Posts Tagged ‘Contacts’

Simple Things About Facebook That Need Changing!

August 9, 2010 2 comments

I am not writing this post about Facebook privacy. This is more about the user interface of Facebook and how I feel they can make it more user-friendly.

I was, as usual, on Twitter today and a friend of mine tweeted asking:

How much spam do you get in your Facebook inbox? Or am I the only one who gets all this crap?“.

I responded that of course she was not the only one who gets all that crap. The question brought to mind a realization I had about Facebook’s Message Inbox deficiency a little while ago. The deficiency being that you can’t search for anything in your Inbox aside from messages from friends. This means that all those messages you get from events and groups of which you aren’t a friend of the creator or organizer are impossible to search for by name. This is something Facebook needs to fix in my opinion.

One other thing that I think helps contribute to Facebook spam is the fact that even after a Facebook event has occurred the organizers of the event can still access, and send a mass message to, everyone on the guest list. This means that if you have any events in your past events listing that you just clicked the “Not Attending” button when you decided to RSVP – or even never clicked anything and they’re still “Waiting for a Reply” – the organizers of that event have the ability to mass message you at any time of their choosing until you click the “Remove from My Events” link at the bottom of the event page. Facebook needs to add an optional setting at the very least that if you click “Not Attending” or never reply that it should automatically delete the event after a given amount of time.

The reason why I say the setting should be optional and why I say it should be after a given amount of time is because I believe there ARE benefits to having the list saved for both the people invited and for the people who organized the event. As well, even the benefit I see for the organizers is really also a benefit for the invited people (whether they attended or not).

    Benefits to the invited people:

– They can keep track of what events they have been to and where/when it was. Sort of like a journal of things you’ve done. (Assuming you don’t click Attending and then don’t show up).
– They can, after the event, have an easier time finding a new friend they met at the event on Facebook assuming that person was invited to the event.

    Benefits to the organizers (not including ability to spam the invited 6 months to a year later)

– They can send out a survey and see what people liked & did not like about their event and then try to improve on it in the future.
– They can offer people to join a group for photos/videos from the event or send them a link to the same offsite.

But like I said before there should be a termination period for the time you are listed in an event and event should be eventually deleted off your list. At the very least the ability for people to send messages to the attendees of an event a year ago should be removed so we don’t keep getting these spam messages.

Cell Phone Etiquette III

May 15, 2010 2 comments

After getting a question from a friend in regard to their BlackBerry – specifically the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) application – I have decided it is time for a new Cell Phone Etiquette post. (You can find the previous ones here and here.)

My friend, Robin (name changed), messaged me via BBM the other day and told me that a friend, we will call him Barney, of the sibling who she had inherited her BlackBerry from had added her to their BBM list. What Robin wanted to know was whether or not it was rude to delete Barney from her list now that they had established that the phone was no longer her brother’s. I responded that in my humble opinion she should wait a day and then delete Barney so he will be less likely to notice when her name disappears from his list avoiding a possibly awkward conversation. I suppose beyond what I said what is important would also be how well Robin and Barney actually know each other in the real world and whether or not it would be at all an insult.

But as I write this post about BlackBerrys and BBM I also think about one other point of etiquette which I am unsure about and would love to hear my readers’ opinions. Is it OK to give out your friend/acquaintance’s PIN to a mutual friend/acquaintance without first asking your friend? (If you don’t know how BBM works with PINs see below) One friend of mine’s opinion was that it doesn’t matter as you can just delete the person from your list if you don’t want them to have you on their list anymore or just ignore/refuse the friend request in the first place. I accepted the opinion at the time because I was new to the world of BBM but I have come to the conclusion, personally, that it is not alright and is a breach of the other person’s privacy and bad etiquette. The same way I do not like giving out other people’s phone numbers or personal email addresses without the owner’s express permission I don’t think it is OK to give out their PIN without their permission. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule.

Every Blackberry device has its own unique PIN and a BlackBerry user can use a PIN to send a direct message to another BlackBerry anywhere in the world at no cost. As well, every Blackberry has a program called BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) which is an Instant Messaging (IM) program which uses PINs to differentiate between people. As BBM is an IM program, like any IM program you build a buddy list and can choose to block or ignore requests for people to add you to their buddy list.

Google Sync Is Messed Up! Don’t Use It!

March 8, 2010 Leave a comment

I currently use a BlackBerry Bold 9700 (aka the Bold 2) and this post is in regard to the Google for Mobile application for BB called Google Sync.

I have tried to use the GoogleSync app for BlackBerry and in its current incarnation I can only warn others to stay away from it.

Why you ask? A number of reasons:

1) If the app sees your BlackBerry has too many items listed in it vs what it will sync to your Gmail contact list it just deletes the extraneous stuff.

2) The app doesn’t have a log of what exactly it did other than to tell you the number of contacts “updated”, “deleted”, or “new” this is extremely problematic when you consider reason #1 when it deletes info from your contact list and there isn’t even a log file to tell you what exactly it has done.

3) The app doesn’t allow you to set which contact list – BB or Gmail takes precedence on conflict between the two.

Now for the real world application of the problems the above result in. I decided after having a couple of issues with the app previously to try it again but this time to use one of my random Gmail addresses that I never really use and has no contacts saved in it (and before I started I made sure to delete the 2 contacts that were in the Gmail contact list).
I then downloaded Google Sync for BB to my 9700 and ran it, setting it to log into the Gmail address which had no contacts stored.
The results?

Last Succesful Sync
New Contacts 706
Deleted Contacts 0
Updated Contacts 9

Updated Contacts 9???? What!?!?!?!
How could it have updated contacts when there weren’t any contacts within the Gmail account? What did GoogleSync update the contacts against? Further, what contacts did it “update” (read ‘change and delete some possibly important info’). There is no log of this info so am I now going to either have to go through all 700+ contacts and find where the info I am missing is and attempt to get it back OR just wait for the one day when I need this info and find out that I don’t have it because Google Sync decided to delete it.

Good thing I backed up my BB before this experiment! However, this post is a warning to warn anyone else off from using Google Sync for BlackBerry until A LOT of improvements are made to the software.

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