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BrandMyMail customizes, beefs up your Gmail signature

BrandMyMail allows you to customize your Gmail account with social media updates, expanding your reach and social media footprint.

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Using BrandMyMail to jazz up your Gmail signature

BrandMyMail is a web-based platform for customizing your emails message with social media; think of it as a souped-up email signature. Available social media includes: Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Flickr, WordPress, Tumblr, Quora, eBay listings, and many more. The idea makes a lot of sense. Almost every email I receive includes the sender’s signature, links to their Twitter feed, Facebook page, and website. You probably have similar experiences. BrandMyMail takes that idea to the next level by incorporating this with other social media content directly into your email.

To get started, simply click, “get started.” As soon as you click, the template editor will appear and you can begin to design your email template. Click on the layout tab and you can choose how your content will appear (dark boxes are for plugins, lines are for text). You can drag one plugin to every slot.

After dragging and dropping your plugins into the layout template, you can customize each one; just click on it. For plugins like Facebook, you will be asked to enter your log-in information and connect your account. When you are done customizing, click “save” to apply your changes and then “I’m done.” And you are ready to use your new email template.

Chrome, Firefox, and iOS

The platform supports Gmail users with Chrome or Firefox browsers, as well as, iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch users. This platform is primarily focused on Gmail, but you can use their SMTP gateway with other email providers. Also, you can choose whether or not to have your social media updates included on an email-by-email basis, which is handy if you want your friends to see your Facebook updates, but not potential employers. To see what these signatures can look like, they have examples in a gallery.

There are three different price points for BrandMyMail: basic, premium, and corporate. Basic is free and offers Gmail and SMTP support. You can send up to 100 branded emails per month and you can choose from thirty different email plugins. The premium price is 30€/year (approx. $40.14) and offers you unlimited branded emails, as well as, removing the “powered by BrandMyMail” link. You can choose from multiple templates, use multiple Gmail accounts and have access to premium plugins and statistics. At the corporate price, 40€/year/user ($53.52), gets you everything at the premium level and a centralized template management systems with user-template rules.

Premium also brings magical analytical tools, which will count the total emails sent, open rates, and clicks. The tool can even tell which of the plugins in your template are getting clicked on the most. There is also a web service API that will integrate BrandMyMail with standard enterprise software, helping take your business further, faster.

Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

Social Media

Zillow launches real estate brokerage after eons of swearing they wouldn’t

(MEDIA) We’ve warned of this for years, the industry funded it, and Zillow Homes brokerage has launched, and there are serious questions at hand.

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Zillow Homes was announced today, a Zillow licensed brokerage that will be fully operational in 2021 in Phoenix, Tucson, and Atlanta.

Whoa, big huge yawn-inducing shocker, y’all.

We’ve been warning for more than a decade that this was the end game, and the company blackballed us for our screams (and other criticisms, despite praise when merited here and there).

Blog posts were penned in fiery effigy calling naysayers like us stupid and paranoid.

Well color me unsurprised that the clarity of the gameplan was clear as day all along over here, and the paid talking heads sent out to astroturf, gaslight, and threaten us are now all quiet.

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Social Media

We watched The Social Dilemma – here are some social media tips that stuck with us

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Here are some takeaways from watching Netflix’s The Social Dilemma that helped me to eliminate some social media burnout.

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Last weekend, I made the risky decision to watch The Social Dilemma on Netflix. I knew it was an important thing to watch, but the risk was that I also knew it would wig me out a bit. As much as I’m someone who is active “online,” the concept of social media overwhelms me almost more than it entertains (or enlightens) me.

The constant sharing of information, the accessibility to information, and the endless barrage of notifications are just a few of the ways social media can cause overwhelm. The documentary went in deeper than this surface-level content and got into the nitty gritty of how people behind the scenes use your data and track your usage.

Former employees of high-profile platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, and Pinterest gave their two cents on the dangers of social media from a technological standpoint. Basically, our data isn’t just being tracked to be passed along for newsletters and the like. But rather, humans are seen as products that are manipulated to buy and click all day every day in order to make others money and perpetuate information that has astronomical effects. (I’m not nearly as intelligent as these people, so watch the documentary to get the in-depth look at how all of this operates.)

One of the major elements that stuck with me was the end credits of The Social Dilemma where they asked interviewees about the ways they are working to eliminate social media overwhelm in their own lives. Some of these I’ve implemented myself and can attest to. Here’s a short list of things you can do to keep from burning out online.

  1. Turn off notifications – unless there are things you need to know about immediately (texts, emails, etc.) turn it off. Getting 100 individual notifications within an hour from those who liked your Instagram post will do nothing but burn you (and your battery) out.
  2. Know how to use these technologies to change the conversation and not perpetuate things like “fake news” and clickbait.
  3. Uninstall apps that are wasting your time. If you feel yourself wasting hours per week mindlessly scrolling through Facebook but not actually using it, consider deleting the app and only checking the site from a desktop or Internet browser.
  4. Research and consider using other search tools instead of Google (one interviewee mentioned that Qwant specifically does not collect/store your information the way Google does).
  5. Don’t perpetuate by watching recommended videos on YouTube, those are tailored to try and sway or sell you things. Pick your own content.
  6. Research the many extensions that remove these recommendations and help stop the collection of your data.

At the end of the day, just be mindful of how you’re using social media and what you’re sharing – not just about yourself, but the information you’re passing along from and to others. Do your part to make sure what you are sharing is accurate and useful in this conversation.

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Social Media

WeChat ban blocked by California judge, but for how long?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) WeChat is protected by First Amendment concerns for now, but it’s unclear how long the app will remain as pressure mounts.

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WeChat barely avoided a US ban after a Californian judge stepped in to temporarily block President Trump’s executive order. Judge Laurel Beeler cited the effects of the ban on US-based WeChat users and how it threatened the First Amendment rights of those users.

“The plaintiffs’ evidence reflects that WeChat is effectively the only means of communication for many in the community, not only because China bans other apps, but also because Chinese speakers with limited English proficiency have no options other than WeChat,” Beeler wrote.

WeChat is a Chinese instant messaging and social media/mobile transaction app with over 1 billion active monthly users. The WeChat Alliance, a group of users who filed the lawsuit in August, pointed out that the ban unfairly targets Chinese-Americans as it’s the primary app used by the demographic to communicate with loved ones, engage in political discussions, and receive news.

The app, along with TikTok, has come under fire as a means for China to collect data on its users. U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has stated, “At the President’s direction, we have taken significant action to combat China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data, while promoting our national values, democratic rules-based norms, and aggressive enforcement of U.S. laws and regulations.”

This example is yet another symptom of our ever-globalizing society where we are learning to navigate between connectivity and privacy. The plaintiffs also pointed out alternatives to an outright ban. One example cited was in Australia, where WeChat is now banned from government officials’ phones but not others.

Beeler has said that the range in alternatives to preserving national security affected her decision to strike down the ban. She also explained that in regards to dealing with national security, there is “scant little evidence that (the Commerce Department’s) effective ban of WeChat for all US users addresses those concerns.”

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