Google Banning Users From Google+

The Internet is full of anonymity with people hiding behind fake names, creative monikers, edited photos, etc., but apparently not on Google+. It seems as though Google has stepped in and banned a number of accounts that have been using fake names. How Google has determined who’s real and who’s not is anyone’s guess, but it’s safe to say that they probably just focused on the obvious ones.

Google has been enforcing their strict policy of using a real first and last name to sign up for the service in an effort to ward off spammers and other Internet trolls. I for one, agree with this approach. Otherwise, Google+ will turn into what MySpace and Twitter have turned into—an isolated online community of spammers and advertisers. Watch out Facebook; you’re heading in the same direction too.

The concept of using real names also adds the benefit of making it easier for people to find you because after all, isn’t that the point for signing up to a social network? If you plan on using a fake name just so people can’t find you, why even join at all?

All of the weekend banning has caused quite a stir in the social network community and some users are outraged that their legitimate accounts have been banned. Google+’s VP Bradley Horowitz says that the previous naming policy is under review and in the meantime, offending accounts will no longer be banned outright, but will receive a warning. Should that warning not be heeded, the account will disappear. Make note that this “banning” will only occur on the Google+ service and will not affect that individual’s Gmail account or any other Google services he or she may have.

For those of you who use Google+ but have a legitimate nickname or other name that people can search you by, you can add these names right into your account. When editing, locate the section called “Other names” and enter them as needed.

The controversy continues while Google decides the fate of this naming policy—some users feel that it’s too rigid because they wish to use their Google+ account to be found on the Internet by other Internet users and they might not be known by their real name online.

My two cents

This issue is not one of privacy. If anyone feels that it is, they should not be on Google+. While you’re at it, delete your Facebook profile too. If you sign up for these services, expect people to find you, expect people to search for you and then expect people to add you as a friend. For all of you who sign up for a public profile just to go and make it private and then complain when something like this happens, get offline. The reason I agree with Google’s naming policy is because it allows the rest of us to keep our reputations of being real while adding some value to the community.

I have no problem with my name being out there because I control everything I put on the Internet. If I don’t want someone to see a photo of mine, I don’t upload it. I say to Google, keep up the good work and rid your service of the spammers and advertisers. Let’s just hope some other online services will follow suit.

Twitter Gets Ready To Launch Ads

When I think of Twitter, the last thing I think of is advertising—at least in the sense of banners, pop-ups, sponsored links, etc. I figured the only advertising one would benefit from on Twitter would be that of sending out tweets promoting their new products or services.

However, it seems that Twitter will start allowing bigtime advertisers to use APIs for their advertising campaigns. Speculation indicates that the ad system will work in two ways:

  1. Promoted tweets – An advertiser can search for any tweet on Twitter and sponsor it. After paying the advertising dollars, an ad is placed alongside that tweet and sent out to the world.
  2. Promoted accounts – An advertiser has the option of promoting its own account to users. This may be accomplished by linking advertisers to users that tweet contend related to the company’s products or services. This, in turn would allow a user to be presented with a new account to follow that will likely be of some interest to the user.

Twitter says the details haven’t been completely hammered out, but they intend on increasing ad revenue which is currently expected to reach $150 million this year. While Twitter only has about 200 million registered users, Facebook has over 600 million and expects to rake in $4 billion in ad revenue this year!

While it’s tempting for the five-year old Twitter to do everything in its power to increase revenue, some say that bombarding users with ads, especially useless ads, will cause a decrease in user interaction and/or user decline.

Part of the problem could end up being how ads are generated, delivered and received throughout the process. Unlike the traditional methods of advertising that are used by Google and Facebook, Twitter ads would have to utilize a different system altogether if it is to succeed. This is because most people don’t sit on Twitter and navigate from page to page like they can on Facebook.

Mobile viewers are now delivering tweets directly to phones just as if they were standard text messages. Ads would have to be tailored to fit this medium and more importantly prove to be effective.

My two cents

I’ve never been a fan of advertising, but I am a realist…none of us would know about anything that we know about if someone, somewhere didn’t see an ad for it or read about it. With that said, I’m willing to view ads as long as they are relevant and make sense to me. My concern with Twitter is the fact that MANY of those 200 million users are spammers, so what will be put in place to stop them from shotgunning lame ads to the whole community?

I probably shouldn’t assume anything until the “details” are hammered out, but naturally, I start thinking about the downsides to all this advertising. Another question I have is will users have a choice in whether their tweets can become sponsored with ads? Or if not, does the person who tweeted that sponsored message get a cut of the revenue? I’m curious to see how all this will unfold!

Twitter Gets Banned for The First Time

I’m not really too sure why Twitter was singled out in the news today when it was announced that cell service will be blocked during the Royal Wedding this Saturday, but one thing is for sure, there will be no tweeting of any kind. In fact, with the loss of all cell service, you can say goodbye to Facebook and every other social networking program.

According to Yahoo!, authorities are instituting signal-blocking technologies inside Westminster Abbey during the entire length of the ceremony. I’m not here to report that news because the article already does a fine job of that and really, what else do you need to know?!

However, after reading this, my interest was piqued and now I’m wondering why more and more places and events aren’t using this technology. I can think of a million times when this would serve great purpose, but to save you time (and energy) I’ll just list my top five:

  1. Movie theatres – I don’t care who you are or how popular you may be; there is no valid reason whatsoever for you to be texting or making/receiving calls in the middle of a movie! And while we’re on the topic, you shouldn’t be talking either.
  2. Restaurants – You’re there to celebrate an event, spend time with a loved one, impress a date or just to have conversation with your close friends. The point being made here is that anyone you should be talking to is already at the table, not on a phone.
  3. Museums – Most museums are quiet, tranquil places for people to soak up some culture and feel connected to history. There’s no need to conduct a business meeting while gazing at a Van Gogh.
  4. Weddings – The sheer fact that you aren’t cognizant of turning your phone off (or at least on silent) when you’re at a wedding says volumes about your personality and lack of respect for two people who have spent thousands of dollars to make the day perfect while also providing you with free dinner.
  5. Public transportation – I don’t use public transportation that much, but when I was in New York, I was all over the subways. Fortunately I never ran into any talkative passengers because there is no service underground, but I can imagine what it would be like to be stuck on a bus with someone that just won’t shut up!

I’m all about the latest in technology, but I do have some sense of civility left. In the aforementioned locations, it’s not always about being kind to your neighbors, but it’s also about being respectful to your surroundings. As with anything in life, there is a time and a place for using a cell phone and taking calls.

Signal blocking devices

Fortunately, we no longer have to wait for disrespectful people to hang up their phones. We can now buy our own signal-blocking devices and carry them wherever we go. I found a fairly cheap one on Deal Extreme for about $26. This little thing gives you about a 30 ft range in which you can block all cell phone services! On the battery, it’ll last for about 3 hours so that’s plenty of time to get that nap in you were hoping for. For an even larger model, get one that looks like a router and start blocking signals up to 30 meters away!

The problem with such devices is that they are illegal in many countries including the U.S. so good luck getting one and don’t get caught. In the U.S., a fine can be issued in the amount of $11,000 and you could serve jail time. While this is absurd in my opinion, I do understand that signal jammers not only block the annoying cell users, but also anyone else in the area and that could pose a major problem should someone actually need to use their phone for emergency purposes.

The only alternative to not using these devices is to teach people cell phone etiquette and hope for the best. Whatever happened to everyday manners?

Twitter Announces Advertising

For the first time since Twitter showed up on the web scene 4 years ago, they have announced advertising over their network. Companies already use Twitter to promote their products and services, but they face one fundamental problem–they have to have followers to get their message out.

This problem has now been solved by the use of Promoted Tweets that will appear at the top of search results very similar to that of Google’s AdWords program. Tuesday is the day that an initial rollout of 10 advertisers containing the likes of Starbucks and Best Buy will provide Twitter users with the first ads. However, these ads will only be visible to 2-10% of users for the time being. I’m not sure if these users will be chosen randomly or if it’ll be based on account usage, amount of followers, etc.

Twitter has long been slightly opposed to the whole advertising thing, suggesting that ‘ads could irritate users’, but the reality is that venture capital doesn’t last forever and if we expect Twitter to stay free, they have to make money somehow. Twitter says that in time, these ads may start appearing in the stream of posts that users see when they log in.

There is some good in all this; businesses will now have the ability to promote their offerings without having to first promote themselves to get followers. As a user, you no longer need to actually read any tweets for promotions and whatnot–just login to the site and click on every ad you want!

And just what kind of ads can we expect to see in all this? In the beginning, I’m sure all will be fine and dandy, but what happens once all the affiliates or spammers (is there a difference?) get on? Will we be faced with another over-saturated market of useless products and ebooks? I sure hope Twitter can get this one right. Who knows…maybe they’ll set the new bar for how advertising is done online.

My two cents

It may seem like I’m completely against all this and most of you might wonder why considering I run a website about how to make a profitable business online, but I’m really not–if it’s done right. What I am against is when legitimate ads are washed out by spammers and thousands of the exact same affiliate links because it causes users to become “blind” to ads and overall, it creates a horrible experience.

But I’m openminded…let’s see what Twitter’s got before we start judging!

Yet another URL shortening website!

UPDATE (Oct 26, 2010) :: I disbanded my original URL shortening service and have created a new one with an even shorter URL! I’m leaving this page up for posterity, but I’ve changed the links where applicable. Also, I wrote about my new URL shortening service, so you may want to head on over there first!

This time, it’s mine!! After I got onto Twitter and Facebook, I starting noticing all these little weird looking links and came to realize they were just pointers to much longer links. URL shortening services have sprung up just about everywhere. The issue of really long links is more of a problem to Twitter users because you only have 140 characters to type your message, but they’re starting to gain traction for just about every use. Use my new URL shortener to shrink you long urls today!

You would want to/need to shorten a url when you don’t have much space to post one or you want to make it easier for someone to remember. Now, there are tons of sites out there that can shorten long links into something tiny, but I didn’t want to trust my links in the hands of some fly-by-night service. Instead, I opened my own service and now I’m offering the service to everyone. URL shortener

What is it?

Take this link for example: It’s a direct link to’s Kindle page. Now, imagine you’re on Twitter and you want to send that to your followers. It’s not going to happen.

Instead, you drop on by my new site and create a link that looks like this: Much nicer, wouldn’t you agree? In fact, this URL went from being 358 characters long down to only 15! That’s a difference of 343 characters!! You can use these links for any purpose and the best part is, you can also search for keyword text, so instead of getting a randomly generated number, you can get a text phrase (if available).

How is this site different?

It’s not so much different in features as it is in name. Other services such as, and all offer the same services, but as you can see, they all use International domain names.

Personally, I find two things wrong with this. The first reason is that the links are not universally recognized by a lot of Internet users. If fact, I’ve talked to some people that say they never click on links like that at all! This can provide low click-through ratios for your links.

The second reason is that these domain names are controlled by the countries who own the extension. This can, although probably not likely, lead to the domains becoming obsolete or even being taken back by the local government.

What can you do with a shortened URL?

The uses for this service are only limited to your creativity! Here are some ideas:

  • Use shorter links for Twitter posts
  • Cloak affiliate links
  • Mask a long URL for marketing materials
  • Use a shorter URL for your site to make it easier to tell your friends how to get there

This service is free and allows you to make an unlimited amount of links. Check it out by going to now!

Using Arkayne to bring focused traffic to your site

I discovered a new, free service that you may have already noticed on my site, but didn’t even know where it was coming from. I’m talking about a new form of link building that actually makes sense. It’s called Arkayne and the two best things about it are: it’s free and it integrates with WordPress. Getting quality backlinks has never been easier!

I found them during my search for a plugin that would display related content on my blog posts to help link my site together because we all know how hard it is to keep our visitors on our site and if they don’t actually search for something, they may never see it! All I was looking for was a feature that allows me to write a blog post and have the plugin run around all my previous posts and display some links with related tags and/or keywords.

I can’t tell you how awesome this service is, so you’ll have to take my word for it.


If you don’t have a few minutes to spare to finish the video, this is basically what it does. You have an account profile on their site that you use to promote your site plus your social networking account which include Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. You then add some basic information about your site. Over on WordPress, you install the free plugin, insert your custom API code and let the magic begin!

In time, Arkayne will read through your entire site and essentially index your content on their site via links in your account. This makes you searchable to all Arkayne users. What will happen is people on the site will find your blog and if they deem it interesting and/or useful, they will click on Recommend and you basically have a “follower”. You, in turn, will also recommend blogs you find interesting and useful. This is a very useful tool for link building, which will get those coveted backlinks your site needs.

As time moves on, all of your posts will start to generate related links to other sites in the network and those sites who have recommended you will have your link show up on their posts. So just like other ranking sites, the more people that find your site useful, the more sites your links show up on.

Beyond that, you still get the feature I was originally looking for and that is this plugin will scour your site looking for related content that you’ve posted and place those links as well. You can even set how many links of each type are shown, from 1-5. You can see below that I currently have it set to show 3 of my links and 4 outside links.

The site appears to be running with a small amount of users so far (or least in the searches I did), but I have a lot of faith in this site due to it’s nature. Of course, only time will tell.

Join Arkayne Today!!