Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Social network’

Google+ Rolling Out Custom URLs To Users But Doing It Horribly

November 7, 2013 63 comments

Google Plus Logo

A few weeks back it was announced that Google+ was finally going to allow regular users to adopt Vanity URLs for their profiles and rid themselves of URLs like https://plus.google.com/105175761337711150993/posts (yes, that’s my real Google+ URL). Sounds great, right? Finally the common folk would be given on Google+ what most other modern social networks had from the outset, the ability to pick our own screen names and have a URL to link to which isn’t ridiculously unwieldy and next to impossible to remember.

All sounded fantastic until you went to the Google+ Help page and read their “Getting Started with Google+ Custom URLs” file. The second one reads:

“You’ll see the URL(s) you’ve been approved for. If you see more than one option, select the one you like best. You may also be asked to add a few numbers or letters to make the custom URL unique to you.”

So wait, I have to use the one Google approves for me? I can’t be Google.com/+TheDanLevy which is  my screenname on darn near every other social network I use? OK, well maybe they’ll lighten up some day and I’ll be able to change it, right? NOPE! Check out the sixth rule in the red box below

-

Google Plus Vanity URL Rules

-

“Once approved, this URL will be linked to your Google+ page or Profile, so be sure everything is exactly the way you want it. Once your URL has been approved, you can’t request to change it.”

I was feeling a bit pessimistic when I read that but friends who are way bigger Google+ users assured me, “You can request a different one if you have a valid reason” and “There is flexibility… You just have to request it…” so I decided to see what Google did when they finally got around to offering me a custom URL. Well, today that finally happened!

-

Google Plus Vanity URL  Notification

-

The notification appeared at the top of my Google+ profile page and I clicked the blue button excitedly. That excitement quickly turned to disappointment when I saw what Google was offering me as my Custom URL. Read more…

When Should An Event Get/Announce Its Hashtag?

March 6, 2012 3 comments

hashtag cartoon via microsoft office



As someone who has been to a number of events (as I’ve oft chronicled here with my “Event” tag) especially ones that are promoted on, geared towards, and inclusive of Social Media and the people on Social Media sites – specifically Twitter – I have noticed that leading up to or even at many events no one seems to know what the hashtag for the event is!

My thoughts about this really coalesced  into me writing what you’re reading now when I read this blog post by my friends over at Notable.ca: called Tweeting Your Way Through Events. Notable.ca and the article is targeted towards Young Professionals but, in my opinion, what’s mentioned in the article holds true for almost any demographic. They say that we find Twitter so useful because although “we make our own notes as writers at events and leave armed with media kits…being able to go back and have a digital diary of things we may have missed – plus the access to comments of others at the event – is always appreciated.

NOTE: This post assumes you know what a “hashtag” on Twitter is and their purpose. If you don’t know, I suggest reading this article in the Twitter Help Center: “What Are Hashtags (“#” Symbols)?” before continuing.

hashtag via microsoft office clipart

I couldn’t agree more with the above assertion, it is EXTREMELY useful to be able to look up the hashtag before, during, and after an event to see what the buzz is about it, what’s going on at the event (if it’s big enough of an event there’s no way to be everywhere at once), and what happened at the event after the fact. The article goes on to say:

In this day and age, most organizers will create a designated Twitter hashtag and announce the hashtag ample times to promote the event and connect with their key audiences. It is important to let people know well in advance so they can follow along if they’re interested and engage using the same hashtag.

Unfortunately, in the article the Notable team never makes mention of what they define the terms “ample time” and “well in advance” to be in this situation so I thought I would offer my take on it. Read more…

Facebook Friendship Doesn’t Opt Me In To Your Email List! Online Etiquette For The 21st Century

December 20, 2011 2 comments

I met a person in late April of 2010 (as evidence by the confirmation email of our friend status on Facebook still archived in my account) and have seen him once or twice since then but – as many of you already know – being a Facebook friend doesn’t mean you’re necessarily “real” friends. He added me to LinkedIn in May of this year and a couple of days after I accepted his invitation to connect I got an email from him with the subject: “Introduction to Real Estate.”

I had never given this guy my email address (aside from it being listed on LinkedIn and Facebook) and the email he sent was unsolicited and was all about how he was beginning a business as a ‘Real Estate Sales Representative.’ Great for him but I was confused as to how I had been added to his list of people to send the announcement to. I emailed him back and had the conversation you see below:

Note: The only changes I have made were to remove identifying information.

His reply to my final email as you see above was to explain to me how he did it. He either didn’t get how perturbed I was (read between the lines dude!) or didn’t care. I wasn’t happy about the whole thing but let it go after that because it didn’t seem worth fighting over and being a jerk about. I assumed I was not the only one who had the nerve to call him out on spamming people. I also, quite obviously, opted out of receiving further emails from him.

When he joined Twitter a month later – in June – he started following me. I gladly gave him some advice on how to be more effective for his business on Twitter thinking that helping him would mean he was less likely to be spamming people. I told him to first and foremost change the default profile picture which he did pretty quickly and then mentioned a couple of other things which seem pretty obvious to the average person who spends a lot of time on Twitter and the social web but may not be to others.

Then the night of December 12th I had another conversation with Lani. The conversation you see below is one that actually happened and is unedited. When reading it remember that I was half asleep as it began at 12:45am and that this wasn’t the first time that I had dealt with him and was already quite wary of the way he conducted himself online…remember I had also been following him on Twitter for half a year and saw him pretty much ignore all of my suggestions.

Conversation with a Facebook & Email Spammer

The full conversation, the only edit I have made is to white out his name.

If you read the beginning of our conversation you’ll see I was being as noncommittal as possible. I tried to avoid the issue giving brief sort of funny smart aleck answers to his questioning and he should have just left it at that. If someone isn’t at all interested in the conversation how far do you keep pushing? After I could see he wasn’t getting it I just straight up called him as I saw him – a spammer. I also sort of saw it as my right once he called me a ‘guru’ which I don’t think I am but if he was going to call me a guru which meant he considered me a master and leader and teacher I was going to do my duty to him and teach him. Sure I could have sugar-coated it but he clearly hadn’t gotten it before when I had tried to do that via our email exchange so this time I had had enough.

Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities 5.7 highlighted

Oh, after this exchange he decided to unfriend me on Facebook. Sure, I was rude but was I in the right? I totally think so. What he had done with his email stunt was actually illegal according to Facebook’s rules. As you can see above, Facebook has very specific rules for people using Facebook and for protecting its user’s rights. The Facebook “Statement of Rights and Responsibilities” says that “[i]f you collect information from users, you will: obtain their consent, make it clear you (and not Facebook) are the one collecting their information, and post a privacy policy explaining what information you collect and how you will use it.” Lani’s entire argument for how he was

I know this was a long preamble but it brings me to a few points of etiquette that everyone should already be aware of but it seems they are not:

  • If I hand you a business card that does not mean I am opting in for your email list. It means I want you to have my email and for you to personally be able to get in touch with me.
  • Facebook friendship does not mean I have opted in to your email list.
  • The fact that you have an opt-out option in your email list is irrelevant. Those listed have to have opted-in to your list in some way before you can send that first email. Even if it wasn’t a direct violation of Facebook’s rules and what is legal and illegal in Canada and the USA (according to privacy laws) it is an extreme breach of trust given to you when I friended you on Facebook.
  • You are not Jean Valjean (aka 24601) and the fact that this is your livelihood you are breaking the law for does not make it OK to break the law and breach people’s trust by misusing their information. By that logic we should be doing nothing to stop spammers and hackers because it is their livelihood to do malicious things on the internet (OK, some of them are just jerks but you get the point).

Also, don’t call someone a guru if you don’t darn well mean it. I don’t think I am a guru, I think I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of the knowledge I would need to amass before I could even hope to meet with a guru and be able to have an intelligent conversation with them beyond the words “Hello, my name is Dan.” BUT as I said above, if you submit yourself to my teachings by calling me a guru don’t get insulted when you don’t like what you hear. I call them as I see them and give people straight answers.

When people comment on this blog and when I comment on other people’s blogs (usually requiring an email address to be entered) I don’t expect to be added to mailing list. How many blogs have you seen which go out of their way to assure you that they take your privacy very seriously when you give them your email address, there’s a reason for that.

Do you have anything to add to this? Have things like this ever happened to you? Think I was too harsh on him in our Facebook conversation? Let me know!

 Sketched Mailbox with ‘@’ symbol aka MC900341788 via Microsoft Office

Facebook “Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.” You can find the full text here.

Facebook Adds Password Recovery Via ‘Trusted Friends’ Option

October 19, 2011 11 comments

I have no idea how long this option has existed within Facebook. All I know is that I completely randomly found it earlier today when I was going through some security features in Facebook.* What I found was very much akin – in my mind – to the post I wrote a little while back about setting a friend’s email address as your recovery email address and likening it to a spare house key. (See: “Is Your Recovery Email Address The Spare House Key You Leave With A Friend?”)

*In case you don’t know how to get to these pages they are the Facebook Account Settings page and the Facebook Security Settings page and both of those are direct links which should take you to them if you are logged in to Facebook in your browser already. 

Basically, Facebook has started an option to choose 5 Facebook friends who you consider ‘Trusted Friends’ and if you ever have issues getting into your account and can’t access your recovery email address, for whatever reason, Facebook will send each of your trusted friends a security code. Then, all you need to do is get in touch with your friends and collect the codes. In order to set the whole thing up you have to choose between 3 to 5 Trusted Friends, although Facebook recommends choosing the full 5. Once you need to recover your password Facebook will, I assume, email/message all 5 of your Trusted Friends a code. You only need to get 3 out of the 5 codes sent to your various Trusted Friends in order to get access to your account back. A full description of the service is available on the “Opt-in Security Features” area in the “Facebook Help Center”.

I, of course, decided to opt right in as soon as I saw this option and set it up immediately. My main question is why hasn’t Facebook been pushing users to set this up as soon as they logged in to Facebook the day it was implemented? I can’t even find any mention of the option on the Facebook Blog even though I did a very specific search for “trusted friends” and also manually went through a a few pages of blog posts which took me all the way back to October 14, 2010.

Facebook requires you to re-enter your password before it will let you set up your 5 Trusted Friends.

When you first go to edit the Trusted Friends list, Read more…

Facebook For Business Panel In Toronto – #FB4BizTO

October 5, 2011 Leave a comment

I am heading down to a panel called “Facebook for Business” which looks to be very interesting especially given their panel (full disclosure I know 4/5 of them from the interwebs and 3/5 in real life).

The panel’s hashtag is #FB4BizTO which is good because I am running LATE so I can follow along with it en route down (taking the TTC, don’t text/tweet & drive folks!)

They are encouraging anyone with questions to tweet any of the panelists (see below for Twitter handles/links) or @OrangeYYZ. You can even call 416-644-5929 and ask for Joan. That last one is a really cool idea, completely low tech but still very cool way to add to the conversation/panel. I wonder if people used to be able to do that for TV/Radio panels going on? Maybe I will ask my mom or grandparents…

The panel will be focusing on how B2C businesses (B2C = Business to Consumer) can use Facebook to achieve business results.  They are promising they’ll be sharing a few beginner tips for companies JUST getting into using Facebook for business as well as diving into developing and sharing content, creating engagement (and whether or not that can even be done!), using Facebook apps, and sharing tips and tricks; examples; and best practices. But no panel ever stays on topic(s) so I’m looking forward to this one veering off and seeing where these brilliant people on the panel take us in their discussion.

The Panelists

The Moderator

If you’re going to be there – I’ll see you soon! I’m on my way, really! If you’re “listening” in online, I hope you get a lot out of it. Tweet at me, @TheDanLevy if you’re too shy to ask a question and I will be glad to do it for you!

%d bloggers like this: