Tag Archives: facebook

Facebook Tip: Block Applications

If Moses had access to Facebook one of the plagues upon Eygpt would have most assuredly have been application notices in your news feed.

I made the off hand status update of blocking Facebook applications (200 and counting) the other day and understandably some people were wondering how such a feat was accomplished. What I think most people do is just  (myself in the past) have just unfriended (it's a real word) people to cut out the spaming of news feeds. Remeber block applications not friends.

Here are the step by step instructions.

  1. Your friends spam your news feed with applications.
  2. You click the HIDE button on the right of the notice.

  3. You can hide either all news feed notices from that person (without removing them as a friend) or hiding the particular application.

  4. The application has been hidden from your news feed.

That's one way to increase the usability of Facebook.

I'd love to know if you have you found any tips or tricks that makes Facebook more useful, like not playing Farmville. Leave a comment with your favorite Facebook tip below.

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The Great Facebook Vanity Name Rush

I hope everyone (who knew of cared enough) got the name they wanted.

Donna and I were serendipitously still up at midnight and watched the countdown ready to snipe our preferred vanity names. Which we both got!

I supplemented it with following the #fbookvanity on twitter. It really felt like a new years countdown, but without Dick Clark and not Times Square.

Mashable has a great post and videos on the whole event that I'm going quote to death. It took 3 minutes to reach 200,000 names and an hour for a million.

Even though I was following the discussion on Twitter I had a good conversion going on (where else) Facebook.

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The List: Netiquette

Here's a run down of a few netiquette's everyone should be following. But mostly they are behaviors that I continually run up against out here.

Your Work Email As Your Only Email
Really you're going to do that? Seriously? In 2008? If you were unaware, there are excellent web based email clients that are free (Live Mail, Gmail & Yahoo Mail).

mail2webWindowsLiveyahoo mailgmail

All come with gigabytes of storage and are accessable from both home and work. Most ISPs offer web based access to your email account, but if they don't there are services like Mail2Web that can check you ISP email account remotely. If you don't believe me check out this article that also talks about the possible privacy implications of using your work email for personal use.

Attaching Photos to Email
Just because broadband is near ubiquitous in use, that doesn't mean you should use it irresponsibly and fill inboxes  with megabytes of photos. There are far more efficient ways to share your photos.

Flickr logoDropboxFacebookVox

There are tons of online photo storage/share sites out there. Flickr, Facebook, Picasa, SmugMug and VOX (home to this blog) are all free and offer privacy settings. I like Dropbox because it can be used for offsite storge/backup but it can generate links to share photo albums and Facebook can also do this. It's a good feature so you can share photos with friends and family who are not members of these groups but still offers you some level of privacy. If anyone is interested I have 10 invites left for Dropbox.

You might find it strange that I have a whole section dedicated to Facebook, but to me that's just an indicator of the impact it's had in the social network sector and it hasn't been all good. It's brought people who would never have the inclination, time or willingness to update a blog or post their status on services like twitter. Due to this influx of norms there are a few things I have to get off my chest.

  • Tagging kids as parents. If you have photos of my kids it's usually because I was there at the event as well. So it's safe to say that I'll see the photos of said event and you won't need to tag them as me.

  • The incessant noise over the new Facebook redesign. You know ten years ago when you were watching Friends and Seinfeld? Well guess what, I was on the internet. Do you know how many site redesigns I've seen in the past decade? Alot and I'm still alive. I don't know where this entitlement people feel that have over a free service that could charge money for their now indispensable site. Anyone remember Classmates.com? No one wants to pay for this service myself included. You'll get through this, don't worry. It could be worse you could pay $30 a year to contact anyone.

  • If you invite me to an event on Facebook and then send out a mass email inviting me to the same event, I'm just going to assume that you have no idea who's in your address book (myself included) and will consider it spam. Sorry.

These are just a few guildlines you should follow online, you don't have too but if you don't then I just might have to write another snarky post and I don't think anyone wants that.

Of course I'm not onesided on this. What are some netiquette's that you follow or wish others did? I'd love to hear them.

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Unicef Chain Letter Scam Hoax

Like anyone I've seen my fair share of internet / email scams in my day but thanks to Facebook that number has grown exponentially. This is mainly due to the ease and simplicity of Facebook to spam everyone single person you know. Hench my reluctance to add the Funwall application.

The latest social engineered piece of heart sting pulling forwarding fun is as follows if you forward this you're gonna make 10 euro for Unicef.

First off, it's a fact that simply forwarding an email (or in this case a Facebook post) cannot generate money for you or third parties. Secondly, legitimate organizations (such as Unicef) do not solicit fund raising in this manner.

This kind of seemingly harmless misuse of the Unicef name (or any other charitable organization for that matter) misleads supporters into thinking they have actually contributed to the cause when in fact they have only succeeded in spamming their address book.

If you want to support Unicef please visit their official site. Those of us in Canada should since the traditional Unicef Halloween program has been discontinued here in Canada in 2006.

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Still Touching

It's been a little over a month now since I've had my iPod Touch and I'm still loving it.

Not only does it get me into the exclusive and usually cost prohibitive (MacBook Air cough cough) Mac fan boy club but now I have a reason to listen to MacBreak Weekly without looking like a poser.

Here's a run down on my favorite things for the Touch.

  1. Mobile Internet. Sure I can only use it on wi-fi but I'm usually home anyway and it keeps me from disappearing in to the computer dungeon.
  2. Web Apps. Again internet connectivity is a must for this one. Some of my favorites are the Thincloud Twitter app that does a better job at the mobile interface than Twitter's own in my opinion. The Facebook web app which looks so much better on my home screen now with it's own icon. TV Forcast not only tells me when the next new episode is airing but also offers a short synopsis and links to Tv.com for full show information. And a new one I started using called Flytunes. It lets you listen music on your Touch (I know sounds redundant but it's pretty nice). There's doznes of themed music channels to listen to and it works pretty good on my old B Wi-Fi router.
  3. iTunes. The only music I've even bought off iTunes has been with the Touch. The interface is of course perfectly thought out and it's so simple I have to be careful or I'll max out my credit card (not no really but it easy to buy music).
  4. The January Software Update. IMAP mail and Google maps alone is worth the $20 I spent on it. And emailing Notes is pretty useful to moblog on VOX.
  5. Twins video to iPod-Zune-PSP-3GP. This program convert your other miscellaneous video for the iPod. Its great software, simple to use and most importantly free. The video I've converted looks great on the Touch.

But with any relationship there are always a few things that drive you crazy.

  1. Saving trips in Maps. If you foolishly leave the trip map it's gone and out on the road there's no way to get the turn by turn directions back. Also can I just download all the street level maps for my province also? Please?
  2. Podcasts in iTunes. Downloading podcasts when you are out and about would complete iTunes on the Touch for me.
  3. Mail using my gmail address book. It's really annoying to have IMAP email on your Touch and it only grabs the contact list that is stored locally on the Touch.
  4. Organizing Videos. Dividing videos into Videos, Music and Podcast (on the same screen) just doesn't cut it for me. Having dozens of videos without even a basic search feature let alone a folder structure can be maddening.
  5. Flash in Safari. Even the Wii can play embedded flash videos and it costs less than my iPod did. Oh and it also has games Steve.

But even these few reasons can't stop me from loving my iPod Touch.

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Guitar Hero III Facebook Application

I never add applications on Facebook. I don't want to be a vampire, werewolf, slayer, etc. I don't want to pass around an internet bear or see what happens when I forward that damn husky.

That being said, I just added an application called Guitar Hero III Stats that I actively have been searching for.  To have my Guitar Hero Stats displayed on my profile.

The application is powered by Gamestrata who seems to be a site where you can track your scores and accomplishments in the games you play. Think 2008 version of that high score page in 1980's video game magazines. I can't seen to find anything much about them except a job posting where they say we build Facebook/Open Social/Etc apps but our business isn't based on these apps (yeah right) and We don't like the word 'web 2.0' (who does not like web 2.0?). They might not be all bad since they do support Open Social right? Of course it means more potential eyes (eyes=$$$) for their applications if they do support it.

The application only supports GHIII for the Wii, XBox 360 and PS3 for the time being as it pulls your stats off your guitarhero.com profile. For all this to work you still need to link your site profile with your online game system profile (they give you an identifying code on the online menu of the game).

There is also another Facebook application called Guitar Hero 3 that can do the same but supports all online systems (PC, Wii, XBox 360, PS3 & PS2). This one might be better for those of you who have been playing Guitar Hero for years of have the game on multiple systems.

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Facebook Public Search Listing

Did any of you on the book have reservations regarding privacy when they announced in 2007 that public search listings  would appear in Google?

At the time I personally wasn't too worried about it. Of course who knows what unforeseen privacy concerns might arise from the inclusion of profiles being indexed by the Google. In the end, I'm not too worried since I'm not the first  profile of Grant Elliott and there's tons of stuff about me here on my VOX blog.

Of course now I'm hurt. Why am I not the first Grant? It's like your first time in a gay bar and you're worried that you might get hit on. Of course no one hits on you so you're indignant they didn't. What I'm not good looking enough to be gay?

Oh course they do have a not who you were looking for button so you can see the full list of possible matching profiles. I'll take a wait and see approach.

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Fear The Beacon

If you've enjoyed your online purchasing and browsing anonymity, kiss it all goodbye (unless you opt out of course). FaceBook has launched it's ad service Beacon and you better watch out. They might not know if you've been bad or good but, when you visit a Beacon partner site (and there's a ton of them), Beacon will add a story of your activities to your news feed.

I'm just glad that you get final say if it gets added. Could end up being a little embarrassing if you visit sites or make purchases that you don't want others to know about. No one must know of my Hello Kitty obsession. D'oh!

Of course there are the usual privacy concerns, but most people will gloss over that part to get a free service that offers a semi-useful function. Just look at Google.

Buzz Out Loud talked about Beacon on Episode 616. They are way smarter than me and explain the issues much better than I ever could.

Believe it or not I have a Well Actually for the BOL team.

In episode 616, a caller discussed the ramifications of the demise of the payphone, one  example being where would Superman now change? The BOL crew said that phone booths are still needed for people to step into when on loud cellular calls. Well actually, they do exist and there's a ton's of models out there for one to chose from.

There's the Cell Zone, the Pentaphone, the CellBooth and I'm sure that the Cone of Silence could be pressed into service.

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Traffic This

Continuing our week long voxiversary celebrations here at grantalias.

A few months ago I added StatCounter to my VOX to data farm personal information about you to sell to third parties. Just kidding. Like most bloggers I wanted to know if anyone actually read this blog (excluding my neighbors of course).

It was really cool to see what posts were being hit. I would backtrack in google to see what search words would bring up any given post. It's a really addictive game so don't start yourself.

In early November when two of my posts were indexed on a Mac site, I had an extra 300 hits over the weekend. I was freaking out. Ask Donna, I drove her crazy! Tip: You want to increase traffic? Post about Apple, trust me.

All that fun went out the window when I did a little post on a FaceBook chain letter. Now I get so much traffic to that one post I can't tell if anyone looks at anything else.

I guess I shouldn't complain? Traffic is traffic right?

Next time we''ll let you know how VOX made me love Photoshop all over again.

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Amy Bruce Hoax

We all know my on going (losing) battle with chain letters and spam hoaxes, well here's another one.

The Amy Bruce hoax letter got it's start back in 1999 and has been going strong ever since. Just case you're thinking, but it's endorsed by the Make-A-Wish foundation. The Make-A-Wish people even single out this chain letter as a hoax on their site and they never do chain letters.

I find this chain letter especially bad, because it preys upon people's emotions and good will to spread. It takes away from the real efforts of organizations to help children.

Here's the usual sites that debunk this long running chain letter:


And here's the letter.

Hi, my name is Amy Bruce.
I am 7 years old, and I have severe lung cancer . I also have a large
tumour in my brain, from repeated beatings Doctors say I will
die soon if this isn't fixed, and my family can't pay the bills.
The Make A Wish Foundation has agreed to donate 7 cents for every time
This message is sent on.
For those of you who send this along, I thank you so much, but for
those who don't send it, what goes around comes around.
Have a Heart, please send this.
Please, if you are a kind person, send this on.


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