Social Media and More

Creating Personalities and Brands on the Web

How to Get a Free Infographic for your Social Media Account

Twitter Infographic - Julie SpiraWho said creating an Infographic would break the bank?

Not a day goes by that I don’t see an interesting Infographic on a variety of subjects, which I happily add to my pinboards on Pinterest. Infographics are engaging, pleasant to look at, are filled with interesting statistics, and loved to be shared in the social media world.

The fine folks at visual.ly have a few free infographic tools based on your Facebook and Twitter profiles.

You can choose from the following topics:

  • Life of a Hashtag
  • Facebook Monster
  • Twitterize Yourself
  • Twitter Showdown, where you can go solo or compare yourself to one of your digital idols.

To do so, visit their site at create.visual.ly, like the on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

Then select the template you’d like to use. You can share the link, or embed it in a blogpost as I’ve done below.

Enjoy!

For more information on social media strategy, like us at Facebook.com/SocialMediaandMore and follow @JulieSpira on Twitter.

Will You Set Facebook As Your Home Page?

Will You Set Facebook as Your Home Page?

Will You Set Facebook as Your Home Page?

Admit it. You come home and log onto your computer, check your iPad or PDA and look at Facebook before reading your emails. If this is the case and Facebook has taken over your world, do you want to change your browser’s home page to reflect your online behavior?

Apparently Facebook thinks you should do so, or at least they would like to make it easier for you to spend more time on their site. Already most users log on daily for 45-60 minutes to the social networking giant. Today, when I logged onto my account using the Firefox browser, I was greeted with the option of setting Facebook as my home page. Although I frequently look at Facebook before I settle down to write, I still prefer having my own business home page appear when I open up my browser.

For those whose love affairs have Facebook are at the top of the totem pole, this new feature might be for you.

If you plan on making Facebook your home page, please let us know. If you think they’ve gone overboard with taking over your life and the world, we’d like to hear from you.

The Facebook Facelift – A Review

facebooksmallMillions of people watched 60 Minutes last night to see Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg talk about the latest new look on your Facebook personal pages. Called the Facebook Facelift, I jumped on the social media bandwagon prior to the broadcast with enthusiasm on what the new site would look like.

To Update, or Not to Update

To start off with, if you haven’t updated it yet, don’t rush to the nearest computer to do so. Take some time to view other profiles to see how you like it during this transition period. As of now, I can’t push a button to revert to the profile with my preferences, not Facebook’s.

It’s All About Their Photos

Now that 24-hours has gone by, I miss the profile box where I could describe on my own, who I was and what I was about. Zuckerberg says it’s all about the photos. Sure we love exploiting our personal lives and uploading photos onto Facebook. Facebook claims that every day, 100 million photos are uploaded to their social networking site. Having tagged photos pre-selected by Facebook on the top of my page with the heads cut-off from my friends who tagged me is not that appealing. It’s like a game of mystery when you delete a photo, as you won’t know what the next picture will be from your various online photo albums. Perhaps I won’t like the new photo as much as the old one, but it’s deleted from the stream. You can’t bring it back as a featured photo.

Losing the Social in Social Networking

Gone are those wonderful hyperlinks to my personal websites, Google profile, Amazon page, Facebook business pages, and my twitter account. To “like” me or “follow” me, or anyone for that matter, will require some effort. One will have to click the info page on the left side bar under a profile photo if they really want to know more. It’s time consuming and very likely that you won’t get additional page views.

For many serial entrepreneurs like myself, I have several businesses that I run. Facebook only allows one to appear under my profile name. The previous version of Facebook listed all of them as I hand selected them to appear in the left sidebar.  If I delete one business the other will appear. I can have more than one business, but Facebook will decide which one will be displayed on my home page.

Friendship vs. Money

Although Zuckerberg says Facebook is all about friends, why is the left side bar with your friends listed significantly smaller than the right sidebar with the advertisements? I guess it’s all about money and the price of friendship. I do like that you can see your friendship history with someone easily on the top right hand side of the profile. But wait. What if you just broke up? Do you really want to see his photo in your stream? You can take the time to change the privacy settings, but when you have a falling out with someone, there’s a digital memory book that you need to uncreate, or simply just ignore.

To Poke, or Not to Poke

In the several years that I’ve been on Facebook, I haven’t poked a soul. Sure, I’ve received a few pokes. I never poke back. I was stunned to see that Poking ended up as a prime piece of real estate in the game of Facebook. At the top right you can either send a message, chat, or poke. I don’t know why Facebook is encouraging poking. Will you poke more often? I’d like to know.

I wanted to love the new Facebook. As a social media expert, I spend hours on the site every day. With any change, it will take time to get used to. One can only hope that Facebook will allow me to decide which photos best represent me on my profile and will return the box that still appears on Pages so we can truly keep the “social” in social media and invite our friends to join us on the social networking site of our choice.

At the end of the day, Facebook will continue to grow and be the giant that keeps 500 million people company, every day of the week. The 60 Minutes segment stated that Facebook’s valuation is between 35-50 billion dollars. Facebook, please give us a choice to revert back to the old profile so we can better control the information we want our digital friends to know about us.

Julie Spira is a bestselling author and relationship and social media expert. Follow her at Twitter.com/JulieSpira. Like her pages at Facebook.com/SocialMediaAndMore and Facebook.com/RulesofNetiquette

Mashable’s Web Faceoff Shows Facebook ahead of Twitter

In one of Mashable’s weekly polls, over 7000 readers voted on their favorite between Facebook, Twitter, and Google Buzz.

Almost 1/2 of those who voted chose Facebook. Twitter came in second, and the latest entry to the game, Google Buzz came in third.

My comment on the poll, “Of course Facebook would win. 400 million users and multi-generational.”

To view poll, visit the Mashable site.

LA Times – Top 10 Moments in Social Media, and a Few of my Own

The Los Angeles Times has just published their Top 10 Moments in Social Media in 2009. In their year-end summary their list goes from #10 down to #1. I’ve added my thoughts,  reversed the order, and added four of my own.  Feel free to comment on these as well as add your own social media memorable moments in 2009.

The LA Times List

1. Hudson River plane landing – I have to agree with the LA Times. The photos taken from an iPhone of this brilliant landing clearly reflects the change in how we now gather the news. It was a powerful shot. I think I’ll upgrade my mobile device this week.

2. Iran “green” protests – I think I missed this one where the avatars turned green. I’ll wait and see the film instead.

3. R.I.P. Jeff Goldblum? – With or without the web, he seems to fall prey to rumors. Thanks to the LA Times for the others I missed, including Natalie Portman, George Clooney, Britney Spears, Ellen DeGeneres, Michael Lohan, alleged Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan, Jared from Subway, Emma Watson and P. Diddy

4. R.I.P. Michael Jackson – The power of the Internet at its best.  I recall the moment I saw the news on my Facebook live stream. I was sitting in a panel at the Social Networking Conference in Beverly Hills, still commenting on my thoughts about Farah Fawcett’s sad death earlier that day when the news about MJ broke. Confused at first as to whether the MJ was Michael Jordan or Michael Jackson, I,  like the others started commenting. When news breaks online, we have to take a serious look at social media for news distribution. When polled at a Digital LA event I attended a month later, more than 60% of the room found out about Michael Jackson on Facebook or Twitter. I found myself in front of my television watching the memorial service tweeting about the musical selections and the speeches on-stage. It was my first Twitter funeral. I have a feeling there will be more to come.

5. Susan Boyle launches career – The power of video and YouTube brought her from “frumpy” to “famous.” Kudos to her and others such as Gary Vaynerchuk who made online videos a household word.

6. Ashton Kutcher vs. CNN – It was an interesting race. Kutcher went from the underdog to beat CNN to the 1-million mark of Twitter followers. Sure, I saw the billboards on the freeway promoting the campaign. Anything that engages community to benefit a charitable organization gets my vote.

7. Twitter and Facebook under hack-attack – I experienced a few minor glitches, but never found my sites to be unavailable. The phishing emails have become annoying. The bottom line: Don’t rely on only one form of social media. Try the new Backupify service to back up your tweets, streams, friends, and followers.

8. Google Wave – I have to agree here with the LA Times. I was excited and thrilled to receive my not-so-exclusive invitation. I tweeted about it. We all did. And then I lost interest as it wasn’t user-friendly enough for me. I’ll wait for the next wave and join in again.

9. Whopper Sacrifice – Did I miss Burger King’s free offer to entice Facebook fans to remove their friends in favor of a F>R.E.E. burger? Perhaps it’s because I’m a vegetarian. In any event, thank you to my friends who didn’t de-friend me in favor of red meat. It’s nice to know I’m still popular.

10. The World of Web – They call it the new currency. No mention is made of monetization, but clearly bloggers and businesses using social media have less time on their hands as they are jumping in on the bandwagon.

Thank you to Andrew Nystrom and Mark Milian for a terrific article.

As usual, I like to add my tw0-cents and have listed a few more for your reading pleasure.

11. Facebook Marriage – The October wedding of Kelly and Kelly Hildebrandt, the couple who shared the same name, met on Facebook. “Girl Kelly” in Florida did a simple Facebook search for her name and up popped “Boy Kelly” from Texas. A Facebook friendship turned into a beautiful courtship. They appeared in my Cyber Love Story of the Week as well as on the Today Show and numerous other media outlets.

12. Facebook becomes “third largest country” in the world. – Hitting the 350 millionth subscriber in December shows their startling growth. Facebook is now multi-generational with parents spying on their children’s walls and kids seeing who their parents are now dating. Facebook went from a personal photo album and social connecting to creating business brands. Every business should have a Fan Page. It’s like having another website to promote your brand.

13. Twitter accountability – Oops! I used the wrong hash-tag at a conference and within moments on Twitter, I was corrected by another attendee. The value of messaging in real time is clear. When you make a mistake, you stand corrected instantly.

14. Mobile Dating – For the younger generation and the tech-savvy, they have moved from traditional online dating sites to iPhone apps such as Skout, Hot-or-Not, Grindr, and more. Why wait for an email when you can meet up or hook-up now? Meeting “in real life” has taken on a new meaning.

Julie Spira is a social media expert and author of the bestselling online dating book, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. Visit her at SocialMediaMore.com

Click here to read full article from the LA Times


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