Google, What if I Don’t Have a Mobile Phone?

Dear Google,

You obviously don’t want to hear from me. Just trying to find a way to contact Google is time consuming and mostly a waste of that time. Even when you get email from Google they make it plain that Google is all “no reply” all day, all the time. See below, the return address is:

Google wants you to shut up and leave them alone

 

I only got this far after an hour of looking for some way to contact Google for help. In the past I have left notes for Google on their Twitter account, on their Google Plus accounts (more than one of them) and I have tried over and over and over to find a way to get help from Google about the problem of not having a mobile phone and not wanting to get one just to McHappy Google.

no mobile phone no googleFor at least two months Google Plus has offered me (to the point of nagging each time I open my G+ account) the option to have a custom URL. It is misleading. In fact, if you don’t have a mobile phone you can not have a custom URL. Of course, it does not mention the mobile phone requirement in the eligibility for having a custom URL. It should. In over two months I have tried various suggestions and ideas of my own and from other people and nothing has worked.

As frustrating as this is, the bigger issue is how long before you can’t access your Gmail (Google mail account) without verifying yourself with your mobile phone? I’ve been using Gmail since it began. I will be pretty aggravated the day I have to change all my email to something else just because I don’t want to spend upwards of $50 a month for a mobile phone I never wanted and won’t be using.

A lot of people do have a cell/ mobile phone. Not everyone. Personally, I’m not fond of the phone at all. I keep the landline out of obligation. Now and then family or friends phone. Mostly it’s sales calls so I just let them all go and listen to messages when I see the light blinking. Did you know computers are now leaving phone messages, long ones even! Incredible how marketing and sales are being allowed so much leeway.

Anyway, I am really frustrated with Google over this custom URL which they offer but don’t deliver. I’m concerned about the future even more. The latest thing with two way verification for accounts is all about the mobile phone. What happens if I don’t want a mobile phone? Google won’t answer. I know because I’ve been asking them for months and all I ever get are form emails with no-reply addresses.

Scream for help all you want – no one at Google wants to hear you.

On top of that. I just realized the irony of having set up the two way verification with my landline for my Google account (not the custom URL, just the access to my Google account itself). The irony of now having two way verification on my Google account is that I can only use it from my home computer. If I am out somewhere my account will be inaccessible. How is that for ultimate irony? My Google account is now immobile!!! 

 

Writer Response Theory

Found on a long abandoned blog.

WRT: Writer Response Theory is a blog on digital character art — digital art that makes use of letters. Our focus is interactive works in which users input text and receive textual responses. Our URL plays on Reader Reponse Theory – how do reader/writers change the works they encounter via textual input? We are writers responding to theory and a theory responding to writers. We read ASCII art, blog fiction, chatbots, email fiction, e-poetry, hypertext fiction, and interactive ficition (IF).

Writer Response Theory

Don’t Lose your Twitter Account

Lately I’ve been seeing more people who have had their Twitter account accessed by someone who sends out junk to their followers. If you get a private message which includes just a URL, don’t click it. Chances are the owner of that Twitter account has not sent it.

The best way to prevent having your Twitter account hacked/ compromised is to use a password which can’t be guessed/ cracked too easily. Try adding numbers into the text or make it random numbers and letters. (If your account is hacked, on Twitter or anywhere else. the first thing you should do is change your password).

If you are typing in URL for Twitter, double check it. Make sure you typed it right before you login. Don’t give your login and password to a phishing site which has bought up a version of the Twitter domain.

Don’t sign up for third party applications too quickly. Consider what they can really offer versus taking a chance on giving your information to a service you don’t really know. Before signing up check online, see what other people are saying about the service/ application. Anything that offers less than good, if not stellar, customer service should be regarded as suspicious.

If your account has been compromised but you can still login Twitter says to:

  • Change your password. (Do this first, before anything else).
  • Go to the applications you have allowed access to your account and delete as many as you can, if not all of them. You can sign back in later if you really want to keep using them.

If you can’t login or if you have a request from Twitter to change the email address on your account you need to contact Twitter and request a password change.

Resources:

 

Send your Comment Spam to Ben

We Need Your Spam!
On July 30th, Spam Comment will publish its 200th post. This is great news – but unfortunately it also means we’ve run out of spam comments to publish. Therefore, we really, really need you to send us your comment spam!

Don’t just send us any old spam though – look for the particularly unique comments that would be fun to share. Include your name and blog URL and we’ll credit you for the link.

From time to time we’ll also award a free 125×125 ad, so you’ve really got nothing to lose by helping us out.

What to do with an Unused Web Domain

I’m not a domain seller, I’ve bought a few and find that I just can’t spread myself thin enough to make use of all of them as I’d wanted to. So, next stop is to make a decision about them. To use them in some way or to sell them. As it turns out, the best option is a mix of both (in my opinion). iGoldrush has a post about independently selling your domain. It was one of the best I found while looking around today and trying to come up with a plan.

There used to be more out there for people and domains, groups and clubs and other resources. I think it has lost that fun aspect as it sinks into being all about marketing and business. It’s a shame. I know there used to be a group like Domain Divas. I was a member. There was a group for people with .ca (Canadian) domains.

Anyway, to get back on track, the best way to handle a domain you want to sell is to keep using it, make it grow and become something desirable but add a note about the domain being for sale (to a good home/ best offer). Keeping the domain active brings it up in SEO and will make it worth more to buyers. Kind of a win-win thing if you can keep some kind of content on the site. Weekly updates would seem the best strategy. But don’t steal content or just become a splog. Post your kid’s drawings once a week if you don’t have anything else original and unique. Just keep posting something worthwhile other than ads.

So, I am probably going to sell a couple of domains. The one I am most sure of will have to wait about a year for the ad time to run out on the paid text ad. But, that’s fine. I can take a year to keep it going and see what price it gets. I don’t have to sell, I’ve just decided to try to sell and see what offers I get.

Sedo – Most often referred to when someone asks about a place to list a web domain for sale. There are others but you really want to know you are dealing with a trust worthy site. As new as I am to this I am really wary of the actual transaction. I had a domain hijacked once before, I’d like to avoid anything like that happening again.

AfterNIC – Another place to sell or buy a domain through. Has an escrow service.

WebHostingTalk: Forum: Domain Names

URL Appraisal: What to do with an Unused URL

Choosing Web Scripts, Gadgets and Widgets

One thing I have learned to watch for when I look at free web scripts, gadgets, widgets and such are hitchhikers. Before you paste the code into your HTML paste it into Notepad first. Read the code. Do you see a link to a third party URL? A site not your own or the one you are using the code from?

Some of the sites offering freebies are also making a buck by using your blog to spam for another site. Watch for it. You can remove that part of the code or just choose not to use the script, find something else.

Why does it matter? Well, not a big deal, but do you really want someone else using the time, resources and energy you put into your blog to make money for themselves? Whether your blog is completely spam/ ad free or not, I doubt you want someone piggy backing on your work?

Be a Better Blog Commenter

Say something relevant to the post itself. Come up with a comment more interesting than “I agree” or “Me too”. It’s not that tough to stretch out a thought beyond two words. Why do you agree with the post? What was your own experience? Most blog comments are on the short side. Find a bit more to say and make yours longer to stand out. A longer comment also gives the feeling you are interested in the post and the blogger and able to string together ideas yourself. Others are more likely to click on the link to your blog if you seem to be someone who can write and write well.

A blog post looking for advice or answers is a great time to get noticed. If you know of a resource, have an opinion, or experience that would help leave that in comments. Give a link to the resource if it is online, even if it is your own site. However, if it is your own site make that clear. That way the blog owner and readers will know you aren’t just spamming your URL, it’s posted for a valid reason.

On the other side of giving information, ask a question yourself. What would you like to know more about? What detail or information might have been left out of the post? Think of a real question, not fluff just to leave a comment.

Be supportive and uplifting and sincere. Everyone is glad to have a comment that spreads good cheer and brightens their day. You can’t smile at others through your comment but you can send a smile in text. If you can’t be uplifting don’t be a wet blanket and do not be obnoxious. That should not even need to be said.

Write with personality, passion and humour. Don’t leave a bland comment that could have been written by half a million other bloggers. Come up with something uniquely you. Maybe a different turn of phrase. How about a funny anecdote. Maybe part of a quote relevant to the post if you really just don’t have a personality of your own. (But I know you do!)

Don’t post a comment at all if you really have nothing to say or if you are posting just to create controversy. A flame war may get you traffic and it will get you noticed but is that really how you want to be known? Besides, that kind of attention is short lived. No one really wants to watch a flame war except the two people in the middle who can’t seem to let go.

Last of all, proofread your comments before you click to post them. Spelling errors are one thing but typos just look klutzy. You can try to avoid them or just not bother and give the impression that you don’t care. Also, don’t leave a comment that is a solid block of text. It is easier to read a long comment if it is broken up into individual thoughts/ ideas.

Happy commenting. Let me know if you have other great commenting ideas.

Meanwhile consider using CoComment. Your comments from other blogs are posted to your own blog in a widget. Nice way to show that you actually do make comments and give links to the blogs you read.

It is never too late for the 31 Day Comment Challenge which utilizes CoComment too. Started in 2008 but all the activities for each of the 31 days are up on the site so you can step in any time and challenge yourself.

The Secret is in the Sauce –  “…a group of women bloggers dedicated to supporting one another by leaving comments. Lots and lots of comments”.

You can join up IComLeavWe every month.

Also found The Weekend Comment Challenge on Sited and Blogged. Not sure when it starts or ends but I like the idea.

Mom Blog Comment Club is looking for more members.

Do You Really Want a Personal Blog?

I posted this over on the CMF Ads forum. A response to someone who was interested in starting a personal blog but didnt’ seem to really want to write too much about themselves or have a select group of the public masses read it. I’m sticking my comment in here cause later I will want to read it and remember I wrote about the nose picking thing a fourth time now. What a twit I am. 🙂

I read your first post and nothing else. My first thought was why do you want to do a personal blog? Seems you are all against the whole point of a personal blog. Plus you don’t want one set of people to read it yet want to promote it to find readers. Which is it?

I’ve been keeping a personal blog since 1998. My current one started in 2004. It’s freewriting. It’s temper tantrums. It’s rants and links you want to find later but forget all about and then realize they just didn’t matter all that much anyway. I go for months without promoting my blog. I don’t write it for anyone really so what does it matter who reads it. I don’t even know why I read it some days. I’ve been through a divorce in my personal blog. I’ve been through immigration, toe lint, nose picking and the agonies of online dating. I’ve written about being very unhappy and I’ve written about the best days in my life. I write things I hope family don’t read but still I post them, daring fate. If you can’t write about all of that in your own slant what is the point? Stick to a topical/ niche blog.

I don’t hide much about who I am. If you find yourself in Barrie, Ontario you can find me there. That is a real photo of me in this forum. If I looked like a movie star I’d plaster more of them around. Having a personal blog is liberating. I don’t give my URL to anyone I know but they sometimes find it. Most of them are not Internet types so they read one post and wander off like cows grazing in a field.

I’ve had two online stalkers in the time I have been online. I have had my blog hacked once (mild stuff and once I changed the password it was over). I’ve had people go totally off their rockers when I posted about being Pagan and really go bonkers when I posted about being a Witch. Then I posted about picking my nose and I had tons of comments from people laughing along with me. That’s what a personal blog is. Throw caution to the wind, sit back and laugh at yourself.

Choosing Web Scripts, Gadgets and Widgets

One thing I have learned to watch for when I look at free web scripts, gadgets, widgets and such for adding to my blog are hitchhikers. Before you paste the code into your HTML paste it into Notepad first. Read the code. Do you see a link to a third party URL? A site not your own or the one you are using the code from.

Some of the sites offering freebies are also making a buck by using your blog to spam another site. Watch for it. You can remove that part of the code or just choose not to use the script, find something else.

Why does it matter? Well, not a big deal, but do you really want someone else using your blog to make money for themselves? Whether your blog is completely spam/ ad free or not, do you want people getting away with piggy backing on your work?

Members of the Media

In the columnist message boards at BackWash, someone said “Don’t you just love the media.” They meant it sarcastically in reference to how an interview was handled. But, what they didn’t consider is that WE ARE the media.

I think a lot of writers take shots at ‘the media’ and forget to count themselves among them. Do you? Have you thought of yourself as a writer or publisher or member of the media in general today?

Well you are. Each time you put something out there for the masses to read you become the media. We may not all carry cards saying we are writers or publishers or editors, etc. But, that doesn’t mean we aren’t just one more member of the media.

Anyway, the discussion in the boards was about how someone was credited in an article. That is something to consider as you write an article using sources for information such as quotes or statistics. Always make sure you know how your contact sources want to be credited and then do your best to see that it comes out that way in print.

On the other hand, when you are the contact, make sure you tell the writer how you want to be credited. Make sure they have your URL along with your other information. Make sure they know it’s important for your website to be included as part of identifying you as a source of information for the article.

If it comes out in print you can’t do much to change it. You can get them to add it to a future issue but that’s not very useful without the rest of the content of the article. However, if it’s on the web you can get them to update the HTML or text quite easily, it just takes a moment of their time. So there is one more benefit to writing for online publications.

Well, members of the media, that’s it for this week.