marți, 21 decembrie 2010

10 Cool Facebook Status Tips and Tricks

With Facebook’s ever-changing layout, and the fact that other social sites are encroaching on its real-time update strangle-hold, it’s easy to forget that there are some pretty nifty tricks you can pull using your humble Facebook status.
We’ve pulled together 10 great how-to tips that will help you get the most out of your status update, from official features to apps, Easter eggs, jokes and more.
Perfect for newer Facebook users, or anyone who is looking for a refresher, read on and let us know the ones you like in the comments below.

1. HOW TO: Add a Dislike Option to Your Status Update

“Like” buttons are everywhere on Facebook, and they’re everywhere on the web. But what if you want to update your status or share something that your friends can “dislike?” We know, your friends can choose to “comment” on your post, but where’s the fun in that?
The clever Status Magic Facebook app can add a dislike button to any status updates posted via the app. And if you wanted to really mix it up you can actually customize the second emotion to anything, such as “love,” “hate,” “disagree” or even “LOLs.”

2. HOW TO: Hide Status Updates From Certain People

Using Facebook’s general privacy settings (find these by hitting “account” on the top right of a Facebook page) you can select whether everyone, just friends or friends of friends can see your status updates. However, there is a way to narrow those options down even further.
You can select specific friend lists to see your status (relevant for work, special interest groups, etc.) or even individual people by name, which is useful for anyone organizing a surprise party.
To take advantage of these options, click the padlock icon just below your “what’s on your mind” box on your wall and a drop down menu should appear. Selecting “customize” will bring up more options such as “make this visible to” and “hide from” with the option to make your selection a default.

3. HOW TO: Pre-Schedule Status Updates

While SocialOomph, Sendible and HootSuite offer the same kind of service, the simplest way to schedule Facebook status updates is by using the easy, free Later Bro service.
Just sign in with Facebook Connect, select your time zone, type in what it is you’d like to say, set the calendar and clock to when you’d like to say it, and presto!

4. HOW TO: Tag People in Your Status Updates

This was quite a big deal when it was announced this past September, but from the amount of searches on the topic “how can I make someone’s name go blue in a Facebook status?” it seems it’s not universally known.
To mention someone in a status update just type “@” (a la Twitter) in the status bar and start typing their name as it appears on Facebook. An auto-generated list will then come up with people in your social circle whose name starts with the letters you’ve typed. The feature also works with pages, brands, events and companies.
Hit the name you want, complete the update, click share and the name will become a hyperlink (you won’t see the @ symbol) and will appear in blue text.

5. HOW TO: Add Symbols to Your Facebook Status

Although there are plenty of emoticons that work with Facebook Chat, typing “:)” into Facebook’s status bar will not magically transform into a smiley yellow face. In fact, the only symbol you can create in a Facebook status update through the shortcut keys is a ♥, by typing “<3."
While this won't bother many Facebook users, others more used to punctuating their missives can copy and paste web-happy, universal symbols into the box, as you can see in the screengrab above.
PC users can also access some symbols by hitting “alt” + various number combinations (on a numerical keypad). So, while smileys are yet to hit Facebook statuses, you can annoy or amuse your buddies with symbols right now.

6. HOW TO: Turn Your Status Updates Into a Word Cloud

There’s a really fun way to visualize anyone’s status updates (even an entire country’s) as a word cloud. The Status Analyzer 3D app will look at what it is you’ve been chatting about lately and generate a list, and then a pretty, colorful, animated cloud as pictured above.
You can share the results with others on the social networking site by posting it to your friends’ walls or by adding it to your profile.

7. HOW TO: Have Fun With Facebook’s Humorous Language Options

While you can always change your setting into more sensible alternative languages, the site offers a couple of fun linguistic Easter eggs.
You can chose to have Facebook display upside down English, or, for anyone feeling a little salty, in “pirate.” Pirate essentially turns your status into your “plank,” your attachments into “loot” and instead of “share” it offers the option to “blabber t’ yer mates.”
Sadly, anything you type in the status bar won’t be upside down, or pirate-y. But with the use of some external sites you can achieve the same effect. and are just two examples of sites that can flip your text, while the Talk Like a Pirate Day site can help you with your pirate translations.

8. HOW TO: See Status Updates From Around the World

If you want to get a glimpse of the thoughts of Facebook users from around the world’s, head over to OpenBook.
Created by three San Fran web developers with a serious privacy message in mind, the site aggregates the status updates of everyone whose privacy levels are set to “everyone.”
You can narrow your searchable results down by gender and keywords to find out what people are saying about a certain topic. Or you can just browse the recent searches.

9. HOW TO: See Your Status Update Stats

Have you ever wondered how many times you have updated your status on Facebook? The Facebook app Status Statistics, can tell you this and more.
The app analyzes your updates and gives you a tidy list of how many you’ve written, the average word count and how many times a day you post. In addition, it generates a graph that shows you what time of day or what days of the week you normally update.
Old statuses are also searchable via the app, so you can find that witty retort you made back in November 2009 without having to scroll back through your history.

10. HOW TO: Play a Trick On Your Friends in Your Status Update

We have a funny one to end on — a way to play an amusing trick on your Facebook buddies.
This clever link “″ looks like it could be a URL for anyone’s Facebook profile, actually takes anyone logged into Facebook to their own profile page.
If you try it out, be sure to remove the link preview that Facebook auto-ads. Have fun, and don’t be too mean…

10 Predictions for the News Media in 2011

In many ways, 2010 was finally the year of mobile for news media, and especially so if you consider the iPad a mobile device. Many news organizations like The Washington Post and CNN included heavy social media integrations into their apps, opening the devices beyond news consumption.
In 2011, the focus on mobile will continue to grow with the launch of mobile- and iPad-only news products, but the greater focus for news media in 2011 will be on re-imagining its approach to the open social web. The focus will shift from searchable news to social and share-able news, as social media referrals close the gap on search traffic for more news organizations. In the coming year, news media’s focus will be affected by the personalization of news consumption and social media’s influence on journalism.

1. Leaks and Journalism: A New Kind of Media Entity

In 2010, we saw the rise of WikiLeaks through its many controversial leaks. With each leak, the organization learned and evolved its process in distributing sensitive classified information. In 2011, we’ll see several governments prosecute WikiLeaks () founder Julian Assange for his role in disseminating classified documents and some charges will have varying successes. But even if WikiLeaks itself gets shut down, we’re going to see the rise of “leakification” in journalism, and more importantly we’ll see a number of new media entities, not just mirror sites, that will model themselves to serve whistle blowers — WikiLeaks copycats of sorts. Toward the end of this year, we already saw Openleaks, Brusselsleaks, and Tradeleaks. There will be many more, some of which will be focused on niche topics.
Just like with other media entities, there will be a new competitive market and some will distinguish themselves and rise above the rest. So how will success be measured? The scale of the leak, the organization’s ability to distribute it and its ability or inability to partner with media organizations. Perhaps some will distinguish themselves by creating better distribution platforms through their own sites by focusing on the technology and, of course, the analysis of the leaks. The entities will still rely on partnerships with established media to distribute and analyze the information, but it may very well change the relationship whistleblowers have had with media organizations until now.

2. More Media Mergers and Acquisitions

At the tail end of 2010, we saw the acquisition of TechCrunch by AOL and the Newsweek merger with The Daily Beast. In some ways, these moves have been a validation in the value of new media companies and blogs that have built an audience and a business.
But as some established news companies’ traditional sources of revenue continue to decline, while new media companies grow, 2011 may bring more media mergers and acquisitions. The question isn’t if, but who? I think that just like this year, most will be surprises.

3. Tablet-Only and Mobile-First News Companies

In 2010, as news consumption began to shift to mobile devices, we saw news organizations take mobile seriously. Aside from launching mobile apps across various mobile platforms, perhaps the most notable example is News Corp’s plan to launch The Daily, an iPad-only news organization that is set to launch early 2011. Each new edition will cost $0.99 to download, though Apple will take 30%. But that’s not the only hurdle, as the publication relies on an iPad-owning audience. There will have been 15.7 million tablets sold worldwide in 2010, and the iPad represents roughly 85% of that. However, that number is expected to more than double in 2011. Despite a business gamble, this positions news organizations like The Daily for growth, and with little competition, besides news organizations that repurpose their web content. We’ve also seen the launch of an iPad-only magazine with Virgin’s Project and of course the soon-to-launch social news iPad application from Betaworks.
But it’s not just an iPad-only approach, and some would argue that the iPad isn’t actually mobile; it’s leisurely (yes, Mark Zuckerberg). In 2011, we’ll see more news media startups take a mobile-first approach to launching their companies. This sets them up to be competitive by distributing on a completely new platform, where users are more comfortable with making purchases. We’re going to see more news companies that reverse the typical model of website first and mobile second.

4. Location-Based News Consumption

In 2010, we saw the growth of location-based services like Foursquare (), Gowalla () and SCVNGR. Even Facebook entered the location game by launching its Places product, and Google () introduced HotPot, a recommendation engine for places and began testing it in Portland. The reality is that only 4% of online adults use such services on the go. My guess is that as the information users get on-the-go info from such services, they’ll becomes more valuable and these location-based platforms will attract more users.
Part of the missing piece is being able to easily get geo-tagged news content and information based on your GPS location. In 2011, with a continued shift toward mobile news consumption, we’re going to see news organizations implement location-based news features into their mobile apps. And of course if they do not, a startup will enter the market to create a solution to this problem or the likes of Foursquare or another company will begin to pull in geo-tagged content associated with locations as users check in.

5. Social vs. Search

In 2010, we saw social media usage continue to surge globally. Facebook alone gets 25% of all U.S. pageviews and roughly 10% of Internet () visits. Instead of focusing on search engine optimization (SEO), in 2011 we’ll see social media optimization become a priority at many news organizations, as they continue to see social close the gap on referrals to their sites.
Ken Doctor, author of Newsonomics and news industry analyst at Outsell, recently pointed out that social networks have become the fastest growing source of traffic referrals for many news sites. For many, social sites like Facebook () and Twitter only account for 10% to 15% of their overall referrals, but are number one in growth. For news startups, the results are even more heavy on social. And of course, the quality of these referrals is often better than readers who come from search. They generally yield more pageviews and represent a more loyal reader than the one-off visitors who stumble across the site from Google.

6. The Death of the ‘Foreign Correspondent’

What we’ve known as the role of the foreign correspondent will largely cease to exist in 2011. As a result of business pressures and the roles the citizenry now play in using digital technology to share and distribute news abroad, the role of a foreign correspondent reporting from an overseas bureau “may no longer be central to how we learn about the world,” according to a recent study by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. The light in the gloomy assessment is that there is opportunity in other parts of the world, such as Asia and Africa, where media is expanding as a result of “economic and policy stability,” according to the report. In 2011, we’ll see more news organizations relying heavily on stringers and, in many cases, social content uploaded by the citizenry.

7. The Syndication Standard and the Ultimate Curators

Syndication models will be disrupted in 2011. As Clay Shirky recently predicted, more news outlets will get out of the business of re-running the same story on their site that appeared elsewhere. Though this is generally true, the approach to syndication will vary based on the outlet. The reality is that the content market has become highly fragmented, and if content is king, then niche is certainly queen. Niche outlets, which were once curators of original content produced by established organizations, will focus more on producing original content. While established news brands, still under pressure to produce a massive amount of content despite reduced staff numbers, will become the ultimate curators. This means they will feature just as much content, but instead through syndication partners.
You already see this taking place on sites like or, both of whose technology sections feature headlines and syndicated content from niche technology publications. In this case, it won’t only be the reader demand for original content that drives niche publications to produce more original content, but also its relationship with established organizations that strive to uphold the quality of their content and the credibility of their brand. Though original content will be rewarded, specialized, niche publications could benefit the most from the disruption.

8. Social Storytelling Becomes Reality

In 2010, we saw social content get weaved into storytelling, in some cases to tell the whole story and in other cases to contextualize news events with curation tools such as Storify. We also saw the rise of social news readers, such as Flipboard and Pulse mobile apps and others.
In 2011, we’ll not only see social curation as part of storytelling, but we’ll see social and technology companies getting involved in the content creation and curation business, helping to find the signal in the noise of information.
We’ve already heard that YouTube is in talks to buy a video production company, but it wouldn’t be a surprise for the likes of Twitter () or Facebook to play a more pivotal role in harnessing its data to present relevant news and content to its users. What if Facebook had a news landing page of the trending news content that users are discussing? Or if Twitter filtered its content to bring you the most relevant and curated tweets around news events?

9. News Organizations Get Smarter With Social Media

In 2010, news organizations began to take social media more seriously and we saw many news organizations hire editors to oversee social media. USA Today recently appointed a social media editor, while The New York Times dropped the title, and handed off the ropes to Aron Pilhofer’s interactive news team.
The Times‘ move to restructure its social media strategy, by going from a centralized model to a decentralized one owned by multiple editors and content producers in the newsroom, shows us that news organizations are becoming more sophisticated and strategic with their approach to integrating social into the journalism process. In 2011, we’re going to see more news organizations decentralize their social media strategy from one person to multiple editors and journalists, which will create an integrated and more streamlined approach. It won’t just be one editor updating or managing a news organization’s process, but instead news organizations will work toward a model in which each journalist serves as his or her own community manager.

10. The Rise of Interactive TV

In 2010, many people were introduced to Internet TV for the first time, as buzz about the likes of Google TV, iTV, Boxee Box and others proliferated headlines across the web. In 2011, the accessibility to Internet TV will transform television as we know it in not only the way content is presented, but it will also disrupt the dominance traditional TV has had for years in capturing ad dollars.
Americans now spend as much time using the Internet as they do watching television, and the reality is that half are doing both at the same time. The problem of being able to have a conversation with others about a show you’re watching has existed for some time, and users have mostly reacted to the problem by hosting informal conversations via Facebook threads and Twitter hashtags. Companies like Twitter are recognizing the problem and finding ways to make the television experience interactive.
It’s not only the interaction, but the way we consume content. Internet TV will also create a transition for those used to consuming video content through TVs and bring them to the web. That doesn’t mean that flat screens are going away; instead, they will only become interconnected to the web and its many content offerings.