Suspicious Facebook login requirement

Has anyone ever seen this requirement upon trying to log in to their Facebook account?

Facebook message

The message:

Confirm Your Identity

To continue, we need you to provide your mobile phone number. This quick security check helps keep Facebook a community of real people who connect and share using their real identities. If you ever lose your password, you’ll also be able to use your mobile number to access your account.

Confirm your identity by adding a mobile number to your account

Add your phone [Link]

Now, is it just me or is this fishy?

1. As far as I recall, I haven’t given Facebook my mobile number. So they’re not asking for it to validate against their records. (And if they were, wouldn’t they make that clear?)

2. As far as I know, there’s nothing that prompted this. I haven’t changed my email address, my name, or used my account unusually. If they are doing this “for my protection” (i.e. if my account has been hacked) they certainly aren’t being upfront about that.

3. They have literally locked out my account until I provide this information. I can’t get past this screen, nor can I access via any mobile access. (In fact, on a mobile site, it tells me my account is locked and that I must visit the site on a computer.)

Anyone have any insight into this rather suspect development?

What I expect from companies in social media

I don’t think I can even count the number of articles I’ve read about social media/PR disasters, why your company needs a social media presence and strategy, why you need a retina chip to ensure you’re monitoring social media at all times. (Okay I’m exaggerating with the last one – but probably not for long.)

From You Tube videos of snotty Dominos pizza, to a (hilarious) cartoon by a Best Buy employee, to Air Canada’s PR nightmare after damaging to a disabled child’s wheelchair, there is a long list of companies who have been burned by social media.

I’m not going to provide a 10-point list of why your company needs to monitor social media, nor an analysis of the stages of social media development in an organisation. My point is much simpler than that. Your company needs to be present, monitor and respond to social media because there is a growing group of consumers who expect it.

Fifty years ago, most customer complaints likely came by mail. Then came the need for phone support. Then email and live chat. Now social media. Today, companies are no longer responding to private emails/calls/complaints between the company and the consumer. They are responding to very public reviews of performance failures, which are not only heard by the followers of the aggrieved party, but spread out to others, and often quickly picked up by news outlets. Your failures are out there in the open and you need to monitor and respond.

Take myself as an example. I have no intention of bad mouthing companies on Twitter or Facebook for fun. However, I will post honest comments of my frustrations, and likewise where I am pleased with a company’s product or service. For example:

@michelehinojosa: “Staying with AT&T for the iPhone 4 makes me feel equal parts nervous and duped.” (Thu 6/17/10)

@michelehinojosa: “@i4harold  I’m a current #iPhone user, switching to #Android in August (because I get terrible service from #ATT!)” (Thu 7/8/10)

@michelehinojosa: “@EndressAnalytic Ahh. Unfortunately I’m a current AT&T (iPhone) customer and wouldn’t touch AT&T again with a 100 foot pole. Hello, Verizon.” (Wed 6/30/10)

@michelehinojosa: “Literally LOL’ed!   RT @journik: CEO of AT&T got married recently. The wedding was great but the reception was terrible.” (Thu 6/24/10)

@michelehinojosa: “Trying Toodledo task manager. Website & iPhone app sync, and a 3rd party app syncs with Outlook. So far so good! (@jrushin @rightonbro)” (Mon, 5/24/10) But then … @michelehinojosa: “Until Outlook stopped working … ” (Mon 5/24/10)

@michelehinojosa: “Wait, what happened to Verizon ‘having plenty of stock of Droid X’? Yeah right … http://ow.ly/2fPk7” (Fri, 7/23)

Don’t get me wrong though. I have good things to say too!

@michelehinojosa: “Flying @VirginAmerica. Wi-fi is the bomb!” (Fri, 7/2/10)

@michelehinojosa: “Impressed so far with Verizon 3G internet speed. Web pages loading much faster than on AT&T.” (Sat 7/31/10)

@michelehinojosa: “Long Beach airport is odd, like it’s still the 60’s. And yet … FREE WIFI!” (Wed, 7/21/10)

The above are a few examples only. What you’ll notice is that I say a lot about AT&T, due to very poor experiences I had with them over four years. Yet never once did I receive any comment or contact, much was I was critiqueing them in a very public forum.

Other companies (Long Beach airport, for one!) tweeted me back some kind of response – in the case of Long Beach airport, a very positive one and a thank you for the mention. Some companies (Omniture, for one) even actively have customer service on Twitter attending to client questions and concerns. (For the record, Omniture’s Twitter support is fantastic.)

There is no debate here. Your company needs to be monitoring and responding to social media. Customers like myself expect it. And while I’m sure we are not 100% of your customer base, we are growing quickly.

Would you leave a spill on the floor in your store, and later deal with the ramifications of a customer slip and fall? No. Apply the same approach to social media. It is so easy for your reputation to be damaged, and so much harder to repair than to protect it in the first place.

Droid X vs. iPhone 3G Follow Up

To read my original review, click here: Droid X vs. iPhone 3G Review #1

Few follow up thoughts, after some more time with Droid X:

1. I’m still very happy with it.

2. Few issues:

  • Twitter clients: I have not found a Twitter/Facebook client as good as HootSuite for iPhone was. HootSuite for Android is poor in comparison (it only supports Twitter accounts, no posting to Facebook.) The app that comes with the phone supports Twitter + Facebook, but only one account of each. Since I’m trying to manage two Twitter accounts and two Facebook (plus ideally one Linked In and one Yammer) on the Android, it would be great if something actually supported this. I’ll pay you for it! Do a good job of it, and I’ll pay you a lot!
  • Facebook App: Despite a recent update, the Facebook for Android app is still sub-par compared to the iPhone app. For example, if you click a notification on the iPhone app, it takes you to the post itself on the app. Droid X takes you to the mobile site to view the post.
  • Battery Life: Battery life sucks. At best, it’s equivalent to my iPhone 3G, but only on a day when I barely use it. On an equal-use footing, it blows. (Though in the Droid X’s defense, at least you change change out the battery when it does. I don’t own a second battery yet, but I like knowing the option is there.)
  • International Text Messaging: For some reason, Verizon won’t let me send international text messages as easily as AT&T did. (E.g. You can send a message if you enter 011 44… for the UK. The reply comes back with a +44… If you reply to that, the message back doesn’t go through. You have to manually reply to 011 44… HUH?!)
  • Alarm Clock: There are two nice features of the alarm clock on Droid X, and two not-so-good.
    The good: The increasing volume alarm feature is nice, as is the ability to set how long a “snooze” is (2 mins? 9 mins?)
    The bad: The alarm clock sound options aren’t as nice as the bells were on iPhone. (So naturally I downloaded the iPhone Bell Tower MP3 and am now using it!) Also, it’s very depressing that the alarm tells you how long it’s been set for. E.g. if you go to bed at midnight and set your alarm for 5am, it tells you “Alarm set for five hours from now.” I don’t enjoy knowing how little sleep I’m going to get!
  • Camera: It must just be me (or the case I’m using) but you sure seem to have to hold down that camera button for a loooooong time before it takes a picture. That said, the pictures come out nice.
  • Call quality/Network: I’ve had a few issues with calls. They don’t drop, just all of a sudden there is silence and the person never “comes back”. However, I’m not sure if it is the network, Google Voice (some of the calls were made via Google Voice) or Bluetooth (the calls were all on Bluetooth.) So I’m reserving judgment on this. Data is fast. However, it’s a little frustrating not being able to talk on the phone and use data at the same time. (E.g. Recently a friend called me to look up directions for her, and I had to hang up then call back with memorised directions. Would have been nice to have put her on speaker and talked her through it.)

[I’ll add to this list if I have further thoughts.]

In summary however:

Am I keeping it? Yes. I have 30 days to get out of my Verizon contract if for some reason I’m not happy. I am, however, happy enough that I’m staying with Droid X and with Verizon.

If the Verizon iPhone rumours are true, will I change back to iPhone? I don’t know yet. Possibly. Possibly not. I love the customisation available on the Droid X, and I think the app market will get much stronger in time. Therefore, I’m not sure I would switch back, but I guess we’ll wait and see what takes my fancy in 12 months when my contract is up.

If you’re thinking about making the AT&T > Verizon switch, or simply iPhone > Android, ask me questions. What matters to you? I’ll do my best to help you out.

Analytics must-read list

Having just spent approximately $150 on books on Amazon.com, I got to thinking what else could fill up that list for my next order. (My husband is cringing as I write this.)

So here are my read and “up next” lists. I would love to hear your recommendations, both for myself and others to add to their reading lists.

Been there, read that:

  • “The Big Book of Key Performance Indicators” by Eric T. Peterson (FYI, available for free! at Web Analytics Demystified)
  • “Web Analytics Demystified” by Eric T. Peterson (also available for free! at Web Analytics Demystified)
  • “Web Analytics: An Hour A Day” by Avinash Kaushik
  • “Web Analytics 2.0: The Art of Online Accountability and Science of Customer Centricity” by Avinash Kaushik
  • “Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning” by Thomas H. Davenport and Jeanne G. Harris
  • “Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell
  • “Buyology” by Martin Lindstrom
  • “Five Dysfunctions of a Team” by Patrick Lencioni
  • And for fun, “Freakonomics” by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

Looking forward to my Amazon delivery for:

  • “Analytics at Work: Smarter Decisions, Better Results” by Thomas H. Davenport, et al
  • “Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error” by Kathryn Schulz
  • “Social Media Metrics: How to Measure and Optimize Your Marketing Investment” by Jim Sterne and David Meerman Scott
  • “How to Think Like An Economist” by Roger A. Arnold
  • “Why Can’t You Just Give Me The Number? An Executive’s Guide to Using Probabilistic Thinking to Manage Risk and to Make Better Decisions” by Patrick Leach
  • “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell
  • And for even more fun, “Superfreakonomics” by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

What are your must reads? I’d love to hear them.

UPDATE: Thanks for the comments and recommendations! Here is a summary of the recommendations:

  • “Only the Paranoid Survive” by Andy Grove (from Rudi Shumpert)
  • “Cult of Analytics” by Steven Jackson (from Jennifer Day and Emer Kirrane)
  • “Cartoon Guide to Statistics” by Larry Gonick (from Jennifer Day)
  • “The Book of Think” by Marilyn Burns (from Jennifer Day)
  • “Reading Virtual Minds” by Joseph Carrabis (from Jennifer Day)
  • “Most Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist’s Companion” by Angrist and Pischke (from Michael Healy)
  • “The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies” by Caplan (from Michael Healy)
  • “The Richness of Life: The Essential Stephen Jay Gould” By SJG (from Michael Healy)
  • “Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea” by Seife (from Michael Healy)
  • “Yahoo! Web Analytics: Tracking, Reporting, and Analyzing for Data-Driven Insights” by Dennis R. Mortensen (from Emer Kirrane)
  • “Made to Stick, Why Some Ideas Survive and Other Die” by Chip and Dan Heath (from Meng Goh)

Droid X vs. iPhone 3G: Review #1

This is preliminary, based on three days with the Droid X.

In short: Droid X is a fantastic phone, very customisable to what the user wants, but the iPhone does still trump for usability and simplicity. I love Droid X, and if/when Verizon gets an iPhone, I wouldn’t automatically jump back to it. It would actually be a very tough choice between the two. But I wouldn’t buy a Droid X for my Dad, as the iPhone’s simplicity would suit him better.

Droid XWhat I like:

Customisation: Incredibly customisable. I can choose what notifies me and how. I can choose not just what apps appear on what pages, but add widgets to pages. (This is an awesome feature that is much cooler, IMHO, than the iPhone “tons and tons of icons”.) The one thing that is a little tricky is getting used to where the settings live. Some live in the main Settings area and some live within the app itself. But no huge deal, really.

Set up: Set up was fairly easy for me. Added all my accounts quickly. The harder part was getting the right balance of notifications. I get a lot of email, especially through my corporate email. I don’t need you to vibrate everything time I receive an email! Or that phone would never be still.

Notifications: I love the pull-down notification window. So much better than the iPhone’s one-notification-overrides-another thing.

Display: Love the screen – it’s huge and looks way better than my 3G screen did. I know that the iPhone 4 screen is supposed to be the greatest screen ever created (blah blah blah) but I’m loving Droid X’s.

Sign in: The pattern sign in is crazy cool! Instead of a numeric code, you can sign in based on a pattern of connecting dots.

Outlook and Exchange sync: The basic integration with corporate email is okay, but not great. E.g. I can view calendar notices, and know that someone invited me to a meeting, but not reply to them. (You could reply on iPhone.) However, I downloaded the TouchDown app which integrates better than iPhone. Not only can you reply to calendar invites, but you can create them, including adding people, and syncs with tasks. This is huge for me, as I’m a big user of Outlook tasks and always found it frustrating that I couldn’t get access to my tasks on the iPhone. (There are third party applications you can use for this, but they crashed my desktop Outlook so it was a no-go.) Without a third party app like TouchDown, I’d say that iPhone’s Exchange is better, but with TouchDown, Android wins. And for the record, I’m willing to buy apps that make my life easier, so that’s not a “lose” for me.

Google Voice: The Google Voice integration is awesome. On iPhone, it would forward SMS to my phone but nothing more than that. Right now Google Voice is controlling my whole phone, transcribing voicemail etc. It’s fantastic.

Typing: Having played around with others’ Droid (the original Droid, not Droid X) I was wondering how the keyboard would go. The iPhone on-screen keyboard just seemed better than Droid’s. However, the Droid X keyboard is great, very good at predicting and correcting. I also like the way that the selection and copy/paste works.

Camera: is amazing. Zoom and flash? Awesome! Only downside is that I don’t have the steadiest hands, and it does seem like sometimes it doesn’t want to take the pic because I can’t hold the camera steady enough.

In-built navigator: I have nav in my car, but still, awesome!

Universal inbox: Pulls all your unread emails, texts, Facebook messages (etc) together from all your accounts so you can read unread mail in one place. Very cool!

Network: So far, Verizon is kicking AT&T’s ass, but to be fair, I’ve had three days on Verizon and only a few phone calls, compared with two years of experience with AT&T, where the bad may stand out more than the good. I will say though that the 3G data (e.g. web browsing) is a lot faster on my Droid X. Not sure how much is the device and browser vs. the network though.

What could be improved:

Battery life: So far, battery life hasn’t been great. I do think it will get better as I get used to a phone that multi-tasks and manage the battery better, and I also hear that Froyo will help in that respect too. I made it about half the day before it was already at 50%, and that wasn’t actually with crazy-heavy usage. My only goal is for it to be the same as my 3G was. (I could make it a day but not with heavy usage.)

HootSuite Android application: Okay so this one isn’t Motorola or Android’s fault, but the HootSuite app for iPhone is way better than the HootSuite app for Android. HootSuite for Android unfortunately only supports multiple Twitter accounts, but no Facebook accounts. This was a huge portion of my iPhone use, so I’m seriously begging for an update to this ASAP. In the meantime though, the social networks feature that comes with the Droid X does let me post to Twitter and Facebook, but only to one account of each.

User-friendly-ness: [I know that’s not a word, but you know what I mean] I love Droid X so far. But I would buy my Dad an iPhone. It’s just more intuitive and easy to use for those who don’t want to put in the time to figure out all the nuances. But for those who want a ton of control over their device, Android seems better in my opinion.

Droid X vs. iPhone 3G: The Back Story

Recently I made the switch from an iPhone 3G with AT&T to a Motorola Droid X with Verizon. There will likely be a number of posts of the transition, as folks sure do seem curious!

A little background: In the United States (where I’m located) the iPhone is exclusive to the AT&T network. Unlike in other countries where you can get an iPhone on any network, if you want the device you need to be with AT&T. My husband and I were with AT&T prior to the iPhone, using Motorola Razr. We weren’t thrilled with them to begin with, but stayed when the iPhone was released. Our frustration with AT&T (even back then) was the network quality. We frequently raised our eyebrows at the AT&T “network with the fewest dropped calls” tagline. Not in our experience … !

We jumped on the iPhone bandwagon with the 3G. Now, let me say very clearly: I really like the iPhone. The switch wasn’t motivated by a hatred of the device itself. My two years with iPhone were mostly enjoyable ones. It synced my work and personal email. It gave me on-the-go access to my calendar. It let me access Twitter and Facebook and mobile banking. It was my first smartphone, and I loved it. But as far as making calls go, well …. it wasn’t actually so great at that …

About a year in to our two-year contract, I’d had enough. I called AT&T and they blamed it on the device. Their argument was that because I got so many dropped calls in all different places, it had to be the device, not their network … even though I was on their network in all of those places. So I followed their advice, had to completely factory restore the phone (massive pain, by the way, since my contacts weren’t synced with anything) and nothing changed. In fact, the Genius Bar tech looked at my phone data and said I’d dropped 20% of my calls in the last week. Sadly, that actually sounded a little lower than usual. I also had a wonderful conversion with an AT&T employee that went like this:

Me: “So what if I restore my iPhone to factory settings, follow all the instructions both you and Apple give me, and nothing changes. You’re telling me that you will do nothing about this?”
(I had asked about them waiving the early termination charge, or
anything, really!)

AT&T: “Yes, that’s right.”

Now, at the same time, my 3G had become very buggy. Buttons becoming unresponsive, text taking a long time to type, etc. (I heard, from those who switched to 3GS, that it was much more stable and responsive, but the 3G did seem to be on its last legs.)

A few months shy of our contract expiration date, iPhone 4 came out. I was torn. On the one hand, I wanted off AT&T. On the other hand, it did look good. On the other hand, I actually wasn’t as blown away by as I had expected iPhone 4. (Wow, I have a lot of hands …) Given the anticipation, I expected more. You can read my thoughts on it here. I will, however, confess: I actually pre-ordered one. Okay, another confession: I actually pre-ordered TWO. (One for my husband, one for me.) But I couldn’t stand to go pick it up. It gave me an uncomfortable feeling, like I was a fool who had been duped.

So I left the iPhone 4, and started researching Android. It seemed like it might fit for me. I’m a huge fan of Google Voice, which I heard integrates well. Based on the devices on the market, and upcoming handsets, I chose Droid X.

Which brings us to now. We ordered our Droid Xs on a Sunday, they arrived on Thursday. Verizon had set us up with temporary numbers until we port over our AT&T numbers, so until our contract ends (a week after receiving our Xs) we are using the temporary numbers to get used to the phone. (Naturally, if we port our numbers to Verizon even a day early, AT&T will charge us $60.)

But you want to hear the best part? We signed up for AT&T U-Verse at a time when AT&T were giving you $400 in gift cards to sign up. We paid for our Verizon Droids with AT&T’s $400!

So this brings me to the actual review …