The Social Annie-versary Experiment

Today, my wife Annie and I celebrate 9 years of wedded bliss.  Okay, so it hasn’t been all bliss, but if I had it to do over, I wouldn’t change a thing.  And hey, that’s more than a lot of people can say these days (my wife included, I think).

Photo courtesy KC Brock

As the saying goes, opposites attract.  That’s certainly true in a lot of areas for us.  One of those areas is the internet and social media.  I’m heavily involved in both while my wife may occasionally send a friend an e-mail.  She could certainly do more in the space, she just chooses not to.

Still, sometimes I find myself wishing she’d stumbled upon my latest witty comment or random musing on her own instead of having to ask her to pause the DVR long enough so that I can read them to her out loud.  Sort of loses a bit of its magic that way, you know?

In comes the Social Annie-versary Experiment, an idea I came up with just yesterday (far be it from me to avoid last minute anniversary ideas now).

Watch the video for the whole scoop. And let me know your thoughts regarding social media and the experiment itself.  Is she better off staying away from Facebook and Twitter, et al?

You can help by commenting and/or spreading the word on Facebook and Twitter – use the hashtag #nothings – when you tweet/update ‘sweet nothings’ to your significant other.   I’ll peruse them throughout the day and may use my favorites on my honey (feel free to do the same).  Maybe before the day is over, you and I will have a crowd-sourced list of great ‘sweet nothings’ we can save for just the right moment.

Oh, and I may as well kick off the sweet nothings right here:

Honey, I love you more and more every day I’m alive.

Advertisements

Changing Facebook’s News Feed Default Settings

It’s been a few weeks since Facebook launched its recent round of changes.  Those changes not only included a slight face lift (no pun intended), but some under-the-hood changes as well.  If you’re like many, you’re still getting used to them.

In fact, it you spend time on Facebook daily, you may have noticed that what you’re posting isn’t being commented on at the same level you’re used to.  Part of the reason for that, I believe, is due to the changes Facebook made to some of the personal profile default settings.

First, it’s important to note that this won’t change, necessarily, by making the simple adjustments I describe in the video below.  For that to happen, everyone else you’re connected with will need to do the same.  To put it simply, you need to spread the word.

However, if you feel – as I did – that you’re just not seeing near the activity in your Facebook stream that you once did, the simple adjustments outlined in this screencast should help change that.  I hope it helps.

Photo credit, Photos8.com

iPhone, Nexus and Droid, Oh My!

Before you ask, the answer is, “No, I do not now, nor have I ever owned a smart phone.”  Hard to believe, especially if you know me well.  Most of my Facebook friends and Twitter contacts are stunned when they learn I don’t own one.  I often hear things like, “I guess I just always assumed you did.”

I’ve had trouble in the past justifying the added data plan expense, and up until recently Verizon – my carrier – just hasn’t had anything compelling to offer.  That changed with the Droid.

My wife and I have been with Verizon for two years now.  We have no intention of switching especially when they’re offering $100 dollars toward a new phone (new every two).  More than once I’ve come this close to pulling the trigger on the Droid (which, for a limited time, includes a free HTC Eris for my wife).  Something though keeps holding me back.

First, there are the constant iPhone rumors.  Will the iPhone come to Verizon or won’t it?  I was extremely disappointed when there was no announcement from Verizon to that end last Wednesday (as was heavily rumored).  Google’s Nexus One (announced at this year’s CES) was another reason to wait (at least it seemed that way at first).  It doesn’t come to Verizon though until Spring.  And, by the way, what does that mean?  Could you be any more vague?  Spring?  Give me a break!

So, what to do?  I’m still not sure, but I know one thing: as you are a person who reads this blog – and likely a smart phone user – you have much wisdom and experience to share.  Am I right?

Help me learn from your expertise (or your mistakes, as the case may be).  Before you comment, keep in mind I have no intention of leaving Verizon as a carrier.  Now, if you will, comment away.

The Only Book on Social Media Marketing You’ll Ever Need

Several months ago I promised Tamar Weinberg I’d do a video review of her book The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web.  My apologies to her for taking so long to get around to it.  After all, how hard can a video book review be, right?

After being sidetracked with other projects shortly after reading the first two-thirds, I finally got around to finishing it recently.  If you buy one book on social media, do yourself a favor and make it this one.

For the ultimate review of Tamar’s new book, check out this video from Polar Unlimited.

The New Seesmic: Update Facebook Pages and Twitter Accounts From a Single App

Did I recently post I’d given up on Seesmic?  Why, yes I did.

But wait.

No sooner had I gone back to TweetDeck – and I still really like the newest version of TweetDeck – the folks at Seesmic stepped up their game and added Facebook page functionality to the interface.

As someone who manages up to four Twitter accounts and five Facebook pages at any given time, I’d longed for a third-party app that would allow me to do this.

Until now, I’d utilized  Seesmic or TweetDeck to update multiple Twitter accounts only.  When I needed to update all five Facebook pages with the same status, I leaned on Ping.fm.  With the new Seesmic, managing these accounts across separate platforms is no longer necessary.

It’ll be interesting to see if TweetDeck can respond to the call.  If you too manage multiple accounts on Twitter and Facebook, or even if you manage a single Twitter account, a single Facebook profile and a single Facebook page, this new version of Seesmic certainly seems like you’re best app option moving forward.

Twitter Client Seesmic Releases Updates

For several weeks now, I’ve been using the third-party Twitter client Seesmic Desktop to manage my Twitter engagement.  I actually migrated from TweetDeck, a platform I never thought I’d leave.  But just as I was wondering if I’d made the right decision, Seesmic released a few key updates yesterday that address specific areas I think were sorely lacking just a few days ago.  If you’re unfamiliar with Seesmic (or third-party apps in general), watch this video to get up to speed before reading on.

The most glaring shortcoming in the Seesmic Preview version I was previously running was the inability to push out tweets to multiple Twitter accounts at the same time.  Also missing was the option to send updates to your Twitter and Facebook accounts simultaneously.  I didn’t consider the latter a big deal in that there are so many other ways to successfully tie in Twitter updates to your Facebook status if you choose.

I do, however, have the need to sometimes push the same tweet to both my personal account and my company account.  One of the best options I’d found was SplitweetSplitweet works wonderfully and does a great job of allowing you to monitor your multiple Twitter accounts alongside your Brand’s mentions all on the same page.  The main drawback, at least for me, is it’s Twitter only.

Third-party clients like TweetDeck and Seesmic combine the ability to monitor not only multiple Twitter accounts but your Facebook stream as well.  Again, though, the major shortcoming was not being able to update multiple accounts at the same time.  That has now changed.

Yesterday,  Seesmic  e-mailed this update to TeamSeesmic Friends:

I’m happy to let you know that we are releasing a new version of Seesmic Desktop, Version 0.3 RC or 0.3 Release Candidate. This version is being released to our TeamSeesmic members for the next few days to review a couple of big features and get your feedback.

Some of my favorite features included in this new version (from the Seesmic e-mail):

Multi-Account Posting with Smart Account Enabling:

We’ve upgraded the user interface to select which accounts to send posts to, saving you the time and effort it takes to post to each account separately. We’ve also added an option for Smart Account Enabling. With this feature turned on, this will allow Seesmic Desktop to change accounts when messaging your friends based on whom you are replying or direct messaging to. Seesmic will not change the accounts if you do not enable Smart Account.

Continued UI modifications, enhancements and fixes:

We’ve made continued modifications to the Seesmic Desktop user interface saving time when using Seesmic Desktop and space when reading your stream.


Some of the enhancements include:

-Minimizing the message panel until you start entering messages to send
-Enabling replies in your Facebook friends’ avatar to quickly add comments
-Inline reminders of what account you are posting from
-An added “Cancel” button to erase your messages in the message panel
-Updated scrolling arrows for enhanced browsing
-Ensuring all replies appear in your integrated timeline
-And many other additional fixes

If I could add two things to the updates that I still miss (and love about TweetDeck), it would be the auto complete feature and the ability to search within a specific Twitter stream.

Type in a user’s Twitter handle, and TweetDeck will fill in the name for you if it’s someone you follow (much like some e-mail programs will do when typing someone’s name in the “To:” field).  TweetDeck also allows you to search by username or search term within a specific Twitter account or Group you’ve set up.  Very cool.  Hopefully Seesmic will be able to add these features someday.

Finally, this video from Seesmic includes a complete overview of yesterday’s updates:

Amazing Grace: How Tweet the Sound?

It was with much interest Sunday that I read an article from Time Magazine regarding the rise in the use of Twitter during church services.  In many instances, it’s even being pioneered by the pastors themselves.

istock_000000494605xsmall

I immediately sent a link of the Time article to my pastor (@petetackett) via Facebook to get his thoughts:

I think Twitter and Facebook plus other social networking tools will be useful to the church.  I think you have to balance both the newness of it with the traditionalists in the church as well as the need for contemplative silence with the temptation to always be twittering.  For us, the next step is figuring out how to make this possible without being distracting.

For years now, students have used their phones and pdas to communicate during church.  Why not let them use them to communicate with the church instead of telling them to put them away?  Hmm.

Pete

I think he’s dead-on.  In essence, it’s coming whether the “church” likes it or not.  The key will be to get in front of it and excercise some control over how it’s rolled out rather than waiting until it’s too late.  Pastor Jon Swanson is a great example of this in action.

For churches that aren’t doing it already, I see many adding new positions in the coming months and years centered around nurturing relationships and growing their congregations via social media-related ministry.  Present staff not trained and not already immersed in all aspects of social media will be ill-equipped to handle it otherwise.