Book Review: Likeable Social Media by Dave Kerpen

likeable social media

Likeable Social Media by Dave Kerpen is a book that I didn't expect to find myself reading recently.  I found Likeable Social Media at my local library when I was browsing through the aisles.  Why would a 20-something be at a library though?  I mean libraries have books with this thing called paper (no, not e-books).  Well, it is a bit of a story.

The internet at my house was out since a BG&E (Baltimore Gas and Electric) crew drilled through a phone and internet line on our street.  Apparently this caused a few blocks around my house to not have internet access for about 2 weeks.  However, we were not affected by the prolonged outage.  (Sorry to any of my neighbors reading!)  Verizon had to come switch out about 1,200 feet of lines under our street though.  Therefore was a -2 day period were they had to cut the internet at our house.  What is a person going to do when they don't have internet? Go to the library to use the Wi-Fi.

So, that is how I ended up at the library.  While there using the Wi-Fi I figured I would at least browse through the aisles and to discover this old thing called a book.  That is when I noticed “Likeable Social Media”  I took it off the bookshelf to examine it and saw the author's name “Dave Kerpen? Never heard of that guy!”  One quote and name on the back bookjacket did catch my eye though “Scott Monty” who manages Ford's social media channels.  I started thumbing through the book and thought it was at least worth a checkout.  Hey, it's the library.

Having talked and interacted with ‘social media gurus' before my hopes were not high.  I have found they offer a lot of empty promises and BS advice.  Usually it turns out they know as much about social media as I do.  Would Dave Kerpen be one of these people?

The answer is No,  Likeable Social Media turned out to have some useful nuggets of information which I think should help me in the future.

For instance, Kerpen mentions nanotargeting, which is targeting a single person or very small group of people.  He demonstrates this ability sending his wife, Carrie, personalized Facebook ads.   I had heard about people running Facebook ads to target very specific groups but not 1 individual person.

Other parts of the book mention good ways to communicate and engage with Facebook audiences.  Each chapter has Action Items to encourage you to act on what you have just read.

Likeable Social Media by Dave Kerpen is worth a read for someone struggling with wrapping their head around social media, but the big questions… will it help you gain followers?  Probably not!

While the book provides useful advice I people just trying to build audiences will not find Likeable Social Media has quite as much information to suite them.  The book is mainly written for small-medium sized business owners that have little knowledge or familiarity with social media.  Most of the Action Items are really for businesses.  The Appendix is primer on how to use social networks, which is fine for someone who doesn't know but I don't think that it the majority of people that follow Kerpen.

I am still struggling with gaining followers for my Singing Dogs implementing Kerpen's methods.  Checkout the Singing Dog Facebook page and @DogsSing Twitter feed.

I will say I got more value out of the book than reading a blog about social media.  Most of these sites tend to regurgitate the same information which is not helpful.  (This includes Kerpen's own social media blog.)

However, 60-70% of the book was repeated fluff and ideas as well.  The ghostwriter probably needed to meet a certain word minimum so the book wouldn't be too thin on a bookshelf.  The next book could be just a short e-book around 40-50 pages in my opinion.

There was this passage in the book which I found interesting;

Soon after we started our company back in 2007, we wanted to write a blog to share expertise and our product point of view and to create and share valuable content about social media and online marketing. Much to the dismay of our small staff, I insisted that the blog was titled “Buzz Markeitng Daily.”  People argued internally, “If you write ‘daily in the the title of the blog, you're suggesting we'll have new content daily. What if we can't keep up?”

We're not a newspaper, we're a marketing firm,” one person argued. Three years later, the title has changed to “Likeable Content Daily,” but we've been able to keep to the promise of a new article each weekday.  More important, the blog has become one of the thousand most widely read and shared blogs on social media marketing in the world and is consistent source of new business prospects.

Later in the book he argues that some companies probably don't even need a website with Facebook.  Mmm… well I don't really agree with that and I guess Kerpen, well the ghostwriter, fails to realize that blog is a website.  Why would claim someone doesn't need a website when you generate your own content daily and have a popular blog?  Maybe the editor was sleeping or did Kerpen just not read what the ghostwrite wrote?  I imagine the Likeable Content Daily blog brings in more clients via SEO (search engine optimization) than it does via it's social media following.

Another argument he makes is that a “Like” is more powerful than a “Link.”  While I think there is validity to that statement he fails to mention that a Facebook Like actually gives you a Link.  Everytime someone “Likes” a page a link is created on a personal Facebook page showing all the pages that person likes.  Believe me the “Link” is still important.

To be honest I got more from a Yoel Cohen video course I bought off the Warrior Forum.  I used the techniques from the video course and implemented them immediately for my new auto site, CarNewsCafe.  (Yoel even gave me a 1-hour coaching session too.)  We now have 144 followers on the CarNewsCafe Facebook page and have only been up for less than 2 months.  Checkout the screenshot;

facebook analyticsI hope we could get a lot more followers… so if you love cars please join the CarNewsCafe community! 🙂

At least Kerpen admits in his book, “I wish I could tell you that after you read this book you'll have all of the tools to instantly turn on the social media revenue engine and watch the money pour in. I can't, of course.”  This might not be what I or other wants to hear but that statement is true, which I respect.

At least I learned a few things from reading Likeable Social Media.  What are they?

  • I still need to find someone to give me legit social media advice.
  • Don't trust social media gurus!
  • I don't like Facebook and probably never will.
  • The library is pretty cool place.

Did you read Likeable Social Media by Dave Kerpen?  If you did leave your thoughts below, whether they are good or bad.  I'd love to hear other's opinions on this social media book.

Catch me on Twitter @AdamYamada … if you can!

Note: I have included affiliate links in this review.  Nobody can buy or alter my opinion on this blog as this is an honest and fair review.  

8 Reasons Math Teachers are Nazis in Disguise

What makes Math Teachers so evil and despicable? Well most have yet to realize it, but Math Teachers are Nazis in disguise.  Here are 8 reasons why;

math teachers are nazis

1. Everyone Hates Them

Everyone hates math teachers!  Sure, they might have fringe supporters but in general everyone hates them and what they teach.  Hating them is just part of life.  Did you get up wake up this morning?  Did you login onto the internet?  That's what hating math teacher Nazis is, just a natural part of life.

2. Excellent Propaganda

Math teachers have learned from their past Nazi brethren the art and power propaganda can have.  Not only that but they have become quite good at it over the past few years.  Somehow they have gotten politicians and the media to promote STEM, and acronym for Science Technology Engineering Math.  They are promoting STEM in a seemingly endless propaganda campaign to make themselves more appealing to the masses.

Since these Neo-Nazis in disguise have made this a hot term now and are cycling through an excellent propaganda machine.  It's making them slowly gain support to their fringe political party.  We must stop STEM and these Math Nazis from prevailing!

3. Hate Disagreement

It's a well known fact that math teachers HATE anyone that disagrees with them.  Present a solution to a math problem differently to what they taught you, and they will freak out.  (Mainly because they were not smart enough to think of that.)  This is just another trait which shows you math teachers are Nazis in disguise.  Since Nazis hate disagreement too, it's so obvious.

4. Brainwashing

Math teachers have been brainwashing children for years into believing their ideology is perfectly normal.  This couldn't be further from the truth.  In reality their “math cult” and Nazism is a radicalized view of the world.  Who the fuck needs to know Geometry, Trigonometry, Algerbra, and Calculus?  Nobody!  Just like nobody needs to read that book that Hitler wrote in prison.

They want everyone to think the same way, that math it cool.  Luckily Math Nazis haven't realized their brainwashing has yet to work!

5. Liars

Math teacher Nazis are the biggest liars in the Nazi party.  They like to tell, “If you learn this math you can get a good job.”  If that was true why the hell are they standing in front of a classroom teaching a bunch of kids that don't want to learn math?  Like that was a job they actually wanted… please!  Another clear example that math teachers are part of the Nazi party, since they are Liars!

6. Communicate in Code

Nazis used to communicate in code that few people could understand.  It took allied forces years to crack the Japanese and German Enigma codes in which they communicated to launch air strikes, submarines, and move troops.

Math teachers communicate in code that nobody can understand as well.  It's just not something that they publicly want people to know about.  Have you every tried to decipher their code?  It's friggin impossible unless you have another math nazi that can help you decode it.

7. They Like to Make People's Lives Miserable

Math teachers continue to make millions of people's lives miserable for years on end.  They've been doing it for years without anyone truly noticing, yet they are still getting away with it.  The only difference with the Nazis of 1940's is that they were caught and put on trial.  Since math teachers are Nazis in disguise it is only a matter of time before the same fate awaits these evil souls on earth.

8. They are ruining the World

The devastation that math teachers disguised as Nazis are causing is unimaginable.  Think of the countless children's lives they are ruining?  These evil Nazi souls are slowing destroying and ruining the world!

Conclusion

Math teachers are Nazis in disguise and all my points prove it! If you agree, which I know you do, then please share this post and let the world know. We can not tolerate Nazis in our classrooms, we must not let them almost take over the world again. We must fight them!

*Happy April 1st!

7 BIG Mistakes you are Making at the Gym

gym

With Spring upon us and just around the corner a lot of people are thinking about getting “in shape.”  Attaining a beach body for Summer is most people's number 1 goal right now.

While you have already won have the battle if you made it to the over to the gym there are similar mistakes I see people make constantly at the gym.  This isn't to say there is a wrong or right way to workout since everyone is different but these actions are not helping you make the fastest gains possible in the shortest amount of time;

  1. Too Much Weight: This is pretty common for people just getting started at the gym.  They are trying to compare themselves to other people around them lifting a lot more weight.  You need to just slow down and not worry about what you are lifiting.  You should focus on a good lifting technique and gradually increase the weight.  Remember, no bodybuilder or the buffest person at the gym started out looking that way.  They had to work at it too.
  2. Using Your Phone: Walk into any gym in the US nowadays and I am sure you will a similar sighting.  People on there smartphones texting, emailing, surfing the web, etc. while working out.  Really people?  If you want to get into optimal shape you shouldn't be on your smartphone doing that.  I know a lot of people use their smartphones to play music but consider leaving it in the locker room (with a lock on the locker of course) instead.  I have an inexpensive Sansa Clip which is small, lightweight, and easy to clip-on to workout clothes.  The Sansa Slip is 4GB which is plenty of space for music or podcasts.  Having just an MP3 player allows me to workout for 45 minutes – 1 hour without worrying about anything else.  If you truly want to shed fat and gain muscle fast you will do it a lot better if that is what you are concentrating on for that period of time.
  3. Fitting to Much into 1 Workout: If you have not been to the gym in awhile but used to be in great shape, don't overdue it.  Just because you used to be able to lift or run a lot does not mean you can now.  Push yourself but don't fit too much into 1 workout session.  You will hurt yourself and possibly end up not wanting to go back to the gym.  Try to make workout sessions short but highly efficient and effective.  Remember you can always come back to the gym
  4. Comparing Yourself to Others: Don't worry about the biggest or fittest people in the gym.  Like I said before they didn't start out that way and you shouldn't expect to start out that way either.
  5. Wrong Technique: It is quite common to see people doing the wrong techniques even if the are experienced gym rats.  If you do the wrong lifting or exercise techniques you won't get the most of your workouts.  If you think you are doing something wrong try to go with a friend or hire a personal trainer for a few sessions to iron our your kinks.
  6. Not Stretching: This goes into number 5.  It is ideal to stretch before, during, and after when you are lifting weights.  A lot of people don't but that doesn't mean you shouldn't.  Stretching will enable your muscles to recover faster and keep your body limber.
  7. Not Drinking Water: Make sure to include a water bottle in you gym bag and stay hydrated during your workouts.  This will make your workouts more effective and keep your muscles moving.  It is best to take small sips of water between sets.

I don't claim to be a fitness expert or gym rat but I hope you have found this helpful.  If you agree or disagree with this list please let me know and leave a comment below.  If you know a friend or family member could benefit from my list and advice, please share.

Twitter will stop support of TweetDeck Mobile Apps

tweetdeckA few days ago on TweetDeck's official blog on Posterous, Twitter surprised the Social Media universe or more specifically the “Twitterverse.”  Twitter announced that they will be ending support for TweetDeck mobile apps for Android smartphones and the iPhone.  Also Twitter will not be supporting the desktop version of the Twitter application anymore known as TweetDeck AIR (it runs on the Adobe AIR platform.)

Here is what Twitter said on the Posterous blog post that was posted on March 4th, 2013.

TweetDeck is the most powerful Twitter tool for tracking real-time conversations. Its flexibility and customizable layout let you keep up with what’s happening on Twitter, across multiple topics and accounts, in real time. To continue to offer a great product that addresses your unique needs, we’re going to focus our development efforts on our modern, web-based versions of TweetDeck. To that end, we are discontinuing support for our older apps: TweetDeck AIR, TweetDeck for Android and TweetDeck for iPhone. They will be removed from their respective app stores in early May and will stop functioning shortly thereafter. We’ll also discontinue support for our Facebook integration.

TweetDeck mobile apps makes it easy and convenient for people with multiple Twitter accounts to control them all from the same application   I have been using TweetDeck on my Android smartphone to handle my personal Twitter account @AdamYamada and the one for Cody and Sierra, my two singing dogs, @DogsSing.  Even a couple of other Twitter accounts are on there and I used it often to send Tweets to Facebook pages or just update Facebook pages.

I am bit annoyed that Twitter has decided to pull the plug on TweetDeck for Android and TweetDeck for iPhone.  It has over 1 million downloads which is a pretty sizable user-base in my opinion.  The reason Twitter probably decided to pull the plug on TweetDeck for smartphones is that the majority of people are using Twitter for iPhone and Twitter for Android apps instead.  Unlike me they do not have a need have multiple accounts they need or want to control from the same app.

I am also annoyed Twitter will not support Facebook integration but I understand since that is technically their biggest competitor in the Social Media world.  I guess Twitter has made a calculated move to try to push more people to stay on their platform.

Ending support for the desktop version does make sense though.  Over the past couple of months I have migrated to using the TweetDeck Chrome app which is convenient, fast, and easy to use.  I bet from a developer standpoint it is easier to run TweetDeck in the cloud.  From the blog post it seems like Twitter's data probably reflects that.

In many ways, doubling down on the TweetDeck web experience and discontinuing our app support is a reflection of where our TweetDeck power-users are going.

What does not make sense is that Twitter decided to post the news on a Posterous blog.  Why?  Twitter acquired Posterous awhile ago and will be shutting down Posterous on April 30th, 2013.  You can read Sachin Agarwal's, the Founder and CEO of Posterous, blog post about it.  (If you have a Posterous blog you should go backup your data immediately if you want it.  You can transfer it to WordPress or Tumblr blog.)  Twitter it seems want all the focus to be on developing Twitter and the buyout was probably what is known as an “acquihire.”  These acquihires by big tech companies are usually just to get the talent from the company they are buying out and not necessarily for the technology itself.

If anyone would like to suggest a good TweetDeck replacement, please leave a comment and suggest one.  I most likely will be trying out different Twitter apps that can handle multiple accounts over the next month or two.  I will keep people updated with what I do and don't like.

If you are a TweetDeck user and as unhappy as I am, let me know how you feel.  I would be interested to hear from others.

Matt Cutts doesn’t recommend ccTLD Domain Hacks

In a Google Webmaster video that was released today Matt Cutts seems to suggest that using what is known as “Domain Hacks” is not necessarily a great idea.  Here is the question that he responded to in the the Google Webmaster video.

We have a vanity domain (http://ran.ge) that unfortunately isn't one of the generic TLDs, which means we can't set our geographic target in Webmaster Tools. Is there any way to still target our proper location?

Aaron D Campbell, Phoenix, AZ

I am glad Aaron asked this as using a vanity domain, aka Domain Hacks, is something I was curios to know since I have thought about registering a few.  For those don't know, Domains Hacks or a vanity domain is when a person, business, or site decides to utilize a country code top level domain (ccTLD) to complete a word or phrase.  This is instead of using a more generic top level domain (gTLD) such as a COM, NET, or ORG.  A good example of a Domain Hack would be Matt Mullenweg, the creator of WordPress, using Ma.TT for his personal blog.  The .TT domain extension is technically for Trinidad & Tobago but Matt Mullenweg isn't using it for a business for Trinidad & Tobago just his personal blog.

Over the past couple years vanity domains and domain hacks have really grown in popularity and use.  Most domainers, internet marketers, and web professionals know that finding a good .COM domain at a reasonable price is slim nowadays.  Even finding a suitable .NET  and. ORG domain these days that has not been taken can also be a challenge.  I felt lucky when I was able to get the domain for Singing Dogs.

A lot of savy internet entrepreneurs have turned to using domain hacks and vanity domains like Aaron and his business partners with Ran.GE which I think is a smart domain.  (In case you didn't watch the video that is the ccTLD for Georgia. No, not the the US state the country.)

While there are quite clever domain hacks and vanity domains in use, Matt Cutts warns that Google categorizes ccTLDs as being for the specific country that they were originally intended for.  So if you are using .ES, the ccTLD for Spain, Google will assume you are targeting Spanish traffic since that is mainly what the domain is for.  So unfortunately Aaron and his buddies can't tell Google specifically that, “Hey, this domain is not for the country of Georgia.”

There have been a few successful ccTLDs that have gone mainstream in the past few years.  This includes .ME the original ccTLD for Montenegro, .CO which was originally for Columbia, and .TV which was the ccTLD for islands of Tuvalu.  A lot of internet start-ups really like .ME and .CO which I don't really understand honestly.  The domain extension .TV is somewhat popular due to the fact it can be used for video and show purposes.  (Keep in mind though that since these were adopted for use globally they are treated differently by Google now.)

What I took away from the video was that it is better to stick with a gTLD (com, net, org) since there won't be any confusion with Google or more importantly site visitors.  So you might want to think carefully before registering  domain hacks or vanity domains.

Free Website Monitoring with Uptime Robot

website monitoring

For anyone that has a blog or website on the internet it is important to know your website's uptime, which means when it is working properly.  What you really want to know though is if your website has downtime, which is when your website is not working. Website monitoring services and sites are the best way to let you know the reliability of your hosting company and to alert when your website is down.

Website monitoring services are useful since they check your website at set intervals throughout the day to make sure it is up.  A single person can't obviously monitor a website every minute of every day.  It is just not possible unless you have some super human powers I don't know about that allows you to not sleep.

These site monitoring services and ping services are extremely useful and great for the testing the reliability of your hosting provider.  While extremely useful a lot of website monitoring services cost quite a lot of money each month.  Generally the high monthly expense is not worth it for a small businesses or someone with a personal blog, or anyone who has to be tight with their money.  (Let's be honest who isn't tight with money in this economy?)  Is there a good solution for people who don't have money for an expensive website monitoring service? Yes, the answer is Uptime Robot!

Uptime Robot is a completely free website monitoring and free ping service that was started in January of 2010.  If this sounds too good to be true or you think being “free” comes with a catch… it doesn't.  Uptime Robot allows you to monitor up to 50 websites and checks them every 5 minutes to make sure they are up.  If your website is experiencing downtime you can choose to get alerts via a text message, email, Twitter, RSS (Really Simple Syndication), or push notifications for the iPad or iPhone.  Uptime Robot also has a keyword monitoring tool and has networking monitoring features as well.

A lot of people are probably familiar with what is known as the Freemium model.  A Freemium business is when a company or person offers a service for free, but premium services you have to pay for.  The majority of supposedly “free website monitoring” services usually work from a Freemium model.  You can monitor one website for free but anything else you will have to pay for.  Typically the other free services check your site at intervals that are 30 minutes apart, which is not often enough in my opinion.

Not only is Uptime Robot completely free (just had to mention that again) it is easy to use and setup the monitors.  The dashboard user interface is friendly for even non-tech inclined people.  It only took me 10 minutes to setup website monitors for all of my sites with Uptime Robot.  As well to make sure the IP addresses and domain for the Uptime Robot servers were not being included in my Google Analytics stats.  (It is important to exclude the IP addresses for any analytics applications if  you are using website monitoring services or it could affect your visitors stats to make it seem like you are getting a lot more visitors than you actually are.)

A few weeks ago I got an email and text alert that my auto repair blog was down.  I went to check and sure enough I was getting an error when trying to visit my site.  I tried a few different browsers on my computer and then checked my smartphone to see if I could access my auto blog.  Nope, it was down and was not working!  I went to Isup.me to see if it was maybe something wrong with my internet connection or that Uptime Robot was sending a false positive.  Nope, my blog was definitely down.  Luckily before I had the chance to contact Site5 support about the downtime it was already fixed.  The downtime was only for about 25 minutes or so and I got an email from Uptime Roobt when the server for my sites was back up and running.

It was extremely useful for me to know about the downtime I am confident that even though Uptime Robot is completely free, it is a reliable service.  At least that is what I have experienced.

A friend of mine said that Uptime Robot sent him a couple of false positives for his sites, saying they were down when they were not.  I have never had an issue using the service though.  If you have had an issue with Uptime Robot leave a comment below or if you have great experience leave a comment too.  I mean, you get what you pay for! 🙂

I am not sure how Uptime Robot stays completely free but I LOVE that for now it is.  I mean 50 monitors per account and the fact it checks your site every 5 minutes is amazing. The two designers and developers that are behind Uptime Robot, Umut Muhaddisoglu and Daniel Rimille, are pretty awesome guys to offer this.

Currently Umut and Daniel are not accepting donations to keep Uptime Robot operational but I think they should. Personally I would be willing to chip-in a few bucks to keep Uptime Robot going since I think it is such a great service.  I know that it takes time, hardwork, and dedication to keep a service like this up and running.  I just hope they are not spending too much time or their own resources to keep Uptime Robot up.

To keep updated with Uptime Robot developments and new features check out the blog and follow them on Twitter @UptimeRobot.

Catch me on Twitter @AdamYamada … if you can!