Archive | August, 2011

Twitter’s Biggest Enemy: Spam

31 Aug

Spammers have been around since the dawn of time.  I bet that back in the Stone Age people would come home to their caves only to find the wall covered in pectorals trying to sell them a bigger club.  With each new medium that becomes popular it’s only a matter of time before the spammers flock.

Twitter is absolutely no exception.There are two ways an enterprise like Twitter can handle spammers.  They can be overly active causing a few innocents to be locked out as collateral.  Twitter can also be less active and annoy a large mass of people without restricting use.  They’ve chosen path number two.Twitter spammers have become the bane of my existence.  They are like cockroaches to me that serve no other purpose than to infect my feed with useless blather.  If it doesn’t give my computer a virus I’m afraid that it will make me physically nauseous.

For those of you that aren’t too familiar with spambots on Twitter here’s a crash course on how to spot them.  They’ll be following a large number of people while having a fraction of those people following them back.  They’ll often have not tweeted or when they do it’s the same thing said in different ways (probably your biggest indicator).  If they haven’t received a follow from you within a few days they’ll release their leachy grip on your account to search for their next victim.  You can help by reporting someone as spam, although that’s like killing gnats at a landfill.

As Twitter continues its campaign to keep its members more active I hope that they pay more attention to this problem.  While I think most people are savvy enough to spot a bad account when they see one, it only takes one follow to let the spam flood gates open.

-Josh P Greenberg
Follow @JoshPGreenberg

Related Article: Twitter Direct Messages or Direct Spam! (also credit for the picture)

Facebook Creates Its Own Circles

23 Aug

New features are sorely needed

Google+ hit the market with a colossal amount of buzz.  Everyone was talking about it, wondering who would be able to give them an invite.  While most social media bloggers laud G+ for its relative ease of use, will the general public accept it?

The biggest asset Google+ has is the concept of circles.  Being able to target your messages makes them more effective.  With all the social media noise out there it is easy to blast someone’s account with too much information.  That can lead to people either ignoring your message or worse, blocking it entirely.  Targeted messaging also helps when trying to maintain your privacy.  If you want to say something you wouldn’t want your coworkers to hear it’s now easy to shut of that valve.

With Facebook’s new sharing and privacy features, however, Google’s biggest gun might have been neutralized.  Now when sharing a post (or really anything) you can choose who can view it and even create specific groups.   Basically that accomplishes what circles was meant to do on Google+.  Another very big change to Facebook is how you tag photos.  Before the only way to hide an incriminating photo (mostly underage drinking for those young job seekers) was to not take it and hope no one else had a camera.  Now you have the ability to reject a tag request and even send a message telling the host to take it down.   These types of changes will appear in various places across Facebook.

So now that Facebook has landed a heavy blow to an already tapering Google+ user base, how does G+ keep people from returning to Facebook?  This battle has only just begun.

Follow Josh P Greenberg
Follow Rated JPG

Related Article:
Here’s How Facebook’s New Sharing And Privacy Features Work

The Death of Q101.1 “Chicago’s Alternative”

8 Aug

JPG Rating:     On the decision to axe the station.  It will be sorely missed, but they had it coming.

It was a strange moment when I found out Q101 was dead.  It started with one co-worker saying they heard Tio Cruz.  Then another mentioned they’d heard the Black Eyed Peas on the alternative rock station, and then someone dropped a bomb on our proverbial water cooler.  He smacked me in the face with this; Q101 was bought out and switched to an all-news format.  All of the staff affiliated with the former station had been laid off.

Nirvana-Nevermind (1991)

Q101.1 FM wasn’t the only thing that died that day.  A piece of my childhood went with it.  When I was growing up in the 90’s my mom would have me ride with her to take my sister to the Art Institute in downtown Chicago.  We would take I-90, windows down, volume up, on days that always seemed sunny.  In those years we drove to the city listening to Q101 I not only found my musical taste, but my personal identity as well.  I didn’t want to listen to pop or rap.  I wanted to rock out!With age however comes perspective.  The station had this one coming.  I wasn’t the only one who had been complaining that the aging kings of alternative had held onto their bread and butter far too long.  Songs like “Interstate Love Song” and “Come as You Are” were great when they debuted in the early/mid 90’s.  The problem is that they’ve been playing those same songs for almost 20(!) years now. They never really embraced the changing landscape of rock with open arms and I believe it is what caused their demise.

I don’t think radio is dead just yet though.  I think there’s still a large population of people who want music on the radio that’s not country or Katy Perry.  Q101 may be saying hello to the Dodo, but surely someone else can learn from their mistakes, right?  Can I get an Amen….anyone?

-Follow Josh on Twitter @JoshPGreenberg