Flashback Friday: Avoid Reposting Urban Legends


How to Avoid Reposting Urban Legends

You’ve seen the emails and Facebook posts from your friends:

  • OMG – this famous actor just died!
  • Please take these actions to protect my Facebook privacy.
  • Watch out for this new computer virus!!!
  • A friend of a friend woke up in the bathtub with his kidney missing!!!!!

Frequently followed by a request to repost/forward to all of your friends.

But before you do that, take this step in order to avoid passing on an Urban Legend:

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Quick Tip: How to Reach A Real Person At A Business

Most businesses that offer customer service phone numbers would much rather you conduct all of your interactions with their automated services (e.g., “press 1 for your balance, press 2 to make a payment, …” etc.). Reaching a real human being to address your “none of those choices” issue can be difficult. Two standard techniques that work less often these days are:

♦ Press “0”

♦ Don’t press or say anything in hopes of being eventually transferred to a human

If neither of those work, and the menu does not give you an option to contact a real person, your next step is to visit the website GetHuman


 GetHuman is a free crowd-sourced information site. Enter the name of a company or a product in their search field to get both the best phone number and exactly how to manipulate the call menu to reach a person. For instance I got this searching for Bank of America Click to see larger image):



Good luck in your search for humans!

Quick Tip: Personal Safety Website Notifies Your Contacts

When I’m going to meet up with a potential new musical partner, buy something from a Craigslist ad, or go anywhere unfamiliar and non-public alone, I usually tell my partner or a friend the who/what/where/when and ask them to follow up if I don’t contact them to say it’s cool. Hopefully you do the same.

Now there’s a free way to do this without requiring as much pre-planning (or the risk of forgetting to tell your friend it’s okay and they wonder if they should call the police!):

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How to Link to a Website Without Improving Its Search Engine Position

You’ve heard the saying “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”? While not always true, it IS the case that any online mention of a website URL improves its “score” in search engines like Google and Bing.

This means that if you want to alert your web readers to a site that is promoting a scam, fraud, bad science, or other misinformation your very use of that site’s address will improve it’s “score” for searches on related keywords. For example, a site that claims global warming is a myth will appear closer to the top of searches on “global warming”.

So how do you discuss this site without giving it a search engine boost? Continue reading