podcast please share it with your network of friends and family. Have a great week.

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