Improve your Facebook

Helpful Facebook controlsMany of the people I hang out with use Facebook. Not all know about a great way to stem the flow of messages coming into your stream…

Undoubtedly some of your Facebook friends who are not those you want to hear about every single day of the week. And likely, a few of your Facebook friends are not really friends – but you don’t want to “unfriend” them and cut them off forever.

All you have to do is hover your mouse over the right edge of their latest post. A little X will magically appear. You can choose to hide that individual post, hide all posts by that person or by application (like if they are always telling you of their latest Farmville triumph) – or if you really don’t like them, you can mark their post as spam.

I fault Facebook for not making this option more obvious. I thank them for the anonymity of that control.


My personal Twitter policies

I follow people I actually know.

I usually don’t follow companies I don’t know.

I follow those who follow me who seem to have interesting tweets.

I follow a few who I don’t know who have interesting tweets.

I like to tweet when I have something interesting to say.

And I like to discover new people!

You can follow me here. Or not.


Similar to me?

I was amused that Twitter thinks Donald Miller is similar to me. (If you are a Twitter user, you will recognize that pane – which allows you to find new people to follow – or strangely sometimes puts people there who you are already following.)

True, I thought A Million Miles in a Thousand Years was a great book – enough that I bought a copy for a friend. But I wonder how Twitter thought we are similar?

By the way, the Amazon link is an affiliate link – but not for me. It’s for my friend Jon Swanson. Amazon killed off their affiliate program for Colorado a while back.


Facebook email review

Facebook rolled out their new email feature recently. I got my “you have an email account now” message a few days back. So I’ve been playing around with it.

Refer to the pic – if you double-click on it, you can see it larger in another window at actual size.

a) This is what appears at the top of the Facebook browser window after you click on the “Messages” link near the top of your left home page column. A different aspect to having this feature activated is that when you click on “New Message” in that window or via the Messages icon on your Facebook home page, you can put someone’s email in the “To” field. And even if the person isn’t a Facebook user, they will get your message. (That is an illustration of how Facebook wants to be your message center. If you use Facebook constantly, that might be a helpful feature. I don’t, so it isn’t.)

b) This is what a sample email looks like as sent from Facebook. It shows all your Facebook conversations, whether they were sent through Facebook email or not. As you can tell, my wife and I do not talk much via Facebook. (Rest assured – we do talk a lot in real life.)

c) “Service Unavailable” is what is shown when I type “f” in my Firefox browser address field. (That’s how I normally get to Facebook.) And “service unavailable” is my brief summation of Facebook email.

> The Search Messages feature does not work.

> There are no folders or ways to organize your messages.

> I did not try out the mobile messaging aspect, so I can’t comment on that.

So in short, do not stress out if you haven’t received your Facebook email account yet. You are not missing much. It’s a good supplemental thing, if you’re a heavy Facebook user, but otherwise, no big deal.


Vuka: social media success

Some of you may remember back a few days when I said some negative things about Vuka, a natural energy drink.

I take back what I said! I still sort of stand by what I said about aluminum thickness – but their incredible attention to customers’ needs is enough to easily win over this hard heart.

They read my review and left a thoughtful comment. Then they contacted me and sent a package over… via courier… with t-shirts, stickers, and several samples of the drink. So I have tried it – and it tastes great. It’s a great concept – the first healthy energy drink that I’ve heard of. (I have only tried one Monster drink – and it was close to drinking cough syrup. The chemicals contained in Monster are not necessarily things I like flowing through my bloodstream… not that I’m Mr. Healthy.)

So check out Vuka. Especially if you’re into energy drinks.


PodCamp Denver 1, follow-up

Denver’s first PodCamp is history. I enjoyed leading it – with lots of help.

My single negative comment is that I was not able to attend all of the hour sessions! Humanly-speaking, I was only able to be in one place at one time. And before the next one, we’ll do better promotion to allow more people to come out who would have enjoyed the event.

I’ll quote Kia: All the sponsors were generous in allowing this event to take place and I would like to thank them in no particular order – Greeblemonkey, Human Business Works, Metzger Associates, Colorado Native Lager, Manmade Media, Que Publishing and Please support them and their enthusiasm to help our community grow, engage, and improve.

Besides the sponsors, I’d also like to thank Kia, Brent, Terry, Marcin and Andrew. Their contributions before and during PodCamp helped make it great.

I’m looking forward to the next one!

(The weird panorama photo is courtesy of Photoshop’s Photomerge filter.)


PodCamp Denver!

PodCamp ideas white boardPodCamp is coming – this Friday evening & Saturday. If you’re in the front range of Colorado and are into social media, come. You can check it out here.

It’s first-come, first-served… so arrive early on Friday evening! We’re limited by the fire code restrictions.

(I took this photo at the last PodCamp in Boulder. That’s ideas for the agenda on the main day. Your idea can be on the agenda!)


Use a real theme

This one’s for self-hosted WordPress users only. (Apologies to the rest of my readers.)

Ever since I started using WordPress for this blog in February 2009, I have been unable to automatically upgrade my WordPress software. (Manual upgrades worked – but they were a pain.) Then I switched to a real theme by WooThemes. Volia! The upgrade worked ultra-fast and with great perfection!

So if you are facing that problem, just change your theme to a more professionally coded theme.


Give us a date

missing-dateThere are two directions people go with their blogs – having dates with their posts and not having dates. I vote yes for putting the date with your post. Reasons?

1. It shows your readers that you are staying current with your blog.

2. It gives your readers a frame of reference for when the material was created. This is important for determining if the information might be relevant. In many fields these days, the latest information is vital. (This is true for social media, the area I work in.)

The other argument is that “my information is timeless”. That may be true – but your readers would like to know when you thought that particular thought. Maybe you have changed your thinking since then! (Not many people take time to go back to update all of their posts.)

If you are giving timeless information – and it’s valuable – just post it again, in a different way. Readers are smart enough to search your blog for that topic, if they liked what you had to say.

Finally, sometimes I actually will leave a blog when the blog is giving technical information and there is not date with the post.