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Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Facebook and Twitter: Parallels and What Can SmallBiz Learn From Them?

Monday, April 18th, 2011

According to Cnet, Twitter is disorganized. Now I’m not entirely sure the article is true, but I figured that I could trust Cnet and since they included a link to a Fortune article it looks like it checks out. So, what’s going on with Twitter? Some claim they don’t, exactly, know what they’re doing. There’s a lot of speculation going on, such as some higher-ups spying. Cnet seems to speculate that Twitter is trying to emulate  The Social Network. That’s probably not the case. So, what’s really going on with Twitter?

So, Twitter has trouble amongst the higher ups. That’s not surprising. Many startups seem to have that happen especially during a meteoric rise. Remember Facebook? There was some serious chaos going on at Facebook a couple of years ago and Facebook was about the same age as Twitter is now.

However, the difference between Facebook and Twitter is that some argue that Twitter lacks a powerful visionary heading the company. Facebook has Zuckerberg, who, practically, built Facebook according to his vision.  Observers claim that Twitter does not have that. Facebook has apparently learned from it’s mistakes and has become a stronger company. Twitter is trying to get there, but some may be fearing that it doesn’t look like anyone wants to take charge.  In some ways, Twitter’s investors seem to have more influence over what the company does.

Twitter’s problem seems to be that there are too many men (they’re all male) in positions of power and from the outside at least not a single one of them has been willing to take charge. There are other issues that Twitter has to deal with too, such as the need to sustain growth, prove themselves as a sustainable revenue generating company etc. However, these issues are common for nearly every young company.

Is Twitter a service that is being kept afloat by a trend?  From the outside some say it looks pretty unstable and this management issue could distract it further. Like any company, Twitter needs practical and strong leadership. However, whoever takes that position will have to deal with another problem: balancing Twitter’s malleability, where it’s users decide what they want to do with it and what Twitter’s users want out of Twitter.  That will ultimately prove whether Twitter can succeed.

So, what can a small business learn from all of this?

First, that it’s important to have a clear plan and vision of where your company is going.

Second, make sure that there is someone who is clearly in charge and providing leadership as we discussed in a previous post about 10 leadership traits in a startup or small business.

Third, know that problems will happen. Almost nothing goes smoothly when running a business. Factor that in when making plans.

Lastly, in tough times work to pull teams together to focus on the future rather than start finger pointing about what happened in the past.  Here is a prior post we did on building the right team at a startup that discusses the importance of having a good team at your business.

What do you think about all of this?

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Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

WANTED: Your Confidential & Sensitive Data

Friday, April 8th, 2011

Guess what? Your credit card number is less valuable to attackers today. Too bad they still want it, along with you Facebook credentials. We know this how? Recently Symantec released another security report. The security report said that the price of stolen credit cards dropped dramatically from previous years. The drop off is due to numerous factors, but one thing that seems to stand out is the amount of credit cards there are in circulation. Since there are so many credit cards avaliable, these sellers have to lower their prices if they want customers.

However, while credit cards have dropped in value, peoples social network credentials are becoming more valuable. During the past year, botnets were seen sweeping Facebook and other social networking sites for login credentials. Why are peoples social network credentials in demand? If attackers gain social network credentials, they can then use those platforms to launch malware attacks and spam campaigns. These attacks are often more successful. Why? Since many people divulge a lot of personal information on sites like these, an attacker can comb through a user’s profile and imitate them well enough to fool people into clicking on links that have malware embedded in them.

Since many of these malicious link are shortened, it is a challenge for social networks to determine which of the shortened links are trustworthy.  Remember that article I wrote on hacking toolkits? Well many of these toolkits are used to initiate these malware attacks, because many of them use Java. Since Java can run on almost any platform and browser, this means that these attacks cannot really be avoided by switching platforms or browsers. All of the toolkits have a high infection rate, which means that the infections can spread very fast and to a wide number of users if the toolkits are used. Social networks are also targeted because they enable attackers to get access to business information which can then be used to get sensitive data from those businesses attacked.

One platform that has not quite been hit by attacks is the mobile platform. Currently, very many people do not not use their mobile devices for online banking and other sensitive data transactions. Thus there is no real incentive for attackers to seriously target mobile devices. (They still do target them and the number of attacks is increasing, but there have not really been any widespread attacks.) However, as mobile devices become more sophisticated and as more users start using them for online banking and other sensitive data transactions, attackers will quickly start targeting mobile devices in rapid numbers.

What do you think of this?

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Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Ramblings of a Self-Diagnosed Insomniac

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

As a freshman business major at the University of Maryland, I am proud to say that I now have over a semesters’ worth of college experience under my belt. Unfortunately, that also means that I have a semesters’ worth of late nights: long hours in the study lounge, more coffee than I’d like to admit, and of course, that inevitable moment when your school’s website goes down an hour before the assignment is due. Of course.

Oh, the joys of being a college student in the 21st century! My friends and I love to “reminisce” about the days when assignments were due in class instead of online, at midnight. As a college student, don’t I have the right to pull a couple all-nighters?

We often hear that our society is so rapidly changing because of the technology that enables us to research, communicate, and collaborate so efficiently. However, does the Internet really benefit my schoolwork? Most of the time I would say definitely, but sometimes I wonder…especially if you consider the way that sites like Facebook and StumbleUpon fuel my procrastination.

It is for this very reason that I’m excited to be on board with KikScore, which is a company that hopes to revolutionize the way that people interact with the net.  Is it possible to harness the power of technology “good” and not “evil?” Well, of course…I just can’t wait to learn how.

Hi, my name is Jacelyn.  I’m new here and it’s very nice to meet you.

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Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

So Maybe I was Wrong…Over 7 Million iPads Sold in the 4th Quarter of 2010

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Just over 9 months ago on this very blog, I proclaimed that the “iPad is iCrap” and wondered aloud why anyone would be so dumb as to purchase one of these new fangled tablet computers.  Well, while I still think that, for me, the iPad is a non-essential gadget…I guess 7,330,000 other people in the 4th quarter of 2010 disagreed with me because all of them bought one! 

Yes, the iPad IS officially another success story for Apple, and yes it DID probably revolutionize the PC market once again for Apple, and oh yea it IS probably the hottest new gadget in the tech industry since the iPhone and iPad.  All of these things may be true but I am happy to say that not a day goes by that I wish I had one!

Another interesting tidbit that I wanted to pass along today that made me realize how massive the Interweb (my fancy name for the Internet) really is: Did you know that 70% of Facebook’s user base reside outside of the United States!?!?  Maybe this is just me being naive or maybe it is because I am one of the last Americans to NOT have a Facebook account, but this really shocked me…I mean to the point where I actually read this sentence again to make sure I didn’t read it wrong.  For some reason I always assumed that Facebook was a mostly America-centric social application but obviously I was wrong again there too!

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Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Advertising Evolves to Become More Effective and Relevant Amidst Privacy Concerns

Monday, January 17th, 2011

If you own a house in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area or any state where door-to-door soliciting is legal, there’s a good chance you’ve had your fair share of canvassers come knock on your door. If the canvasser introduced himself as Mike and tried to say something about a free estimate for windows before you told him to get lost, we’ve probably already met. Like myself years ago, most canvassers are teenagers in high-school, attracted by the commission-based pay and opportunity to work outside. A backlash against door-to-door marketing has grown as disenchanted workers and homeowners accused companies of exploiting unskilled youth labor and invading personal privacy. Minors are barred from canvassing and telemarketing in many states, according to the US Department of Labor

Since beginning college at American University, I’ve left the unfortunate trade of canvassing in favor of unpaid internships that do not induce ego rot caused by constant rejection by cold-call leads. The state of advertising has evolved since, becoming more personalized by utilizing the personal information that most Americans make available online. Cold call marketing, such as through telemarketing and canvassing, is being replaced by personalized ads on the internet. Business owners are no longer left to shoot in the dark. Facebook has pioneered this front by allowing businesses to create ads (using this simple form) that appear to users based on personal information posted in their profiles. Although I’ve discovered a few good bands through these ads, aimed specifically toward me because I like 50+ artists, most are no more relevant than anything I’d expect to hear from a telemarketer. Despite Facebook’s efforts to deliver relevant ads, promotions for Methadone treatment and Doom Metal bands still make their way to bewildered consumers.

Those who have seen Steven Speilberg’s film adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s Minority Report remember a scene where Tom Cruise is immediately identified by ubiquitous retina scanners when walking into a mall, and bombarded with personal advertisements. “Hey, Tom, you really look like you could use a Guinness.”

embedded by Embedded Video

YouTube Video

With the consistently growing presence of advertisements in our culture, this dystopia may be an accurate prediction of the future for consumers. Is Facebook already crossing the line by utilizing users’ personal information to direct advertisements? Or is this a better alternative to being harassed by telemarketers and canvassers?

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Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Apparently Facebook and Android do not go well together and other Social Media Risks

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

It’s Facebook. Again. This time it’s a vector for smartphone malware.  According to an article on PC world,  since the Android is more open source than either the iPhone or the Blackberry, it’s more prone to getting malware.  Apparently BitDefender called Facebook the largest mobile malware….Facebook has a lot of problems doesn’t it? The malware gets on the devices through bad links on Facebook, since the malware is platform independent.

So here’s a refresher on Social Media risks.

  • Turns out scams are more common then we think. Twitter accounts get hacked, malicious links get posted and so does Facebook. However, both sites are trying to improve their security.
  • Many people often use the same password for numerous sites. We get it, it’s hard to remember so many passwords. So, write them down on a piece of paper or in a journal(do people keep those anymore?) and stick it somewhere safe.
  • Don’t give too much information out either. Those vacation plans of yours, they might be better written down in an word/excel document and stored on your computer.
  • Don’t post comments when angry! (They get around) And if it’s something really bad, there will be consequences. It’s fine to say something about how your toast was burnt this morning and how you hate burnt toast, but it’s another thing to say something about your company, your significant other, etc..
  • Don’t click on any funny links! See a status  update about how a friend needs money because her car got stolen in Chicago? Call them and check to see if it’s true. Most of the time, it isn’t. (This happened to me once. Turns out she really did need the money.)
  • Make sure your company has a flexible Social Media security policy. Technology keeps on changing, so a flexible policy is a good policy!
  • Keep up to date on the latest Social Media scams and threats. People keep coming up with new ones all the time!

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Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Fans, Followers and Actual Customers For Your Small Business

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

I’m looking forward to the new Facebook expose movie, The Social Network.  Why?  Because if I can’t be a billionaire like Mark Zuckerberg, I may as well get to revel in a less than flattering depiction in a  “historically inspired” film.  Now let’s be clear, if KikScore becomes half as successful as facebook, I’ll act way worse than Mr. Zuckerberg.  I’ll not even mind a movie painting me to be a rich recluse.

In thinking about Facebook, its impact on our social lives is obvious.  But its impact on small business is also growing.  As with Twitter, one of the first thing a business now does is to request individuals to become a fan, follower or friend to the business.  Now its still not clear as to what that actually does for the business in terms of credibility, but it is a growing trend. But trust aside, having your customers as your social network friends/followers keeps a business closer to its customers and what they are thinking.

The real business question is which should you focus on:  Facebook or Twitter?  In a perfect world you could do both.  But in a perfect world, you wouldn’t have to update your status, it would always just say “rich and retired”.  Twitter seems to have taken the initial lead, with companies using it for customer service response.  But Facebook is coming on strong, with more companies using the multi-media demension of FB to tell more of a story than microblogging can.

So I pose the question to you:  for your small business, is it Facebook or Twitter.

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Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Twitter-bay-zon…Twitter, eBay and Amazon Combined into One App!

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

I was reading this TechCrunch article today about how Amazon just incorporated a Facebook tab/section into their website so that customers can supply their Facebook account information and then automatically see what their friends’ wish lists are or what CD their friends just purchased so they can buy it too.  I thought that this development was interesting because it is basically the largest eCommerce company integrating with the largest Social Networking company in this way and it could mark the beginning of a new trend.

What would be some more interesting eCommerce/Social Networking “mash-ups” that we could dream up here?  Another interesting match-up that I thought of in this area was the combination of Twitter and eBay.  I think that it would be very useful for people that are trying to sell a product in an auction on eBay to be able to automatically broadcast this auction over Twitter real-time as bids are being made.  To get a little crazier here we could even add an Amazon integration into the mix where users could see live streaming tweets on an Amazon product page of the same item being sold on eBay!  Let’s call it “Twitter-Bay-Zon”!

On second thought, I am guessing that Amazon wouldn’t be too happy about this partnership I just proposed here as it would directly interfere with the current used-item marketplace that they already have, but I think you are catching my drift here.  Are we about to see a major melding of the eCommerce and Social Networking companies online?  I think that it only makes sense and would lead to increased sales, advertising, and users for everyone involved…so why not?

Here are a couple more eCommerce/Social Networking mash-ups that I just thought of that would be interesting: MySpace & Amazon and YouTube & NetFlix. What are some other partnerships like this that you see forming in the next 5 years?  What company could you see your business partnering with to get an advantage over your competition in the same way?

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Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Sometimes the Best Security is Common Sense

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

This past weekend I spent a lot of time online researching software.  Sounds pretty uneventful (even a bit nerdy).  But unfortunately, I was doing the research after I purchased it and attempted to load it on my computer.  At that point McAfee warned me that many users have indicated that the software (that I paid $70 for) was malware/spyware.  Then and only then did I have the bright idea to research the service.  Wouldn’t you know it, I just paid $70 to infect my home computer.  I’m not stupid (not always), so why did I do this?  Because a friend recommended the software — and he seemed savvy, so I blindly bought without researching the service or the company. 

A recent posting by PC World shows that I’m not alone.  Routinely consumers share sensitive personal information on social media sites, in blog posts and responding to phishing scams.  In fact almost 40% of surveyed users indicated that they have posted their full birth dates (including year) on a social media site.  At the same time I bet most of these people shred their bills and sensitive mail.  Why even bother…you’re basically emailing fraudsters the keys to your house when you provide personal identifying information online.  In fact, that’s happened too, where people have been robbed by FaceBook “friends” after indicating that they are going on vacation. 

Without revealing any sensitive information about yourself, please share any unintentional disclosures you have made online.

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Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Small Biz Thankful List

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

bush_turkey

In honor of the day, we are doing our KikScore Small Business Thankful List.  These companies, tools and sites have been helpful for us or other start-up businesses we work with.  Clearly this isn’t an exhaustive list (and feel free to add your own in the comments).  So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, we here at KikScore are thankful for:

1.  MyBusinessAssistant.com – helping out small businesses manage their, well, their business — via their virtual assistant service

2.  Shustir.com – creating a unique online marketplace and community for new and small businesses.

3.  Design2Print — did a great job on our marketing gear.

4.  Freeconference.com — Free and Conference, need I say more.

5.  WordPress — allowing small business to create an inexpensive way to spread the word.

6.  Twitter/Facebook — I’ll start talking about it soon enough, but social media has been wonderful for KikScore and Small Business in general.

7.  YouTube — allowing Small Biz to create and distribute their own commercials without buying a slew of server space.

8.  Google — providing research resources that 20 years ago would have cost thousands of dollars.

9.  iPhone — providing Small Biz a reasonable excuse for dropping calls (and it’s a pretty handy tool).

10.  oDesk — providing some relief to our development team, with providing a marketplace for Tech contractors.

11.  Minnesota Vikings — because Small Businesses love a winner (okay, i’m throwing that in there to see if anyone is actually reading this).

12.  MicroSoft BizSpark — providing KikScore and a lot of startups, a lot of free software (we really like groove…check it out)

Here’s hoping you’re having a great holiday…we’re most thankful for our readers and customers.

Team KikScore

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