Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for the ‘year in review’ Category

Warning Against Your Insecurities: The 2011 IBM X-Force Trend And Risk “Poltergeist”

leave a comment »

WARNING: This is an exceptionally long post intended for security and privacy geeks everywhere, including sys admins, Internet security hawks, CIOs, and innocent but interested bystanders everywhere.  No web servers were hacked in the preparation of this report: at least, none by me!

Okay, troopers, it’s that time of year again.  You know, the time when IBM releases its report card for security incidents, the X-Force Trend and Risk Report.

Google has the search “Zeitgeist” every year, we have the security “poltergeist!”

This time around, we’re looking back at the wild and wacky 2011, a year which showed surprising improvements in several areas of Internet security. Improvements, you ask?  Surely you jest, Turbo.

This figure from the 2011 IBM X-Force Trend And Risk Report shows a steady decline in the instances of input control related vulnerabilities such as cross-site scripting (XSS) and SQL injection since X-Force began recording these statistics in 2007. In 2011, the statistics suggest that the likelihood of encountering XSS in a given test continues to decrease but shows signs of leveling out at approximately a 40 percent chance of occurring. Injection vulnerabilities and specifically SQL injection appears to have leveled out at around a 20 percent chance of occurring in a given test.

No, no, there IS some good news.  Like a reduction in application security vulnerabilities, exploit code and spam.

But, good news leads to less good news on this front, as many of you who follow security well know, because the bad guys are being forced to rethink their tactics by targeting more niche IT loopholes and emerging technologies such as social networks and mobile devices.

The Top Line: Less Spam, More Adaptation

To get specific, the X-Force 2011 Trend and Risk Report demonstrated a 50 percent decline in spam email compared to 2010.

2011’s poltergeist saw a diligent patching of security vulnerabilities by software vendors, with only 36 percent of those vulnerabilities remaining unpatched in 2011 (compared to 43 percent in 2010).  The year also saw a higher quality of software application code, as seen in web-app vulnerabilities called “cross-site scripting” that were half as likely to exist in clients’ software as they were four years ago.

So, the net is, the bad guys are adapting their techniques to the changing tech environment. The report uncovered a rise in emerging attack trends including mobile exploits, automated password guessing, and a surge in phishing attacks.

It also witnessed an increase in automated shell command injection attacks against web servers, which may well be a response to successful efforts to close off other kinds of Web app vulnerabilities.

The Security Landscape Glass Half Full: Decrease In Unpatched Vulnerabilities, Exploit Code, And Spam

Getting even more specific, according to the report, there are several positive trends as companies adjusted their security policies in 2011:

  • Thirty percent decline in the availability of exploit code. When security vulnerabilities are disclosed, exploit code is sometimes released that attackers can download and use to break into computers. Approximately 30 percent fewer exploits were released in 2011 than were seen on average over the past four years. This improvement can be attributed to architectural and procedural changes made by software developers that help make it more difficult for attackers to successfully exploit vulnerabilities.
  • Decrease in unpatched security vulnerabilities. When security vulnerabilities are publicly disclosed, it is important that the responsible software vendor provide a patch or fix in a timely fashion. Some security vulnerabilities are never patched, but the percentage of unpatched vulnerabilities has been decreasing steadily over the past few years. In 2011 this number was down to 36 percent from 43 percent in 2010.
  • Fifty percent reduction in cross site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities due to improvements in software quality. The IBM X-Force team is seeing significant improvement in the quality of software produced by organizations that use tools like IBM AppScan OnDemand service to analyze, find, and fix vulnerabilities in their code.  IBM found XSS vulnerabilities are half as likely to exist in customers’ software as they were four years ago. However, XSS vulnerabilities still appear in about 40 percent of the applications IBM scans. This is still high for something well understood and able to be addressed.
  • Decline in spam. IBM’s global spam email monitoring network has seen about half the volume of spam email in 2011 that was seen in 2010. Some of this decline can be attributed to the take-down of several large spam botnets, which likely hindered spammers’ ability to send emails. The IBM X-Force team witnessed spam evolve through several generations over the past seven years as spam filtering technology has improved and spammers have adapted their techniques in order to successfully reach readers.

The Security Landscape Glass Half Empty: Attackers Adapt Their Techniques in 2011

Even with these improvements, there has been a rise in new attack trends and an array of significant, widely reported external network and security breaches.

This figure from the 2011 IBM X-Force Trend And Risk Report shows an increase in mobile operating system exploits in 2011 due to an uptick in malicious activity targeting mobile devices. Because of the two-tiered relationship between phone end users, telecommunications companies, and mobile operating system vendors, disclosed mobile vulnerabilities can remain unpatched on phones for an extended period of time, providing a large window of opportunity to attackers.

As malicious attackers become increasingly savvy, the IBM X-Force documented increases in three key areas of attack activity:

  • Attacks targeting shell command injection vulnerabilities more than double. For years, SQL injection attacks against web applications have been a popular vector for attackers of all types. SQL injection vulnerabilities allow an attacker to manipulate the database behind a website. As progress has been made to close those vulnerabilities – the number of SQL injection vulnerabilities in publicly maintained web applications dropped by 46 percent in 2011– some attackers have now started to target shell command injection vulnerabilities instead. These vulnerabilities allow the attacker to execute commands directly on a web server. Shell command injection attacks rose by two to three times over the course of 2011. Web application developers should pay close attention to this increasingly popular attack vector.
  • Spike in automated password guessing – Poor passwords and password policies have played a role in a number of high-profile breaches during 2011. There is also a lot of automated attack activity on the Internet in which attacks scan the net for systems with weak login passwords. IBM observed a large spike in this sort of password guessing activity directed at secure shell servers (SSH) in the later half of 2011.
  • Increase in phishing attacks that impersonate social networking sites and mail parcel services – The volume of email attributed to phishing was relatively small over the course of 2010 and the first half of 2011, but phishing came back with a vengeance in the second half, reaching volumes that haven’t been seen since 2008. Many of these emails impersonate popular social networking sites and mail parcel services, and entice victims to click on links to web pages that may try to infect their PCs with malware. Some of this activity can also be attributed to advertising click fraud, where spammers use misleading emails to drive traffic to retail websites.

Emerging Technologies Create New Avenues for Attacks

New technologies such as mobile and cloud computing continue to create challenges for enterprise security.

  • Publicly released mobile exploits rise 19 percent in 2011. This year’s IBM X-Force report focused on a number of emerging trends and best practices to manage the growing trend of “Bring your Own Device,” or BYOD, in the enterprise. IBM X-Force reported a 19 percent increase over the prior year in the number of exploits publicly released that can be used to target mobile devices. There are many mobile devices in consumers’ hands that have unpatched vulnerabilities to publicly released exploits, creating an opportunity for attackers. IT managers should be prepared to address this growing risk.
  • Attacks increasingly relate to social media – With the widespread adoption of social media platforms and social technologies, this area has become a target of attacker activity. IBM X-Force observed a surge in phishing emails impersonating social media sites. More sophisticated attackers have also taken notice. The amount of information people are offering in social networks about their personal and professional lives has begun to play a role in pre-attack intelligence gathering for the infiltration of public and private sector computing networks.
  • Cloud computing presents new challenges – Cloud computing is moving rapidly from emerging to mainstream technology, and rapid growth is anticipated through the end of 2013. In 2011, there were many high profile cloud breaches affecting well-known organizations and large populations of their customers. IT security staff should carefully consider which workloads are sent to third-party cloud providers and what should be kept in-house due to the sensitivity of data. Cloud security requires foresight on the part of the customer as well as flexibility and skills on the part of the cloud provider. The IBM X-Force report notes that the most effective means for managing security in the cloud may be through Service Level Agreements (SLAs) because of the limited impact that an organization can realistically exercise over the cloud computing service. Therefore, careful consideration should be given to ownership, access management, governance and termination when crafting SLAs. The IBM X-Force report encourages cloud customers to take a lifecycle view of the cloud deployment and fully consider the impact to their overall information security posture.

The IBM X-Force 2011 Trend and Risk Report is based on intelligence gathered by one of the industry’s leading security research teams through its research of public vulnerability disclosures findings from more than 4,000 clients, and the monitoring and analysis of an average of 13 billion events daily in 2011.

“In 2011, we’ve seen surprisingly good progress in the fight against attacks through the IT industry’s efforts to improve the quality of software,” said Tom Cross, manager of Threat Intelligence and Strategy for IBM X-Force. “In response, attackers continue to evolve their techniques to find new avenues into an organization. As long as attackers profit from cyber crime, organizations should remain diligent in prioritizing and addressing their vulnerabilities.”

You can learn more about IBM Security Solutions here.

TurboTech: Technological Romance For Dummies

with one comment

Scott Laningham and I, having entirely too much time to ourselves over the holidays to ponder all things technology, spent a good 26 minutes one late December day discussing likely future tech trends: Everything from the absurdity of code names for mobile operating systems to our having our own technology reality TV show someday — but one in which nobody could give Scott and I a rose.

That just simply wouldn’t be appropriate.

I also provide a shout out to the IBM Connections event, which starts a week from today in lovely Orlando, Florida.  It’s not too late to register for it, and for Lotusphere. Go here to learn more.

I’ll be arriving in Orlando early Sunday evening and plan on bringing all the blogging coverage my little Turbo hands can handle (And Scott assures me in the video below he’ll do some remote podcasting, since he won’t be there live and in person.  Make sure you provide some comments and try to hold him to it!)

2011: A Year In Turmoil?

leave a comment »

How do you size up an entire year?

My headline noted that 2011 was “a year in turmoil.”

Photo: National Geographic. The Tohoku earthquake on March 11, 2011, was the most powerful known ever to have hit Japan -- and one of the five most powerful earthquakes in the world since modern record-keeping began in 1900.

I wasn’t sure how else to refer to it.  A year in disruption?  Evolution?

Change was not only in the air — it was patently self-evident, all around us, and all around the globe.

Social change.  Change in our physical world.  Political change.

It was Greek philosopher Heraclitus who said that change is the only constant.  Heraclitus was spot on with regards to 2011.

Social Media, Social Change

It was a year that seemed to have started with some broadened hope, with Estonia joining the Eurozone (and, maybe to their later chagrin, the Euro), and with Southern Sudan holding a referendum on Independence…but all that soon evolved into a river of mostly bad news: the flooding in Rio, the Moscow airport shooting, and yes, on a more promising note, the fall of the Tunisian government and the start of an Arab winter that quickly turned into spring.

After the protests spread to Egypt, fed both by the widespread use of Facebook and Twitter and on-the-ground collaboration, President Hosni Mubarak left office in February, but the simultaneous and simmering uncertainty in Libya caused crude oil prices to jump some 20%, and the world seemed as much in shock as did the CNN reporters on the ground in Tahrir Square.

Elementary, My Dear Watson

February also brought us the IBM Watson “Jeopardy” competition, where IBM’s supercomputer “Watson” challenged the world’s best “Jeopardy” players, and, in spite of a few snafus, ended up running away in victory, and demonstrated once again that in such a “man v. Machine” contest, it’s easy to forget it was the men (and women!) who built and programmed the victorious machine!

And then March 11.

A 9.1 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami flattened part of the coast of Japan, killing over 20,000, and leading to a nuclear emergency at four different nuclear energy plants. The pictures we saw on our television screens looked like something out of a Hollywood disaster movie gone terribly wrong, and the world watched in solidarity as well as helped through generous outpourings of support and assistance.

In late March, the UN Security Council voted to create a no-fly zone over Libya, and soon NATO jets were flying recon over the country.

A Royal Breather

Then, just when things couldn’t seem to get any more heated and political, a lighter moment provided a sigh of relief in April: The “royal” wedding of the United Kingdom’s Prince William and Catherine Middleton.

And yes, of course, also one of the most Googled figures of 2011, Kate’s lovely younger sister “Pippa.”

Despite all the hype, pomp, and circumstance, you had to be pretty hard-hearted not to think the Royal Wedding a magical event, despite the chintzy plates and royal potpourri for sale. The prince-to-be-king and his lovely royal bride provided a needed kiss seen round the world.

Bin Laden Been Gotten

Only a few short days later, it was back to reality, when the American president announced from the White House one late Sunday evening that Osama bin Laden, the founder and leader of Al-Qaeda, had been killed during an American military operation in Pakistan. One Twitterer in Abbottabad, Sohaib Athar, noted in realtime that “Helicopter hovering about Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event).”


Continued Monetary Turbulence

Later in May, the European Union agreed to a 78 billion Euro rescue deal with Portugal, continuing a long slided reach towards monetary stabilization in Europe.  There were more natural disasters, this time violent tornadoes wreaking havoc across the south and American mid-west, killing 552 people, the second worst year for tornadoes in U.S. History.

In June, more natural disastrous activity, this time with the Puyehue volcano eruption, which disrupted air traffic across South America, New Zealand, and Australia.  Also that month, on June 16th, IBM celebrated its centennial, it’s 100 year anniversary as a going concern.

July witnessed South Sudan’s succession from Sudan, as well as the world’s first artifical organ transplant (an artificial windpipe coated with stem cells).

Is it possible that the new Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mission might find water on Mars? Stranger things have happened!

Space Shuttle: Back To Planet Earth

July also saw a bitter end to the longstanding NASA Space Shuttle program, as Atlantis STS-135 brought the shuttle back to earth once and for all.  But by August, we were looking back towards the heavens as NASA announced its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter had captured photographic evidence of possible liquid water on Mars.

Maybe those first astronauts on Mars will be able to fill their canteens after all.

NASA also launched its first solar-powered spacecraft, Juno, on a mission to Jupiter. Juno will study Jupiter’s composition, gravity field, magnetic field, and also search for clues as to how it was formed.

But don’t get in any hurry — Juno’s not expected to arrive in Jupiter’s orbit until July 4, 2016!

In August, back here on Planet Earth, the Gaddafi regime was challenged in August at the Battle of Tripoli, as the Arab Spring proved it had legs into the summer and beyond. While back in London, peaceful protests soon turned into full-on riots, killing 5 and leading to over $275M in economic damages.

As summer turned to fall here in the west, more natural disasters reared their ugly heads, from droughts and fires in Texas to monsoons and floods in Pakistan, Cambodia, and Thailand.

Fire Everywhere, Water Nowhere…And Yet Everywhere

Where water was needed most, there was very little.  Where water was needed least, there was an overabundance.  That conundrum seemed to somehow aptly sum up 2011 thus far, a year in contradictions and juxtapositions.

In October, Colonel Gaddafi was no more, brutally killed in Sirte as National Transitional Council forces took control.  The Colonel’s reign of terror had come to an end.

A spark that had started in the spring had now spread into a conflagration.

Of course, there were more economic woes in Brussels, as the EU announced an agreement to take on the European debt crisis with a writedown of 50% of Greek bonds.

On the U.S. Halloween holiday, October 31, the UN indicated the global population had reached 7 billion. Ghoulish!

And finally, after eight long years, the U.S. War in Iraq came to an official and declarative end, even as the fate of the country continues to be debated and fought over.

And In Conclusion?

So what to make of it all?  Were there any constants amidst all this change and disruption?  Or was change the only constant?

I had an opportunity to mentor a group of very bright Notre Dame business undergrads this past fall, and so I’m going to turn to their research to try and put the year into some context.

Their central thesis centered around the growing role of social media on society and business. In their paper, they posed the following question:

Is it [social media] changing the way people organize and interact or is it just a fad that will pass with time? The findings of this analysis indicate that social media has a growing role in society, more than just helping people to connect with old friends. It is used at an alarming rate to organize protests, aid relief in areas of need, and disseminate information about global events. Social media is used in both positive and negative ways to change the way people react to global occurrences. — “What is Social Media’s Growing Role on Business and Society as a Whole?” Robert Blume, Emma Higgins, Rob Kirk, Morgan Kelley, 2011, University of Notre Dame

Certainly, their thesis seems somewhat self-evident.  Social media has certainly been used for both the positive and the negative, but in light of some of the anecdotes they cited, the Notre Dame students illustrated that the proof was really in the pudding.

That, rather than looking for broad, overarching themes, perhaps we should examine specific instances of how social media has been used, for both good and bad, and attempt to discern some broader lessons about the changing technology landscape’s impact on our evolving humanity?

To which we’ll now return, and close, on the topic of the Japanese earthquake.  Horrific though it was, the Notre Dame students explained the positive, life-affirming role social media played in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami:

One way in which social media helped was that it allowed the victims connect with people all over the world. People used social media to connect with their friends and family instantly to let them know that they were alright or to receive word on the condition of others. People also turned to social media to demonstrate their support for those in Japan. Twitter hashtags such as #prayforjapan‖ and ―#japan‖ were tweeted at an alarming rate, some of which were tweeted thousands of times per second. Brad Shimmin analyzed this by saying — While there are so many technologies at this time that isolate us from our fellow beings, social networking tools have shown their ability once again to unify us as human beings, and to bring out what is most altruistic and empathetic in our natures,‖ (―Twitter…‖, 2011, ~1). Beyond giving people physical support in their time of need, social media brought about emotional support by letting everyone in Japan know that they were being thought of, and that they were not alone in the situation.

And perhaps that’s best object lesson of all for 2011.  That despite all the turmoil, conflict, and disruption — engendered either by acts of God, or of man — we still simply want to be connected one to another.

To know others are out there, virtually or otherwise, witness to our travesties and our triumphs, and ultimately, to know wherever we are in the world, we are most certainly not alone.

Written by turbotodd

December 28, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Google’s 2011 Zeitgeist: The Year In Black

with one comment

Hard to believe, but here we are, near the end of another calendar year, and being this time of year, it’s time for the Google Zeitgeist for 2011.

This “How the world searched” feature is in its 11th instance, and as Google alluded to it in its official blog, the Zeitgeist provides us with “the spirit of the time.”

Or, as the case may be for extraterrestrial aliens suddenly landing on the planet and examining the Google global search logs for 2011, it provides a psychotic view into our collective predispositions and moral depravity.

“E.T., phone home…and whatever else you do, DON’T read the human search logs.”

Before we allow for the drumroll, let’s highlight the details behind the Zeitgeist. Basically, Google looks at the most popular and fastest rising search terms — those with the highest growth in 2011 — in many categories across many countries.

Those of us who work in global SEO can certainly appreciate the challenges and opportunities those local conditions engender, and to make this effort even more fun, Zeitgeist this year has introduced search visualizations so one can compare terms across categories.

And, if you hate reading, there’s always the Zeitgeist year-end-recap video:


If the Zeitgeist is intended to capture the spirit of the times, based on some of the top search queries, I may, in fact, be entirely behind the times.  “Rebecca Black” made the top of the list, and I’ve honestly never heard of the pop singer whose greatest hit appears to be “Friday.”


Other songstresses hit the upper reaches of the Google search universe, including “Adele” (also lost on me), reality star “Ryan Dunn” (of which reality, might I ask), and “Casey Anthony.”

Finally, one I heard of.  The alleged child killer came in at a whopping #4 on the global zeitgeist!  Casey Kasem would be so proud!

“Google+” came in at number 2.  How convenient — and Facebook nowhere to be seen this year?

Apple dominated three other spots in the top 10: “iPhone 5” at #6, “Steve Jobs” at #9, and the “iPad 2” at #10.

A lot of stuff happened in the world this year.

There were natural disasters galore, from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in March, to the swarm of tornadoes across Missouri and the midwest in May, to the floods in Brazil and Thailand.

We found and killed Osama Bin Laden, even as his former safe haven of Sudan found independence in the South.

There were revolutions, literally, in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and even near Wall Street.

And yes, there were some timely demises, including some of my faves, Joe Frazier, Andy Rooney, Christopher Hitchens, and yes, of course, Steve Jobs.

And despite all that, it’s apparently the big splash of Rebecca Black that topped the search charts, when her video “Friday” went viral and received over 167M views on YouTube.

E.T…don’t just phone home.  Pick me up and get me the heck out of here.

Just please, whatever else you don’t, do NOT put it on YouTube.

Written by turbotodd

December 16, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Turbo’s “Stuff I Like And Hate” List

with 3 comments

I’ve been out on vacation for the past week, so that’s why you’ve not heard much from me.

It was some needed time away, and it got me to thinking.

I’m not going to make any predictions about 2010 this year.

And I’m not going to talk about what happened in 2009, either.

You were here.  You saw it.  Or, at minimum, you probably heard about it.  Whatever it was.

But what I am going to do is talk about the state of technology: Things I hate. Things I like.  Things that tick me off.  Things that make me want to throw a big phonebook across the room…that is, if I still had a big phone book.

This is, of course, no complete list…but it’s all I could remember for now.

1) Lack of Persistent Authentication. This one falls into the “Things I Hate” column.  We’re 15 years into this commercial Internet revolution thing, and STILL I have no way to persistently authenticate with a single user ID and password across multiple websites.  Life’s too short to remember all those user ID and passwords, and I have to keep a spreadsheet with all those passwords just to remember which one goes with which site. And sorry, I don’t wish to place the full authentication bet on Facebook Connect or Google Friend Connect or anything else that’s vendor-specific.  And unfortunately, OpenID seems to require a degree in computer science to figure out.  Can nobody figure this one out?  Really?

2) The Illusion of Internet Privacy. In the “Ticks Me Off” column.  When Facebook announced its recent privacy policy revamping, they basically pulled the equivalent of giving its global user base a giant wedgy. The default privacy setting was “everyone,” illuminating the pure nakedness of your personal information for all the world to see.  If you wanted to keep personal things personal, you had to go out of your way to take action and regain some semblance of control over your personal information, which of course Facebook is using to monetize its site.  I don’t have an issue with their monetization…I do have an issue with a constantly evolving privacy regime that consistently lowers the bar on privacy and devalues user information.

3)  Overzealous Digital Intellectual Property Protection (iTunes). In the “Makes me want to throw a phone book” column. I bought the music, I oughta be able to move it from one computer or device to another (And I’m just talking now about the Apple devices) with no hassle.  I rented the movie, I oughta have more than 24 hours to finish the damn thing.  When I rent a movie from Blockbuster, it doesn’t suddenly expire because I hit play and then hit pause for 23 hours!  I love Apple products, but the DRM drama needs to find a new ending and soon.

4) My iPod Touch. Things I Like.  The DRM complaints I have above aside, I also give credit to Apple for the iPod Touch. It’s become my new best friend, particularly considering the amount of travel I’ve done the past couple of years.  My Touch has become my favorite e-reader, portable jukebox, portable movie screen, and portable communications device, all in one.  It keeps me from getting bored in the most boring of circumstances (say, that 15 hour flight from LA to Hong Kong in coach??)

5) Amazon.Com. Definitely “Things I Like”  I’ve been an Amazon customer pretty much since day one.  Not once have they ever let me down or pissed me off, nor do they abuse their opportunity to market to me.  I still dig their personalized recommendations, even if I don’t buy from their recommendations, and their site experience continues to be easy-to-use and with a solid persistent memory of me as a customer.  Why don’t more Websites take a clue from Amazon?  I mean, seriously.

6) TechMeme. Also “Things I Like.”  As a part-time blogger, and full time technology news junkie, I depend on a lot of different information sources and RSS feeds to try and keep up with it all (and fail miserably most of the time!).  But TechMeme has for several years been a kind of tech news barometer that I can always count on to keep me up to the minute.  Though some have criticized it’s algorithmic engine and over-dependency on the big blogs, I find that it’s typically got the pulse of tech news, which is just what the Turbo doctor ordered.

7) My Blackberry Bold. Put this one in “Things I (Mostly) Like.”  Since I got the Bold in January, I’ve been impressed with the performance and screen, and the swiftness of the 3G connection.  I’ve also enjoyed most of the apps, but I still hate the fact that I can’t do a cloud synch of my contact info (read: phone numbers) and that the Blackberry browser continues to be subpar, nor can I synch my iTunes with it  (even with the Blackberry Desktop manager!). Those issues aside, it’s my virtual lifeline to the world when I’m on the move (which is often!).

8) Tech Company Arrogance. Definitely phone book material. Tech company arrogance is the worst kind of arrogance there is.  IBM had it back in the day, as did Microsoft, Yahoo, and others.  For those big boys on the tech block these days, know that we in the industry have a very long memory, and life won’t always be as good as it is for you right now.  That much you can count on.  Just know that a little humility goes a very long way, and the position of strength you find yourself in now will one day be one of significant weakness.  Don’t invite your customers or competitors to one day abuse the latter by your abuse of the former.

9) Social Media as the Second Coming. I drank the social media Kool-Aid way before there was a name for it.  I was an early Cluetrain advocate, and always felt (and still believe) the basic mantra that Searls, Locke, and others laid out way back in 1999 had a lot of wisdom. However, social media is only as effective as the smart and intelligent individuals behind the blog or the Facebook page or the community site.  The constant firehose of BS PR and propaganda loudspeak via the social media only crowds the already information-overloaded social media freeway and encourages those simply trying to navigate their way from Point A to Point B to quickly search their GPS for alternative routes.  Get a clue, get on the Cluetrain, and understand social media’s role in the overall marketing ecosystem, but do NOT put it in the pantheon category of Second Comings — you’ll be sorely disappointed.

10) People Who Tweet Too Much. You know who you are.  Some of you people need to get a life.  “Joel, put the iPhone down and get off the babysitter” (Remember that scene from “Risky Business”?)  I’m serious.  I like to Tweet, but all things in moderation.  Some of you folks literally don’t seem to do anything else, and I worry about your mental and professional health.  Does your doctor know that that’s all you do is Tweet?  Your boss?  Your significant other?  Hey, it’s okay to just put the device or the PC down and go outside for a walk. Preferably a very long one.  Don’t worry, the Twittersphere ain’t goin’ anywhere.

Written by turbotodd

December 17, 2009 at 10:12 pm

%d bloggers like this: