All posts by Mitch Mitchell

I'm an independent consultant in many fields, so I have a lot to share.

How To See What You Want To See On Facebook

Last week I wrote a post telling you about Facebook and its Edgerank process and how it limits what you get to see from business pages, fan pages, and even your friends. Personally I think that stinks. However, I also know a way to get around that if you really want to see whatever certain people or certain groups are saying without having to visit all of those folks or groups individually.

If you look towards the bottom of the left side of your Facebook page, you’ll see something like this. What you won’t immediately see is the “more” link, and all that takes is for you to move your mouse over there and it’ll come up. What you see here on my example is a link to my Facebook business page and two lists I specifically created.

Click on the “more” link and you will see something like this, possibly even this large:

You may have never seen this before. All those things you put in your profile that you’re not thinking about… they actually link to a page, whether there’s anything there or not. For instance, I went to high school in Limestone Maine for 2 years and I popped it into my profile, not even thinking about it. Facebook created a page for it, but if I click on the link no one else has ever joined. I can’t say that I specifically created it, but I’m stuck with it on my profile because it’s a real place.

As you’ll also notice there are some other interesting links in here that I didn’t create. There’s Close Friends and Acquaintances; you probably have those on your list page already. You can pull those up and add people to them. What’s funny is that every once in awhile, Facebook will ask you if you want to move certain people you’re connected to into Acquaintances, saying you haven’t talked to them in awhile so maybe you want to see less of what they put out in your stream. For me, close friends is the important one here, along with the other two that I actually created, which I mentioned before.

To create your own list, you see the tab there in the top right. Click on that and it gives you this:

Just name your list, then start adding people or pages you like here. You’ll have to know the names, which could end up being problematic initially because you might not remember everyone if you have lots of connections. But you can always come back to your list to add more if that’s what you want to do.

Once you do this you’re good. You never miss another post or missive from the people you put into these lists, and you can even create a list for people you really don’t want to hear from or see all that often, then hide their stuff from your stream. They’ll still be connected to you, and you can go look at them any time you want in that list, but let’s face it, some of our friends or connections post stuff we might not always want others who visit our page to see.

One last thing. Some of the lists you can delete and others you can’t. If you created it for your own purpose, you can delete it. But if it’s something that Facebook feels others might decide to join, such as my SUNY Oswego link (it already had State University; oh well…), you’re just stuck with it.

It might take you some time to set it up for perfection but once you’ve done it, you’ll never miss, or always miss, whatever you want based on how you want to see things. Cool or what?
 

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Are You An Online Troll?

There’s a guy I know who’s not necessarily a bad guy. Matter of fact he’s a pretty good guy. Loves his wife and son, treats his friends pretty well, and has a pretty good sense of humor as well.

Troll
Marcos Telias Barra via Compfight

And he’s a troll. He’d probably argue with me on this one but I’m going to state the case. He has a Twitter account not using his own name. That’s not a big deal overall.

He also uses an image that’s not his face but someone else’s face. That’s a bit bad because it reminds me of those dating sites where most of the time people aren’t using pictures of themselves, or are using pictures of themselves when they were 100 pounds lighter and 10 years younger.

With his Twitter account however, every once in awhile he decides to crash Twitter chats and says stupid stuff just to be annoying. He does this because he doesn’t like the concept of Twitter chats and thus feels its his right to say whatever he wants to, which is always something rude and off-topic, and on purpose.

That makes him a troll. It’s no different than someone showing up on a blog with a fake name and fake avatar and deciding they want to be stupid just because they can. It’s one reason why I will delete a comment in a heartbeat without worry about protecting anyone’s first amendment rights, which they don’t have, because it’s my space and I’m paying for it.

Are you an online troll? It’s an interesting question because though I gave you one scenario above, it can apply to multiple similar scenarios. I’ve talked about the trolls that write comments on news sites. Child bullies who pick on people in their Facebook groups are trolls, even if you get to know their names. For that matter an overwhelming number of comments on YouTube videos are from trolls. And, oddly enough, I have another friend who, on some of my serious posts on Facebook, will throw in a rude line trying to be funny, and in a way that makes him a troll.

What makes you a troll outside of the things I mentioned above? If every website you go to or every blog you comment on leads you to leave a rude comment, whether it’s on topic or not, you’re probably a troll. If you never have anything nice to say about anyone you’re a troll.

There are many people who live off that sort of thing. Trust me, you’ve never seen that behavior around here for long because I’m not putting up with it. But I thought about myself and wondered if I could be considered by anyone as being a troll. After all, I’m not necessarily always saying nice things when I visit blog posts I disagree with. And on Facebook, if you show any kind of insensitivity towards someone else, I’m probably coming after you.

Does that make me a troll? Nope, not one bit. I don’t go out of my way looking for trouble; I actually let a lot of stuff that irritates me pass. I set up a filter on Facebook to block a lot of stuff that used to get me riled up. I comment on a lot of blogs and talk to a lot of people on Twitter and Facebook. And for the most part I think I’m pretty nice.

Can you say the same thing? Can you say the same thing about people you know and their online behavior? And how do you feel about it?
 

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Facebook Edgerank, Et Al

Facebook pages; how much fun are they? Truth be told, obviously some people aren’t having much fun at all because they don’t put much new content on it, if they put content on it at all. Two weeks ago I spent some time going through some of the pages I liked to see if they were doing anything, and those that weren’t I “unliked”; you know, when I was a kid that wasn’t even a word. lol

Facebook pages are an odd duck, if you will. We create them because everywhere we’ve gone to talking about them says they can help us with our business. I’m not all that sure, but I do believe that if done right they can at least help give you a presence. But who’s seeing that presence, and what can you do to increase your presence?

There was this article on Jeff Bullas’ blog titled 6 Ways to Increase the Marketing Effectiveness of your Facebook Page, which includes this very cool infographic. It talks a little bit about Edgerank, which is the name of the algorithm Facebook uses to decide just how many people who have liked your page will have the opportunity to see whatever you put on your page. It’s based on a few things; how often those people have come to your site, so they participate in any way, do they ever share, etc. Actually, they use the same algorithm in determining how many of your friends and which friends see your general posts If you’re connected with 1,000 people on Facebook, you can bet that if 100 people ever see any of it you can count yourself lucky, unless you’ve made yourself popular.

Why do they do that? They do it because people share way more long form information on Facebook than they do on Twitter. On Twitter, every person I’m following has the ability to have me see everything they post via a general column. I have the ability to select certain people and put them in segregated columns so I definitely see what certain people post as opposed to everyone, but if I decide to check the general column the skies the limit.

On Facebook people share pictures, blog posts, etc. Some folks write long form prose of some type. If Facebook showed you every single thing that everyone posted, you’d be overwhelmed. Yes, you do have the ability to segregate your audience on Facebook at all, something I’ll cover at another time, but it’s still a lot of stuff.

So now you know why you don’t see everything from all your friends and why everyone doesn’t see everything you put on your Facebook page. How can you improve the odds of getting more people to see your stuff? The link I provided above gives you 6 ways. The idea is that, at least for your business page, you want to add more content to it so people have more to see, and you want to add more images because it’s been proven that people react better to them, but what if you’re not a bit time photographer, or the images you have don’t quite fit what your business is about?

Now, you might want to know how it’s going for me, since I adopted the process I talk about in my link about 3 weeks ago. I mainly post links from my business site since, well, it’s my Facebook business page. lol I do post a link here and there from this blog, the motivational stuff, but not all that often.

For the full month period before the last 3 weeks Facebook was my 5th best source of traffic, and I only had 21 visits. In the last 3 weeks Facebook has moved up to #3 and I had 55 visits in that time. Not only that but I went from a page duration time of 1 minute and 4 seconds to a whopping 14 minutes and 39 seconds. Why anyone would stay on a page for that long I couldn’t tell you, but what could be happening is that people could be sticking around and looking at other pages. And one more thing; from Facebook it’s a lot of repeat visitors, as the rate of new visitors is only 29%, as opposed to 95% from Google and 79% from Twitter.

Not so shabby I’d say. Anyway, I’ve told you about Edgerank, shared a link to an infographic, and a link to my post about ways of finding things you can add to your Facebook business page to help raise the number of people who come by. What else would you like to know? 🙂 By the way, if you’d like to see my page look to the left and click on the link that will take you there; always happy to have more likes for that page.
 

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The Death Of Twitter Tools

It was a nice run, but I was finally pulled into the 21st century kicking and screaming, and I’m not all that happy about it. Since last Friday I’ve been lamenting the apparent death of one of my favorite plugins, Twitter Tools, and now I’m ready to write about it.

Into The Unknown
Sean Molin via Compfight

Truthfully, it was almost like that. I wondered why none of my posts for the day had automatically gone to Twitter, and I saw there was an update to Twitter Tools. Since the same thing popped up on all 5 of my blogs I decided to use my SEO blog to test it out. When I upgraded, it said something about having to add a plugin called Social to run the plugin. I was wondering why I had to use a different plugin to run a plugin.

I loaded Social and went to its settings, where it said I had to get an API to use it. I had an API already set up for Twitter Tools so that was disturbing. So I skipped that part and decided to see what I could do without it. Well, it seems that without that you can’t post-date your articles to go live, and the only way you can get your post up is to actually tweet it through the post itself. What the hey?

I went into Twitter Tools, where everything I’d set up before was still there, but there was no option now on a post, as I went to do a test post, where it had a place for you to tell it to automatically post to Twitter.

I was irked, as I’d used that bad boy for more than 2 years, and I’d even taken the time to write a tutorial here as to how to set it up to work on Twitter. It was one of my post popular posts. Now it’s gone, as well as a couple other posts about that plugin and every article that I’d linked to talking about it.

But I needed something new. I knew a couple of friends had me hooked up to auto-share my posts when they went live, so I asked both of them what they did. Enter Twitterfeed, which takes any RSS feed and, when something new pops up, posts it to either Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. I was hesitant at first but Holly convinced me to go through with it. I did, ran some tests, and it works pretty well. I haven’t been able to figure out how to get it to post as soon as my articles go live, but I do have it set to check every 30 minutes for something new, and I guess I can wait 30 minutes or so.

As I said, I’m coming into the world of having to use web-based services instead of controlling everything on my own kicking and screaming. I wonder what the next technological shock will be.
 

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Blog Action Day – The Power Of “We”

Every year this group that calls itself Blog Action Day comes up with a topic that they hope bloggers around the world will write on. I’ve only participated twice as far as I know, and I did the same date on this blog and my business blog. This time around I’m only doing it on this blog, and this is that article. The previous articles were on the topic of poverty and food.

This year’s topic is on the power of “we“, which I find fascinating because not only was this a calendar year where the collective “we” changed history, but this is a presidential election year, and the “we” have a another chance to select either the current leader or a new leader. I’m going to touch upon the former then talk more about the latter.

In the last calendar year we saw the governments of Egypt and Libya overcome decades of dictatorship, and we almost saw the overthrow of Syria, not by military means but by the people joining together and deciding they wanted another way. To the credit of the military in the first two, they didn’t just do their “duty” and start slaughtering the populace, which they could have easily done. Syria showed that when one just “has” to stay in power, it will be by any means necessary.

We have seen the power of “we” used in other countries in the same fashion, sometimes to the detriment of the rest of the world in my opinion, but sometimes change has to happen before things can move forward, no matter what kind of change it is. And it’s hard to ignore the power of “we” in these instances.

So, what about our presidential election? Voting is a right that people in many countries would love to have. There’s almost no corruption and, when it concerns presidential politics, millions of people go to the polls to vote. This is the best way of using the power of “we” in our country.

Except it doesn’t quite work that way. Some of you might remember my post titled I’m Black where I talked about having people question my vote for current President Obama because of my skin color rather than using reasoned decision making. Truth be told, what really happened is that leaders in black communities across the country worked hard on getting the vote out, and it was a success.

But it wasn’t the first time there was such a push. Every year since Gore decided to run for president the same thing happened, and black voter registration has increased every year, thus more black people voted. The power of “we” was in evidence.

Was that what put President Obama over the top though? Not even close. What pushed him over the top was the other side of the power of “we”, that being white voters that decided they weren’t going to vote at all. There was a decrease on the other side of around 35% that decided not to even show up, even though they were registered. See, the power of “we” can be apathetic, and in their own way participate in the process by not participating.

In 2008, just over 57% of registered voters decided to exercise their constitutional rights to vote. It was the highest turnout since 1968 when just under 61% of the population voted. Compare this to the years from 1848 to 1900 when only once did the voting populace come under 70%, and it was still 69.6% in 1852. Three times in history we couldn’t even get 50% of registered voters to the polls; apathy are “we”.

Still, it all shows that the power of “we” is strong, both for positive and negative reasons. If people decide to band together for a cause, “we” is a powerful statement. When all is said and done, if we all want positive things to happen in society, it’s up to “we” to get it done. And we can do it.
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Mitch Mitchell