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Author Archive | Zach Everson

LearnVest quotes me about personal websites—and Forbes and Fox Business then quote LearnVest

LearnVest, Forbes, Fox Business logosA few weeks ago, LearnVest quoted me in an article on whether or not job seekers should have a personal website. (Executive summary: Probably no surprise, as I’ve ran this eponymous site for 12 years and it’s helped me land many gigs, but I say yes.)

Anyway, the entire article is at

“Should All Job Seekers Have a Personal Website?”

The story later also appeared on Forbes and Fox Business. Thanks to Jane Bianchi (another former Wake Forest English major) for including my thoughts in her piece.

Photos: Courtesy LearnVest, Forbes, FoxBusiness

Gun-safety advocacy groups should open a pop-up gun shop

Armatix smart gunIf smart guns—which only their owner can fire—are sold anywhere in the United States, New Jersey’s Childproof Handgun Law of 2002 would require all handguns sold in that state to be smart guns within 30 months, according to an NPR segment broadcast yesterday by Joel Rose. Consequently, no U.S. gun shop will carry smart guns as they don’t want New Jersey to ban all other handguns.

So why don’t gun-safety advocacy groups—like Everytown for Gun Safety, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence—bring the smart guns to the market themselves via a pop-up gun store? Yes, it’s counterintuitive for an anti-gun violence group to open a gun shop. But doing so would trigger New Jersey’s law, get more dangerous guns off the shelves in the country’s 11th most populated state, and allow gun enthusiasts nationwide to have a safer option.

Sure, it’d be safer to eliminate gun ownership altogether, but that’s not going to happen in this country. And, yes, it’s likely this Supreme Court would end up finding New Jersey’s law unconstitutional. But it would take a few years for that case to read the court. Bringing smart guns to the market, and eliminating the sale of more dangerous firearms in one state, even if just temporarily, is at least a step towards a safer America.

Photo: Courtesy Armatix

In which a Klout rep admits its scores aren’t accurate

Klout logoJust gonna own this one: I monitor my Klout. (It’s a website that assigns people scores based on what it perceives their social media influence is.)

Should Klout matter? That’s debatable. Does Klout matter? Evidence is that it can, influencing your ability to get anything from freebies to quality customer service to a freakin’ job. Does monitoring your Klout make you come off as dorky? Totally.

But can Klout (or any service) accurately measure a person’s social media influence? Of course not. For starters, Klout only considers a few sites (Facebook, FourSquare, Google +, Instagram, Klout itself, LinkedIn, Twitter and WordPress) and ignores other popular ones (Pinterest, Reddit, Tumblr, Vine and YouTube being the most obvious).

Turns out, of the social media sites Klout does monitor, it doesn’t always do so consistently.

For starters, Klout scores don’t consider Facebook photos that were posted via Instagram. And earier this week I noticed that some posts I made directly on Facebook via its website and app weren’t appearing on Klout’s page that shows my recent activity (that is, what social media updates of mine Klout factors into my score).

So I emailed Klout’s tech support and got this response:

We do our best to surface all content you post on our score networks. We display all of the content that each scored network provides us with from their API, but it’s a known issue that not all content always shows up on their API, which is why you may be missing some moments on Klout. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Executive summary: Klout doesn’t work, other social networks are to blame, and, hey, if its inaccurate scores cost you a job, Klout apologizes for the inconvenience.

Photo: Courtesy Klout

Married and childless? Facebook suspects infertility—as opposed to, say, choice.

Facebook Parenting and Family Tips infertilityThe fertility-treatment ad from Parenting and Family Tips4You at right has been popping up in the Facebook news feed of a female friend of mine, Rebecca [name changed].

Facebook knows Rebecca’s age and that she’s been married for several years. And it also knows she’s never posted about being a parent. So Facebook and its advertisers apparently think Rebecca being childless is likely due to a fertility issue—as opposed to, say, choice. Because ladies be wanting babies.

Rebecca owns and operates a successful and growing business. Many of her Facebook posts pertain to her company. Yet she estimates about 5 percent of the ads Facebook shows her are business oriented.

Photo: Facebook/Parenting and Family Tips4You

Aol sells Gadling to Skift

Gadling logo

Based on the emails I receive and this website’s search engine traffic, some visitors here are interested in the travel blog Gadling. (I edited it and contributed to it for a spell after joining Aol and MapQuest in October.)

Today, Aol announced it sold Gadling to Skift. Appropriately, you can get the details on Skift. Or Gadling.

And if you were emailing me via a Gadling account, best to use now. Thanks!