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Eli Fennell
The Key to Social Media is Being Social
The Key to Social Media is Being Social


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Updated: The Three Branding Opportunities in the Local Knowledge Panel

Google is always testing new ways of organizing and presenting Search results, including Local Knowledge Panel results. Business owners must be aware of these changes, and of the benefits of claiming and optimizing their Google My Business listings.

In the following article, I discuss the three opportunities for business branding in the Local Knowledge Panel, including:

Your Business Logo
Your Map & Search Photos
Your Business Description

I've also updated the article to reflect the removal of Recent Posts on Google+ from Local Knowledge Panel results.  Actively Posting to your Google+ Page might still be valuable in other ways, but is no longer of benefit for Local Knowledge Panel results.

#LocalSEO   #LocalSearch   #Branding  

Tips for Better Driving

1) Following closely behind someone's bumper does not actually get you anywhere faster, except maybe to the hospital... by Ambulance, after the EMT's 'Jaws of Life' you out of your vehicle. Which brings us to the closely related #2:

2) Leave spaces between your vehicle and the vehicle directly in front of you, with more spaces as speed increases, in your lane, and remember that people who do this themselves are not trying to slow you down in your journey, we're trying to complete ours safely. The only way to 'stop on a dime' is if that dime is superglued to a brick wall, I don't care what type of brakes you have. Anti Lock Brakes just keep your brakes from locking, they do not change the laws of momentum in the slightest degree. Leaving spaces also saves you gas, because every moment you're forced to use your brakes to avoid rear ending the vehicle in front of you is gas wasted.

3) In wall-to-wall heavy traffic, there is no 'Magic Lane' that gets you where you're going faster than the others. The fact that the lane next to you suddenly appeared to 'open up' is a temporary phenomenon, probably caused by someone from that lane switching to another. Too many drivers are like cats on a cold day trying to find 'The Door To Summer'. They're actually just slowing everyone down, themselves included. Change lanes in wall-to-wall traffic only if the lane you're in is clearly, over a period of time, moving slower than another, or if you need to be in another lane for a reason.

4) Cars in 2017 come standard with an amazing safety feature that allows you to signal to others which direction you plan to turn. Use them. Which brings us to #5:

5) Someone using their turn signals to change lanes to get ahead of you is not racing you to the finish line, you do not need to accelerate and force them to drop back to get over (if they even can, which they can't if there are people behind you riding your bumper as in #1 above, which may be why they're trying to get ahead). Letting a car pass ahead of you will not appreciably delay your journey. The sole exception to this is when they are doing it to try to cut ahead in a long line of vehicles going somewhere, in which case, screw 'em!

6) No matter how fast you accelerate in stop-and-go traffic, it will not save you meaningful time beyond going the Speed Limit. Traffic signs and signals, and traffic congestion, do not care how fast you go between them. Related to #7:

7) There is no point whatsoever in accelerating to where you will have to stop anyways. Getting to a red light six seconds earlier will not save you time over the person six seconds slower if you both have to come to a full stop. It may even favor the slower person, if the light changes before they have to stop.

8) Everyone else on the road also has somewhere to be and some deadline to be there. You are NOT more important or more special or more entitled to get somewhere faster than the rest of us.

9) Nothing else in the world is more important while you are driving than paying attention to the road. NOTHING! End of story.

10) Assume everyone else on the road is an idiot and act accordingly. Conversely, do not be an idiot on the road, there are already enough of those.

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The Fake Mountains Shown On Real Maps That Inspired King Kong

King Kong has been the American Giant Movie Monster Supreme (our most notable Kaiju) for more than eight decades. The lore that inspired it, however, goes much farther back, in one of the earliest examples of 'Fake News'.

The Mountains of Kong, or simply the Kong Mountains, were depicted on maps for a century from the late 18th to late 19th Centuries. Explorers claimed to have seen them and even explored them, and they were said to range from the Ivory Coast of Africa all the way to Nigeria.

The only problem was that they didn't exist. Yet this mistake helped inspire the 1933 movie King Kong less than half a century after mapmakers fixed it, its nature as a movie about a giant ape revealing its true African source despite its narrative displacement to the fictional Skull Island. Quite likely some of its original audience even remembered the Kong Mountains from old maps, giving the story a cultural context lacking in our own time.

Click through to the article below to read more about this fascinating bit of pseudo history, and how it continues to inspire interest to this very day.

#WeirdNews #KingKong

"Spoken conversation is instinctive because social interaction is instinctive: we speak to those with whom we are on speaking terms. When we engage our conversational partners, we have an inkling of what they know and what they might be interested in learning, and as we chat with them, we monitor their eyes, their face, and their posture. If they need clarification, or cannot swallow an assertion, or have something to add, they can break into the conversation and follow up in turn.

We enjoy none of this give-and-take when we cast our bread upon the waters by sending a written missive out into the world. The recipients are invisible and inscrutable, and we have to get through to them without knowing much about them or seeing their reactions. At the time that we write, the reader only exists in our imaginations. Writing is above all an act of pretense. We have to visualize ourselves in some kind of conversation, or correspondence, or oration, or soliloquy, and put words into the mouth of the little avatar who represents us in this simulated world." - Steven Pinker, The Sense of Style

#ItReallyMakesYouThink #Writing

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And they say we don't have Fall in Florida...

#Irma #HurricaneIrma

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Checking In After Irma

My family and I got home safely on Tuesday night to Fort Lauderdale, after driving almost nonstop from the La Quinta Inn in Panama City Beach, Florida we evacuated to during Irma, and as luck would have it we came back to find our home never lost power, but we have had no internet service at home and cellular internet has been spotty, so this is my first check-in on social media since getting home. We got very lucky here. The damage was a lot less than it could have been, and our own home was unscathed, save the loss of a few feet of fence perhaps.

I'd like to start by thanking everyone for their positive thoughts and concerns for our well-being during this time. It was uplifting for us, and helped us through a very difficult time.

Next, I would like to thank all the Emergency First Responders who did such a good job helping keep casualties to a minimal during this crisis, at times risking their own lives to do it. You, our Police, Fire Fighters, EMT's, etc... are the thin line that separates society from anarchy! Bravo! And, as I've said before, a thanks is owed as well to our News Media 'First Responders of the Fourth Estate' who risk their lives to bring us the 'Eyes on the Ground' we need and to keep the faith with those who stayed behind (because nothing feels worse for those who didn't or couldn't leave than the sense of being abandoned).

Of course, a thanks is also owed to the virtual army of utility workers who have streamed into our state to restore our power infrastructure as quickly as possible.

Lastly, I need to extend, on behalf of myself and my family, a most special thank you to the good folks of Panama City Beach, Florida, our unexpected home-away-from-home for the majority of our evacuation.

Although we were only in town for a few days, and hardly under the best of circumstances (with the city ultimately experiencing a Tropical Storm Warning with some moderately bad but not horrible weather on our last day there), I can speak for my entire family when I say that we fell in love with your culture, your community, and all the offerings and amenities of your wonderful city in just those few days.

And a special thanks, as well, to the good employees of the La Quinta Inn and Suites Panama City Beach. Although you were not expecting to take in evacuees, you did so with courtesy and charm and a kind of decency rare to find in this world anymore, and gave us a time to remember fondly, and people to remember warmly.

We will be back! Heck, we might make a late summer visit to your wonderful city an annual family tradition after this!

Be it ever so humble, however, there is no place like home, and we're glad to be back in ours and getting back to a normal life.

Thank you all!

#Irma #HurricaneIrma

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Bacteria May Be More 'Brainlike' Than We Ever Thought

Mention bacteria to most people, and they will usually imagine a swarm of discrete, individual organisms acting entirely for their own benefit, with nothing resembling the sophisticated cooperation of the cellular colonies making up the tissues, organs, and whole bodies of multicellular creatures like plants and animals. Through much of Scientific History, a similar view has prevailed with professionals in the field, modified somewhat by subsequent discoveries of various forms of chemical communication within bacterial colonies.

In recent years, however, a new trend has begun to emerge from the data: sophisticated electrical signal communication, both between bacterial cells of the same species, and even between bacterial cells of different species in some cases, enabling the sort of complex and rapid organization of cellular colonies found in multicellular species, and even resembling in some ways the neural communications involved in what we most properly call 'behavior'. How much it resembles the latter is still debatable, but the resemblance is less than zero, and looking more similar all the time.

In addition to potential practical applications in biotechnology and nanotechnology, these findings may point the way towards better future treatments for infectious bacteria by disrupting their communications, or conversely for means of encouraging beneficial microbial action (e.g. aiding the beneficial microbes in human guts, and other such things).

It may also have ramifications for understanding the evolution of neural cells and brains, which may well be cases of more highly organized and sophisticated electrical cellular communication already present in our single celled ancestors.

#BlindMeWithScience #Microbiology #Evolution

I keep hearing people ask, "Why are there Reporters out there in the storm? Are they idiots?!" and equivalent questions.

The answer is, "They're the 'First Responders of the Fourth Estate'." Like Police, Fire Fighters, and EMT's, they go out, with training and resources most of us don't have to be sure, and risk their own lives as a public service. And by-in-large, the aforementioned Police, Fire Fighters, EMT's, and other First Responders, as well as our political leaders, agree that this is a valuable public service to have, and appreciate their efforts, as should we all.

And we do need this service, whether we all like it or not, because humans have a deep instinctive need to assess our surroundings and our situations during crises, an instinct that mostly serves us well, but which is maladaptive during disaster situations happening outside our front door in a modern era where we do have First Responders.

Without these brave Reporters, too many of us would let our curiosity get the best of us and venture into danger. Some of us still do, but far fewer than would without those 'Eyes on the Ground' to keep us updated. Their efforts save lives, and save the emergency First Responders a lot more work trying to keep all those 'Curious Cats' from getting themselves killed.

We should celebrate their efforts, not condemn them.

So let me be the first to say: Thank you, Media First Responders, for keeping me and others like me in the loop as these sorts of situations unfold! They rarely give medals for Gallant Reporting, but they should, and all of you who went out into these dreadful conditions most of us flee from or hunker down during deserve one! Good job!

#Irma #HurricaneIrma

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No, A 2005 Movie Did Not 'Predict' Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

I can't believe I'm having to do this, but here we go: no, a 2005 movie titled Category 7: The End of the World did not predict Hurricane Harvey or Hurricane Irma 11-years and 9-months ago. Every part of this claim other than the existence of the movie is wrong.

The movie did exist, but used neither of those names, nor was it 11-years and 9-months ago, nor does that last part even matter since Irma did not make landfall on 9/11, it made landfall on 9/10, and Harvey weeks ago.

Dear Weather 'Truthers': Just stop. Just stop running your fat, stupid mouths about something you clearly know nothing about. Stop thinking it's easier to believe in Deep State Hurricane Machines than patterns of weather associated with climate change influenced by manmade pollution.

Just, seriously, shut the hell up already! One of your icons of Glorified Ignorance, Rush Limbaugh, ran his mouth about this stuff, and then turned tail and ran when nature proved him wrong. You all need to join him in going Radio Silent on this, and never speak of it again.

An Irma Refugee Who Is Sick of Hearing Your Crap

#InternetHoaxesDebunked #HurricaneIrma #Irma

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How it feels being anywhere in Florida right now...

#Irma #HurricaneIrma #IThinkWereGoingIn
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