Friday, March 30, 2012

Complete Guide to Facebook Timeline for Pages

If you own or administer a Facebook Page for a business, organization, or other entity (not to be confused with your personal Facebook profile), you might have seen a strange notice at the top of your page this month. Unlike many of the notices and notifications Facebook tends to put in that area, however, this one is important. Over the past few months, you might have noticed that some of your friends' profile pages have been changed to a new layout, called "Timeline". Facebook is now giving Facebook Pages the ability to use the Timeline layout as well.

However, for Pages, switching to Timeline is mandatory - all Pages will be automatically moved over to the Timeline layout today, whether they're ready or not. There's no way to opt out or to delay it; Facebook wants you to use the new layout and they won't take "no" for an answer.

Moreover, time is running out - Facebook will begin automatically moving pages to Timeline at 11am PST today! This is your last change to make sure the page is ready before the transition; however, even if you don't make the deadline, you still have to fix up your Facebook Page for Timeline as soon as possible. Now, what exactly does that mean for your page?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The USB Flashdrive Isn't Dead Yet

As technology continues to advance, change is inevitable, and no technology will remain on top for long. But is it really time to say good-bye to the humble USB drive so soon, as some have suggested? I'll admit that it's been a couple of weeks since the last time I even touched a flashdrive, and I use Dropbox for transferring small files between my computers and my phone at home. But is the cloud ready to completely replace USB drives just yet? I'd say "No way" - the cloud is certainly better than physical drives at some common tasks, but it's impossible to ignore the fact that it's much worse at other tasks.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Measuring Twitter Performance: Tools and Tricks

"How do I analyze the performance of my Twitter account"? If you've ever done any kind of social media marketing, you've probably asked yourself this question or been asked it yourself at some point. After all, Facebook bombards page owners with extensive and complex graphs along with per-post view counts, and Google Analytics provides detailed in-depth information about every aspects of every visitor.

Twitter, on the other hand, offers just three statistics - number of tweets, number of accounts followed, number of accounts following. You're notified when someone mentions you, but no overall count is given. The only per-tweet statistic tracked is how often a particular tweet has been re-tweeted. With that in mind, it's no surprise that people have looked everywhere in search of ways to get more detailed information...but do we really need them?

Friday, October 21, 2011

How Word Spreads On Social Media

Having seen a new social media news site and magazine being announced on G+, I think it will likely make a good case study in the power of social media. After being announced by a social media professional, many of her followers saw it and doubtlessly subscribed to is. They also shared it for all their followers to see, which is how I found out about it (thanks to +Robert Scoble ). I will be adding it to my RSS reader, and am also resharing it to my followers. I'm not as influential as the original sharers, and a lot of my followers aren't in the target demographic (an important point that many neglect!), but it still has the potential to be read by others.

Even after those echoes die down, there will be an ongoing effect. Most of the readers they got through social media, as well as many from other sources, will share articles they like or wish to discuss, and each "Like" or +1 could be the one that convinces someone else to check it out. If somebody even so much as comments on one of those articles, it will be reshared to all their friends. And it just keeps on spreading, and spreading, and spreading. And if they post it to multiple networks, the effect is even larger - especially since many people tend to interact with a different group of people on each social media account. Sounds easy, right? Unfortunately, it's not quite that simple for most of us.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Are the Amazon Tablet Hopes Misplaced?

In the tech industry, it's common practice to bet on - or at least write articles betting on - the most shocking result the writer can think of. This is especially the case in major markets, where many of us love to fantasize about the new replacing the old. Because of that, I'm not surprised that people are failing to keep their skepticism at the ready when they approach the recent claim by Forrester Research that Amazon's upcoming tablet will be the one true threat to Apple's dominance of the tablet market.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Google+, Identity, and Your Real Name

For many years, a storm has been developing in the hidden recesses of the internet, the darkened nooks and crannies that few dare to enter. The choice of whether to use a real name or a fake one has existed since the very beginning, and as the web became more accessible to the general public, most websites avoided the issue by letting the users choose whatever name they wished. It wasn't a perfect system, and invited quite a bit of abuse from mischievous troublemakers, but it worked out well enough that it's still in wide use today.

Unfortunately, that decades-old practice is finally beginning to show its age. In the nineties, it worked well because the internet wasn't yet an integral part of our real lives yet. People devoted themselves to online hobbies and games, but for most of us, the web was still a resource or a source of amusement. If you applied for something, you expected to get your response via phone or snail mail. Wi-Fi was a brand-new technology that hadn't been widely deployed, dial-up internet was still widespread, and many people didn't even have cell phones. Instant messaging was nothing more than a novelty way of chatting with close friends and distant strangers, and it was common knowledge to closely guard our personal information.

As the new millennium passed, however, the world experienced a massive wave of consumer-level digital innovation that completely changed everything we thought we knew about the internet. While Silicon Valley rode the fortunes of the tech market through its highs and its lows, however, the two extremes of online identity were soon to appear from the most unexpected of places.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

How Facebook Changed The Meaning of "Privacy"

Privacy, privacy, privacy. It's a term you hear a lot nowadays, as the social networks fight it out for marketshare - and for user data. Certainly, personal privacy has always been a major concern on the internet, and is considered important enough by users that most sites voluntarily include privacy policies. Unfortunately, it seems like the meaning of privacy has changed in the last ten years, with the result being that people are no longer nearly as careful with their personal info as they used to be.

The old definition of privacy assumed that you didn't want anybody to see your information without your consent. While we certainly didn't want our friends and family to see our private details, we also didn't want our data to be used by third-party marketing companies - or even the site we were submitting that info to - for their own nefarious purposes. However, the social networking wars have made it absolutely clear that the definition of privacy has changed, and not in a good way.