When somebody who used Facebook hears that the social media site is gathering data on them, the first thing they think about is what they have personally posted on their feed. The typical person can’t comprehend that Facebook is tracking much more than their updates.
Does this mean the typical person is ignorant of how data is collected? In a certain sense, yes.
But even when this ignorance is not present, most people will generally think first about what they have posted and shared on Facebook and not necessarily about what their computer, laptop or mobile devices was also doing in the background when they opened their Facebook.
Why not? Because their reference point is their personal experience on Facebook.
Facebook and Big Data
In reality, Facebook is data harvesting a pantheon of information beyond their updates and likes. According to an article published November 16, 2011, in USA Today, Facebook is constantly collecting data on both users and non-users of the site, tracking them across websites, none of which are owned by Facebook:
“Facebook officials are now acknowledging that the social media giant has been able to create a running log of the web pages that each of its 800 million or so members has visited during the previous 90 days. Facebook also keeps close track of where millions more non-members of the social network go on the Web, after they visit a Facebook web page for any reason.
“To do this, the company relies on tracking cookie technologies similar to the controversial systems used by Google, Adobe, Microsoft, Yahoo!, and others in the online advertising industry, says Arturo Bejar, Facebooks’ engineering director.”
Widespread Big Data Collection
The amount of data harvested by Facebook and other sites is jaw-dropping. As Bernard Marr put it in his February 8, 2014 SmartDataCollective blog post: “We as the users of Facebook happily feed their big data beast. We spend 10 billion Facebook messages per day, click the Like button 4.5 billion times and upload 350 million pictures each and every day. Overall, there are 17 billion location-tagged posts and a staggering 250 billion photos on Facebook.
“All this information means Facebook knows what we look like, who are friends are, what our views are on most things, when our birthday is, whether we are in a relationship or not, the location we are at, what we like and dislike, and much more. This is an awful lot of information (and power) in the hands of one commercial company.”
Facebook and Your Face
Facebook also has funded image processing and “facial recognition” software that essentially allows the site to track you anywhere you go. It knows what you and your friends look like based on the images you have voluntarily shared on its site. So it can search the web, all other Facebook profiles and other places to find photos of you and your friends.
That’s how Facebook can make “tag suggestions” when you post pictures of people on your account. But how that facial recognition software can be used is mind-blowing.
Could Facebook’s algorithm track your body shape? Can it analyze your vacation photos from the beach to determine that you have put on a little weight recently? Could this information cause them to place an ad for a local weight loss clinic on your feed? The possibilities are chilling.
Facebook and Your Feelings
But it doesn’t end there. One recent study conducted by Cambridge University in conjunction with Microsoft Research found that it’s possible to accurately predict a range of highly sensitive personal attributes just by looking at what you have “Liked” on Facebook.
These can include such things as your sexual orientation, satisfaction with life, intellect, emotional stability, religious beliefs, alcohol and drug consumption, relationship status, age, gender, race, political views, and much more.
And the things you “Like” on Facebook don’t have to do anything at all with any of these specific attributes. In some cases, a single “Like” is enough for the algorithm to generate a highly accurate description of you.
When most people look at Facebook, they don’t realize that Facebook is looking back at them even more intently.
In a little more than a decade, blogging has gone from being something only a few academics did to communicate with their peers about their latest research to one of the most popular forms of communication online.
There are now blogs on every imaginable topic and people all over the world are continually adding new blogs every day. It is estimated there currently are more than 42 million bloggers creating about half a million new posts per day. About 329 million people read blogs regularly, with about 25 billion pages read monthly.
Get Paid to Have Fun
Most bloggers write for fun, sharing their thoughts about their favorite topics with mostly family, friends and people who share their passion for their blog’s topic. But a growing number of bloggers are beginning to understand the moneymaking potential in blogging. And with a market of prospective customers that large, it’s not surprising.
If you already have a blog or have written a blog in the past, you know how much work it can be to come up with a regular supply of original content.
When A Hobby Turns into a Job
It can sometimes be challenging coming up with original ideas, monitoring what competing bloggers are writing about, and even finding the time to sit down and write your blog. If you have another job or family responsibilities, producing your own blog that is published every week – or worse yet, every day – can quickly become more than a time commitment than you intended.
If you want your readers to keep coming back, leave comments, interact with your blog content, and hopefully buy some of the products you are promoting, it’s essential that you continually provide them with rich, entertaining blog content. Even if you are a few times per week, that can cost a substantial time commitment.
No wonder about 65% of bloggers stop writing their blog on a regular schedule after less than a year.
Guest Blogging: A Better Option
Now there’s an easier way to use blogging to promote your products, make money and still entertain readers. It’s called guest blogging and it’s your key to a lucrative financial future in blogging without the huge investment of your time and creative energy that producing your own regular blog requires.
Guest blogging is when you periodically contribute original material to established blogs within your niche that are influential and have a lot of devoted followers. Guest blogging allows you to connect with a substantial readership but doesn’t require you to do any of the time-consuming content creation or maintenance tasks that come with publishing your own blog.
When you write guest blogs on other people’s blog pages, you also enjoy the benefit of communicating with a devoted, loyal group of regular readers, but you don’t have to go through the steps of developing them on your own.
All the Benefits, Fewer Hassles
With guest blogging, you can enjoy the benefits of blogging but without the downsides like constantly looking for new and interesting content, nurturing relationships with regular readers and working to build your subscribers list.
Plus, every time your guest blog invitation is accepted by another influential blogger, you have the opportunity to interact with a new and unique group of highly-targeted prospective customers. This means you can quickly expand the size and scope of your Internet marketing campaigns and build your online reputation.
Guest blogging is fast, easy and profitable. You can write guest blogs to make yourself wealthy and enjoy the benefits of blogging while reducing the effort.
To weed out newbies and scammers, nearly all legitimate CPA network has an application process. All CPA network online application forms are pretty much the same because they all are using the same criteria in order to determine if applicants should be allowed to join or not.
What You Will Need
Here’s the primary information they will ask you for:
Personal Information – This includes your name, mailing address, phone number, email address, and so on.
Tax ID Number – If you are incorporated as a business, you will be given a Tax ID Number. If you are an individual, your Social Security number is, in effect, your Tax ID number. If you aren’t a US citizen and don’t have a SS#, you can just fill in zeroes and when you call them explain that you are doing business from a country outside the US. This won’t disqualify you: CPA networks always have tons of non-US affiliates. The procedure will then depend on the network.
Website – If you have a website that you are going to use to promote the CPA networks’ advertisers, you should list it here. If you don’t currently have a website or are planning on setting up individual websites for each offer, you can leave this blank or just put something like will-discuss-in-phone-interview.com or http://www.LandingPageIsOfferSpecific.com and they usually can figure it out.
Experience – What internet marketing experience you have. Don’t lie or exaggerate. If you are an absolute beginner, simply tell them you are looking to get started in Internet marketing and discuss the plans you have to promote their offers in as much detail as you can.
Your Plan – How you plan on promoting their offers. Explain as briefly as possible how you typically promote affiliate offers (PPC, SEO, and so on).
How to Get Past the Telephone Screening
Some CPA networks don’t phone screen their applicants at all. You probably are going to want to stay away from these CPA networks because if they are letting everybody in the door they probably don’t have a great client list.
Once you have been through the first phone screening, they are all pretty much the same. Typically, they only last about a two or three minutes and the screener will ask two or three questions.
Basically, they are trying to determine if you are on the up and up and not a scammer or newbie. Here are some typical questions you can expect:
How much traffic do you anticipate generating?
How much do you spend daily/weekly/monthly?
How did you hear about our network?
How long have you been promoting CPA offers?
How do you plan on promoting the offers?
Do you belong to any other networks? If so, which ones?
What kind of offers do you like?
What niche of offers are you interested in?
If it helps you, try writing out your answers to these questions and practice answering them out loud before your first phone screen. Try to sound as confident and experienced as possible.
While phone screen can be intimidating at first, after a few they become second nature and you will have nothing to worry about.
Calling the CPA Network First
Sometimes you can avoid the phone screen altogether if you contact the CPA network after your submit your application but before they call you. Many CPA networks’ home page will have a telephone number listed under their “Contact Us” tab. If not, try running an Internet search. Or you can simply send them an email.
If you reach them, ask to speak to the person in charge of the affiliate applications. Once you reach that person, introduce yourself by name and explain that you have just submitted your application and are interested to know how long the approval process takes or if there is any additional information you can provide.
A lot of affiliate marketers won’t take this step, but they absolutely should because it indicates to the CPA network that you are ambitious and serious about promoting their clients.
Plus, developing a relationship with somebody at the CPA network is helpful later on when you are doing business with them especially you are having problems or issues, which can sometimes happen. It’s always nice to have a name you can call on the inside.
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