Social Security Scam Alert!

Cathy Social Security 16x9“PLEASE, DO NOT RESPOND IN ANYWAY TO A CALL THAT SAYS YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER IS SUSPENDED AND YOU MUST CALL BACK. JUST DON’T DO IT.”

Those are the words of advice from Cathy Sikorski. Moreover, it is information that we should all work together to spread the word about. It is not common knowledge as much as it may seem. This is especially true for our elderly loved ones whose alertness may not be what it once was during their younger days.

CathySikorskiSpeaker-Interfaith Gala
Cathy Sikorski

These calls are fully capable of being relentless. In numerous cases after repeated calls, the numbers have been blocked only to be followed by more calls with the same message from new numbers.

For more detailed information about this current wave of calls I would like to invite you to listen to Cathy during a recent phone interview. The interview also covers other various fraudulent tactics to be aware of online as well as by telephone. You can find more information about Cathy at CathySikorski.com and follow her on Twitter @cathy_sikorski.

We also would like to thank Donna Cavanagh from Corner Office Books and HumorOutcasts.com for her support regarding this issue.

For your convenience the interview is available below at the bottom of this post. The podcast episode is also available on most of the major podcasting platforms including Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify, and on your favorite Alexa device under the “Billy Dees Podcast.”

The episode is titled on these services as:

Cathy Sikorski with Billy Dees – Social Security Scam Alert

Welcome to My Tik Tok Don’t Scroll Up Turn the Heart Red!

The Next Big Thing_ Maybe...It’s pretty near impossible these days to do any kind of marketing without being aware of social media platforms. One of the new social media apps that keeps coming up more and more in conversation is TikTok.

For me, doing social media marketing is very much akin to being a politician. I always keep my options open. For this reason I seldom dismiss a new platform out of hand. The bright and shiny object off in the distance today can morph into the way things are done a year from now.

“TikTok is just for kids.” Okay.

Remember when Facebook was just for juvenile college students? Instagram was what your kids were playing with in the backseat? Before we knew it our competition had thousands of followers on their business pages and we were fumbling with how to set up our pages to catch up.

I have noticed this pattern of progression for most successful social media platforms. They generally start with kids as the primary members. Then they are followed by adults, many of whom were introduced to the platform by their children. That brings in more adults. As the population of users grow, influencers on the platform begin to emerge. Then, brands and advertisers follow.

During the first quarter of 2018, TikTok was the most downloaded (non-game) app in the Apple store globally reaching 45.8 million downloads. It is estimated that TikTok currently has over 500 million active users worldwide, and other data trackers put that number considerably higher.

I have spent some time experimenting with the app as a user. I wouldn’t refer to myself as a TikTok pro but this is what I’ve learned. TikTok is a video sharing app. If you use the app you can record for 15 seconds or upload your videos up to a minute long. The app itself has some nice special effects for video and graphics that are easy to incorporate into your content. If you amass a thousand followers this enables you to live-stream.

TikTok is owned by the Chinese company Bytedance. They purchased Musical.ly during November 2017 and merged the two platforms internationally in 2018. TikTok has many of its forerunner’s traits, including many dance and lip-syncing videos.  At this time, by my estimation, this musically driven content has a dominance on the platform. A popular feature seems to be “duet,” which allows a user to lip-sync along with another user’s video.

However, influencers and brands are arriving. There are influencers well into middle-age and beyond on the app giving tips on everything from buying cars to how to stay motivated at life.

I don’t know if this shiny object will brighten or fade away, but TikToK is off to a fantastic start. I would stop short of saying that I would make TikTok a priority at this time but if you create content for other platforms anyway why not repurpose it for TikTok as well?

If you decide to do so you may wish to follow these three suggestions:

  • First, I would not follow or follow back accounts that do not have content or are listed as private.
  • Second, choose several hashtag subjects or genres of content to search. Interact with and like the content that interests you from the results of your search. Choose several dozen accounts that are creating good content and follow them.
  • Third, create good content of your own and utilize the proper hashtags when posting it. Be sure to acknowledge all of the positive feedback that you get. My general rule of thumb is to not engage negative comments on any platform.

If you care to say hello on TikTok you can find me at @billydees01

Happy social media marketing to you!

People of Twitter Podcast Interviews

Dorothy Rosby and Billy Dees
Dorothy Rosby and Billy Dees

Are you on Twitter? Do you use it to help market your blog, books, photography, or other creative endeavors? Have you been on Twitter with an active account for at least five years?

We are launching a new series of podcast interviews with Twitter users to talk about why they joined, how they have utilized the social media platform, and how the user experience has changed for them over the years.

On this episode we talk to Dorothy Rosby who is on Twitter @DorothyRosby

I originally met Dorothy working on an interview for HumorOutcasts.com.

coverjDorothy Rosby is a speaker and syndicated humor columnist whose writing appears in publications across eleven states. Her column has been recognized by the South Dakota Newspaper Association. She was a finalist in the 2015 Robert Benchley Annual Award for Humor Writing and was the 2015 first-place winner in the Humor Column category of the National Federation of Press Women contest.

Rosby Cover HODorothy is the author of I Used to Think I Was Not that Bad and Then I Got to Know Me Better,” who refers to the book as the book for people who read self-improvement books and never get any better. She also is the author of I Didn’t Know You Could Make Birthday Cake from Scratch, Parenting Blunders from Cradle to Empty Nest.”

For your convenience the podcast interview is available below at the bottom of this post. The Billy Dees Podcast is also available on nearly all of the major podcast networks including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and Stitcher. You can follow Billy Dees on Twitter @BillyDees.

People on Twitter by Billy Dees Interview with @DorothyRosby Author and Humor Writer

Why Space Matters!

“In short, our leadership in science and in industry, our hopes for peace and security, our obligations to ourselves as well as others, all require us to make this effort, to solve these mysteries, to solve them for the good of all men, and to become the world’s leading space-faring nation.”

“There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all.”

“We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”      

– John F. Kennedy September 12, 1962

The above quotes are from the famous speech that President Kennedy gave which set the goal of putting a man on the Moon during the 1960’s. The space program at that time had the backdrop of the cold war. Space interests in regard to national security and intelligence continue to be serious issues of today. If you review the entire Kennedy speech, you will find that the message is about investing in science and technology as much as it is about exploring space.

ApolloFootprintPublicDomain
NASA Image

We just marked the 50th anniversary of The United States Apollo 11, the first crewed mission to land on the Moon, on July 20, 1969.

The resources allocated for NASA are a fraction of the overall budget for the United States and are often tragically limited because of incredibly wasteful general spending. Yet, so much has been brought forth by the investment in space technology for our society in so many ways. It is the one government program that has paid off.

Here are just a few of the benefits that have been brought forth by the space program either directly or indirectly:

Semiconductor cubing, structural analysis, air quality monitors, virtual reality, aircraft controls, aerodynamicsmicrocomputers, GPS, design graphics, enriched baby food, water purification systems, scratch-resistant lenses, athletic shoes, shock-absorbing helmets, home security systems, smoke detectors, firefighting equipment, flat panel televisions, high-density batteries, trash compactors, food packaging and freeze-dried technology, solar energy, weather forecasting, telemetry systems, laser angioplasty, human tissue simulators, programmable pacemakers, arteriosclerosis detection, ultrasound scanners, automatic insulin pumps, portable x-ray devices, invisible braces, dental arch wire, palate surgery technology, clean room apparel, implantable heart aids, MRIs, bone analyzers, cataract surgery tools, magnetic liquids, advanced welding torches, gasoline vapor recovery, self-locking fasteners, machine tool software, laser wire strippers, lubricant coating processes, wireless communications, engine coatings, better brakes, weight saving technology, improved aircraft engines, advanced lubricants, energy storage systems, along with an array of other things.

Oh no! How could I have omitted golf ball aerodynamics?

Advancements in space technology have enhanced our way of life, given birth to new products and industries for our economy, and improved the safety of the society in which we live.

It is also of no small consideration for me that historically all of this progress has been under the umbrella of American leadership for the entire world. Although I am very glad that the world community has an interest in developing space technology, I do find it disconcerting that lately America seems perfectly content to go along for the ride. It is a common cliché reflecting the simplicity of any particular subject to say that, “It isn’t rocket science.” Well, as America’s math and science scores continue to lag behind large percentages of other populations pertaining to the world’s largest economies, it seems as though we prefer things not to be rocket science.

The United States can barely rouse a modicum of enthusiasm for serious space exploration. NASA’s ability to achieve new space-exploration milestones may very well be limping along because of the government’s disagreements about the agency’s priorities. That is a shame because other countries, including China, seem to be picking up the ball.

During a classic piece of news footage from the 1960s a reporter walked up to a woman in France and asked her how she felt about men walking on the Moon.  Her answer was, “I knew the Americans could do it!” What, exactly, does the world know about us now?

To be fair, there has been renewed American enthusiasm for a mission to Mars. I hope it continues! The next big step for mankind, back to the moon and beyond, might very well come from private enterprises such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Amazon’s Blue Origin.

I believe many of the social ills we have in our society and around the world are largely because of a lack of an education and an appreciation for the sciences. None of us are composed of a better set of elements than anyone else. We are all stardust and life is incredibly short. If we are lucky, among the billions of orbits that the Earth has taken, only 80 or 90 some odd trips around the sun is all we get on our life’s journey.

The fragile biology of our bodies is supported by the same air, water, and nutrients that every living thing, which has ever existed on Earth, has thrived upon. Napoleon, Cleopatra, and even Tyrannosaurus Rex walked under the same sun and sky as we do. There haven’t been any new shipments of natural resources to the Earth. We rely heavily on the environment’s natural processes of decay and renewal, a system that we are rapidly beginning to outpace.

The more we know about our earthly home and how it relates to the incredible oneness that we all share, maybe the more likely it will be that we will make the world a harmonious place for all of us to share.

satellitespaceFor my money, when you consider the benefits of the space program concerning our shared humanity, technology, medicine, and the list goes on; the investment is worth every dime.

Explorers have shaped and mapped our world. However, our world does not end at the top of our atmosphere. The planet on which we live is a product of a vast universe with endless possibilities. Our exploration into our existence is just beginning.

HumorOutcasts Interview with Arlene Schindler Author of”Stand Up & Heartbreak”

arleneblue (1)Fun time on this episode with Arlene Schindler for HumorOutcasts. Arlene is an author and speaker sharing humorous tales of women’s secrets and desires. The book we are discussing during this interview is, “Stand Up and Heartbreak: A Comic and a Sex Addict Walk into a Marriage…”

Arlene originated the comedy column for The New York Post, writing reviews and profiles of comedians appearing in New York City. It was the first of its kind in the country, helping spur comedy’s greatest growth period. Her writing has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Daily Variety, Purple Clover, The Huffington Post and many other publications. Her novel, “The Last Place She’d Look” is a raucous romp through the hidden sex lives of today’s mature women.

cover standupandheartbreakDuring this podcast Arlene talks about some traits to avoid while dating online and how sexual addiction impacts a marriage. You can find Arlene on Twitter @SmunnySchindler and at her website ArleneSchindler.com

For your convenience the interview is available below at the bottom of this post. Just hit play. The podcast episode is also available on most of the major podcasting platforms including Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify, and on your favorite Alexa device under the “Billy Dees Podcast.”

The episode is titled on these services as:

HumorOutcasts Interview Arlene Schindler “Stand Up and Heartbreak”

HumorOutcasts Interview with Barbara Hammond the Author of “daddy DU JOUR”

daddy DU JOUR Cover Barbara HammondThis podcast episode for HumorOutcasts is an interview with Barbara Hammond who is the author of, “daddy DU JOUR – A revolving door of step-fathers, bad parenting, and happily ever afters.”

Barbara has a diversified background. She has experience regarding retail management, modeling, and owning a talent agency. She has also authored books before including “While You Were Sleeping”which dealt with cancer and the children’s book “Duffy Chronicles.”

As the subtitle of the book indicates, the subject matter of “daddy DU JOUR” is also varied. It chronicles the impact of various home dynamics in relation to the childhood and life of Barbara. Her story is a journey of overcoming life’s obstacles and ultimately reaching a sense of peace having traveled so far. Also comes the greater good of learning from life’s hardships and being better equipped to manage those circumstances for better life decisions while finding one’s own path in life.

For your convenience the interview is available below at the bottom of this post. Just hit play. The podcast episode is also available on most of the major podcasting platforms including Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify, and on your favorite Alexadevice under the “Billy Dees Podcast.”

The episode is titled on these services as:

HumorOutcasts Interview with Barbara Hammond “daddy DU JOUR”