Don't Let "Too Much Information" Tarnish Your Brand

Friday, February 29, 2008 by Mistlee

Don't Let "Too Much Information" Tarnish Your Brand

I was approached by a friend with an idea. It went along the lines of "What if we get a group together to promote this cause..." and from that point on my imagination soared with what-ifs and can-we's.

And I wondered about the can of worms we might be opening.

Those of you in Facebook know from experience that when someone who is your "friend" joins a cause, everyone gets a notice about it. After awhile, we begin to get a sense of what our friends are interested in, besides work. We can gauge how well matched we are, how different we might be from each other and see sides of friends we never knew about.

Also, in Facebook, we get alerts whenever someone signs up to be a fan of someone or something. We pick who is the "Most Beautiful", "Who is Funniest", and rate everything from smiles to who we'd like to marry. Some of it's fun and games. Some of it is honest insight, such as when a friend backs a certain politician and it's announced to everyone on their friends list.

When you do business with peers or are friends with CEO's and company owners who have Facebook pages and profiles, is there a point where you think to yourself, "I didn't need to know that" when they post something they've joined? If someone's "status" is, "I'm naked in bed with my laptop", is this TMI (Too Much Information)?

I remember how freeing it was when Threadwatch ran a long thread a few years back about SEO's who work from home. It was a coming out party of men and a few women who admitted to working naked or in their PJ's, odd hours and in varying environments, from home to Starbucks to heck, likely a few bars.

Is Social Networking Coming at a Price?

The social media networking phase of the Internet experience has allowed us to meet and talk to each other. It also lets us share bits and pieces of ourselves as if we were eating lunch at the same table at school and sitting with our group, or attending a company picnic and throwing horse shoes with fellow employees.

In other words, we're starting to hang out together, as well as also doing business with each other. We're moving beyond a professional networking, spell checked, politically correct version of ourselves and into a "This is the real me" version, where we're more willing to share our interests and life events outside of work.

Instead of rows and rows of employment "cube farms" where you pop up over the wall to share potato chips with your neighbor and gossip about the manager, there's now IM and Twitter. It's easy to type that spontaneous thought begging to be leaked out and in seconds, it's out there and going all over the place to who knows who?

Does this matter?

If a group of your industry peers banded together to support a cause you don't believe in, would you not do business with them?

If a group of your industry peers supported a political view or candidate, set up a web site and promoted themselves as supporters, and you strongly disagree with that view or candidate, would you feel differently about them? Enough to not associate with them? Work with them? Refer work to them?

In some ways, this is like joining a forums where you feel you fit. You like how you're treated there and the people have similar beliefs or attitudes as you do. I'm reminded of blog writing, when we had asked if it's proper to write about our personal lives in our business or professional blogs.

Whenever we remove our mask and people see the real us, there's a risk. How much of yourself are you willing to reveal? Is it important to doing business online?

What do you think? Does someone's choices in their personal life alter your opinion of their business services?

Would you have the courage to stand up and defend a cause you believe in, and bring attention to it in your web site or blog if you could, even though it has nothing to do with your business, products or services?

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Access Webmaster Tools From IGoogle

by Mistlee

Access Webmaster Tools From IGoogle

When you do something, do you follow a minimalist approach, or you like yourself to be prepared for every potential instance? Consider the instance where you want to hike out into the wilderness of Alaska and the weather's not predictable.

Do you follow a minimalist approach by trusting only a wool overcoat and a sandwich in your pocket? On the other hand are you the kind wherein you even for a day's hike, bring along a couple of changes of clothes, dehydrated meals, kitchen appliances, a power inverter, etc just as a precaution? You never know how the weather would turn out.

Till now Google's Webmaster Tools offer as many features as possible, quite befitting for the second personality type. But now as the webmaster central blog informs, Google's released Webmaster Tools Gadgets for iGoogle, for those users who would prefer to access only the features of Webmaster Tools that they need.

If you've already got a Webmaster Tools account and have verified at least one site, you can start using the Gadgets right away with the help of the following process:

You need to:

1. Visit Webmaster Tools and select any site that you've validated from the dashboard.Click on the Tools section.

2. Click on Gadgets sub-section.

3. Click on the big "Add an iGoogle Webmaster Tools homepage" button.

4. Click the "Add to Google" button on the following confirm page to add the new tab to iGoogle.

Once done you'd find yourself in iGoogle, where you should see your new Google Webmaster Tools tab with a number of Gadgets.

Each Gadget comes with a drop down menu at the top and through it you can select from the list of sites that you've validated to see the Gadget's information for the selected site.

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Can You Really Stop Spam?

by Mistlee

About Us Feedback
Can You Really Stop Spam?

Dear Rich,

How do I stop emails for and the like? I'm getting dozens every day.

--Inundated in Islesboro

Dear Inundated,

Just a couple of dozen a day? You're getting off easy.

I've tried a number of third-party solutions over the years, including a personal favorite, SpamSieve (mac only.) Windows users have suggested some of their own favorites in another post here at the flyte blog.

Unfortunately, I've noticed that SpamSieve isn't what it used to be; it seems that more and more spam is getting through. More frustrating is that often it's the same messages over and over again:

Hello! I am tired today. I am nice girl that would like to chat with you. Email me at only, because I am using my friend's email to write this. Would you mind if I share some of my
pictures with you?

Recently while playing around with an autoresponder on our server I saw that I could enable SpamAssassin, a spam filter that works on the server level. I've always avoided these tools because I'm afraid of missing potential new business, and I've felt that wading through tons of spam is the price we pay. However, with over 200 pieces of spam a day I was willing to take a chance.

SpamAssassin has been amazing. Over the past week it has caught about 98% of my spam WITHOUT ONE FALSE POSITIVE! (A false positive is a good email that's tagged as spam.) It's almost like I have an assistant
who's vetting my emails. SpamSieve is then catching the remaining few that do get through.

You can set SpamAssassin to any level you like:

This version of SpamAssassin runs on Apache, but there are also versions for Windows and Mac...just Google it.

It is by far the best spam blocking tool I've ever used.

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Get A High Performance Column-Store Database Management System

by Mistlee

Networking Files

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NeoDatis ODB

NeoDatis ODB is a new generation Object Oriented Database. ODB is a real native and transparent persistence layer for Java and .Net. ODB is very simple and very fast and comes with a powerful query language.

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Yahoo! Search Lag Google & Microsoft in Ranking Newer Websites

by Mistlee

Friday, February 29, 2008
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Yahoo! has guys like Jeremy Zawodny marketing their fresh new search platform, and yet they remain behind the competition. Microsoft jumped into the search field way later than Yahoo! did, so why is it that Microsoft rankings for well promoted sites often roughly track Google rankings, while Yahoo!...
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Browser Market Seeing Netscape Depart

by Mistlee

Browser Market Seeing Netscape Depart

Browser Market Seeing Netscape Depart

You're an Internet oldie if you remember plunking down $59 for a corporate license for Netscape, which represented the web browsing game outside of its predecessor, Mosaic, in the 1990s.

No one will be buying into Netscape the browser after March 1st, 2008. The BBC reported support for the browser ends on that date; users will be encouraged to switch to Firefox or Flock.

If they go with Firefox, someone familiar with Netscape will be waiting for them, as the BBC noted:

"I think we represent the hope that was of Netscape," Mitchell Baker, chair of the Mozilla Foundation which coordinates development of Firefox, told BBC News.

"We have picked up many of the things that Netscape launched but we've taken them further in terms of openness and public participation."

Ms Baker was one of the first employees at Netscape in 1994.

Netscape's existence threatened Microsoft so much, the software giant entered the arena with Internet Explorer and billed its price as "free forever." The first couple of versions of IE gave no one motivation to switch.

Microsoft pulled even with IE 3.02, and by the time version 4 of each browser arrived, Microsoft started to move ahead. However, their competition with Netscape proved an undoing, as a federal antitrust suit that still has repercussions today nearly broke up Microsoft over its behavior in the browser market.

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