Category Archives: SocialNetworking

Found the Limitations of Tumblr

In my never ending quest to explore, experiment and gain experience with getting my content in front of users on their favorite social media platforms, you may recall that I created a Tumblr blog. The initial account, and the main blog, started out as a blog about sports, which quickly got moved over to what is now my WordPress Sports blog.

The rationale behind going to my own blog was the desire to do more than I could with just Tumblr, especially since Tumblr does not really appear to be a platform that many people not using Tumblr ever, ever look at. I created a sub blog for photography at the time, that also became my photo blog, for the same reason.

I did, however, decide to leave those blogs intact, and push out the WordPress posts to them, based on my comments at the beginning of this post. If you’re a Tumblr user, I want you to be able to see and interact with me on your chosen social network.

Unfortunately, one of the limitations of Tumblr is how it works with sub-blogs, or secondary blogs. My main account was the sports blog, but the photo blog was my sub, or secondary blog, for that account. That works out well enough when you are publishing, but it can be very limiting from an interactions stand point. The problem is that when you “follow” or like anything from other Tumblrs, only your main blog profile shows up. That made it really difficult to interact with the photographer community over there, and Tumblr does not support switching your secondary blog into a main blog, or handing it over to another user as anything but their secondary blog. This didn’t really work as I had hoped.

So, after some research, I created a whole new profile, with a new photo blog on Tumblr. Continue reading

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Glenn Greenwald on Why Privacy Matters

I love his response to anyone who suggests that we don’t need privacy if we aren’t doing anything wrong. OK, go ahead and email me the passwords to ALL of your email accounts so I can troll through, read what I want, publish what I find interesting, etc.

Also note the way people like Eric Schmidt and Mark Zuckerburg, while claiming that privacy doesn’t matter for you, go to great lengths to protect theirs.

Privacy matters. We have the right to be secure in our persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures for a reason. The government should have to provide a reason to invade your privacy, you should not have to provide a reason why they should not. This is why the government’s argument against encryption is so important, and backwards.

h/t to Lifehacker for the video.


Common, but Outdated, LinkedIn Advice?

It’s been true for years. Every single social media article that talks about how to “do LinkedIn right”, or lists all the things you are doing “wrong” with LinkedIn has an entry explaining how you should never just send a connection request, but that it should always be personalized.

I saw it again just the other day.

It reminded me of something that I discovered about the LinkedIn mobile app quite a while ago, namely that it didn’t have that ability. Once you hit the connect button on a profile as you viewed it, the default message went and you were done.

So I decided to check and see if they had changed that. Not that I could see. This also made me curious about how the website works. Lo and behold, I do not see any option to personalize the connection invitation. Again, looking at a profile of someone I am not connected with I am given two buttons, Connect and Send InMail. Since I have only a free account, inMail isn’t really an option, so I hit the connect button. Just like the app has done for a long time now, the next thing that I saw was not a chance to personalize my message, but an “Invitation Sent” notification.

So social media “experts”, the next time you decide to trot out that old advice, maybe you want to actually use the website that you’re professing to be expert about. Or prove that you really are an expert and explain exactly how a user is supposed to follow your advice? Because if there really is a way to personalize invitations and I’m just not seeing it anywhere on the site, I’ll be glad to chastise LinkedIn for making it so hard to find! (Not that they don’t deserve chastising if they removed it as well!)

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ILTA According to Twitter

I was not able to attend this years ILTA conference, but thanks to the power of Twitter, I was able to follow along in my own, small, way. No, it’s not the same as being there, but seeing some of the information being presented, and the ideas flowing around social media definitely gave me some things to think about.

Natalie Alesi was kind enough to tweet out hashtag reports and transcripts throughout the conference, so if you want to see what was being talked about, I’d take a look at these while they are available!

Day 1 –

Day 2 –

Day 3 –

Day 4 –


Social Media Responsibility and Suicide Contagion

In the wake of Robin Williams death earlier this week, I’ve been thinking a lot about how different people reacted, what they said on social media and this Freakonomics podcast about suicide.

The question I keep coming back to is this. If there is a demonstrable increase in the number of suicides after one well-publicized suicide, and that increase can be tied back to how that suicide is portrayed in the media, what kind of responsibility do we have when it comes to social media? Should we all be keeping the standards put together by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention for safe reporting?

Truthfully, I don’t see why we shouldn’t be. You don’t know how many people are going to see something you put out there on Twitter or Facebook. I wrote a few things on my child abuse survivor site, that I know were only seen by maybe a few hundred people, but how many of them could be on the verge of being suicidal themselves? I simply have no way of knowing, and I hate to think that something I said about Williams death made suicide seem glamorous or like a good idea. But what if one of those posts had gove viral, and was seen by millions of people? Could I deal with the fact that, like the Academy, I was potentially sending the exact wrong message about suicide to millions of people?

The tweet was a sweet message, but it was also the last thing anyone with suicidal tendencies needs to see. What responsibility do I have to the people who follow me on social media? After all, I’m not a professional journalist, why should I pay attention to media ethics and stuff like that, I’m just a guy posting on a blog? Technology, and social media have made journalists of all of us. I may not have the audience of the New York Times, and I don’t have a codified code of ethics, but surely I have some responsibility to the small audience that I do have. In a situation like this, I think we’d all do well to stop and consider what we are saying about suicide, and who we are saying it to.

You never know who’s reading, and where their head might be.

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We’re not Anti-Social, Quite the Opposite In Fact

We’re still social, technology just changes how we socialize

Amen! I still hear from lots of people about how those people on Facebook or Twitter just walk around looking at their phones all day, the world has become so unsocial and unfriendly.


A couple of weeks back I got to spend some time back in Ohio for a long weekend. I spent over 20 years of my life living there, and some of the people that I still consider my closest friends live there. For the first time in 2, or more, years I got to actually be with those close friends and enjoy their company. No, social media could never replace that, but I don’t live there anymore, and I don’t get the chance to interact in person nearly as often as I would like.

But, you know what made the in-person interaction even better? The fact that over those 2 years, I haven’t lost touch with them mostly thanks to social media! It’s all that new-fangled technology that allows those relationships to continue to flourish and remain tight. When I finally did get to see these folks, we just picked up right where we left off, because over the last two years, we’ve been able to share what’s happening on Facebook, see photos on Instagram, text, and share all sorts of things with each other. We haven’t drifted apart the way we would have had this been 10-15 years ago. I freaking love that!

So yeah, when I’m traveling for work, or even during this time when I’m in transition to Oregon while my wife is already there, and I’m eating dinner out, I’m looking at my phone most of the time. Because that’s where my friends are when they can’t be at dinner with me. How does interacting with my friends using the tech available to me make me anything but social? What am I missing out on other than listening in on other people’s conversations at dinner?

Although, the little girl who was at the pizza place the other night telling her grandfather all about the movie The Tooth Fairy, who apparently does not posses an “inside voice”, was quite entertaining, I must say. Her mom didn’t seem to find it as entertaining, she turned bright red when she realized that half the place was now listening to her daughter… ;-)

See, I didn’t miss out as that was happening around me, I saw it, enjoyed it, and continued to check out what my friends were up to, wherever they were at that moment. I was multitasking socially! Now excuse me, I’ve been teaching today and I need to catch up with what’s happening in my friends lives.

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Early Impressions of LinkedIn Publishing

linkedinAs you may know, I decided to give LinkedIn’s publishing platform a try after it was opened up to me, and many others.

To further the experiment, I also pushed out links to just about every social network I could, pointing to the LinkedIn piece. I pimped it more than I usually pimp a post from this site, though I will admit there have been a couple of posts that I pimped just as hard.

The results were pretty mixed. The number of people who saw the link on the LinkedIn site is a bit higher than the number who would see it just through the RSS feed, but about the same as the number who see it on Twitter, and Facebook, though I can’t know how many people actually see it on Twitter. The engagement level, based on the counts from the share buttons on the site, was about the same as one of those posts I feel really strongly about here and share widely.

All in all, I’d say, in terms of reaching a large number of people, it’s about running even to having a blog for most people. Obviously, your well-connected influencers (as defined by LinkedIn) see much, much more traffic to their LinkedIn posts. For the rest of us, I think it probably helps reach some folks who don’t use Facebook, Twitter or RSS feeds, but it’s hardly a world-changer.

As far as a publishing platform, my opinion is a bit of a mixed bag as well.
Continue reading

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Social Media Mob Fail, Twits Target SCOTUSblog over SCOTUS decision

Yes it’s sadly true. A blog that covers the Supreme Court has spent the entire day responding, in a most humorous way, to tweets blasting them as if they were the Supreme Court itself.

Dear Internet, SCOTUSblog Is Not the Supreme Court

I’m generally not a big fan of social media mobs, they tend to not actually accomplish much and degrade into personal insults rather quickly, because well, some people just can’t have an actual disagreement about anything without declaring people they disagree with as something less than human. But when the mob actually targets the wrong account, well now you they look kind of ignorant, and that is no way to get your message out!


Trying Out LinkedIn Publishing

You know me, I can’t resist trying out new tools. So, naturally, when I got the invite to start publishing on LinkedIn, you know I had to try it. My curiosity about LinkedIn’s new tool got the better of me!

Anyway, I wrote up a piece about career advice I read a long, long time ago, called the Appreciation File. I’d appreciate it if you went and checked it out, and shared it with your own LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook followers as well! (See what I did there?)


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Flipboard Magazines as Google Reader Replacement

Since I’ve been playing around a bit with creating a Flipboard magazine, I’ve been giving this some thought. Now, don’t get me wrong, at it’s core Google Reader was an RSS reader, and there’s no way I could replace the simplicity of following 200+ feeds in Reader with following 200+ magazines on Flipboard. Reader also had a very popular feature, well back before Google killed it off in order to get everyone to start using Plus, called Shared Items.

Shared Items were a great way to follow a handful of people, who had similar interests to you, and see what kinds of things they were sharing. I could see Flipboard magazines being a similar way to follow a handful of magazines, and see what those folks are sharing.

I’ve been creating a few of my own to match up with my own websites. The thought process, again, is that if mobile users won’t come to the website, because they don’t browse the web, we’ve got to share content with them in the apps they use. Flipboard is one of those apps. So I can share, not only my own blog posts, but lots of other content as well, all within the app or from the web, and you, as a Flipboard user, can “follow” the magazine and get a glimpse at what I’m sharing.

View my Flipboard Magazine.View my Flipboard Magazine.View my Flipboard Magazine.

What about you, have you started “flipping” items to your own magazine in Flipboard? Share a link so we can check it out!

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