March 1, 2010

To my surprise, I’ve realized recently that my articles from StayNAlive.com and other blogs are being shared, in their full text, on Buzz and having my ads stripped from them, without my permission.

For those unaware, there’s a “subscribe” button when you visit this blog that allows anyone to obtain the RSS of this blog and plug it into a Reader.  For those of you reading this in a Reader, thank you, and you’re already aware of this.  One thing I have done with those feeds if you haven’t noticed is at the bottom of each post in the RSS, I’ve added Google Adsense to my feeds so I can at least cover my costs of running this blog and make at least a few cents a day trying to re-coup costs of hosting and time spent writing posts.  If you visit http://staynalive.com/feed in a browser like Chrome, you can look at the raw feed and see the ads at the bottom of each post.  Or, if you’re reading this post in a traditional feed reader, look down at the bottom of this post and you’ll see the ad.

However, there’s a feature on Buzz that enables anyone reading my shared posts to expand the summarized content and view the entire post, right in Buzz.  For one, I didn’t give Buzz permission to do this on shared posts, and second, Buzz is stripping out my ads, depriving me of that potential revenue rather than either displaying those ads, or redirecting the user back to my site where I can monetize that in some other form.  This is blatant copyright infringement if you ask me!  Now, if you expand my posts, since it’s integrated into Gmail, look over to the right – see those ads?  Yup, I’m not getting a penny of that.

Google is now monetizing my content, and neglecting to ask for my permission in doing so, while removing what I had put in place to monetize my content.  Starting today, I’m removing my blog from my Google Profile, as well as my Google Reader shares so that I don’t help further the copyright infringement on other blogs I share.  The problem that still exists is that anyone who shares my content from Google Reader will also have my content available on Buzz in full format, and my ads stripped.  There’s no way to stop it, and Google is encouraging this wrong practice.

To be clear, I’m fine with them either displaying the ads that I put there (and allowing me to monetize off the other ads that are on the page), or just summarizing the article and encouraging users to click through to my site.  I’m not okay with Google scraping my content, stripping my ads, altering my content, and pushing it out for them to get 100% of the revenues off of something I spent time and money making.

Google, how is this not evil?  Maybe I should us

After reading http://staynalive.com/articles/2010/02/25/is-google-stealing-authors-copyright-with-buzz/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+StayNAlive+(Stay+N’+Alive)&utm_content=Google+Reader, I completely see the point that this blogger was trying to make. It’s completely understandable and unfair of Buzz.

My question is if you can add Ad Sense ads to posts in a feed through Google Reader, why can’t you do that with Buzz?

Get on it Google! Chop chop! 



March 1, 2010

Here is a breakdown of the reasons listed in the video:

  1. Social media is now the number one online activity, beating porn and personal email to the top spot.

  2. Because 2/3 of the global Internet population visit social networks.

  3. Because time spent on social networks is growing at 3X the overall Internet rate, accounting for 10% of all Internet time.

  4. Because online, including social media, has become the most influential source in helping consumers make purchasing decisions.

  5. Because millions of people are creating content for the social web.

  6. Because the next 3 billion consumers will access the Internet from a mobile device.

  7. Because Facebook is now the operating system of the social web.

  8. Because Twitter believes it will have 1 billion users by 2012.

  9. Because one way marketing has had its day.

  10. Because in almost all cases social media is free.

    I love charts and graphs and statistics. But I found these even more interesting than usual. 

    For one thing is social media is beating porn and email. Porn and email is what the internet was based on. For social media to top that? That’s just huge. Add in the rate at which social media usage is growing and wow. Just wow. 

    I think the note about social media becoming the most influential source in helping consumers make decisions is just huge, for both consumers and companies. For consumers because it allows you get feedback on a product from “real people” and also creates a demand for company transparency. With the dawning of social media and its continuing usage increasing at phenomenal rates, companies are losing the ability hide things, whether it be shoddy products or terrible customer service. This is also big for companies, because if they’re paying attention, it opens up a whole world of possibilities for improved products and customer service, along with better marketing for specialized niches. It’ll be interesting to how this plays out over the next few years. 

    Also interesting to watch is Facebook and Twitter’s current dominance. I’m of the school of thought that everything has a rise and fall, so I’m interested to see when and where the fall will come, and most importantly why. It’ll also be interesting to see what rises from the ashes. I’m thinking that location based apps are the next big thing and either will become more heavily integrated into Facebook or a new Facebook-Foursquare hybrid will emerge. 

    Another interesting point is the last one about social media being free. While yes, the vast majority of social media channels are free, most have ads, so technically you are paying in some way. Whether advertising divisions of companies shape up and deliver more customized ads remains to be seen. 


Facebook Patent: A Haiku

February 28, 2010

Facebook was not first.

They had thought to patten first. 

Tough cookies everyone. 



I think that just about sums that up. 


Google Buzz: What Is It Good For?: Part 2: Mashable Edition

February 28, 2010

1. Gathering Customer Feedback

Like Twitter, Buzz lets you post a message to a group of “followers” that subscribe to your updates. However, there are a few differences, namely that messages can be longer than 140 characters (and include supporting images and links) and that replies are all grouped under the original message. This makes conversations easier to track and follow up on. There are also built-in features to reply in a one-on-one way, via either e-mail or Google Talk.

Could Buzz be used in this way? Definitely. Will it be used this way tomorrow? No. Given some time, it could become a viable option, but for right now, Buzz is clunkier than email and doesn’t have the following of Twitter, making it harder to use Buzz to pull a Kevin Smith type publicity stunt. 

2. Engaging With Others

If you use Gmail, there’s a good chance you already have a built-in network on Google Buzz. The service helps you get started by letting you connect with those you e-mail or chat with frequently. Once you’re following some people, clicking the “Buzz” link from Gmail’s main navigation will let you see their most recent updates. You can comment on them, “like” them, or follow up personally with an e-mail or chat message.

Google Buzz does have a major advantage of being built right into your inbox. However, will this hurt Buzz instead of help? On the one hand, being able to respond via Buzz is incredibly convenient and with it’s direct line to Google Talk and Gmail, following up with a one-on-one conversation is a snap. But, it seems like many people are disabling Buzz for that very reason-it’s just too convenient. Email is seen as distracting enough to hinder productivity as is, add in Buzz and say good bye to you work day. If people start to turn on and off the feature and check it at certain times, like Twitter or Facebook, this could be a viable platform for engagement. But, if people are on their down time, do they really want to see their inbox piling up? 

3. Collaboration

Buzz can be used both for broadcasting a message to all of your followers and to select groups of them. If you’ve already set up Groups in Gmail, they’re already available in Buzz. If not, you can create new ones on-the-fly. Posting a private message on Buzz works exactly the same as posting a public one – you just select the Group you want to be able to see it, and then only those people will be able to view and comment on it. It’s instant, private collaboration.

Or since you’re already in Gmail, you could just shoot an email. Or use a Google Group. Or Wave. Or Google Docs. Just saying.

4. Marketing

It’s too soon to tell whether Buzz will have the type of impact for brick-and-mortar businesses that services likeYelp and increasingly Foursquare have had, but it has a very similar feature set. Users can “check in” at business locations, in turn notifying their followers of their whereabouts. Thus, encouraging your customers to check in on Buzz (and other location-based services) can be a way to drive free word-of-mouth marketing for your business.

This is the big one. IF people really jump on the bandwagon for this feature, Buzz could be huge. However with Foursquare being able to stream through Twitter, do people really want to check into one more place upon arrival. (Disclosure: I’m biased. I don’t use Foursquare because I barely have the patience to check my coat when I go somewhere. Add in calling my father and my quota is filled.)

5. Sharing Content

collaboration imageJust like Twitter and Facebook, Buzz has the potential to be a powerful medium for sharing content. You can use it to share blog posts, special deals, or interesting links related to your niche. Just like other social media services, you shouldn’t overdo it though – you want to mix promotional messages with a balance of other useful information and conversation for your followers.





And we’re back to the same arguments-do people want one more social medium to post things to and check into? Will the ease and convenience of Buzz integrated into Gmail and Google Talk give it an edge-or hurt it? The ability to have longer conversations in more of a forum-format IS nice and missing from other social media channels, and for this reason I’m sticking by my assertion that Buzz could become the next blog comment community forum.