Is Privacy the Cost of Convenience?

Privacy, convenience, direct mail, direct marketingAfter the recent outcry from users when Instagram changed their Terms of Service, I started thinking a little more about privacy and how much we’re willing to give up to use some of these social media platforms. I don’t operate under any delusions that there isn’t some sort of cost inherent with using these free social and online services. They are, after all, going into these start-up ventures to make money from their service, one way or the other. I try to refrain from knee-jerk reactions anymore, especially with as quickly as misinformation can spread.

Recently, a piece of direct mail showed up in my mailbox. It was for OutboxAustin.com (It’s actually just Outbox, but targeted to acquiring Austin residents). The tagline on the piece proudly stated: “This could be the last piece of junkmail you ever receive!” Needless to say, I was intrigued. Could this be like that program that allows you to unsubscribe from all the junk mail you receive in your email inbox, but in real life? I decided to look into it a little. What I found was pretty surprising:

So what do you think about this method of convenience? Is this something you’d be willing to do, or have you already given Outbox a try? If you’re a direct marketer, how does do you feel about this type of program? I’d love to hear your thoughts below, or in the comments section of the YouTube video.

Thanks for reading. Now go get your social on!

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Found Tweet Friday


Found Tweet Friday!

November 23, 2012 (The Black Friday Edition!)

Welcome to the Redlight District of Twitter

I spend a good part of my day using Twitter to find potential customers for my clients. I use the Twitter search function and locate people talking about relevant things that could translate to needs my clients’ products or services could fulfill. During this digging through the nonsense, the marketing messages, the slang and abbreviated hashtags, I find some pretty ridiculous tweets. Many that make my jaw drop. It never ceases to amaze me how many people forget that their tweets are completely public while they treat their Twitter conversations as if they were private. Some of those are simply too offensive or gross (not to mention misogynistic and lewd) for me to bother posting, but below are a collection of this week’s gems that I just had to share. My occasional commentary will be the parenthetical portions. Enjoy!

****Warning: Some content may be inappropriate for young or easily offended readers****

Found tweets:

  • Yo fuck a lot of things. The A.M. Raisin bran. The word bran. Your haircut. The word finna. Whole grain. Dr Oz. Not being famous. Today. (This person may have been having a bad day. Perhaps.)
  • How are my nails stillll weak? A month without a manicure is pure torture (Is this why the rest of the world hates us? Yes indeed.)
  • I just saw a girl put an iPhone into her backpack without locking the screen and it made me want to pull out all my hair. (I completely understand this sentiment, actually.)
  • when I grow my beard , I’ll be gassssseddddd ! Probably catch an std too (Please. PLEASE explain the correlation here.)
  • i want to shave but i cant in case i don’t get selt red bull the morns morning :/ (It started as English, and then went to crazy town.)
  • @SexFactsOfLife: You burn calories and lose weight every time you have sex. (So we’re apparently using the word ‘facts’ pretty loosely these days. Do YOU lose weight every time YOU have sex?)
  • A model just told me to wish him good luck, and I replied, “wish lucked!” Who the fuck am I? I’m such a dumb bitch. (Yeah, this reminds me of a great Brian Regan comedy segment. Hilarious. And it sucks when it happens.)
  • I hate it when I’m wearing my onesie and then I have to pee! 😠 #sooannoying (#firstworldproblems Also, adult onesies are so weird. I’m sorry.)
  • Text my sister asking what she want for Christmas. She betta not OD (Um…this is the most tragic tweet I’ve seen in a while! Yikes.)
  • you just ordered extra pubic hair and saliva in every thing you eat in every restaurant in town. Congrats! (What caused this, and how do I completely avoid it forever and always in my life??)
  • Fuck, it’s his birthday today. Well his new bitch can get him something. #Asshole (There’s a juicy story here…)
  • They have a Black Friday sale for buying followers OMG !!! #DieNow (Everybody wants a piece of the action…)
  • I think Glimmer is the porn star chick of She-Ra, she has pinkish hair and big boobs, lol. (I never looked at it that way…)
  • Feel like a lightening bolt just hit the tip of my penis (The hell..?)
  • So#SWEET #LOVE #MY #NAILS #NAIL #PORN #NEON #SPOILED #GREAT #BRAND #FINISHING #RESULTS #COMING #AFTER #THANK (#I #hate #when #people #hashtag #everything #on #instagram #Die #in #A #fire)
  • Pink says: try. Yoda says: Do or do not. There is no try. Take advice from a 3 foot tall humanoid OR a chick with pink hair and big biceps? (No wait…he has a point here. This is quite the dilemma.)
  • I’m disappointed a show titled “whisker wars” is not about a feline martial arts tournament #ClawlessVictory (Meowlena vs. Pawraka. FIGHT!)
  • watch your mouth! Cussing on Twitter like you ain’t got no home training. Putting mess into the universe -#Auntie (#TwitterFamilyValues)
  • Just saw a guy rev his engine and peel out of the parking lot… In a Subaru Outback. Your mom’s gonna be pissed, bro. (Twitter users just callin it like they see it.)
  • Can atheists get insurance for acts of God? (Well…ok. Fair point.)
  • definitely don’t remember asking for my teeth which I just found in my pocket… (What kind of night did THIS guy have?)
  • Yes dad. Please continue feeling up your girlfriend and the dinner table. (‘Tis the season for family togetherness…for better or worse.)

There you are folks! Obviously, some weeks will be less interesting than others, but I hope you enjoy it. Also, if you ever see any great tweets worth pointing out, send them to me at robzaleski1@gmail.com and they might make the list!

Now go get your social on!

Follow this blog on Google Currents! Download the app in your app store or marketplace and click here to subscribe.

Found Tweet Friday


Found Tweet Friday!

August 24, 2012 (Good: National Waffle Day! Bad: Pluto Demoted from a Planet Day)

Welcome to the Redlight District of Twitter

I spend a good part of my day using Twitter to find potential customers for my clients. I use the Twitter search function and locate people talking about relevant things that could translate to needs my clients’ products or services could fulfill. During this digging through the nonsense, the marketing messages, the slang and abbreviated hashtags, I find some pretty ridiculous tweets. Many that make my jaw drop. It never ceases to amaze me how many people forget that their tweets are completely public while they treat their Twitter conversations as if they were private. Some of those are simply too offensive or gross (not to mention misogynistic and lewd) for me to bother posting, but below are a collection of this week’s gems that I just had to share. My occasional commentary will be the parenthetical portions. Enjoy!

****Warning: Some content may be inappropriate for young or easily offended readers****

Found tweets:

  • Saw a guy with a Walkman. Wondering if my Audi’s flux capacitor kicked in when I hit 88 MPH. (Nerdy, yet douchey at the same time)
  • A Maserati just backed into a BMW (@ Starbucks) (Expensive day for someone)
  • Moral of the story if you eating the nanny you basically eating yogurt (Um, what the hell was the story??)
  • Forgot to shave my Pitts, now I have ll cool berries (Gross, yet funny)
  • FACT : 70% of women use a smile to hide emotional pain.” (You can’t state it as a fact if it is not, in actuality, a fact. Show me your statistics…)
  • I’d have to call what my kids are doing right now a kind of cross between wilding and Pokemon LARP… #feral
  • Damn. Someone in this office smells like a wet dog slathered with mayonaise. (Ew…)
  • Well, The Mildred Pierce Miniseries can certainly be filed under “birth control” (Hallelujah sister)
  • The frog has been found. Funeral is set for this evening. Dog is innocent. Daughter is sad. #BadDay #FirstWorldProblems
  • What is everyone’s Obsession with instagraming their nails? Maybe I should start posting my freshly trimmed pubies every time (I mean…it’s your Instagram. Do what you want…)
  • tip of the day: *never* do an image search for “that’s big” without turning SafeSearch ON! oh my. (File that one under ‘Obvious’)
  • I’ve hit the late summer allergies. Mid afternoon my brain goes all Blue Screen of Death. (And we all know that means you have to shut down and reboot, right?)
  • take a breath & just think about how you’re not engaged to chad kroeger, and that should make you feel better
  • Why aren’t I engaged to Avril Lavigne.. I’m much more attractive than Chad and my hair doesn’t resemble Ramen Noodles
  • Niall its not ok to wear your hair like that u know it makes me peel my shins off (I mean, I know some of these One Directioners are a little off, but what the hell??)

There you are folks! Obviously, some weeks will be less interesting than others, but I hope you enjoy it. Also, if you ever see any great tweets worth pointing out, send them to me at robzaleski1@gmail.com and they might make the list!

Now go get your social on!

Follow this blog on Google Currents! Download the app in your app store or marketplace and click here to subscribe.

Rise of the Social Homepages

Time is becoming a very precious thing indeed. Trying to keep up on blogs, social networks, news, friends, family, work, and having non-computer related experiences create a life of constant pull on our attention. This constant pull in a gazillion different directions is exactly why I think these “Social homepages” are becoming more and more relevant. I’ve only joined two so far, and each has some functionalities that they can boast. Basically, they connect all of your social status updates and put them in a visual ‘homepage’ where one can visit and see everything that you’re sharing. The key here is the visual element. Photos you take, images pulled from links, videos; all these create a visually engaging aesthetic that will save your friends and followers time from visiting all of your networks. Let’s take a look at them.

Social networks all in one place

RebelMouse was created by by the former CTO of The Huffington Post, Paul Berry. It’s still in beta but is receiving a huge amount of buzz. Features have already been added from when I first received my invite. You can now embed your RebelMouse into your website or blog, thus making all your social updates visible from either. This is huge because your customers, potential clients, or friends don’t have to leave the place you’re putting your best work, as well as your products or services. You also have the ability to highlight certain posts that you want to stay stationary and maintain good real estate on your page, which I love!  As of right now, RebelMouse allows you to pull updates from Facebook profiles and pages, Twitter (you’ll need to use either to create your account) and just recently, Instagram. In an interview on July 9th, Paul Berry states that more networks are coming, such as Google+ and Tumblr. You can also manually add stories, which I imagine people who fully embrace their RebelMouse page as a homepage will be doing often. You can create separate RebelMouse pages for Facebook pages of which you are an admin, which is a great advantage to admins of multiple pages that aren’t really related. You can view others in your Facebook or Twitter networks that are using RebelMouse and follow their pages. Since it’s still in public beta, I can’t wait to see what new things come out of this already-popular platform.

glos.si for social networks

I was actually reached out to on Twitter by glos.si’s co-founder Sandy Lin while tweeting about RebelMouse (good poaching!). Since I dug RebelMouse, I figured it was worth a look, and I set up my own glos.si page. The first thing I noticed was that glos.si takes the same approach that Klout does and connects just about every social network under the sun. The designers to a great job of helping users show off their networks by listing them with icons in the profile heading. This is nice, just in case followers want to go and focus solely on a single network. glos.si uses the same idea I mention above for RebelMouse of creating something visually engaging, with your Foursquare updates staying stationary on the right and your other updates visually represented in tiled columns to the left. The option to change your view between images, articles, videos and everything makes reading pages a breeze. You also get to choose a background image, thus creating an even more personalized experience. The site uses a pretty cool randomized search to allow you to connect with other glos.si users not already in your other networks. As for connecting with friends using glos.si, you can only search Facebook and Twitter. One feature that I find really cool is the Newsstand feature. This creates a glos.si page of updates from everyone you follow, saving you even more time.

RebelMouse is already a slick platform with a very believable promise that there’s more to come. glos.si has a great interface already, and is strides ahead of RebelMouse since it was started back in September last year. Once RebelMouse comes of out beta, these two will certainly be in head to head competition. I’ll be interested to see where the two of them go.

Are you using either of these sites? Are there other “social homepage” sites that you’ve come across? Let me know below with your comments.

Thanks for reading. Now go get your social on!

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Found Tweet Friday


Found Tweet Friday!

August 3rd, 2012 (Watermelon day! Picnic anyone?)

Welcome to the Redlight District of Twitter

I spend a good part of my day using Twitter to find potential customers for my clients. I use the Twitter search function and locate people talking about relevant things that could translate to needs my clients’ products or services could fulfill. During this digging through the nonsense, the marketing messages, the slang and abbreviated hashtags, I find some pretty ridiculous tweets. Many that make my jaw drop. It never ceases to amaze me how many people forget that their tweets are completely public while they treat their Twitter conversations as if they were private. Some of those are simply too offensive or gross (not to mention misogynistic and lewd) for me to bother posting, but below are a collection of this week’s gems that I just had to share. My occasional commentary will be the parenthetical portions. Enjoy!

****Warning: Some content may be inappropriate for young or easily offended readers****

Found tweets:

  • I can’t tell if this dude is running for exercise or if he’s being chased by invisible werewolves (It really is hard to tell. Some people run very frantically for no reason.)
  • I accidentally used Right Guard. Now I smell like a middle school gym locker in 1980.
  • Willa kissed neil then asked “did that taste like dog lips!?” hahahahaha things you don’t want to hear from your 4 yr old. (Sometimes the honesty of a child is not the best thing.)
  • CAT WOMAN, HAVE MY BABIES (Yeah. Can’t disagree with that one.)
  • Everywear I go bittchs always know charlie scene has a wenine that he loves to show, BITTCH, wake up grab beer,grab rear,shave beerd, H.U. (It…it just hurts me so.)
  • grammy: “she tried to get me to get a brazilian wax, it was kinda kinky.” me: “yeah, hairless vaginas…kinky.” grammy: “i know right.” (#generationgap)
  • Maybe you should eat some of that makeup so it can make you pretty on the inside too or kill you… (Twitter just got real vicious. Yikes.)
  • i fucking hate my father i can’t wait to live out of the house where i can fap in peace. (there’s a REALLY awkward story here…)
  • he looked great til his eyebrows punched me in the tit (Wait…what? How? I just don’t even…)
  • On the bright side, Snoop Dogg / Lion just gave Apple a brand new cat to work with for their next OS. (Will it be called the iOSizzle?)
  • Caught my dog licking the Ouija board with his lipstick out, so pretty sure the house is haunted & he will kill me in my sleep tonight. #BOO (Coming to a theater near you, this Halloween.)
  • Thinking about removing your own #50ShadesofGrey…#——- is ready to help with lots of great #Rekden products! #Miami #salon #haircut (…really? Salon name removed, for obvious reasons)
  • I had the worst dream ever, I went to school with no eyebrows, and I had to draw them with pink markers. So then everyone knew I was high (Drugs are bad, kids.)
  • “Just some guy she met at the gym with Brad Pitt’s face and Jesus’ abs.” (Crucifixion is the new Pilates?)

A couple other things to check out. I have a post up on the Social Penguin’s Friday Freakout today as well. I think customer review sites are potentially ruining customer service. What do you think?

For those of you tired of the Instagram hype, McSweeney‘s has a piece just for you.

There will be no posts next week, as I’m traveling to visit family. I’ll be back soon, don’t you worry about it!

If you ever see any great tweets worth pointing out, send them to me at robzaleski1@gmail.com and they might make the list!

Now go get your social on!

Follow this blog on Google Currents! Download the app in your app store or marketplace and click here to subscribe.

Brand Your Instagram Photos Using Over App

Over App

Taken with Instagram, text added with Over

A couple weeks ago, Chris Brogan tweeted about an app he was digging and shared a Google Hangout he had with a guy named Aaron Marshall. The app was called Over, and it allows you to add text over pictures on your iPhone (for the time being) using a really slick interface. You can then post your edited photos to Facebook (profile not page, yet), Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr (having issues getting mine to show up though) or send the image via email. I’ve yet to have Chris Brogan steer me wrong, so I checked out the app myself. Seemed like a fun way to spice up photos and I really enjoy the use of a scrolling wheel to go through all of your options. Later, I read a blog post shared by Valerie Deveza reminding bloggers that you can (and should) easily use your own, royalty-free images in your blog posts. This saves time scouring for usable images (and potential distractions of perusing the internet) and any concern of copyright infringement. Then. It hit me.

Over App

Taken with Instagram, text added with Over

A fantastic use for Over is to “brand” your photos that you take on your iPhone. If you already use Instagram or Facebook Camera, take your pictures and add your filters as normal. Open Over and load the picture in, add your company name, website, your name, message, etc, choose a font (more are available for individual purchase) and suddenly, the photo is officially yours. Also, if you’re a fan of Paper by 53 for the iPad (of which I am a raving fan), you can doodle your image, email it to yourself or screen capture it, add your text with Over, and suddenly it becomes branded as well. (Conversely, you could write out your company’s name/info in Paper if you have a steady hand, but I know many professionals whose handwriting is pretty atrocious.) Either way, you’ll get to show off your creative side and never worry if you’re going to receive a cease and desist letter for an image you’re using. Even with proper credit, you just can’t be too sure when using others’ intellectual property.

Fifty-Three, Yelp, Over App

Drawn with Paper by 53, text added with Over

The best part about using Over with the apps I’ve discussed is that you don’t have to go and buy (or illegally download) any expensive software. Over and Paper may cost you a few bucks, then you’re off to writing your blog safely, further engaging your creativity and artistic side. Just think. You could even create your own memes!

What are your thoughts on this approach? Are you using any other text-overlay apps that you’re hooked on? Are you already using your own images in your blog posts?

Let me know below with your comments.

Thanks for reading. Now go get your social on!

Follow this blog on Google Currents! Download the app in your app store or marketplace and click here to subscribe.

Found Tweet Friday


Found Tweet Friday!

May 25th (National Geek Pride Day, as it turns out!)

Welcome to the Redlight District of Twitter

I spend a good part of my day using Twitter to find potential customers for my clients. I use the Twitter search function and locate people talking about relevant things that could translate to needs my clients’ products or services could fulfill. During this digging through the nonsense, the marketing messages, the slang and abbreviated hashtags, I find some pretty ridiculous tweets. Many that make my jaw drop. It never ceases to amaze me how many people forget that their tweets are completely public while they treat their Twitter conversations as if they were private. Some of those are simply too offensive or gross (not to mention misogynistic and lewd) for me to bother posting, but below are a collection of this week’s gems that I just had to share. My occasional commentary will be the parenthetical portions. Enjoy!

****Warning: Some content may be inappropriate for young or easily offended readers****

Found tweets:

  • if you’re one of those people that don’t pick up your dog’s shit then I actually hate you and hope you get gum stuck in your hair (This is included because I agree with this statement. Wholeheartedly.)
  • Damn I wanted too go too changes too get a pedi today but I forgot I got too work. (At least there’s consistency…sigh…)
  • Say NO to racism. Be like a panda: They’re black, white, and Asian… but not Mexican… so be like a panda holding a taco. (#twttr4equalityy…we’ve still so far to go.)
  •  hairy bumhole. Nipples come in all shapes and sizes, but hairy bumhole is quite preventable (While a true statement, the mental image that is conjured just makes me dry heave. Ew.)
  • …..so apparently there are bridal uggs, is that weird or is that weird (Sure, weird it ONE word for it. At least the bride would be comfortable. Right? Are Uggs comfortable? I honestly don’t know.)
  • The loose skin at the point of your elbow is often known as a “weenus”….you’re welcome (The more you knooooooow)
  • “WAS IT A CAR OR A CAT I SAW” is the only full English sentence that, when read in reverse, will be the same. #randomfact” (These are the kind of random facts I love. Did you already know this?)
  • I was going to buy a new car today. Turns out I’m short a down payment, a better job, and 400 points on my credit score. So close! (The sad, sad 140 character story. Poor fella.)
  • Impromptu to heal shopping in sweats is priceless. People look at you weird rocking heals in sweats. But hey I got two pairs of sweet heals. (*sigh* The homophone strikes again…)
On an unrelated note, I downloaded the Facebook Camera app that just released yesterday. I may write a full post on it once I play with it a bit more this weekend, but I’d like to hear others’ initial thoughts. I’m a little peeved that it forces you to turn location services on just to access your photo roll. I don’t even have location services allowed on Facebook. The app’s functionality closely resembles Instagram (which would finally resolve the question of why Facebook bought Instagram) but allows you to upload multiple pictures at one time, which is a nice time saving feature. I’m not sure that being able to upload multiple pictures at the same time is worth always having to have location services activated. We’ll see. For those of you who do not have iOS (i.e. Android and Windows phone users) or are not currently in English-speaking countries, you’re not missing a whole lot thus far if you have have Instagram, unless you absolutely feel the need to flood your Timeline with multiple photos at one time.

There you are folks! I will try to keep this going on a weekly basis. Obviously, some weeks will be less interesting than others, but I hope you enjoy it. Also, if you ever see any great ones worth pointing out, send them to me at robzaleski1@gmail.com

Now go get your social on!

Follow this blog on Google Currents! Download the app in your app store or marketplace and click here to subscribe.

Found Tweet Friday

Found Tweet Friday!

Friday April 27th, 2012:

Welcome to the Redlight District of Twitter

I spend a good part of my day using Twitter to find potential customers for my clients. I use the Twitter search function and locate people talking about relevant things that could translate to needs my clients’ products or services could fulfill. During this digging through the nonsense, the marketing messages, the slang and abbreviated hashtags, I find some pretty ridiculous tweets. Many that make my jaw drop. It never ceases to amaze me how many people forget that their tweets are completely public while they treat their Twitter conversations as if they were private. Some of those are simply too offensive or gross (not to mention misogynistic and lewd) for me to bother posting, but below are a collection of this week’s gems that I just had to share. My occasional commentary will be the parenthetical portions. Enjoy!

****Warning: Some content may be inappropriate for young or easily offended readers****

Found tweets:

- Some guy is casually scratching his face with his middle finger in my direction. I don’t even know I pissed this guy off. (Maybe he was doing that elementary school “I’m going to act like I hate you to flirt with you” kind of thing…)
- I was jerking infront of these kids and the girl i was with, and some kid wanted too battle me when i was just messing around (Ok, so where did YOUR mind go with this one?)
- Feminist group is sueing LEGO b/c they made a spa set with girl figures & they want the girl figures to be building a spaceshuttle… #women (But I’ll bet those #women can SPELL…so there’s that)
- i hate having to fight with nails on cus now my shit sore . . (Or maybe you just don’t fight. I’m just saying…)
- Girl you special like I met you in a slow class . (Ladies, if this works on any of you, we can’t be friends)
- Its crazy how I was walking home nd some dude was watching porn on a big ass flat screen lol . (Guy with the tv, if you’re reading…cuuuuuurtains.)
- U got a dig bick U that read wrong U read dat wrong 2 (Yeah. Read it again slowly. I admit. I fell for it too. Man…)
- This big ass salad is making me need to shit! Well what goes in must come out! #ThatsTheCircleOfLifeKids (Maybe not EVERY thought should be tweeted, yeah?)
- If I had the chance to drop kick you in the face.trust me you little crotch pheasant I would. (Well, THAT’S a new term…Can someone please render up a drawing of a “crotch pheasant”?)
- #YoGirlDontLoveYouIf she don’t massage your weener. (“The more you knooooooow”)
- Oh joy, the person in the next hotel room has decided to build a tower of squirrels. (Wait….WHAT? WHERE WAS YOUR INSTAGRAM PHOTO OF THAT??)

There you are folks! Some of the best and worst that Twitter has to offer. Obviously, some weeks will be less interesting than others, but I hope you enjoy it. Also, if you ever see any great ones worth pointing out, send them to me at robzaleski1@gmail.com. Maybe the one you find will make next week’s Found Tweet Friday!

Now go get your social on!