published Friday, June 24th, 2011

Tech Talk: Verizon to shift from unlimited data plans


by Donnie Jenkins

Here are some recent stories I’m following for you.

* It looks like Verizon will finally bury its unlimited data-plan strategy for smart phones next month. Several sites report that the company will soon begin a tiered approach to charging for data. This was probably inevitable as the company moves deeper into next-generation 4G data technology.

* Forbes.com recently published an article by Kashmir Hill that touches on a problematic subject for those who are job-hunting or who need to maintain an online presence for their business dealings.

The article reports that the Federal Trade Commission recently gave its blessing to a background check service that use Internet posts on Facebook and elsewhere in evaluating job applicants. To me, the most potentially damaging aspect of this is that offhand comments and even joking remarks can get archived in such a way as to prejudice future employers or associates.

I’ve touched on this several times in the past, and it’s a good idea to remember that sometimes it’s not so much what you say but rather where and in what context it is repeated or archived that matters. This is especially important in business and public relations of any kind.

* One of the best documentaries ever produced is “The Corporation,” available on DVD. This film is blunt in its description of some businesses’ corporate misadventures, but it is also helpful in presenting alternatives for businesses who want to avoid doing damage. Go to thecorporation.com for more information on this film.

* Facebook pages have become a marketing must for businesses, and there are countless companies that offer to make building or adding to a page more simple and powerful. I’d like to briefly mention a few of these out of the hundreds that exist.

North Social may be the best buy overall for simple and quick page-building tools. It offers a suite of applications for one monthly fee. I have used demos of a few of these apps, and they look very impressive.

Wildfire is another company that has been very useful to for Facebook users. Until recently it concentrated on promotions such as sweepstakes and contests, but recently it has added several services.

Techcrunch recently published a story on its newest effort, the “Social Marketing Suite.”

Included in this effort is Page Manager, a template-based page designer that allows several tabs. Messenger is designed to schedule posts and deal with comments and incoming communications. Dashboard is an analytical tool that purports to go beyond even Facebook’s tracking tools for business. Impressive, if true.

It appears that these new tools may be intended for high-end customers, but pricing has yet to be announced so we’ll see.

Finally, Involver offers a suite of Page solutions, somewhat like North Social, but the service offers free use up to a point, allowing you to try each out as you like.

Email Donnie Jenkins at donniejenkins@yahoo.com.

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