Tag Archives: Applications

Watching Your Site for Malware Intrusions

Website owners need to keep an eye on their website and blog to make sure that they are not unknowingly spewing malware onto the Web. Not only can this be bad for your site visitors, but you can actually get your website blocked by Google for allowing malware downloads; even if you didn’t know that it was happening.

If you have a blog on your site, there are lots of free, cool plugins that monitor your blog and help you to keep it safe, but how about a website? I found one tool recently that allows you to scan your website files for malware. It is called Sucuri. You can visit the free online website scanner here. I recommend not only scanning your root directory, but some of your top traffic directories as well just to make sure you are malware free.

Another tool you can use for malware monitoring of a website is the Google Webmaster Control Panel. To use this Google service you will need to verify your website ownership by downloading and then uploading to your server a small file. Once in place, Google will scan your site and you can review its malware detection results.

In many cases I have found that Google is very slow to report if you have had a malware attack. Eventually they will notify you if there is a problem, but it may be woefully late, and your notification may actually be that Google has banned your site in their index. I personally recommend a much more proactive and early prevention focus.


HootSuite Introduces Bulk Upload Option for Pro Accounts

If you have the HootSuite Pro version then you may have already tried this option. If you are using HootSuite Free then this may be the reason to upgrade, and if you are not using HootSuite at all, this may be the reason you take a look.

HootSuite is an online Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, FourSquare, and Facebook Page update and status scheduling tool. I have used it for team management and self management of small accounts. Just this last week I checked out the Pro account version Bulk Upload of status update features.

First although HootSuite offers a sample .csv file to review and to use for your own updates, I found that Excel kept changing the date format and did not offer the date format they wanted for load, and so I moved to Notepad to do my list creation.

This is the format to use:

09/02/2011 09:00,”Check out our blog writing prices and blog clients on this page.”,”http://ow.ly/3S5ru

Note that the date format is day first, then month, then year followed by time on a 24 hour clock. The update must be wrapped in quotes, and then the URL wrapped in quotes. Each of these three fields is separated by a comma.  You may be able to leave your URL as pointing to your own domain, but to be safe, I shrunk my URL ahead of time.

Of important note is that HootSuite will not allow duplicate updates. So you can not load more than one version. Additionally the Bulk Upload feature allows for 50 unique updates to be loaded maximum at a time. I found that the load creation was time consuming, but was able to be used on multiple accounts and as I saved the document, will allow me to use and re-use this load anytime I go on vacation for coverage.

When you go to upload your text file, you will put your select your social network from the icon list, then put your cursor in the message field. The box opens and allows you (for Pro accounts only) the option to bulk upload. Browse to your upload file then click Okay. You will then see all your updates appear in the pending stream column.

I think this is a great new feature for HootSuite. Social Oomph offers this same feature for Professional accounts as well but without duplication restriction. Please note that if you click the links in this post and purchase either Professional level accounts from these suppliers that they will pay me a commission which will allow me to buy lunch at McDonald’s. Thanks for your support and try out these two applications they may end up being big time savers for you too.


HootSuite and Seesmic Reviewed

If you are involved in social media using Facebook or Twitter you will want to be using one of these applications for posting your updates. In this post I will be reviewing HootSuite and Seesmic.

I use this product and own two Pro accounts. I have been using the HootSuite product since it came out and like it. I have four team members using one account and write for over 10 client social networks using the application. This is what I personally like about the product:

  1. The Pro account allows me to add unlimited social networks and easily helps me to link Facebook personal pages, Facebook Business Pages, and Twitter accounts.
  2. It is very simple to add team members to my account. My team members only see in their personal control panel the accounts that I have given them access to and not all client accounts.
  3. When I have several team members working on one account, I can see in my master control panel who has done what, who has responded to a comment, and who has posted which update.
  4. I like that I can schedule updates for future dates. Some of our writers work several days ahead or at night and set up updates to publish the next day. When you work on the volume of clients that we do you need this flexibility for your staff.
  5. HootSuite Pro account have a bulk upload option. Although I don’t routinely use this option, it is there and allows for greater flexibility to feed out content over time.
  6. Reusable updates. This is one of my personal favorites. I like the feature that I can save an update and then reuse is and schedule it to be sent on days I select. Where we have something very important to get out for a client this feature is valuable.

If you want to check out HootSuite, you can for free. If you use my link, set up an account and upgrade to the Pro Account HootSuite will pay me a small commission.

I don’t use this product routinely, but am always on the look out for new applications that can make our work easier. Seesmic is great for a single user or for someone is just managing Twitter account. Seesmic does support Facebook, but only the Facebook personal profile, while HootSuite allows you to post to Facebook personal profiles AND Facebook Business Pages.

The Seesmic interface is easy to set up, but not as intuitive as that of HootSuite. You do not have the option to show columns for each account such as pending for one Twitter account, but you can see the pending updates for all accounts in one column. I set up my Seesmic account with three Twitter accounts and two Facebook accounts. I could not however set up or send to my Facebook Business Page.

Seesmic has a control panel for each account on the left side bar instead of tabs like HootSuite has at the top. This could be an issue if you were managing many Twitter accounts as you would have to scroll up and down to interact with accounts near the left bottom as your account list grows.

In Seesmic you can see, for Twitter only, retweets, mentions, sent, favorites, and searches but not pending. Remember pending appears as a column on your screen and is not sorted by account but rather by date. For Facebook you don’t have any options other than the home feed.

I feel that for professional users HootSuite is a much more usable product. For small accounts Seesmic certainly is an alternative to HootSuite. If you have more than five social networks you have to upgrade to the Pro Level in HootSuite but with Seesmic you are still at a free level. I think that as an alternative to HootSuite for do it yourselfers on a budget, Seesmic certainly is a nice choice, but not one that I would want to work with everyday, day in and day out as a power user.

That being said for clients that want to watch what we are doing and to respond to tweets, I think that a Seesmic account would be fine for them as this solves the problem of having to add them as a team member in HootSuite. They can’t see pending updates with this approach, but can see what has been posted after the fact. I will look forward to improvements as Seesmic grows and tries to establish its market share. In some ways it is similar to Sendible.

Seesmic has not paid me for this post and I do not make a commission on your use of the application or download.