Just got a letter from the FBI! (How did they know my email! Amazing…)

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation
Dept: Anti-Terrorist & Monetary Crimes Division
Office: Washington, D.C. Headquarters
Address: J. Edgar Hoover Building 93 Pennsylvania Avenue, Nw Washington, D.C. 20535-0001
E-mail: robertmueller_fbi-washington-dept.org@mail.mn


This is to officially inform you that a Citibank of London have transferred funds worth $4.6 Millions of United States Dollars with your name as the beneficiary.
This Citibank knows that they do not have enough facilities to effect this payment from their location to your account and therefore they used what is known as
Secret Transit Diplomatic Payment (S.T.D.P) to do this transfer and they are currently awaiting a confirmation from you for final crediting to your account.
Secret Transit Diplomatic Payments are not made unless the funds are related to terrorist activities, so if you are not intending to finance terrorism and your
transaction is legitimate, why then did you agree to receive these funds through this means that was used instead of a direct transfer to your account?

Our findings shows that this method of transfer was used in the past to finance terrorist acts, so there is need to correct this problem now to avoid you getting
into trouble when the funds reflects in your account. Under the United Nations monetary rules it is our duty as a worldwide commission to correct this little
problem before this fund will be credited into your personal account. Due to the increased difficulty and security measures set up by the United States for the
transfer of funds from foreign banks, the FBI foreign bank commission have stopped the transfer on its way to debit your reserve account and pay you through
a secured diplomatic transit account (S.D.T.T) we govern and oversee funds transfer for the World Bank and the rest of the world.

We have decided to contact you directly to acquire the proper reifications and prove from you in order to ensure that the money you are about to receive is
clean and legal. The funds are right here in United State in your name, but the bank has been instructed not to release the funds to anybody until we have
finalized our investigations. Note that the funds will not be credited into your personal account until the needed document is provided.

Your duty is to prove to us that the funds you are about to receive is a clean and the only way to prove that is by sending us this Diplomatic Immunity Seal Of Transfer
(DIST). You are to forward this document to us immediately if you have it in your possession, if you don’t have it let us know so that we will direct you where
you will obtain it so that your funds can be released. This document is to be issued to you from INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUNDS UNIT.

The Diplomatic Immunity Seal of Transfer (DIST) often referred to as a Criminal History Record or Rap Sheet, is a listing of certain information taken from
fingerprint submissions retained by the FBI in connection with arrests and, in some instances, federal employment, naturalization, or military service.
This Condition is Valid until 5 days after which the funds shall be confiscated and legal action will be taken against you.

Guarantee: Funds will be released upon confirmation of the DIST document.

Final Instruction;

1. Credit payment instruction: irrevocable credit guarantee.

2. Beneficiary has full power when validation is cleared.

3. Beneficiaries bank in can only release funds.

4. Upon confirmation from the world bank / united nations.

5. Bearers must clear bank protocol and validation request.

We have confirmed that the amount required to procure your document which is called the Diplomatic Immunity Seal of Transfer (DIST) will cost you a
total of $550 USD only and the fee should be paid directly to the PAYMENT OFFICE IN UNITED STATE via Western Union Money transfer.
Once you have sent the required information to I.M.F Unit, they will contact you with instructions on how to make the payment of $550 USD only for the procurement
of your (DIST) DOCUMENT, to enable her expedite action on the processing and release of your payment without any further delay.

You have hereby been authorized /guaranteed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to commence towards completing this transaction, as there shall be
NO delay once payment for the (DIST) DOCUMENT has been made to the authorized agent.

NOTE: We have requested for the DIST document to make available the most complete and update records possible for the enhancement of public safety, welfare
and security of Society while recognizing the importance of individual privacy rights. If you fail to provide the Document to us, we will charge you with the
financial crimes. The United Nations Department of Justice Order 556-73 establishes rules and regulations for the subject of an FBI Identification Record to
obtain a copy of his or her own Record for review. The FBI Criminal Justice Information Service (CJIS) Division processes these requests to check illegal
activities and once you have completed payment of $550 to the agent in charge of this transaction, you’re advised to keep us posted to enable us follow up

with the release of your payment and Act fast.




China has 280,000 people working on their online reputation, but they can still use some help.

I was reading yesterday about how China apparently has 280,000 people who work full-time on China’s online reputation – including lots of social media.
It’s what is often called astroturfing – making everything look nice even when the way you are doing it is fake. (Incidentally in our reputation management we don’t get involved in commenting or creating fake strings of conversations – we think there are better ways to work on your reputation.

This is an article about online Chinese Astroturfing.
Incredible! More than 1/4 of a million people doing Reputation Management! We have just 14 people and we manage to do a lot of nice things for clients…. Not sure what I would do with that many people, but probably I’d be making more money doing it than they are…

Anyway, so I decide to see how good a job they are doing for China.

I Google ‘China’ and I see this:

China defaced to chinkville?

A bigger view:

Needless to say, I was shocked! Someone defaced their Wikipedia page (they changed the word China with ‘Chinkville’ and then Google cached the defaced version!

So I checked the Wikipedia page and found that it had actually been defaced for only a minute (they must have people with fingers on the trigger 24/7!) by a guy called Canoftuna (who has been banned from Wikipedia for vandalizing webpages) and then someone with the handle “S h i v a (Visnu)” changed it back.

Wow! it was only there for less than a minute, but Google cached it during those few seconds?! How likely is that?

Actually it makes perfect sense. Google gets pinged by Wikipedia (or blogger or wordpress, etc.) when changes are made. When it’s a popular page on Wikipedia it gets cached right away. Changing it back also sends Google a Ping but how seriously will Google take 2 notifications within the same minute – not very.

So if I had 280,000 people working on this I would have, say 1, or maybe 1,000 of them do the following. When someone attacks your Wikipedia page, revert it back to how it was, then come back after an hour or more and make an additional but more significant change – like adding a paragraph etc. Google would then be more likely to return and re-cache it correctly.

Actually if you have 280,000 people working for you, you could have them test various scenarios and find the ideal amount of time to wait.

So my dear Chinese army of Rep Management workers… let me know if you need any help. I noticed that you have the New York Times result for China pretty high up. They tend to criticize your country a lot. That can be lowered, you know…. (wink, wink)

Healthy Office Food

I was recently speaking with a colleague who also runs a small office and we were talking about what food we provide for our staff.
He said his staff had been buying doughnuts and had now branched out into breakfast tacos!

Five Blocks provides a light lunch – or rather we have a fridge with various ingredients from which one can make their own lunch.

Over the past few weeks I am trying an experiment, purchasing somewhat healthier food to see how people like it.

We are now buying: Fruits, Vegetables, whole grain bread, tuna fish, frozen fish, low-fat yogurt, peanut butter, humus…
We have long been avoiding: Sugary drinks, Sugar-free drinks (we have a water cooler – so people can make their own tea, lemonade, etc.), pizza, hamburgers, doughnuts

Our Nespresso machine is still pumping out great coffee in various varieties including decaf…

Jury is still out on pretzels, tea biscuits, crackers…

Having an influence over what people eat ever day means the company could actually be a good influence on people’s health – we’ll see about that.
The changes we are trying are actually also being influenced by several people in the office who are making a serious effort to eat healthier foods, some avoiding meat, etc.
So far people seem to be happy. I will keep you posted….

Big Company – Small Company- Rep Management for Exxon Mobil

In our various businesses we work with various sized companies – some huge ones and others tiny.
As we have grown from 2 people to 12 over the past 5 years, I am constantly aware of the potential pitfalls of growing too big. At 2 people we could make any change to our websites or strategies immediately – at 12 people we need to talk to various people in the group to make sure our changes match their plans, don’t ruffle any feathers, etc.

Big companies take a lot longer to get things done. This is something we need to avoid in the Reputation Management business. Time is everything. But sometimes it’s just inexcusable. Exxon’s oil spill in Alaska happened in 1989 but yet when you Google “Exxon” you still see, prominently displayed, negative results!

I can’t believe Exxon doesn’t care. Either they don’t know that you can use Reputation Management to promote your online reputation and cause these results to drop lower – or they know this, but they can’t get their act together.

So, if you’re listening Exxon Mobil … contact us and we’ll do the first month free! What we charge is chump change for you anyway!

What if Matt Cutts told you all his secrets?

On Saturday in Alon Shvut I tend to spend some time schmoozing in the park while my kids play. It’s one of the main reasons I enjoy living here. So yesterday someone asks me about Google’s secrets and how much it would help me if I just knew Google’s secrets.

My answer? Not that much. I don’t think that knowledge is the biggest issue in SEO Success. I feel like we know what needs to be done – getting real sites to talk about our company and products in the correct context – getting links from the right kind of natural sites etc. When we’re not doing these things we are trying to make it look like we did these things. The most interesting information that Matt Cutts and his Webspam team have is probably information on how people are trying to beat the system – all the shtick that people pull etc. But that stuff won’t really get you far because presumably those are the holes they are filling as they become aware. Also you can’t create a long-term business based on using some loopholes.

I don’t feel like there are secrets out there that would help me all that much. I think that SEO’s would probably do better just building their sites and doing everything they can to make them either popular or make it look like they are popular (hint: sometimes it’s easier to actually do something interesting than to pretend to do something interesting…) and leave the chase after Google’s secrets to someone who is bored!

It would be interesting to know what Bing has in store for us – I am personally hoping the after Bing and Yahoo combine there will actually be a significant competitor to Google in the Search Engine space. I never like all my eggs in one basket.

Increasing the Omega 3 in your Steak

A few weeks ago TED, that cool conference where people share ideas (watching all of those lectures is probably as valuable as going to college for a year..) held a Tel Aviv event called TedX Tel Aviv.
In any case, one of the speakers was talking about seaweed as being a key to cleaning carbon gas byproducts from oil refineries. He also talked about how fish are high in Omega 3 because they eat seaweed.

Anyway, the other day i bought a can of sardines to increase my Omega 3’s and while eating it – it wasn’t too tasty, I was thinking…

Why don’t we feed cows seaweed – I figure its more like grass than the corn we feed them now (at least in the US) and if they can get absorb the Omega 3 then the steak we eat should be more healthful. A quick search on Google shows that various people have already suggested adding seaweed to cow diets as a way to lower “gas emissions” from cows, which cause 20% of all greenhouse gasses…

Food for thought?

Thinking Outside the box – A cell Phone Example

See below from the Los Angeles Times today.

I think its a great idea…
I am wondering whether there are other ways to utilize the public and devices they are carrying for the greater good.
The free Mobile GPS App – WAZE uses crowd-sourcing to provide information on traffic jams (and speed traps).
Food for thought…

Teaching phones to smell danger

Today’s cellphones have the technology to take photos, record videos, check stocks and play games.

Now the Department of Homeland Security is teaming up with high-tech firms to develop a cellphone that could also thwart terrorist attacks.

The department’s science and technology arm is spearheading a plan to give cellphones the ability to sniff out dangerous chemicals. If successful, the phones could help detect chemical attacks at airports, train stations and subway stops, the agency said.

In 2007, the department called on companies to develop the danger-sensing technology. Now it’s pushing ahead, working with wireless technology developer Qualcomm Inc., camera lens specialist Rhevision Technology Inc. and NASA.

As they are envisioned, these cellphones would sound an alarm if they sensed a noxious gas such as chlorine.

But if the phone detected something more deadly, such as sarin gas, it could send a message directly to authorities, using GPS technology to pinpoint the location of the gas.

If the idea works, every person armed with a cellphone could become a sentry against terrorist attacks. Nearly 90% of the U.S. population owns a cellphone.

That’s about 277 million phones sniffing the air for trouble.

My Travels – A MEME (first time for me)

rules: Fill in the following questions

  • My best trip ever…
    2 week Kenya Trip with safaris with Ofi and Daniel (4) and Yonatan (2)
  • My worst trip ever…
    probably a transatlantic flight where they seated me in the very last row – back when the last few rows were smoking!
  • Most important thing I ever lost on a trip…
    nothing comes to mind
  • Most important thing I ever forgot to take on a trip…
    one of the kids?
  • Thing I miss most when I’m away…
    My family
  • Thing I miss least when I’m away…
    babies keeping me up at night
  • Favorite travel partner…
    My wife, Ofi
  • Place I hope to travel to someday…

Sphinncon Israel 2010

Sphinncon SMX Jerusalem 2010
This past Sunday afternoon Barry Schwartz hosted a mini-SMX in Jerusalem, Israel. Vanessa Fox joined him from the US as well. A short, relaxed version of SMX. Nice event – loved that it was so close to our office! It was good seeing my friends and colleagues from various places in Israel who made their way through the mountains to Jerusalem on what turned out to be a beautiful springlike day!

I spoke about Reputation Management Pitfalls and I will share the main points.
Note: when I say reputation management I mean getting negative results for your keyword out of the top 10 in Google.
1) Understand what your client really wants – it’s not always what they tell you at first. Dig deeper.
2) The goal is to “own” the top ten in Google and other search engines by working with Google – create and promote sites full of relevant content and get authoritative and/or topic-relevant links.
3) Don’t confuse Rep Management with SEO – it’s not a good idea to overdo the linking process – you will end up making your job more difficult – you will need to compete with yourself to move more sites into the top ten.

I will post the presentation on Slideshare soon.