KC News

Blackmail? Extortion? What's wrong with Yelp?

Have you heard of Yelp.com yet? Yelp is a great tool for customers and also for local business owners.

Yelp, Inc. is a Web 2.0 company based in San Francisco and very popular in the Bay Area. They operate a social networking, user review, and local search web site.

But did you know that Yelp has been accused of BLACKMAIL and EXTORTION. Don't let them do this to you!

That's right, we do NOT recommend paying yelp for a business account. Spend your marketing dollar on something else.

Let me explain why.

Here is a typical yelp page for a restaurant:
http://www.yelp.com/biz/lotus-cuisine-of-india-san-rafael

It contains an ad for a competitor at the top. One advantage of upgrading to a paid business account is that Yelp will remove the competitor ad at the top of your listing. Sounds a lot like EXTORTION, don't you agree?

Why would you pay money to remove this little ad when:
(a) visitors can click from your yelp page to other yelp pages in seconds, with or without the ad.
(b) many internet users IGNORE sponsored listings online
(c) most yelp visitors want to read the USER comments


What can you do? Simple! Keep asking you happiest customers to leave more honest reviews on website such as yelp.com

For more information see also:

Yelp Scam
http://www.yelpscam.com/

A Candid Yelp Advertising Review - Is Yelp Ripping People Off?
http://www.raymondfong.net/misc/a-candid-yelp-advertising-review-is-yelp-ripping-people-off/


Good News America: FTC now prohibits Telemarketing Robocalls

Robotic Telemarketers are now prohibited by the FTC!

Telemarketers who transmit prerecorded messages (robocalls) to consumers face penalties up to $16,000 per call. The new requirement is part of amendments to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) 2008 Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR).

The FTC allows robocalls calls that do not promote the sale of any goods or services, or deliver purely "informational" recorded messages, for example:

  • Flight cancellation
  • Ordered delivery information
  • School opening details
  • Debt Collection
Human telemarketer calls are still allowed unless you register your phone number is on the National Do Not Call Registry.

Got a prerecorded telemarketing call? Complain to the FTC:

Do Not Call Registry website

Tel. 1-888-382-1222

The FTC works to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices. File other FTC complaints here:

http://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/

Tel. 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357)


Source:
http://ftc.gov/opa/2009/08/robocalls.shtm

Social Media Revolution

 

Popular video with statistics and details about the Social Media Revolution:

Here are the stats from the longer version of this Video with a few more details:

1. By 2010 Gen Y will outnumber Baby Boomers....96% of them have joined a social network
2. Social Media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the Web
3. 1 out of 8 couples married in the U.S. last year met via social media
4. Years to Reach 50 millions Users: Radio (38 Years), TV (13 Years), Internet (4 Years), iPod (3 Years)...Facebook added 100 million users in less than 9 months...iPhone applications hit 1 billion in 9 months.
5. If Facebook were a country it would be the world's 4th largest between the United States and Indonesia (note that Facebook is now creeping up - recently announced 300 million users)
6. Yet, some sources say China's QZone is larger with over 300 million using their services (Facebook's ban in China plays into this)
7. comScore indicates that Russia has the most engage social media audience with visitors spending 6.6 hours and viewing 1,307 pages per visitor per month - Vkontakte.ru is the #1 social network
8. 2009 US Department of Education study revealed that on average, online students out performed those receiving face-to-face instruction
9. 1 in 6 higher education students are enrolled in online curriculum
10. % of companies using LinkedIn as a primary tool to find employees....80%
11. The fastest growing segment on Facebook is 55-65 year-old females
12. Ashton Kutcher and Ellen Degeneres (combined) have more Twitter followers than the population of Ireland, Norway, or Panama. Note I have adjusted the language here after someone pointed out the way it is phrased in the video was difficult to determine if it was combined.
13. 80% of Twitter usage is outside of Twitter...people update anywhere, anytime...imagine what that means for bad customer experiences?
14. Generation Y and Z consider e-mail passé...In 2009 Boston College stopped distributing e-mail addresses to incoming freshmen
15. What happens in Vegas stays on YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook...
16. The #2 largest search engine in the world is YouTube
17. Wikipedia has over 13 million articles...some studies show it's more accurate than Encyclopedia Britannica...78% of these articles are non-English
18. There are over 200,000,000 Blogs
19. 54% = Number of bloggers who post content or tweet daily
20. Because of the speed in which social media enables communication, word of mouth now becomes world of mouth
21. If you were paid a $1 for every time an article was posted on Wikipedia you would earn $156.23 per hour
22. Facebook USERS translated the site from English to Spanish via a Wiki in less than 4 weeks and cost Facebook $0
23. 25% of search results for the World's Top 20 largest brands are links to user-generated content
24. 34% of bloggers post opinions about products & brands
25. People care more about how their social graph ranks products and services than how Google ranks them
26. 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations
27. Only 14% trust advertisements
28. Only 18% of traditional TV campaigns generate a positive ROI
29. 90% of people that can TiVo ads do
30. Hulu has grown from 63 million total streams in April 2008 to 373 million in April 2009
31. 25% of Americans in the past month said they watched a short video...on their phone
32. According to Jeff Bezos 35% of book sales on Amazon are for the Kindle when available
33. 24 of the 25 largest newspapers are experiencing record declines in circulation because we no longer search for the news, the news finds us.
34. In the near future we will no longer search for products and services they will find us via social media
35. More than 1.5 million pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photos, etc.) are shared on Facebook...daily.
36. Successful companies in social media act more like Dale Carnegie and less like David Ogilvy Listening first, selling second
37. Successful companies in social media act more like party planners, aggregators, and content providers than traditional advertiser

Source: www.socialnomics.com (if you want to know where all this data is from).

Tech Support Phishing Scam Spam

!There is a new spam email going around claiming to be from your domain tech support and asking you to click on a link. See example below.

Spam emails such as this are PHISHING SCAMS! Such emails are used to commit identity theft, or compromise users' machines or personal information.

stopEmbedding your domain makes this email look more legit, but it is NOT. If you get this email DO NOT click on the links. DO NOT reply!

Any email address can be SPOOFED (imitated). When in doubt, check first!

NEVER click links provided in emails or pop-up messages asking you to verify your information.

If you receive an email that appears "phishy" and are unsure if it's legitimate, and it is not listed below, please report it to me.

Also note that any legitimate email from Kahl Consultants will always include my name and address at the bottom.

All the best,
Alex Kahl

P.S. Learn more about this particular scam here:

http://isc.sans.org/diary.html?storyid=7333
http://www.threatexpert.com/report.aspx?md5=174aeb93b8d642c2cddfd9c50b0015c9

And learn more about PHISHING here:
http://www.whoswatchingcharlottesville.com/phishing.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phishing


PHISHING EXAMPLE
--------------------------
Dear user of the yourdomain.com mailing service!

We are informing you that because of the security upgrade of the mailing service your mailbox (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) settings were changed In order to apply the new set of settings click on the following link:

http://yourdomain.com/owa/service_directory/settings.php?email=This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.&from=yourdomain.com&fromname=yourname

Best regards, yourdomain.com Technical Support.
---------------------------
END OF PHISHING EXAMPLE