How Facebook Pissed Off My Wife…Again!

Seriously guys? Facebook’s last attempt at advertising pissed off my wife. I specifically told them: “Facebook, thanks to you my wife is unhappy…and if my wife is unhappy, then I’m unhappy. Fix this!” At least in that case, there was some idiot developer to complain about…but in this case, I’m having trouble figuring out who is to blame.

For an average individual to be offended by facebook is rare, but for someone like my wife (I love you), who spends more time on Facebook than with me, it’s easily possible. In fact, she spends more time on Facebook than most people spend  working at their day job (probably because they’re on facebook too!).

What Did Facebook Do To Piss Her Off?

Having only been married for less than a year, my wife was simply doing what any newlywed would do…try to see what it’ll be like to have a kid with her new last name (Russak). She picks the name “Layla Zehava Russak” (…solid choice if I may say so). As protocol, she decides to see if there was anyone on Facebook with the name already.

She enters in the search and find her result: Uncle-Semit.com’s Shitler’s List Vol. 18

Facebook Anti-Semitic Search Result

I didn’t believe it myself, but there it was…a Bing! generated result that couldn’t have been any more irrelevant and offensive.

Freedom of Speech Applies To The Internet…

Now I’m facing a huge dilemma. My wife is pissed off at Facebook for offending her, while I’m trying to figure out how this happened and if it can be stopped from happening again. And the answer is simply “No!”.  The right to freedom of speech is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). International, national and regional standards recognise that freedom of speech, as one form of freedom of expression, applies to any medium, including the Internet.

Unfortunately, it seems as if search engines are not allowed to censor information in the US as it’s integral to upholding the idea of “Free-Speech”. As a result, Facebook using Bing! search results means anything goes.

…But It Still Pissed Off My Wife!

Whether or not it’s legal…doesn’t make a difference to my wife. It still pissed her off. And as I stated in my last article, “Facebook, thanks to you my wife is unhappy…and if my wife is unhappy, then I’m unhappy.” Yet another week on the couch. I should write an article “How Facebook Ruined My Sex Life” (…though they do have a Facebook group here)

In this case, Facebook may claim “Freedom of Speech”, but here’s the issue. Bing! is only a last result for when a Search Result can’t be located. Facebook needs to get smarter about the results Bing! pulls up. Otherwise, one day a child is going to try and find a name that doesn’t exist and  get XXX related search results instead.

Thanks a lot Facebook.

Posted under Online Marketing, SEO/SEM, Social Networks

This post was written by Joshua Russak on April 14, 2010

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Recession Kills Brand Loyalty – Retailers Turn To Social Media!

Generic vs. Brand

"Generic" vs. "Brand"

For many individuals, money is tight these days and as the economy keeps slipping, so will brand name loyalty.

Following up on the recent topic of “Brand” vs. “Generic” during an economic downturn (Article: Financial Bailout leaves Tech & Media Behind…), I felt compelled to continue covering this direction after reading a very compelling report by eMarketer.com. In their article, Social Media and Shopping Behavior , they touch on the topic of consumers using social-media as a source for making product purchasing decisions. Quoting eMarketer, “To stay relevant, retailers must determine how to incorporate social media, such as social networks and blogs, into their marketing strategies.” Considering the cost-effectiveness of social media marketing, smaller and more generic brands have the chance to swoop in and compete with the “Big Brands” in targeting the consumers.

There are a lot of free marketing technology options for retailers, and in the online space, their target audience is continuously growing. “Generation Y (those born after 1979) online buyers are more immersed in online and mobile activities than any other generation, according to 2008 research from shopping comparison site PriceGrabber. Some 85% of Gen Y respondents said they participated in social networking, and 57% reported involvement with blogs.” (eMarketer) And Generation Y also represents the consumers with constantly updated retailer and product ratings.

A 2008 study conducted by the Society for New Communications Research found “nearly three-quarters of respondents choose retailers and products based on others’ customer care experiences shared online.” (eMarketer)

Search engines like twing.com, are going to make a profit off during this “economic downturn” as well. They developed a custom search engine dedicated to forums and online communities. Powered by their proprietary technology, Buzz Graph, they help brand managers gain insight into product and company discussions helping improve both targeting and product quality. Their sight was doing well back in July and I’m predicting they will see a boost in the near-future as Brand Advertisers start pumping more dollars into targeting their customers. Also, PriceGrabber will see more business as consumers will consult customer reviews to help in their decision buying process.

keep a close eye on how much Retailers are going to spend on “Brand Loyalty” this quarter, and how much of that is online!

Posted under Online Marketing

This post was written by Joshua Russak on October 2, 2008

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Google Celebrates 10th Birthday 10×100

Googles 10x100 (Source: GoogleBlogoscoped)

Google's 10x100 (Source: GoogleBlogoscoped)

As previously written about in my article Google’s 10th Birthday, it’s hard to really know the day b/c it changes year to year. The only way to really know is by finding some piece of evidence on Google itself, whether it be a Google logo decorated with cake and candles…or as Google finally acknowledges turning 10 this month with a special Google 10th Birthday page with many new features as explained on Google Blogoscoped article Google’s Project 10 to the 100:

“As part of their 10 year anniversary – in 1998, Andy Bechtolsheim made out a $100,000 check to Google Inc. – Google released an interactive time line of the company history. Danny Sullivan’s 1998 look at Google, linked from the time line, is worth a read.*

Google also starts off something called Project 10100, a contest in which you should submit your idea of how to help the most people in the world. You need to assign a category to your idea, like community, energy, health and education. Later on, 100 selected ideas will be voted on publicly to find 20 semi-finalists, of which 5 will then be selected as finalists, and Google promises to commit “$10 million to implement these projects” (what you win is not a prize for yourself but, as Google puts it, “the satisfaction of knowing that your idea might truly help a lot of people”). The deadline for submitting an idea is October 20th, and you may use a video to supplement your proposal, Google says.

“Why the name 10 to the power of 100? One reason is that this number is a googol, a 1 followed by 100 zeroes, that number which Google says gave the company its name.”

But, again, the day is yet to be determined. I keep my eyes peeled daily for any changes in the Google logo. SearchEngineLand predicts it to land on September 27th in their article Google Is 10 Years Old? Finding The Real Google Birthday. “Google’s been putting them up [the logos] consistently since 2002. The first year, it happened on September 27, then shifted to September 7, then back to September 27 from 2005 onward. I’d expect to see a special ninth birthday logo showing up on the 27th of this month.”

Here’s an attached video about Google 10×100 as published by Google on Youtube:

Posted under SEO/SEM, Viral Marketing

This post was written by Joshua Russak on September 24, 2008

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Top 5 Things To Do When Google Shuts Down

You may be asking yourself, “yea, like that would ever happen!” Well, guess what? IT DID! And if you don’t believe me, check out these three articles:

According to Reuters (a reliable source) “Users across the United States, Canada and India reported problems with Gmail and a Google employee also reported that the company’s own corporate e-mail account was down.” The problems started at about 5 p.m. EDT (and around 2:30pm Pacific Standard Time here in Seattle, WA.).

And it seems this isn’t a one time occurance. Quoting GigaOm, “in recent weeks, not only Google’s services but those of Amazon’s S3 and Apple’s MobileMe have gone on the blink, leading us to rethink our assumptions about the reliability of the web as a platform. Clearly a lot of work still needs to be done.”

So what did you do during “the G-Crash”? Well, considering this may happen again, I suggest you come prepared. I call out to all of you Gmail, GApp, Googler Lovin’ Hippie Geeks…stand tall and heed my words of wisdom…

Here are your “Top 5 Things To Do When Google Shuts Down”:

  • Take a nap and when you wake, hope the world hasn’t collapsed into itself.
  • Revert to your SmartPhone in hopes that it has found a loop hole during these depressing moments of your internet life
  • Pick up a newspaper and “read it”.
  • Oh wait, Blogs still work so there’s no need to go to such lengths…I suggest www.RedRussak.com
  • If you made it this far, I’d assume that Google’s 19,604 full-time employees and $23 Billion have come up with a solution.

…I’m glad we made it through these tough times. It’s funny, I can’t imagine what would happen if Google decided to take a vacation for longer than 5 minutes. That would make for a great blog post :)

Posted under Online Marketing

This post was written by Joshua Russak on August 12, 2008

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Publicis Acquires Performics From Google

Publicisperformics

French advertising company Publicis Group has acquired the Performics Search Marketing business from Google. Performics housed more than 200 search marketing specialists and since its 1998 inceptions has expanded from Chicago, San Francisco, New York, London, Hamburg, Sydney, to Singapore and Beijing.

According to MediaPost article, Publicis Acquires Performics From Google, Expands Search Marketing Capabilities

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Publicis, the parent of Starcom MediaVest Group, Zenith Optimedia Group, Digitas, Denuo, and agencies such as Leo Burnett and Saatchi & Saatchi, said Chicago-based Performics would be integrated into Publicis’ new VivaKi Nerve Center. […] Google did not comment on the reasons for its divestiture of the unit, but in a statement, Chairman-CEO Eric Schmidt said, “We look forward to working with Performics as a partner.”

According to an AlleyInsider article, Google Sells DoubleClick’s SEM Business To Ad Conglom Publicis (GOOG)

Publicis has been “cooperating” with Google for more than a year, but we’re not exactly sure what that means — mostly because the companies didn’t reveal any details in a cryptic press conference in January. They did say that “Google would exchange its technological know-how for Publicis’s analytical and media planning expertise,” according to Reuters. We’re assuming this deal won’t have an effect on their prior relationship.

So why would a Search Company giant sell of part of their search services? After Google acquired DoubleClick, the SEM portion created a “conflict of interest” for a search company to own a search engine marketing company under a different entity. Google just took on the Affiliate Marketing division of Performics and sold the rest to to Publicis.

A great move by Google, but I think everyone is asking the same question: “At what cost?”

Posted under Online Marketing

This post was written by Joshua Russak on August 6, 2008

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