Everything Internet and Web Marketing

Well the Digital Media and Marketing study group has come to an end. We just about covered everything digital media and marketing. We concluded that the Internet is a fascinating space, it is evolving rapidly and the next technologies are promising and exciting. Incidentally, the last session to be held on March 26 2016 was merged in with the fifth session as we had a centre scheduling issue. I'd like to thank UBC Humanities 101 Community Programme and Wil in particular for helping us have this learning and social experience. I certainly look forward to the next time we study the World Wide Web and all its digital technologies.

Digital Media and Marketing Study Group

**** A New Community Study Group ****
Just About Everything Digital Media and Marketing

And All the SEO Facts, Fiction, Ethics and Opportunities We Can come Up With

When: every second Saturday starting Jan. 16, 2016 from 1 – 3:00 PM

Where: ARA Mental Health Drop-In Centre, 163 W Pender

Whether you are new to the Internet and want to participate or have extensive experience to share, this think tank / help forum is for you.

All interested are welcome to participate!
(refreshments and small snacks– available during break for participants)

The initial pilot study group will cover these six modules:
Jan. 16, 2016 - Search Engines, Job/Family/Friends Search and SEO
Jan. 30, 2016 - Emailing, Communication and General Internet Security
Feb. 13, 2016 - Social Media – Privacy Issues, Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Business Promotion
Feb. 27, 2016 - Exploring Cyberculture: Influence, Impact and Relevance to Contemporary Society
Mar. 12, 2016 - Blogging for Sharing Art, Open Journaling, Activism, Politics, Recovery, Industry and Technical Writing …
Mar. 26, 2016 - Online Internet Marketing, Ebay, Craigslist, Kijiji …

A Joint Project Sponsored, Supported and Facilitated by UBC Humanities 101 Community Programme, Recovery by Design and ARA Mental Health Advocacy

Examinations of Facts, Fiction, Ethics and Opportunities in Everything Digital Media

When: Every Second Saturday from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Next session February 13, 2016
Where: ARA Mental Health Drop-In Centre, 163 W Pender
Facilitators: Fred Joly Recovery by Design and Hum Program Assistant Wil Steele
Resource Room and Venue: ARA Mental Health Action, Research and Advocacy

All skill levels from experts to the curious join in discussion of a variety of relevant digital media subjects. All perspectives could be explored but the focus of each session is to highlight the advantages individuals can have by introducing digital media in their lives. Opportunities to learn new forms of communication with friends, family and other support networks is always encouraged. Fears and misunderstandings are cleared in order to assist others in escaping isolation and offering them a vessel for either public or private creative expression. In these capacities, both aspiring artists and those seeking additional recovery related tools could be greatly benefited. Help will be on hand to get newcomers started with email, social media, blogging and other networking accounts. Skill sharing is expected.

Digital Media and Marketing Study Group

Digital Culture and its Effects of Contemporary Society

February 27th 2016 from 1:00 to 3:00 PM we were thoroughly captured by Wil Steele’s presentation on cyber-culture and the effects on society. From what I gathered of his tech blog, cyber-culture is one of his favourite topics of discussion and he masterfully shared tons of interesting information stored in his brain.

We started with cyber-psychology and how people have changed as a result of cyber-culture. We went as far back as the Internet goes when it was originally created to be complete open sourced and free to use as one wished. The object was to allow unfettered access and use completely free of charge; essentially everyone’s computer could act as a server. Governments and corporations didn’t want anything to do with all this free stuff and have created interference for users in one form or another since.

Wil differentiated between the Internet and the world wide web (WWW). The WWW is everything that is available to be view in an Internet browser while the Internet itself constitutes much more include including everything digital such as Usenet, FTP, the dark web …

We sped through the differences between copyright, copyleft and creative commons. These are the various limitations author can use whenever anyone wants to duplicate their original content.

He went through some of the options the government has when dealing with offensive web sites. It’s difficult to shut down a server but fairly common to shut down domain names. Corporations and governments have been squabbling forever about what one or the other can or cannot do. Wil talked about how corporations worry of net neutrality. This is a competition for bandwidth between streamers and service providers. Service providers have started throttling streamers who upload to a degree where uploads are often ten times slower than downloads.

A question regarding how importance could one person’s opinion be in the vast sea of opinion sharing Internaut’s was answered with the saying that it only takes one person to start a movement.

A bit of media control was discussed. It was understood that any digital communication passing through foreign servers can be intercepted and used as grounds for criminal charges. We concluded that an email sent by a .ca email address to another .ca email address would probably be exempted in spite of the message going through foreign servers.

We considered how texting is beginning to render cursive handwriting obsolete to the point that many of today’s children do not write in cursive.

We also determined that the English language is by far the leading business language of the Internet and in itself is constructed to assimilate and suppress other languages.

People are getting physically lazier by the day as a result of mobile privatization; experiencing the world at the comfort of your own couch.

Aside from all that, we covered a bit about DNS (domain name servers), the HTML language and stuff revolving around IP addresses.

We had our regular meal ticket draws and thanked Wil for his amazing presentation.

Social Media and Search Engines Explored More

A little bit of housekeeping. The free telephone guy that I wanted to bring over made sense after a bit of investigation. Wil demonstrated some apps and web sites that basically offer this already. Free Wifi is all over the place now and these free telephone apps are starting to cash in somehow. So I apologize for the guy who is essentially, simply selling $150 smart phones that his story was incredible but it's hard not to wonder about a poster that begins "(the name of these two dudes from the Eastside) they have seen the future, and it is GOOD. Free hi speed WiFi shall set u free. Free of telephone bills forever for calls almost anywhere in Canada. Will the zeal of missionaries, they plan to spread the blessings of affordable phone and communication services ..."

Next study group (Feb. 27 2016) we will be videotaping Wil's presentation on cyber-culture's effect on society. They'll be a quick question and answer session after each ten minute segment. We will be using this for a quick video editing in Youtube primer.

Now about this week's study group; Social Media. Once upon a time someone came up with the concept of web logging. That is when one would regularly provide short blurbs about this or that and update his ideas regularly. Soon someone else called it blogging and that took off pretty good. All of sudden micro-blogging came along complete with its hash-tags and limited characters. Twit heads spewed from news and fashion and movie sources into a bewildering chorus of burbling tweets. Facebook posts and G+ posts evolved into mainstream microblog platforms; Google figuring out a decent product a bit late in the game. We didn't even bother talking about such nuisances as Instagram and Pinterest let alone contemplate anything LinkedIn to anything.

We looked at most of the pros and cons of each platform. we then experimented with creating Facebook fan pages and Google+ Pages for our Digital media study Group.

As an experiment. We wrote a post that was available in the search engine results within five seconds and ranked second on the first page mainly because the search engine recognized that our IP address just wrote it.

We discussed how important it is to establish trust with the search engine by continually offering it unique and well crafted content. This included optimization of image attributes and videos. we demonstrated how social media triggers can effect search engine rankings. Fred pointed out that Google search results often contained G+ posts in the first page of results but rarely would show a Facebook fan page equivalent.

It was noted that when working with Google products such as Blogger and Google+ that it is better to use Google's Chrome browser. Other common web browser are often limited, malfunction or even completely non-responsive to Google products.

We had our meal ticket draw and a bit of a social and it all ended rather peacefully.

A Look at Email and General Online Communication Security

We held our second Digital Media and Marketing Community Study Group on January 30 2016. We had twelve participants attend the Email and Internet Security discussion and a couple of short demonstrations.

Email Communication and Internet Security Study Group

In opening, we thanked the Salish people for use of this beautiful land.

The session started off with a “In the News” item. Seems like Canada’s spy agencies are not only saving meta data but also sharing it with other spy agencies around the world. Amanda Connolly writes in ipolitics.ca “…a pair of reports that slammed the Communications Security Establishment for breaking the law and sharing Canadians’ metadata …” We talked about this for a few minutes and generally agreed that the spy agency’s claims that they never shared the actual content of Canadians’ emails but only shared the meta data was completely ludicrous.

We were supposed to get a presentation from Mike. He’s a DTES techie type that offers a $150 Smartphone with free telephone service for life. As this seemed too good to be true we invited him to give us the presentation but he failed to show up. The facilitator said he would try to coax the free-from-the-telephone-companies guy into coming back to the shark tank so we could tear his scam apart. That could be interesting.

We had a brief summary of last session’s main topics and then started into Internet Security stuff.

We talked about the panhandler from Los Angeles who started accepting credit cards swipes on his Smartphone as a measure to counteract passersby’s claims to only carry plastic. It’s a free app, why not. It’s just a matter of time when someone will figure out how to capture your credit card data with a swipe app and then industrious homeless people will be out of luck with this innovation.

One of the participants was asking about the various types of Internet marketing methods that are currently being deployed. We narrowed it down to search engine marketing, social media marketing, affiliate marketing and email marketing. This study group will only focus on the search engine and social media marketing options as the other two are becoming more obsolete each year.

We did talk a moment about robo-calling. This can be an effective means of communication and marketing however it comes with risks. We learned that in Google Hangouts, users can place telephone calls anywhere across Canada for free. The process of making Skype or G+ Hangout telephone calls could be automated, we concluded giving a bit of validity to our free-phone elixir salesman.

We had a demonstration on what was meta data in both an email message and in an HTML page. One identifies locators and users while the other is used to give the search engine or the Internet browser instructions. We looked at the HTML Title tag situated in the <HEAD> and was instructed that in fact this could be the most important tag in your entire web document.

We talked about how the search engine, the operating system and some software programs are design to collect intelligence from its users. This data was suggested to not only be used for security reasons but was likely for sale to advertisers in order to better target ad delivery.

We looked at how easy it was to place search engine ads on our own web pages and to generate residual income from web traffic that choose to go elsewhere. It was surmised that click-through fraud could easily be perpetrated by encourage others to click ads. We examined several ways in which web pages are intended to trick visitors into clicking through ads. We talked about “Internet visitors”, a new IT position that was created to exclusively go to web pages and click through advertisement. It was mentioned that most of these fraudsters have their operations overseas but do have satellite centres clustered throughput North America in order to appear to be more local. Unfortunately some Internet marketers take advantage of slave and even child labour in order to profit from click-through revenue generation.

We went through various functions of the <HEAD> and the <BODY> sections of web pages, looking particularly at meta, title, link, image, paragraph and heading tags.

We talked about Google's "engineering glitch" that caused its Google Mobile to capture household wireless network passwords while in the process of simply taking pictures of houses on the street. Fred concurred that if Streetview had this technology then what the heck was the Google mobile doing in our Parliament buildings? Fred also made us aware of the revelations that Edward Snowden (NSA whistleblower) leaked regarding tech companies including Google, Yahoo and Facebook that were working closely with American spy agencies by allowing unfeathered access to their servers.

Wil gave a very brief glimpse into his understanding of cyber culture and its impact on contemporary society. It was a good enough tease for his upcoming presentation on this topic February 27, 2016.

There was a brief discussion on how the search engine now uses localization and personalization to offer a more accurate search result for its users.

Finally, we examined a couple of the more traditional ways that people attempt to scam others out of money using the Internet.

The module closed with a draw for two free meals at the Evelyn Saller Centre.

Everything SEO 101, Search and Search Engines

We held our first Digital Media and Marketing Community Study Group on January 16 2016. We had two facilitators and five participants attend the Search Engine and SEO discussion and demonstration.

Digital Media and Marketing Study Group - Module 1


After a brief introduction of ourselves we got right into the nitty gritty of search engines right away. We went through a brief history of search engines and took the opportunity to introduce SEO (search engine optimization 101) and the need for it when deploying an Internet marketing campaign. We went through several types of the major search engines of today: Google, Twitter, Facebook, MSN, Ebay, Yahoo, Kijiji and Craigslist. We looked at how the volume of searches is continually increasing exponentially from two hundred million a month in 1993 to the billions of searches per day we see today.

We went through some the search operators that can be used to assist in refining searches and in assessing keyphrase competitors.

A lengthy discussion ensued about how to choose keyword phrases to highlight. Fred mentioned about the Adwords Keyword Planning Tool in order to locate additional relevant keyword phrases for an SEO campaign. Here are a couple of snapshots of what that looks like:
graphic of typing in keyword phrases
type in the keyword phrase and click Get Ideas
screen print of keyphrases software options
search frequency tests offer alternative keyphrases to consider
We took turns explaining our Internet ideas. They varied from one who wants to create an online newsmagazing to an engineer that wants a bit of an upgrade in the technology. One of our participants had a question regarding hiding her web pages from the search engine while using a blogspot subdomain. She cannot access the server and install a robot.txt file with instructions as to what not to crawl. We didn't have an answer at the time but in further consideration the problem could be solved by editing the template file to include a meta tag within the HEAD portion <meta name="robots" content="noindex, nofollow">.

We chatted a bit about the freedoms we have to write basically whatever we want to write.

We also talked a bit about how to emphasize keyword phrases so that the search engine knows they are important to you. Good page structure is more search engine friendly when paragraphs are separated by headings. Emphasis can be placed on words by capitalizing the first letter, using bold or italic, using the keyphrases in textual anchors, logical naming of images, videos and web pages ... using attributes to image tags. These things will all be covered again when we start getting into blogging.

Not mentioned during the group but knowledge of HTML is a definite asset when it comes to optimizing code for best search engine performance. Web pages should be validated for errors. Spelling needs to be immaculate. The better a writer a person is, the better an optimizer they'll be as the search engines value intelligently crafted and cared for content.

Fred ensured us that internal hyperlinks within your own site are just as valuable if not more so than setting about starting a link building strategy from external sources.

We had a bit of a snack and a little social time then closed up the study group around three in the afternoon. We are quite sure these first five participants will return on January 30th for the second study. Maybe some others will join in. As most of our topics are inter-related to some degree, we are just going to pick up where we left off last time.