Posted tagged ‘Facebook’

My first BzzAgent review: about.me

May 23, 2011

As I mentioned in my last post, I recently started working as a copywriter for a social marketing company called BzzAgent. Also known as a word-of-mouth marketing company, BzzAgent enlists hundreds of thousands of “agents” to discuss brands and products (L’Oreal, Michelin, and Unilever are just a few of its clients).

The agents receive free products, free services, and discounts. I signed up to be an agent (also called a “BzzAgent”) to see what’s it’s all about (you can do so as well). After filling out some surveys, I was invited to the “about.me” campaign. About.me lets you put multiple online profiles (including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Flickr profiles) in one place.

I created an about.me page at about.me/christinelaubenstein. You decide which profiles and/or links you want to include on your page. I added my Twitter, WordPress, LinkedIn, Vimeo, YouTube, and Tumblr accounts (granting about.me access to my posts, updates, videos, etc.), but I declined to allow access to my Facebook info (including profile information, status updates, and friends’ photos).

For me, my Facebook page is a relatively private space I don’t want strangers to see. I did, however, opt to add a link to my Facebook page (in case someone wants to friend me). You can link to other pages if you’d like, or add other profiles (Blogger, Posterous, Flickr, TypePad, Formspring, Last.fm, Daily Booth, and Instagram).

You can also personalize your background, font colors, fonts, and biography. Other features include statistics about your accounts and about.me page, ideas for promoting your about.me page, and a place to add your favorite about.me pages. I haven’t yet used all these features, but I’ll still provide my initial thoughts about about.me:

  • It’s a neat idea. Unless you have your own website/blog, I don’t know of any service that lets you list such a wide variety of profiles (LinkedIn, for example, just has fields for three websites, your Twitter account, and your IM screen names). Not to mention the other services don’t let you see content from all your accounts.
  • I like how you can personalize your page.
  • It’s good from an SEO standpoint. You can use about.me to submit your about.me page to Bing, Google, and Yahoo. I did this about two weeks ago, and at least for Google my about.me page already appears on the second page of search results when my name is queried. So creating an about.me page can help push down negative links (if you have them, of course).
  • I’m not sure sure how much time I’ll devote to my page. I have a personal blog and professional website that already allow me to add my Tumblr, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. info. So if I have these sites I’ve already invested in, why do I need about.me? I guess I could use about.me to have all my content in one place. But at this point, I don’t see a huge benefit. Clicking on a link to access my content (at its source) takes one second.

Some thoughts on how the Internet has shaped my life

February 15, 2011

It’s so weird to think that the Internet didn’t exist (at least on a mass scale) when my friends and I were born. With the onset of this technology, we’ve truly witnessed a revolution in how people get information and communicate. Facebook posts, Twitter updates, and Google searches have become second nature for many people. Today I was thinking about the excitement with which I first greeted the Internet. I remember in ninth grade my parents bought America Online for my sister and I to use.

America Online guy

I had heard about this novel World Wide Web idea, and even had some friends who used the Prodigy online service provider (including my sixth-grade crush who used it to communicate with another girl in our class…I was so jealous of this chica!). I installed the AOL CD-ROM, created my username (I can’t remember the first one but know that at one point it was “Amalthea66.” Amalthea after the “Last Unicorn” character, and 66 because my favorite number was 6.), filled out my profile, and started visiting chat rooms. To me, chat rooms were the coolest thing about the Internet.

I remember visiting some rooms that were game-based (e.g. users played anagrams together), others specifically for teenagers, and others promoting “general conversation.” Each time, I had a blast. I would ask people where they lived, what they did for fun, and whether they had siblings. Not only did I think it was awesome you could converse with multiple people simultaneously, and meet people from all over the country, but I also liked how the Internet made everyone equal. It didn’t matter what you looked like, what you had done in the past, or whether you were shy in real life. You started each conversation with a blank slate. (more…)

Resolution: Use Facebook less

January 3, 2011

resolution-is-to-use-facebook-less

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to use Facebook less. I’m sort of addicted to it, so this will be tough. I’ve decided I’d just like to use it for keeping in touch with people whose emails addresses I don’t have, occasionally posting photos, and seeing messages or posts friends have tagged me in (I receive an email each time this happens so I don’t have to sign in to Facebook to check on this).

I’ve basically determined that Facebook is a huge time waster (at least in my case). To facilitate my resolution I’ve signed myself out of Facebook. By making it harder to access Facebook, I’m hoping this keeps me from using it. We’ll see! I will update you on my efforts! For some reason writing down that I will do this gives me more of an incentive to follow through with it.

Boston.com Facebook “like” feature can be inappropriate

August 21, 2010

I was chilling on vacation this past week when I came across a Boston Globe article online (on Boston.com) about Philip Markoff (the alleged “Craigslist killer”). It was about how he had scrawled his ex-fiancee’s name  in blood on the wall of his cell before killing himself.

This article shocked me, as I hadn’t previously heard Markoff had committed suicide (due to being in Montreal/away from my computer).

It also surprised me because there was a Facebook “like” feature toward the top of the article (it has since been moved below the article).

By clicking on the “like” button you could “like” the article. It showed that 18 people had already “liked” the article. Reading this gave me a bad taste in my mouth. Boston.com was advertising that 18 people had liked how an allegedly twisted man had supposedly performed this twisted act during his suicide, and encouraging others to do the same (like the article)?

I know there are always sick people out there, but why does Boston.com have to seemingly go out of its way and expose/support their strangeness?

Anyway, my boyfriend, an avid Globe reader (buys a copy EVERY day), emailed Boston.com about this feature. His main points were that the feature “devalues and de-emphasizes the seriousness of a story of this nature.” He said it’s not the Globe’s fault that people would “like” such an article, but that it shouldn’t be promoting that more people do so. He said he understands that news outlets want to embrace social media, but that in some cases the like feature isn’t appropriate.

Just like Boston.com doesn’t allow people to comment on certain articles, it shouldn’t let people “like” certain articles, he argued. He got a response thanking him for his feedback, and stating that his comments have been forwarded to the editorial and product teams for review.

Since then I’ve noticed the “like” feature was moved to below the article where’s it’s less prominent. That’s a start I suppose. Though now one can see that the number of people who’ve “liked” the article has increased to 38!

All things in moderation

March 2, 2010

Four years ago I wrote an article for my college newspaper about my decision, and a number of my classmates’ decision, to not use Facebook. Here’s an excerpt:

Facebook users often accumulate a list of more than 100 friends in their profiles, but they may not utter a word to many of these friends when passing them on campus. In my opinion, these long lists of friends weaken the meaning of friendship. The “relationships” are often no more than acquaintances.

Also, when you acquire so many friends, you spread yourself thin. You invest a little bit of time into many different relationships instead of a good deal of time into several relationships.

I ended up joining Facebook a couple of years later. I guess the potential benefit from joining outweighed my reservations. Also, my opinions about social media outlets had become less radical.

Well here I am two years later, and I am sort of inching back in the direction of not using the social networking device. I mean, I have no intention of getting rid of it entirely. I now believe it’s a great way to keep in touch with family and friends all over the world.

But I plan on using it a lot less. I would find myself wasting hours a week on Facebook for no good reason. I would get anxious when I couldn’t use it wondering what I was missing out on. I finally realized that is so silly and unhealthy. So I am pretty much giving it up without getting rid of my account entirely.

I will use it when I need to contact someone, have been contacted by someone, or have another good reason. But that will be about it!

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