Browsing Tag: Social Media


    How I Learned to Love … Well, Like … Facebook

    July 23, 2012

    facebook-flipflopsA year ago, I had almost 400 “friends” on Facebook, and another 300 or so friend requests that were awaiting replies.

    And I hated Facebook.

    I’d log on a couple times a week. Every once in a while, I’d see something fun or cool from my wife, one of my sisters, a different relative or a friend across the country. But most of what I saw was unwanted advertising (SEOs and online marketers promoting their articles) and other garbage (Farmville updates, etc.).

    I thought about just zapping my account into oblivion and forgetting Facebook altogether. But there were a couple things pulling me away from that option:

    • I really enjoyed seeing what my relatives and friends were up to, and Facebook was the best way to do that short of calling each of them every day.
    • My wife was using Facebook unconventionally to build her local real estate business and I wanted to see what and how she was doing it. (By “unconventional” I mean she wasn’t using a business page, she’s using her personal Facebook account.)
    • As a guy who speaks about social media at the Local University workshops, I really couldn’t toss in the towel on Facebook and then try to educate small business owners about it.

    I really had no choice but to stay on Facebook and learn how to enjoy it. Here’s what I did:

    1.) Changed my definition of a Facebook “friend.”

    I set rules about who would be on my friends list. I rejected all of the outstanding friend requests that were in my queue. I started mass unfriending — too much self-promotion, too much politics, not enough real friendship with me? All gone. I figured they’re called “friends,” not “acquaintances” for a reason. I can keep in touch with my industry acquaintances just fine on Twitter, so no need to try the same on Facebook.

    I’m currently down from almost 400 friends to 116, and I think I’ll end up with about 100 when I’m finally done.

    2.) Changed my default sharing settings.

    I set “Friends” as my default posting setting, instead of “Public/World.”

    3.) Got more active.

    Since pruning my friends list and changing my sharing settings, I’ve been posting more often and getting responses from people that matter to me.

    The Result

    The content that I get in the News Feed is a million times more enjoyable now. I see stuff from close friends with whom I have real friendships, and from family members that live all across the country. I’ve gone from checking Facebook a couple times per week to checking every day, and sometimes a couple times per day.

    The content that I post is seen by people I care about the most (when I share with friends only), and yet I still have the option to share certain things with the 100-200 people who aren’t on my friends list, but are subscribing to my public updates.

    And that’s how I’ve learned to like Facebook.

    (But I’ll still be watching my privacy settings like a hawk. There’s a difference between liking and trusting.)

    (Image via kudumomo and used via Creative Commons license.)


    Is Pinterest THAT Mainstream Already?

    March 26, 2012

    Pinterest_FaviconAn anecdotal story about how mainstream Pinterest is at the moment:

    Four times since 2005, @U2 has conducted a massive survey of U2 fans around the world and we’re planning to do it again next month.

    To get ready, the @U2 staff has been reviewing the 125 +/- questions that we typically ask — about 100 to 110 of them are the same each time, and the rest change depending on what’s going on with U2.

    At some point along the way, we asked a couple questions about social media:

    • Do you use Facebook?
    • Do you use Twitter?
    • Do you use MySpace?

    The gang agreed that we don’t need to ask about MySpace this year — it’s just not relevant at this point.

    The first suggested replacement question?

    Do you use Pinterest?

    That was suggested before “Do you use Google+?”

    I know it’s not at all scientific, but it really struck me when my @U2 crew put Pinterest in with Facebook and Twitter as something we should be asking U2 fans around the world. Is it already that mainstream?


    My New Addiction:

    June 24, 2011


    That’s me on the DJ table spinning Don Henley’s “The Boys Of Summer” to a room full of happy music lovers. I’m in a room dedicated to 80s songs on, and I’m completely addicted to this site.

    If you love music and social networking, you’ll probably love The DJs take turns playing one song. The crowd votes each song as either “lame” or “awesome” and the DJ gains a point for each “awesome” vote. As you gain points, the DJ gets to change his/her avatar and gains status/reputation amongst other users. (It’s still a very early/limited beta, and additional point-related rewards are sure to be added later.)

    In that photo, I have 577 points and an “evil green cat” avatar; as I type this, I’m closing in on 1,000 points and will upgrade to a gorilla avatar, or maybe the Deadmau5-inspired mouse.

    There’s a big database of songs to choose from and add to your playlist, and you can also upload your own songs if your favorites are missing. (Like, oddly, Def Leppard is missing from the database.) I’ve heard songs on that I loved 25 years ago and haven’t heard since. (Anyone remember “The Promise” by When In Rome?)

    While the songs are playing, there’s also a chat window where you can have fun and talk with anyone else in the room. I’ve actually made friends via this thing — a group of folks that likes to hang out in one of the various 80s rooms that’s open at any given time.

    Crazy, this Internet thing.


    11 Proofs of Twitter’s Amazing Power

    March 21, 2011

    twitter-powerTwitter is celebrating its 5th birthday today. What better time than that to take a look at its amazing power.

    Is there anything Twitter can’t do? Well, it can do a lot. Check out these stories.

    1.) NYC homeless man finds daughter through Twitter
    The New York Daily News says on Wednesday he posted his cell phone number, her name and a photo of her at age 16. She called him the next day.

    2.) Resolve credit card problems through Twitter
    Why wait on endless hold to dispute a credit card fee over the phone when can post your complaint on Twitter and often resolve the problem more quickly and with fewer hassles? Most major banks in the U.S., including Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Citi, have launched customer support accounts on Twitter — the popular website where people communicate in messages of 140 characters or fewer.

    3.) Seattle Police use power of Twitter to get stolen cars back
    Social networking for crime-fighting? Seattle Police said they believe Twitter can be effective for solving certain crimes. Starting Wednesday, 911 dispatchers will use the Twitter handle @GetYourCarBack to post bulletins on stolen vehicles.

    4.) Mayor Booker Uses Twitter to Aid New Jersey Blizzard Cleanup
    After a blizzard started blanketing the Northeast on Dec. 26, an event that earned the Twitter hashtag #snowpocalypse, Booker turned the microblogging site into a public-service tool. Residents of the city, which has a population of around 280,000, swarmed Booker’s account (@CoryBooker) with requests for help, and the mayor responded. He and his staff have bounced around Newark shoveling streets and sending plows to areas where residents said they were still snowed in.

    5.) Indonesians beat slow disaster relief by tweeting
    Tech-savvy Indonesians are using social network Twitter to beat a slow government in delivering relief to disaster victims, after a tsunami and volcanic eruptions stretched official aid capacity in the sprawling archipelago.

    6.) Twitter Can Improve Students’ Grades
    Researchers measured student engagement at the end of the semester, and found that the Twitter group had a significantly greater increase not only in their engagement with the course material, but in the grade point average as well compared to the control group.

    7.) UK detectives to nab criminals using Twitter
    Detectives in UK will now be trained to use social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to catch killers and other criminals. Student investigators will be shown how they could trace wanted people on Facebook and Twitter, where they might leave posts revealing valuable clues.

    8.) Twitter Could Act as Early Warning System for Epidemics
    The microblogging site Twitter could act as an early warning system for epidemics, a team of experts at London’s City University found in a new study published on Tuesday.

    9.) Twitter to the rescue for some stranded travelers
    Some travelers stranded by the great snowstorm of 2010 discovered a new lifeline for help. When all else fails, Twitter might be the best way to book a seat home. While the airlines’ reservation lines required hours of waiting — if people could get through at all — savvy wired travelers were able to book new reservations, get flight information and track lost luggage. And they could complain, too.

    10.) Twitter Predicts Box-Office Sales Better Than a Prediction Market
    Two researchers at HP Labs, Sitaram Asur and Bernardo Huberman, have discovered that you can actually use Twitter mentions to predict how well a movie will do in it’s first couple weekends of release. What’s more, the method works even better than the most accurate method currently in use, the Hollywood Stock Exchange (HSX).

    11.) Twitter Can Predict the Stock Market
    The emotional roller coaster captured on Twitter can predict the ups and downs of the stock market, a new study finds. Measuring how calm the Twitterverse is on a given day can foretell the direction of changes to the Dow Jones Industrial Average three days later with an accuracy of 86.7 percent.

    (bodybuilder image courtesy of Shutterstock)

    Social Media

    How NOT to Market on Mixx

    October 19, 2008

    We all know that a lot of people and companies are using social media for brand exposure, traffic, links, etc. Marketing is there, and always will be, but the smart companies and people do a great job of not being obvious about it. They work to fit in, to blend in and become part of the community.

    And then there are morons like this:


    This moron is going around leaving spammy comments on all kinds of stories — that’s how s/he has those 390 points. I think you get 3 points for a comment on Mixx, so that’s 130 spammy comments. Way to contribute to the community.

    If there’s any silver lining to this, it comes from looking at this person’s friends and followers:

    screenshot 2

    The silver lining? Look how easy it’ll be for the Mixx spam cops to quickly zap all kinds of lame accounts that have no business being active on the site. It’s 3:40 pm PT on Sunday as I post this. Let’s see how long it takes to get all this cleaned up. I’m betting it won’t be long at all…..

    (This reminds me of my post earlier this year, How NOT to Market on Flickr. Spammers are just dumb….)


    It’s now 4:07 pm, 27 minutes later, and that account is gone. Nice job, Mixx crew. You rock.

    Social Media

    The AP is Taking News Tips on Twitter

    October 13, 2008

    First this…


    Then this…


    Then this…


    I think that’s terrific. You don’t even have to follow @APNews. (But you should, because they post a lot of headlines and you stay smarter by knowing what’s going in the world.)