Monday, June 29, 2009

Banished by Facebook- Just My Thoughts and Opinion

Last week I attempted to log into my Facebook account, the same account I had for severalme5 months and lo and behold my account had been blocked. At first I thought it was a mistake so I tried to log in a few more times. Nothing. It wasn't an accident. There was a link by the message that told me I was blocked but when I clicked on it there was no specific reason why I had been banned. Pretty much just a general FAQ with an email address you could write to if you thought your account was banned in error. So I wrote and I waited. By the third day, no response so I wrote to 3 different email addresses and also found a phone number online that when you call says Facebook does not offer phone support. How stupid is that?

After about a week I did receive this vague email message below:

"Your account has been disabled because you have violated Facebook's Terms of Use by misusing the site's features to spam others. We do not allow users to send unsolicited messages promoting or advertising a product, service, or opportunity. You will no longer be able to use Facebook. This decision is final.

Thanks for your understanding,"

Understanding?? What understanding. I received no warning and no explanation. What’s up with that?

Ouch! Me a spammer?? I've been a legitimate online marketer for years and yes I do use social media in hopes of increasing some of my traffic, but not in the wrong way, and spamming. I don't think so. Besides I used Facebook to communicate with family, friends and people I worked with. They had all asked to be my friend. So how exactly do you spam people who invited you to be their friend. That makes no sense to me. And since I never sent any type of email communications to any of these people only sharing my updates daily on my wall and including links that I thought they might find interesting. How is that spamming? My interpretation of spamming would be sending unsolicited email to people who had not opted in. There was no email and updating my status should not constitute spam. Should it?

I know I should just have let the whole thing go but I couldn't. My mind was racing with possible reasons why my account could have been banned. I did a little research online, which is what I always do when I encounter any type of problem. Here's the conclusions I came up with. Remember, this ismy opinion and I have no way of knowing for sure why Facebook blocked me.

My Theories:

1) A few weeks back Facebook opened up custom url's to anyone who wanted one. I waited until midnight on the registration date to grab "Merle". That's my nickname, also the name I use offline and online for about 20 years. I started to think I may have been banned as I did not use my "real name" rather my nickname. Some research indicates this may cause blocking. Also since my name is shared by famous people and companies like Merle Haggard and Merle Norman Cosmetics, I thought maybe they had wanted the "Merle" name and felt like I was infringing on it. Again, no way to know for sure but it is possible they contacted Facebook when perhaps they tried to register it for themselves. I don’t know.

2) My next theory is "Obama", as in the president. One of the last links I had posted on Facebook before being blocked was a bit about the news story where he had killed a fly during an on camera interview and Peta had a few words to say about it. Upon further research for blocking reasons I found some people online who claim they were blocked after making political commentary or sharing links about Obama on Facebook. Is this possible? Censorship in this day and age?? I hadn't said anything bad only linked to what I thought was a funny story my friends might want to read. Again, just a possibility.

3) My third and final theory of why I may have been blocked is that instead of logging into Facebook I was using Tweetdeck to post to my Twitter account and had included all postings to go to my Facebook page as well. My though process here is that any kind of automated posting to Facebook signals something on their end that you are using some kind of software and therefore must be some kind of crazed spammer. I only thought of this as recently my blogs which are hosted by Google's Blogger service were tagged by Google as maybe being spam. I had to log in and write to them and tell them to review my blogs to get myself out of hot water there. Again, I had been using an automated software program to post to my Google Blogs instead of logging in.

Is it possible that not logging into these services but rather using any kind of automatic software to post could cause blocking or banning of accounts?

Like I said, I'm not sure what the real reason was. I just wanted to share my experience and see if any of you have had any type of similar experience. To say I'm not happy with Facebook for doing what they did without any warning or explanation would be an understatement but I guess it's their website and they can choose to throw off anyone they want. Similar to "It's my party and I can cry if I want to".

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Adsense Now Offers Bigger Font Size

Notice anything different about the Adsense ads being displayed on your website lately?

Google Adsense has announced that they have now given control to users over the font size in the ad units displayed on their websites. You can now log into your account and control the size being displayed. If you're ad units are set to the default your ad units will now show a med size instead of small as they have in the past.

For more help see-

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Who Doesn't Like Free Software?

Did someone say free? Nothing seems to capture (no pun intended) the publics attention faster then that word. Sometimes it doesn't even matter what it is, if it's free people want it. Well, finding quality with the word free is even better.

If you do any kind of computer work there will come a time when you need screen capture software. Check out Jing. Once captured you can send it or do with it as you please. Need to point something out in the graphic? No problem. You can easily mark up the screenshot with text box, arrows, rectangles and more. Available for Windows and Mac.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"How to Get Google to Index a New Page"

"How much time is Google taking to index a new webpage, and how can you accelerate the process besides using Google Webmaster Tools?"

Monday, June 15, 2009

Google Website Optimizer Tool- Tutorial

Google Website Optimizer Tool- Tutorial

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Free Ebook by Marlon Sanders

Free report by Marlon Sanders-

"How to Escape The Time For Dollars Trap and Follow My Tested, Proven 'Amazing Formula' For Finding Personal Freedom, Independence and The Lifestyle You Dream Of In Your Own Home-Based Business"

In this report Marlon covers topics such as:

-- The case against trading time for dollars
-- Brief synopsis of my story
-- The real secret of the 4 hour work week no one understands
-- The 3 components you must have to trade products for dollars
-- Why your system must SCALE (and why many don't)

and much your copy at this link. Feel free to upload it to your own server then give it away to others, courtesy of Marlon.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What happens when you shorten those links?

In this video find out if Google follows url shortener services links the same:

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Twitter Client Apps

The biggest problem with the standard Twitter web application is that you have to keep an eagle eye on your replies and Direct Messages as you only see the main Tweetstream on the screen. It is also limited in that it only displays about the last 20 tweets, so if you want to see older ones, you have to keep going back pages. So what to do?

Easy, download Tweetdeck from The first thing you will probably notice is that you will need to change the settings as the default is white text on a black screen. Makes it hard to read I've found, but each to their own.

Tweetdeck is brilliant in that it displays the Tweetstream, your replies and your direct messages all on the one screen. The message columns allow for 500 tweets as a default, so scrolling down allows you to go back a fair way or search for tweets you may want to refer back to.

The screen has a continuous right hand scroll, so you can set up different groups and their tweets will appear in that column. You might have a group called best friends and another for gardeners for instance. That way you don't miss important tweets from people who are more important to you than others. At the time of writing, Tweetdeck is probably the most widely used application for Twitter and I would highly recommend it to you.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

122 Social Media Sites With Page Rank

Yea, I admit it. I do like social media. Presently I use Facebook, MySpace and I'm a Twitter Junkie too. Do they have classes for that? Social Media Marketing is hot right now and for good reason. Many companies and people are using it to brand themselves, listen to their customers, and help to drive the one thing we all crave "website traffic".

If you're not sure where to start, here's a nice list of 122 Social Media Sites which also includes page rank. Very nicely done. Kudos to the author. Check it out

Monday, June 01, 2009

Too Much to Do??

I don't know about you but lately my "to do" list looks more like a scroll. It gets bigger and bigger by the week and many times I don't finish what I've started so I'm continually bringing tasks forward from week to week. Does all this sound familiar? We all have a lot of responsibilities from personal, to work, to hobbies so trying to cram it all into the space of one day is tough.

Need some help? I was browsing the net and found this wonderful article that includes 77 ways to get more done. It's very insightful and for an "old dog" even I learned a new trick or two. So don't let this languish in your "to do" file, rush over and see if there's a trick or two you can incorporate into your day in order to be more productive.