Facebook Messenger – Security, Privacy, and the Real Conversation

Should I Install Facebook Messenger?

ABSTRACT: This blog post covers security concerns over Facebook Messenger but also covers security, technology and philosophy/policy.

facebook messenger securityThis question – or something like it – has come up with clients and friends a LOT lately. Mostly due to Facebook separating functionality from their main app into two apps. The Facebook App (your timeline and stream of photos) and Messenger – an app focused on direct person(s) to person(s) chatting.

Articles have cropped out – most with an ominous tone of big brother watching you – due to “permissions” the application requests when it is installed. Continue Reading →

Why you and I should be using YouTube more

Subtitled: What my daughter is teaching me about finding and winning fans.

Musicians, songwriters, performers… this is for you.

My daughter loves her music. So much so that she did the research, prompted and pushed, and had me sign her up to attend a performing arts high school in downtown Los Angeles.

We recently moved into the downtown area because she was commuting an hour and 45 minutes ONE WAY to her school. Here are a couple photos of the view from the hill behind out house. It is pretty epic. The dogs are cool too!

Dogs and Los AngelesLos Angeles by day

This works for me too as it brings me closer to both my consulting and opportunities for music.

A Tale of Two Artists

This is sort of an expose of my daughter finding two new artists, how she found them, and how she connects with them. I think it offers some insight into the mind and the method that some people, particularly youth, find and engage with new music.

Artist #1: Echosmith

Echosmith is an alt-rock/indie rock act out of Los Angeles. Young kids – very talented. A few months ago, my friend and music writer, Val King (Rock Revolt Magazine) asked if my daughter and I would like to interview this new act – Echosmith – for her magazine. She is in Georgia and seeks out writers and photographers in various cities.

It is sort of short-notice and we couldn’t make the show that day. But my daughter started listening to them and following them on Tumblr and YouTube. She kept telling me how much she liked them.

Platforms of choice

My daughter spends a LOT of time on Tumblr and YouTube. She’s 15 and I’ve found this to be pretty common. In fact, Facebook, as she describes it, is for 40 year olds. That’s sort of funny considering how it started. I don’t agree with the demographic but I do agree that 15 year olds aren’t connecting on Facebook… why? Their parents are there. We aren’t that cool – even though I know I’m cool.

Tumblr it touted as a blogging platform but it is graphically intensive and easy to post. It is more of a content network than a blog per se. And it’s phone integration works very well.


YouTubers are those people who are using YouTube as a primary mechanism for connecting with and engaging their fans. It is easy to post video, has great search tools, can be monetized to earn money, etc.

So, in addition to Tumblr, her primary content network of choice (the place she goes to listen/view content) is YouTube. And she religiously follows quite a few YouTubers. This is where artists and social networks collide.

Echosmith has a new CD. It’s good. Even I like it and I’m old!

We had the opportunity to go see Echosmith for the price of a CD. Good job by the way.. no tickets sold to the event. It was a “buy a CD and get into the show – and we’ll sign the CD as well,” show. That’s smart on Echosmith’s part. You want people to have your music!

But here is the interesting part. While at the show, in a small listening room of a venue called, Amplyfi, my daughter brought up a picture on her phone.

simplyspoons - Jon D

She said, “Dad, is that this guy?” – and she pointed me at a young man who was attending the Echosmith show, talking with his friends. It sure looked like the guy in the photo.

I said, “It could be, who is he?”

“He’s a YouTuber. Rachel’s favorite. I showed you some of his videos.”

So I took her phone, shows the young man the photo, and said, “Is this you?”

He laughed and said that it was. Then he came over and talked to Sara, took a picture with her, and then allowed me to shoot a little video hello to my daughter’s friend Rachel.

Jon D aka: Simply Spoons

Jon is a YouTuber. Well-known and obviously engaging enough to garner some notice. In fact, to my daughter and her friends, he is as much a celebrity as any other artist.

And here is the important lesson. Sara makes no distinction between an unsigned YouTuber or a newly signed major label act or a larger mainstream established act. If they are connecting on HER NETWORKS – they are celebrities to her.

This is an important lesson. I’ve always advocated that your content be strong and you make it the central element of your social media strategy.

However, I’ will also emphasize that you find where your demographic connects. A rough breakdown might look like this – though it really isn’t so clear:

  • YouTube: Everyone. All age groups are on there. Some don’t “subscribe” there but most younger people do. This is where I’m failing in my current social media/content strategy.
  • Tumblr: 14-20 year olds. Irreverent and graphically intensive with video.
  • Instagram: 20-40. Graphically mostly images
  • Pinterest: 20’s. Hipsters?
  • Facebook: 25-55
  • Email: Everyone. There is some confusion and mis-representation of this. But even Echosmith asked everyone to sign up on their email list. Why? Well.. lessons from Myspace. If your social network dies, you want a more direct means to re-engage your fans on the “next” social network.

I thought about this a LOT after that show. I spoke at the Independent Music Conference a few weeks after this. One of my topics was Online Presence and Social Media. I covered the basics but I also discussed this specific incident.

At a show for a more traditionally signed act, my daughter also met another celebrity.. one whose total fanbase was built organically on YouTube. I think this is an important lesson for artist and entrepreneurs alike.

What are your thoughts?

I Like Totally Like You and other Facebook Lies

Not all likes are likes on facebookKeep Your Tongue Out of My Mouth – revisited

first.. I apologize for the length of this post..but it is worth it.  second: This was originally posted on my KreativeKnowledge site. That site is coming down for the time-being and I’m focusing my content and efforts here and at ITCareerToolbox.com

It happened again.. out of the blue, someone came up and started smooching on me! Stuck their tongue right into my mouth! It wasn’t stimulating. It wasn’t romantic. It was disgusting and believe me, I’m trying to forget about it.

Oh.. sorry, no.. someone didn’t actually kiss me.. What they did was “friend” me on Facebook.. or as I put it, “general acquaintanced me” and then recommended about 15 different Facebook pages to me. Asked me to “Like” them.

The problem is, I didn’t like them (the pages I mean) and if they knew me, they’d know that most of them were grossly out of context. For almost every connection I get on Facebook, I send a personal note. I want to put the relationship in context – let them know more about me, let me know more about them… etc. What we do.. what we like (really like).. what our goals our, etc.

facebook likesWhen someone “Friends” me and then starts recommending I “Like” this, that, and the other thing, it is similar to someone saying hello on the street then suddenly grabbing you and laying a big sloppy kiss on you. If this is you.. stop it!!!

I “Like” totally, “Like” you

Remember the “Valley Girl”. Sherman Oaks Galleria. “Andrea” Some of you may not. I grew up in the “Valley” in the ‘80’s. I knew real life Valley Girls who were “Totally Like.. Awesome!”

They threw  the word “Like” into everything! Actually, you still hear it with some kids.. and it Like makes me Like totally Like question the intellect of the person speaking. I don’t LIKE it.

Used in this matter, it is a vacuous extraneous word.. meaningless through its overuse and lack of context.

But we see it here on Facebook and other Internet communities or media too. We can “Like” anything with a mouse-click.  We can even like a like. In fact, in the ultimate narcissistic coup, we can like OUR OWN LIKE.


Get it? Clever Matt.

We use and overuse the word, Engagement. The truth is, when I work with clients, there is an over-emphasis on “Likes” and an under-emphasis on true engagement. They want to build “Likes” on the Facebook page.  I get asked the question all the time, “How can I get more people to like me?”

It is sort of a funny question really. Outside of Facebook, how do you get more people to like you?

  • Be friendly
  • Listen
  • Help people
  • Be fun and encouraging
  • Be transparent but don’t be a bore
  • Don’t talk about yourself too much

Hey.. this sounds like a Social Media coaching session..

Show me yours and I’ll show you mine

I was on a community forum for musicians – Yes, I’m a rock star too! – and there was a discussion.. It started with this…


It’s the Internet equivalent of “Show me yours and I’ll show you mine.”

Similar to reciprocal links on web pages – which Google actually de-values unless they are determined to be “true” links – ie: not just a link on  page of links that links to a site with a page of links that links back to your site in some circular and incestuous web triangle.

A true link is when I or another blogger mentions and links to another site or story because we found it valuable or it was in context with what we were writing.

In the same way, liking someone’s page for the sake of having them like your page, gives you a warm fuzzy feeling but does very little to extend your brand or influence.

Musicians do this all the time. But so do businesses. If I “Like” your page but I don’t really like your music, your product, or your service, and vice-versa… you’ve now lied to yourself, lied to me, and have a mistaken notion about your popularity.

The unpopular rich kid in school didn’t really have all those “friends” at his birthday party.. they were there for the pool, blow up slide, and ice cream. Then they left and never talked to him again. And he didn’t need the cheap toys they left.. daddy already bought him better ones.. he needed friends.

FYI: I wasn’t the unpopular kid and certainly wasn’t rich – but I’ve discovered that I really only had 4 or 5 friends in high school.. and they are still my friends. There is a social marketing lesson there…

Can we add a “I REALLY LIKE YOU” option?

I used to believe that Facebook should include a new “I REALLLY LIKE YOU” option. It would involve something more than clicking a like link. Maybe when the person clicks “Like” a popup ask them to write 2 or 3 sentences to describe what they like about that person or page. And maybe in doing so, they would agree that posts from the pages or people that they “REALLY LIKE” would show up on their wall until they had clicked a button that indicated they had seen and read the post.

It would be true commitment.

We already have a “I REALLY LIKE YOU” option

Then I thought about it. We already have this option. It is called, a website and mailing list.

You see, when someone “Likes” your page and leaves, they don’t really like you. And if you aren’t doing something to engage them – truly engage them – then you are lying to yourself about your social media marketing.


The timeline and the glut of updates works against you. It does. The number of people “liking” your page has to be “extraordinary” to turn “likes” into true engagement and into business.

If you have 500 people on your page, and you post an update at 10:00AM.. how many people are truly seeing it. I don’t mean, they see it in their timeline as one of 10 other items – but they are busy commenting on the cute video of a kitten playing with a dolphin..

I mean seeing it as in, they look at it, absorb the content, think about it, and visit your page or get additional information.


True story, I posted an article about something. Someone left a comment and “Liked” what I posted… But their comment as sort of a non-sequitor.. it didn’t make sense to the article.

Then they posted again… “Oh.. I just read it after I commented…” and they made a more relevant comment. What does that tell me (and you).. they “liked” and commented first to have their voice heard – but later they truly engaged.


You MUST publish high-value content on your own website via your blog. That’s why you must be capturing more than a “Like” – you MUST have a mailing list and use it.. or some other way to get true engagement and find out who “REALLY LIKES YOU”.


Remember our list above – how can I get someone to like me?.. Let’s repeat it.

  • Be friendly
  • Listen
  • Help people
  • Be fun and encouraging
  • Be transparent but don’t be a bore
  • Don’t talk about yourself too much

And we think that is totally bitchin’!

Oh… if you do like this.. consider “Liking” my Facebook page. If you REALLY REALLY LIKE IT, sign up on the newsletter.

Why LinkedIn Endorsements are like bad garage sales

LinkedIn Endorsements are not very usefulPeople clamor and rush to the next social network, while grasping, often weakly, to the older ones.

LinkedIn might be the best example of a largely disconnected social network. Very few people actually use it as a day to day connection.. with the exception of LinkedIn Groups – some of which are pretty effective. Of course, some are largely a jumble of “Look at me” parties.. Another topic for another day.

This past year, LinkedIn introduced “Endorsements.” That is where you recognize a connection for skills they have. Basically, you are offered a list of skills that you can click on as an endorsement.

FYI: In the above image, taken from my “endorsements” page, I know 2 of those connections personally and can whole-heartedly endorse them. But when I do, I write about them and link to their work.. That is how you know I’ve endorsed them..

This generates a message to the contact who can then, respond in kind, by endorsing you. It is all the rage it seems but, in the end, similar to Facebook likes, largely useless in advancing your business, career, or true social clout.

Why LinkedIn Created Endorsements

LinkedIn, like every brand (and this is a hint for you), wants eyes on its website/page. They are hoping/banking on the fact that while on their page, clicking on a word or two to “endorse” someone who has “endorsed” you, that you will help them monetize their efforts. Facebook has been the best at this, keeping people on their website – although their more recent “Suggested Page” ads are a bit confusing and too obtrusive in my opinion.

To date, LinkedIn has not be very effective at keeping people on their site. Most people go, connect, and then leave until the next connection. They’ve enabled a status feed and just today I got an email introducing new video and image galleries. We’ll see if this helps them.

The danger with endorsements is similar to the danger with Likes on Facebook. Individuals and brands are still focusing on the quantity of theoretic eyes on their page rather than the impact and value of the content they share.

Content is King… … still

I’m speaking with a new social media coaching client. They are being told many things.. Be on Pinterest. Be on Instagram. Be here, be there.

Here is the hard truth. You (they/any brand/individual) would be better served to have 20 connections who share your GREAT content on their networks/pages, then having 1,000 likes or endorsements, who are simply “drive-by clickers.” People clicking a skill or a like is nearly valueless.

In fact, it reminds me of visiting garage sales. There are garage sales where I look and do not even get out of the car.. I simply drive-by.. those are the useless “Likes” and “Endorsements.” Then, there are those garage sales that entice me to stop the car, get out, and walk around. MUCH GREATER CHANCE OF A PURCHASE… OBVIOUSLY.

People taking what you’ve posted, re-posting with some type of attribution, now that is powerful!

What is our take away?

Think about your content! Create something of value. I keep repeating, educate or entertain! Better yet, do both…. EDUTAIN or ENTERCATE. 😉

And I’ll repeat this as well. That does not mean educate them about why they should buy your product or service… Educate them more broadly and they will learn to trust you. They will look at what you are doing more earnestly. They will share, connect, engage, and ultimately buy.

Someone clicking a skill – ie: Matthew Moran knows “Blogging” is far less important than someone using one of the “Share” buttons below and posting a message like

“Hey everyone, you should be reading this article about how to truly engage readers.”

That was a not so subtle hint – do with it what you wish.

If you want people to truly endorse you, engage them with true value.