Be a social super hero with Dynamic Signal’s VoiceStorm

I use the VoiceStorm mobile application powered by Dynamic Signal to share content throughout my social networks by scheduling posts a few days in advanced. Watch this video to learn how I use the application and how IBM uses it to amplify content throughout the social networks

Facebook likes just got emotions

Facebook has been talking about this for quite some time and now it is here. Just hover your mouse over the Like button and you will see some new emoticons. So for the first time you can like in anger a post!


From left to right we have:

Like    Love   Haha   Wow   Sad   and   Angry

Imagine the analytics they will be able to gather from this…

My first reaction to the React JavaScript Library

ReactOk, I may be a little late to the game but recently I have been studying up on Facebooks/Instagrams React JavaScript library and I have to say I am fairly impressed with it. They say it is the V in MVC (model view controller). Outside of the fact that React applications can run both locally and on the server via Node (which I am sure you know I am a big fan of Node) it also comes with a React Native library!

React Native enables you to build world-class application experiences on native platforms using a consistent developer experience based on JavaScript and React. The focus of React Native is on developer efficiency across all the platforms you care about — learn once, write anywhere. Facebook uses React Native in multiple production apps and will continue investing in React Native. – link

This means you can now truly “learn once and run everywhere”.  The great news is you can start coding now on BlueMix. Check out this article to see how React Native can be developed and deployed on BlueMix. If you are doing a cool project using React or React Native send me a link to your post, I would like to check it out.

Promoted Facebook Post Results

Last week I promoted a post on Facebook just to see what it did. According to Facebook my advertising results “are in” and as you can see below the post received 99% more paid views than “regular” views – I have no way of validating that by the way. I guess that means 99% of the views were from it being in the right side bar and only 1% of the views were in the regular feed.

Some observations, almost everyone that replied to the thread didn’t even see the post in the right bar or in their feed in the first few hours. It makes me wonder how many people actually see any of my posts. I think the $7 ad fee was worth learning how it works, however I think that is a bit high. I also think I should have received a message or something that the results were in. I had to go search in help and find out how to get the results, which was even more disturbing. The directions told me I had to go to my feed, find the post and look at the results. This really should be somewhere under my page (at the top) or in my account screen. I shouldn’t have to go look for the original post. What if I want to compare to another post results?

My own stats show the post has had 53 hits in about 5 days and only 3 click referrals came from FB. I actually don’t get a lot of clicks from FB because my friends on FB don’t really care about my technical blog.

Some things I could have done better:

  1. Have a more catchy title.
  2. Had an image in the post.
  3. Posted or promoted on a Monday.

Those are the most obvious ones I can think of, not sure if anyone else has any other ideas. I really wanted to see what a basic post would generate and the results were not really that good. Now, I am going to test another post with an image and a catchy title. Let’s see what results that will bring. More to follow.

This just in: Google+ is still uninhabited

I know that blog title will attract some attention and it even sounds like something you would see on The Onion but I had to write this.

I joined Google+ well over a year ago and I still see little activity on it. I post “most” everything I post on Facebook and Twitter to Google+, not everything, but pretty close. Guy Kawasaki might be right stating Google+ is the Mac of Social:

“From my perspective, Google+ is to Facebook and Twitter what Macintosh is to Windows: better, but fewer people use it, and the pundits prophesy that it will fail,” – Guy Kawasaki

From my Klout score(see below) you can see I have very little interaction from Google+, actually …none. I do love Google+ and think it is way better than Facebook but not as clean and simple as Twitter. I have over 1000 followers on Twitter, over 500 Friends on Facebook and about 330 people in my circles. I don’t really even use the Circles feature because most of my stuff is the same for all of them.

Bottom line, Facebook has penetrated the youth, students, professionals, and the retired generations. Facebook seems to actually be losing teenagers to more basic things like Twitter and Texting on their phones, but not to Google+. My teenagers have all heard of Google+, none of them use it.

Until there is a massive incentive to go to Google+ or leave Facebook even, Facebook and Twitter will continue to dominate and Google+ will be popular among the tech elite, college students, and Google employees.

Facebook, teenagers, and pre-teens

There is word on the internet that Facebook might allow pre-teens to have accounts on Facebook. The reality is many accounts on Facebook are already under the age of 13 and there isn’t much anyone can do about it. As parents you can friend your child and actively monitor their accounts but the child can easily de-friend you and then you have to apply other means of discipline. You also see many other articles about this topic, like “The 5 Facebook Dangers“. The article explains how students, court room consequences, child porn, and jobs can all be subject to online activity.

An idea I had, as I expressed on this site in a comment, is to have the parent involved in the registration process and have Facebook make the parents a permanent friend. This would not allow the child to de-friend their parent until they are 18, or 16 or whatever age is appropriate. Having four older teenagers I constantly see posts or discussions that could eliminate them from college or jobs in the future. The bottom line is kids are kids and they don’t often see the bigger picture and the repercussions of their online activity. I would really like to see this same restriction on all social networks. Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Protecting our children’s future in the online world is getting harder and harder.

Is Facebook falling apart?

Over the past several days when using Facebook I have seen all kinds of strange errors. I would switch browsers, refresh cache, and even attempt to log out and back in. All produced a myriad of errors. Here is the latest error I received while attempting to “Like” something:

What's a database???

The really bad thing is Facebook is mostly used by very non technical people, “What is a database?”. With Google+ gaining ground, it is not the time for FB to be unstable.

Google+ uses Open Social…it’s looking so…

I knew one of the few people who read this blog would respond. This response was from Ryan Baxter (the lead developer in Lotus integrating Open Social into the next version of Lotus Notes) on Twitter:

From Google+ JS: var Q=j.gadgets||{},Ib=j.shindig||{},R=j.osapi||{},||{}; Answer your question? 🙂 #OpenSocial

I did not get into the first wave of Google+ so I wasn’t even able to get at the source but it looks like Ryan did, but, the time I spent on his team gives me some good insight into what this block of code Ryan sent me means. The j.shindig, j.gadgets, and j.osapi are the key pieces in the line of code. Once again, I don’t have the implementation of these classes but these are exactly the packages my previous team had been working with. Most of the container services function we provided is in the gadgets namespace. OSAPI is most likely Googles implementation of the Container specification. This certainly provides a favorable answer to my previous question but it does not totally confirm Google is off doing their own thing or staying on track with the public specification. (I am sure that comment will generate some feedback).

Does Google+ use Open Social?

If it does, you can’t find any reference to Open Social on their Google+ site. More interesting, this quote from an article on IBTimes somewhat mentions this:

Open Social, launched in 2007 with the aim to create an open standard for social network applications, faded away as Facebook monopolized the spotlight. 2009 saw Google’s struggles in the social-based communications system Wave and Buzz, both stirred the market but did not survive.

Given that Google+ does implement many of the promised features of what Open Social was supposed to offer, I think it will be interesting once we learn if Open Social is part of Google+. We do know that Facebook continues to shun the initiative and remains disconnected as they bank their own proprietary model against the collaborative efforts in Open Social. Only time will tell…

New advertisement income paid by Facebook soon?

This is an interesting concept and the first thing I thought of is advertisers paying people to tag their products in pictures. This would be similar to a publishing fee for blogs and sites that use things like Google Ads or Adbrite.

Could the casual Facebook user be making money in the future???

Tag Pages in Facebook photos –