Archive for the ‘social networks’ Tag

Mobile Social Networking   Leave a comment

Facebook Immune System   6 comments

Facebook has an extraordinary security infrastructure known as the Facebook Immune System  to fight spam and other cyber-scams.

The Facebook Immune System (FIS), has a massive defence network and has considerably reduced spam. It took time for FIS to evolve into an all seeing set of algorithms that monitors every photo posted to the network, every status update and every click made by everyone of it’s users.There are about 25 billion of these “read and write actions” everyday. Facebook’s defence system is one of the largest in existence.

It protects against scams by invoking artificially intelligent software to detect suspicious patterns of behaviour. The system can learn in real time and is able to take action without human intervention.

Some months ago there was a notable attack on Facebook. Several users were duped into copying computer code into their browser’s address bar. The code commandeered the person’s Facebook account and stated sending chat messages to their friends, along with a link where the friends could get their own free ipad. Friends who clicked on the link went to a site that encouraged them to paste the same code into their browsers. These type of attacks can generate millions of messages per minute.

Users are less likely to fall for a similar tactic when using email, because a message would have to sent by a stranger. It’s easier to exploit trust relationships in social networks.

To handle such attacks FIS has generated a signature to differentiate between spam and legitimate messages. The links in spam messages that contain keywords like “free” and the IP addresses of the computers sending the messages.

Spammers use multiple machines for the purpose of switching IP addresses, and use link redirection services to change links in real time. FIS checks to see which messages are marked as spam by users and blocked the messages with similar keywords in the text. The system developed a signature that can detect spam within seconds of an attack.

Any defence based on patterns of known behaviour, FIS is vulnerable to new strategies not known to it. “Socialbots” -software that can pose as a human and control a Facebook account can exploit and elude this defence system. The bots send friend requests to random users. Then they send requests to friends of people they had connected with. The number of accepted requests will increase considerably.

Facebook’s privacy settings allow users to conceal personal information from public view. Since socialbots pose as friends, they are able to extract thousands of email addresses and physical addresses from users’ profiles. This information could be used to launch phishing attacks or aid in identity theft.

Social bots behave differently to people that enter Facebook for the first time because they have no real-world  friends to connect with.

Social Media and SEO   19 comments

As people interested in growing website traffic, it is important that we understand social media and SEO. SEO is the one that, through time and understanding, will bring you the most traffic, most consistently. But social media can do some surprising things for your business.

The main way that SEO and social media intersect is in the area of links. Social media sites have them, and SEO needs them. You can use social networks such as Facebook and Twitter to generate inbound links from popular, high-TrustRank websites. You could use social media campaigns to attract links from news sites, social bookmarking sites, and popular blogs.

Social networks like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter represent the masses. And while a single link or status update on one of these social networks has no significance, there is great power in numbers. If you post a link to a video you took, and it strikes a chord in the average person, she will share it with her friends, who will share it with their friends, and so on. If you are the creator of a piece of content that goes viral, your website can get links rained upon it. This is why social media is a powerful complement in the world of SEO. In the future, SEO and social media will evolve together to incorporate our profiles, preferences, and relationships into search results.

The flow of information: Traditionally, the most powerful ways of getting exposure have been advertisements, press, and word of mouth. Although these tools have always been the backbone of marketing, the rise of social media websites has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for online marketers.

In the past,you might see an ad in a magazine, stare at it for a few seconds, and then either remember it or forget about it. Now the same company might place an ad on Facebook. Recognizing the company, you might click Like underneath the ad, indicating your acceptance of the brand. The next day, because of that “like,” you might get a status update showing you a YouTube video that the company made as part of a campaign for a new product. Finding the video interesting, you might then post it on your friend’s profile page. His 1,000 friends might then see it, and 3 of them might post it on their friends’ profile pages. An additional 2 of your friend’s friends might tweet about it, exposing it to their 800 combined followers. One of those peoples’ followers might then submit it to a social bookmarking site such as Digg, where the best content of the day gets posted on the home page. If enough people voted for this video, it would hit the front page of Digg, get 150,000 additional views and 550 comments, and even more sharing would occur. Because of the Digg exposure, 15 blogs might repost the video, including a major outlet that gets millions of visitors per month. And on goes the sharing. That entire journey started with just one click.

The significant event, SEO-wise, in that story was the part where the blogs reposted the video to their sites. If 15 blogs repost a video, that’s 15 links to a single web page. In this case, the web page hosting the content was on YouTube, but it could easily have been hosted on your website. As you know from earlier chapters, acquiring a link can be pretty tough in an age when most webmasters understand the value of linking.

Social Connections in Social Networks   Leave a comment

In social networks there are three types of people who bring about social connections.

Connectors: are people who links us up with the word,people with a special gift for bringing the world together. They are “a handful” of people with an extraordinary knack for making friends and acquaintances. These individuals typically have social networks of over one hundred people. Connectors gain success in their ability to span many different worlds as a function of something intrinsic to their personality, some combination of curiosity, self-confidence, sociability, and energy.

Mavens:are information specialists or people we rely upon to connect us with new information. They accumulate knowledge, especially about the marketplace, and know how to share it with others. A Maven is someone who wants to solve other people’s problems, generally by solving his own. Mavens start “word-of-mouth epidemics” due to their knowledge, social skills, and ability to communicate, they are information brokers, sharing and trading what they know.

Salesmen: are persuaders, charismatic people with powerful negotiation skills. They tend to have an indefinable trait that goes beyond what they say, which makes others want to agree with them.

Each of these categories of people can potentially become your ‘first tier’ influencers. These are the people that are directly connected to you in some way. They follow news about your brand. They discuss your brand with their
connections. They want to have a closer dialogue with you. They are all influencers in their own right and, with their own specific skills, can reach out beyond your immediate network to influence others. Your tier 1 influencers can connect to your tier 2 influencers, who can also help to spread the word about your brand.

If you can find people in your immediate network who have these qualities you can start to engage in dialogue with them, cultivate them and give them information.

If you can find some information that is not generally available externally it will be very well received. Mavens will relish these bits of ‘special’ information – they will broker the information to the connectors and salesmen in their networks, and the message gets out. Each type of information gatherer will connect in some way to the next tier of influencers which may be further away from you in social distance, but closer to others in their own networks.


-Tier 1 influencers typically hang out on user forums, they help out in community sites and they often have the answers     the community needs.                                                                                                                                                                                                 -They respond to questions posed on the forum, or, if they are connector types, they will know someone in their network  who does have the answer if they don’t actually know it themselves.                                                                                                   -They may run user groups or attend them.                                                                                                                                                     -They are forum moderators.                                                                                                                                                                                  -They run user Q&A portals and participate in chat rooms.
-They are often quick to respond to a question posted on Twitter or Facebook.
-They are significant in your ‘fan-out’ evangelism efforts.

Fan-out messaging works like this. I tell two people, who each tell two people, who each tell two people, who each tell two people. My original message has fanned out and has reached 30 new potential customers – or, more importantly, potential influencers for my brand. These influencers and their connections are vital in getting your message out on your behalf. They retweet your interesting news on Twitter, they link to your blog from their own blog and they share useful links on Facebook. This network rebroadcasts and amplifies your message for you.

Tier 1 influencers are often early adopters. They buy the latest gadget, phone and eBook reader. They beta-test new releases of software and often have the latest and greatest laptop. They demonstrate their new hardware to anyone who will watch. They download the latest Twitter client and tweet endlessly about it. They broadcast this to their friends
through blogs, Facebook and Twitter. These influencers created a buzz about the device which ensured that a huge amount of people got to hear about it through the reports in the newswires.

Large companies have structured rewards and incentives programmes for influencers who are not usually motivated by financial incentives, but who thrive on knowledge gathering, community and recognition.

If you get your key influencers right then your tier 1 and your tier 2 influencers will do the job of getting your message out for you.

If you maintain a close relationship with your tier 1 influencers they will reward you by broadcasting your message for you. Airlines get loyalty from their travellers with Air Miles programmes and frequent flyer clubs, and supermarkets
offer incentives through their loyalty and rewards cards.

If you invest time in maintaining the relationship with your tier 1 influencers, you will find you have a great circle of loyal advocates to spread the word about your brand. These influencers will greatly increase the amount of coverage when
they talk about your product or gizmo, so it’s worthwhile talking about it. If you don’t think you have the time to invest in talking about your product across your channels, then spending 30 minutes a day promoting your message can still be of
benefit if it is done outside your immediate circle of connections.


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