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Stop Complaining About Facebook and Fix it Yourself!

Stop Complaining About Facebook and Fix it Yourself!

Facebook Changes

Recently Facebook faced reality and made some overdue changes that have some people freaking out.  Unlike other changes that sparked complaints, this time the people upset are coming from the regular Facebook user base and the Facebook Page operators that have built the marketing parts of their companies and organizations on the idea that they will be able to use Facebook to reach people forever for free.

The fact is, there is more content on Facebook than the average human can view. This means filtering has to occur.  In our daily lives we do the filtering ourselves.  We decide which emails to answer, which text messages need an immediate response and which can wait, and we decide which of our family and friends we need to touch base with on a daily basis.  The flood of information available to those of us who use Facebook has reached the point where decisions have to be made.  It is understandable that Page admins and regular users resent that it is Facebook doing the filtering instead of the regular users who have Liked pages and Friended other users.

Facebook Statistics from Statistic Brain show that as of January 1, 2014:

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  • The total number of Facebook pages is 54,200,000
  • The average Facebook user has 130 friends
  • The average Facebook user is connected to 80 pages, brands, events or groups
  • Every 20 Minutes on Facebook there are 1 million links shared, 2 million friend requests, and 3 million messages sent
  • The average time spent on Facebook per visit is 18 minutes

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Think about that for a moment.  In that average user’s 18 minute visit there is no way they can read all the messages and links and view the photos shared since their last visit.  It Just Can’t Happen. Period.

And as satisfying as it may be to stamp our feet and complain about Facebook, this is all our fault.  We are way too happy to Like a page for a brand we like, or a TV show, or local business, or our friend’s closet organizing side business.  We see nothing wrong with reconnecting with friends from high school or past jobs or that dinner party we went to that one time.  Facebook has given “Friend” a whole new meaning that is much broader and fuzzier than it had before.  Think back to what “friend” meant to you when you were in high school and then ask how many of the people on your Facebook friends list would have fit the definition back then.

Most probably won’t… but that is not a bad thing.  I know people on Facebook that I have never met in person and my life is much better… or at least more interesting, for having their statuses and photos appear in my news feed.

The good news is that you can keep your friends and still see all the latest Big Bang Theory stuff and your local Applebee’s specials all on your own terms using tools that are already built into Facebook.

If you operate a Page and want to really help your fans, share these techniques with your loyal followers.  If they really want to see ALL of your updates, this is the best way to help them do that because, lets face it, techniques like this are not cutting it:

Pretty Please!

The Problem

Too much information and too little time and screen real estate.

The Fix

Facebook provides tools that allow users to create Interest Lists. Facebook has a short help page at How do I create my own interest list? but it is very general. Here are the steps to move your Liked Pages into Interest lists from your profile.  These steps are based on using Facebook on the web.  I would not try this on a phone or tablet. (more…)

TV News Archive Gets a Makeover

TV News Archive Gets a Makeover

The TV News Archive at archive.org was originally released in September 2012 as a research library.  This  free service is provided as a way to enhance the capabilities of journalists, scholars, teachers, librarians, civic organizations and other engaged citizens.

The site uses of closed captioning data  to enable users to search, quote and borrow from the Internet Archive’s collection of over a half million US TV news broadcasts aired since 2009.

Earlier this month a new interface was rolled out.  This new search and retrieval system was designed to give users better access to this collection while providing new tools to enable users to share short clips from any broadcast.

Updated News Search Interface

Updated News Search Interface

The new system offers these enhancements:

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  • Search transcripts of US TV news shows aired since 2009 – Search with topical terms to return shows with corresponding transcripts. Remember, you are searching the words spoken in the show.  You can also narrow your search to a specify a network or show name.
  • Scan and view show segments – Shows are presented in 60 second segments, each with a video and corresponding transcript text. You can use Control+F to search within the transcript on the results page.
  • Share and embed short clips (aka quotes) from a show – Shareable quotes are limited to 60 seconds. You can drag and drop your start/end points to refine your quote selection.  These clips can be shared on Social Media or embedded on a blog or other website.  The embedding system provides shortcodes for use by WordPress.com users.  Quotes are assigned a permalink that you can share in email or via IM.
  • Track popularity of show quotes shared over time – Quotes with a unique start and stop time within a show will be tracked to see how often they are re-shared or played.
  • Borrow full shows on DVD – Many of the shows in the archive can be borrowed as complete shows on DVDs for 30 days with a $25 processing fee.

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Sample Quotes

And as if this service was not already cool enough, the news archive includes episodes of both The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.