Larry BraunerI just returned from My Social Media Mission Abroad in Basel, Switzerland, where I discussed social media with our watch brands attending the Baselworld 2011 event.

Is social media strategist a hazardous occupation? I didn’t think that it was until a certain unpleasant incident that occurred at Baselworld. Let me explain.

One afternoon, as I was walking around the fair taking pictures of gorgeous watch brand booths, I neglected an important step up to a raised platform and fell conspicuously face-down upon a booth’s floor. The booth may have been too dimly lit, or I may have been overly engrossed in my endeavor. In either case, I landed on the hardwood surface of the booth and impacted my left knee.

Booth personnel rushed to my aid and, after confirming that I had no broken bones nor life threatening injuries, escorted me to a seat. They encouraged me to expose my bare knees and ascertained that no skin had been broken nor was there a hint of blood. It was only a bruise, and they were relieved.

You see, of all the places to take a tumble, perchance I accorded the honor to the Rolex Watches booth.

The Rolex people were understandably relieved that I was back on my feet before ambulance chasers arrived on the scene.

Now, if my story sounds exaggerated or seems unrelated to social media, please accept my insincere apology, dear reader. Today being April 1st, I’ve exercised my poetic license and enjoyed a bit of fun at your expense.

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Larry Brauner
Spammers follow the path of least resistance. If you create a new opportunity for spam, spammers will exploit it.

Spammers have noticed that Facebook fan pages are gaining popularity and have started capitalizing on fan page vulnerability.

Facebook Fan Page and Event Page Spam

FacebookTo spam a Facebook fan page is very simple. Spammers add themselves as fans of the Facebook page and then post their spam directly on the fan page wall — hit and run. The spam remains on the page wall until an administrator removes it.

Spammers can also spam the wall of a Facebook fan page discussion tab or an event page.

Other Facebook Spam

Spammers are also posting their links on NetworkedBlogs discussion walls. Fortunately, NetworkedBlogs discussion walls aren’t prominently displayed, and there isn’t much incentive for spammers to post there.

Well meaning Facebook friends frequently sign-up to use silly applications that seem harmless and fun. These applications then spam their Facebook friends’ profile pages.

Sadly, the proliferation of annoying applications has permanently driven many serious networkers off of Facebook in despair.

Top 10 Most Wanted Spammers

I hope that between now and next April 1 we can create a top spammer list and shame spammers into submission. We’ll post the list in post offices and big stores, as well as on web sites and, of course, on Facebook fan pages.

Spamming on Facebook fan pages and elsewhere on Facebook is indeed a real problem. I’m sorry, however, for using a misleading title. Please forgive my once-a-year April Fools prank.  ;-)

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Larry Brauner

The title of this article is purely sensational — as you might expect on April Fools Day. However, the article itself is real and highlights the annoyances and threats that we constantly face when using the Internet and social networking sites.

Before the Net became part of our lives, we worried about pickpocketing,  mugging, burglary, armed robbery and a variety of scams that include make-believe charities, phony investment schemes and identity theft.

Today we must also worry about viruses and malware, phishing and more sophisticated web-based scams including a plethora of silly business schemes, and widespread online fraud and identity theft.

Ning, Twitter and MySpace Attacked

Hundreds of Ning social networks including mine, Outside the Box and Let’s Follow Each Other, were attacked over the past week by “free ringtones” spam. Bogus users popped up everywhere and posted their free ringtones spam on as many member profiles as they could.

Network creators and administrators reacted by changing their site settings to require new member approval. This measure has stopped the free ringtones girl but not without some ongoing inconvenience to both administrators and would-be site members.

Similar spam outbreaks occur frequently on Twitter and MySpace where no simple solution is yet in sight.

Forewarned is Forearmed

Spam is only the tip of the iceberg.

Think BEFORE you click on any link or respond to any pop up including those that offer to upgrade to new versions of your existing software. It’s advisable to write down the name of the software mentioned and check the vendor’s site directly for legitimate updates.

Close pop up windows using Alt-F4 on your keyboard. Do not press ANY buttons, as labeling can be fake and malicious. Pressing buttons can initiate the downloading of some very nasty and hard-to-remove malware to your computer such as Trojans and rootkits.

The most likely places to pick up harmful malware are e-mails you receive, social networking sites, blogs and forums. Make sure you keep your system and virus protection current, but don’t rely on anti-malware programs to protect you. Use caution and common sense.

As far as make money from home schemes are concerned, most of them are time wasters if not outright ripoffs.

If you are serious about finding a legitimate work from home opportunity, contact me, and I’ll point you in the right direction. However, it’s a fact that even the best home businesses usually flop.

Very Useful Information

I found the blog PC Speed Guru very informative and helpful. Any Internet security blogs or websites that you’ve found to be useful, please post them below in a comment.

But no spam, please!

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Larry Brauner

Entrepreneurs creating social media sites and developers of exotic juice drinks clashed today at a major press conference.

The source of the conflict appears to be the number of letters in the English alphabet. Currently there are 26 according to a recent count by one of the big accounting firms who asked not to be named.

With only 26 letters in the English alphabet, new letter permutations for naming are becoming increasingly scarce.

Several solutions have been proposed:

  • Allow each name to be used twice, once by a social media site and once by a juice drink. This would allow a media site to be called Zrii and a drink to be named Xing.
  • Make all names fully case sensitive. Noni can be spelled noni, nOni, NOni, noNi, etc. Similarly Digg, DIgg, diGg, digG, etc.
  • Ignore conventions such as u after q. Qassia has already exploited this. Watch, one of the juice companies will probably retaliate before long.
  • Import letters from other languages such as Hebrew or Russian. Since most of the sites and drink names are already unpronounceable, this particular objection could not possibly stand in the way. Text processors would have to be updated. Bill Gates is said to be considering the implications with glee.
  • Precede all names with a prefix, sort of like an area code. You might see 1-212-Facebook. Not only would this ploy be cumbersome, the “new” AT&T could consider this a form of infringement.
  • Wait to see if the problem goes away. This remedy was suggested by officials high up in the Social Security Administration and praised by the president.

Yours truly, a notable problem solver and all around nice guy was asked his opinion. He said, and I quote, “Don’t worry so much. Today is April 1st. Go to sleep, and when you wake, you’ll realize that it was only a bad dream.”

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