New App Warns You When Your Tweets Might Get You Fired Or When You Might Want To Fire An Employee For Badmouthing You
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 13:41

Tags: Social Media

If you've complained about your boss or job on Twitter, watch out for a warning from this new app called. Or, if you suspect an employee has said something bad on social media about working at your firm, here's a way to find out.

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FireMe! tracks negative phrases about bosses and jobs and rates how likely they are to get the poster fired. The app automatically sends a tweet to the employee warning him.


At the link provided, employers can input their employees Twitter names to see if they've said anything that might merit being fired.


R.I.P., Google Reader; Long Live A New Generation Of Better RSS Feed Readers And Here’s A Great Replacement
Friday, March 15, 2013 11:14

Google announced earlier this week that it was killing Reader, its RSS feed reader, triggering an avalanche of hateful posts across the Web. You have until July 1, 2013 to find a replacement.

For advisors relying on Google Reader, its death sentence is triggering great anxiety about what to replace it with. But you really don’t need to worry. Plenty of replacements are available and they will be better than Google Reader.

This Website Is For Financial Professionals Only

For the uninitiated, Google Reader aggregates news you are care about. It’s a personalized news feed. If you want to track all the news about “investment fiduciaries,” for instance, you would create an Alert in Google and every time a news item is published using the term “investment fiduciaries,” you can receive it via email, RSS feed, or in Google Reader. Google didn’t invent RSS, but Reader popularized its use by making it easy to aggregate your RSS feeds when it introduced Reader in 2006.

In a blog post announcing the death of Reader, Google says its two simple reasons explain its motivation: “usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products,” Google says. “We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience.”

Some speculate that the real motive is to push more users toward Google Plus, which has some capabilities similar to Reader. My guess is that Google knows that that feed readers will need to continue to evolve and that small competitors will do a better job. I spent the past couple of days looking for a replacement, which taught me a few things.

First, not all feed readers are the same. I tried out one feed reader that annoyingly deleted feeds of stories if I did not read them after browsing through them, for instance. So you really have to watch out for bells and whistles. In fact, some feed readers are still desktop-based and you should rule those out right away, since any feed reader must be useable on a tablet or phone.

More importantly, I discovered that some feed readers are far better than Google Reader. A new generation of readers scans your tweets, Facebook content, and Google Reader feeds and then aggregates your news. That’s a huge improvement and could save you the trouble of having to configure or import your Google Reader feeds into other apps.

But the other thing I learned was feed readers suffer from the same problem as the rest of the Web. They most all point you to the same news sites. For instance, in aggregating news about Google Reader’s demise, all of the news aggregators pointed me to the same group of replacements for Google Reader, like Feedly or NetVibes.

It’s really difficult to find quality information, where a human being goes to six or 10 feed readers and assesses their capabilities and writes a brief but detailed analysis of each one and makes a suggestion about one or two that are best for different types of users. Point is, news aggregation does not replace reporting and analysis.

We are all being bombarded by ideas from apps that automate information gathering but lack the judgment of experts. It took me hour to read through dozens of posts about Google Reader alternatives to make a suggestion for a replacement to Google Reader.

Moreover, the app that wound up on top is not mentioned in any of the posts that are being aggregated. I had to follow a series of links that I cannot even retrace at this point to come to the conclusion that the coolest app to replace Google Reader is Prismatic.

Keep in mind that Google Reader’s demise is going to trigger a flood of innovation from replacement wannabes, and that my loyalty to Prismatic may not be long lasting. But this seems like a great alternative.

Prismatic could not be simpler. You select Facebook, Google, or Twitter as the social medium on which it will base your personalized news feeds.



Prismatic then asks you go give it permission to access your news stream on your social network.

Finally, it analyzes your likes and interests and aggregates your personal news stream. It’s brilliant.



 Correction: An earliker version of this article incorrectly said you have until Julky 31, 2013 to replace Google Reader. You have until July 1.


The Internet Has Become The Battlefield For The Next War
Thursday, March 14, 2013 13:49

Tags: cyber attack | cyber warefare

The future battlefield for war between countries could be cyberspace.  Cyber security threats against the United States are growing and concerns are rising about hacking attacks originating from China.

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Recently several big companies in United States have had their systems hacked by cyber intruders from out of the country.  In February a report was released by a private security firm stating that a unit in the Chinese military was responsible for hacking more than 140 businesses, most of which were in the United States.  China has denied these allegations saying there is no evidence.    


White House national security adviser Tom Donilon is requesting Beijing recognize the severity of cyber-attack problem, take serious steps to address it and establish guidelines of acceptable norms in the digital world.


Whether China is behind the recent cyber-attacks or not, one thing is clear, there is a steady incline in cyber security threats and the United States needs to be ready.  Our president has highlighted how vulnerable our financial institutions, power grid and air traffic control systems are to an attack.  Any cyber-attack on the United States can cost billions of dollars and lead to stolen industry secrets, which are vital to innovation and economic growth.


If even the United States isn’t fully prepared for cyber warfare are you sure you are?


To read more:







A New Study Shows That Your Facebook "Likes" May Be Far More Revealing Than You Ever Thought.
Monday, March 11, 2013 20:34

In one of the biggest studies of its kind, a psychometrics team and a Microsoft-funded research team analyzed data from 58,000 Facebook users to predict personality traits and other information that were not provided in their profiles.

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The algorithms were accurate in distinguishing African-Americans from Caucasian Americans 95% of the time, and could tell the difference between Democrats and Republicans 85% of the time. The algorithm was accurate 88% of the time in predicting male sexual orientation, and 80% accurate at predicting religion and political leanings. Personality types and emotional stability were also predicted with accuracy ranging from 62-75%.



How Can Advisors Use Crowdsourced Data For Lead Generation?
Thursday, March 07, 2013 12:42

Tags: marketing | prospecting | research | target marketing

Using data drawn from queries entered into Google, Microsoft and Yahoo search engines, scientists at Microsoft, Stanford and Columbia University have for the first time been able to detect evidence of unreported prescription drug side effects before they were found by the Food and Drug Administration’s warning system. That's the power of crowdsourcing. Now think about how you could use that power.

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"Using automated software tools to examine queries by six million Internet users taken from Web search logs in 2010, the researchers looked for searches relating to an antidepressant, paroxetine, and a cholesterol lowering drug, pravastatin," says The New York Times. "They were able to find evidence that the combination of the two drugs caused high blood sugar."

This is a great testament to the power of the Internet and crowdsourcing. 

Now please take a moment to think about how you could use that power. 

Could your advisory firm publish a financial index for your town? Or if you work with doctors, could you survey them and provide a valuable report with data about whether 2012 was a good year for doctors?

(If your answer is "yes," then you just got a lot of value from your $60 a year membership in A4A and, if you're not paying the $60 fee, then please upgrade your membership or register.)

Crowdsourcing is hugely powerful and advisors can use free or low cost tools to tap that power and add value to relationships. For instance, using SurveyMonkey to survey your clients about what is happening in your town financially can provide great content on the Web.

This kind of crowdsourced data allows an advisory firm to create a "special report" or white paper on your website. The only way that you would let people see that research is by giving you their contact information. They become a lead for you. It's a valuable idea for lead generation for advisors.

If you want help with this, post questions here and I'll give you my ideas.  


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