The Evolution to Social Networking

Today it’s real, social networking shapes our life. An age which started in the early 2000s with Friendster and Myspace began as websites that allowed you to meet people and check out pictures. With Myspace growing bigger and Facebook joining the game it opened up more possibilities like networking, connecting and sharing. Today with Facebook having won the social race, they have set the standards of networking. Facebook has taken the limits of social networking to becoming your online life. More than Google even, Facebook is your online persona. You have everything you like on Facebook, your pictures, your friends and so much more.

With Facebook you share videos and music. You chat with your friends and pass information. You discover news, music or artists. You express your feelings and more. With all that it makes Facebook addicting. You come back every time to check pictures of your friends, stalk some people (including exs) and see what people are up to.

So with all this, how much more can social websites do? What’s the future of social networking? Facebook seems to think it’s about sharing seamlessly and connecting more easily. Are they right? In their situation, certainly. With no other major player, what they are trying to build for the future seems pretty good.

But is that really the evolution of social networking? In my opinion, not the longer term evolution. Facebook and the other networks have two issues that separate them from what I think will be an evolution of social networking. They are passive websites. What do I mean by that? Well they are mainly typed networks. You want to express yourself, you type it. You want to communicate with your friend, you type. Want to share something type it out and post a link. Well if its something cool. Type to respond to the comments. That’s what I mean by passive.

Secondly it’s not real time. OK, Facebook is fast and you can get responses almost instantly. However it’s still not real time. Say I want to say something to my friend, I type it and then wait for my friend to respond. While if I was physically with him, as soon as I will start talking he will probably retort while I’m talking.

That’s why in my opinion, the evolution to social networking is live networking. What is this? Like real time video social networking. Networking where you video chatting is entrenched in the dna of the social network. You have something to say, start talking on cam and your friends respond in real time. You want to talk with friends; immediately call them and talk. Want to meet people? go into the hunt of meeting people and start connecting. Have something to share like a new song, share it and comment on the song with your friends actively listening to the song with you. Real time gaming. Play angry birds and react with your friends in real time. Imagine all the things you would be able to do. Sharing will be much easier and faster. Communication will be easier and more lively and that is just a little surface I’m scratching here.

From Gas Engineer to Successful Business Owner – My Rocky Journey

Everyone thought I was mad. Even my Grandmother looked up at me from her deathbed and said “Don’t do it!” the day that I announced that I was going to leave my well paid job as a gas service engineer to start my own business.

For years I had dreamed of starting my own business and now I had taken action (and a massive loan from the bank) and opened up a convenience store and post office. I figured that people always need to eat and therefore opening a shop selling food was a guarantee for success.

Did I enjoy overnight success? NO.

The reality was that I ended up working 18 hours a day, seven days a week for 9 months, sacrificing valuable time with my young family in the process, before finally things started to improve. I went on to open another two stores and won many national competitions including an all expenses paid trip to New York sponsored by Sir Richard Branson.

I thought that I had finally cracked it. Life was good, or so I thought. Then a Superstore opened up nearby and my landlord also opened up a convenience store next door to me. Suddenly my sales dropped.

How did I survive?

I looked for new ways to make money in my stores. I added new lines and introduced more promotions and slowly my customers returned to my store and life was good again.

I then decided to embark on a new adventure-namely building my dream home. I bought a field that had planning permission and split it into five plots.I sold four of the plots almost immediately and kept a plot for myself. The revenue that I made from selling the other plots paid for the infrastructure and towards the cost of building my dream home.

As I was fortunate enough to have good staff to run my stores for me whilst I project managed the building of my house, I was able to process my paperwork from my home office. I began to enjoy not having to travel daily back and forth to my businesses and this got me thinking about working from home permanently.

Not being one to drag my feet I sold my retail stores and started my own construction and development company that I ran from home. My business specialised in buying and selling land and project managing building dream homes for others. This became a successful business very quickly and again life was good. However just at that time the recession came and the demand for wanting to buy land and build houses decreased dramatically. This was a big shock and a massive worry for me as I still had outstanding business loans to pay, staff to provide work for as well as a family to feed. I needed to act fast. I desperately needed to find a way to make more money.

I quickly diversified my business to concentrate more on smaller building works like extensions, loft conversions and conservatories. This took a little time as I needed to rebrand the company to focus more on building works. However once I had tried and tested and found the best marketing methods my company went from strength to strength.

That was until three customers in succession took advantage of my good nature and did not pay for the work that I had carried out for them, due to them running out of money. This was a very stressful time as it resulted in lengthy, costly legal proceedings to recover monies due to me which caused massive cash flow problems within my business.

This is a major downfall for many bricks and mortar businesses especially as you have to outlay lots of capital for materials and labour before you receive payment from the customer. Many businesses have then sadly gone into administration when customers have then failed to pay for the goods and services provided.

Fortunately I was able to survive but it made be re evaluate what I wanted from life.

I knew for sure that I definitely wanted to still run a business. It was what I had done successfully for over twenty years, but I began to look into other opportunities. I still wanted to run a business from home, which in effect was what I was already doing with my construction company, but without the responsibility that the bricks and mortar business provided, namely having staff to find work for and customers delaying in paying for their goods.

That’s when I began to look into opportunities for online businesses. As an established successful businessman I quickly realised that this type of business could provide me with the perfect balance that I needed in my life.

I would still be my own boss, I could still work from home but with this type of business there was a huge global audience to market to and better still they would pay for their goods in advance and the only staff I needed to recruit was my wife.

Julie, my wife had never been that active in running my bricks and mortar businesses but she was very excited about embarking on an online business together especially as this meant that she could work from home around the needs of our young children…Something that she could not have done with our bricks and mortar businesses as the working hours were dictated by customer and supplier needs.

So have I finally found the best successful business? I will not lie, even online businesses have their trying times, especially with Google constantly changing the rules and with trying to keep up with the latest technology and marketing, but I have to say that, hand on heart,my online business has provided my wife and I with the best work/ life balance possible. It allows us to attend every school concert and sports day and every other special family event that we would otherwise have had to miss, if we were working for someone else. It has even enabled us to be able to have a gorgeous cockapoo puppy.

However, as with any business opportunity it is very important to research and find the best online businesses available. You will need to find a product that will be easy to market and sell and if you choose to become an affiliate you will need to ensure that you choose a company that will offer the highest rewards for your effort.

You do not need to have any exceptional qualities to create a successful business. I certainly had no business experience when I started out in business, but what I had was dream and a determination to provide the best that I could for myself and my family.

Even though I earned a good salary when I worked as a gas engineer, I l knew that the lifestyle that I could create for my family was governed by the capped salary that I could earn. I knew that if I wanted to fulfil my dreams and ambitions that I needed to take action and to take risks to earn more money.

I am so glad that I took action and that I did not quit when I encountered difficulties and hardships.

Any mistakes that I made along the way were merely treated as temporary hurdles on the road to success.

After all most successful people have encountered difficulties along the way including successful entrepreneurs like Sir Richard Branson and Simon Cowell. So I regard myself as being in good company with mistakes that I have made.

The setbacks that I did encounter have actually helped me enormously within my online business and have enabled me to share with others the best ways to start a business. People now actually appreciate my good nature with advice that I offer them to change their lives for the better, rather than taking advantage of it, as happened with my bricks and mortar business.

To close, even though my journey from gas engineer to successful business owner has been rocky I would not change a thing, as it has ultimately led to me creating the life of my dreams.

Death and Social Networks

Losing a friend or family member is painful enough, but imagine when that friend’s social networking profile at Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace continues to appear on your personal wall or in searches.

In the digital age, many of us publish our entire lives through profiles, status updates, networks, photographs, blog posts, etc. With more than a million social networkers dying yearly, family, friends and service providers are stuck trying to figure out how to deal with a deceased user’s digital bits.

As a social networking guru with over 40,000 contacts spread across six social networks, one of them – Barry Epstein, of Boca Raton – advised that he was closing the accounts of his recently departed son. Aware of the “memorial” policies of Facebook, I was prompted to investigate the various social networking policies on deceased users’ accounts and what can be done to preserve, memorialize or delete them following death.

Facebook

Although not the first to establish a policy for its 500 million users worldwide, Facebook was the highest profile because of the way it addressed the issue. Rather than allowing a family member to take control of an account, Facebook instead decided to take things a step further and allowed them to be memorialized.

This is helpful for two reasons. First, it preserves the deceased user’s online identity so that only confirmed friends can visit their profile to read about them, view photos and leave posts of remembrance.

When Facebook converts an account into a memorial, the deceased user no longer pops up in Facebook’s friend suggestions. Thus we are not constantly reminded of their disappearance. The person’s profile automatically becomes private to everyone but confirmed friends. Personal identifiers and contact information are also removed to respect privacy and prevent hacking.

To establish a Facebook memorial, family or friends fill out a special contact form and provide proof of death such as an Internet link to an obituary or news article. Unlike other social networks, Facebook allows non-family to perform this task, which is helpful in a situation where the deceased user’s friends are more Internet-savvy than family – facebook.com/help/?search=deceased

Twitter

Just as Facebook allows users to request an account be deleted or memorialized when a friend or family member has passed on, Twitter users can now request a permanent back-up of the deceased user’s public tweets or a complete account deletion – twitter.com/help

Accounts of deceased users will no longer appear in the “Who to Follow” suggestion box and previously scheduled tweets are not published. At present, accounts of deceased users look exactly the same as those of living users and can be followed and listed.

To establish a permanent back-up or to delete a deceased user’s Twitter account, a family member is required to submit the user name or link to the profile page, and proof of death in the form of a public obituary or news article. Twitter also advises, “Please note that we cannot allow access to the account or disclose other non-public information regarding the account.”

MySpace

As one of the oldest social networks, MySpace has a deceased user policy that is more of a standardized policy of removal rather than memorializing. Moreover, MySpace does not adequately address privacy concerns and is susceptible to hacking – myspace.com/help.

To remove a MySpace profile, a family member must contact MySpace via e-mail with proof of death and the user’s unique identification number. A user-name is generally not acceptable.

“Unfortunately, we can’t let you access, edit, or delete any of the content or settings on the user’s profile yourself, but we’ll be sure to review and remove any content you find objectionable,” reads MySpace’s policy. This policy is not particularly helpful for older relatives that are not Internet-savvy and makes it almost impossible to remove a deceased user’s existence from MySpace.

Strangely enough, hackers can potentially access the deceased user’s account. On MySpace’s policy page is an admission admitting that anyone with access to their e-mail account can simply “retrieve the password through the forgot password link” and make any necessary changes.

“I believe social networks are really useful for memorializing the deceased,” stated Barry Epstein of Boca Raton. “No matter what one does at the memorial service, people are using social networks as a way to deal with the departed, but in a way that funerals don’t allow.”

Source: The Credit Report with Bill Lewis – Highlands Today, an edition of the Tampa Tribune – Media General Group http://www2.highlandstoday.com/content/2010/dec/12/death-and-social-networks/news/

Here is a Quick Way to Build a Successful Business on eBay

Millions of people are trying to build a successful business on eBay. But the sad truth is that only a very small percentage succeed. To become successful on eBay or any business venture is knowledge. Do you remember the old saying, ” knowledge is power”? Well, that is exactly the truth. I want to share some success tips with you, so you can go forward in your business venture. When trying to run a successful eBay business, there are 10 primary steps that you should follow.

1. Do What Works
There are many different ways to build a business and make money on eBay. There are virtually millions of products to sell and thousands of niches to sell in. but what it all comes down to, is what works for you. The main goal here is to produce results. No one can tell you what product to sell or niche to sell in. You must learn this on your own.

Don’t be afraid to try different ideas and methods. The only way you are going to find out what is working for you, is to put them to the test. And at the end of the the day our main goal here is to make a profit.

2. Not Failure Only Results
The only way to get the results you want, is to take action. As long as you keep plugging away at your business, you are not failing, you are producing results. You must come to realize that you are simply testing the waters here. What doesn’t work for you the first time, make an adjustment for the next time around.

Everyone makes mistakes, and you will to. The trick is to keep learning and keep taking action towards your business. When you do this, failure is not a option.

3. Be Flexible
A person that believes in doing things one way, will not be successful on eBay. You must be open to different products, niches, ideas, and so on. Be flexible in all of your endeavors and mindset. In time, you will start to reach different levels in your business. By being flexible, you will take the necessary steps to ensure success every step of the way.

4. Do Not Chase “The Hot Product ”
Yes be flexible, but don’t find yourself chasing ” the hot product. ” You must understand the difference between test marketing products or ideas, and studying the results. You cannot just simply keep switching gears and selling something different every other week. Give your product or niche some time to develop.

5. Conformity
When you are sitting around trying to come up with ideas or products to sell, look to see what other successful entrepreneurs are doing. Don’t copy them, modify what they do and come up with your own style of business. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, just learn what other successful people are doing in their business and apply what you learn to yours.

6. Consistency Is Key
You must be prepared to work your business on a ongoing basis. By taking action, you will become consistent and successful in your daily business routine. Remember this, if you treat your business like a hobby, it will pay you like a hobby. Get up and take action NOW.

7. Surround Yourself With Mentors
Make sure that you choose your friends and colleagues wisely. Your attitude will reflect the people around you. If your family and friends question your dreams and goals, they will inflict negativity towards you and your business. Do not let people drain your energy of becoming a successful entrepreneur.

8. Be The Best You Can
Success isn’t beating someone else in business. You cannot compare yourself to other successful business owners and get frustrated because your not where they are in your business. Remember that everyone is one a different level. Take your time to be the best you can be towards life and your business, and success will follow.

9. Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone
No successful entrepreneur ever achieved true success by staying inside the box. As human beings, it’s easy to get comfortable with our business and play it safe. The truth is you need to step out of your comfort zone, again and again. This will insure you take the proper steps needed to go forward within your business.

10. Balance Stress And Work
Many people believe that stress is simply bad. This may be true in certain situations, but stress is essential for growth and advancement. Continued stress however, can lead to a work breakdown. You must learn to balance your stress and your work properly. It’s OK to take a step back every now and then. You want to keep your mind sharp and your ideas fresh. Sit back, take your time, and your best work will come through.

Believe and use the information I have provided for you here. Take time to learn and grasp these steps towards building your business on eBay or any other business venture.