I was very excited when Bud Smith's Facebook for Business in 10 Minutes (SAMS Teach Yourself, 2011) became available through my Amazon Vine gig. I'veI was very excited when Bud Smith's Facebook for Business in 10 Minutes (SAMS Teach Yourself, 2011) became available through my Amazon Vine gig. I've wanted to get my business Facebook account going and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do that while reviewing his book. I've been putting that task off because I expected it to take hours, but if I could really do it in ten minutes, all the better. So, book in hand, I sat down at my computer and started.
Smith begins with a solid introduction to Facebook and a nice offer to explore the online edition for FREE for 45 days as part of the purchase. I know a lot about Facebook--I have a personal page--so I skimmed the overview first chapter to get to Chapter 2--Setting Up a Business-Friendly Profile Page. Turns out this chapter was mostly about getting onto Facebook, though I did learn you can't have a business Facebook page (what used to be called a 'fan page' and is now simply called 'Facebook Page'. Who forgot to mention that was confusing when they made that decision?) without attaching it to a personal one. That explained a lot about my past FB set-up failures. I hurried onward and arrived at Lesson 3--Finding and Installing Apps.
Which is where I discovered two nasty habits of Smith's. First, he finds it difficult to stay focused on FB for business. He keeps wandering into the personal FB territory. For example, he starts his discussion on Apps with the personal page. I angrily explained to the chapter pages that this was supposed to be about business, but as I got into the book, I realized this was probably because FB for business doesn't exist without being the stepchild of a personal page. He even warned me--"Installing apps on your business fan page is a bit different and is covered in Lesson 7." That brings me to the second nasty habit: Smith introduces an idea and then says he'll cover the steps later. Same thing happened with Places. This jumping around takes half my ten minute allotment before I even get started.
And about that ten minutes. I guess you can sign up for a Facebook page in ten minutes, but each task takes much longer. Smith begins each with a thorough discussion, including how it relates to the personal FB account before even introducing the business FB steps. Maybe this is important because of the critical differences, but it ended up confusing me. My guess: readers who spent a lot of time setting up personal accounts will find this less confusing, but I'm just speculating. I only spent about an hour setting up my personal account. To be honest, each STEP in this book took about an hour. I found the descriptions not as thorough as I needed and a bit confusing. Adding apps , creating tabs and claiming my Place--I never did figure these out (though that could be me). I think I got on the wrong page, mixed up between the personal mother page and which of my three business fan pages I needed to be on to accomplish the task.
My conclusion: Facebook is a good business tool, but still awkward for that purpose. I get lots of visitors to my business blogs and websites from FB so I know it works. I wish they'd allow businesses to sign up as account holders. That's not Smith's fault. He tried to write a book to maneuver these minefields. For that, I applaud him. Despite the many ten minute increments (more like hours) I spent getting a rudimentary page established, if not for Bud Smith, I wouldn't have my business FB page at all....more
I write techno-thrillers, so I'm always looking for new ways to crack the tangled online lives of popular fictional characters, a blueprint for the neI write techno-thrillers, so I'm always looking for new ways to crack the tangled online lives of popular fictional characters, a blueprint for the next "Digital Fortress". In the case of Altheide and Carvey's Digital Forensics with Open Source Tools (Elsevier, 2011), I'll have to keep looking, but I wasn't disappointed. It delves into the equally obfuscated world of computer malfunctions. In plain English (as opposed to the acronyms more rampant in the geek world than the government), it details how to investigate a variety of problems on a variety of systems to find out what went wrong and how to fix it--using open source tools. The 'fix it' part is the digital forensics which the authors define as "the use of scientifically derived and proven methods toward the preservation, collection, validation, identification, analysis, interpretation, documentation and presentation of digital evidence derived from digital sources for the purpose of ...reconstruction of events found to be criminal..."
Simple enough, though for the purposes of this review, I truncated the original 54-word definition by half. In full disclosure, the book includes many neologistic words like 'MinGW', 'RAID', 'installing interpreter's, 'perl, python and ruby' because the authors admit their intended audience is new forensic practitioners or experienced ones interested in delving into open source tools. Those weird words are their language, but the authors do a good enough job defining the more complicated terms that beginners will want this book in their library. It summarizes the wide variety of platforms out there--Linux, Windows, MacOS and more--and which open source products can best be used to address what forensic problems.
The authors are Cory Altheide and Harland Carvey. Mr. Altheide has a robust background performing end-to-end forensic investigation (you can see what he's up to on his blog, even ask questions about the book if this review hasn't covered enough. I have to tell you, after browsing his posts, his tweets and his LinkedIn profile, what this guy doesn't know about digital forensics, no one does). Likewise with Harlan Carvey. His blog goes much deeper than my personal knowledge base and itemizes enough incident responses that it's clear Mr. Carvey knows of which he speaks.
Even if you aren't a nerdy geek who sits in front of a computer 24/7, you will come away from this book impressed with the creativity and ingenuity of today's computer minds. Man's survival has always been about using the brain, stretching those synapses, thinking not only outside the box, but into the next. Some say American education is in trouble, but if it turns out problem solvers like these two, we're in good shape.
Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and creator of two technology training books for middle school. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything and Technology in Education. Currently, she’s working on a techno-thriller that should be ready this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher....more
It's not often I find a successful fiction book that explains complicated adult ideas to children. The last one was Sir Cumference and the Dragon of PIt's not often I find a successful fiction book that explains complicated adult ideas to children. The last one was Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi: A Math Adventure, a creative story that introduces math concepts like Pi, circumference and radius to young children. I'm not a math teacher, but I can relate that to computer concepts I teach to kindergarten and younger. As with geometry, it's difficult to explain the concept of 'internet safety' to the newest users. Unlike geometry, it must be done as soon as they pick up a mouse and lock their eyes onto the glowing, scintillating screen. Every month, more and more children, younger and younger, play on websites like Jumpstart, Clifford and NickJr. They--of course--trust the adults who love them to keep them safe. Now, we have a tool to do that.
Savvy Cyberkids at Home: The Family Gets a Computer, written by Ben Halpert and illustrated by Taylor Southerland, tackles internet safety for the youngest users with rhyme, colorful pictures and appealing characters. It shares the experiences of a delightful brother and sister duo as they get their first computer and venture onto the internet (with parental supervision). The book is big enough (eight-by-ten--with a sturdy cover and heavy pages) for a mom or teacher to hold upright and show to a group as they read. The story itself is designed for pre-readers and kindergarten with simple words that keep the listener's attention and full-sized action-packed illustrations that breathe life into the story's stars. Together, the words and pictures introduce children to safety on the internet--privacy, protecting names--while reinforcing the benefits.
"A computer is special and can do many things
like play games or read books and play songs to sing."
The important message of internet safety for kids is taken to the next level when kids visit the Savvy Cyberkids website, log in (a good way to reinforce what the book teaches) and create their own Savvy CyberKid name. It also offers printable coloring pages.
Overall, the eye-catching pictures, the rhymed lyrics and the important message delivered in a fun way makes this a winner for all preschools, homeschools and libraries....more