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I have started a Facebook video series to share speaking tips (and some writing tips, but focused on “out loud”). I’m going to try to do this twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays) to see how it goes. After we get going, I’ll broadcast live so people can interact during the broadcast, but the recording will remain available.

You don’t have to have a Facebook account to see it. But if you have one, “like” the page while you are there to make it easy to see more content as it comes out.

You can see the first Coffee with Donn video here.

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Why people only post kitten pictures and videos

Cute kitten!

If you express any kind of serious opinion about anything on Facebook, you bring out the trolls and the disagreements.

This is ironic, since Facebook tends to only show you posts that you have shown an interest in. Maybe Facebook with its unlimited post lengths draws people who are more into argument. In other words, maybe some people see the posts they see because Facebook has figured out they like to argue.

Continue reading “Why people only post kitten pictures and videos”

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Help The Princess get a ride?

We are seeing the effects of social media unfold right before our eyes in a very personal way.

We have a severely disabled daughter, and she has a chance to get life-changing (for her and for us) transportation. Continue reading “Help The Princess get a ride?”

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To split or not to split: keeping separate Twitter identities

Secret Identity

Note: this post mirrors one I posted on the PSCC Mobile Fellows blog. I think it will interest this audience also.

Brandon Ballentine and I talked about this a bit on an episode of our new podcast, Mobile Talk. (Promotional bit: you can subscribe on iTunes or via RSS feed, or look at the Podcast category for past episodes.) Twitter can be quite a useful tool for sharing information among colleagues and students, and there are a number of mobile tools for managing it. (My favorite is Hootsuite, available for iOS and Android.)

There is a practical question for teachers, though: do you maintain a separate account for professional-interest tweets, or do you simply tweet as yourself from one account for everything you’re interested in? Continue reading “To split or not to split: keeping separate Twitter identities”

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The real advantage of social media: it makes it easier to ask for info

Tin Can Phone

Yesterday I worked with a colleague from the college on a new podcast for faculty using emerging technology in higher education. I really love what doing something like that does for my own mind. The cliché (which is true, even if cliché) is that to really learn something, teach it to someone else. Because we were putting together something to teach others about social media in education, it has changed the way I’m looking at social media myself. Continue reading “The real advantage of social media: it makes it easier to ask for info”

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I hardly have energy to write this

sunrise_blog

I posted to my friends a little earlier today on Facebook something like this: ‘Feeling very sad today, for no particular reason. Breathing is such an effort.” When I’m like that, it is the hardest for me to write anything. That’s usually when I most need to.

I don’t usually write about depression when I’m depressed, but I’ve learned that I need to take some kind of action, and for me that action often involves writing. About anything. Maybe for the very reason that it is hard for me to write when I’m depressed.

Chances are, many of you deal with depression on some level. We’re not talking about the times of sadness we all go through. We’re especially not talking about the entirely appropriate reactions we all have to sad circumstances–grief, losses, stress, etc. Rather, we’re talking about the kind of depression seems to come for no reason, and when it relents, relents for no reason either.

And I’m trying to do a little something about it. Read on. Continue reading “I hardly have energy to write this”

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Internet vermin find a new way to annoy

I don’t know how long this has been going on, but I know a friend of mine was hit today, and it occurred to me how easy it would be to work this particular scam.

She feared she had been hacked, changed her password on Facebook and warned all her friends to change theirs, just in case.

Of course, changing passwords frequently is always a good idea, and certainly won’t hurt anything. It’s just that this particular scam doesn’t require anything but social engineering, and maybe not even that. Continue reading “Internet vermin find a new way to annoy”

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Getting what you want from Facebook friends

No, this is not about manipulation. A real-life friend was expressing frustration at some of the stuff she has to see from friends on Facebook that make it not as fun as it used to be. She doesn’t want to leave, and doesn’t want to unfriend people over a few posts, but it gets old, doesn’t it?

This isn’t an exhaustive treatment of such things, but here is one way of sort of controlling the flow.

If you hover over a friend’s name in your FB stream, you will get a little window with a couple of buttons associated with your friend. One of them is a drop-down menu labeled “Friends.” Click that.

friends1

Then click on the settings link.

friends2

You can choose what kind of updates to include. I’m not sure I’m not sure how FB determines “only important,” but it sure cuts down on the posts you see from that person. You can also choose “all updates,” which may change your mix at least to slant toward people who post less irritating material. You can also unclick certain things–I tend to turn off “Games” on everyone, for instance.

You can also use the Social Fixer addon to sort certain friends’ posts into their own tabs. That makes it easier to control–you can read that friend’s posts in a batch when you feel up to it, or just mark all of them “read” without having to actually read them. It has a little higher “geek” factor, though, so I will save that for another post.

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It’s a small world after all*, part 2

Dutch Children Sing "It's a Small World"

In “It’s a small world after all, part 1,” we talked about how social media connects people in ways that weren’t possible until recently, and focused especially on Twitter. In this post, we continue the conversation.

Through Facebook I have connected more solidly with my friends

Thanks to Facebook, I have reconnected with old friends from high school and college that I haven’t seen for nearly 40 years, and I get to socialize with current friends much more than I otherwise would, since everyone is always on the run and time for “real world” socializing is short. I have also found some folks who share professional interests, but Facebook is mainly about fun and socializing for me.

Though it took me a year to start using it, up until about last October it was the social medium I turned to most. I connect with co-workers here, but more on a “water cooler” level–valuable, but a different sort of thing than the other two services we’re considering here. Continue reading “It’s a small world after all*, part 2”

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Getting the whole feed on Facebook

A friend has asked me to point her once again to the page on Facebook that tells you how to make sure you are seeing all your friends’ posts. The page I had shared earlier to FB friends was an event (since events always show on Friends’ pages, it’s a backdoor way to make sure something gets posted, but once the “date” for the event has passed, it no longer shows), so it was no longer accessible for me to point to. So I’m posting a simplified version here, which will remain good until the next time Facebook changes its code–which could be in the next five minutes. 🙂

In one of their latest updates (“It’s a feature, not a bug”) Facebook’s defaults have left you not seeing posts from friends if you haven’t “liked” or commented on one of their posts in awhile. There are a lot of my friends whose posts I very much enjoy reading, but I don’t click the “like” button or comment on. I would prefer to be the one to decide which posts I want to see.

I’ll add to the standard “how to” though by telling you about a plugin I use to take even more control of my FB reading experience. It’s called BetterFacebook. It’s not for the faint of heart, since it gives you lots of options for changing the way Facebook works, and if you install it you will have to figure on updating it whenever Facebook code changes and the BetterFacebook developer responds.

I’ll just say I find it worthwhile. Among other things, BetterFacebook lets me sort incoming posts onto tabs according to category (if I wanted to see all those Farmville posts, for instance, I could segregate them all onto a Farmville tab, making them easier to see, and making all the other posts easier to see). The main thing, as far as I’m concerned, is that I can mark posts as read, making it easy to see what’s new.

It also has filtering capabilities, which can be helpful if you have lots of people on your Friends list that you don’t really know all that well. Otherwise, processiChange from "Top News" to "Most Recent"ng all the messages from FB can be like trying to process a firehose.

Even if you don’t use BetterFacebook, though, making sure you see every post appeals to most people I talk with, and making it like that takes a couple of steps.

First, while reading Facebook, change the setting at the top from “Top News” to “Most Recent.” Under the old way of doing things (if I understood it correctly), this was basically all you had to do to make sure you saw all posts from all your friends. With the upgrade, you will see a lot more stuff by changing to “Most Recent,” but you still won’t see everything. For that, you still have some tweaking to do.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page (it might load some more posts before Show everything my friends sayit will actually let you do that) and click on “Edit options.” (It’s possible you’ll have to do this on the “Top News” view, but currently it works on either view.) That will bring up a dialog where you can change the settings that you need to.

At this point, just change the drop-down menu so it selects “All of your friends and pages.” Remember to click “Save,” and you’ll be all set. Of course, you can switch back at any time it gets to be too much for you, but generally I would rather be the one deciding to skim through over skip over messages than to leave it to Facebook’s algorithm.

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