Google plus is a minus

Google+ book by Guy Kawasaki
Most people in my workshops have either not heard of Google+ or do nothing after signing up. They feel this way because like 850 million other people, they invested heavily in Facebook profiles Google’s new social network arrived. They lament, not another social network, another profile to update. Does anyone even remember Orkut?

Google+ launched in June 2011, 7 years after Facebook, and 8 years after LinkedIn opened their doors. What many South Africans may not know is that it’s the big G’s second attempt at social networking after the failure of Orkut launched in 2004. For me Google+ is not valuable because nobody cares enough to spend real time on it. When I post an update, I do not even look at who comments.

The value of a social network is proportional to the engagement from you and your network. So when you post and nobody responds, the value is low to almost nothing – there is no engagement without feedback or sharing. After listening to investor Roger McNamee during a Bloomberg (DStv channel 411) interviewed, it confirmed my original scepticism.

Before it launched to the public, you required a Google+ invitation to join. This was the same way Gmail launched, and it was a form of permission marketing (thanks Seth Godin) that worked for the email product. For Google+ it’s become more of a form of spamming people into creating profiles.

Bruce Mubayiwa, a LinkedIn consultant, thinks Google+ prospects could get more interesting as Google increases integration. He believes there are plans to weave in Google Analytics and this could increase usage of Google+ overall.

The key realisation is that managing multiple social networks is unproductive. In the 21st century time or attention is the most valuable resource, not gold or silver. Microsoft and Google face substantial challenges as global usage of the Web moves away from the Desktop to apps on smartphones and tablets. That means more and more Internet users bypass search engines because they engage from their Twitter or Facebook apps directly.

Google must do whatever it takes to catch-up with Facebook. People have agreed to give enormous amounts of personal information to Facebook. In return Facebook gives them an online social experience like no other. In contrast Google is not where you go to connect with your family or friends. You use it mostly to search for information, maybe send emails and get on with the favourite social network or shopping site.

How to Stay Safe on the Internet

These days, Internet users have a lot more to be concerned about than the simple viruses of yesteryear. Trojans, phishing scams, spoofing, and other forms of spyware or malware can all present a security threat that starts from simply clicking on a link.

Unfortunately, antivirus and antispyware programs can’t protect us from all of these threats when we’re out there surfing, emailing, online banking or social networking. The following tips will help you stay safe on the Internet and think twice about the data you put out there that can put you at risk of fraud, identity theft, and other online criminal justice infractions.

Make Sure Your Programs Are Updated

It’s important to ensure that your operating system, software and antivirus are set to automatically enable program updates/patches. Otherwise, your system is vulnerable to hackers, new viruses, and other malware.

Beware of Suspicious Links

Most people know not to open attachments from suspicious emails or emails of an unknown source. However, you should also avoid clicking on links from emails of an unknown source or suspicious-looking links on instant messenger or social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. These links can install programs which steal information from your computer.

Beware of Emails Prompting Sign-In

You should also avoid clicking on links in emails that purport to be from a financial institution and want you to sign into the site via their email. For example, if you receive an email from your bank or PayPal prompting you to sign in via a link in the email, it could be a phishing scam that spoofs the sign-in interface of the site to get your passwords and information.

Choose Passwords that Combine Letters and Numerals

Passwords that are words or phrases can be easily hacked. To ensure tighter security when surfing the Net, choose passwords with a letter-numeral combination for your email, banking and social networking accounts.

Use Bookmarks for Regular Sites

So many spoof sites can replicate the exact look and feel of PayPal, eBay, Facebook and online banking that it’s important to double-check the URL prior to entering your password. One way to automatically confirm you’re using the correct site each time you sign in is to set up bookmark tabs on your browser so you can simply click the links to get the official site.

Don’t Send your SSN Over the Internet

Never send your social security number (SSN) via email, instant messenger or social networking sites.

Use Safe Browsers

Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome are considered to be among the safer Internet browsers. They have a wide variety of safety features, including warnings in Google search results of sites that could potentially harm your computer.

Set Your Browser’s Safety Settings to Medium or High

A “high” safety setting on your browser is ideal but can also be too disruptive, constantly checking in with you to confirm program configurations and already-trusted sites. Therefore the most common and recommended setting is between medium and high.

Don’t Advertise Identifiable Information

Social networking sites often prompt users to enter identifiable information on your profile page, including full name, date of birth, hometown, and current location. This information is usually optional and volunteering your correct date of birth can put you at risk of identity theft.

Don’t Advertise your Travel Plans

Bragging about how you only have “six more days til Florida!!!” on Facebook can put you at risk of home invasion as well as online scams. One travel scam in particular involves an individual masquerading as the traveller and contacting his or her family and friends for emergency funds due to a purported mugging or other travel hold-up.

Avoid Downloading Applications on Social Networking Sites

Facebook is especially notorious for prompting users to download applications (“apps”) which may render all of the personally identifying information you’ve provided to Facebook accessible to the third-party app developer. Avoid downloading applications when at all possible.

Choose Public Places for Meeting Online Friends

If you’re meeting someone whom you’ve just met in a chat room, on a social networking site or dating site, pick a public place for your first meeting and let a few friends or family members know where you’re going and what time you expect to be back.

To learn more about law in the online world, check out www.online-law-degree.com.

Sources:

Tips and tricks for staying safe online

Privacy Tips for Social Networking

SMS’ Can Relieve Stressed, Lonely People

SMS’ Can Relieve Stressed, Lonely People

SMS Text Messages Relieve Stressed, Lonely PeopleBERKELEY — Text messaging often gets a bad rap for contributing to illiteracy and high-risk behaviour such as reckless driving. But a social welfare professor at the University of California, Berkeley, has found an upside to texting, especially for people who feel stressed out, isolated and alone.

Text messages in cognitive behaviour therapy can make people feel less isolated

Adrian Aguilera, a clinical psychologist who treats many low-income Latinos for depression and other mental disorders, said his patients report feeling more connected and cared for when they receive text messages asking them to track their moods, reflect on positive interactions, and take their prescribed medications.

“When I was in a difficult situation and I received a message, I felt much better. I felt cared for and supported. My mood even improved,” reported one Spanish-speaking patient in Aguilera’s cognitive behavior therapy group at San Francisco General Hospital.

The project began in 2010 when Aguilera developed a customized “Short Message Service (SMS)” intervention program, with the help of UCSF psychologist Ricardo Munoz,  in which Aguilera’s patients were sent automated text messages prompting them to think and reply about their moods and responses to positive and negative daily interactions.

The psychologists published the results of the project last year in the journal, Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. Aguilera has since been awarded a $75,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

“We are harnessing a technology that people use in their everyday lives to improve mental health in low-income, under-served communities,” said Aguilera, whose passion for addressing mental health issues among the poor was sparked while growing up in a Mexican immigrant community in Chicago.

Recent statistics bear out Aguilera’s outreach strategy. The 2011 Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project survey found that African American and Latino mobile phone owners send and receive more text messages than do Caucasians.

Of the 2,277 adult cell phone users surveyed by the Pew Foundation, the most active senders and receivers of text messages (at least 50 messages a day) were non-whites, earned incomes below $30,000 and did not graduate from high school.

Aguilera came up with the texting idea when he realized that many of his patients had difficulty applying the skills they learned in therapy to their daily lives, possibly because of the many stressors they routinely faced. They could not afford laptops, electronic tablets or smart phones, but most had a basic cellular phone and a prepaid monthly plan.

“The people I wanted to impact directly didn’t have as much access to computers and the Internet,” Aguilera said. “So I thought about using mobile phones to send text messages to remind them to practice the skills covered in therapy sessions.”

The feedback from patients offers new insight into the human need for regular contact or check-ins for mental health professionals, even if only through automated technology, Aguilera said.

While the text-messaging sessions are designed to last only a certain number of weeks, about 75 percent of the patients requested that they continue receiving the messages. When the program stopped for a week due to technical problems, some really noticed the difference.

“When it stopped, I missed it,” the patient reported. “My life is so crazy, I need a reminder to think about how I feel.”

Adrian Aguilera, a UC Berkeley social welfare professor and clinical psychologist

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Faithful friends

Friendship often starts early childhoodFaithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

The best friend you can ever have is a friend who does not always agree with everything you say. You need someone with a different world view, who sees things differently, and is not afraid to speak their mind, even if it opposes your viewpoint.

You are in bad company, if you do not have someone who has the guts to put you straight, when you are going off track. A true friend will tell you the truth, even if it hurts, they will not allow you to continue down a path which will destroy you. if you have friends who just let you do whatever you like and never correct you when you are wrong, you don’t have friends, you have enemies.

Even in a love relationship, God will always pair you with someone with a different world view to stretch you and grow you. You do not need a “Yes man/woman” in your life. You need some one with the guts to tell you straight to your face when you go astray. It will be like medicine, it will not taste good, but it will be good for you. True leaders, don’t surround themselves with cheerleaders, they surround themselves with coaches.

Have a great day, because you are great!

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What Did You Learn In School Today?

Live in Meblourne, AUstralia, a great song written by Tom Paxton. This was over 50 years ago. Not much has changed when it comes to forced compulsory schooling and boys going to war.

The whole point of this song is not just about war, though it makes a good point. Rather that schools, the media, and pblic institutions al sing the same tune viz that we should conform to those belief systems that keep society as it is with rich men running the show. Anyone? who propoese anything different is first laughed at and called naive and foolish, and if this doesn’t silence them called subversive, and unpatriotic, and lastly a traitor and sent to jail. Sadly people conform.

What is NETucation?

NETucation is a campaign to use new ways of education in the Internet age to raise the standards of living in Africa. Our vision is to bring broadband Internet access to over 50% of the African population. According to World Internet Stats, Africa only accounts for 13.5% penetration among it’s 1,037,524,058 people. The rest of the world has 36.1% penetration among 5,892,531,096 people.

This is wrong, and we are working to change that. Join us to grow the use of the Internet.

THRIVE: Entrepreneurs Organisation invitation

Recently I was invited to submit a video for the selection committee of the Vancouver chapter for Entrepreneurs Organisation (EO).

EO is a dynamic global network of more than 8,000 business owners in 40 countries. Founded in 1987 by a group of young entrepreneurs, the year 2012 marks EO’s 25th anniversary. With its transformative experiences and unparalleled peer network, EO transforms the lives of the entrepreneurs who transform the world. EO is the catalyst that enables entrepreneurs to learn and grow from each other, leading to greater business success and an enriched personal life. Membership in one of EO’s 120 chapters is by invitation only; the average member is 41 years old with annual revenues of US$17.3 million.

For more information on EO website visit or call +1.703.519.6700

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