Category Archives: Socail Networking

Keeping Up To Date

A lot of my time is spent keeping up to date with the changes in the marketplace in which I conduct my business, the Internet. One of the major changes I have monitored for some time is the rise of mobile devices for accessing the web. When you keep in mind the fact that Gen Y is now all over 21 and GenZ have all grown up with mobile phones and the web, YouTube and what have you, not keeping up with technology and web use is like shooting yourself in the foot and saying it helps you hop better.

Another consideration is video. Forget swathes of text unless there is a nice image to catch the reader’s attention. Even better if you can communicate your message through video. Moving pictures, talkies, call it what you like; a picture is worth a thousand words and a moving talking one a heck of a lot more. I just had a book trailer video made and it is helping the book get noticed and bought far more than a tweet of 140 characters alone. I tweeted the video link and got a lot more hits than when I tweeted the launch of the book with the cover photo and far more than the test tweet with no cover shot.

Watch the video from Social Visibility Online and give it some serious consideration. It really is timely advice you should pay attention to if you want to do anything online and hope to have any success at. The number of people competing for your potential customer’s dollar grows every minute as the World wide Web is forever expanding and what the ‘guru’s’ are selling as the latest, sure fire way to make a million online stopped working for them a year ago, right about the time they figured they could make money from you selling the ‘secrets’ of what worked (past tense) for them. SVO’s CEO Chris Bennetts is telling you what is working now and what will be the way forward.

Eat The Rich

First of all the censorship of a certain category of books under threat at Smashwords and elsewhere by PayPal is not driven by Smashwords or PayPal. I am disgusted to read that some writers of this category have been abusing and accusing Mark Coker, Smashwords founder and CEO, of being responsible. Even PayPal is not the culprit, it is the credit card providers and thus the banks behind them. Once again the big bankstas hit the little guy.

This is about hurting the indie book publisher, make no mistake. I was accused last night of being a conspiracy theorist because I believe there is a valid argument that the big publishers, who put a lot of business through the banks, have exerted pressure for the banks to force credit/debit card payment processors like PayPal to cut out this category. It is part of a category that has seen major growth from indie publishers and and writers. Obviously it threatens the bottom line of the big publishers. If they weren’t afraid they wouldn’t attack. This is why it didn’t happen four of five years ago. Back then the indie publishing industry was not a big enough threat to their control of the industry. Now eBooks and self-published/small publishing house books are threatening their domination.

Amazon doesn’t use PayPal but they do use credit cards so expect them to be next, if they haven’t already banned the relevant category. This is censorship by stealth,this is monopolizing by the back door. It happened before in teh good ole US of A. A few years ago they snuck the IMBRA bill in on the back of a bill nobody could argue against,one for the protection of women in domestic violence situations if I recall. But IMBRA attacked penpal sites that introduced US men to foreign women. The excuse was because these women are exploited and murdered and sadly a few have been. But so too foreign men marrying women in Russia and the Philippines and elsewhere once they realise the woman was already married and just after a Greencard and their money. Abuse was two way and neither is right but the IMBRA law only targeted the little guy. Big penpal service providers like Yahoo Groups and other didn’t have to comply, only the little ones, usually run by a US man and his foreign bride wife to help other women from her area find a foreign husband and escape poverty, have a better life etc. The bill was hidden at the back of a huge document, passed at 3am or something and was basically a way for the big penpal agencies to get rid of the small time competition. It was the sneaky way the power was wielded that upset many. This is no different. Again the big power wields its might to club the little guy.

Plenty of people see nothing wrong with this,that this is the way of the world, that credit providers have the right to choose who they will do business with and who they won’t. They are correct, but they are not right. This is not right because it is an abuse of power. It is ‘might equals right’ at work.Yes it is the way of the world but that doesn’t mean we should accept it. The world has been a tough place since Day 1 but we have fought hard to make it a better place to be. We used to have 6 yer olds working 14 hour days in the Poorhouse for the debts of their parents but not any more. We used to treat our women little differently in many ways to how they still suffer in tribal areas of Pakistan, Afghanistan and even in urban areas of these and other countries, but not any more. We used to consider our women as chattel goods the husband or oldest brother could do with as they wished, even marry them off and keep any payments, but not any more.

I could go on but the message is surely clear. This is the thin edge of the wedge. Now it is a certain category dealing with three or four specific subjects. What’s next? Who’s next? Will the banks deny credit to small pharmacies? Little mom and pop corner stores? Will they claim these family businesses often exploit the children of the owners, forcing them to work behind the counter after school and this is their moral justification? Or any small business because the owners don’t employ enough people or some other, spurious justification to wipe out the little guys. Let’s face it, even with computers dong all the work, it is easier to have a handful of huge clients like Wal-Mart and Costco than it is to have hundreds of thousands of small stores putting their take through their accounts every business day.

Bottom line, don’t blame the wrong people, fire your arrows and throw your brickbats at the right target, the mega rich banks and the mega rich bankers. Not the teller behind the counter trying to hold onto her job as more and more jobs are cut and sent overseas. Not the help desk person who is one of the few left in your own country as more and more jobs are outsourced to people who might speak English, but it isn’t the same language. Not their fault and they are only trying to feed their families too. No, blame the rich who are not like you and me and can’t comprehend how we can not accept we are here to serve them. Didn’t someone once say “eat the rich”? I know what they meant.


Sued For Social Network

I just read this article about a man who is being sued by a former employer for taking his Twitter followers with him when he left his job. It is not a simple situation as there was an arrangement in place between the two parties but what it does do is raise the issue of the whole impact of social networking. Who owns the traffic? Did you tweet on company time or during your breaks? If you write something for your employer while employed by them they own it. It is known as writing for hire. I worked with a writer who refused to write anything of his own, even on his own time and own computer, while employed by the company we worked for as content writers. He was paranoid they would try and claim his work as their own if he were to leave and they chose to do so. That might be a long shot but if you work for an American company or are American, it is possible. They are pretty litigious over there, afterall.

So what about your social networking? Say you have your own Twitter account and thousands of followers who hang off your every tweet. You mention who you work for and these loyal followers go out and buy something from the company. Sales skyrocket and they realise it is thanks to your Twitter account. They say, sure, go ahead, mention us again, no sweat. Then after this happens a few times you decide to get a new job. They say you are free to leave but we own your Twitter account and your 100,000 followers and they are worth $2.50 a tweet to us, each. So that is $250,000 you owe us.

Social networking is the big thing at the moment and corporations are beginning to twig to the potential. Be very careful if you still have a ‘day job’ and you are promoting your writing via your Facebook or Twitter account, especially if you tweet or post on the company’s time. If you are paid to work for them, then do the right thing. Tweet on your break, or better yet, keep it for the train going home. Remember that nowadays Big Brother is not only watching, he just might want a piece of the action!