A few days ago, I was working on my computer and only had Facebook open in the background when I suddenly heard the sound of my instant chat window pop up (you know that sound). When I opened the window, I was pleased to see someone whom I hadn’t spoken to for a long time. I personally knew this person from my networking and had spoken a number of times to this person by phone, but we had never met in person. When I asked how he had been, he replied to me, “Not good”, and proceeded to tell me that he had just been held up at gunpoint, mugged, and had all of his cash, wallet, and cell phone stolen. “That’s terrible”, I replied. He said he needed money to settle his hotel bill and promised to pay me back tomorrow, saying his flight back to the US was leaving soon and he had to settle the bill. Immediately, my “B.S. detector” went off. While I did know this person, I am certainly not the first person he would have asked for money. I asked a few more questions and determined that someone had hijacked my friend’s Facebook account and was posing as him. I knew this person well enough to know it wasn’t him. I tried to call my friend to see if he was ok but unfortunately I couldn’t reach him. This guy was good though. When I asked him for a phone number to call him, he gave me a number, saying it was for the hotel in Kentish Town. I Googled the name and location and got a hit that this was indeed a scam. While I watched, the person actually changed my friend’s email address in his Facebook profile. The guy posing as my friend tried to get me to wire $800 bucks to a Western Union account. I was astonished that this person was actually so bold. Stalling for time, I actually called the FBI while the person was online and reported the person.
Watch out on Facebook if anything like this happens to you. Happy surfing and keep safe.
Are you representing your nonprofit organization on Twitter? Are you trying to use Twitter to get the name of your organization out there and possibly get new donors? If so, you had better listen up, and fast. There are a couple of things you should know before you start to make enemies on Twitter. You might call these the rules of the road. While it’s good advice for anyone looking to make new contacts, it’s particularly important for nonprofits.
- Follow people who follow you- This is one of the dumbest mistakes I see people making with Twitter charity profiles. My username on Twitter is “PhilanthropyCFP”. If you are a nonprofit, why wouldn’t you follow back someone with the word “Philanthropy” in their name? That’s just dumb. If your objective is to recruit people to follow your cause, the first rule is to follow them back. There are no exceptions to this rule in my opinion. If you don’t follow someone who has expressed an interest in your charity profile, not only will they likely be upset because you weren’t interested enough to follow them back, but they will find another charity who is “interested in them”. This is dumb. Don’t make that mistake. I can’t tell you how many nonprofits I have unfollowed because they didn’t follow me back. While I’m not making myself out to be anyone “important” here, the bottom line is that it is a lost opportunity. We’re in the same industry, yet for some reason, their organization wasn’t interested in what I had to say. I say “NEXT”…
- ReTweet interesting articles that people post. If you are generous, people will return the favor and your followers will grow.
- Post interesting content (Not just yours). Did you read an interesting article that your followers might find interesting? Great post it. Useful Twitterers will increase their followers.
- Show your personality (as long as it isn’t negative). In my case, it’s my company and I can be negative if I want. If people don’t like what I have to say, they can look elsewhere. I’m positive most of the time, but as my friends know, I do take a stand when needed (like here).
- My favorite: “Tweet others like you would like to be tweeted”
Twitter can be a great way to meet people for any number of reasons. Just understand these basic rules and you should be just fine. If anyone has other suggestions, please feel free to add them here.
I’m a big fan of Google Earth software. The program allows anyone to add information into the program to show any kind of data and display it within a geographic representation. In the case of Realtors, I think that it would be wonderful to have all of the homes on the Multiple Listing System (MLS)imported into Google Earth. Currently, when I look at homes on the MLS, it only tells me the town and school district that the property is located. As a buyer not familliar with a local area, this information isn’t meaningful to me. If the property address were loaded into Google Earth, I would be able to see an aerial view of the neighborhood, proximity to highways, parks, or any other geographic feature that would be of interest as a buyer. In addition, a Realtor has the ability to link the placemark in Google Earth to their website, providing more information for a prospective buyer if they wanted it. I know it’s just a matter of time before this concept catches on, however in my opinion, the Realtors or developers who are the “early birds” on this opportunity could have a real technological and marketing lead on the competition.
Technology canbe a wonderful thing. There are more and more ways of aggregating your consumer online billing accounts together, but which one?
I tried Yodlee through Yahoo Finance a while back. I found the program to be quite quirky and not robust enough for my needs. I recall that many of the businesses that I was a customer of were not on their list.
For my personal use, I use Quicken. I think it has more functions and is more widely utilized by financial institutions. As a customer, I like the ability to download their “QFX” file and have it open directly into the Quicken software. In addition, Quicken integrates directly with Turbo Tax making end of year tax preparation easier. While Quicken in my view is far ahead of Yodlee’s capabilities, it takes a significant amount of time to master the capabilities of the program. As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, I understand all of the financial concepts in Quicken, but I feel like I need a “Certificate in Quicken Planning” in order to use the thing.