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Posts tagged with: Social Media

Discover Popular Facebook Pages to “Like”

facebook page discovery
Facebook

Facebook just rolled out a new feature called “Facebook Page Browser” that lets you discover new facebook pages that are popular among your friends in 10 different categories and also within both local & global region.

The 10 categories by which the pages are currently divided are: Musicians, Sports, Celebrities, Movies, TV Shows, Media, Publications, Brands, Games & a category called “All” which presumably consist all of the above & other general pages. Clicking on any category displays all the pages of that category and the result seem to be endless as you can always click “show more” at the bottom of the site to find more facebook pages. Moving your mouse over any of the facebook page icons changes your mouse cursor to a facebook like button so that you can easily like a page without having to go inside the page itself. Remember that when you like a page all the latest updates of that particular page will start showing up on your facebook newsfeed.

On the right side of the facebook page browser, you should also see a list of 25 of your friends who has similar interest as you. The list is compiled by calculating how many mutual likes you and your friend have. If you click on any of the names from the list, it will basically show you a list of pages both you and your friend liked.

Interestingly, not long ago facebook introduced their suggested interest list, which had very similar implementation. Now its not clear to me whether the old suggested interest list will be replaced by this new page browser instead.

Check out the Facebook Page Browser: http://www.facebook.com/pages/browser.php

Update:

I must point out that the above feature is only visible if you are logged into facebook. If you want to find & browse facebook pages without logging into facebook you can check out the general Facebook page directory here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/?browse

[via Inside Facebook]


4 Pillars of Social Media Marketing

This is a Guest Post by Michael Jenkins, Director of Shout Web Strategy. Shout is an online marketing agency based in Melbourne, Australia that is specialized in Search marketing, conversion rate optimization and web usability testing and more. You can read more of their articles in the Shout Blog.

4 Pillars of social media

No matter how big or small your business is, you are most likely trying to tap into the new media that has evolved in the last couple of years. Social media is the cool kid in town. Every website owner now works extra hard to get some ‘social love’. There are lots of factors that determine the success of your website or campaign in the social media space. But if you focus the right amount of time on the four main pillars of social media marketing, you are most likely to succeed. The four pillars are: Research, Content, Socialize and Testing.

It is logical to start any decent social media and SEO strategy with research. The more knowledge and tools you accumulate, the better prepared you will be for your tasks and the upgrade of your site’s content. As you know, websites would simply not exist without content, and search engines would have nothing to monitor and analyse. In a way, content is the glue that holds everything together and, therefore, should be considered as one of the main component of social media marketing.
Every successful marketing strategy slots in time for socialising. This is necessary, to spread the word about your company’s brand. Just think about it, if nobody hears about your products and services, who will buy them?

Aside from research, producing quality content and promoting your company through social media sources, marketers should also spend a fair amount of time testing. Analysing your website’s performance is one of the most efficient ways to determining your strengths and weaknesses. Now that we have established which components are vital to your online survival, and why, lets look at them in detail below:

Research

Doing proper research is very much needed in the social media space. It has to be conducted often and at regular intervals. Listen to what your audience says, because if you don’t, you will be unable to understand what their needs are and eventually your online presence will fade. You can avoid such a disastrous situation by incorporating social media monitoring programs into your online marketing strategy. Without your collected social data, the guidance of your audience, the support of influencers, and a chance to participate in real-time marketing opportunities, you will be flying blind in cyberspace.

While there are many things to monitor, pay close attention to these 4 elements, as they can help you achieve success in your social media campaign:

  • Define Your Social Channels – If you know your audience, you know where they socialise online. Do they interact on Facebook or Twitter, or are they LinkedIn members? Some people prefers media sharing sites like YouTube and Flickr, while others regularly visit popular forums and niche blog sites. Through social media monitoring you will discover where your followers gather, which will help you decide which social channels you should focus on most.
  • Acquire Social Keyword Insight – Proficient social media monitoring tools are able to analyse anchor text, tags, comments, and other forms of written content to identify keywords associated with your particular monitoring requests. The results of such an inquiry can be quite helpful as they will show you which subjects your audience is interested in. Furthermore, once you know your followers’ web behavior and interests, you can manipulate your website’s content and optimise around those ‘hot’ topics.
  • Identify Your Influencers – Research will also help identify your influencers, or the people who are – intentionally or unintentionally – promoting your company. Once you have categorised your influencers, you can prioritise who you want to connect with.
  • Track SERPs – Social media monitoring resources do not track search engine results pages (SERPs), but you can. Monitor key terms that are relevant to your business, as well as the social sources that use them. For instance, if Google displays blog posts containing certain competitive keyword phrases first, you may benefit greatly from blogging or commenting on those issues. Just don’t forget to include a back link to your own site.

Content

One of the growing industries in online marketing revolves around Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the creation, optimisation, and promotion of web content. Copywriters, editors and publishers pop up like wild mushrooms, creating great quantities of new content, and giving all businesses a chance to acquire a wide variety of promotional materials. Be careful though, as not all content is appropriate or of good quality. Many people believe they are superb writers, when in fact, they are not. Beginners or hobbyists simply do not have the skills, or they only practice traditional paper writing, which is quite different from the keyword-rich content necessary to stand out on the Internet. Publishing content online is more than uploading creative features and information about your products and services. Today, customers want more, and expect web pages with inviting images, informative videos, relevant audio, charts & statistics, and various file types that can be used for promotional purposes on social channels. Search engines recognise highly targeted content quicker, which will benefit your rankings. The faster you show up in a Google, Bing or MSN search query, the sooner potential customers will find you!

Socialise

Socialising is quite beneficial to those companies familiar with the most popular social media sources in their industry, a target audience, and rock solid content. But that is not enough. They also need a plan to connect all these elements so they can be used to communicate with their customers and prospects.

Be smart and don’t waste your marketing efforts. Instead, concentrate them on the following three socialising aspects:

  • Study Your Buyers’ Personalities – Discover what your customers do on social sites. Widen your research so you will also find out what their consumption and sharing preferences are. What persuades them to buy something, and who do they share their shopping experiences with?
  • Expand your Social Networks – Although a lack of time is often the main cause, there are numerous reasons why marketers fail to expand their social network circles. Nonetheless, it is important to maintain your social connections. Even if you are overloaded with work, try to spend at least 10-30 minutes a day writing blogs, following up on comments, updating your Facebook page, tweeting, etc. That is all you need to keep networks growing organically.
  • Carefully Select Your Promotions – Familiar with the preferences of your audience, you can now develop promotions that will further your business. Blogs are quite helpful, but so are other advertising features like cartoons, videos, and audio sound bites. Switching between different promotional options will give you valuable exposure on all your preferred social media sites.

Testing

Anyone involved in web development & maintenance, social media marketing, and SEO understands that ‘testing’ is crucial to success. Though many social media analytics and monitoring tools are free, or cost little; they usually take little time to learn. Do not ignore them, but use them to your advantage. Study the information they provide thoroughly and monitor your progress as you optimise your keyword selection, improve your content, and upgrade your social media strategy. Do A-B testing and see which one works and which doesn’t.

Changes do not translate into overnight, earth-shaking results, not even if you employ the most elaborate social media strategy. Be patient, and before you know it, your online identity will start to grow. Success will be yours, but remember, you will have to keep up the good work to continue with your success.


Face Detection on Facebook Photos

facebook photos face detectionNot long ago Facebook has acquired a small startup called Divvyshot that did a lot of interesting stuff with photos. Soon after that we saw many interesting changes in Facebook photos.

Today Facebook has announced a new feature that will make photo tagging inside Facebook dead simple by automatically detecting the faces in the pictures you have and giving you the option to just type then name of the person and hit enter to ‘tag’.

Now that’s pretty neat! Because sometimes group pictures have like 20 different faces, and clicking on each of those faces and tagging them is often a real pain. However when I first read the news, I thought it would actually do a real face detection or face matching and find out all the other photos that has the same person’s face and tag them automatically. Google’s Picasa has already this face-matching feature that lets you organize photos by face.

But users of Facebook won’t like the idea of being “auto-tagged” by a bot, but I believe the Face detection feature that facebook is implementing can just go one step further – Detect the face & then suggest the the name(s) of the likely person (if I have already tagged the same face before in facebook). So this totally eliminates me from having to type that persons name which will save even more time. The “auto-tagging” option can be an optional thing that facebook can just throw in there for advanced users. But unless the algorithm is really good this might be a disaster – So you better don’t try it Facebook! Lets keep things simple for now.


Facebook Suggested Interests

Do you guys remember the very controversial Twitter suggested user List? Guess what, Facebook is following the same path and now suggesting interests (a.k.a Facebook pages) to new Facebook users.

facebook-suggested-interest

How does this help Facebook? Simple – It provides more traction on the site for new users. When a user joins Facebook for the first time, he is likely to have very limited friends/connections. But in order to really understand the value of Facebook or in other words ‘get addicted to it’, users need to start building all these connections. So Facebook is sort of helping you to build these connections, not by showing up random people to “Add as a friend” but more in the line of showing you public figures, celebrities, brands that you may like. Once you tell Facebook what your interests are, respective updates will start showing up in your News feed.

Currently some of the suggested interests are: Barack Obama, Lady Gaga, Shane Dawson, Xbox, Skittles, Monster Energy, Dr Pepper, World Cup, Eminem, Justin Bieber, Toy Story, Futurama, Playstation, The Office and many more! These suggested interests are basically the old Facebook Fan pages that was later changed to just “Facebook Pages” and the action of becoming a fan was changed to “Like”. Many brands & celebrities are putting a feed of their facebook page as a widget on their own websites where the visitors can interact as well.

Other than pure usability, Facebook will also get a lot of benefit from this implementation in terms of Advertising (thus $$$). If all new users starts telling Facebook from Day 1 that they like Starbucks coffee, domino’s pizza & lady gaga – it gives Facebook a lot of new ad inventory for more targeted advertising which they can later sell to their advertisers.

It is also possible that Facebook will have deals with certain brands to show them as a suggested ‘interest’. Facebook however says: “The list of Pages is strictly determined by an algorithm, so none of the suggestions is sponsored and Page administrators can’t pay or ask to be included.”


Facebook Suggests Ad Copy for Advertisers

Facebook has started to test out a new feature in Facebook advertising platform called “Suggest an Ad” which supposedly auto creates an ad copy by pulling in text and pictures from the advertiser’s URL that he wants to advertise for.

The “Suggest An Ad” button was first spotted by Jens Wiese in Germany, and it seems like the feature is in a very early test phase.

I logged in to my Facebook Advertising account and didn’t see that feature present yet. Facebook is known for testing out new products and features on a small subset before rolling it out to everyone, so I assume that this is another one of their tests.

While I am not sure if having this new feature will actually boost Facebook’s ad sales dramatically, but new advertisers might find this feature useful if they are clueless about ad copy and has no experience whatsoever with online advertising.

So I’ll keep an eye on this feature and will write about it again when I know more.


MySpace Status Updates in Google Search

Mike Jones, co-president of the less-talked about social networking site MySpace today announced that, updates of all MySpace users will now appear in the Google’s real time search results.

Right now, Google pulls most of its real time search results from Twitter, Google Buzz & Friendfeed. But now that MySpace has also joined the party, its pretty obvious that Google will eventually try to get everyone to open up their data stream for Google’s real time search efforts.

ReadWriteWeb points out that MySpace users don’t usually share as many links as any typical Twitter user. So in my opinion including MySpace into Google’s real time search will not bring any extra value to the searchers. Searchers are usually looking for answers and not ‘conversations’. Twitter is great for Google’s Real-time search as tweets contains valuable links that can help the searcher to find what they are looking for. MySpace users tend to be more into entertainment & music and often looked at as a social network for younger population.

MySpace Status Updates in Google Real-Time Search Results

For certain terms, Google real-time search stream appears automatically. But to see real-time search results for any particular query, you can go to google.com, click on Show Options & select updates from the left hand menu. This will basically show you all real-time updates from various sources for the given query.

Myspace Updates - Google Real Time Search

Filter Real-Time Updates based on Services

If you wish to just see the real-time updates of one particular service (e.g. myspace.com) you can use the site:domain.com operator next to your keyword.

So to see all the updates regarding “chinese new year” in myspace, go to the Google’s update page and search for – Chinese New Year site:myspace.com

Google Real Time Search Filter

So do you think adding MySpace updates in Google’s Realtime search will bring any ‘real’ value to the searchers?


Google Buzz inside Your Gmail

google buzz Earlier today, Google has announced their new social media product called – Google Buzz which can be accessed from the site – buzz.google.com.

What is Google Buzz?

I personally think Google Buzz is Google’s answer to all the social media / micro-blogging sites that are out there, such as twitter, facebook, friendfeed and so on. Buzz is a dedicated page under Gmail which sort of brings status updates, links, videos and other shared features all in one place.

If you have seen/used friedfeed or Facebook’s newsfeed before then this should be a very familiar concept for you. The beauty of the product is that all these will sit right inside your Gmail, thus you don’t have to go to a separate website but just one place where most of us always go to – our email inbox!

Google Buzz and Gmail will sort of share the same contact list. So whoever you send emails to often or friends with via Google chat are to be treated as your friends/contacts in Google Buzz.

Currently Google Buzz can pull data directly from the following services:
– Flickr
– Twitter
– Picase Web
– YouTube
– Blogger
– RSS feeds connected to your Google Profile (e.g. Blogs)

How Does Google Buzz Work?

Google Buzz basically appears as a inbox/page inside your Gmail navigation (you may not see it immediately as it will be slowly rolled out in couple of days). At first Google Buzz will notify you how many people you already be auto-following based on the number of existing Google contacts you have in your Gmail account.

When using Google Buzz you can choose to share Buzz updates publicly or privately on a post-by-post basis. You can easily hand select the posts that you don’t want to be public and only to be shared among groups or individual contacts that you specify.

Here’s how Buzz will look once it’s part of your Gmail account:

google buzz interface

Official Google Buzz Introduction Demo

Google Buzz on a Mobile Device

Google has done some interesting thing with Buzz for mobile devices. First of all, any iPhone and Android users can access Buzz by visiting buzz.google.com on their mobile browsers. There are no dedicated apps for the mobile devices yet. Buzz does a lot of things with location on the mobile. A “nearby” view shows public updates in your vicinity — which is very similar to what Foursquare and Gowalla does. Google Buzz is also nicely integrated with Google Maps. Check out the video below to learn more:

How to Activate Google Buzz in your Gmail?

Google buzz will be slowly rolled out to everyone. So no special activation is necessary. Just keep refreshing your gmail page until you see buzz in the navigation! (Just kidding..)

Conversations About Google Buzz on the Web

Google Buzz Is Google’s Approach to Sharing and the Social Space – LifeHacker

Google’s social side hopes to catch some Buzz – CNet

Google Buzz: 5 Things You Need to Know – O Reilly

Google Adds ‘Buzz’ to Gmail – Wall Street Journal

Morning Buzz: Live From Google’s Major Step Into The Social Spotlight – Techcrunch

Google Buzz in Gmail – Official Gmail Blog

If Google Wave Is The Future, Google Buzz Is The Present – Techcrunch

Google Buzz Launches 150+ Million User Social Network – Marketing Pilgrim

Introducing Google Buzz! GMail Social Sharing – Search Engine Journal

How Google Buzz Validates but Marginalizes FriendFeed – Louis Gray

BREAKING: Google Goes Social with Google Buzz – Mashable

Google Buzz: Google Takes On Twitter, Facebook & Even Foursquare – Search Engine Land


BREAKING: Google Launching Facebook/Twitter Killer

Update: Google Buzz Has Launched!

gmail status updater - Google's Attempt to Kill Facebook/Twitter It looks like Google is going after the social media space and launching something brand new tomorrow! Can this be a possible twitter / facebook killer? We all just have to wait until tomorrow to find out!

For now, all we know is tomorrow Google will launch a brand new social feature for Gmail that is likely to allow users to make ‘status updates’ which is a very common thing for people to do on both twitter & facebook. However, unless Google really innovates here, or somehow manages to integrate their social stream with Facebook or Twitter, I don’t really see Google catching up with these big guys anytime soon.

Like Nicholas Carlson says, Google has never really been good with consumer products. In fact Google’s universe is all surrounded by their search product. All the other products that they tried to release such as Social Network – Orkut, Google Video, Gmail never really became mainstream.

But I have to say – they tried, they tried hard! Google made a lot of expensive acquisitions to acquire the user base/technologies of sites that they figured would help them to take a new product mainstream. They acquired Youtube (Video Site), Jaiku (Micro-blogging service), Picasa (Photo sharing), Zingku and many others. A complete list of Google’s acquisitions to date are here. Out of all these products, only Youtube sort of went mainstream in the video space, other than that most of the other services they they have acquired didn’t go anywhere.

So it would be really interesting how they are going to compete with the two social messaging giants – Twitter & Facebook. Facebook is now beyond acquisition as they have become way too big and they are also sort of tied up with Microsoft from the beginning. Twitter on the other hand was rumored to be acquired by Google for some time, but looks like thats not happening too!

John Battelle writes:

Google is simply not understood by consumers to be a place where they can connect with friends and colleagues. If it intends to become that, it has some DNA mutation in its future.

This one is indeed going to be very interesting…

Update:

Mashable reports that they have received an invite to the Google HQ for tomorrow where Google is supposedly going to unveil some product innovations in two of it’s most popular products. The event begins at 10:00 a.m. PT tomorrow and honestly i can’t wait to hear what Google plans to announce!

Bloggers Reaction around the Web

Google To Unveil Broad New Social Product Tomorrow – Techcrunch

Google’s ‘Social’ Gmail: Could It Really Work? – PC World

Google to make Gmail a little more social – Cnet

Report: GMail to Add Twitter-esque Feature – Search Engine Watch

Google to Introduce a Twitter/Friendfeed Like Feature for Gmail – The Next Web

Google’s Social Push Accelerates Tomorrow With Gmail Social Stream – Social Times

Google Stream? Google will launch “huge” new social features tomorrow – Download Squad

Google to Add Social Features to Gmail – NY Times

Gmail to Get Social News Feed: Report – GigaOm

Google Going Social…Again? Gmail to Add Streaming Updates – Search Engine Journal

Follow the conversation further on techmeme!


Facebook Launches Their Version of Retweet

Facebook is currently testing out a new feature that pretty much has the same functionality as Twitter’s retweet option. B asically when you find something cool that your friend posted under his profile, you can share it with your circle of friends by ‘reposting it’ using the share button. But previously it never gave credit to the original poster, but with facebook’s recent implementation, all shares now show a “via @username” (where the username is the name of the original poster). Isn’t that roughly how the twitter “re-tweet” works?

facebook-retweet

[Credit: AllFacebook]

It seems like this new feature is live for everyone. To try it, just go to a friend’s posted item in your news feed and then click “share,” and you’ll see a “via [your friend’s name]” (with an option to remove it of course). Once shared, the item will appear on your profile, with a via link that points to your friend’s profile as well. Your friends will also see the item in their own News Feeds, thus spreading it even more (just like Twitter’s retweet).

From what I can tell so far this feature only works for posted items/links – you can’t “via” someone else’s status update or photo (as yet). So next time you see something shared on facebook, you are likely know its source.


Facebook Status Trends 2009

facebook logoFacebook status updates are a way for facebook users to share what’s on their mind (or what they are doing – similar to a “tweet”). Recently facebook has released some amazing data, which are harvested from anonymously tracking millions of Facebook status updates throughout the year 2009.

facebook-memology-2009

Facebook is calling this Facebook Memology, which is sort of like a compilation of popular topics and trends in Facebook. Its interesting to see that Facebook showed Facebook Applications as one of the most popular trend which was dominated by the annoying app FarmVille and Farm Town! I remember the days when my facebook account was filled with farmville invites & updates, as everybody was playing them. Luckily now I managed to block them all from showing up in my stream. But apparently majority of the facebook users doesn’t do that and in fact they enjoy playing games like farmville. Mashable recently wrote a post with a chart which showed FarmVille user base is much bigger than the whole of Twitterverse!

I don’t know how “Yard” made it to the list! Is it possible that “Yard” was also a part of some stupid facebook game? Anyway if you enjoy these stats you can become a fan of the Facebook Data Team, also get more details of the Facebook memology here.

What others are saying about Facebook Memology:

Facebook Drops The Hottest Status Trends – You Are Not Going To Like The First Two – The Next Web

Facebook Says “FML,” “Twitter” Is A Top Status Trend In 2009 – Techcrunch

Facebook Launches Memology To Track The Most Popular Status Trends – All Facebook

Facebook Unveils Most-Mentioned Topics of 2009 – Mashable

Facebook Memology: Top Status Trends of 2009 – Techmeme


URL Shortener by Google – Goo.gl

After facebook just launched their url shortener, Google has also joined the party with their own version of URL shortener – Goo.gl.

The Google URL shortener currently doesn’t work as stand-alone service as you can’t use it to shorten links directly (like you do with bit.ly). However Google URL Shortener is available from the Google Toolbar and FeedBurner. If the service proves useful, Google says that they may eventually make it available for a wider audience in the future.

How To Share Pages using Gog.gl?

Sharing pages using Google toolbar is very easy. If your browser already has Google toolbar installed you should see a new green share button (very similar to the shareaholic icon.

google-toolbar-share

The Google share option gives you a long list of social websites where you would usually share content (e.g. twitter, facebook, digg and so on). So basically if you use the Google’s toolbar share function to share something, it will automatically use Google’s URL shortener to share the link. However, I have to say that this isn’t working for me for some reason but it looks like others are using it successfully. So give it a try!

Now why should you use Google’s URL Shortener rather than other similar services like tinyurl or bit.ly? Google in their official blog explains 3 major benefits of using their URL shortener:

Stability:Google’s scalable, multi-datacenter infrastructure provides great uptime and a reliable service to our users.

Security: As Google does it with their web search, shortened URLs are automatically checked to detect sites that may be malicious and warn users when the short URL resolves to such sites.

Speed: Google loves fast products and they have worked hard to ensure this service is quick. We’ll continue to iterate and improve the speed of Google Url Shortener.

Read what others are saying about Goo.gl:

Bit.ly Just Got Fu.kd: Facebook And Google Get Into The Short URL Game – Techcrunch

Introducing Google’s Own URL Shortener – Search Engine Journal

Just What the World Needs: Google Introduces Goo.gl URL Shortener – PC World

Goo.gl: Google Launches a URL Shortener, Too- Mashable


Facebook URL Shortener – FB.me

facebook-url-shortenerFacebook has launched their own URL Shortener – FB.me. If you go there it will basically redirect you to Facebook.com. So if your Profile URL is say – http://www.facebook.com/Starbucks, now you can even write it as http://fb.me/starbucks and it will still go to the exact same page.

Facebook currently doesn’t allow you to make any short URLs using this new url shortener. But if you use facebook mobile, you may start noticing long urls such as – m.facebook.com being replaced by fb.me.

Eventually I think Facebook will launch this site-wide and automatically shorten all URLs posted in Facebook with FB.me. Now the real question is how is this going to be any different from other URL shortner like bit.ly or su.pr?

Well I hope Facebook will be able to innovate and take this whole URL shortening to the next level. For instance, some social bookmarking sites like Digg & stumble upon has their own URL shortening service that adds a toolbar on top of the page that you are browsing. With that on page toolbar, users can make a comment or even take an action (i.e. Stumble/Digg on this case). So if Facebook sort of goes along the same line, I believe users will be able to interact with the links even more with their “Likes” & “comment” feature.

What do you think?


Facebook Adds Privacy To Each Post

facebook-privacy-settingsSometime later today Facebook will be launching a new set of privacy feature to its 350 million users.

The good thing is, with this new privacy feature implementation – Facebook users will be able to choose exactly who they want to share their status update, photo, video, or any other piece of content posted on Facebook.

The set options will be: Share with “Friends, Friends of Friends, Everyone and Customized.” Facebook is killing regional networks such as “Malaysia” or “Silicon Valley,” which are too big and meaningless anyway.

“Facebook is transforming the world’s ability to control its information online by empowering more than 350 million people to personalize the audience for each piece of content they share,” said Elliot Schrage, Vice President of Communications, Public Policy and Marketing. “We’ve always designed Facebook to enable people to control what information they share with whom—it’s the reason our service continues to attract such a broad and diverse group of users from around the world. We’re proud of the latest evolution we’re announcing today and we will continue to innovate to serve users’ changing needs.”

How will The New Facebook Privacy Benefit You?

With the help of many customized options, facebook users will now be able to create Friends Lists so that you can share your personal photos only with your family, and say some inappropriate YouTube videos with just your college buddies! If you have some promotional news or business article to share, you can probably share it only with the people on your “business list” rather than sharing them with everyone who may or may not be interested into such content. Facebook is also simplifying its privacy settings to make them less confusing in general.

What Is the Next Step?

By making the privacy settings clear, I believe facebook is just encouraging people to trust the system ‘more’ and make more & more public facebook updates that they can include in the facebook internal search index. Right now, if you search for something on facebook it only brings results from your own network and not from everyone’s public post. (Unlike twitter, where http://search.twitter.com basically indexes all twitter updates and hence more useful!)

If you don’t see the privacy settings on your Facebook profile, don’t panic! They are slowly rolling it out and it will get to your profile shortly. Don’t forget Facebook has over 350 million users to take care of.

Read More on Facebook Privacy:

It’s Privacy Day at Facebook – Mashable

Privacy-Per-Post: Facebook Rolls Out Its New Privacy Settings – Techcrunch

Farewell Facebook networks; hello genuine privacy – Miami Herald

Facebook privacy update draws cheers, mostly jeers – The Christian Science Monitor

Live From Today’s Facebook Privacy Call – All Facebook

Facebook redraws site’s privacy boundaries – Reuters

Hide That Weekend From Mom – Facebook Is Rolling Out Granular Privacy Controls Now – The Next Web


HOW TO: Change Your Facebook Username

facebook-change-username

Not long ago, I wrote about how you can setup your own facebook username (a.k.a Vanity URL), so that your facebook profile URL is like – www.facebook.com/yourusername rather than the very long url that facebook provides by default.

Initially, Facebook mentioned that they won’t let anybody change their username once its already set. Thus everyone gets only one chance to make it right! But it looks like now its not the case anymore. If you are for some reason not happy with your current facebook username / Vanity URL — you now have an option to change your username!

How to Change My Facebook Username

Facebook has made it very easy to change your username. Simply login to your facebook account and go to your Facebook settings page. If you are already logged in clicking here will take you right there.

Once you are at your “Settings” page, you should see a new section called “username” displaying your current username and also a subsequent button called “change” to do the obvious!

change-facebook-username

If you were drunk while you have set your facebook username previously and regretted doing so; this is your chance to make things right again!


Personalized News Dashboard from Guzzle.it

If you are a news junkie like me then you will love this brand new personalized news dashboard service – Guzzle.it.

Guzzle is a free web application that allows you to define some topics (say – design, technology,google and apple) and what it does is – it goes through a intense process of collecting all the latest feeds and news on your topic of interest and lists them all in front of you in categories for easy reading. So if you are particularly passionate about any topic or you want to stay up-to-date about a particular story that has been running on the web, Guzzle is an excellent way for monitoring those topics and being informed at all time without you having to manually check your feeds for news. In order for Guzzle to work and deliver you personalized news, all you need to do is a bit of simple configuring – like letting Guzzle know what sort of stories/news would you like to read, what are the topic of your interest and guzzle will do the rest for you! The interface of Guzzle is pretty soothing and sleek, check out the screenshot of the homepage below:

guzzle-screenshot - Social News

How to Setup Guzzle

Well Guzzle pretty much works out of the box. I didn’t even had to sign up to make it work! But probably signing up with Guzzle (For free) would be a good idea if you want Guzzle to remember your preferences.

But anyway, I’ll show you a simple three step process to make Guzzle work for you in no time. Step one, you go to their homepage- guzzle.it and add topics – this can be anything from iPhone to Google to Gardening, because you type in the term rather than choosing from categories. So what you are basically doing is telling guzzle the “Keywords” to look for in a news story.

Second step is to arrange topics into columns and organize them using separators. You can easily do that from their drag and drop User interface. And the final step is to choose your display option – I personally set my guzzle page to see both the story title at the source. Confusing? Well it won’t be if you visit Guzzle.it right now and follow what I just said! Its extremely easy to use Interface so there is no way in hell that you won’t be able to get yours to work. Below is a screen shot that briefly shows you how you can add topics:

guzzle news dashboard

The best thing about Guzzle news dashboard is the way it gathers news – it’s really a social aggregator. It can pull news stories from a variety of sources including: Yahoo News, Reddit, Delicious, FFFFound, and more. it’s checking these feeds all the time, so the news that you see on your page is always up-to-date and customized to your preference.

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