Facebook is safe – isn’t it?

Hello, my name is Christopher Roberts. I am a trustworthy individual. I kindly request you to go to my websites contact page and send me a message which includes: your full name; your date of birth; a list of your best friends; your holiday snaps from last summer; your mobile number; what TV programs you like; where you work; and what you were doing on Tuesday morning.

Silly request, as nobody will do it (at least I hope they won’t) as I am asking for extremely sensitive, private information.

Let me put a different hat on.

Paul Bulcke here, chief exec of Nestlé. Same request as above, please send me your DOB, New Years party snaps, home address, a list of your favourite films etc.

Again, you probably wouldn’t do this, but stick with me, I am going somewhere…

Hi there, my name is Mark Zuckerberg and I am the founder of Facebook. What about now, what are you going to tell this massive multinational company? Everything?

Mark Zuckerberg founder of FacebookYes you can set your profile to private, but what does the company Facebook know about you? Pretty much everything – this obviously depends on what you tell it. Mobile phone numbers, holiday snaps, what you ate for dinner yesterday etc. are common things for people to tell Facebook and similar social networking sites, would you not agree?

This sort of data is used in targeting adverts on such sites, so that you are more likely to pay attention to them – is that not an exploitation of your rights?

Have you ever really though about what information you put into Facebook? Yes there are probably laws in most countries to stop Facebook disclosing any of your information, but what if it gets hacked? It’s happened before. Last Wednesdays breakfast may not be that useful, but your name, address and phone number could be very useful to help track you down or set up a bank account in your name.

Who says Facebook has to be hacked, if a rouge employee decides to steel half a million peoples emails, what can you do?

I urge you to seriously contemplate what you tell the internet, as you never know it may one day come back to haunt you.

So what do you think, am I extremely sceptical of social media, or do you believe that we give the internet far too much personal data?

How Google’s Panda Algorithm is changing the web

On April 11, 2011 Google announced on it’s Webmaster Central Blog sweeping changes to it’s search index. In an effort to promote high quality websites and eliminate websites that have poor content the algorithm was adjusted. This adjustment incorporated “feedback signals” which are expected to help Google users find better search results.

What started out as something small

What was described by Amit Singhal, Google fellow, as a “small” update, affected only 2% of US queries has turned out to radical. CNET describes the Google’s algorithm as “radical” and reports the websites that have been affected by reduced rankings.

Great websites drop in ranking

The British Medical Journal, the Cult of Mac, and WikiHow all dropped in visibility. Considered to be reputable sources, and not content farm, these reduction in rank show the algorithm still needs some fine tuning. Other websites that might be considered content farms have been dropped as well.

Facebook, Yelp & Twitter rise in rankings

Websites to increase in ranking are Facebook, Twitter and Yelp. These websites moving up begs a question though. Facebook already has over 500 million active users, of which, 50% log in each day. Does this website really not already appear “high” enough in the search engine. In addition, social media is changing Google search results with the adoption of the “Plus One” on Google and “Likes” on Bing.

Facebook increase in rankings and wikiHow decrease in rankings

Local Searches Soar

Despite the rise of social media websites and some news sources, many poor websites have fallen in ranking, as was expected from this Panda Algorithm shift.

Local searches have significantly improved, however, due to this shift in the algorithm. Websites of companies that are popular in the United States (David’s Bridal, Barnes and Nobles, Walgreens) all appear prominently in the US search index, but not in the UK index. This shift paves the way for a greater index in international search engine results. Improving international search results is a significant win for Google’s index.

About.Me

Every heard of the site about.me? Well I would say it’s a site where you can build yourself a great, highly customisable, online profile, to share yourself to the world!

How do the team at about.me describe their site?

About.me lets you quickly build simple and visually elegant splash pages that points visitors to your content from around the web. Get started today.

Do you have an about.me profile?

If so, please share it with us below, I would love to check it out! If you don’t, why not? Didn’t know about about.me? Well nor did until Ari Herzog wrote about his about.me profile, back in December. I thought it sounded like a good idea, so I checked it out.

About.me is a great way to tell someone about yourself in just a few characters – http://about.me/yourname. For people who run several sites and blogs (like myself) as well as loads of social media profiles, this is a great way to ‘slim down your email signature’. No need to chuck 10 URL’s at the recipient, just put your about.me URL!

Don’t have an about.me profile?

It really couldn’t be easier to get started, all you need is an email address, create yourself a password and choose your URL (i.e. about.me/yourchoiceofwords) and you are done! Create your bio, sync with your different profiles around the net, (like Facebook and Twitter) add your sites/blogs and voila!

Below is a screenshot of my about.me profile, just to give you some ideas 🙂
Christopher Roberts about.me Profile

Why not check out Christopher Roberts profile out on about.me?

You can now also find Technology Bloggers on about.me – check out our profile at http://about.me/TechnologyBloggers! The profile isn’t that flashy and amazing at the moment, but it does the job 🙂

Have you got an about.me profile? Will you have one soon?

The Power of WordPress

So what is WordPress? Well, put simply, it is everything you are looking at right now. This article is WordPress. This blog is WordPress. In fact, over 25 million blogs and websites worldwide are built on a strong WordPress foundation, and WordPress sites receive tens of millions of visitors every single day. It is used by everyone from casual bloggers like myself to celebrities and large businesses. This is one of the main contributions to its power – it’s infinitely flexible.

It is so flexible in fact, that most times you wouldn’t even realise that you are looking at a WordPress powered site. While most casual users will opt for a basic theme like the one you see here, this is by no means fixed. With some clever designing a theme can be manipulated or even written from scratch to produce a totally unique and wholly professional look. The site need not even follow a conventional blog layout. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination… (and coding skills!)

The Official WordPress LogoIf you’re one of those people that runs a mile at the slightest sniff of some PHP or HTML, then there’s no need to worry! WordPress prides itself on its ‘famous 5-minute installation’ and it really is that simple. It requires no coding knowledge whatsoever which is ideal for companies who need a quick, easy to maintain site and for standard bloggers who often have no knowledge of web languages at all. For a WordPress admin, the ‘dashboard’ is their home. From here, they can add posts, edit posts, add new users, approve comments, and even change the entire look and feel of the site in a few simple clicks – with not a scrap of code in sight!

So, you ask me, what’s the catch? How much will this cost me? The answer – nothing. That’s right, WordPress is completely free and open source. It started in 2003 as a couple of lines of code and has subsequently grown exponentially to become the framework it is now. But one thing has remained the same: it was designed ‘by developers, for developers’, and the community at WordPress are happy to help with any issues or queries. After all, your suggestion may help them to improve the project for everyone’s benefit. Everybody is a member of WordPress, and this is its power. It’s globally useful, it’s globally flexible, it’s globally accessible, and it’s globally free.