Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Annoying Side of Facebook

These days, it seems like the question "are you on Facebook" is almost synonymous with the phrase "nice to meet you" and most everyone between the ages of eight and 80 can probably answer "yes." And almost everyone of those Facebook users probably has some sort of complaint about the social networking media. Recently, Switched.com took a look at "The 10 Most Annoying Things About Facebook." Here's are a few of the things they found:

1. No, I don't want to play Mafia Wars. From Mafia Wars to Farmville and everything in between, Facebook is full of games. Some people play them daily, a lot of us don't. And being that most of these games require you to recruit new members to win, you may find yourself getting dozens of invites from your friends each week. There are some ways to cut back on these things. When you get an invitation, click "block this application" and that should prevent you from getting other invitations. And if you're tired of seeing your friends' gaming updates in your news feed, simply click "hide."

2. Please don't post that picture of me from high school. You've spent your entire life trying to keep certain pictures of yourself hidden from the world. Maybe the one of the ridiculous outfit you wore on the first day of eleventh grade or the one from when you had a little too much to drink at that football game. But now your best friend or your parents can not only post their copy of the picture to their own Facebook page, they can tag you, which puts the picture on your profile page as well. Whether it's well-meaning or just an attempt to embarrass you, you can always untag yourself from a photo, but you may have to keep a close watch to make sure you get to it on time.

The Annoying Side of Facebook


3. We know who you voted for, now please be quiet. Some people see Facebook as another outlet to push their political agenda. And that's fine, they have the right, but it can be annoying, especially when your friends and you don't see eye to eye on topics like health care reform and gay marriage. In fact, recently, I was thrilled to find someone who I haven't seen in over four years and add her as a friend. Unfortunately, her first status update was something along the lines of us "How do I tell my daughter she can't have a Happy Meal because french fries are the reason polar bears are dying?" Unfortunately, there's not much you can do about this. You can always hide the friends whose updates you don't care to see or if you are the offending political poster, you can choose for certain people to not be able to view your own, but for the most part, Facebook friends representing opposing political view are just going to have to learn to play like grown-ups.

4. What on earth is a hashtag? Lots of people like to synchronize their social networking sites and often let their Twitter updates feed into Facebook, as well. Personally, I use Facebook and Twitter for two separate purposes and would probably be horrified if the two mixed, but some people feel both sets of friends need to view their every update. Unfortunately, marrying the two isn't always the best idea. For one thing, those who aren't familiar with Twitter's rules (140 characters, hashtags, lingo, etc.), some updates don't exactly translate into real world conversation and can leave you confused. And if you're friends with someone on both mediums, getting double updates can get old. Again, there's not much you can do about this but simply ignore it.

5. Where's the "dislike" button? Facebook's "like" button is a very handy tool. If someone says something you find clever or you'd like to comment on but can't find the words or the time, you can simply click "like" to show your appreciation. But what if they post something that's not so pleasant. Maybe they lost their job, their dog died, or their child's team lost the big championship game? These aren't really things you want to "like" and maybe you can't really find the words to offer your condolences but would like them to know you noticed. Wouldn't it be great if there were a "dislike" button? There isn't yet, but there is a lobby to get Facebook to incorporate one and it's over half a million people strong. Maybe soon!

Click here to read more of The 10 Most Annoying Things About Facebook

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Twitter No Longer Cares What You're Doing

Twitter Doesn't Care About What You're Doing

Remember when you joined Twitter and posted your first tweet? The question "What are you doing" loomed over the text box and you probably felt compelled to answer it before you realized no one actually cares if you're getting ready for work or eating dinner. As the hottest thing in social media becomes a tool for everything from finding a date to breaking news, the question "What are you doing?" has become irrelevant. Perhaps that's why Twitter changed it to now read, "What's happening?"

The new phrase broadens the spectrum and gives new users a better sense of Twitter's potential. While it's not a huge change like the others Twitter has recently made- the not-so-popular RT button, for example - it's still important. Twitter co-founder, Biz Stone said in a recent blog entry,


People, organizations, and businesses quickly began leveraging the open nature of the network to share anything they wanted, completely ignoring the original question, seemingly on a quest to both ask and answer a different, more immediate question, “What’s happening?” A simple text input field limited to 140 characters of text was all it took for creativity and ingenuity to thrive.

Sure, someone in San Francisco may be answering “What are you doing?” with “Enjoying an excellent cup of coffee,” at this very moment. However, a birds-eye view of Twitter reveals that it’s not exclusively about these personal musings. Between those cups of coffee, people are witnessing accidents, organizing events, sharing links, breaking news, reporting stuff their dad says, and so much more.

He also added,
We don’t expect this to change how anyone uses Twitter, but maybe it’ll make it easier to explain to your dad.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Splurb: The Most Popular Links From Social Media Sites

A new website has launched to help find the most popular links across the web. Splurb is very similar to Bit.ly, Tweetmeme, and Topsy, in that it indexes links from various social media sites and indexes them based on popularity.

Splurb searches sites like Digg, Reddit, and Propeller and then lists the most popular links from those sites. In order to get listed the link must be popular on at least two different social sites. The more popular the link, the bigger it is on the Splurb. All links are listed in 1 of 15 different categories ranging from business to humor to technology. You can change the sources required for your search to 2, 3, 4, and 5 different sources in each category.

One great feature is when you click a link, it takes you to the original story, which is very nice and bypasses the hassle of sometimes having to click 2-3 different links to find the original story. Under each link is a list of the sites where the story is popular, how many collective votes the story has and a place to comment.

Splurb is another great tool to add to your belt when searching for what's popular, breaking news and the latest web hype. The site is very simple and easy to use. Being able to adjust the settings to see what's popular across 2 or more sites makes it possible to only see stories and links that are the MOST popular from all across the web.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Microsoft CEO Ballmer's first address to the SEO Community

Danny Sullivan, President of Search Marketing Expo SMX, has booked as keynote speaker,  Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. This will be the first time Ballmer will address the SEO community.

Why is Balmer coming to an SEO conference and trade show? It's Bing. In a recent interview, Steve said, "Search and advertising, we are a small share. It's all about Google. They have share, we don't..."

It is about time for Microsoft to show respect to the community of people who work on the search product you seek to promote. SEO is grass roots. It's brainstorming at every facet of search, organic and pay. I am happy to see Microsoft send their top man this year. For the first time, Microsoft has gotten my attention and probably allot of other search experts.


Photo: Matt Cutts from Google and Danny Sullivan prepare for You&A, a question and answer session that is most popular at SMX Seattle. Matt is a regular at all search community conferences. I have seen him at PubCon, Search Engine Strategies and SMX.

MIA are:
Ask.com's CEO Barry Diller
Yahoo! President Sue Decker