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Paralysis by Analysis

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A couple of days ago I posted a somewhat meandering rant … well, rant may not be the correct term as the post lacked any significant level of vitriol … but it certainly meandered.

The underlying theme of my post about the mega-blogs, for those who missed it, is I’m just not all that bright sometimes. Or at least I don’t feel particularly bright when it comes to the world of Real Estate 2.0. I may be light years ahead of every one else working for my real estate company, but that doesn’t mean I know much.

But in truth, it’s not blogs such as Agent Genius and Rain City Guide that had me a bit stumped. And at the end of the day, I shouldn’t really be stumped by any. The point is to get yourself in front of the widest possible audience and, while I’m not that bright, I am smart enough to know my personal blog never will compete on readers with some of the bigger blogs out there.

So many developments are taking place on the web that it’s hard to keep up. I’m now Twittering. I don’t know. Does that make me a twit? I’m also on Facebook. I’m letting the profile my daughter set up for me on MySpace die on the vine because I don’t seem to be contacted by anyone but 19-year-old hookers.

I keep trying to figure out why they’re supposed to work when maybe the better strategy is to just try things out and let them work. I don’t think I’ll get a listing off of Utterz but it’s a hell of a lot of fun when you’re stuck in traffic. And it helps keep the posts flowing when there’s little time to sit down and right.

Jeff had it right when he said all of these blogs are part of the same larger conversation. At the same time, it seems like we need to find a way to shout out over the crowd to get folks to look our way. I’m not at all certain how to do that except to keep plugging along.

What’s funny is in other aspects of life I’m not too concerned with how things work. My ex-wife was an engineer – that was her gig (and my daughter’s shown tendencies that direction at various times, such as trying to figure out the inner workings of the carousel at age three.) I usually just trust that things are supposed to work the way they’re supposed to work.

Maybe I ought to apply that same theory to Real Estate 2.0 – stop worrying so much about how, why or if something should work and just try it. That’s how I ended up here in the first place, after all. And that’s not a bad result at all.

Jonathan Dalton is a Realtor with RE/MAX Desert Showcase in Peoria, Arizona and is the author of the All Phoenix Real Estate blog as well as a half-dozen neighborhood sites. His partner, Tobey, is a somewhat rotund beagle who sleeps 21 hours a day.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Jay Thompson

    November 23, 2007 at 4:46 pm

    “Does that make me a twit?”

    You sure you want people to answer that? 🙂

    I’m not sure I “get” mega-blogs either. Ironic since I just joined one today and already contribute to GeekEstateBlog (not really mega yet, but certainly multi-author).

    I really could care less about my “voice”, if I ever find it. For me, it’s mostly an experiment. And another venue. Will it lead to anything? I have no idea. But it’s fun. And it can’t hurt.

  2. Mariana

    November 23, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    Jonathan – I, too, get wrapped up in HOW/WHY/IF this 2.0 stuff works. Yet, I am less inquisitve in other areas of my life.

    I just need to just (proactively) go along for the ride, I guess. …and I guess I am a new Twit, too.

  3. Teresa Boardman

    November 24, 2007 at 3:21 pm

    Go one step further, try it, measure the results and if there aren’t any for you move on.

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Tiktok: Did they really just censor disabled users?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) TikTok was concerned about disabled users being bullied so in a stunning reversal, they limited those users visibility on the app. Yikes.

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TikTok, the popular social media platform where users upload short, often silly or light-hearted, videos is coming under fire this week. Internal moderation documents acquired by the German digital rights blog, Netzpolitik.org, show that TikTok has been discriminating against users who are disabled, queer, and fat.

According to these documents, TikTok instructed moderators to tag any content created by so-called, “special users.” The “special users” tag refers to users who are “susceptible to harassment or cyberbullying based on their physical or mental condition.”

The idea behind the tag was to provide these “special users” with protection from cyber bullying and online harassment. This was achieved by limiting the visibility of these user’s content. Videos with this tag had their viewership limited to the user’s country of origin and were prevented from being featured on the “for you” section of the app.

To make matters even worse, moderators only had about 30 seconds to make the decision to flag a video or not. Imagine looking at a complete stranger for less than a minute and having to decide if they fall somewhere on the Autism spectrum. Now, imagine doing that with only a 15 second video for reference.

Sources inside TikTok say that moderators complained about this policy multiple times, but their concerns were ignored. According to a TikTok spokesperson, the tag system was meant to be a temporary solution.

“This was never designed to be a long-term solution, but rather a way to help manage a troubling trend until our teams and user-facing controls could keep up.”

Point blank, TikTok discriminated against users based on their physical appearance and perceived disabilities. They denied these users a fair opportunity on their app by limiting the visibility of their content therefor preventing them from growing their audiences.

In their statement about the moderation policy, TikTok’s spokesperson asserts that the policy is no longer in effect.

“While the intention was good, the approach was wrong and we have long since changed the earlier policy in favor of more nuanced anti-bullying policies and in-app protections.”

Owning up to their mistake is a good start, but a simple ‘our bad y’all’ is not good enough. When a company currently estimated to be worth 75 billion dollars admits to blatant discrimination against its users, there need to be some reparations.

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Facebook is finally allowing you to use your data freely, kinda

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook is taking baby steps to improve data portability with new photo transfer tool. They are working with google, twitter, and microsoft to make it work

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Facebook is rolling out a new feature which will allow users to transfer their photos directly to Google Photos. The product is rolling out in Ireland first for some beta testing, but set to launch globally in the first half of 2020. At first glance this may seem like a mundane new tool, but it is just one thread in a complex web of legal and social change related to users’ right to their own data.

The true heart of this story is the ongoing issue of data portability. Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Microsoft are all part of the Data Transfer Project which aims to create data portability. Data portability refers to an individual users’ right to control their own data on the web, which includes the right to download and transfer their data to different services. The hope is that a seamless flow of data will create a more authentic sense of competition.

In their statement about the new product, Facebook reiterates this belief by stating, “we believe that if you share data with one service, you should be able to move it to another. That’s the principle of data portability, which gives people control and choice while also encouraging innovation.”

Being able to seamlessly transfer your photos from Facebook to any outside platform is a big step for a company that has spent most of the year in anti-trust investigations.

The photo transfer tool will be helpful to some users, but is it a genuine step towards breaking up the Facebook data monopoly? After all, Google has also gone through anti-trust investigations this year, so perhaps more open competition between two of the largest software companies on the globe is not exactly what legislators had in mind.

It’s nearly impossible to read whether Facebook’s attempts to improve global data portability are sincere or just an elaborate effort to keep governments off their bottom line. There is an argument to made about whether or not corporations can ever be sincere, but that is a story for a different day.

The best thing everyday users can do to protect their data right now is to stay informed and keep asking questions.

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‘Secret sister’ gift exchanges are not just lame, they’re ILLEGAL – tell your friends

(SOCIAL MEDIA) There’s a new gift giving program spread on Facebook but you may be giving more than gifts. Secret Sister is actually an illegal MLM that gives away your identity.

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‘Tis the season for Christmas themed pyramid schemes! No, we’re not talking about your favorite MLM adding some holiday flair (though that’s probably happening too), this is something more sinister: Secret Sister gift exchanges.

Not to be confused with Secret Santa (the anonymous gift exchange among friends), Secret Sister exchanges promises the impossible: buy one gift for a stranger, get upwards of 36 gifts in return. It might sound like a Christmas miracle, but it’s actually classified as a pyramid scheme… and gambling, to boot.

Not to mention, it’s definitely illegal, hun.

Circulated primarily on Facebook and targeted mostly at women, Secret Sister exchanges have been running since 2015, according to Snopes. Users are invited to join and invite up to six friends to participate too. Like all pyramid schemes, the further down the ladder you are, the less likely you are to receive many (if any!) gifts in return.

That’s the best case scenario.

Not only are you bothering your friends and potentially gaining nothing (or little) in return, you’re also at risk of identity theft when you participate in a secret sister exchange. Why? Well, most of these schemes involve users submitting important personal information such as phone number and home address, which aren’t the sorts of things you want falling into the hands of total strangers.

These “Secret Sister” gift exchanges might also go by other fun, festive names. For instance, one scam focused on “wine drinkers” and encouraged participants to purchase bottles of wine. But a pyramid scheme by any other name is still a massive waste of time and money.

A good rule of thumb? If something is offering amazing results for a fraction of the cost (like 36 gifts for the price of one), be wary. That’s the same promise you’ll get at a slot machine – and that’s less likely to steal your identity after you’ve lost money.

Not to sound like a PSA, but if you or anyone you know seems to be caught up in a secret sister gift exchange, get out! It shouldn’t be the season of law-breaking and identity theft. And if that $10 is burning a hole in your pocket, there’s plenty of ways to find some holiday cheer. Donate to a local charity, buy a gift for a coworker, maybe even treat yourself!

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