The King is dead! Long live the King!

Ok, the King isn’t really dead but Facebook’s EdgeRank is. Facebook now uses more than 100,000 factors in it’s algorithm to determine what is in your Facebook feed. That’s in addition to the original 3 found in EdgeRank: weight, affinity and time.

I’ve written about EdgeRank in the (past. Just like Facebook, what once was simple now is complex. It is also a reason why I don’t like Facebook as much. I don’t like missing posts from friends who only post once in a blue moon.

So what are your thoughts on Facebook’s algorithms that create what they think you want to see most? Please share in the comments section.

Blue box with word bubbles, an anvil and a clock.  Underneath are the words, affinity, weight, and relevance

image source:


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Social Media and Ethics

I recently had an article published on the ethical use of social media. I realize ethics is one of those topics that people like to avoid because it makes us feel uncomfortable. However, it is germane to our profession as nonprofit leaders.

Here’s my article:
Social Media Ethics

While it has an emphasis on fundraising it can directly apply to your everyday work in nonprofits. What are your thought on social media and ethics? Please share in the comments section.

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Four things for 4th of July

Since it’s the 4th of July tomorrow, here are four things that are trending in social media right now.

1) Instagram video. Earlier this summer Instagram released it’s video component to compete with Twitter’s Vine. Some say it hit Vine hard. Others say, not so fast. In my opinion I like the filters you can use on Instragram but the 15 seconds seems too long compared to Vine’s 6 seconds. Chalk it up to another Facebook imitating what is popular elsewhere instead of creating their own new innovation. can you say #hashtags?

2) Countries again want to block social media because of the political unrest they cause. Countries like Turkey have tightened their control and want offices for the social media giants to be located in their own country so staff may be summoned to government offices when needed. When you have countries insisting on offices and blocking posts you have a very powerful tool at your hands. Use it wisely.

3) You must use Social Media to replace the RRS Feeds that Google and others have dropped. RSS Feeds were a great tool to aggregate news from many sites into one place and you could make it your own. Now you have to use a Web 3.0 social version of it. If someone likes a link and shares it all you have to do is refresh your social media feed. Since Google and others have decided that RSS feeds are no longer necessary, boo hiss, you can use social media in its stead.

4) Here are some APPs picked for you for the 4th of July. From Grilling guides, to beaches and fireworks. Ejnoy!

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Anti-Social Network

Well, it’s come to this. There is now an anti-social media network that uses social media to allow you to avoid people you know. Hell is Other People is an interesting project that uses Foursquare to locate your friends and then gives you paths to avoid running into them if you have to go near their locations.

Here’s a video about the project:

What are your thoughts? Somedays you just want to avoid people. I get it. But is it so bad that you use social media to do it? Would you use this? Let us know in the comments section.

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Social Media in the time of Crisis

As you all know by now, the bombs set off during the Boston Marathon yesterday were a horrible thing. People were injured. People died. Our world has changed again.

Many took to social media to share news quickly to say that they were okay, instructions on how to find help and how to give help. Some posted prayers and comforting quotes. Pictures and videos were shared. News from individuals, media, and authorities was pushed out quickly.

Because so many people take to social media in a time of crisis, individuals, organizations and companies that have automated postings should consider changing the messages in their posts until there is some sense of normalcy again. Some say turn them off completely for a while. Mostly benign, the social media posts can make one look uncaring, unfeeling, and uninterested. For instance, during the Boston crisis, Virgin Airlines was sending promtional tweets about the London Marathon this weekend. If you don’t turn off the automated tweets and don’t change the message, be prepared to hear negative comments from the people that read the posts and don’t realize that the posts are automated.

Some people posted items that they quickly deleted after quick reflection while others saw it as an opportunity to be sensationalist for their own benefits. Some even saw it as an opportunity to set up spoof social media pages to build awareness for themselves. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you see it, tweets like these can not truly be deleted. What happens on Twitter stays in the Library of Congress.

What would your agency do in this time of crisis? Do you have a crisis communications plan in place? Who is speaking on your behalf? Does your staff or volunteers know what to say? It is increasingly important for you to be able to share your information quickly, accurately, and through the most channels as possible.

Update: 4/17/13 – here are a couple more examples of automated tweets failing:

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The 140 Best Twitter Feeds just came out with their “Best 140 twitter Feeds for 2013.” However, none are disability-related. Since they won’t do it, I think I will come up with a list of the “Best 140 Twitter Disability-Related Feeds for 2013” but I first want your input.

Text - Top 140 Disability-related Twitter Feeds for 2013

If you have a favorite Twitter disability-related feed and think others should be following it, too, please share it in the comments section. Please do so by the end of the day 4/15/13. I will compile and categorize the nominations and will share the list in a future NCE Social Media blog post.

Please note, that I reserve the right to exclude some or all of the Twitter feeds nominated due to appropriateness or space limitations.

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Facebook makes changes…AGAIN

In the past week Facebook anounced two changes that I think you should take note of: 1) they are going to start allowing hashtags to be posted in status updates and 2) they changed the news feed again.

If you recall from one of my previous posts, hashtags are key words or terms that you expect people to use in searches so that they can find your post(s). It can be an actual word or an abbreviation that would mean something to the intended reader. For instance one conference I will be attending uses the hashtag #afpicon so people can find information specific to the conference. Another example would be to add the hashtag #autism to a post about autism. You would then be alerting people that the theme is autism and at the same time helping search features of Facebook, Google, etc., know what the keyword is in your post.

Words #hashtag mania

The second item I mention was the news feed. Facebook is still in the process of rolling it out to all !.0 bilion+ users. The goal is to make the page design more visually appealing to users – especially those using mobile technology.
Mark Zuckerberg said that the new news feed will “give everyone in the world the best personalized newspaper in the world.”

So how do you use hashtags and how do you like the new Facebook news feed? Let us know in the comments. We want to hear from you.

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