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Monday Morning Technologist
Remember when a "friend" was somebody you actually knew?
I recently answered a question on Yahoo! Answers (more on that in a second) from somebody who said:
My friend was supposed to buy me something from his credit card, he is in singapoor, he was really close to me etc, i put $20000 dollars in his account. The only means of contacting him that i have is facebook. Is there any way to check if he is really offline or just blocking me, cuz on the other days he is on most of the time. I'm really worried help please
You're probably thinking the same thing I am..."How close can you be if your only way to reach him is via Facebook Chat?" No phone number? No e-mail address? No mutual friends? Sounds to me like some scammer friended him on Facebook, got to "know" him, then conned him out of $20,000.
That led me to wonder - for all of the good things about Social Media, it certainly is a fertile ground for scammers to prey on the gullible. Yes, social media can bring far-flung friends and family closer together. Heck, I reconnected with a cousin I hadn't spoken with in DECADES via Facebook and now I've seen her twice in the last couple of years. The renewed friendship reminded me how much I regretted letting the real relationship slip and so now I make more of an effort to keep in touch with her. But at the same time I get friend requests on Facebook all the time from people I've never heard of.
Are some of those random strangers scammers? Certainly could be.
So...did our Yahoo! Answers friend get scammed? I'm betting yes. While social media can foster genuine closeness, it also makes it easy for the unscrupulous to develop a false closeness and use that to take advantage of folks. Remember that the next time you get a friend request from a "hot girl" from Russia who just wants "American friends".
Strangers with candy don't pull up in a van anymore...now they pull up in a friend request.
I do occasionally participate in Yahoo! Answers. Generally it's sort of a depressing quagmire of people who can't compose a well-thought-out question. A lot of "How can I get more frens on facebuk?" questions. It's enough to make you sigh at the state of our educational system. But I will say one thing for it...the critical mass there is staggering. I mostly frequent the technical forums and I can say that just about any question asked there (no matter how poorly asked) gets three answers within minutes. I can only imagine how many people must be lurking there for that many questions to get that many answers so quickly.
Say what you will for Yahoo!, they certainly get a lot of views.
Customizing Outlook Address Books
If you're interested in adjusting the order in which Outlook will check your address books to resolve email addresses (or adding/removing address books from the list) then this article might be useful for you: http://www.officeforlawyers.com/outlook/tips/oaborder.html