Scam alert! Thanks Google image search! (Blog)

Alright, here we go again. I seriously can not imagine a mind that would go to such great lengths to attempt to scam someone. They dangled faith in God and money in front of my nose. Ridiculous. But, for the sake of teaching others how to check these things out using Google search tools, I decided to write this blog.

For those who don’t want the whole story, here’s the skinny:

Who: Mary0 on Soundcloud or Mary Swaggart on Facebook.

What: one of those “I’m sick/dying and I need help distributing my large sums of money to the poor” scams.

What to do: Ignore and dismiss their attempts to contact you

For those who want the dirty details and google search tips:

I was first contacted via soundcloud and asked for my email address (which is publicly available) so that she could send me an urgent message about a project.

Then, she contacted me on my Facebook fan page with a fake profile. We had a back and forth conversation. This is what she asked me to do if you care to read it.

marys

Yeah. Ridiculous. Just reading it will tell you it’s a scam. And, she had no info, uploads or identifying pics on her Soundcloud page. But, her FB page had a picture of someone hospitalized which seemed consistent with her story. So, I checked out the pic using Google image search. How? Easy. I learned how to do it on the “What is one cool internet trick you’ve learned?” thread on Reddit.

1) Right click the profile picture of the scammer and save to your desktop

jade

2) Go to Google.com images and click on the little camera in the search box.

googleimages

3)Choose the picture from your desktop or drag and drop if you have that option (be sure not to change the name of the photo)

googleimages2

4) Bam! Yeah, fake profile pic.

jadegoody

I know people use other people’s images as their profile pics all the time but, the fact that this person contacted someone they don’t know to distribute millions of dollars, got defensive when I said “no” and had no traceable connections or identity other than a very recent entry on “Apostles International Seminars” website that repeated the same vague info, screams “scammy scam scammer!”!

Oh yeah, also did a search on the bond company. While several entries made it look as if it is a company that actually exists, the fact that it turned up in posts on meetup message boards in spammy ways gives you a hint that it is being used for non legit purposes.

Now, I’m not completely savvy on ways to scam people so, I’m sure there are other details I’m missing. Just hope I can give you an idea of some basics to look out for.

🙂

Peace out.

Building a Fan Base: You’re Doing it Wrong

Fans

 

Not to be harsh but, really, this will not net you results. What will? Build real relationships with other musicians you admire. Play gigs with them if your compatible, comparable and on or near the same level in your careers. Or, share ideas. At the very least, get to know them first. Other musicians don’t exist to promote you. Of course, we all appreciate it if you are a musician who likes our music and shares it with your fans. I share the music of musicians I like with my fans because I like them and not because I owe them one for liking my page. That’s not what a fan is. And, trust me, you don’t want fans who are only “fanning” you out of obligation. You want fans who truly admire your work. 

So, go ahead. Introduce yourself. Even invite musicians to listen to your work or tell them about your projects. That’s awesome. But, the above…is just silly. 

Facebook pages: Upgrade NOW!!! (nerd blog)

Right now, they just let it loose..you can upgrade your FB page. Features include:

 

  • linking your Facebook page to your Twitter account directly (only FB to Twitter and not Twitter to FB)
  • latest pictures you’ve tagged your fan page in at the top (only pics you’ve tagged and not ones your fans have tagged – you’re still in control here) 
  • you can use the page as YOU. Meaning, you can interact from your personal profile and GET THIS when you do, you will see all the notifications for updates, likes, comments etc. FINALLY…some feedback from the page. AND, you no longer have to compulsively check your page to see if people have posted anything or responded to your posts. You can set notificiations.  Woo-hoo!
  • When you use it as YOU, you can also set a filter on your wall for postings from fans. 

Oh, this is nice, very nice. Can’t wait to see how it develops. Do it now! Or, go to your fan page and take the tour to see how it works then do it. Notice some of the differences here (locations of pics, recommended pages, navigation):

Upgrade

 

 

 

Sonicbids Reinvents the Wheel (Nerd Alert Blog)

But seriously, if you haven’t heard, Sonicbids is catching up to what’s cool and hip these days so, I don’t want to give them too much crap about it. They’ve done an awesome thing here allowing their users to sync their Sonicbids account with Facebook and allowing calendar dates and status messages to be synced with Facebook, Twitter, Myspace and Pure Volume. That is, if you are one of the artists that still inputs all your data into Sonicbids in the first place. Which leads me to the biggest WTH? ever: They still don’t import your dates from ArtistData even though THEY OWN ARTISTDATA!!! AAAARG! (Ok, I’m done) And, it seems that the “calendar updates” only apply to Pure Volume and the rest (FB, Myspace, Twitter) get status updates whenever you post a show with day-of-show postings to Twitter only. All of these things you’ve likely set up through other avenues already (ArtistData and Reverbnation) so, the best thing I can say about this is that it’s a huge leap forward for those artists who, for some reason, have not tried any other service but Sonicbids. 

Now, about the Sonicbids/Facebook artist profile page. A few things can be confusing so, let me give you a heads up:

1) If you are going to use this feature, be sure you’ve logged into your Sonicbids account and under “content” unmarked the box that would allow people to download your audio files for free. Unless, you want to give your music away for free. Then, let ‘er rip!

and

2) There seem to be two customization pages. One is on Sonicbids and is self explanatory. Nothing complicated or fancy here. It is what it is and it’s easy enough to use. The second is when you go to the application on your Facebook edit page and sync it up. I only got there once and it asked me to upload a profile photo (as if it was re-creating my fan page from scratch) which, once uploaded, never changed anything. Meaning, I uploaded a new profile pic for nothing because there is no existing page that has it. It also invited me to share the page, invite friends, etc. etc. Once I navigated away from the page, I never found it again. Weird.

Bells and whistles:

You’ve got a custom banner, you can lock some content so that only people who like your page can see it (Note: this only locks them out of the Sonicbids tab, so, if you have your music, videos and pics on another tab, it doesn’t do much for you.), you have pics, videos, calendar (if you have that in the Sonicbids database) and a twitter stream. Plus, share and follow links. Comments are empty until someone comments directly on the Sonicbids/Facebook tab. Not bad. Not bad at all. Though, I can’t see a lot of people switching to this if they already make use of other apps unless they really, really want the “lock out until liked” feature. You can actually code that yourself with custom pages but most people don’t want to go to the trouble. 

 

Here is what it looked like when I used it: 

See it at work here!

Sonic

 

So, again, if you are a faithful and exclusive Sonicbids user, this is good news for you. If you want an easy way to “lock until like” your FB content, this is an option.

You be the judge. Let me know what you think.

 – LM

 

 

(Updated!) FanBridge goes Facebook!

(Scroll to the bottom for the update!)

Woah! For those of you musicians who use FanBridge for email management, lucky you!! Lucky us! 

FanBridge just announced that it acquired damnthradio, Inc. which will enable you to create some sweet Facebook pages. Enablers! I love it. 🙂

Here is the article: FanBridge Acquires Damntheradio, Inc.

 

I’m going to have to give it some thought before I switch. Currently, I use BandPage by RootMusic:

Root

check out the bells and whistles here

They offer a free version that is a bit more basic. Customization will cost you $20 a year so, I’m wondering what the terms are for FanBridge integration. I’ve known them to be incredibly conscientious when it comes to working with musicians trying to stretch a dollar so, I’m betting it will be a good deal. It’s also a plus to have Facebook integration and email management in one place if you go the FanBridge route. 

 

Also, @makeitinmusic (a great follow, by the way) recently tweeted about MoonToast as a new way to sell, share and in all ways market your music on Facebook. It looks like they’ve included all the things a musician needs to connect with fans but you have to “request a demo” to get more info which tells me they are likely to be pricey or they are not targeting the indie musician. I want you to know I gave up my phone number to get info on this. Geez! I hate that I have to do that. It probably means I’m going to get a pushy sales call. I’ll keep you updated. 

 

 – LM

 

UPDATE: Guess what? MoonToast contacted me. Kudos to them for using email. No phone call. Yay!!! Ha-ever…(that was southern speak) all you get for free is a very (and I mean very) basic widget to sell music only. And, you have to click a link to get to it. (That is not helpful for impulse buying at all). So, in my opinion, it’s not as cool as RootMusic’s $20/year widget but, hey, it’s free. If you want MoonToast’s fancy-schmancy, full-fledged store like the one, say, Reba McEntire has (I still don’t think it’s as sweet as RootMusic’s) then you have to pay a very large set up fee plus make a minimum of $250/month. Ok, clearly for the big time artists with a lot of sales.  

Now I’ll have to wait and see what FanBridge has in store for us. 🙂

 

 

Hootsuite – Ima like this :)

I don’t know how I missed the boat on this one. I think I was just so obsessed with Twitter apps on Facebook that would work to update Fan Pages then just stop. I was so excited when Smart Twitter came out but just couldn’t keep it working. I kept getting error messages and having to uninstall/reinstall. Meh. 

After a while, I just resorted to using PING.fm when I had to post to my fan page and other networks simultaneously. It works fine but Hootsuite is far better because you get to see the streams, comments, etc. I only wish they had better instructions for adding fan pages to the mobile app. 

Here’s the trick. To add fan pages to the mobile Hootsuite app, go to (or create) your Hootsuite profile on your computers web browser first. You can’t do it on your phone’s web browser because it takes you to the mobile site which isn’t helpful at all. Once you’ve added all the accounts that you want to add (For me, that was two twitter accounts, foursquare, my FB profile and FB fan page), THEN download and install the Hootsuite app on your phone. Once you login to your Hootsuite account on the mobile app, click import and VIOLA! Yay! There it is. 

Perhaps I’m the last person on Earth to figure this out but, I know other people have had problems adding the fan pages (Hootsuite advertises the capability but not the process) so, I hope this well help someone out. If you’re like me and you downloaded the app first, just delete it and start over because there’s no other way to get back to the import/set up page otherwise. 

 

Happy Updating 🙂

Laura Marie