SEO Spammers Running Rampant on GMail

If you haven’t gotten an email from spammers using a GMail account lately, consider yourself lucky. Spammers using GMail accounts are running rampant these days, and the so-called SEO Spammers seem to me to be the worst offenders, but by no means are they the only spammers utilizing GMail to send their tons of junk.

Gmail is just another Web-based service that is being abused. And though I could argue that Google AdSense has spawned a massive spamming industry, the real issue here is that black hat link spammers are abusing not only Google, but websites as well.

I am getting so fed up with the junk mail, 98% of it coming from gmail accounts, that I am getting real close to just blacklisting all gmail users from even sending me email. There are a few people with Gmail accounts who send me legitimate email, but the bogus form registrations don’t even come close to looking like real people.

That’s a drastic measure, and one that will certainly block some good Gmail users, but enough is enough. I, for one, am tired of having my free time eaten up fighting all of the Gmail spam of late.  And apparently, Google is doing very little (if anything) to combat this problem.  I don’t hold Google responsible for the fact that it enables spamming, but they have a form on their website where you report such abuse, but it seems that no one at Google is doing anything about any complaints that are filed at their site, so why bother? I’ve submitted several complaint forms, and absolutely nothing is done about them.

Google says that spammers haven’t cracked their Gmail captcha system yet, that the spammers are paying low-cost labor in overseas markets to sign up for Gmail accounts and spam every website they can find.

If spammers continue to abuse Gmail freely, and even worse, if Google does nothing about it,  I’m pretty sure a LOT of ISPs and forums will start blocking Gmail. That’s the only solution that we will have if we don’t want to waste half our day and resources on stopping spam from Gmail accounts.

Listen up Google, you monsterous beasts of the Internet, you are not beyond being blocked. Is anyone at the Goliath of the web listening?

I’d love to hear your opinion on this problem. Just leave your comment (pro or con) below. I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time…

Follow me on Twitter

Ed

Removing a Shared File

I had a reader write in to ask: “Is it safe for me to remove shared files?”  This post covers this for my reader, and anyone else who may be wondering the same thing. 🙂

When you remove programs from your computer, using the Add/Remove Programs system, should you answer “Yes” or “No” to the question, “Do you want to remove a shared file?”

Shared files have the file extension “.DLL” on them. That means they’re a Dynamic Linked Library file. All this means is, the file in question can be used by different programs. A word processor (like MS Word) and another program may share a DLL file. So removing that file COULD cause another program to malfunction.

You may have seen a message stating that a certain file cannot be found. That file is needed in order to open the program you’re trying to use. Why is it missing? Could be that you removed it when you uninstalled another program and said YES to the question “Do you want to remove the shared file.”

The bottom line: If you aren’t familiar with a filename, and you’re asked if you want to delete it, don’t. Just answer “NO” to the question. It won’t do any harm if it’s not actually needed. But watch out if it *is* needed – and you’ve removed it!

 

Add/Remove Programs System?

 

Click on Start

Control Panel

Add/Remove Programs

Select the program you want to uninstall

Select Change/Remove

 

DLL files are tiny files, but it’s like a having a tiny fuse blowing in your car. When that tiny bit of power blows, all that sophisticated technology grinds to a halt.

Sometimes a .dll file disappears or is damaged, or is removed accidentally. And suddenly you find that one of your programs no longer works. The answer?

Download another one from the Internet and install it.

Sounds easy enough, right?

Just go to Google and type in dll in the search box. You’ll see a ton of links to sites that let you download the .dll file you’re missing from their .dll library. If you don’t find the file you’re looking for at one site, just go to another one until you do.

Some sites may try to charge you, but don’t pay for a .dll file… because there are other sites that will offer you the same file for free.

Be sure to write down the number of the .dll file you need, then type it into the search box of the download site. Also look for a site that gives you instructions on how to install it. Print out those instructions and follow them to a t… and everything should return to normal for you when you open that program that is missing a .dll file.

Until next time…

 

Don’t forget to Follow me on Twitter.

 

Ed

20 Ways Twitter Helps Businesses Beat The Economic Downturn

On Monday March 16, a discussion group I’m a participant in on LinkedIn, started a discussion on “Reasons why twitter might be right for your business” and after receiving over 120 comments back, the group organizer distilled the strongest themes into 20 simple points on how companies are gaining an advantage by using twitter. It’s true some companies are still getting familiar with this new tool and see it as a time consuming and useless, and there can be an overload of non-valuable information, but over 80% of comments received indicated the pro’s far outweighing the con’s.

Although twitter is strong in news and social interaction, it is playing a fundamental role in giving a number of companies a competitive edge during challenging economic times by:

– creating access to new customers
– receiving customer and public feedback that leads to more successful sales
– opening networking opportunities with contacts companies wouldn’t have had access to.

20 of LinkedIn’s Strongest Group Discussion Themes from over 120 Comments

Following are the strongest themes many companies said they’re enjoying as they’ve learned how to grasp the culture, grow their followers, and when needed apply external technology tools that simplifies the vast amounts of information.


Here’s how companies have benefited from twitter:

1.  Build relationships with people they would have not met before

2.  Exposure to lots of new business thoughts, technical ideas and leadership styles

3.  Finding new clients by commenting back on others’ tweets

4.  Access to thinkers and doer’s one wouldn’t normally interact with

5.  Can follow businesses you want the latest updates from with less effort

6.  Clients have asked for accounts to be opened so they can get regular updates

7.  Can assist Google rankings, sometimes it gets first page results

8.  Can assist in getting real questions answered real time during the day

9.  Been a great way to gain interactive access with new clients by following their tweets

10. Received access to publicity: radio, TV, press, speaking engagements

11. Allows leaders to connect to followers on a personal level

12. Without being pushy, it can generate buzz/talk about your company

13. Great for bringing traffic to your site if you offer truly valuable information and links

14. Provides a premier marketing tool when used correctly

15. Can be a great resource for getting push information versus searching the web

16. Can act as a news wire for journalist who are looking for story content

17. Can save time by getting the latest news without having to go search for it

18. Enables expansion of your database by removing budget or geography barriers  

19. It can increase your market reach if you actively promote your presence on twitter

20. A great way to showcase your expertise and differentiate from competition.  

 

Until Next Time…

twitter

Ed

Feel free to comment below if you have any thoughts you would like to share with other readers on this blog.

 

Twitter: Why All This Fuss?

Don’t understand what all the Twitter fuss is about or why you might want to use this social networking tool? You’re not alone, but you may be missing out on useful information and professional connections.

Twitter remains a very nascent social network, so if you don’t know how it works or what it does (or you haven’t even heard of it), don’t feel bad. In fact, you’re still in the majority.

What Exactly is Twitter?

Twitter is a free service that allows users to publish short messages of 140 characters or less. These messages are read by “followers” — people who make a conscious decision to subscribe to your messages and have them delivered to their own Twitter home pages.

Each message you post is known as a “Tweet.” In the social media and social networking industry, Twitter facilitates a process known as microblogging or microsharing. Every user is identified by putting an “@” sign in front of their name.

Why Tweet?

It’s important to remember that Twitter is a publishing medium. In many cases, Tweets can be picked up by Google. So remember what you say, especially if you tend to talk business over Twitter (as many people do).

Joining Twitter has value for many people, but it can also be a waste of time if you don’t understand how the medium works and how best to utilize it. My best advice to you is, think about why you would want to do it. Do you want to join because there’s buzz about it everywhere, or just because President Obama is on it? ESPECIALLY NOW, you need to spend your resources and time wisely. Is Twitter a wise move for you?

Though some people use Twitter to keep people in their personal life updated, Twitter has developed a business following. People in a particular industry (say engineering, software development, or public relations) often use Twitter to keep up with news, opinion and happenings in their field, for example. Once you get going with Twitter, this information will come to you.

Twitter should be a place where you want to share common interests and ask insightful questions, and, ideally, read the interesting answers you get back.

I like to think of Twitter as a great tool for “Micro-blogging”. If you have a blog, you should use Twitter to let your followers know when you have posted a new article on your blog, with a link over to the blog. Starting to get the picture?

Most Importantly, understand this:  You’re Publishing: Google Will Find Your Tweets!  So be sure you link to your blog when you tweet! I suggest shortening the URL of your tweet that links to your blog by grabbing a shorter URL at http://TinyURL.com

What you say can affect your blog or business. Your boss, competitors, wife or future wife, etc. You need to remember, it’s publishing!

What You Can Gain

When you go to Twitter to sign up, it says, “Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co-workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?”

The best way to make the most use of it is not just answer what are you doing now.  Instead, answer: “What’s important to me?” That changes the conversation and makes value. It takes away some of the minutia and shows you want to talk about something that’s more useful and interesting other than something useless like, “I’m going to lunch.”  Who cares if you’re going to lunch?

I quickly stop following people who have nothing useful to say, so keep that in mind when you start “Tweeting”.

Who Should You Follow?

The early users of Twitter have turned the issue of followers into a bit of popularity contest, and the PR and marketing professionals follow thousands of people in some cases to help tout their brands over the service.

But following a lot of people can create unnecessary noise that will render the service useless o look for other people in your industry who often publish links to things they’re reading, with a short comment on it.

Look for quality people who tweet about something useful. When you first start out, shoot for following 50 to 75 people, then decide who not to follow from that initial list. You’ll know pretty quickly when someone is tweeting a bunch of useless stuff, and when someone is tweeting something helpful.

I personally only follow 26 people (at the time this article was composed). Forget trying to follow 10,542 people… it can’t be done, and it’s a total waste of time to try.

The people you choose to follow should bring something compelling to your life. It’s really sad when people think that it’s important to follow a ton of random people or have people with a lot of followers to be important or get value from Twitter.

Start with people you know. When you sign up for Twitter, you will be prompted to search for friends from your Yahoo or GMail accounts and show if you are on the service. You can also use Twitter’s Search Tool to look for people you might be interested in following.

You don’t need to necessarily know someone personally, but they should relate to your interests. You can follow me on Twitter.

Who Will Follow You?

Not long after you join, people will begin following you. I currently have around 120 or so people following me, and I have not really been trying to add to that list of followers. Invite people on your personal email list to follow you. Maybe clients, customers, and prospects. Before you follow back, make sure you’re going to get something substantive out of their tweets. But most of all, make sure THEY are going to get something substantive out of YOUR tweets.

Remember, because a Tweet is so short, (maximum of 140 characters) it’s even harder than with say, e-mail, for people to pick up context or tell when you’re being sarcastic versus serious. You need to think carefully about how you put things and how they sound. Think about not only your immediate followers but your potential audience, which is the whole Web. Tweets get googled pretty prominently.

How to Sign Up for Twitter:

1. Twitter.com Click on the “Join the Conversation” button in middle of the page.

2. Fill out basic information. This will include your full name, preferred user name, password and e-mail address. Remember, the user name is what people will see with an “@” symbol in front of it.

3. See if your friends are on Twitter. After you fill out basic info, you’ll be prompted to look for friends in your Gmail, Yahoo, MSN, Hotmail or AOL accounts so you can begin following them if they’re already on the service. You can follow my tweets.

4. Twitter’s suggestions. Twitter will suggest some people for you to follow as well. Check to see if anyone of them are relevant.

5. Setting up your profile. Click on “settings” in the upper right hand corner of your Twitter home page. You’ll be brought to a tab-based menu that helps you build your profile and adjust settings.

6. Fill in the fields. Of particular importance is the “one line bio” under the “Account” tab. You have 160 characters to present yourself to the Twitter community. Many people choose to state their profession, and then maybe something outside of work that interests them as well.

7. Start looking for followers Regardless of how many people you found through e-mail search and Twitter’s suggestions, start looking around for people you might find interesting. Use search.twitter.com.

Be sure to include whether you want someone’s tweets to text you on your cell phone. You can choose this feature for each individual you’re following.  I have a whopping total of three people whose tweets will make it to my cell phone. Be very selective with this option!

Joel Comm has written a book called “Twitter Power” that really goes into a lot of detail as to the “Power of Twitter”. You can find it at most any bookstore, and online as well.

I hope this article has been helpful to you, and will help you decide if Twitter is for you or not. If you found this article useful, tell a friend about it below… use the “Tell Others About This Article” buttons.

Until next time,

Follow Me on Twitter

Ed