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
“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!
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…
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.
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…
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.
When you first go to edit the Trusted Friends list, Read more…
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.
- Marina Arnaout – @marinan Digital Communications, Steam Whistle Brewing
- Kerry Morrison – @kmore CEO, Endloop Studios
- Michael Nus – @michaelnus Co-Founder, Epilogger Inc
- Heather Payne – @heatherpayne Sales & Marketing, Pinpoint Social
- Carolyn Van – @carolynvan Co-Founder & Managing Partner, thirdocean & XConnectTO
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!
Previously On LNN…
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