Claim Your Name Online

Posted on February 17, 2010 by Jennifer Pointer


Yesterday, we discussed Creating an Online Profile, by choosing a name and avatar.  Today, let's go to the next step, and talk about how to claim your name online.


The first thing you will want to do is get an e-mail address in your name.  I recommend using a web-based e-mail service that you can keep with you even if you change internet providers.  Assign a "gravatar" to you e-mail address using Gravatar, which is recognized on many blogs and forums which require you to use your e-mail address to register.  This is an easy way to begin to establish your name and avatar online.


The next you will want to do is to register your domain.  If possible, get the .com (i.e.  This can be done from any number of domain name sellers online, or if you are using WebRevelation, the WebRev team can help you with that.  If the .com is not available, you may consider getting on the waiting list and/or buying the .org, .net or another TLD that suits you.


Next, open accounts in your name on the major social networks.  I recommend at least Facebook, TwitterLinked-INNingFriendFeed, and YouTube. This will help you in two ways: it will reserve your name on those networks, and it will help you begin to establish your online reputation.  The sites listed above are great for business networking, and rank high on the search engines.  Remember to use a consistent avatar on the various networks. 


In upcoming posts, we will discuss how to promote your name online while staying safe, and how to earn "page rank," on the search engines.



Jennifer PointerJennifer Pointer (e-mail) is a trainer and tech writer in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking. Her weakness is the mocha frappuccino.

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Creating an Online Profile

Posted on February 16, 2010 by Jennifer Pointer


So, you've decided to "go online," with your project, company, or cause.  Congrats!  Now what?


The first thing you are going to need to do is develop your online profile.  This is your name and image online.  This may not be as easy as it sounds.  Unless you have a very, very unusual name in real life, it is more than likely that there are already people with the same name online who have begun to develop online profiles.  How will you distinguish yourself from the others?


For that matter, do you want to use your legal name online?   If you are already in business using your legal name, you'll probably want to continue that online.  If so, choose a version of your name (e.g. - nickname/lastname, OR firstname/mi/lastname OR firstname/lastname, etc.), and stick with it. 


You may, however, want to think about using a pen-name or pseudonym online, if you are starting afresh and do not already have a business established in your legal name.  Some people choose to do this for privacy and security reasons, and some do this to differentiate between parts of their career that they do not want intertwined (e.g. professional life vs. political blogging life, or fiction writer vs. journalist, etc.).  Please note that the pseudonym is not a "safe" way to do things that are unethical or illegal - there are still PLENTY of ways to trace your pseudonym back to you, so be sure to use the pseudonym as responsibly as you do your legal name.


Once you have a name chosen, you'll want to choose a recognizable avatar for use on the social networking sites. If you are using your own photo, you will be able to change the photo from time to time, but be sure all of the photos look like they are of the same person  (i.e., Ladies, this isn't the time to show how versatile you can look as a brunette, blonde, and redhead).  If you are using a graphic, make sure it is one you plan to stick with for a long time.  This is how members of your networks will easily recognize you.


Now that you've selected your online name, we will discuss in future posts how to begin to establish an online presence.


Jennifer PointerJennifer Pointer (e-mail) is a trainer and tech writer in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking. Her weakness is the mocha frappuccino.


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Better Business Bureau Serving Central Oklahoma Warns Businesses of Directory Scams

Posted on February 11, 2010 by Tim J Short

by Bob Manista - President & CEO of Better Business Bureau Serving Central Oklahoma

Most business owners like appearing in a yellow pages directory or two. Some spend significant money on ads directing customers to their companies' services. Unfortunately, con men - both in the States and abroad - know that directory advertising can be a critical part of doing business, and are willing to exploit misunderstandings and half-truths to get your money while providing little or nothing of value.

The scam is both typical and easy to spot. Your receptionist answers the phone and the con man identifies himself as being a representative of "the yellow pages," or "your directory." (They are almost universally vague about the publication name in an effort to create confusion or the assumption that they represent the most popular directories.) The supposed purpose of the call is to "confirm your business listing" and the con man asks whoever answers the phone to either say the listed data is correct or actually list the contact information for the business. After the info is confirmed, the con man may ask a series of "yes or no" questions, and may ask to confirm credit card or billing information. (They'll do this as simply as saying "You want this billed to the same address, right?") The "yes or no" questions have often been recorded and re-cut as a confirmation of an order for special listings or services. By the time someone is transmitting credit card data, the cat is out of the bag and you may be charged for listings.

What do you get for your money? Maybe nothing. Some international directories exist, both in the real world and online, but they have extremely limited circulation or are not widely promoted. An infamous Swiss website has a number of listings from seemingly localized U. S. businesses like barber shops - which may be faithfully and accurately listed, but needlessly reported to an international cabal of viewers. Some directories go unpublished or print only a couple dozen books - enough to provide "tear sheets" for the unlucky (and often unwary) advertisers.

The billings for such publications are notoriously difficult for a business to fight, partly because the perpetrators of the scheme are often outside the country. Your best protection is to make sure everyone who might answer the phone at your business is aware of the scam and will take steps to avoid giving the con man a green light.

  • Make sure only one person is responsible for your business' directory advertising. Relay any inquiries to that person.
  • Carefully restrict access to any credit card or billing information among your employees.
  • Beware of calls "confirming" company data, especially those from inquirers with foreign accents.
  • Ask the company name of the publisher of any directory. If you don't recognize the name, hang up.
  • Do business with directories only in business and/or in writing. Demand a written invoice before giving permission to go to print.

Remember (and remind your employees) that the famous "walking fingers" logo does not belong to any one entity. The logo was not copyrighted by Ma Bell or A T & T, so anyone with a scanner can reproduce it and place it in billings. That logo itself is no guarantee of the legitimacy of the directory.

Limit your business listings to two or three directories at most. Expanding your reach may sound like a good idea, but the effectiveness of those listings is arguable. Research how your customers first located you and stick with what works. The more directories your business appears in, the more likely you or your staff will be confused by marketing calls.

Also of note is a practice in which con men broadcast mail throughout an area, sometimes containing an invoice or small rebate check associated with phone listings. The invoice may not be a real billing, but a contract to do business with the company - by returning the disguised contract/invoice with a check, you've obligated yourself to use the company's services. Fine print on the back of the $5 check might obligate you to thousands of dollars in unneeded services.

Listen carefully to callers, watch your mail, and call the BBB with questions on your Accredited Business Hotline: 405.236.5292.

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WebRevelation Servers and Sites Certified as PCI Compliant

Posted on February 1, 2010 by Tim J Short

As of February 1, 2010 Webrevelation has obtained server certification required for PCI compliance! If you are one of our customers or future customers and you process credit cards; rest assured that we use only the highest standards for server security as related to the guidelines of the PCI data security initiative.

What is the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard?
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is a worldwide information security standard assembled by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC). The standard was created to help organizations that process card payments prevent credit card fraud through increased controls around data and its exposure to compromise. The standard applies to all organizations which hold, process, or pass cardholder information from any card branded with the logo of one of the card brands.

The standard is maintained by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council, which maintains both the PCI DSS and a number of other standards, such as the Payment Card Industry PIN Entry Device security requirements (PCI PED) and the Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS).

Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance is a complex and ever evolving subject affecting millions of businesses – acquiring banks, Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs), processors, hosts, shopping carts, e-commerce and retail merchants and other merchant services providers.

If you are not hosting your website with us, make sure your host is PCI compliant.

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