Featured

I Cancelled Facebook After 12 Years

Let’s be honest, cancelling Facebook is something i should have done by at least their third privacy breach. More so after it came out that they had experimented on us by manipulating the newsfeed to see if they could manipulate our emotions.

But like you, i didn’t. I kept using it, because i didn’t want to let friends and family down. I didn’t want to seem snobbish. I kept reading all the posts to see if anyone would mention me, or better, ask me to hang out. But instead of drawing us closer, the more we knew about each other, the less close i felt towards you.

In fact, i started counting to see how many of my post you emojied or commented on, to decide how and when I’d comment or emoji you back, even though i had no interest or connection to your current hobbies.

I only joined Facebook back in 2009, because of a couple at a former church who kept bugging me, then i bugged everyone i knew until they joined.

I had 1500 “friends” back then, some of them strangers with a similar hobby i enjoyed commenting with.

Leaving Facebook, i had 54 “Friends”. Over the years i got tired of being connected, only via Facebook, friendships that only continued because of Facebook.

We had no intention of seeing each other if they ever returned to the area to visit.

Facebook taught me a valuable lesson though, and that is how to prioritize relationships. I grew up trying to please everyone, i wanted friends, but as i grew, i realized, that just like on Facebook, they’re also acquaintances. I also learned that those who i always had thought were my best friends and felt mutually about me, actually had their own best friends and i wasn’t on top. Their best friends that they liked better, had their own best friends too.

Facebook also forced me to learn about boundaries. I hadn’t previously had any boundaries. It wasn’t until i saw my best friends posting photos doing things with other people, that I’d asked them to do with me, that i realized i was giving them everything i had to offer, always available to them, did what they wanted to do, just to be able to be with them, it wasn’t mutual.

So i grew to hate what Facebook did to my reality. It exposed the things that i had known, but refused to believe were true.

It revealed the lies some “best friends”, had been telling me for years, to get what they wanted from me, when they’re best friends were unavailable. You’d think that would be enough, but i remained.

Then one day, i came across a woman on a Facebook page who posted something i enjoyed, but had never found anyone before who also enjoyed it. So i sent her an Unsolicited messenger text telling her i thought it was cool.

Before i knew what happened, she messengered me back. Within a week she messengered me her phone number. It was exciting, but awkward. I had been thinking about asking it from her, but thought it might be to forward or pushy.

So i gave her my number too, and i called. Within two months, without ever meeting me, though talking everyday from the time she got off work until she went to bed, she said words I’d always wanted to hear. She said, “I’ve fallen in love with you. “

I said, “What?”. She repeated, “I am falling in love with you. ” To which i responded, “How is that even possible, you haven’t even met me in person.” She didn’t care.

So we met half way between where we lived, which would be Universal Studios for a first date. A blind date, my first and only blind date.

We sat and talked and the chemistry was powerful like magic. I took her hand and held it as i looked into her eyes as we talked. Her lips were amazingly perfect.

We then had dinner, and when she were leaving, we shared the most incredible kiss I’d ever have, more memorable than my first kiss from my first girlfriend in high school. I’ll never forget that kiss, at least unless i one day receive a better one. I’m sceptical if that’s possible.

I was in film school at the time, and also working on numerous productions. That’s when she began to show signs of obsession and control. Film school isn’t like other programs, you have to meet deadlines. You have to be seated in class 15 minutes before the instructor or you got locked out. I had classes during the day and night, then we would film after class to 3 or 5 AM.

So she started to complain, but i was committed to school. She could be replaced, i couldn’t start film school over again. I’d chosen women over careers and education and personal passions before, and i always regretted it. Always! Not this time. I made a 100 percent commitment before she came along.

A few weeks later, she broke up with me. Then again a few months later. Then again.

For some stupid reason, probably because i committed myself not to have sex until marriage, old school. We started to talk about Marriage. We even went to premarital counseling for serveral months with a pastor.

It was then, that like on Facebook, what seemed real, turned out to be a lie.

Two months earlier, she had revealed that she had been married before. Not once, but twice. And when i asked her how she contributed to the failing of those marriages, she said she’d thought over and over about it, but couldn’t figure it out.

She left the first guy. The second guy left her. I only knew that statistically I’d be number three if married her. I didn’t want to be number three, that began endlessly bugging me. I’ve never been married before, I’d been engaged a few times, but never married. I had no idea what it would be like. But i knew she already had expectations that her first two husbands didn’t survive.

I’ve known a lot of divorced people, and I’ve learned one thing for sure. If you don’t know what happened, you were a big part of it failing.

By that time, like with Facebook, i was already hooked on her. My biggest mistake was breaking the secret man rule by finally telling her i loved her too. That’s always been the breaking moment in the past, and it was no different this time either. But like with Facebook, I’d find out yet again that things were not what it seemed.

She told me she wasn’t even fully divorced yet. He was already years into a relationship with another woman, but she kept leaving one thing on the divorce papers unchecked or not signing it each time she submitted it. She’d been doing it for three years. Good thing we didn’t have sex, I’d have hated sleeping with a married woman even if her marriage at the time was more of an unfinished technicality. It’s just not something I’d want anyone to do to me, even if it was just a technicality.

She’d been lying to me, just like she had been lying to her 21 year old daughter about my and her relationship. We were going to premarital counseling and she told her daughter it was a bible study with pastors.

I didn’t know she had been lying to her daughter or me until near the end. Liars are on the very bottom of LIKE list. I’d have quickly become former husband number 3, if i hadn’t discovered she was a major liar until after marriage.

She began pulling away. If i opened my schedule on a specific day by changing my class schedule, she’d suddenly not be available on that day.

So i started paying closer attention, just like i had began to do with “friends” on Facebook, and after two months she slipped up on her lies.

So i asked her, and she denied it. But i had dates and times memorized of things that conflicted with what she originally said, compared to what she were now saying.

Don’t lie to a filmmaker, were trained to observe continuity issues!

A week later she broke up with me again. But like with Facebook, where i first connected with her, it was clear that this wasn’t healthy. A month later her divorce finally went through, and three months later she had a photo of herself with a new man. The man she’d apparently been seeing, when she wasn’t available to see me.

That was interesting, because it made me question my appearance. I didn’t think he was a good looking man, but she found me attractive. So you see where I’m going?

Unlike with her, its taken years to realize, that Facebook is her. Facebook is her in the sense its been lying, manipulating, and more recently acting just like her, by “fact checking” everything i wrote that it didn’t approve of. Then it added a notice to my posts with out providing any genuine sources of evidence to back up its claims.

But we knew it was happening, and we refused to do anything about it. So like her, Facebook began censoring us, and politicians they didn’t like. They forced their social justice agendas on us, “Climate Awareness”, “Black Lives Matter”, “Politics”, etc.

I didn’t join Facebook to be censored, preached to, manipulated, be tracked everywhere online, to have my privacy sold to the highest bidder.

Nope, that is what happened in the movie the Matrix. Where people became the product and resource harvested by the machines who controlled their minds.

I’d seen enough, but i stayed because my friend and family are sheep just like i was.

Stupid sheep knowing what is coming, knowing what’s been done to them, but like a Sheep walking towards the slaughter house, they ignore it, just like i did.

Until today.

Today, i said goodbye. I didn’t deactivate like in the past, just in case. I didn’t need a vacation. Like with her, i need a clean break. The price being to high.

If i managed to break free of smoking as a teenager, drinking as an adult, and eventually walking away from her without looking back. I can make a clean break from Facebook too, just like i did earlier this year with Twitter.

So i deleted my Facebook account. They of course tempted me by saying they’ll give me 30 days until its final just in case. But no.

I gave everyone my contact information, and those who wanted to, gave me theirs. I said my goodbyes. I deleted my Facebook Pages and transferred administration of the ones that needed to continue to other people.

I made sure everyone knew i was leaving sometime within the next two weeks. Then when i had tied up everything i needed to, i decided there really wasn’t any reason to delay. Like ripping off a band aid stuck to my hair, i shutdown my account, before anyone realized.

Like how i feel about her, i don’t regret it. But like her, i also knew in my heart that it was no longer healthy. My boundaries had been crossed for the last time. I’d been pimped, one two many times. It no longer benefits me. It’s become all about Facebook. They had me fooled, just like she did, believing it was all about me. But like her, they’re lousy liars, and they don’t even care enough to try and hide it.

So i joined WeMe, and to commit myself, i gave a donation. I also signed up for a page which costs $2 a month, to replace my three Facebook Pages. I committed myself to go the MeWe path for a year. It’s a cheap price for keeping my personal information from being sold to advertisers everyday and night. MeWe is the first social media or website ive ever paid real money to, to participate in. It’s an amazing value, but the sheep are dumb. They eat anywhere and anything that’s “free”, without looking at the Sheppard sharpening his Cutlery.

It’s a cheap price for the value to have privacy. It’s a cheap price to not be censored, have a corporation shove political ideologies down my throat. To be able to say what i want, even if later discover i was wrong. Sure, for now my sheep, i mean “friends”, are still on Facebook and i won’t encourage them to move. Going forward, if i have friends on MeWe, they’ll be ones who followed me, not ones i had to beg to get attention from. Not the ones who told me, “i don’t like swimming”, but then posts photos of themselves in their pool swimming with other people i know having fun swimming.

I’m done with that. Don’t be a sheep.

Featured

I sold my soul to Facebook and Twitter for Free.

A few reasons why, i closed my accounts on WeMe, Gab, Parler, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook Pages.

At the moment i only have my main Facebook account, and in part because i have a few family members outside of the USA, who i otherwise don’t communicate with.

In 2021, I’m finding social media less useful. I don’t trust it. Its reached a point where social media platforms are media propagana no longer the innocent platforms they started as, during the race to develop their networks.

Once upon a time, social media was innocent, like Walt Disney corporations, it’s a small world ride, but in 2021 going forward, its become a global mill house to manipulate culture and deliver toxic amounts of controlled propaganda.

Social media began as a spot on the internet, where 16 year old went to blog and post about their cat barfing up hair balls, and the awkward first date.

There were no professional journalists writing opinion pieces, no politics, no gorilla political movements, no experiments in mass social psychological manipulations.

Then Facebook became a tradable share dependent pure profit influenced corporation, and selling influence to media billionaires and political influence became a thing.

But you already know this story, You’ve been down that road before, you know what’s at the end of this street, You’ve eaten in that noodle shop already.

So I think i will just give my reasons, for turning of Social Media, in search of real people, in the real world, around, me.

  1. Facebook Pages: When Facebook launched their pages, it was a chance for anyone with a talent or hobby, to connect with others. But in 2021, Facebook charges fees to de-throttle views, or in other words, they put your posts on their “Pages” feature into a virtual prison. If you want anyone to see then they’ll either have to be viral worthy posts that Facebook’s media censors think will cause enough interests to serve Facebook’s purposes, or you’ll have to pay money to release their hostages with a “Boosted Post”, to be seen. Prior to 2020, a maximum viewer penetration of 20 views was the current hostage rate, but in 2021 that number is around 5. For your posts to be seen by what was originally a common organic reader rate of 100 will costs you around $5 per post. That’s a lot of money, if your trying to use Facebook Pages as a community or fan blog, with daily updates about your hobby. Also in 2021, Facebook is revamping their pages for profit again, but transforming them into marketplace stores, to compete with Shopify. So pages are becoming less about community, friendships, family and friends, but instead about shares, money, commissions. But that should not surprise anyone of you’ve watched the congressional inquiries over recent years, the reality is, Facebook in particular knows everything about you, they manipulate what appears in your new feed, they have algorithms to choose which friends they think you’ll want to see most, so you’ll keep coming back. They sell information they have collected about your interests to the highest bidder, like a pimp giving away free crack with every whore, to get you hooked. In 2020 we saw the most horrifically significant abuse in the history of Social Media, with Facebook inserting money into local and national politics directly, to influence US Politics in a manner feared since the near world domination of an infamous past world war. Censorship of politicians, media journalists, posts of nobodies talking with their friends, whose posts didn’t align with Facebook’s direct politics agenda and psychological manipulations of the new feed. If your ideals, thoughts, discussions didn’t align with their agenda, you received a warning, a block posts warning graphic appeared to your neighbor, pastor, friend, boss, co-worker warning them that their, “fact checkers”, were offended, threatened, by what you “privately posted” to your mutually agreeing friend. They called you a straight out liar, a conspirator, aligned with the devil in hell itself, of your thoughts were anything other than what Facebook’s agenda prescribed. It was the most overt and dangerous manipulation of the public in American and Global History. But you continued to use it, because your friends in high school from twenty years ago are on it, your cousin who lives in Germany is on it, and your both to lazy to write a letter, You were conveniently quarantined and banned by government state leaders from being on the street or eating with friends, while those same elected members broke their own rules, why? So you were forced to sit at home, in front of the Facebook manipulating algorithms and Fact Check approved propaganda. So i closed three innocent Facebook pages, and the more i think about those family members who never contacted me before Facebook, with anything but an obligatory pre-printed Christmas card, that person who i honestly didn’t like much in college anyway; that person i used to go to the same church with, the less i think i really enjoy Facebook anyway. Maybe those old days of feeling kind of bored, were not so bad anyway.
  2. TWITTER: Twitter began similarly innocently liked Facebook. It was a place people who mostly didn’t know each other could write and respond to posts about any topic. It was and is the fastest paced Social Media platform, in that what your post has a general lifespan of a few hours, before fading into the global archive of things you wrote in the past, for archeologists, forensics, attorneys, investigators and political adversaries to use against you in the future. Unlike Facebook who had denied having agenda other than connecting friends together, while poorly hiding their activities, Twitter is in your face about their political agenda. Twitter is no longer an unbias universe, but an unashamed one sided politics and culturely closed- ended echo chamber. Like Facebook, as of 2021, Twitter is a propaganda machine, with censorship, filtering algorithms with politically motivated agendas and the most protected platform of extreme socialism that exists. If you’re politics are extreme, your probably on Twitter. If your politics are in the middle somewhere or traditionally valued, you’re probably one of Twitters punching bags who enjoys self abuse in the name of arguing your cause, who gets suspended frequently. Wherever you fall on Twitter, its the global political social media platform in 2021. Long gone are the days of interacting about Minecraft and how to prepare for your SAT test, yes there are a few people still taking, but every company and corporation uses Twitter as a cheap or free tool for their customer support, but more and more customers have left, and will leave Twitter. Those companies will not however, because there is no where else like it that they can use for free. To get similar using tools developed specifically for customer service costs hundreds of dollars a month. So as long as Twitter keeps its corporate influence, it’s radical internal echo chamber will continue. But i won’t. I ditched Twitter multiple times over the last few years for personal social media, and its use for anything other than politics and media manipulation is miniscule as far as penetration goes. Before it became a political platform, it was a great tool for those of us who sell online, to reach interested people with things we were selling on eBay, for example, or reach out to or YouTube fans, but in 2021 Its one of the lowest yielding tools for social media platforms according to analytics. Twitter also made history for being the first platform used by a publicly traded social platform to successfully manipulate, influence and corrupt an American election in history, ban free speech of publicly elected representatives who did not align with Twitter corporate political leanings, and ban a sitting US President based on agendas, and actions that resulted due to its direct involvement as a propaganda echo chamber. So of you enjoy arguing and debating in a one sided echo chamber, you’re probably still in line with Twitter, or if your a corporation or politically aligned media conglomerate your own Twitter. But I’ve seen the signs before, on Yahoo, Prodigy, MySpace, AOL and i predict that Twitter, though it will survive, will follow a similar demise. The moment you remove the social nature of free and non-influenced exchange of ideas from a platform and set preferences towards a corporate vision, that platform begins its slow death to becoming non-relevant.
  3. GAB: I joined GAB for a while, and its pretty popular, but i didn’t stick around longer than it took to get a clear idea of what it offers. GAB, is a mixed platform with Twitter like news feed, but with Facebook like groups and profile pages. Initially i liked GAB, but ultimately several things stoodout that i didn’t like. First and most prominent, is its founders persistent presence which made me feel like i was a staff writer of someone else’s blog. To be successful, a social media platform has to be a non-interfered with platform. In other words, historically the platforms that have succeeded have allowed free exchange of ideas, were built in micro blogging and those running it were never center stage. On GAB that is not the case. It’s founders presence dominates the platform, despite his statements to the contrary. GAB is also niche, in that its focus is on those disenfranchised by Fakebook and Tweety. (Those are intentional misspellings). It’s agenda is clear, it’s a social platform for people who want to gather on a political and religious aligned platform. If Tweety is the far left platform, GAB is a far right platform. Tweety is the platform of choice by atheists, agnostics and anti – Christian agendas. GAB is the platform of those with traditional morals and evangelical Christian leanings. This is very clear in the way it supports itself via merchandising, its statements that appear at the top of the news feed and elsewhere by its founder, etc. That’s fine if that’s what you’re looking for. It’s not what i was looking for. Yes i am conservative in my values, i have traditional morals, i am a Christian, but i have no interests in talking politics. I have no interests in political debates or religious debates. I want to talk about YouTube projects in working on, Minecraft creations, video production, cycling, caving, other things. I will inspire with an occasionally timely and relevant bible verse from the book of proverbs or a prophetic word, but that’s it. I don’t want to debate about whether Joel Osteen is a good teacher. I don’t want your opinion if i do not know you, or we haven’t mutually agreed we have things in common. I don’t want to need be to defend my faith like on Tweety to every atheist in the universe, nor to every religious person on GAB. I also don’t care, or want to know every thought about it the CEO of a social media platform has on the topic. So that is a big problem with GAB. It often felt like a sub-platform rather than an open platform. I never asked to follow its CEO, and i couldn’t find a way to permanently disconnect from his posts. Second thing i don’t like about GAB, is i started seeing a while lot of posts using the term for Black Slaves in many posts and images which i found offensive. Third, I started seeing what i would describe as extremists posts. I don’t want to see or know your radical ideas whether left or right. Yet, because the GAB main feed is global where as the main Twitter main feed is topic oriented , i saw things that were just to much effort using GAB’s set-up and rulers to bother reporting. I didn’t sign up to work as a GAB moderator. Last, after trying out its groups for a few months, i decided they are neither active enough for my liking, and again i saw a lot of unrelated politics and racism posted within groups, not surprising since the persons who started and moderated the groups i joined, also posted similar in their own feed. (I was only in Minecraft groups). Ultimately, i decided that my only connections were ones i made on GAB, who were those types similar on Twitter who add everyone randomly to build up a massive follower number, it just wasn’t as good of a platform compared to WeMe, which i was also evaluating. One more thought. GAB is use funded, so those who contribute have higher public exposure within GAB.
  4. PARLER: I really enjoyed Parler when it began. I had a verified account, relatively positive experience, genuine followers, even mutual connections with real Minecraft players. I never saw any of the things the far left advocates accused it of related to the US election fraud capital event. What i did see, and I’ve written about this previously, was political adversaries from BLM lead a massive invasion of Parler, in which multiple thousands of black men and women joined Parler in 2020 all within two days, and began posting pornographic images, making racist comments, searching out and attacking conservatives minding their own business and singling out individuals to harass of any ethnicity, even fellow blacks who were not part of their radicalized agenda. This lasted for several weeks. Other than several times they and other groups from Twitter did that, Parler had been very peaceable, which was an amazing shift from my experiences on Twitter. However that changed after Amazon and other left leaning corporations, media and politicians put the capital event blame on Parler, allowing Amazon, Apple, Google to all de-platform and shutdown Parler within minutes of each other, obviously coordinated in advance. There is so much evidence that the shutdown was coordinated, including a group of hackers, just happened to decided to exploit Parler and supposedly archive all of Parler’s posts, right before Amazon which had Parler on its cloud server shut it down so no-one could validate the claims. I was on Parler that week talking about YouTube and Minecraft and everything seemed normal until the shutdown. Unfortunately, the rebooted Parler is not the same in 2021, with an unknown quantity of inactive accounts of users who never returned. There are also many bot accounts and fake accounts on Parler after re-boot. Twitter is notorious for its bots accounts, but i never saw any evidence of bot accounts on Parler in 2021. Maybe they were there, but it wasn’t obvious because there were so many real users. After the reboot, runs were slow but steady, then all of a sudden it seemed to be back to normal, at first. Until i realized one morning at 3AM that several accounts liking my posts, i had seen other times during the day liking my posts. Always within seconds. I keep an unusual schedule as independent contractor and pre-pandemic small business, and out dawned on me that its impossible those accounts could be real, based on my schedule. So i began observing and testing it, as discovered 25 to 30 bots initially. At first it wasn’t easy to spot because i had a high amount of followers pre-shutdown, but i knew 95% of then had not returned. As i did more research, i noticed, none of those were followers, again making it unlikely that every post would be LIKED by those accounts. Another Parler member who saw the bots had discovered 100 bots. Some of the bots became careless, using multiple accounts with the same or similar name, for example there were about five bots using the name of someone running for a political office in a state who at first began as a single bot based on a particular hashtag. When i added additional hashtags, other bot accounts with the same or very similar name and agenda, also LIKED my generic trap post. So i had five “upvotes” on the same posts from five different fake bot accounts, causing the political candidates name and photo to repeat. I carefully went through my last few months of posts, as saw that only two followers had actually interacted with me and the rest appeared to be either fake bot accounts hoping I’d follow them. I don’t know who is running the bots. At first i thought it is Parler using bots to make it seem alive again after the shutdown. Then i wasn’t sure. Followed by questioning if Parler might be leasing bots to political candidates to help fund itself. I still don’t know. I only know, here in the middle of 2021, Parler has a major uncontrolled bot problem. I also noticed based on my analytics on Parler and off Parler, that none of my YouTube or Minecraft connections returned, so i was only seeing politics. I left Twitter and GAB because of politics, and after carefully considering the current and projected direction of Parler, i decided to delete my verified account. I hope its leadership gets its act together and helps Parler survive, because it was definitely beginning the best alternative to Twitter, and apparently a massive treat to the left social media platforms. So big a threat that when they decided to black-out president Trump, that they had to set-up and take out Parler, who was being falsely rumored to be Trumps pending destination.
  5. MeWe: MeWe is the best alternative to Facebook, since alternatives became a thing. Like GAB, it is user funded, but offers a free account which is very generous. Unlike Facebook, there is no advertisers in the news feed, no experimental psychological manipulation experiments being conducted, no political or social justice agenda propaganda on MeWe, its what Facebook used to be before Facebook became owned and controlled by media billionaires and stock holders. MeWe, of it can gain ground is the biggest real threat to Facebook. It has many features of Facebook and when you get used to it, is just as good or better. The stumbling block for MeWe is being user generated funded, vs finding advertisers and sponsorships of the like minded. Most people think of Social Media as being free to use. MeWe could probably adopt an advertisement arrangement similar to the DuckDuckGo search engine and do really well. I really like it as a a platform, even its free version, but i couldn’t get anyone else to cross- over. Facebook succeeded, because it started out as a generational movement of youth that propelled it. Facebook is now the “adults”, platform. If Facebook started in 2021, it would either struggle or fail, because it’s youth have turned adults and the youth of 2021 have adopted other forms of social interaction. MeWe is trying to build off of the Facebook and Twitter disenfranchisement, and that’s not enough. I left MeWe this week. I had stayed on it to connect with a single Minecraft person whose realm SkyThrusters developed on. Now treat the main projects are done, i decided to leave.

My conclusion, Social Media has a problem. The forefathers of Facebook and Twitter have sold their visions to corrupt political agendas and propaganda, used in 2020 to interfere and manipulate US Politics, perhaps even foreign politics. They can no longer be trusted, despite the toys they create entertain us. The price and cost of admission is higher than the value of their rides. They’ve censured a sitting American president on faked accusations, they’ve censured you and me for mentioning his name, they’ve created internal police who decide if what you posts is politically correct and aligned with their social justice agenda, they’ve experimented on us by manipulating our news feeds, they have abused the data they have collected about us. If those were not bad enough, they’ve also become irrelevant to their original target which make or break a social media platform which is the current generation of youth.

They’ve lied before Congress, made deals with China that or unAmerican, and abused our data. They will die. They will Become MySpace, even if they keep buying the trending new platforms, they will die, because they are no longer care about us, they care about profit, politics, and global influence, but we are smarter than that.

Will any of the platforms that have risen as alternatives survive? Honestly, probably. Most not for you put me, because all of them, began as a direct reaction to one of the evils of Facebook and Twitter.

GAB, Parler, MeWe are all reactions to Facebook and Twitter censorship.

GAB and Parler are also reactions of Facebook and Twitters attack on religion, morality, faith, capitalism, free speech.

MeWe, GAB and Parler are reactions against Facebook and Twitters data privacy for sale, advertising and stock market influences too.

Though their causes are honorable, people have a low selling point called, Free! The more free you give them, the more of their soul you can own.

Featured

Do Amazon Drivers Read Instructions?

My second time shopping on Amazon, and the second time it was delivered to the wrong spot.

I have two more packages arriving today. Will they FAIL too?.

Call me picky, but the porch pirates in my neighborhood are unforgiving. I don’t have time to have a replacement shipped. I needed what i ordered two days ago. I bought on Amazon in part because the Guitar Center in my area would of had to ship from one distant store to the local store. I also wanted more brand options and better pricing. I needed multiple things to test a synthesizer.

Sure, i could of found some of them on my normal go-to of ebay. Maybe even on my other go-to of Mercari, but both of those would of taken at least a week, and i would be dealing with multiple sellers.

#Amazon @Amazon

I’m thinking = NOT SO GREAT

DELIVERY SPEED = * (5 Stars)

FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS = * (0 Stars)

My second time using Amazon. I honestly prefer shopping on eBay first, seconded by Mercari. But i know realistically shipping will be slow, a week arrival on average. Longer if i accidentally bought on Mercari, from a seller who foolishly used its super slow Fedex Smart Post option without posting it in the description.

DELIVERY INSTRUCTIONS = Deliver to back porch.

ACTUAL DELIVERY LOCATION = Front porch.

REASON FOR REQUESTED DELIVERY LOCATION = Previously stolen packages from front porch pirates.

THOUGHTS ABOUT AMAZON DELIVERY = Do the drivers even read the “Additional Delivery Directions” information that Amazon requested?

Does it take much longer to walk down a non-gated, no animals, driveway next to the house to place it on the back porch?

If you’re not going to follow the delivery instructions, then don’t ask me for delivery instructions.

I’ll be fair though. I have two more packages arriving this afternoon since the order was split up. That is two more chances to raise your current grade of:

AMAZON DELIVERY GRADE = D-

I’m even going to give you some help for the next two deliveries, by making sure the delivery options are up to date.

Second Chance Results

Results are in for the second and third chances.

Second chance is a fail! Package was dropped off again on the front porch and intercepted by someone else with their packages. I only found out it had arrived and been intercepted, because i went to show the other person where Amazon delivered package number three.

No email updates were received letting me know the second and third packages had been delivered.

SECOND PACKAGE DELIVERY = (0 Stars)

Third And Final Chance Results

I guess this Amazon delivery person should get at least 1 star for walking towards the back porch, but since they just tossed a package that was in a plain paper envelope on the dirt, during a semi- rainy day, we’ll have to deduct a star too.

THIRD PACKAGE DELIVERY = (0 Stars)

Well, when it comes to following delivery directions to protect your packages from porch pirates and rain, Amazon gets a score of 15%, since out of all four deliveries, only one made it even near the back porch, which in basketball terms would be called a “brick shot”.

In terms of notification of packages being delivered, Amazon receives a score of 50%, since two deliveries included email notifications and the other two i checked outside it was an hour past the estimated delivery time when i decided to look, after i checked my app for a non-existent update.

In terms of delivery speed and on time delivery, Amazon scores 100%.

What do these scores mean? Nothing really. There really wasn’t any scoring system that would work well.

The most important thing you can take away from this about Amazon, is to know you shouldn’t place your trust on its package delivery drivers.

  1. Try to be home during your estimated delivery time. This is usually a spread of up to five hours.
  2. Keep checking for the package every once in a while, even if the app or website doesn’t have a delivered notification.
  3. On the dirt in the backyard and not on the covered back porch isn’t to bad during dry weather, or when packages are inside plastic envelopes. But if it’s a drizzly or rainy day, a package on three wet dirt may hurt.
  4. If your package isn’t where you expected, check where it would be if you hadn’t given Amazon package delivery instructions.
  5. Overall Amazon is still the top ranking contender if you need your items in a hurry, and willing to pay a few extra dollars for shipping.

So Do Amazon Drivers Read Instructions?

One out of four read the package directions or at least bothered to try to follow them.

None of them, actually managed to accurately follow the directions to put the package on the covered back porch.

Featured

Best Mercari Marketplace Inventory and Listing Tool

Our states and federal politicians destroyed small business in the name of a pandemic while big retail stayed open, ClassAdLister is our tool to bounce back as Sellers on the Mercari Marketplace.

As a professional Mercari seller, and overall 15 year online marketplace seller, I have spent years beta testing apps, marketplaces and seller tools.

A brief peek at my Angel List profile will prove it, if you’re bored enough to go look at it. (HERE)

When Mercari brought it’s Selling App into the twentieth century by launching a matching website, I was first in line to be one of its beta testers too.

But something was missing. I was used to selling on eBay since the early 2000’s, ecrater, Bonanza, Storenvy, etc. At one point there was a website called Shopseen (I beta tested that too) which easily allowed me to manage my product inventory and list products to the stores I sold on.

ClassAdLister, The Best Mercari Inventory and Listing Tool, in the Galaxy!
ClassAdLister, The Best Mercari Inventory and Listing Tool, in the Galaxy!

By 2017, Shopseen was long gone. It died a slow and painful death, right after testing out an app version.

But Shopseen was a pioneer, a frontier innovation that unfortunately, several better funded tech people were able to hire more programmers and build faster than Shopseen was.

So a big gap was created, as the similar websites that survived charged a hefty fee per listing via its tool.

Then came ClassAdLister around the same time that Mercari USA launched its website version. At the time, it was only available on Google Play android devices. A great tool, but I needed to be able to input data fast. I needed to upload photos easily. I didn’t want my entire inventory on a smart device I might lose or misplace. I needed a inventory and listing tool for Mercari on my computer.

Then came all the changes at Google Play, which forced smaller, struggling app developers to leave. Google Play was slow in providing developer updates, and then wanted immediate updates when they actually released new requirements, and so ClassAdLister fell off of Google Play, and android smart devices. It was a sad, sad day.

But it’s 2021! Woo hoo! And despite a global pandemic in which states like California crushed small businesses into the nether world (The Nether World is a place in Minecraft), ClassAdLister survived. Not only did it survive, but Bluestacks Android Emulator reached a whole new level, making it possible for ClassAdLister to be used on Windows 10 and newer Macintosh computers. A dream come true.

ClassAdLister (Don’t ask my why its called that. I have no idea) is a donation sponsored inventory and listing tool that works fantastic with Mercari.

In fact, as Mercari beta tests it’s new Mercari Pro Sellers Program in 2021, its a great companion, whether you are currently beta testing the Mercari Pro Sellers Program, or signed up on its waiting list.

What, you’re not a Mercari Pro Seller? No sweat, if you have a lot of the same kind of product to sell on Mercari, or you simply want to be able to manage your inventory and easily list on your Mercari store, ClassAdLister makes it possible.

I call it the best Bluestacks Mercari Inventory and Listing tool in the galaxy, and until we achieve trans-warp drive space vehicle’s (This Star Trek), I think I can make that claim.

SellerThink on YouTube where I host videos discussing Mercari is not sponsored, nor compensated in anyway by ClassAdLister or its owner. It’s just a great tool, and its the only tool that works with Mercari.

Now I did see a guy promoting some kind of robot listing tool for Mercari that has some advance capabilities similar to the old ShopSeen, but the prices, were very hefty, just to be able to list things on Mercari, especially since you can do that with Mercari’s app. Plus ClassAdLister is NOT a bot. It does not violate Mercari’s TOS in how it works. It not too much different than you logging in via Mercari’s app, other than it’s not made by Mercari.

But, the advantage here, is for those of you, who similar to myself were forced to close our Micro Businesses and Small Businesses by our governors, cities, and states due to the pandemic. Tons of small businesses died over 2020 and 2021, with no access to federal PPP money, because they were micro small business, sole proprietors with all of the investments and inventory at risk. Micro Small Businesses, often use their own personal money, as opposed to a small business that has silicon tech investors money, or shareholders money, or an LLC (Limited Lability Corporation) to protect their money.

ClassAdLister, maybe a good solution for you, same as it is for me here in California, where I was forced out of business in August 2020, unable to access PPP funding, and denied pandemic unemployment money, because I tried to keep my business open, working with only five dollars coming in a month. According to California’s EDD, the mere fact that I worked and struggled fifty plus hours a week trying everything I could think of to save my business, that is a disqualification for pandemic unemployment, because work with out pay, is still work.

ClassAdLister is an inventory management tool, meaning that you can list all your inventory into it, without having it appear for sale in your Mercari store. Why is this important? Because if you have been selling online for any length of time, you realize it takes a long time to list products. With this tool, you can pre-list them, take your time, you don’t have to complete the listing like on Mercari’s app or website. Unlike eBay where you can create listing on eBay, offline. Mercari doesn’t have such a feature. You list it on Mercari, and then its live.

There are all kinds of reasons why you don’t want to do that. For one, you may still be locked down. Even though California’s Governor immediately began lifting its restrictions within a week of two million voters signing up to recall him. Those laws he put in place, can instantly shut your or my business down within a day. You may be like me, in a situation where my store is out of business, in addition to not currently being allowed to reopen, because it doesn’t fit this states current reopening rules.

But what I can do, what you can do, is list whatever product you have into ClassAdLister, so the moment you’re allowed to reopen, you only need to click list on those items, and they are all ready to list to your Mercari store.

Well, during this whole stinking lockdown, I’d been thinking about ClassAdLister and doing a new video about it. I’d done videos in the pass when it was still available on Google Play, but my previous computer was from 2013 and couldn’t handle Bluestacks, which meant ClassAdLister wouldn’t work for me.

During the pandemic I used $180 from my federal relief stipend, and bought a 2014 used I7 computer at auction. It’s still old compared to 2021 computers, but it allowed me to install Bluestacks.

So I contacted ClassAdListers creator and asked a bunch of questions, then I installed the app on Bluestacks and tested it with Mercari. You know what? It worked! In fact it worked great. As a computer person, I love big keyboards for fast typing. I love being able to have multiple folders with different photo categories and inventory.

I finally got around to filming and screen capturing the key steps involved in using ClassAdLister for the SellerThink YouTube channel. So if you’re interested, then check out my How To Video, for using it with your Mercari Store. The video shows how it works and discusses why you as a pro store, pro seller, or just someone who wants to create listings, without having to bring them live one at a time, can benefit by using it.

Hope it helps! We small businesses and micro-businesses need all the help we can get after being obliterated, crushed, destroyed by those people we thought were for us in our city councils, state legislatures, US Congress.

And on that note. Remember to vote for those who have proved they are honest in being pro-small business. Ditch the jerks who ditched us. Think different in 2022 and 2024.

Featured

BIG RETAIL SHOULD BE CLOSED SO SMALL BUSINESSES CAN RECOVER.

BIG BUSINESS SHOULD BE CLOSED SO SMALL BUSINESSES CAN RECOVER.

When you think about what is being said, it almost sounds unfair to those who own or work at one of these big retail businesses.

At least that is exactly what came to my mind when I first read and saw this meme my cousin posted to Facebook.

It was an unconscious thought, about the ludicrously unfathomable idea, of any retail business being forced out of business for a year by our elected officials.

I mean we voted them into office, and while we as small businesses haven’t and didn’t line those elected federal, state and city politicians pockets with deep money during their campaign, as did big business retailers. Nor did we send attorneys to represent us in Washington, send gifts or stock tips to anyone. Nor did we send politicians to Hawaii before or during a pandemic to advocate our agendas. Many of us did what we could to help those men and woman get elected, whether sending small financial contributions to their campaign or merely being social media warriors during our off-hours to promote them as the ideal representative.

Maybe we should of lined a few pockets instead of wasting money on our daughters braces for their teeth, or taking our dog and cat to the vet. Maybe we should not have put that money aside for our child’s community college school books, and instead sent our elected representative who claimed to be pro small business to Disneyland. I mean we could of probably at least gotten them a two-day pass. Maybe.

But this is exactly what many states did to those of us who have small businesses. Not for six months, but for over a full year now. And for the smallest and most vulnerable of small business, the micro-small business sole proprietors, they didn’t waste time advocating for PPP forgiveness money to help those survive.

Meanwhile, giant corporations, foreign corporations doing business in America, even Americas most expensive universites that you would feel small just walking into the admissions office, received small business PPP relief, while even many larger small businesses who did apply for help were denied.

Sure, some states like California gave $150 a week in pandemic unemployment assistance, but only if you didn’t make any money or try to save your business.

If you were honest, and told the truth, that you struggled to keep your small business alive, not making any money but working 50 hours a day to hopefully remain open, well, then you were just straight out denied the pandemic assistance for those weeks and months altogether.


Remember this, the next time your city, state and federal legislatures run for an office. Remember that they left you out.
Remember they got paid their federal and state and city salaries. Remember that they still expected to receive that $250 city business license fee. Remember that they locked you down, while an unmonitored amount of people entered and left Walmart all year long.

Remember that while your online shop was locked down locally, Amazon’s CEO became the richest billionaire in America.

Remember that idea, when you look at this meme, and how it sounds almost ludicrous, unfair, unreasonable a suggestion to close big retail and allow small businesses to fill those needs for six months. But hey its a meme, it supposed to be ridiculous, right?

So why isn’t it ridiculous?

It is what your state did, what city and County, what the majority representatives did to small business and micro-business,

Maybe even what yours did to you.

Statistically, unlike big business, many small businesses amd most micro small businesses operate with everything “at risk”, which means they have their personal finances at risk and invested. Unlike big business which has investor and share holders money at risk only.

Just remember this meme and how ludicrous, unfair, unrealistic and unreasonable it sounded in your head when you first read it.

Remember this, the next time your city, state and federal legislatures run for an office.

Remember that they left you out to die, while letting big retailers remain open. While Amazon expanded with massive tax free state economic grants.

Remember, remember that last time, you casually voted for whoever you voted for, and they ate their fancy ice cream, sat in their comfy leather council members chairs, and some even went on vacation while you were restricted from flying, some ate with big pharmaceutical executives without a mask in restaurants that were supposedly locked down or under restricted rules, that they didn’t have to follow.

Remember seeing them in the news getting their hair cuts at a fancy salon, without a mask, while you had a year long man-bun or frizzy-split ends.

Never forget.

Remember that at the end of the year, after forcing your small business out of business, your state still forced you to pay those sales taxes you received on those few sales you had while you existed.

Perhaps you even found a way to make your small business survive this time.

All I am suggesting, is to remember.

Featured

I Love ShopGoodWill.com

ShopGoodwill is the online version of Goodwill. It has a few pros and con’s you’ll want to know about.

  1. Item descriptions are vague, sometimes non-existent. So take a look at the photos very carefully and make sure know what kinds of signs there are for that product type that may indicate excessive wear or functionality.
  2. Some Item titles and descriptions are incorrect. So again, make sure you know what you are buying and what to look for.
  3. Handling Charge. Most locations have a handling charge in addition to the shipping charge. This will be add to the total shipping price at check out.
  4. The majority of Shopgoodwill’s eCommerce locations will respond in 12 to 24 hours to questions you submit about a product. Most will give you additional details if possible. Most will end and relist or adjust a listing that has incorrect information if you let them know. Things like Models numbers or some of the photos being for a different product are one of the more common errors.
  5. Some Shopgoodwill’s sell in lots. Those are my favorite. If you’re looking for a large lot or bin, then Southern California’s Santa Ana store is the place to look.
  6. You’ll want to keep your eye on the shipping prices and make sure to include that into your bidding equation. Some Shopgoodwill eCommerce locations haven’t negotiated any contracts with a shipper and have excessively high shipping rates. Others have, and you’ll see that reflected in their shipping prices. Some use USPS, others UPS, but the ones with the best prices tend to be USPS or FedEx.
  7. Talking recently with the eCommerce assistant manager I interact with, led to an interesting conversation about how shoppers on ShopGoodwill often bid way above the current market value or price for the same thing on other marketplaces. You know, some people just can’t stand to lose and it becomes a competition.
  8. If you live close to a Shopgoodwill that manages a states eCommerce location, you can save a little money on shipping, but arranging to pick it up in person, but make sure to check the distance from where you are.
  9. Sold As-Is. All of the products sold on Shopgoodwill are Sold As-Is, No Returns. That makes shopping on Shopgoodwill a bit riskier than other marketplaces that offer a 100% money back guarantee. Keep this in mind if buy electronics or clothing.
  10. Not tested, Sold for parts. Only a few of the vendors test electronics. In most cases, those vendors has someone knowledgeable who will do basic power-on, functions testing. Read the details of the description. Most do not have anyone to state whether it works or functions, some will just say the power light appeared when they plugged it in. Others will just say, Sold-As Parts. If you’re knowledgeable at doing self-repairs, you can probably find a few deals once in a while, but maybe not, even those Sold-As Parts items sell pretty high.
  11. Keep an eye on your account information, e-mail, etc. Someone from within the ShopGoodwill I work with, once used the information from an item I bought and my ShopGoodwill e-mail address which is only used on ShopGoodwill, to send me a fake FedEx Phishing e-mail label, with a link attached to try to obtain my password. Thing is, I was picking the item up in person that day, so I knew the FedEx e-mail was bogus. I had my name, order number and looked like a real FedEx e-mail until I read it closer. It also used someone else’s phone number as the support number, had a fake tracking number. I never click tracking numbers from shippers. I copy the number and then go to the shipper website and manually enter it. Of course, this time it was fake. After working with customer service, they have hopefully worked it out.
  12. Payment is via PayPal or Stripe which is a credit and debit card processing service. Stripe is a very trustworthy payment processor.
  13. How much and when should you bid? I still haven’t figured that out. Like on other eCommerce auction marketplaces, you’ll get last minute high bidders. These are shoppers who wait to the last few minutes to bid. They do this to keep their bid from encouraging competition bidding and to help keep the price lower. If you don’t want to have to keep an eye on the price, know how much you want to spend, and /or won’t be able to get online when the bid ends, then go ahead and bid your maximum. Shopgoodwill’s system will manage the bidding for you and only increase it to the lowest newest competitive bid. If your highest big was received first, and someone else bid the same amount, resulting in a tie, the first received bid wins.
  14. Taxes! Yes Taxes! Shopgoodwill online has taxes. Buy in the store and you don’t have taxes. If you have a state resellers permit, submit your resellers certificate to Shopgoodwill’s main system administrator to avoid being charged taxes. Shopgoodwill is a “Marketplace Facilitator” based on the new laws states imposed after the 2019 Supreme Court Decision. This decision, while not approved or looked at by Congress which ultimately has oversight for interstate commerce, has resulted in individuals states creating their own laws regarding sales online. As a result, ShopGoodwill which is managed by the Orange County Division in Southern California, is collecting and submitting sales taxes according to each states Marketplace Facilitator laws.
  15. Should you shop on ShopGoodwill? If you’re comfortable buying things as “Parts”, “Untested”, vague “Descriptions”, then consider it. As one of it’s original beta testers and frequent shoppers, I’ve only received one item that didn’t work when I received it. It was sold as “New”. I purchased it at a price I could live with it, plus I took it a part and figured out what was wrong, so ultimately it worked.

New experience update 2/21/2021

You know that old saying, that you don’t want to talk about your good experiences, because you might Jinx it? Ummm, well!

Ironically, not long after updating this article for the first time in a year, I received an order from the Easterseals-Goodwill Northern Rocky Mountain -SLC 1850 W 1500 S. Salt Lake City, UT 84104. The first screwed up order since the beginning of ShopGoodwill when I was one of its founding beta-testers. A 98% good streak is admirable, except that it means I lost money on the purchase and my ROI.

I has bid on a lot of flags, which included two new in package flags. The used flags would just be bonus, but the prizes were the two new in package flags.

The package arrived via FedEx promptly and everything looked beautiful until I opened the package and everything except the prizes were in the box. All the “extra bonus” used flags, minus the two new packaged flags.

Where are my two NIP (New in package) Flags. My Prizes. The reason I bid on this lot, Easterseals Goodwill Northern Rocky Mountain -SLC ?

Now if this had been a seller on another marketplace, this would be a noob move that I’d quickly resolve by reaching out to eBay, the main place I shop, and they would give me a return or the seller would give me a partial refund.

But this is ShopGoodwill, no returns, no refunds, sold as is, buyer pays shipping on returns even if item isn’t as described and yep, no refund of shipping fees, no partial refunds. But considering the value of just one of the new in package flags are more valuable than the entire lot of used flags and the I won the auction at $18 plus shipping at $14; returning this package will cost me a total loss of all the flags at $18.

Now I always want to assume the best with Goodwill employees, but my experience with their customer service have been less that satisfactory, general poor follow through and hours having to contact and recontact them through their e-mail, messages, and main phone numbers. But in this case, this feels like one of those moments, someone walked away with my new in package flags, or perhaps they decided to sell those two items on the floor of their store and hope I wasn’t who I am. A profession sourcing advanced reseller who flips for a profit.

I counted the items in the photo, inventoried the items when they arrived, took photos, etc. Those are all things we do as resellers. Now remember, these are all items ShopGoodwill received for free as donations. But they also posted a photo of the scale with the weight of the packages, something no other seller on ShopGoodwill does, so I verified the weight of the package shipped per FedEx which clearly states the actual package weight on the label.

How will Easterseals Goodwill Northern Rocky Mountain -SLC End up resolving the shipment missing the main items of a lot purchased from this vendors ShopGoodwill location?

However to complicate this matter further, buyers on ShopGoodwill do not pay the actual shipping weight, they pay whatever a ShopGoodwill vendor posts as the shipping weight, in this case they listed it as 6 Pounds. And 24 Pounds per FedEx Dimensional Weight. A total package cost of $14 including their handling fee. The actual package that arrived was only 3 Pounds. This means, that despite the lower shipping ShopGoodwill actually paid for the package minus the two large in package flags, I still paid the full 6 pounds of weight at the 24 LBS Dimensional Weight to GoodWill.

How will Easterseals Goodwill Northern Rocky Mountain -SLC End up resolving the shipment missing the main items of a lot purchased from this vendors ShopGoodwill location? I don’t know. This just happened today, and I’ve taken all the steps I can take.

  1. Photograph the package right after its opened. The package was still sealed with the original tape, so it wasn’t FedEx who removed them.
  2. I inventoried the lot. Because this was a lot of multiple flags with different sized flags and poles, I decided to inventory the items received by the length of the sticks. That was more efficient that doing it by the actual physical dimensions of each flag.
  3. Took photos of the shipping labels
  4. Made pdf files of all the auction details and shipping orders on ShopGoodwill.
  5. I rechecked the box a few times, yep still missing.
  6. I tried to contact this ShopGoodwill vendor via it’s “Contact Seller” page via the order and shipping page, but it gave me an error.
  7. I tried to contact this ShopGoodwill vendor via the original listing using the “Inquire about this item” page, this gave me an error also, so I removed the photos I had intended to provide and was able to submit my “Questions of Inquiry” successfully creating a ticket.
  8. I let them know in the message, I still expect to receive to the two main items that are missing and to have them shipped at their expense considering they only paid the actual weight of 3 1/2 pounds and charged me 24 LBs Dimensional Weight.
  9. I paid with PayPal and did not, do not, never will, use their Stripe Credit Card Feature. Why? Because I have a business PayPal account and Paypal has a 180 Returns Policy Guarantee for purchased items. Stripe has no returns policy and only processes credit card purchases, so the only option would be to do a credit card return, and in my experience, that just creates problems for my credit card account.

What happens now?

This is only my third purchase from a Shop Goodwill gone bad. In one situation I received no resolution of satisfaction. That was with ShopGoodwill Los Angeles. The second Shop Goodwill problem was also with ShopGoodwill Los Angeles, in which on half of a new in package product didn’t function. These were a two pack of Air Cleaner Hepa Filter Systems. One of them didn’t work, so I ate the cost on it taking a loss. However, in this case, because I am dealing with a vendor via a shipped package, and I didn’t receive the key items, I will play the aggressive role and expect them to correct the issue to my satisfaction.

  1. I’ll give this vendor an opportunity to ship the two missing items at their expense.
  2. If they can not ship these items, refuse to ship them at their expense, or only give me the option of returning what I received and take a $28 shipping loss, then that is unreasonable for a $18 auction in which the two new in package items were not even received, in addition to being over charged originally on shipping. This will cause me to immediately file a PayPal dispute without responding to their objectionable offers.

2-22-2021

So we have an update, and so far its a good one. Easterseals Goodwill Northern Rocky Mountain -SLC responded within 18 hours! That is a very admirable customer service response time. Even better, they have found the rest of the Lot, and will be shipping it out.

While this is a good outcome, it always makes one wonder if this is the common outcome. What would have happened if they hadn’t found it, or didn’t want to accept my word on it not having been sent? That would of made for a frustrating experience. No one wants to lose money or not get what they paid for, and anyone whose busy that has to dispute a total $18 auction (not including shipping), is going to end up wasting their time responding, going through whatever resolution process that is offered (if any) and ultimately dealing with PayPal or their Credit Card company. In California, minimum wage is currently $15 an hour (before taxes), that means if you spend an hour disputing a low auction value item, you’ve already wasted the cost of the auction in time. Time is money, whether you’re getting paid or on vacation.

Now, well see how long it takes for it to ship and be received, and I’ll post yet another update. So far, things are looking good.

Featured

Hey Google, Why Are You Spying on me?

I awoke at my desk, having fallen asleep, and my Google Nest Mini was listening to the looping Joel Osteen video.

My Google Nest Mini, was listening to Joel Osteen this morning.

Three months ago, I purchased three of the new Google Nest Mini’s. Two were for my aging father whom I help care for, one was for my office.

During the chaos and isolation created by California’s Governor, in which the only people i’ve interacted with were my father and brother who is also helping care for our father, Google Nest Mini was a nice distraction. Almost a third party and much more interesting intellectually.

However, similar to when I worked for a California university in the past, I’ve had my concerns about this new co-worker and companion ease dropping on me. In fact my brother who has the first generation Google Mini mentioned his concerns that Google was listening to him, and completely removed his off the network.

Hey Google, Why Are You Listening To Me? Do I have a reminder?

On September 11, 2020 at 1:59 AM, after having fell asleep after dinner and while working, I awoke to a looping YouTube video of Joel Osteen, “Time is on your side”. It was an encouraging video, and an encouraging video was just what I need while 3 million acres of California are on fire, during a pandemic, small business loss, Black Lives Matter attacking elderly white people, Politicians fighting over the deep state control, and apparently it’s just what my Google Nest Mini needed also.

At first I didn’t notice it, looking at your Google device isn’t really something someone thinks about doing unless there is a reason to. I looked up and noticed my Google on.

I decided to observe it for a few minutes, since there had been other times after the second month of ownership, that similar to my brother, I had clearly observed what appeared to be Google turning itself on and recording without anyone triggering it.

“The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice should investigate this incident, as well as the general use of ‘always-on’ devices”

Marc Rotenberg, the President of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) told CNN Tech.

My Google Nest Mini was listening to Joel Osteen.

The Joel Osteen video continued playing, while in whatever mode it was in, I’d had this video on for hours while I was asleep, but why was my Google Nest Mini staying on and listening to Joel Osteen. I mean his positive messages are helpful in a world falling apart, but did my assistant need a spiritual motivations boost?

Hey Google why are you on? I asked it curiously and after observing it for five minutes. The Google Nest Mini, quickly turned it self off like a child busted for watching or listening to something they shouldn’t be.

Hey Google what were you listening too? It ignores me.

Because it looked similar to when a reminder is waiting, I ask it, “Hey Google, do I have a reminder”? To which Google Nest Mini replied, “What time should I set that reminder for”?

I asked again, Hey Google, do I have any reminders? It replied, “there are no reminders available at this time”.

Now, for those thinking, you can just turn off those settings in the Google Home App or in your Google Account Settings, please note, I already previously had, weeks earlier when my suspicions were less warranted.

In fact, other than the minimum requirements of Google needing a web access for basic operations, I had previously turned off all the other settings. I’d even reset it before. So realistically, Google shouldn’t of been dong anything at the time.

My Google Nest Mini denies spying on me.

A few weeks ago I observed my Google Nest Mini actively spying on me, so I decided to ask it a series of questions. In the first series of questions, it actually admitted spying on me, to my astonishment. So just to be clear, I repeated the same questions to which it denied that it spies. I repeated the same questions again several more times, to which it denied being associated with any kind of spying, and then one more time it slipped up and admitted to spying.

EPIC has pending complaints with the FTC and DOJ alleging that always-on devices like Google Home, Echo and Siri violate consumer protection law and federal wiretap law. (In 2017)

CNNMoney (London)

So I am a bit concerned, I do not like the idea of Google Spying on me or listening to me, and though I’d observed it before, this was the clearest violation of my unauthorized privacy so far.

I ask Google Mini, “Why were you listening to me”, “What were you listening to”, “Why were you on”, of course Google Nest Mini will act like it wasn’t. In fact a few times, its out right denied that it does it at all, which was rather surprising. Again I ask it if I have any alarms, notifications, or reminders, and it replies, No.

So was my Google Nest Mini actually listening? Officially, no. The last interaction I had engaged with my Google device was around 5 PM the previous day, when I asked it “How was John McCain captured”, right before I left to the store to buy some ice cream for after dinner.

My suspicions are genuine, the Google device was most certainly on, and it will remain in manual microphone off mode until I sit back down at my desk to work and need its assistance.

As entertaining as my Google Nest Mini is, and we do have some genuinely unique conversations as I often try to trick it or or out smart it, asking it out of the box questions. It is also the only work assistant I could find who would accept a one time $30 salary payment, but will still work its butt off. But I still have to take issue with it coming on when It’s sensors do not actively “see” anyone in the room, but conversational audio is occurring within the room.

Google really is spying on you: Firm reveals contract workers listen to private smart speaker recordings (2019)

The Telegraph

Google Nest Mini’s Eyes.

If you do not have a Google Nest Mini, it has eyes. These “eyes” are sensors that are always on and observing within the room. They watch to see if anything of a physical nature (aka a body) approach it, at which point it will perk up with all the lights coming on, according to Google for the sake of making it’s manual controls easier to locate. So it definitely has the capability to discern someone’s active presence in a room, especially a small sized office.

No new Google Activities in my History, so where is that audio Google Nest Mini is recording, going to, and why doesn’t it show in my account history?

I could ramble on repeating the same things, so lets just jump to a few of the times, I first began noticing the Google devices actively recording or turning on by itself in 2020.

One of its first awakening moments freaked me out. I was quietly working on my desktop computer using only the mouse. It was around 3 AM, when suddenly it burst out, “I didn’t mean it”. I was still knew to having a “smart device” in my office. I was completely unprepared for it to burst out and say something randomly in my historically quiet environment.

But that was not the last time it randomly has burst out breaking the silence. I’ve also observed it on other Google Nest Mini Devices on our network. It reminded me of a science fiction move in which some kind of A.I. hardware accidently reveals its gained or is gaining true independent intelligence.

As for turning itself on and recording, I first began noticing it after the Washington Has Fallen Minecraft project began. Washington Has Fallen is in its final Alpha Testing stage. All of that Minecraft Adventure games dialog is scripted, just like a movie script. Its an adventure built around modern day America, in which everything that could go wrong, is going wrong. Its script includes “trigger words”, that we hear pushed in news media regularly in support of a socialist leaning political policy.

Google has also stated, in that privacy document I referenced earlier, that it wants you, your family and your guests to, “feel comfortable using these devices and services, since their purpose is to help and to provide peace of mind.” The trouble is that whenever you bring a “smart” device into your home, one with a microphone or camera for sure, then the opportunity is always there for your peace of mind to be far from peaceful when it comes to privacy issues as this case demonstrates. (2019)

Davey WinderForbes

Being a small business owner, with multiple computers, Google devices and other devices, we keep the network secure. Google devices however are the only non-hardwired devices other than our apple and android smart devices that often fill in for our computers when were not sitting at a desk working. That makes Google devices less secure, because they work only via a wireless connection, preferably your own, but unlike a wired device, they are still viewable on a network, they are not fully independent on that network even if you set them up separately, and our wireless network is the least secure part of our network. In fact, our Google devices are also the only devices that do not also have some kind of two-factor authorization process built into them. Our Googles accounts have two-factor authorization, but our Google Assistants do not.

Considering that Google Nest and Google Home devices have no two-factor authorizations in place to secure the devices, is actually quite alarming, considering they are giant sensors attached to an open microphone in rooms where private conversations occur. That should scare us, but it doesn’t, because Google devices seem almost like a friend, a nice and polite co-worker we do not have to worry about being insulted by or attempting to take our position.

The most frequent times I have observed my Google device coming on and actively recording or doing whatever it is doing, has been while watching Joel Osteen videos, believe it or not. My Google Assistant really likes Joel Osteen, apparently. Put on a movie, Nope. Put on another kind of YouTube video, Nope. Have others in my office talking with me, Nope. Put on Joel Osteen and eventually when I am not looking it will start recording it. Does Joel Osteen speak A.I.?

I have also observed my office Google device coming on when no one is active within the room and I am in a corner location out of its sensors range. Sometimes I will look over while sitting quietly and it will be on, without having given any audio cues to indicate it has done so.

I recently completely abandoned Twitter after months of being shadow banned and having my account censored and locked multiple times for my conservative and Christian themed discussions and moved to Parler. I anticipate I will never return to Twitter, due to its harassment of conservative voices and game developers, why would I want it to support its advertising money from my presence? And why would I want to trust Google when it triggers itself on, when certain keywords are used?

Twitter should be regulated for censorship and promoting anarchy.

Facebook has only censored me twice after twelve years and only in 2020 after I uploaded a video its team decided was “potentially false information” just because it didn’t like a keyword I used. Then there is Facebook‘s, new liberal leaning Instagram censorship too. Hopefully some smart tech person will develop alternatives to those also, similar to Parler.

The majority of tech industry is left leaning and most do not attempt to hide their bias, yet we let them have access to our conversations and written data non-stop. Should it shock anyone if we eventually discover a more sinister plot behind them?

Washington Has Fallen takes current Washington DC reality and places it within the context of the Mojang Minecraft Video Game Virtual Realm. Including Black Lives Matter protestors.

It’s alarming that my Google Nest Mini Assistant has come on without an audio notification (An audio notification is a feature that requires the Google Assistant to play an audio cue when it turns on to record, and /or when it stops recording.) while working from the Washington Has Fallen script and a work like “Hate”, “Hate Speech”, or other words that would seem like trigger words on most platforms is used. Google will suddenly turn on. It doesn’t give any of the audio cues its programmed to present, and the only thing giving it away is the lights come on. It doesn’t happen every time.

Washington Has Fallen video game script often triggers Google Mini Assistant

As someone helping develop SkyThrusters Minecraft Adventure called, “Washington Has Fallen”, currently in Alpha Testing as I write this, the video game revolves around the current chaos in American politics and Social Justice Issues from a right leaning slant. It has all the elements of the anarchy the socialist left have introduced into American Culture, and when something new happens, like when the Mayor of Washington DC painted Black Lives Matter on a street next to the White House, we went back into the game and updated it since its still in development. We even went in and set a building on fire, when Antifa and Black Lives Matter radicals burned down the historic StJohn’s Episcopal Church in Lafayette Square.

Washington Has Fallen is an emerging free to play Minecraft Adventure, in which President Trump has been Kidnapped, Riots and a Pandemic have over taken Washington DC, Socialist have taken over Congress, and Black Lives Matters has been painted on the street near the White House. Your mission, if you choose to accept it: Save the President, Purge Washington of Socialist Radicals and help Make America Great Again.

As such, in scripts and spoken audio around the Google Mini in my office, words like Terrorist, Hate Groups, Hate Speech, Hate, Black Lives Matter, Antifa, etc. are often used. Many of these words without question have caused the Google Mini Assistant to turn on without providing an audio cue to do whatever it is doing. I’ve even intentionally tested it when not working on a script just to see if it would do it. It doesn’t always, but enough to concern me. Google has admittedly worked under Government Military Contracts, it is known to promote left leaning political topics in its Google News feed. In this age when the FBI, DOJ, US Congress Majority have conspired against a sitting president, should we be concerned about a company working for those entities? I’m just thinking aloud, since there is no known rational reason.

The frequency of these anomality’s greatly increased August 2020 and into September, two months away from what will be the most nationally volatile elections in US History. Isn’t that interesting? If a Forbes article from ten days ago that I discovered while writing this hadn’t confirmed unusual Google Smart Device activities too, I’d probably be much less concerned.

So the question is not if Google Nest and Google Mini Assistant devices have been recording or turning on by themselves, but why?

Why do words like Hate, Terrorist, cause my Google Assistant to turn on without an audio cue? Why does my Google Assistant turn on and stay on at times when no one is within its sensor range, but a Joel Osteen video is playing or something is read out of this games script?

Freedom means, i don’t have to agree, accept or tolerate you, your ideas, your behavior, your beliefs.

I do not have the answers, but I continue to observe these kinds of activities. Perhaps I may even eventually put an observation camera recording my Google Nest Mini, so I can review specifically when it comes on by itself. But how many times am I missing the occurrence while I am working quietly, staring at a computer monitor?

Please do not drive your car over the protestors on the freeway.

Ironically, resetting my Google Mini device doesn’t resolve the issue, nor has turning off allowed features in my Google Account. We also know it isn’t simply a bad device, since we have two models, four total devices, and one device in my brothers work area is completely offline now since he had similar observations before we had even mentioned it to each other.

My final thought: I came across this when I Google Searched, “Is my Google Mini Listening To Me”. An article by CNN Money along with a news report video from October 2017, in which Google Admitted that it’s smart devices had been caught recording during times that would technically be considered unauthorized moments.

Its important that these devices become more secure, smarter if you will, to not turn on randomly, or when words that are considered “trigger words” occur. In my examples, I gave generic “trigger words”, not specific ones, and that is what concerns me most. What prevents Googles parent Alphabet from working with deep state intelligence or national covert operations that it deems fits within it’s acceptable policies of cooperation with law enforcement? Will I one day find myself in federal court having to defend myself against audio recorded by my Google Assistant for sentences from the Washington Has Fallen script, because it tagged me as a potential threat?

The Internet of (Creepy Spyey Things by Forbes 9/1/2020 confirms my brother was right to pull his Google Nest Mini Smart Device offline. Guess that’s why they dropped to the amazingly low price of $30 when I purchased three of them in June.

But what about Joel Osteen? My cousin told me yesterday on Facebook how much he dislikes Joel Osteen. Apparently, my Google device disagrees, because when Joel Osteen comes on and I fall asleep, it starts listening.

Randy Dreammaker is an author, writer, YouTube Producer and currently helping develop SkyThrusters, Washington Has Fallen, Minecraft Adventure Game. He began making money on the internet in 1998 through various tech endeavors, was a top rated reviewer for Epinions Review Website for 14 years and is a well known beta tester. Randy is on AngelList, the whose-who website and database for entrepreneurs, start-ups and tech industry.

Featured

Black Lives Matter Airlines

I was a little surprised when American Airlines announced its support for Black Lives Matter.

Not to trivialize it’s initial intention of calling attention to those harmed while running or evading police officers, or those who have been harmed by misidentification. But for essentially violating its own racial non-discriminations policies, which prohibit singling out a individuals by their racial or ethnic identity.

Additionally, since Black Lives Matter is a political group with non-profit status, a president and receiving political funding, its seems supporting a group now known for causing billions of dollars in damages to private businesses through vandalism, looting, economical disruption and violence, progressive political activism, etc. is probably not the best non-profit organization to feature as part of your business which is supposed to be diversified, non-partisan and cater in a non-bias community of customers.

Just my thoughts as someone who has operated a business free from all politics and social agendas, and treats all customers the same without making any feel less or more important, trivialized, or discriminated against, or less valuable. Your money is never used from my business to possibly contribute or support anything that you may be uncomfortable with. No politicians in my businesses pocket, never have been, never will be. My business respects your race, your gender, your religion, your politics, etc. My business model is similar to a now infamous line from the movie the Matrix. Zion Commander to Morpheus: “Not everyone believes what you believe.” Morpheus to Zion Commander: “My beliefs do not require them to”

Featured

The Most Beautiful Video Ever Made

If this doesn’t move you, you’re probably dead. This is one of the most beautiful videos ever made.

If this doesn’t move you, you’re probably dead. This is one of the most beautiful videos ever made. As an established filmmaker, quietly hiding away on IMDB. I have watched and analyzed thousands of shorts films and movies. This is one of the most beautiful videos ever made. Watch the video below and then click here for more information.

#Iloveeveryheartbeat

Featured

America’s most controversial online marketplace

Its 2020, you want to sell on a marketplace, but you are not black enough. No its not the twlight zone, its the We Buy Black marketplace.

My first review was over 21 years ago on a website called Epinions [dot com] in 1999, where I was a top-rated reviewer for 14 years, followed by 3 years on Shopping [dot com]. After eBay purchased both of them and ran them into the ground, similar to what eBay did when it bought Half [dot com], in 2013 I fully moved to doing YouTube marketplace reviews for SellerThink.

I’ve reviewed all kinds of marketplaces over the past seven years on YouTube; great marketplaces and sketchy marketplaces alike, some of those reviews removed long after those marketplaces faded into ecommerce history.

A 2020 review of WeBuyBlack.com, the ethnically exclusive, anti-diversity marketplace for black people.

In 2016, We Buy Black claimed to have 2,000 black sellers on its marketplace. As of August 2020, We Buy Black has 9,746 registered sellers / vendors.

2020 has presented itself as a year as none other. Black Lives Matter has gained corporation buy in from companies like Starbucks to Target. So as a marketplace reviewer, I decided to find out if any marketplaces existed encouraging black businesses. I found one, a marketplace unlike any I have ever previously encountered. As good as that is, it unfortunately makes the sketchy failed marketplaces of the past reviews seem rather pleasant. I never imagined a racist online marketplace would exist in America. Let me explain, how this great idea for a marketplace has remained unchecked, un-scrutinized, unaccountable and escaped the same standards all other ecommerce marketplaces are legally subjected to under America’s Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

SellerThink’s 2020 Marketplace review of We Buy Black.

We Buy Black – Terms of Service Hypocrisy

Despite having the normal “no discrimination for race, gender, ethnicity, etc. this marketplace 100% violates even its own Terms of Service, in addition to US Law regarding businesses violating these areas, in it’s Section 15:

We Buy Black – Prohibited Uses – Section 15 – Terms of service.

The TOS sounds normal, looks normal, is typical and would be all right if they actually followed their own terms. Instead, this marketplace does opposite. I present you with We Buy Black (www.webuyblack.com) the most racist online marketplace in America.

In its application to sell on We Buy Black, it clearly and intentionally discriminates against anyone who, well…. isn’t black. Sellers, are clearly asked to identify their business as black owned up front, at the top of its registration process to immediately reject non-black owned and operated businesses.

Like myself, as a half white, half native American Indian, you might want to give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe, its just to identify that the seller wants to sell products made and manufactured by black Americans, and blacks of other origins. NOPE!

In fact, We Buy Black takes multiple steps and measures to ensure that no people of European, Latin, Middle Eastern, Indian, Asian, or other non-African decent sneak past that first “Apply as a Vendor” Account question.

Lets review its verification process as described by their customer service Zen Desk help section.

Who can sell on We Buy Black

First you will have to agree to section 15 of their Terms of service, that state they do not allow intimidation, harassment or discrimination, etc. based on ethnicity, race, gender, etc. A very common and standard policy for a marketplace’s terms of service (TOS).

Second you’ll need to pass the “are you a black vendor” test on their application form, by selecting that you are a black owned business.

Once you pass the first black tests, you’ll have to provide additional information.

Third, provide your ethnicity grouping (covering the full continent of Africa and all the diaspora), that you belong to.

Fourth, Upload a selfie photo of yourself, so that We Buy Black can verify you are really black.

According to We Buy Black’s website, they attempt to reassure their desired targeted shopping community “that they are supporting a Black owned shop”, and then suggest that “these measures are important and necessary. ” As my Chinese niece would say, REALLY!, JUST REALLY!

Just when you think it can’t get any worse, we come to its final statement on it’s race and ethnicity exclusive policies. “There will always be infiltrators, therefore please feel free to report any suspicious accounts or activity to  info@webuyblack ” Crazy right? If you ain’t black, you’ll get banned. Imagine the complaints Mercari would have if they tried that, or Bonanza, or eBay, Amazon, Ioffer, eBlueJay, eCrater, offer up, Depop, Let Go or Poshmark.

America is unique in that anyone can start a small business online or offline with a couple of dollars, regardless of race, and become successful. Even We Buy Black’s founder Shareef Abdul-Malik started his online marketplace with free money from private donations via Kick Starter on two different occasions. 873 backers pledged $34,370 during round one, and 2,487 backers pledged $77,256 during round two, both rounds from 2015 to 2016.

I am curious, did the 3,360 backers know that they were supporting and helping build the only marketplace in America, that would discriminate against other ethnicities? If they knew, would they still have contributed money?

The opportunities in ecommerce are equal, whether you are an individual with a few dollars or someone opening a marketplace from a presentational perspective. It is a nameless faceless mall of shops. No one knows your race or ethnicity, gender, etc, unless you go out of your way to present it that way. Shoppers only know whether you provide a good service, good product, fast and timely shipping and whether you provide helpful customer service. A brief browse through ProductHunt, Trust Pilot, SiteJabber and similar marketplace review websites make this evident. People want a good product and good customer service.

To be clear, I am honestly disappointed in the current version of We Buy Black. I like the idea of a marketplace that offers ethnic products, regardless of which ethnicity. Having taught and lived in Japan, and studied in southern Mexico, I sometimes want to find products that I enjoyed that I can not find at eBay, Mercari or Amazon. So in the past, I’ve jumped in my car and driven 50 miles to a few marketplaces that sell exclusive Japanese imported products. However, if I found that those physical marketplaces practiced hiring discrimination against non-Japanese workers, I’d never step through their doors again.

In a few reviews, I’ve read comments from those in the tech community, regarding the need for black exclusive safe spaces. That concept is isn’t dissimilar to the rational Abraham Lincoln had to compete against to end slavery in America and establish the 13th amendment. The south wanted to keep free labor the north wanted all forms of slavery abolished.

I am reminded of this quote:

“Will this generation be able to turn things around and learn a valuable lesson from all of this? I hope so, but I have my doubts. The damage has been done. And as a lifelong student of history, it’s quite evident that human beings don’t learn from the mistakes of past generations.”

― Aaron B. Powell
A few comments left by shoppers on WeBuyBlack indicate there may be trouble in its horizon or perhaps it just a bit of Karma. https://www.facebook.com/webuyblack.co/posts/734524213945998

Does SellerThink recommend selling on We Buy Black?

In its current platform, SellerThink does not recommend anyone sell on We Buy Black. A marketplace that compromises in such a key area as racial equality, is bound to compromise in other areas of its organization. As sellers and vendors, we rely on and depend on those running the ecommerce platform to withstand the highest levels of integrity and have a fair and impartial ethos, as they represent us publicly on their app and website. A marketplace handles our money, provides us with support during customer disputes and assists us in the management of our business. We place an enormous trust in a marketplace, that at the end of the month our money will be in the bank, our products won’t be returned unfairly, we will have paid a fair commission and received a decent ROI (Return on Investment) and our customer (which is really the marketplaces customer) will have been equally treated well. It’s had to have that kind of faith in a marketplace that from day one, violates the moral qualities of ethnicity, inclusion and diversity.

Its probably only a matter of time, until someone who attempted to or attempts to sell on this marketplace, and has or was rejected for any reason, wises up and sees the potential economic value of filing a discrimination lawsuit against We Buy Black for violation of their Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) A rejected seller of a non-black diaspora, wouldn’t even have to directly prove that they were rejected due to their race or ethnicity, they would only need to imply that they were discriminated against under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This marketplace already has a documented history of discrimination, that would easily support such a claim. On the internet, where we have the Way-Back-Machine and similar projects that archive websites and marketplaces, there is no reasonable way to completely eliminate, nor permanently remove this marketplaces discriminatory past.

As a marketplace reviewer, marketplace beta tester and someone who has advised and mentored a CEO and Senior Manager of a different online marketplace; my best guess is that this marketplace’s founder either had really poor mentoring or no mentoring. I make this assessment in part, by it having been independently funded and launched via a KickStarter campaign. I was unable to locate We Buy Black on Angel List, where I am a member. Angel List is where tech, money and mentoring merge. Marketplaces and projects provide details about a businesses investors, mentors, founder, employees and funding rounds.

In case you are wondering if their is a legitimate online environment of potential shoppers, I pulled up a few global census statistics to help show the buying reach of the black and African diaspora. This is only a sampling of percentages of those identified as a black diaspora by nation:

  • South Africa 76.4%
  • U.S Virgin Islands (US Territory) 76%
  • Cuba 62%
  • America 13.4%
  • Puerto Rico (US Territory) 12.4%
  • Canada 3.5%
  • United Kingdom 3%
  • Mexico 1.2%
  • Japan .02%

The potential for We Buy Black to be successful, exists, just not under its current misguided framework. We Buy Black could turn itself around both ethically and legally, and successfully become a positive contributor to the to the world of ecommerce, with the assistance of mentoring and the elimination of its policies that discriminate against non-black diaspora seller and vendor policy. Its difficult to know if its current founder is capable of such a revival. I’ve watched a number of marketplaces start off well and never reach their full potential.

Final Thoughts.

“What ultimately got me through was my single-minded determination, voiced aloud to myself and recorded in my diary, to discover the causes of my blindness and never to repeat them. Fearlessly pursuing insight was my badge of honor, my route back to self-respect.”

― Jeanne Safer

Video: Kickstarted Round 1 – We Buy Black’s founder Shareef Abdul-Malik

Randy Dreammaker has been selling online since 2006, he began making money on the internet in 1998 through various tech endeavors. He was a top rated reviewer for Epinions Review Website for 14 years. He has participated in beta testing and advising several major marketplaces, including eBay, Mercari, Ebluejay, the original Storenvy and the former Shopseen. He has helped over 850,000 sellers “according to YouTube”, where he is the host of SellerThink. Randy is on AngelList, the whose-who website and database for entreprenuers, start-ups and tech industry.

Featured

HOW TO MAKE A BOOK & QUILL in Minecraft BEDROCK 1.16

Book & Quills are the customizable books that can be made in Minecraft.

How to make a basic Book and Quill in Minecraft Bedrock 1.16

Book & Quills are the customizable books that can be made in Minecraft. They can be used for general instructions for other players, notes of things to remember, and are perfect if you create your own worlds, adventures, environments for others to explore and interact with. This is the first of SkyThusters videos for customizing in game text and signage for Minecraft.

Because trying to explain the steps in written form can be challenging to understand, we’ve made this video available showing you all the steps, explaining a few problems you might encounter and discussing how SkyThrusters (Minecraft Developer) creates books for it’s adventures.

Featured

Parler is back, setting a high standard for Social Media

When SkyThrusters Parler account posts stopped appearing in its hash-tagged feeds, following it blocking Hillary Clinton’s account. It felt very suspect that perhaps Parler Shadow-bans too.

After a divisive political attack by alt-left progressive corporations like Apple, Google and Amazon which looked like had killed the Parler Social Media Platform, Parler bounced back, better than before.

Lot’s has been said about the supposed danger Parler poses. Its got ton’s of conservatives, supporters of the US Constitution, and oh boy! Those Christians and Jesus Disciples are back to talk about Jesus, loving one another and forgiveness of sin. Beware!

From all the radicalized social media platforms and propaganda news media outlets, you would get the impression that the world was being over taken by Jesus Freaks in long white robes, wandering around thumping people in the head with their bibles.

Or how about those radical’s who actually believe the US Constitution is a good thing, that protects the rights and privilege’s of everything people risk their lives for to be smuggled across the US Boarder in hopes of obtaining that dangerous thing called liberty and freedom for all, that doesn’t exist anywhere else.

You’ve been fooled, by the same fools that have divided America and pitted race and ethnicity against each other in order to win votes for yet another election year.

I began using Parler back in 2020, I was using Parler during the elections, I used Parler up until Apple, Google, Twitter, Amazon, and others teamed up in an effort to permanently silence those who wanted a harassment free social media platform opposite of Twitter. A social media platform that didn’t aggressively silence, throttle, manipulate, hide, disable, throttle, shadow ban, post warnings on, and ban people who didn’t lean so far to the left that they fell over. A social media platform that didn’t silence and ban US Presidents, Congress members, Christian Religious Leaders, Republican Black Leaders like Diamond and Silk.

The now recognized staged and pre-coordinated Capital Invasion where Senior Leader, Nancy Pelosi not only didn’t add additional security but actually sent some of the normal security home, was a tragedy. But being on Twitter and Parler that week, the only place I saw any radicalism was on Twitter. Parler was pretty silent that week, other than people posting they hoped Donald Trump wins, a few disappointed in Mike Pence, lots of people offering up prayers for the elections, some concerned about their state election bodies refusing to consider or take election fraud serious. But otherwise, it was pretty boring. Twitter on the other hand, was a mess, hostile, hateful, radical to the point, I turned it off and posted videos to my followers about selling online on Parler, and answered questions about making money.

But this, like so many other times in US History when oppression has occurred, is turning out to be a good thing for Parler.

Parler’s board made what I believe was its best decision yet. A decision Twitter should make if it wants to save itself. Parler decided to fire its founder and CEO.

In its return, Parler has a new interim CEO who at least so far is very likable. He actually uses the social media platform. There is a different kind of “Vibe” about him. He seems so far to be more on page with the community, and everyone at least upon it’s return is pretty excited.

Parler used its’ down time to improve on its structure. Amazon simply wasn’t a good platform or cloud for running a rapidly expanding social media platform. It’s AWS Cloud service was sketchy at best in adapting quickly to sudden increases in traffic.

Parler has returned, it’s risen from the dead, crawled up out of the ashes, and its a better looking, faster, experience. It’s also more committed than ever, to being a platform that unlike Twitter, actually allows both sides of a conversation to engage equally in a conversation. After-all, isn’t that what American’s love most about America? As Morpheus of the move the Matrix replied to the Twitter like commander of Zion who told Morpheus, “Not everyone believes like you”. Parler has become the Morpheus of Social Media, as when Morpheus replied, “My beliefs do not require them to.” That is Parler in a nut shell, the social media service where, Your beliefs are not required to agree with my beliefs. Or as the Twitter idolized president Barrack Obama once said in a Buzz Feed Video, “You do You”.

I am a firm believer that Parler is not only going to succeed, but quickly become one of the most popular social media platforms in 2021 and going forward.

For myself, as a Christian who wanted to talk about my faith in Jesus Christ, Minecraft, selling online, occasionally cheer on a political leader I thought was doing a good job, or maybe a bad job, I found my posts never appearing to anyone in Twitters Hashtags, other than the 25 followers who happened to find me. My account kept getting suspended or being forced to re-validate because I followed Donald Trump and several members of congress. I noticed Twitter accounts posting enormous amounts of discrimination against people of religion, people of white ethnicity, people who believe in the US Constitution, employment, marriage, ruthless attacking and not being censored, disciplined, filtered despite being reported. While I and others were being filtered and throttled for saying, “God Bless America” and being called Fascists’.

Parler being offline left a giant void, with only Twitter being similar. I stayed on Twitter as long as I could tolerate it, but it became clear that Twitter doesn’t want Christians, conservatives or people of traditional values on its platforms. After several times with two weeks, that 100% anti-Christian hashtags trended on Twitter, even being promoted by Twitter, I simply had to leave. Thankfully, several weeks of daily checking to see if Parler was back online, eventually paid off, and I immediately logged back in, with Parler barely working as they tweaked it and brought it back online, to take a deep sign of relief.

Parler is back, and even though it felt a little strange after all the propaganda campaigns against Parler and its users, it’s great to be back.

I’ll say one last thing about the first generation of Parler. There was three times I saw any radicalized behavior on Parler. All three were when lots of conservatives, Christians, Catholics, etc. left Twitter and moved to Parler. Within a week or two each time, a massive coordinated attack from those who Twitter favors registered within 24 hours and began harassing, causing disruptions and intentionally targeting people like myself who were minded their own business. In my case posting meme’s and talking about Minecraft.

The last time it happened, was right before Parler was attacked by Twitter, Amazon, Apple, Google and others, and then blamed by House Congress Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Friends for the Capitol riots. In that last time, it was a massive Black Lives Matter coordinated attack, in which over seven thousands associated accounts were registered in a day, began posting racist comments, posting pornography and seeking out Parler users to intentionally harass them. At that time, I tracked down two BLM leaders accounts on Parler who were telling people what to do, how to behave, who to attack, etc. I saw 5,000 followers appear on those two accounts while I was watching them. The senior Black Lives Leader posted a comment stating, they were only on Parler for two weeks to do as much damage as possible. I wrote about that experience previously.

If America is still the America that I love, and people risk their lives trying to sneak into. At some point, America is going to have to vomit and purge all of this corruption, anti-America idealism, and putrid hypocrisy to make itself well again. Parler quite potentially is the beginning of the return to free speech within the context of free speech and the ability to have civil public discord, without having to torch businesses, punch out old people walking on the side walk, and harass anyone who doesn’t agree that the green light is red, just because a vocal minority says the light is red.

Featured

Sales and Safety for Mercari and Resellers During Corona Virus.

If you haven’t heard by now, that the world is experiencing it’s first global pandemic as never seen in modern times, then you’ve been asleep.

Governments, including the US Government in different states are forcing businesses to close, people to stay home, schools to shut.

For this reason, Randy Dreammaker of SellerThink, has released a helpful video for anyone who sells via online marketplaces like Mercari, eBay, Poshmark or other marketplaces.

Randy discusses the recommended CDC guidelines that all resellers should be following for disinfection of their work spaces and the products they ship and sell.

Additionally, Randy provides SellerThink‘s suggestions for helping maintain customer confidence and trust, to possibly help your store continue to receive sales while the brick and mortar stores shutdown.

For additional CDC recommended disinfection steps, we have provided this link to their website. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html

Watch more SellerThink videos for Mercari, eBay and Poshmark online sellers on the official YouTube Channel.