Anxiously Waiting To See Your Facebook Timeline?

You’ve heard the hype, the cheering, the whining, the hubbub, perhaps the video, but you’re still not seeing your new Facebook layout. It was to be released two weeks ago, then a week later. Not the official word is it will roll out in “the upcoming weeks”. What’s the deal?

The real details haven’t fully been made public, but it appears that at least one reason for the delay could be at least in part due to legal proceedings originating from the unhappy owners of a web site at timelines.com – no relation to the new Facebook feature.

But whatever the reason, you can manually flip the switch to let you start using the new timeline layout immediately. Technically it’s still in beta, and you may not yet see all the features such as the ‘Ticker’. But you’ll get the basics and can start playing around with the layout and settings. The folks at TechCrunch have posted the details to enable the new features here.

If you’re a patient person, no doubt you’ll see the new changes ‘soon’. If you’re feeling like a kid at Christmas, go over, check it out, and get started. If you do enable the new layout, you’ll then see the new layout of others who are using it as well!

Facebook Lets The World ‘Subscribe’ To Your Profile

Facebook ChangesIf there’s one thing consistent about Facebook, it’s change. And every change has people clamoring about, panting, and sweating. The experts rush to explain it, screaming phrases like “game changer” and “major, major change!” Average users who pay attention start to panic, wondering how deeply Facebook is allowing people to invade their privacy.

And the rest of the kajillions of Facebook users continue blissfully along, possibly noticing the change, using it if it helps them, ignoring it if it doesn’t.

In times like these it’s appropriate to remind folks of on of the main tenets of Selective Social Media – share selectively.  That part hasn’t changed, and sticking to that practice will help you weather the inevitable changes in social media platforms, whether you really understand them or not.

So, what’s the current Facebook fuss? It’s the new option that gives users the option to let people subscribe (via the ‘Subscribe’ button) to your personal profile updates without the bilaterally approved ‘friend’ relationship. TechCrunch describes it well:

Here’s how it works. As you browse around the site, you’ll notice that some users have a button at the top of their profile that says ‘Subscribe’. Click it, and you’ll start seeing that user’s status updates in your News Feed, just as if you were their Facebook friend. But there’s a big difference: unlike normal Facebook friends, the people you subscribe to don’t have to approve your subscription request, and there’s no limit on how many people can subscribe to any given user.

This new update doesn’t automatically share anything that you’re not sharing already, but if you’d like to let people read your Facebook updates without having to ‘friend’ them, this option is for you. The person this feature may be ideal for is a celebrity, politician, or otherwise public figure who would rather share as a profile than a page.

If you want to let people subscribe to you, you must first allow subscribers (currently via the subscriptions icon in the upper left column on the profile page. Once enabled, random people click on a subscribe button on your profile to follow your updates. Facebook says subscribers can see only the things you share publicly, that is, the posts that use the public privacy setting. That’s the same stuff the non-friend public could always see, only now they have the option to subscribe to that content and see your public updates in their News Feed.

facebook subscribe

There are additional options to select when enabling the SUBSCRIBE button.

 

So should I enable that devilish Subscribe button on my profile?

If you generally use the ‘everyone’ setting for your updates, then this is no big deal. You’re already making that content visible to non-friends, and allowing them to subscribe just sends this same information to their newsfeed. If this level of sharing is your objective, you may want to consider using a page rather that your profile for engaging the public community. On the other hand, if you prefer to keep the lid on your profile, only sharing updates with people you know personally, there’s no reason to enable that button.

Would You Read The Terminator’s Blog?

Publish Your Passion

image by Justin Dressel

I came across yet yet another reference to Steven Pressfield’s The War Of Art (I really will have to break the cover sometime soon). This most recent post I came across was at the Pushing Social blog, in a post called, ‘The Tale Of Two Bloggers’. I described a hypothetical couple of bloggers, each publishing on the same topic in the same industry, yet one developed a successful blog while the other didn’t. The distinction for the successful blogger was that she wrote for herself rather than her readers.

The analogy used in Pressfield’s book is of Arnold Schwarzenegger in the gym. When he’s in the gym, he’s following his passion. He owns that gym and uses it as a tool of his self-identity.

To an extent, this idea flies in the face of the concepts of SEO, keyword research, and publishing for an identified market. The idea is that if you create based on your true passion, that passion will show through in the quality of your work. The example I often use in my classes is the hypothetical cricket fielder who writes the world’s greatest book on the slip position technique. Even though it’s the greatest book on the topic, if people aren’t looking for that topic he’ll have a tough time making sales. Continue reading

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – Where Should I Blog?

Confused

Photo by Kristian D.

After recalling some glossy-eyed faces during the discussion in last class comparing free blogging platforms with self-hosted options, I wanted to bring in some additional guidance.

Many of the discussions comparing the WordPress.com and WordPress.org platforms very accurately describe the technical details and distinctions. Here’s one such discussion directly from the folks that run WordPress. However, many fail to address the differences in their respective Terms Of Service (TOS).

If you are wanting to create a blog for generating revenue, it’s important to pay close attention to certain distinctions on what’s allowed or not allowed. In general, if you use the WordPress blogging software from WordPress.org and host your own blog (yes, paying for hosting) you can advertise anything and everything to your heart’s content. Your particular hosting company may have specific terms that prohibit you from providing/selling certain things such as pornography or engaging in illegal activities, but these restrictions are not related to the WordPress platform itself. It’s very common for people to run all kinds of advertising programs and sell affiliate products on their self-hosted WordPress-backed site. Continue reading