Category Archives: Technology

Facebook’s Auto Sharing: The Future of it

Soon, it will be common for people’s personal information to be updated on Social Media channels of all kinds. Here we talk about some of those implications of Facebook introducing auto sharing.

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Check out an earlier article about everything your business needs to know about Facebook’s changes to learn more.
Video Transcription:
Facebook introduced the idea of automatic sharing on social networks and
that exists today. The question now is how far will it go? What will the
next steps be? And really, how many aspects of your life will be
automatically updated to your entire social network in the near future?

Hi, my name is Mike Roberts. I am an online marketing specialist. You can
find all my marketing materials on my website at

Because these tools don’t actually exist today, we have to look at our
society’s trends, essentially, where we’ve come from and where we’re headed
in the future. And if you look back, maybe 40, 50 years ago, people were
much more conservative with the amount of information they gave to complete
strangers. And progressively, we have seen people become much more
comfortable giving away personal information, and now we have a generation,
Generation Y, who has grown up in a world with Facebook and does not know a
world without it. And so, they’re used to sharing photos and friends having
everything be very public about what they’re doing, what their relationship
status is, and where they live, and all of these details that were never
given to strangers before.

So, we have a shift, that I don’t think will slow, I don’t think will stop.
I think social media has picked up the pace pretty drastically. I see that
we now have come to point where Facebook is taking a huge step in that
direction, even more so. So, automatic sharing is an example, where now I
can listen to a song on Spotify, and all of my songs can now be updated
automatically to all of my friends and so they can all hear what I’m
listening to. That’s a pretty safe example, but expand that to all areas of
my life, and now all of my friends in my social network can find out all of
the details automatically.

I wonder about Foursquare or other location-based services. Will those also
be included sometime? Maybe right now, people aren’t comfortable with that.
There’s a backlash against Facebook saying, “We don’t want this. It’s too
much. It’s too transparent. We need some privacy still.” But what about in
five years or so? People will gradually become more and more comfortable
sharing more and more information as the trend continues to evolve. And
now, every time I stop by a Starbucks, everyone knows because it
automatically checks me in. I don’t even have to pull out my phone. I can
see this is how it could be happening in the future. This is where we could
be going, and I think that there will be people that will drag their feet,
screaming privacy, that they want more privacy. But there’s also going to
be people that find it very cool and a way to express themselves.

So, I expect the trend to continue. I’d be very interested in hearing what
your thoughts are. These are just my thoughts and my musings, and I thought
I’d throw out the question to you. Do you think this is where we’re going
with social media in our society, with Facebook and Google+ and Foursquare
and things? Or do you think that there’s going to be a pendulum backslash
to things like Facebook?

If you have a burning marketing question that you want answered or you need
some help with, go ahead and make a comment below or send me a tweet on
Twitter, and I’d be happy to do the best I can to answer that in a
following video post. Keep an eye out for my next post about Google+, how
businesses can actually use it effectively and how to get followers, how to
get people to actually care about what you’re doing there. So stay tuned.

Again, my name is Mike Roberts. If you want more digital marketing insights
or advice or questions or anything like that, go ahead and follow me on
Google+ or on Twitter as mrobertsonline or subscribe to my Youtube channel.
Thanks for watching.


My Recent Blog Posts This is a compilation of some of my most recent writings (with some graphics and co-proofing help) at the digital agency, Mindgruve where I currently work. Let me know if you like any of them by … Continue reading

Interact with Mike Roberts; QR Code landing page

This post is a landing page for a QR code flyer at Interactive Day San Diego.

My name is Mike Roberts. I am at Interactive Day San Diego today. Text: 5624811117 or say hi to connect. I am also actively pursuing new career opportunities.

Click here to view my Interactive Video Resume and learn more.  

Connect with me:

I will be attending these sessions at IDSD:

9:45 am: Email Marketing in the age of Social Media

11:00 am: The Unfair Advantage of Inbound Marketing

2:00 pm: Twitter Stories: True Tales of Marketing Success

3:30 pm: Creating Real Fans for Real Brands


I would love to meet up after the conference and exchange notes for these and the other sessions available.


Cell: 562.481.1117
Email: MikeRoberts [at] MrobertsOnline [dot] com

Interactive Video Resume; Mike Roberts; Part 1 – Intro This is an Interactive Video Resume for Mike Roberts. Mike Roberts is actively pursuing new career opportunities. To view his resume and learn more about his job search, please visit his … Continue reading

How to use Foursquare for Business 101

I put this together for my boss to help him understand how Foursquare can be used to promote local business objectives.

What is it?

Foursquare is a social media platform that allows users to tell their friends where they are geographically. Their location is announced by telling the name of a business or point of interest such as ‘Starbucks’ or ‘Balboa Park’. 

How does it work?

When a user visits Starbucks, they are able to pull up the corresponding Foursquare mobile application and ‘Check In’. When they do that it is announced to their foursquare friends where they are similar to a Facebook status update. Users are able to identify in real time who is currently at any given location and can use it as a medium to find and meet up with their friends. These ‘Check Ins’ can also be pushed to a variety of other social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter and dramatically expand the reach of these updates.

How to use it to promote a local business?

1. ‘Check Ins’ are Advertisements

 ‘Check Ins’ become advertisements to all of their friends and keeps your business top of mind. This dramatically increases when they’re posted to Facebook and Twitter. Sometimes good deals offered to Foursquare customers can incentivize telling their friends like this. Other times having a brand or business that would add to someone’s image is enough. For example, I might check into a fine dining restaurant and want to show off to all my friends that I’m eating there.

2. ‘Check Ins’ Bring Their Friends

‘Check Ins’ incentivize their friends to join them at that location. For example, if I check into a coffee shop and my friends that are a few blocks away notice and end up visiting the coffee shop to see me when they would have not done that otherwise.

3. Steal Customers

Deals found by being in a surrounding area can cause people to stop by your business when they otherwise would not have. This can drive foot traffic. For example, if I visit the mall and check into the mall itself, but then notice that Macy’s is offering a special deal* if I check in there. I might stop by Macy’s now to take advantage of that when I had never intended to visit there on my visit. If so, Macy’s may have just stolen my business from the store I actually went to the mall to go to. This can be really powerful because it is targeting people in a very close geographical range to your store and likely looking to spend money. It is a very effective and cheap way to increase foot traffic.

4. Increase Traffic

There can be competition in the Foursquare community over becoming the ‘Mayor’ or the most frequent user to ‘Check In’ and businesses can take advantage of that. Users often turn becoming and staying the ‘Mayor’ into a game that causes them to go out of their way at times to ‘Check In’ at a venue. This increases their personal social credibility stats but this is fueled even more when businesses offer a special deal only for the Mayor. For example, Hot dog on a stick offers a  free lemonade* only to the mayor. Now customers will visit your business to try to get the deal.

5. Another Traffic Frequency Boost

Another, less exclusive way to offer an incentive is to give it to any customer who visits your business after a certain number of check ins. For example, a restaurant in downtown San Diego called ‘Currant’ offers a glass of Sangria or well cocktail for only $0.10 (ten cents) on your 3rd Check in. This is a way to reward and incentivize frequent customers and thus capitalize on the Pareto Principle or the 80/20 rule that states most businesses will get 80% of their business from 20% of their customers. This feature helps keep that 20% happy and coming back for more.

Let me know if you see the plausibility of using Foursquare as a business or a customer. Also let me know if you don’t and why.

*These deals were current as of the publication of this article.

1 Step to Manage Email 5000% Better… Overnight

Need to manage your mail?

Need to manage your mail?

Well, 5000% might be a bit of an exaggeration but the point is definitely valid. For many of us, email has become the 500 pound gorilla that we have to wrestle every day. We strap on our armor and charge into battle and ultimately work harder rather than smarter. Email is a productivity tool that is woven into the very fabric of social and corporate culture alike. Without specific email management and time management strategies set up, we won’t actually be able to use this tool to be efficient, effective, or productive. So let’s step out of the cog and stream-line it.

Step 1: Email Management Best Practice: Batching

Let’s start with the concept first. How many people do you know take a dirty piece of clothing and wash it as soon as they are done wearing it? None, right? If they did, they would be constantly washing their clothes. It sounds to me a lot like how a ton of people treat their email. They are constantly checking their email at work, at home, on their iPhone, Droid and Crackberry. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love technology and what it can do for you, but in this case the perpetual feed is more of an interruption than a help.

Again the idea behind batching is that you batch or collect a group of items together. In our laundry example, we would collect all of our dirty laundry in a nice wicker basket and then once it was full, we would wash all of it at the same time. This is a much more productive, efficient, and effective us of our time.

Advantages of Batching

Now stretch your imagination to think what it would be like if we treated our email more like our laundry and batched it? What if instead of allowing your email to interrupt you again and again and again while working on a single task, you saved it till you were finished with that task and checked them all at once. This would take us a step towards how email was originally intended to be and away from using it like an instant message chat room. When you let it become a chat room, it will control the flow of your work every time a new message arrives. Don’t let it.
Simply set up scheduled “meetings” to block out time to make sure that you can adequately respond to your emails at a time that fits best in your schedule. It takes time to switch from focusing on one task to focusing on another and the more times you do that, the less gets actually finished. But I thought we checked our email constantly to get more done faster? The old adage, “less is more” seems to ring true here.

Statistics to Chew on

In a 2005 survey, 41 % of respondents said they checked their email in the morning before going to work. There were more than 25% that said they had never gone more than a few days without checking email. The world is so connected to the web these days that 60% said they check it on vacation and finally, 4% are probably the most productive people on planet Earth check their email in the bathroom; there isn’t a place they can’t be reached.

How much of that is actually necessary? Would your productivity really be hindered if you batched your email instead?

Common Objections

BUT WHAT ABOUT EMERGENCIES? There is a massive population of people  who live under the impression that there is always an emergency. I find that there are a lot more illusions of time sensitive emergencies than actually exist. However, for the conscientious objector, there are some things you can do. The first is create an auto response to your email much like an out of office used for vacation in which you let everyone who emails you know when you’re checking  your email, and when to expect a response from you. If this emergency can’t wait till then, have them elevate it to a more immediate channel like your phone. Train those you work with to discern what needs to be taken care of immediately and what can wait till later that day or the next day.

BUT MY OFFICE REQUIRES CONSTANT MONITORING? It is amazing how this cog can be surprisingly counterproductive.  However, simply communicating  your goal to be more efficient, effective, and productive by improving your email management can really help. Introduce it by mentioning that you’ve been reading up on email best practices and that you would like to pilot this as a test program for a week. Then you can legitimately test it to see if it works for you and your coworkers and boss will be in the loop. More than likely, they will be interested in how it actually works for you. As a back up, no one is going to get on your case about trying to be a more productive employee and you can always revert back to the never ending email addiction you where consumed with before.

Questions for the Reader

How does this relate to you? Do you find this helpful? What are other success stories, comments or objections you may have?

Best Note Taking Software?

 Below is a question I received via email from a friend of mine about note taking software and my answer and recommendations. I thought it might also be helpful for some of you even though it was a quickly written email.


 You seem to be more organized than I when it comes to probably many things, but specifically putting ideas on paper.  I really love evernote for quick ideas or whatever to jot down.  What program do you use for your main note taking?  

Trying to find something better for school.  I will be trying a trial version of circus ponies notebook, have you ever tried it?


 Lol, well I try to be organized. There are a lot out there and many are very similar with small differences. For example, Evernote is great because it is a mobile app, has a website that you can update with a full keyboard on a computer and has search and photo functions. Catch is similar and works well too. For PC, I found Microsoft OneNote to work really well for notes of all kinds; it’s a really robust piece of software.

 Another type of very helpful software for me are mind maps. A quick search will give you a dozen providers. These are great for brain storming and coagulating information and organizing it. I look for something that doesn’t need to be downloaded, lives on the cloud so I can access it from any computer with internet, I can publish them so anyone can see or give specific access, and obviously free. For an example of a mind map that is actually a resource for online collaboration tools, check out: I have used and am looking at using which might be a little more user friendly. You can copy website or article links, upload documents of all kinds, color coordinate, and on with these programs. There is a whole section on mind mapping in that resource map above.

 I’m typically a fan of stuff that can be accessed on the cloud. I can use it at work, home, on my phone, at my parent’s house, on my girlfriend’s computer at her house or wherever I happen to be at. So Evernote and Mindmeister work well for that. I use Google docs a lot too, but that isn’t exactly a note taking program. I haven’t found a replacement for Onenote for Mac, but the notebook function for word works pretty well and much better than Evernote for something like taking notes in class. You can organize, write lots of content, and actually record audio too. It shows where the audio matches up with what you’re writing. I’ll keep my eye out for some better things when I come across them too. I haven’t tried Circus Ponies Notebook, but it looks cool

 I hope some of that jumbled stuff is helpful. What are you currently using?




 What do you use? Any suggestions?

Read the 2nd part to this post about how bloggers can get the most out of Evernote with SEO and link building tips.