The Tech Side of Me Tech News 4/25/2015

This is the start of something new. This idea has been going around in my head for weeks and the idea was to feature my favorite articles I tweeted this week along with some commentary about each one. This may go through some changes but as this is Week 1, let’s get started.

Currently I use Hootsuite to schedule and post my Tweets, Google+ Posts, and Facebook. So from that I get an idea of how many people click on my links. It doesn’t tell me who (that would be scary) but it does tell me how many. So using the unscientific approach of number of clicks shows how popular a tweet was, I will definitely feature those, but sometimes a tweet a topic I hold near and dear fails to get traction either because of the time of day it is posted or some other factor. I will feature those as well.

Have an Android Phone? Want to Find it? Google it

From the Creepy but Cool files, if you enable Google location services on your phone, finding your phone could be as easy as going to Google.com and just typing in “Find My Phone”. It will ask you to log into your Google account (use the primary Gmail account you use on your phone), and then show you on Google Maps the approximate location of your phone. If it is accessible it will also give you an option to ring your phone.

Verizon says “unlimited Data Plans are stupid”

Verizon basically said we are idiots to want unlimited data plans. I know everything has to have a limit so to speak but first selling us unlimited plans and then calling a 2 gig plan unlimited is false advertising. But are we silly to want what we want? We don’t really want unlimited. Instead, we want to pay one price and use it as much as we want and not have to pay ridicules overages. For some of us, unlimited is 2 gig, others it is 6 gig, etc. Granted, we know if someone is using 10 gig plus, well, maybe they should pay more but the system as it is punishes even the least data users. What do you think?

Sysadmins every where Scream at Once

This week two scary security alerts went out. For Windows admins with Internet facing Internet Information Server instances, there was the “HTTP Ping of Death”. Basically a header problem that when attacked would cause a “DOS” Denial of Service issue. Basically the server would hang or even blue screen so that the server wasn’t responding or available. Hopefully everyone is all patched up by now. Hopefully.This was my most clicked tweet of the week.

In other Security news…

Popular eCommerce application Magento finally have an exploit in the wild for a security issue they published about in February. This is a bad one and you need to get patching quickly as exploits are in the wild and thousands of servers were attacked.

Who wants to live forever… Digitally anyway?

So if you should die tomorrow (hopefully you won’t) but if you did, who would you want to have access to your Digital assets? Who would have access to your Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, YouTube Channel, your iTunes account? If you don’t give someone access to these things, the courts may not help. There isn’t much legal precedent for what to do with these elements of a human life. In fact, iTunes as it is currently setup basically belongs only to the person who originally purchased it. So you go and so would your tunes. So if you give access to someone you trust to your digital elements, you allow your digital elements to keep going. Google offers a way to designate someone your Digital Heir. In my case, I designated my wife. This article talks about how laws have not kept up and you really can’t even “Will” your Digital assets to a loved one. But some social media accounts give you a way to allow your designated person to access your accounts.

Jedi Marriage

This is my favorite story of the week: Jedi’s can now get married. (Dang I hate typos! It’s Official.)

A little boy sends a letter to George Lucas asking why Jedis can’t get married. The reply is awesome and a win for Jedis every where. I am so glad. I married my wife in secret because she is a Jedi. Now we can be public about it.

And those are my favorite stories of the week. I hope you enjoyed them.

Experiments in Bad Social Media (Part 1)

A while back I read a great booked called “The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users” by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzsimmons. Great book. It pointed out a lot of things I speculated about social media and it told me a lot of new things. So when 2015 hit, I said to myself this is going to be my year and I am going to make great strides on my blog, my books, and my social media presence. You may have said similar. It takes time and patience to do all of that. It seems to also take sleep deprivation.

You may not know this but I am lazy. I try to find the shortest path to any problem. Because of that I am willing to experiment from time to time with radical jumps in logic to see what works and what doesn’t. Social Media has been an ongoing experiment for me. Editor’s Note” By the way, that Wine company still follows me on Twitter as do a lot of the ones who jumped on board because of that Wine festival. 

So recently I was hovering just under 1200 followers on Twitter. I could not seem to break 1200. For every 20 followers on Twitter, 10 will unfollow you. This isn’t an exact science but that seems to be the ratio. This happens mostly because of so many spammy accounts on Twitter.

unfollowers-dot-com

I use a site called unfollowers.com They have a paid service but I use the free one. I used to be fixated on how many followed or unfollowed me. I learned quickly this is not a good strategy. 

You can't get fixated on who unfollows you. Instead, get fixated on those who do follow you. Click To Tweet

So unfollowers.com shows you how many followers were suspended from Twitter. They made the Twitter Gods mad and were smited by Twitter. But it doesn’t show you their names as well, they are basically just no longer on Twitter. These users usually come from the “$29 dollars and I will give you 5000 followers” type Twitter accounts that pop up all the time. What is often interesting is to see the real people who follow these accounts. It is also strange to see how many real accounts are accounts that are a part of the 5000. Here is a great story about someone who paid $5 on Fiverr.com and what their results were. So today 9 users in the list got suspended. This is how the numbers of followers and unfollowers fluctuate so fast.

unfollowers-Twitter-Suspended-Users

But unfollower.com does have some great statistics, such as who are your Zombie followers? Those who followed you and have become inactive on Twitter are Zombies.  I have theorized and even read some articles that elude to the fact that if less people follow you than you follow, some people will not follow you. So I every so often prune those I follow, especially those who followed me but then stopped tweeting. If I had followed them back and they stopped posting, not much use to keep following them. For me the magic number used to be I would follow less than a thousand people. See, I don’t like to follow companies or famous people. Sure this probably means I have less followers but I prefer to follow genuine real people and I try my best to be a genuine person. Also, I don’t follow Egg Heads. You know what I mean. The ones that never load a profile picture. What do they have to hide? If you want genuine followers you have to be genuine yourself and post a real photo of yourself. Only people who have already earned a lot of followers or who are artists or photographers can post a cartoon head from the Simpson’s and still earn new followers.

Here are some tips that I should use to get and keep Twitter followers:

1. Be authentic

2. Post great headlines

3. Engage with your users

4. Tweets with photos get more clicks, more favorites, more everything

5. Post often by using hootsuite or Buffer

I use Hootsuite (the paid version) but 99% of what I want to accomplish I could do with the free version. You should try the free version of either. In the future I think I will try Buffer app. Both schedule your content based when your tweets seem to be read the most.

6. Figure out what your niche is. You can’t focus on great content if you are all over the place. My niche seems to be Computer Security, Cool Technology, WordPress, and the occasional funny Internet post. Look at Twitter Analytics to see what of your Tweets interest others. Buffer and Hootsuite also will show you your trends.

Hootsuite Stats

Here is an actual complete report if you want to see what Hootsuite provides.Ow.ly Click Summary – aroyrichardsonFeb2015

Part 2, I tell you some of the crazy things I have tried and what worked and what didn’t.