Inoreader, Google My Business, Facebook, More: Wednesday Afternoon Buzz, November 22, 2017


Search Engine Land: Google’s new #SmallThanks Hub automatically creates digital & printed marketing assets for SMBs. “In a move to help SMBs — as well as drive up its verified business listings — Google has launched #SmallThanks Hub, an online resource that creates customized digital marketing content and printed materials based on Google reviews.”


INC: 4 Facebook Algorithm Hacks to Revive Your Dying Organic Reach. “Facebook plays a vital role in the success of most businesses. It serves as a way to connect with customers, share information about business activities, and reach out to potential clients. But changes to Facebook’s algorithm have made organic reach harder, as Mark Zuckerberg’s social media unicorn begins strongly favoring paid advertisers over the natural connections that once made the website so valuable as an advertising platform.”

Back in June I wrote an article about Inoreader, and how useful it is for following Facebook Pages. While using Inoreader this morning, I saw that it is offering a Black Friday Deal: buy a year of Inoreader and get six months free. The “Professional” level, which I use, is $49.99 a year and includes 100 Facebook Pages (which is a big upgrade from when I wrote the article in June), Google+ feeds, Twitter feeds, IFTTT integration, and more. Inoreader isn’t paying me one dime for this. They do not know I am doing this. I am receiving no remuneration of any sort for this mention. I just happen to think Inoreader is an excellent tool – one that has reached the rare heights of my “daily use” toolbox – and I want you to know about it too.


Open Democracy: The inside story of Russia’s failed social media revolution. “‘0 days, 0 hours, 0minutes, 0 seconds until the new historical epoch begins’ – this is what the timer on the website of Vyacheslav Maltsev’s Artpodgotovka movement currently reads. Maltsev, leader of the radical populist movement, promised that Russia would experience a revolution on 5 November 2017. Regime change would be heralded by spontaneous protests, with cities occupied across the country. Artpodgotovka would storm the Kremlin, before holding a ‘popular referendum’. Raising their hands, those present would vote for the overthrow of Russian president Vladimir Putin.”

National Defense: Industry Developing New Social Media Simulation Tools for Military Analysts. “…social media has only become more intermingled with military operations. Not only can average citizens tweet about them in real time, but military analysts can now also use platforms such as Twitter to find nuggets of information about persons of interest, or gauge the political temperature of a region. To meet that demand, industry is developing new training software to help analysts better comb through piles of data taken from websites like Facebook and Reddit. One such system is SimulationDeck, a software platform developed by Nusura, a Denver-based technology company. The system is able to replicate traditional media such as radio, television and newspapers, along with web platforms including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.” Its version of Twitter is called BleatDeck.

Telegraph: China’s biggest social media company Tencent is now worth more than Facebook. “Tencent, the Chinese internet giant behind the WeChat messaging app, has surpassed Facebook in value after it became the first company in China to be worth more than $500bn (£378bn).”


Quartz: Google collects Android users’ locations even when location services are disabled. “Many people realize that smartphones track their locations. But what if you actively turn off location services, haven’t used any apps, and haven’t even inserted a carrier SIM card? Even if you take all of those precautions, phones running Android software gather data about your location and send it back to Google when they’re connected to the internet, a Quartz investigation has revealed.”

Bloomberg: Uber Paid Hackers to Delete Stolen Data on 57 Million People. “Hackers stole the personal data of 57 million customers and drivers from Uber Technologies Inc., a massive breach that the company concealed for more than a year. This week, the ride-hailing firm ousted its chief security officer and one of his deputies for their roles in keeping the hack under wraps, which included a $100,000 payment to the attackers.”


Council on Foreign Relations: Countering Russian Information Operations in the Age of Social Media. “The organization of Russia’s information-warfare capabilities, which include cyber operators, media outlets, and false flag entities, is shrouded in secrecy. In the West, generally only the intelligence community has a clear picture of how Russian capabilities are directed. Barring the sudden appearance of a Russian counterpart to Edward Snowden, the only view into Russia’s information toolbox is provided by cybersecurity companies and criminal prosecutions. The picture is further muddied because the Russian government keeps many of its cyberwarfare actors at arm’s length by employing contractors and former criminals through middlemen, giving Moscow a degree of deniability if caught. Nevertheless, both Western governments and private industry can take steps to mitigate Russian influence operations.”

Engadget: Google voice recognition could transcribe doctor visits. “Doctors work long hours, and a disturbingly large part of that is documenting patient visits — one study indicates that they spend 6 hours of an 11-hour day making sure their records are up to snuff. But how do you streamline that work without hiring an army of note takers? Google Brain and Stanford think voice recognition is the answer. They recently partnered on a study that used automatic speech recognition (similar to what you’d find in Google Assistant or Google Translate) to transcribe both doctors and patients during a session.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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