New-to-me: a search engine for gluten-free products. “The Gluten Project is a search engine of sorts for certified gluten-free products that my friend can actually eat. Everything in its database of 35,000 products has been certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO).”
Neil Patel: Local SEO is Dying. Here’s 14 Ways to Resurrect It. (WARNING: Annoying interstitial.) “Over the past few years, Google has been making it easier for large, recognizable brands to dominate local search and harder for the small, local places to stay relevant. And they make no effort to hide it.” There are a couple of things here I consider a bit on the sneaky side, but it’s a great read overall, especially if you’re doing outreach for a small nonprofit or institution.
Gizmodo: How to Find a Job Using Social Media. “Your social networks aren’t just there for arguing politics with your uncle or looking at your neighbor’s lunch—they’re also good for the serious business of finding your next place of employment. Here’s how to perfect your searching on each of the major networks to maximize your chances of landing your dream job, or something close to it.” I linked to an article with the same topic in mid-January, but this one is a deeper dive.
Search Engine Journal: Goodbye Facebook Pages, Hello Reddit!. “I have been on Reddit since 2006 and the most common complaints I hear from many companies and individuals is that Reddit is too hard to participate in, looks too simple, or isn’t friendly to brands. Reddit isn’t harder, it’s more real.”
AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD
Wired: Google Autocomplete Still Makes Vile Suggestions. “Indeed, almost a year after removing the ‘are jews evil?’ prompt, Google search still drags up a range of awful autocomplete suggestions for queries related to gender, race, religion, and Adolf Hitler. Google appears still unable to effectively police results that are offensive, and potentially dangerous—especially on a platform that two billion people rely on for information.”
Engadget: NSA sent coded messages through Twitter. “Spy agencies have a long history of using public outlets to deliver secret messages, such as numbers stations or cryptic classified ads. Now, however, they’ve adapted to the internet era. Both the New York Times and the Intercept have learned that the National Security Agency used Twitter to send ‘nearly a dozen’ coded messages to a Russian contact claiming to have agency data stolen by the Shadow Brokers. Reportedly, the NSA would tell the Russian to expect public tweets in advance, either to signal an intent to make contact or to prove that it was involved and was open to further chats.”
SECURITY & LEGAL
The Register: UK ICO, USCourts.gov… Thousands of websites hijacked by hidden crypto-mining code after popular plugin hacked. “Thousands of websites around the world – from the UK’s NHS and ICO to the US government’s court system – were today secretly mining crypto-coins on netizens’ web browsers for miscreants unknown. The affected sites all use a fairly popular plugin called Browsealoud, made by Brit biz Texthelp, which reads out webpages for blind or partially sighted people.”
Quartz: Facebook “likes” are a powerful tool for authoritarian rulers, court petition says. “A Cambodian opposition leader has filed a petition in a California court against Facebook, demanding the company disclose its transactions with his country’s authoritarian prime minister, whom he accuses of falsely inflating his popularity through purchased ‘likes’ and spreading fake news.”
RESEARCH & OPINION
LMT Online: U of I team studying spread of information on social media. “University of Illinois researchers are using a $4 million grant to study how information moves across social media, affecting people’s beliefs and shaping events. Computer Science Professor Tarek Abdelzaher (TAR’-ek AHB’-del-zah-hair) is leading a team that received a five-year grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The team has been modeling information spread on Instagram and Twitter and will study other platforms.”
Advertising Age: Twitter’s Analysis Paralysis Imperils A Nascent Turnaround. “The social media company has dreamed up new product ideas aimed at broadening its appeal only to abandon them for fear of alienating users, according to current and former employees. A Facebook Groups-style product was embraced and erased; ditto for Snapchat-style filters for the Twitter and Periscope apps. For more than a year, the company has been working on a Snapchat-esque feature that makes it easier to post videos on the app, according to a person familiar with the matter. There’s a working demo, but the design hasn’t been finalized.” Good evening, Internet…
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