Social Me – an analysis of your life on Facebook

Social Me

One of my Facebook friends recently posted a status with an analysis from Zeebly about his Facebook usage. I thought it was neat and I decided to try it out myself here. It’s pretty amazing how much information can be extracted from our Facebook page. I find it so fascinating that Facebook and other social media sites have changed the way businesses are marketed.

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Take This Lollipop and Get Ready to be Creeped Out!

Take This Lollipop

A new site called Take This Lollipop is just in time for Halloween. It starts off as a seemingly innocent page that dares you to take the lollipop by clicking the familiar “Connect with Facebook” button. After you have given it permission to access your information, it shows you a customized video that depicts a creepy man stalking you through your Facebook. He goes through your Facebook profile with crazed eyes, and goes through some of your Facebook photos (the photos change if you do it multiple times). He then proceeds to look up your location on Google Maps. He is then seen driving to track you  and a photo of you can be seen on his truck’s dashboard. After the short video, a countdown begins.

I thought this was implemented extremely well. It went viral over this week and there was a lot of speculation over whether or not this was an advertising campaign. It turns out that this was a neat little project that director Jason Zada decided to do for fun.

It served as a good reminder to think twice about the information you share. The “Connect to Facebook” button is sometimes clicked mindlessly without a second thought about what you are actually sharing. It’s also a great way to get in the Halloween mood!

Keeping Track of my Internet Identities

I was curious about how many websites I had accounts on and I ended up making a spreadsheet document to track my accounts. It turns out, I have signed up for an account for over 30 websites. It’s probably closer to 40 or 50 because I made more accounts that I have forgotten about. I have about 5 usernames that I use between all those sites.

Some of the websites I signed up for are fairly standard. I have a Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, LinkedIn, Google+, Blogger, WordPress, and Tumblr account. I frequent those sites often and I always try to keep in mind that once something is posted, it is exposed to the world and I may not be able to undo my actions.

There are other accounts that I wish I had not made. I used to really like forums and signed up for many accounts. I have forgotten which ones I signed up for and now I know there are some accounts of mine that are just floating on the web. I wish I had been more careful in the past. Nowadays, almost everything is cached so it’s hard to ensure that something is completely off the web unless it was never there in the first place.

Next time, I’ll think twice before signing up for yet another account and ask myself if I really do need to extend my internet identity.

Don’t Put All Your Digital Eggs Into One Digital Basket

I recently read an open letter to Google from Dylan, a user that had 7 years of his digital life deleted. Dylan was an avid user of Google Products and used Google for almost every aspect of his online experience. He had approximately 7 years of correspondence, over 4,800 photographs and videos, his Google Voice messages, over 500 articles saved to his Google Reader account, his Blogger account, and all his bookmarks deleted. He is not sure as to why his account was disabled, and has tried various methods to try and figure out why his account was disabled.

I hope he can figure out what happened to his account. I will use this as a warning to back up my files. I use Google for many of my online activities but I think it’s probably good to not put all my eggs in one basket. I’m glad I have read this as this is a reminder that my online presence is not completely controlled by me. This is really unfortunate that Dylan had to face this situation, but he has had overwhelming support from other users and hopefully his questions will be answered.

Google Advertising Programs

I’ve always wondered how Google advertising works, so I looked it up. There is Google Google Adwords and Google Adsense. Google tries to create a win-win situation for both cases.

Google Adwords
This is Google’s advertising tool for businesses that want to advertise their company. Setting up an account is free and they make it extremely easy to use, and even if you do not have a website beforehand, Google gives the option of making a website for free. They allow for flexibility in terms of time commitment and how much they want to spend.

Google also helps businesses be in control of their advertisement. The company can choose keywords, languages, and geographic locations of their target. There are many tools that help the company keep track of the how well the advertising is working and best of all, you only pay when you get results!

Google Adsense
This is pretty much the opposite of Google Adwords. This is Google’s tool for people to gain revenue by advertising online. There is no fee for Google Adsense. You just get paid when people click on the ads that are on your site. You can customize and choose where to put the ads and you can also track how the ads are doing.

Google’s advertisement programs seem so brilliant. They cater to big and small companies and to individuals and groups. They allow for so much flexibility. It’s no wonder that they’re doing so well.

Paid to be a Walking Billboard

Almost everyone has a t-shirt in their closet that they bought with a giant logo on it. I’m no different. We are all “walking billboards” in some way. We advertise for companies when we use their product. It’s interesting though, because we pay them to advertise for their product. Well, Jason Sadler from I Wear Your Shirt has it all figured out. He realized they could actually make money wearing t-shirts and being a paid walking billboard.

Jason Sadler

Jason Sadler, the founder of I Wear Your Shirt

Starting January 1, 2009, Sadler charged $1 to wear a company’s t-shirt and advertise it for a day. Every day after that, it would cost $1 more, until it would cost $365 for Sadler to wear a shirt for December 31st. In 2010, he started charging $2 for January 1 and he added another t-shirt wearer, Evan White. Needless to say, it has been a total success. They have sold out every day for 2010 already and other businesses are eager to start signing up for 2011.

There’s also the option of being their monthly sponsor. For just $2500, you can be featured on their website and be on their daily social media mentions. Speaking of social media, I Wear Your Shirt does a lot of it. It makes sense; you can’t just wear a company’s shirt and have no one know about it, it would defeat the purpose. They tweet on Twitter, take videos for YouTube, upload their pictures to Flickr, and blog on their I Wear Your Shirt site.

I also find that it’s a little ironic that you can buy an iwearyourshirt.com t-shirt for $15 dollars on their store site. There’s only 100 left, they say. All I can say is: Why didn’t I think of that? It’s okay though, one day I’ll think of something equally as brilliant.

Facebook – Like it?

It’s a wonder how this solid blue rectangle with simple text on it has become something of a symbol. It was just 7 years ago that the word would conjure up absolutely nothing. It would have just been an awkward compound word that didn’t make sense. Today, Facebook brings up millions of users (500 million users as of July 2010) and connections from all over the world.

Many businesses have been able to take advantage of Facebook and use it towards their company. Some companies have even emerged because of Facebook (think Farmville). I think it’s all quite fascinating and amazing.

Facebook has gone through many changes through the years. Through layout changes and the whole concept of “being a fan” has now been adapted into “liking” pages. The word like has never been such a powerful word. It’s almost as though Facebook has revolutionized the word. What does it mean to be liked? For companies, it’s a very good thing. Many businesses have followed the trend and made their own page dedicated to their business. Users can “like” their page and they can potentially get deals and rewards that you can’t otherwise get. I have also seen many cases where a company will enter you for a chance to win a prize if you like their page (I admittedly have done so on several occasions in hopes of winning the much discussed iPad).

This is an example of another win-win situation for companies. With so many users on Facebook, the chances are high that your target market is somewhere within the Facebook users, so why not communicate to them? With very active and updated feeds and notifications, you can be sure that people will hear what you have to say, and the moment you say it.

The speed of it all is outstanding. It even beats e-mail in speed. Your consumers can also communicate back an instant you say something, or better yet, they can “like” what you say. Facebook creates a perfect environment for businesses to communicate with their consumers, and it makes it quick and easy too.

Of course, Facebook isn’t done there. Have you noticed all the Facebook ads on the sidebar? That’s another story though.