Google Yourself Page 1

Google Yourself: The Benefits of Having a Unique Name

Privacy can be hard to come by, and Google doesn’t make things any easier. Unless you’ve found a way to delete files and their backups, it’s pretty likely that anything you’ve ever uploaded to the Internet is available for the world to see. It’s just a matter of looking hard enough for it. That is why it is so important that you learn how to manage your online reputation.

The Assignment

For this week’s assignment, we had the task of Googling ourselves. I actually do this every once in a while just to see what information is out there about me. Fortunately, I have a pretty unique first and last name, so when you Google “Lynette Zilio”, the majority of the information that comes up is connected to me in some manner. When I Googled my name for this assignment, I wasn’t surprised to see that all nine results on Page 1 were of me. In fact, all of the results on pages 1-5 were of me. It wasn’t until I got to Page 6 that non-related search results started popping up.

The first three results on Page 1 referenced my Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter profiles. I use Facebook more than the other two, and while I use Twitter more than LinkedIn, I have more information about me on LinkedIn, so I’m assuming that’s why it came up second in the results. Result 4 is a pdf version of my resume that I uploaded as part of a blog I created when I was a journalism major at the University of Florida. I’m guessing it appeared so high up in the results because it has a high page rank. What I had never noticed before was the Google+ box that popped up on the right-hand side of my screen on Page 1. At first, I was worried that my personal Gmail address could easily be found by people who were Googling my name, but then I realized that, thankfully, only I could see those results.

Google Yourself Page 1

Results 5 and 6 are my Google+ and Pinterest accounts. But result 7 from the WhitePages wins the creepiest award! Not only does it include my age range, but also full names of “people I may know”, including my mom, dad and sister. Results 8 and 9 are accounts that I set up for work.

Google Yourself Page 1 (3)

Google Images

The images that popped up when I Googled my name were either pictures of me, pictures that had been featured in newspaper articles I had written or pictures of people in my Google+ circles (Jason and Steven from our class made the cut!), which further emphasizes the importance of having a presence on this platform. In the fourth row of images, Google included pictures of people with my same last name, but I didn’t know any of them (Maybe they’re distant relatives. Who knows?).

Google Yourself Images

Googling my Email Address

When I Googled my email address, eight of the 10 results were connected to me somehow. Among these results were my Google+, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts, a website I used to write for called “The Stinc,” a “Denver Post” article I was featured in and articles I’ve commented on for work. The only result that really through me off was Result 9. I have no idea who Jikai Chen is or why I appear on his page, but apparently he also went to UF.

The two results that didn’t have to do with me were of people with my same first name. What I found most interesting was that my actual email address isn’t publicly shown on any of these pages, but simply typing it in Google generated these results. In other words, Google knows that that email address is associated with me.

Google Yourself Email Address

Google Yourself Email Address 2

Final Thoughts

Google is only as powerful as we let it be. If you’re careful about what you do when you’re online, it’s easy to maintain a good online reputation.

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CVS Mobile App Home Screen

CVS Pharmacy Mobile App Review

cvs-pharmacy-logo

I wouldn’t quite call myself an addict, but I would definitely say I’m a frequent CVS shopper. The stores are so brightly lit and well organized that it’s almost impossible to resist the urge to step inside, even when you don’t actually need anything. For this week’s assignment, I decided to review the CVS pharmacy mobile app. I had heard so many good things about it from friends of mine that I figured it would be a good one for me to try out.

The Features

The home screen of the CVS mobile app has a very user-friendly layout. Each category has its own section, making it easy for you to know exactly where you need to go to do what you need to do.

TIP: Immediately after downloading the app, I’d recommend setting up an online CVS account to be able to take full advantage of its features. A few of the sections, such as creating your own shopping list, ask you to set up an account before proceeding. Setting up an account is quick and easy.

CVS Mobile App Home Screen

Pharmacy

Rather than having to call them in or order them online, you can use the pharmacy section of the CVS app to manage, view and refill your prescriptions. You can use Rapid Refill and order from your CVS account or scan the barcode of your prescription to refill your medication. You can even transfer prescriptions from one pharmacy to another without ever having to pick up the phone. One of the newest features in the pharmacy section is the Drug Interaction Checker, which lets you scan over-the-counter product bar codes to check for medication interactions.

CVS mobile app pharmacy

Photo

But CVS is much more than just a pharmacy. The app also features a section for your photos. In this section, you can upload photos from your online CVS account, your smartphone’s camera roll and even from Facebook for free same-day pick up. Being able to upload pictures directly from Facebook saves you from having to copy/save your Facebook photos to a folder on your computer and upload them to your CVS account.

CVS Mobile App Photo Ordering

Shop

This section allows you to shop as you would in the store or on the CVS website. You can create a virtual shopping list by searching through different item categories and selecting the picture of the item(s) that you want, or you can add items to your online shopping cart and then purchase them directly from there. In this section, you can choose whether you’d like to give the CVS mobile app permission to access your location so that it can find the closest store to you.

CVS mobile app shopping list             CVS mobile app shopping list detailed view             CVS mobile app Hialeah Stores

ExtraCare and Other Deals/Coupons

When you use your ExtraCare card to purchase something in the store, the cashier will typically hand you a ridiculously long receipt showing you all of your available coupons. The CVS mobile app features a section where you can upload your ExtraCare card to make it easier for you to track your savings and rewards. In other words, you’ll no longer have to walk around with all these long receipts in your purse because it keeps track of your available coupons digitally.

There’s also a brand new deals section called myWeekly Ad. It allows you to receive personalized deals on the items you buy most while still allowing you to see weekly store specials. Personally, I think this is a great concept. Some of the coupons I receive from CVS aren’t really useful, but with targeted advertising, I’d be more likely to use them. If you’d prefer not to have your frequent purchases tracked, you can choose to opt out of myWeekly Ad and just get information about the weekly deals.

CVS mobile app ExtraCare card                         CVS mobile app personalized ads

My One Criticism

To my knowledge, there’s no way for you to upload your gift card money like you can when using the Starbucks app. My grandma likes giving me CVS cards, and while I typically carry them in my wallet, it would be easier if I could upload their values directly to the app so that I wouldn’t have to worry about whether I have them on me. Do you think any other features are missing from the app?

Overall Take

The CVS app seems to be one of the most useful and user-friendly apps out there. I think we could all benefit from having it.

second_life_logo

Second Life: It’s even more complicated than the first

second_life_logo

For this week’s lecture on digital ethnography, we were asked to create a free account in Second Life (SL), a virtual community with almost 37 million residents. “Second Life offers a totally new experience for humans,” said SL’s creator, Philip Rosedale, in PBS’ Digital Nation documentary. And that’s exactly what SL was like for me — a totally new experience.

My Initial Reaction

I’m as far from a video gamer as they come. The closest I’ve come to regularly playing a video game was when I used to play the puzzle video game Chip’s Challenge on my first PC back in elementary school. But let me assure you that that did little to prepare me for SL.

Signing up for SL was pretty straightforward. I went to secondlife.com and signed up for a free account. I was asked to create a unique username for my avatar, so I chose “linnyz” because I didn’t feel comfortable using my actual name. It seems most people pick something other than their real name, so I wasn’t alone.

My Avatar

Once I was signed in to SL, I began creating my avatar. I had trouble deciding on an avatar because I wanted to present an integrated self, but none of the girls looked like me. Ultimately, I decided based off of which one’s outfit I liked best (such a girl thing to do, I know). I initially chose the avatar pictured left, but when I started the game and discovered that she was the “goth” one, I changed my avatar to the one pictured right because I felt it reflected my overall look/personality a bit more.

Goth Avatar Second Life                         Girly Avatar Second Life

When the game started, I was dropped off on an island surrounded by pirate ships. There were about four to five other people on there with me, but I couldn’t figure out what to do or how to interact with them. Before I was able to really orient myself with this new environment, I received my first chat from the residents on the island. In it, they were introducing themselves. One spoke Spanish and the other Portuguese, so I jumped in and said “Hello,” but the conversation ended there. Maybe it was because they didn’t speak English? I then tried flying over the ocean, and I have to admit, it was pretty cool because it gave me a sense of freedom. But after seeing minimal activity on the island, I chose another destination.

Chat Conversation 1 Second Life

My next destination was called “Hesperia Templemore”. It was dark, and there was weird rock music blaring in the background, so I tested out my avatar’s running skills and tried to find out where the music was coming from. I came across a deserted motel and a nearby bar. The bar was closed, but I was still able to enter through the side.

Motel and Second Life

I descended down the bar’s staircase, and at the bottom of it, I came across instruments and a notice that asked me to give a donation to “support live music in SL.” I opted not to donate and moved on to another destination.

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 7.34.08 PM                                  Support Live Music Second Life

My third destination was “Prehistorica: The Dawn Kingdom”. I was so confused by all the rules here, but fortunately, received help from a fellow resident named Eric who’s been playing the game for four years. He gave me a landmark called “Help Island Public”. I wasn’t quite sure what a landmark was, but it seemed like it was a tutorial, so I accepted it.

Helpful Resident 1 Second Life

Eager to find a destination with more people, I ended up selecting from among the editor’s picks because I figured they’d be more entertaining. I decided to check out “Rez Nightclub and Mall”. There was a live DJ playing original dance songs for a packed house, but, unfortunately, no one seemed friendly and I didn’t receive any welcoming chat messages.

Free Dance Club Second Life

Later, I ended up at Luskwood Lusk, another dance-type party. Here, the DJ was playing songs like “Material Girl” by Madonna and “Lovesong” by the Cure. Someone in the chat was looking for a fitted ladies top for her avatar, so one of the other residents sent her a suggestion. I’m still baffled by the fact that you can buy virtual clothes for your avatar.

Clothes and Second Life

I then chose to go to New Citizens Incorporated. Here, I tried to change my avatar’s appearance because I wanted it to look more like me. One of the female residents saw how much I was struggling and actually sent me a notecard containing instructions on how to change my avatar’s outfit.

Helpful Resident 2 Second Life Changing Appearance and Clothes and Second Life

 I tried following what she said, but ended up bald and without pants (eek!). So I undid my changes and tried changing her outfit again. Somehow, I managed to put her in a sexy school girl outfit. At this point, the avatar didn’t resemble me in the least. Well, at least, I tried.

Sexy Avatar and Second Life

For my final destination, I wanted to try Miami Beach since I’m from Miami, but, sadly, it was too full. Who knew virtual destinations could be at maximum capacity?! I have to admit, it felt kind of like not being on the VIP list for an exclusive party. Bummer!

Full Region and Second Life

My Take on SL

I found SL to be extremely confusing and wanted nothing more than to get out of this world. On the plus side, its residents were very friendly. Even still, I’ll take the real world and my real friends any day over SL.

Facebook and social media survey

Social Media Survey: Who’s using Facebook?

Facebook Use Among Different Age Groups

Facebook and social media survey

This week’s lecture and readings focused on how to use surveys and questionnaires. For our assignment, we were asked to familiarize ourselves with OpinionLabQualtrics, and SurveyMonkey, and then pick one of these services to help answer a research question we may be considering. After researching the three services, I concluded that SurveyMonkey would work best for what I was trying to achieve. OpinionLab seemed to be more for customer feedback, and Qualtrics was more academic-research based. Because I had never created a survey before, I wanted to make sure I chose a service that was straightforward and extremely user friendly.

I have decided to survey different age groups about their Facebook use. I first became curious about this topic at the end of last year when a study declared that Facebook was ‘dead and buried’ among UK teens. While I don’t know that many teens, this claim got me thinking…is Facebook use and enthusiasm waning among the youth in America as well? And how does it compare to Facebook use and enthusiasm among those 35 and up?

It’s safe to say that 99% of my friends, those ranging in age from about 21-34, have a Facebook and continue to use it weekly. This social media network continues to be a popular way for Millennials to connect with each other after meeting at an event or in class. In fact, almost everyone in my social media masters program has a Facebook. While these students do have other social media accounts, it seems that the majority use Facebook more often than they use their other social media networks. The same holds true for me. I have accounts with Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest and LinkedIn but still log on to Facebook more than any of the others. If Facebook use really is waning, then why does the network continue to be No. 1 among my friends?

While Facebook use among Millenials continues to be up for debate, in the last few years, it seems that the 35 and up demographic has steadily increased its Facebook use. I would venture to say that about half of the parents I know, my dad included, are on Facebook. Just to give you an idea of how much Facebook use among this generation is increasing – I solicited my dad’s help in spreading the word about my survey to his Facebook friends. He posted a status about it at 7 a.m., and by the time he left the house at 7:20 a.m., he had already received five comments from people saying they had completed the survey. Why is this demographic so interested in having a presence on Facebook?

My survey consists of the following questions.

  1. What is your gender?
  2. What is your age?
  3. What do you primarily use Facebook for?
  4. About how often do you view or access Facebook?
  5. Have you ever deleted your Facebook account?
  6. Why did you delete your Facebook account?
  7. What do you like most/least about Facebook?
  8. Please rank the following social media networks in order of preference: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+
  9. Since last year, how has your Facebook activity changed?
  10. How strongly do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Facebook is dead and buried.

With this survey, I’m hoping to find out who’s on Facebook and why and ultimately determine what Facebook can do to keep its current users engaged. As the SEO specialist and social media manager at my company, it is my job to figure out how to gain more followers on Facebook and what kind of posts will be most engaging. It would be interesting to learn how to better attract the 35 and up demographic because that is who makes up my company’s target customer base.

Stay tuned for the results in next week’s post! In the meantime, if you’d like to help me in my quest for knowledge, please feel free to take my survey.

MMC5427 Week 2 Assignment: H&M and SEO Keywords

H&M reaches sales goals without the help of SEO keywords.

H&M SEO Keywords Ad Campaign

I chose H&M as my multinational company.  The Swedish-based retailer, officially known as Hennes & Mauritz AB, is known for selling affordable clothing for women, men and children in 2,500 stores across 44 markets and online. Many of you have also probably seen the company’s minimalistic yet eye-catching advertising campaigns in shopping malls, on billboards or even in metro stations.

I thought it would be interesting to choose H&M for this assignment because the company only started selling its clothes online to U.S. customers last August. Before that, Americans had to visit one of its retail stores to get their hands on these affordable pieces. I was interested in seeing how H&M’s SEO stacked up against that of other multinational companies that have been using online shopping for much longer.

I predicted that H&M would be on the first page of Google for the following keywords, but I was only partly right.

  1. Discount clothing– Page 1, result #2 out of about 2,270,000,000 results.
  2. Discount clothing stores- Page 2, result #3 out of about 126,000,000 results.
  3. Discount men’s clothing- Beyond five pages.
  4. Discount women’s clothing- Beyond five pages, but H&M is mentioned at the bottom in the “searches related to” section. It’s interesting to note that Forever 21, one of H&M’s biggest competitors, takes the #2 spot for this keyword.
  5. Affordable men’s clothing- Beyond five pages, but H&M is mentioned at the bottom in the “searches related to” section.
  6. Affordable women’s clothing- Beyond five pages, but H&M is mentioned at the bottom in the “searches related to” section.
  7. Clothes on sale- Page 1, result #2 out of about  271,000,000 results. It was beat out only by Forever 21.
  8. Men’s clothes- Page 1, result #4 out of about 176,000,000 results.
  9. Women’s clothes- Page 1, result #4 out of about 177,000,000 results.
  10. Children’s clothes- Page 1, result #4 out of about 69,400,000 results.

H&M Coding Review

The coding for the company’s homepage does not contain any meta keywords, nor does it contain the words discount, affordableclothing or clothes. The word store, not stores, appears only in the form of “store locator” and “in- store”. Men’s and women’s clothes are referred to as “men’s fashion” and “women’s fashion”, which is why H&M did not rank high for the “men’s clothes” and “women clothes” keywords. The keyword children’s clothing was nowhere to be found. It’s interesting to note that, according to H&M’s coding, the most popular keyword on my list was sale. It was found a total of 62 times, but was not written as clothes on sale.

Conclusion

Based on these findings, I have come to a few conclusions. While SEO is an extremely important part of building a brand’s online presence, H&M realizes that people who are searching for its clothing, shoes and accessories online aren’t typing in keywords such as discount clothing; rather, they’re typing in hm.com and probably have been doing so even before it began selling to U.S. customers online. Once a brand establishes itself as the go-to brand for a particular category, in this case for affordable fashionable clothing, a lack of SEO for certain keywords can’t really take away from its success. In fact, immediately following the opening of its online store in the U.S., the company actually reported massive Q3 profit increase.

Overall, the company is still doing remarkably well for six out of the 10 keywords I selected. Perhaps its due to its presence on Google+, which has been the topic of many marketing case studies. Each day, the company connects with more than 940,000 people through photos, videos and exclusive content that reinforces its brand as a fashion lifestyle.