Spirit Led Living

November 3, 2009

ABC’s ‘V’ is a probing look at culture and the need for discernment, says the show’s executive producer.

Filed under: Category — brucebaker111 @ 10:03 pm
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Aliens Among Us

| posted 11/03/2009

You might’ve seen the commercials for ABC’s new alien-invasion series , V (our review), which premieres tonight (8/7c). It’s a reinvention of a 1980s TV series by the same name, but with quite a makeover. This time, the aliens don’t appear scary and lizard-like; they appear like beautiful humans, benign, almost divine—and bringing great promises to a frightened, confused world. Earthlings buy into it, though some remain skeptical—including a priest, one of the central characters, who remind his flock to test all things against the truth of Scripture. (Yes, a priest on mainstream TV actually says that.)

Jeffrey Bell

Jeffrey Bell

CT television critic Todd Hertz recently interviewed V executive producer Jeffrey Bell(The X-Files, Angel, Alias) about the big-idea allegory behind the show’s aliens, the priest’s role in the story, and the power of science fiction .

How does the creative team view the show’s connection with the 1983 miniseries?

When the idea first came up, the vision was to reimagine it and pay respect to it but also to update it, give it relevance. There are differences. The lead characters are different. How the Vs [aliens, or “Visitors”] present themselves is different. How we unfold the plot is different. After all, we couldn’t ignore the fact that the original show is out there. Everyone knows the Visitors have a dastardly plan. It didn’t make sense to anyone to play that card face down. Instead, we thought: Let’s just get to it in the first episode.

The biggest difference between the two franchises is that the original felt like a military show; it was war versus the Vs. But for us, this is about discovery. Our small band of characters sees through the Vs’ plan, but don’t know enough yet to wage any kind of battle. They are still living their lives as cops, priests, etc. and secretly trying to figure out what they’re up against.

The original show was an allegory for the Nazis. What’s the chief allegory here?

It’s the idea of blind devotion. If anyone is showing up and saying something that is too good to be true, are people thinking? Are they asking questions? Are they prepared and informed? How are you deciding who you can believe? In the original, it seemed pretty easy to distinguish between visitors and humans. You knew your friends from foes. That’s because in the early 80s, the idea of an enemy was a united country. A fascist German model for your enemy was a good one. Now, our enemies are not so much countries but groups and factions all over. We can’t tell who is who. They are among us.

And so, the idea of paranoia is huge. In our V, you can’t easily tell who is a V and who isn’t. Some characters don’t know their own significant others or friends are Vs. It could be anyone, anywhere. We think that captures the paranoia of the times.

Whether it is the Vs or any person offering great big promises, anyone merely accepting what is presented to them is especially at risk if the promise has a hidden agenda.It’s not literally a fascist metaphor like it was originally, but it asks the same sort of question: Are you just believing what you are told?

How do you respond to the claim of conservative radio host Laura Ingraham that the Visitors have clear parallels to the Obama administration?

Oh, she said that? Fantastic. Good for her. Here’s how we view it: This show was conceived during a Bush administration and is being executed during an Obama administration. There are people who really want to politicize this show, but that isn’t our intention. We’re just trying to tell good stories with arguments on both sides. What is interesting to us is that America—under Bush or Obama—is the giant imperialistic force imposing itself around the world for good or bad. In our story, humans are the colonials and the Vs are showing up as the imperials; we’re the locals and the giant Roman army has just shown up in motherships above us.

But here, that imposing force isn’t taking over by force. Instead, the Vs come with a hidden agenda cloaked in hope, promise and peace.

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Aliens Among Us | Movies & TV | Christianity Today.

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A drop of Eternity

Filed under: Category — brucebaker111 @ 6:52 pm
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Go find your Bible, hold it in your hands, break it open before your eyes, and spend some time immersing yourself in it.

Did you know that your Bible is THE ONLY ETERNAL THING that exists in this world? It is God’s spoken Word to His people, and Jesus said: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My Word will by no means pass away.”

When you hold the Bible in your hands, you are touching the only concrete piece of eternity in all of creation. Everything else is entirely temporal. Everything else had a beginning and will have an end. But God’s Word has always been, and will always be.

When you hold your Bible you are holding a drop of eternity in your hands! Respect it; cherish it; love it; read it often.

 

TwitterPeek: the World’s First Twitter-Only Device – CIO.com – Business Technology Leadership

Filed under: Category — brucebaker111 @ 5:45 pm
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Mobile e-mail device maker Peek has partnered with Twitter to bring you the world’s first dedicated Twitter device: TwitterPeek. The new handset lets you send and receive tweets and direct messages, follow new users, and view images sent via Twitpic. TwitterPeek features a 2.7-inch by 4-inch color screen, a full QWERTY keyboard, and no-contract nationwide unlimited wireless coverage.

By Ian Paul

Tue, November 03, 2009PC World Mobile e-mail device maker Peek has partnered with Twitter to bring you the world’s first dedicated Twitter device: TwitterPeek. The new handset lets you send and receive tweets and direct messages, follow new users, and view images sent via Twitpic. TwitterPeek features a 2.7-inch by 4-inch color screen, a full QWERTY keyboard, and no-contract nationwide unlimited wireless coverage.Available now from Amazon or TwitterPeek.com, this Twitter-only handset sells for $100. That price includes six months of free wireless service; monthly access will set you back $7.95 per month after that. Big spenders, though, can pay $200 up front for TwitterPeek and get lifetime wireless coverage.

What TwitterPeek doesn’t have

From the sounds of it TwitterPeek leaves a lot to be desired. TwitterPeek allows you to send and receive tweets, but lacks a search function. So if plan on using this device to track tweets about your business, you will miss out on any conversations using hashtags–a user-created system of cataloging tweets by subject–or other conversations that don’t include an @reply to your company’s Twitter account.

TwitterPeek is also lacking a Web browser, which means you’ll be left out of any conversations happening around a particular blog post or news item. So a tweet like, “Dog Lovers – you’ll Dig this! bit.ly/4prwrb” will be useless on TwitterPeek. Plans are in the works to allow you to preview Web pages within TwitterPeek, but that will still leave the device crippled if you won’t be able to get a complete view of what others are looking at.

Better Alternatives

With so many other Twitter-capable devices out there, I have to wonder about TwitterPeek’s appeal. You can already get Twitter on any smartphone or feature phone with Internet access, and you can also send and receive tweets using SMS.

If you don’t want to be stuck with high data fees typical of most smartphone plans, there are cheaper alternatives from Peek such as the Pronto for $60. This email-centric device will also let you send text messages, and access Twitter via Ping.fm. It’s still a stripped-down device, but at least you can use it for three different functions, all with a cheaper price tag.

So what do you say? Has TwitterPeek got you excited? How many of you out there plan on grabbing one of these devices? If I had to guess, I’d say not that many.

TwitterPeek: the World’s First Twitter-Only Device – CIO.com – Business Technology Leadership.

 

Facebook 101 – Search Engine Watch (SEW)

Filed under: Category — brucebaker111 @ 4:23 pm
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By Ron Jones, Search Engine Watch,

<!–Columns  |  Contact Ron  |  Subscribe to Newsletters  |  RSS Feeds  |  Biography–>If you aren’t on Facebook already, there’s a good chance you will be soon. Whether it’s your kids, neighbors, or friends, someone has probably encouraged you to sign up, set up a profile, and start “social networking.”

Social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn, are becoming more popular and one of the first places people go when they get on the Internet. These sites offer a plethora of “social” features, including e-mail, photo sharing, and chat.

Facebook, the king of the hill, is the number one social networking site. There are more than 220 million active users with about half a million people joining every day. Facebook increased its U.S. market share from 55.15 percent in August to 58.59 percent in September, according to Hitwise.

There is so much to do and learn on Facebook that it can’t all be covered adequately in one column. We’ll focus on just the fundamentals and provide an overview of what can be done with Facebook today. The next two installments will focus on the basics of successful fan pages and how to market your business on Facebook.

Setting up Facebook and Privacy

Setting up Facebook is easy and straightforward. After creating your account, set up your account settings and create a profile. Within the account settings, you can control who can see your information and what they can see.

Start with less and open it up more as you feel comfortable. Privacy is an important factor here and you need to know how to protect yourself. Check out Facebook’s privacy policy and this update to the privacy setting.

Next is your profile. Most of this information is self-explanatory. Remember, don’t fill in information about yourself if you don’t want people to see it.

For your picture, I recommend a close face shot. This allows people to help recognize you better. Consider this as your personal brand. People will see this image and associate it with you and your correspondence. Your picture will say a lot about you consider what you’re communicating when people see your image.

For more information on setting up Facebook, check out this tutorial. You need to set up a free account first. This covers a lot of the basics with nice examples, videos, and interactive slides.

What Can You Do With Facebook?

Facebook is like a large database of people who are using it for different reasons, but mainly as a communication tool. Applications like photo albums, games, gifts, and others enhance your Facebook experience.

  • Photo Album: You can upload your family trip to Disney World or birthday party pics to Facebook for family and friends to see. A photo application makes it easy to upload and share your pictures. Once a picture is uploaded you can leave a comment and even “tag” or label people in the picture. With this tag feature, you don’t need to e-mail your Facebook friends the pictures you took of them. Tagged pictures are automatically sent to your friend’s wall. You can control this feature in the account settings if you don’t like the idea of people being able to tag you in their images.
  • Events: If you’re planning an event and want to get the word out to all of your friends, you can use the Event application to help you plan the event and invite your Facebook friends. You can even invite friends who aren’t on Facebook. Need something to do? You can also use this tool to find events whether local or related to a special interest you have.
  • The Wall and Notes: The Wall is the main part of your profile where most of the activity occurs. This is where your friends can see your updated status, photos, and other things you’ve added. Friends can post comments here and you can post comments back to their wall, which is called “Wall to Wall.” Notes are another way to communicate with your friends. Some people use notes to post questions and start a discussion about various topics.
  • Chat: If you’re familiar with other chat programs (e.g., AIM, Yahoo Messenger), Facebook has a similar feature that allows you to chat with other friends when they’re available.
  • Groups and Fan Pages: Are you a member of a fraternity, sorority, or a national or local organization? Do you feel passionate about a particular cause, such as breast cancer awareness? It’s highly likely that you will find a group to join on Facebook that matches your interests or affiliations. You can search for and join groups or create your own.

This leads us into next week’s topic on how to create a successful fan page for you business. Until then, please post any useful resources or links that helped you learn your way around Facebook. To get you started, here are some useful resources:

Why Does Facebook Matter to Marketers?

With Microsoft recently partnering with Facebook to integrate Facebook and Twitter updates into Bing search results, this opens the door for more real-time search results. It is likely that Google will also partner with Facebook in the near future. So having an understanding of Facebook (and Twitter) can open up new ways for search marketers to reach their audiences and brand themselves.

Facebook also presents a unique marketing opportunity for businesses with Facebook Business Pages. As more people participate with social media sites, marketers are learning that these sites are where people are learning more about products, services, business, etc. Like most social media sites, marketing on Facebook has a viral effect.

Here are some benefits for using Facebook:

  • Customer interaction: Provides a place for a conversation between a business/brand and customers to happen. Through this interaction companies can build better relationships with customers.
  • Reputation management: Companies can learn more about how the brand is perceived online. This is done through comments and direct feedback and with monitoring conversations both positive and negative.
  • Customer acquisition: As people become fans of a Facebook page, they get a notice posted as news item their friends to see. This viral approach will then lead to new viewers.
  • Drive traffic: With increased activity of a Facebook fan page, traffic will likely increase to the company’s Web site. Facebook pages also appear in universal search results.
  • Branding: Can generate brand awareness to new audiences in addition to a company’s corporate Web site.

Meet Ron Jones at SES Chicago on December 7-11, 2009.

Facebook 101 – Search Engine Watch (SEW).

 

In The Fight Between Facebook And Twitter, Which One’s The Mac And Which One’s The PC?

Filed under: Category — brucebaker111 @ 4:19 pm
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by Brian Solis on November 1, 2009

Facebook is much more than a social network. Twitter is much more than an information network or serendipity engine. Each represent a dashboard for your attention, a foundation for conversations and collaboration, and a matrix for your social graph and contextual relationships. In other words, Facebook and Twitter essentially represent the entrée to the future of the social Web as each strive to host, what Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and others, refer to as our personal social operating system (OS).

What Windows is to PCs and OS X is to Macs, Facebook and Twitter are to our social architecture and enterprise. Certainly there’s a David and Goliath element here depending on which company you immediately view as Microsoft or Apple. However, Mac and Windows are simply operating systems, not networks per se, and that’s where the metaphor of an OS breaks down. Either way, there is the perception that there is a competition between Facebook and Twitter for your attention and your network.

Why? At the very least, Twitter and Facebook combine the elements of productivity and interactivity, combining a social OS, a global network, and a platform for open development.

The fabric of our online activity stems from a sophisticated social framework that facilitates the exchange of information and sustains professional, conversational, and contextual connections. Facebook and Twitter, like Windows and Mac, allow us to interact cross platform, while hosting dedicated applications that support our engagement, productivity, and communication.

As much attention as we pay to this mythical clash between Facebook and Twitter, the truth is that it’s not unprecedented to maintain identities in more than one ecosystem. For example, I use both Mac and Windows-based systems, I use both Facebook and Twitter. Yet according to new data from Hitwise, it appears that the epic battle between the two perceived leaders in Social Media is one-sided—or perhaps better stated, dominated.

As of October 2009, Facebook accounts for 6 percent of all U.S. Internet visits while Twitter represents only 0.14 percent. In fact, visits to Twitter.com peaked at .20 percent between June and July 2009 and has slowly lost attention in the interim, a point TechCrunch has noted as well. At the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco recently, co-founder Evan Williams acknowledged the slowdown in traffic to Twitter.com in the U.S., for now, but he also stated that they are in the process of finalizing new features that will reverse the downward trend. Williams also reminded us Twitter continues to recognize growth in both mobile and abroad.

And, for those who take solace in the hope that traffic is migrating from Twitter.com to mobile clients, there is some truth to the theory. However, new visitors count for everything and Twitter needs to do a better job capturing new users and holding their interests after they register. The company needs to look further than its resident celebrities to attract and sustain traffic.

For the time being, regardless of numbers, Facebook and Twitter serve a purpose, and thus, remain the Mac and PC in the lives of many. And, until the day that I am forced or compelled to pledge allegiance to one or the other, I will continue to cultivate relationships across multiple landscapes and suggest that you do the same.

But which one’s the Mac and which one’s the PC?

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Facebook image
Website: facebook.com
Location: Palo Alto, California, United States
Founded: February 1, 2004
Funding: $716M

Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 300 million users.

Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard… Learn More

Twitter image
Website: twitter.com
Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Founded: March 21, 2006
Funding: $155M

Twitter, founded by Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams in March 2006… Learn More

In The Fight Between Facebook And Twitter, Which One’s The Mac And Which One’s The PC?.

How To Spam Facebook Like A Pro: An Insider’s Confession

Filed under: Category — brucebaker111 @ 3:51 pm
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Last night we wrote about the lead generation scams within social gaming networks. This is a guest post by Dennis Yu, the CEO of BlitzLocal, a privately held 50 person advertising agency in Denver, Colorado, specializing in local search engine marketing for franchises and professional service firms via Google and Facebook. BlitzLocal is no longer in the business of spam, but they do specialize in Facebook advertising and are now using the platform they’ve developed to run campaigns for big brands and small businesses. Dennis writes a blog at dennis-yu.com

Did you know how Mark Zuckerberg supported Facebook in the early days, before he got venture funding? Casino ads. And how about those advertisers who were making over $100,000 a day selling Acai Berry and other weight loss products – they are friends of mine, pioneers of new advertising channels. You see those ads saying “Inbox (5). Nick, someone in San Francisco has a crush on you!” (with your name, profile picture, and city in the ad). I generated millions of dollars from these offers on Facebook – I am not proud of it, but it was very lucrative.

I will walk you through how these online scams work on Facebook and other social networks – the mechanics of how the money is made, some of the people involved, and who is actually clicking on ads. If you’re reading this article, there is a good chance that you are not the type of person actually clicking on these spam ads, but are you curious as to who actually is?

In June 2007, Facebook opened up their application developer platform so that anyone could build games on top of the social network. By having access to user data, game developers could instantly make engaging, viral games. Rate who is hottest among your friends, share quizzes, race cars, grow vegetables, and so forth – all with a click of a button. Users in one click gave the game permission to access their profile data and they didn’t think twice about it.

lunatic_games

Facebook hadn’t consider what was possible when the game developer passed on user name, profile picture, and personal details on to an advertiser – and the kind of deceptive ads that were possible.

larry_quiz_ad

These ads looked like they were from Facebook- the blue button, white background, same font. And, of course, they had your profile picture, your name – plus that of your friends, in the ad. If you’re a 15 year old girl, would you know what’s being served by Facebook, the game developer, or the ad network? These same offers have been running for years on MySpace, using tactics such as fake Windows system messages and pop-ups.

myspace_crush_ad

But the perfect storm being able to dynamically insert user data into an ad, disguising the ad to seem like part of the application, lack of enforcement by the social networks, and billing the parents’ cell phone – well, it’s no secret what happens next.

By early 2008, the platform was generating 400 million impressions a day, as people poked, bit, slapped, kissed, and drop-kicked each other to the glee of a college-age crowd of game developers. These developers weren’t professional corporations – they are college kids who build a game for fun over the weekend and now discovered they could make over $10,000 a day in ad revenue. Yes, we wrote some big checks. The numbers today are much higher. Given the choice of making money versus being ethical, these kids chose money in nearly every instance.
fbook.crush
When the Facebook platform first launched, developers used Google AdSense, which was paying 10-15 cent eCPMs, meaning that developers were earning 10 to 15 cents for every 1,000 ads they shown. But soon, ad networks, such as the one I operated, stepped in to show that by using social data and some clever ad copy, we could raise this to well over $6—that’s 60 times better than AdSense. AdSense was getting a 0.1% CTR and earning 15 cents a click. Our ads were getting up to a 4% CTR and also earning 15 cents a click. You do the math.

Believe me, I tried to do honest optimization—running legitimate flower ads on Valentines Day, Walmart ads on Cyber Monday, auto insurance offers on car racing games, and so forth. For months, I went through over 150 offers across a dozen networks, systematically testing offers, ad copy, targeting, creative templates, and so forth. I couldn’t get a single one to work. And in a previous life I worked on Yahoo!’s internal analytics team—our job was to optimize traffic.

I finally came to this realization: People on Facebook won’t pay for anything. They don’t have credit cards, they don’t want credit cards, and they are not interested in shopping. But you can trick them into doing one of three things:

  • Download a toolbar: It could be spyware (such as Zango) or something more legitimate, such as Webfetti or Zwinkys.
  • Give up their email address: You’ve won a “free” camera or perhaps you’ve been selected as a tester for a new Macbook Pro (which you get to keep at the end of the test). Just tell us where you want us to ship it.
  • Give up their phone number: You took the IQ Quiz, so give us your phone number and we’ll tell you your score. Never mind that you’ll get billed $20 a month or perhaps be tricked into inviting 10 other friends to beat your score.

iq-quiz-lp Method #3, getting their phone number, has been the most lucrative thing on Facebook, even more than the fake weight loss offers, for the last 2 years. As an ad network, we were at the mercy of what the game developers want—more money. Here’s what ad networks struggle with—to either run what ads make the most money or else be forced out by other ad networks willing to be shadier than them.

Publishers (game developers) chose whoever makes them the most money.

And that led to things like:

Showing personal data on landing pages: This got a couple ad networks banned—they took the user name and images and put them on landing pages, which increased conversion. This is the equivalent of steroids in Major League Baseball.

Cloaking: This is when you show a different page based on IP address. We and most other ad networks would geo-block northern California—showing different ads to Facebook employees than to other users around the world. One of the largest Facebook advertisers (I’m not going to out you, but you know who you are) employs this technique to this day, using a white-listed account. Our supposition is that it makes too much money for Facebook to stop him. Believe me, we have brought this to Facebook’s attention on several occasions. Here’s what this fellow does—he submits tame ads for approval, and once approved, redirects the url to the spammy page. To be fair, players like Google AdWords have had years more experience in this game to close such loopholes.

Sharks who smelled blood: I was contacted by every major ad network to either run their offer and/or help them optimize their ad platform. One CEO (not saying his name, but they’re on Comscore’s list of the top 25 ad networks) threatened physical violence if we didn’t cooperate with him. I got wined and dined like you wouldn’t believe. That’s how much money was at stake—whether on the game inventory or the self-serve ad platform.

Weak enforcement: Paul Jeffries, who enforced (or didn’t enforce, depending on your view) the platform rules, wanted to allow a laissez-faire economy, stepping in only when the violations were so egregious that his call center was getting flooded with complaints. He called me into a meeting and told me that my ads were costing him more in customer service than any revenue I was possibly generating. That pre-supposed that he knew what we were generating – in the high 5 figures a day. And most of that was profit, since we paid out only a fraction of what we earned. Remember that we had to beat only what Google AdSense generated.

There was no way that Facebook—and definitely not the Federal Trade Commission—could keep up with the “innovation” happening. Witness the virtual currency scam, where users complete the offers mentioned above to earn points in a game. It doesn’t take a genius to know that the quality of such leads is garbage—these users are filling out forms just to get the points.

They sign up for Netflix, a platinum credit card, get an auto insurance quote, whatever. The industry term for this type of traffic is called “incentivized”. The underlying advertiser is paying for these leads much like they would if they were coming from paid search. They may be told they’re getting incent traffic—or maybe not. Or maybe the ad network, the middleman between the advertiser (company paying for traffic) and publisher (source of traffic) is mixing PPC, email, and incent (also called social) traffic to hit certain quality thresholds.

Either way, the advertiser is usually blind—they can’t see the referral data (which is understandably masked) and they probably can’t figure out what’s going on anyway.

The three major ad networks that deal in incentivized (or virtual currency) are OfferPal, SuperRewards, and Q Interactive.

OfferPal is run by Anu Shukla—she and I have sat down before, where she flatly claimed that most of her offer inventory was unique (it was actually brokered from MemoLink, a company down the street from us in Denver). Ms. Shukla also touted her optimization technology, but couldn’t discuss it because of the proprietary nature—I’m sure you understand. You can watch her video with Arrington to judge for yourself.

SuperRewards is run by Jason Bailey (aka ChickenHole), who was able to quickly morph himself from Millnic Media to this new company. This fellow would call me up and yell at the top of his lungs, as I wouldn’t refund his money for setting up multiple accounts to game our network. I did refund his money, only once he agreed to a ban on our network.

Q Interactive is the quietest, but largest player of the group. Formerly coolsavings.com, it’s run by Matt Wise, and is, in my opinion, the most reputable of the bunch. They have Fortune 500 clients and a more massive bankroll and sophisticated technology platform. You won’t find information on their virtual currency platform, as they work with large publishers only.

The offers across all of these networks are similar. There is a lot of money to be made if you’re a game developer on the MySpace or Facebook platforms, so choose your ad networks wisely. Ad Networks are not going away soon, as the big brands aren’t there yet and someone must fill that vacuum.

In case I have thoroughly disillusioned you of all social advertising, let me prognosticate about a slightly brighter future:

When any new platform opens up, the spammers are there first: Traffic is cheap and their untargeted offers are profitable. But as legitimate advertisers come on, they bid the price of traffic up and squeeze out the spammers. The most powerful bit of social advertising, unlike traditional PPC, is the ability to target by interest and by location. And local represents 74% of Facebook’s ad revenues in 2009. That’s a deceptive stat, as it likely includes dating, which is technically “local” – but the point still stands.

Facebook will either clean things up or become a MySpace: Users loved the “trust” and “clean look” of Facebook. I believe Facebook will put controls in place on their fledgling platform, as told to me by the executive in charge of their online marketing. I honestly believe from my meetings at Facebook, that they’ve all drunk the Zucker-koolaid and are putting the user experience ahead of earnings. That’s why, if you’re a UK resident, you’re not seeing those sexy Russian dating ads from a couple months ago—but man, were those profitable. But you may continue to see these girls:

Deceptive ads will be gradually replaced by trusted ads: The underlying premise of all the advertising techniques we’ve discussed so far is that trickery is profitable. Fool them into thinking the new friend request is from Facebook, lie to them that the miracle skin crème is actually free, tell them they’ll earn points if they just click this button – which then puts their email address on a list that’s resold to the top spammers in the world. Incidentally, if you hate someone, sign them up for one of those free offers – it will burn their email to a crisp. Just kidding – don’t do that.

The local and big brand advertisers are slow to react, but will eventually shift their ad dollars to Facebook, as they figure out how to advertise effectively. Facebook is the “other Internet” and represents 25% of all pageviews in the US. What’s possible right now:

Imagine getting an ad on your birthday, saying “Happy Birthday, Nick! Mention FBCAKE and get a free slice of cake today at Jim’s Coffee Shop” (yes, you can target people on their birthdays).

What if you’re a B2B company and want to hit small businesses? You can target by job title and company. That’s not possible in traditional PPC, where a search for “massage” can be a consumer with stiff muscles, a student looking for a massage school, or a practitioner looking to buy massage supplies.

What if you’re Maggianos and want to target folks who like Olive Garden? You can hit precisely those fans—and even narrow down to where they live, how old they are, and if they are married. Then send them to the nearest location to book their wedding anniversary party.
 Are you a Denver liposuction doctor and want to target middle-aged females in upperclass neighborhoods who watch “Desperate Housewives” and like to eat chocolate?

What if Farmville could be sponsored by Albertsons and offer real fruits and vegetables on sale? Wouldn’t that be more powerful than clipping coupons from the daily newspaper?

It’s going to take a few years, but these legitimate advertisers will push out the scammers and Facebook will put more rules in place. Enforcement will tighten, but spammers are clever with shifting their entities, enough to make us all “dizzy”. We said that when these platforms first launched, earnings were in the 10 to 15 cent range. Then spammers raised the bar and could afford to pay $6 per thousand impressions (or about 20 cents a click) for the same inventory. But when the legitimate guys come with the hyper-targeted local ads, they can afford to pay $10 or even $50 per thousand impressions for that inventory. The spammers will be forced out of this particular game and onto whatever is next.

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Dennis Yu image
Companies: BlitzLocal

Dennis Yu is CEO of BlitzLocal, which does local advertising for professional service firms and franchised companies.

Prior to BlitzLocal, Dennis spent 4 years at Yahoo! doing analytics and Pay-Per-Click advertising, as well as 3 years at… Learn More

BlitzLocal image
Website: BlitzLocal.com
Location: Westminster, Colorado, United States
Founded: 2006
Funding: $125k

BlitzLocal serves retail and and franchised companies that need local presence. Founded by Dennis Yu in 2006, the company has grown to 50 employees and is headquartered in Westminster, Colorado.

The BlitLocal ad platform includes pay-per-click… Learn More

How To Spam Facebook Like A Pro: An Insider’s Confession.

Wisk-It, an App to Help Scrub Regrettable Photos From Facebook – NYTimes.com

Filed under: Category — brucebaker111 @ 3:45 pm
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Published: November 1, 2009

You there, you who dressed as a sexy panther this Halloween, and are now clicking through the weekend’s photos on Facebook. (The ones of you clutching a vodka and snarling like a kittycat are particularly nice.) Your boss, your exes and your mother are probably looking at them this morning, too. What’s a hungover cat to do?

The Wisk-It application for Facebook, from the makers of Wisk detergent.

There’s an app for that. Not an iPhone app, but a Facebook application from the detergent brand Wisk. Wisk-It, which will be formally introduced this week, promises to help get rid of objectionable photos.

Now, be clear about the limits of Wisk-It. It’s not going to restore the fallen bra strap to your shoulder, and it won’t Photoshop your broken heel back together. Wisk-It instead assembles a friend’s photographs (you can limit it to tagged pictures of you, or pull all of her photos), lets you identify the pictures you’d like the friend to remove, and then send a request her way. When the friend installs Wisk-It, it pulls up the offending photos and asks her to delete them.

“Currently, there’s really no easy way or efficient way to remove pictures, so we’re finding that we have cracked the efficient way to clean up your online profile,” said Elisa Gurevich, brand manager for Wisk, owned by the Sun Products Corporation.

The Facebook application, created by the agency TracyLocke, is part of a marketing update for Wisk, which Unilever sold to what is now Sun in 2008. Previously, it was known for its 1970s spots where dirty shirts taunted housewives with chants of “Ring around the collar! Ring around the collar!”

“We thought perhaps we could take our stain-fighting heritage, and take it online to Facebook,” Ms. Gurevich said.

The stain on your reputation, Wisk-It can’t do much about. Meow. STEPHANIE CLIFFORD

via Wisk-It, an App to Help Scrub Regrettable Photos From Facebook – NYTimes.com.

Wisk-It, an App to Help Scrub Regrettable Photos From Facebook – NYTimes.com.

How to Know God Personally Through Jesus Christ Right Now :: Campus Crusade for Christ International

Filed under: Category — brucebaker111 @ 3:08 pm
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What does it take to begin a relationship with God? Devote yourself to unselfish religious deeds? Become a better person so that God will accept you?

You may be surprised that none of those things will work. But God has made it very clear in the Bible how we can know Him.

The following principles will explain how you can personally begin a relationship with God, right now, through Jesus Christ…


Principle 1:

God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life.


God’s Love
“God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” 1

God’s Plan
[Christ speaking] “I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly” [that it might be full and meaningful]. 2

Why is it that most people are not experiencing the abundant life? Because…

 


Principle 2:

All of us sin and our sin has separated us from God.


We Are Sinful
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” 3

We were created to have fellowship with God; but, because of our stubborn self-will, we chose to go our own independent way, and fellowship with God was broken. This self-will, characterized by an attitude of active rebellion or passive indifference, is evidence of what the Bible calls sin.

We Are Separated
“The wages of sin is death” [spiritual separation from God]. 4

This diagram illustrates that God is holy and people are sinful. A great gulf separates us. The arrows illustrate that we are continually trying to reach God and the abundant life through our own efforts, such as a good life, philosophy, or religion — but we inevitably fail.

The third law explains the only way to bridge this gulf…

 


Principle 3:

Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for our sin. Through Him we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our life.


He Died in Our Place
“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” 5

He Rose From the Dead
“Christ died for our sins…He was buried…He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures…He appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred…” 6

He Is the Only Way to God
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.'” 7

This diagram illustrates that God has bridged the gulf which separates us from Him by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sins.

It is not enough just to know these three principles…

 


Principle 4:

We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives.


We Must Receive Christ
“As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” 8

We Receive Christ Through Faith
“By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.” 9

When We Receive Christ, We Experience a New Birth

We Receive Christ by Personal Invitation
[Christ speaking] “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him.” 10

Receiving Christ involves turning to God from self (repentance) and trusting Christ to come into our lives to forgive our sins and to make us what He wants us to be. Just to agree intellectually that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for your sins is not enough. Nor is it enough to have an emotional experience. You receive Jesus Christ by faith, as an act of the will.

These two circles represent two kinds of lives:

Which circle best describes your life?

Which circle would you like to have represent your life?

The following explains how you can receive Christ:

You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer

Prayer is talking to God. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. The following is a suggested prayer:

“Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.”

If this prayer expresses the desire of your heart, then you can pray this prayer right now and Christ will come into your life, as He promised.

Does this prayer express the desire of your heart?

 

Yes, I just asked Jesus into my life »

 

I may want to ask Jesus into my life,
but I have a question I would like answered first »

 

 


(1) John 3:16 (NIV); (2) John 10:10; (3) Romans 3:23; (4) Romans 6:23; (5) Romans 5:8; (6) 1 Corinthians 15:3-6; (7) John 14:6; (8) John 1:12; (9) Ephesians 2:8,9; (10) Revelation 3:20

Adapted from Have You Heard of the Four Spiritual Laws and Would You Like to Know God Personally, by Dr. Bill Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. © Campus Crusade for Christ. All rights reserved.

How to Know God Personally Through Jesus Christ Right Now :: Campus Crusade for Christ International.

Simplify Your Life

Filed under: Category — brucebaker111 @ 5:24 am
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Simplify Your Life

 

In decisiveIndecision is a miserable state to be in and certainly is not a fruit of the simple life. Simplicity prays, seeks wisdom and decides. It doesn’t waffle. It sticks with the decision it made unless there is a very good reason to change it. The apostle James said the double-minded man is unstable in all his ways and will not receive anything he asks from the Lord.

How can God give us anything if we can never make up our minds concerning what we want?

Inevitably, our journeys through life bring us to many unavoidable decisions, and we will always get into trouble if we make them emotionally or according to what we think or want. God wants us to make wise decisions. I believe having wisdom is choosing to do now what we will be happy with later.

I love Proverbs 8:2-3: “On the top of the heights beside the way, where the paths meet, stands Wisdom [skillful and godly]; at the gates at the entrance of the town, at the coming in at the doors, she cries out” (The Amplified Bible).

If you want to simplify your life, you must think about the future and realize the choices you make today will affect tomorrow. Some people are never able to relax and enjoy life because every day they deal with messes resulting from not walking in wisdom. I frequently hear people say, “I know I should not do this, but … .”

It is foolish to do things we know we shouldn’t do. How can anyone expect to get a right result if they already know they are making a wrong decision?

They are gambling on things turning out right anyway, but wisdom does not gamble; it invests. Making the decision to do the right things now may not bring pleasure right away, but it does later on. So many people pay a high price for a cheap thrill, but you can make a decision right now to not be one of them.

It’s entirely possible that we make a million decisions in our lifetime, and the wiser they are, the better our lives will be. Simplifying your life requires that you really think about your decisions before you make them. James 5:12 says, “But above all [things], my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath; but let your yes be [a simple] yes, and your no be [a simple] no, so that you may not sin and fall under condemnation.”

What James is saying is, “Make a decision. Just say yes or no; and don’t keep changing your mind.” We often labor over the choices before us when we just need to make a decision and let it stand. This may be a simple example, but think about it: When you stand in front of your closet in the morning looking at all your clothes, just choose something and put it on. Do not go back and forth until you make yourself late for work!

Let me encourage you to start making decisions without second-guessing yourself or worrying about the choices you make. Don’t be double-minded or wishy-washy because doubting your decisions after you make them will steal the enjoyment from everything you do. Make the best decisions you can and trust God with the results. Do not be anxious or afraid of being wrong.

If your heart is right and you make a decision not in accordance with God’s will, He will forgive you and help you move on. Be decisive. Whatever you need to do in life, just do it—and keep it simple. “Let go and let God be God” really is a good idea. It immediately simplifies any situation, no matter how difficult. We need to do what we can and then cast the rest, along with our cares, on God.

The Bible says we should do what the crisis requires and “having done all … to stand” (Eph. 6:13). Work at having a simple approach to decision-making. Life is too short to live it frustrated.

 


Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and one of the world’s leading practical Bible teachers. She has written more than 70 books, including the popular Beauty for Ashes and Battlefield of the Mind, and her most recent, Never Give Up! (all FaithWords). She is also the founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries Inc. and the host of Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide.

 

Simplify Your Life.

Where To Put Your Troubles

Filed under: Category — brucebaker111 @ 3:10 am
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“Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you. He will never let the righteous fall.” (Psalm 55:22)

Put your troubles where you have put your sins. You have put your sins onto Jesus — put your troubles there also!

As soon as the trouble comes tell it to your Father in heaven! Remember, the longer you take telling your trouble to God, the longer you will wait for peace. The longer the frost lasts, the more likely the ponds will be frozen. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

Putting your burden upon the Lord is the way to soothe sorrow. Oh, troubled Christians, don’t dishonor your faith by always wearing a frown of concern. Come, put your burden upon the Lord. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

I see you staggering beneath a weight that He would not feel. What seems to you a crushing burden would be nothing but a bit of dust to Him. The Almighty bends His shoulders, and He says to you, “Put your troubles here!”

– C.H. Spurgeon

via Where To Put Your Troubles – Bible Study Planet.

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