Archives for posts with tag: Internet

Phone call comes in before I’ve had my coffee. Man with a foreign accent says, “Ma’am, your computer has been attacked. Your operating system will be compromised, okay? You won’t be able to turn your computer on. Are you at your computer now?” Me: “No.” Him: “Go to your computer now and turn it on. Are you the person who uses the computer? Your computer has been corrupted, okay?” Me: “No. I’ve got state-of-the-art (security system).” Him: “(Security system) only protects against viruses. Your operating system has been corrupted and you won’t be able to turn your computer on. Go to your computer now and turn it on.” Me: “Who did you say you’re with?” Him: “This is Michael Jones with Windows. Go turn on your computer. I’ll wait until your computer is fully operational.” I hang up on him, go to the computer, turn it on. My security system tells me it performed a scan an hour ago and the computer is green-light secure across the board. Meanwhile, he calls back three times, getting my answering machine. Him (on the machine): “Ma’am, pick up the phone. Pick up the phone now.” On the fourth call, I pick up. Me: “I think you’re phishing me. Do not call back.” He doesn’t call back. Man! What was that about?

He did get the name of my security system. That’s relatively harmless, isn’t it?

I posted this on my Facebook Profile Page. Within seconds, twenty or so people posted that they’d received similar phone calls, in one case four in a week. It’s a scam. Apparently the caller would have directed me to a website, where my computer would have been sucked of its information and the operating system would indeed have been corrupted, at which point he would have tried to sell me a fix.

One FB friend said he led the guy on. Another had her phone company trace the call. Still more said they’d cussed the guy out before they hung up on him.

So there you have it, my friends. Beware of this latest pathetic attempt to steal your information.

New! Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, and Smashwords (all other readers including Kobo, Sony, and Apple). Short fantasy and science fiction by Lisa Mason published in magazines and anthologies worldwide.

From the author of Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) on Nook, US Kindle, UK Kindle, and Smashwords, The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, and UK Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, and UK Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, and UK Kindle.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more, on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a work, please “Like” it, add a bunch of stars, write a review on the site where you acquired it, blog it, Tweet it, post it, and share the word with your friends.

Your participation really matters.

Thank you for your readership!

When I first turned my attention to Twitter in early 2012, I didn’t think much of it. My account was plagued with the “Blank Page Bug” that afflicted new users at that time. There was a way-too-complicated workaround. I couldn’t be bothered.

I liked Facebook, used it almost daily for community building and book promotion. How good could a social net like Twitter be when you can only use 140 characters?

The bug got fixed in January 2013, and I discovered I liked Twitter a lot. People promote their books relentlessly (which is fine by me; more about Book Promotion in another blog) and with less guilt than on Facebook where you’re supposed to tone things down (more about that later, too) and be all touchy-feely. The Twitter newsfeed zips by so fast and each Tweet is even more ephemeral than Facebook posts, so there is a feel of fluidity about it I like.

Moreover, I soon discovered a community of people who were happy to Retweet book promotions and posts about writing, far more so than on Facebook. Twitter turned out to be a lot of fun, with more of a community spirit than you might imagine.

And when I Tweet my books, they sell.

I’m sold.

In a scant six months, with several long stretches of offline time to finish books and retool my office, I’ve built 3,050 Followers on Twitter at @lisaSmason. Wow!

(By contrast, it took me three years to build 4,677 Friends on my Facebook Profile Page, poking along since the January 2013 launch of my Facebook Author Page along at 484. Ten years ago, as a traditionally published author, I had 26,000 books in print of one title alone. Those pesky numbers aren’t quite lining up yet like I want them to.)

Now, then.

In my quest to build my Follower list, I stumbled upon several automated Tweets in the feeds of people I was Following, to the effect of, “My daily stats, 50 new Followers, 2 Unfollowers.” There are several apps that do something similar with different app names, True Twit Validation and other variations of justunfollow. But justunfollow.com was the one I clicked on.

It’s a very good site with a very good basic free service. (As with all such sites, more sophisticated apps cost you money.) The free service searches your Following list and pulls out those people who have not Followed you.

Why does that matter?

You want to keep your Following/Follower ratio balanced, for starters. At the risk of adding a whiff of junior high school, you don’t want to be perceived as following a whole lot more people than those who follow you.

And second, people you follow who don’t follow you don’t do you any good. You could Tweet your heart out, but they won’t see it, won’t Retweet it, won’t connect you to more people. But when they Tweet, their Tweets may clog up your feed.

Justunfollow spits out a list of these people—people you’ve Followed who don’t Follow you. Unless someone is important—say, a movie rights literary agent who doesn’t follow you or anyone, but whose Twitter name is good to hang onto in case you need to Tweet or Message him—delete them all. Frankly, they’re of little use to you, socially or professionally.

So far, so good!

Once I opted in to justunfollow, I noticed the “Daily stats” Tweets showing up in my feed, but I was Tweeting so much, it didn’t dawn on me that such Tweets are two things: (1) dead Tweets with no content, and (2) free advertising for the app—at my expense.

I finally got the message when I went offline for three weeks to seriously retool. Came roaring back into Twitter to resume building up my community and crafting my book promotions and lo! there were “Daily stats” Tweets for three weeks straight.

I was horrified! Manually deleted them all. A misguided Follower actually Retweeted a bunch of them. After working hard to build relationships and craft a campaign for my 27 book titles on three retailers, I would have much preferred a black hole during the time I was offline than a slew of automated dead Tweets.

What to do?

I can’t advise you on the other automated apps, but on justunfollow.com go to the home page. At the left of the screen is an orange list of options. At the bottom of the list, is the option Automate. Click on that. You’ll go to a menu of choices, the first of which is “Post my daily stats.” That choice is default-checked.

Uncheck that box! Uncheck it now!

The founder of the site assured me you can use all the other functions, such as editing your Following list, without the “Daily stats” message clogging up your finely crafted feed.

So there you have it, my friends. Use automated list management apps, by all means, but search around for their self-promotion agenda. Don’t make it your own.

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, and UK Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, and UK Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, and UK Kindle.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more, on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a work, please “Like” it, add a bunch of stars, write a review on the site where you acquired it, blog it, Tweet it, and spread the word to your friends.

Your participation really matters.

Thank you for your readership!

Has the word “Internet” become a verb for you yet?

As in “I’ve got to go Internet//work//write//eat dinner//sleep”?

Or “Bye, I’m Internetting//walking//watching a movie”?

I’m writing, blogging, and Internetting right now!

Just remember, the verb “to phone” derived at the turn of the last century from that new-fangled invention, the telephone. The noun quickly became a verb. “I’ll phone you.” (Yeah, right.) And the adjective “phony,” meaning someone is fake or disingenuous, also derives from telephone.

So what do you think the new adjective for someone fake and disingenuous on the Internet will be?

Netty?

Bloggy?

There are bots and icons, of course, but those terms don’t have the same punch.

Send me your ideas! I’ll publish them here.

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, and UK Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, and UK Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, and UK Kindle.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more, on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a work, please “Like” it, add a bunch of stars, write a review on the site where you acquired it, blog it, Tweet it, and spread the word to your friends. Your participation really matters.

Thank you for your readership!

Every now and then Network Solutions, my website host for http://www.lisamason.com, changes everyone’s FTP password, doesn’t send a notice this has been done, and doesn’t have a menu where you can see the new password. So when you go to update your website, you can’t connect to the server and instead get a notice listing 10 different arcane things that could be the problem.

Don’t you hate it when some tech thing that worked perfectly fine before suddenly doesn’t?

It makes me CRA-ZEE.

Two customer service phone calls later, we finally nailed down problem, and I have now learned how to go to a page where you still can’t see the new password, but you can change it to a password of your choice. So I don’t have to freak out, curse violently, or punch my fist through a window the next time this happens. I can calmly take care of it myself.

I sure wish Network Solutions would send a notice when they roll in there and change my password “for security purposes.” They sure send me lots of emails pitching all the other stuff they’d like to sell me.

Visit me at http://www.lisamason.com. Please!