Stand Up Vertical Banner

I worked with a graphic design vendor to design a stand up banner for Algorithm. The banner will be used to promote Algorithm services at events and as a backdrop for videos. This banner creation turned into a great internal branding exercise!

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Facebook Removes Cover Photo Restrictions

Facebook’s new cover photo terms simply state:

All covers are public. This means that anyone who visits your Page will be able to see your cover. Covers can’t be deceptive, misleading, or infringe on anyone else’s copyright. You may not encourage people to upload your cover to their personal timelines. Covers may not include images with more than 20% text.

Previously Facebook prohibited advertising of any kind in the cover photo.

Suggested reading:

Facebook explains how 20% text overlay policy for ads is enforced

Hugh Briss over at Social Identities provides a comical look at what is now possible. But seriously..keep it classy!

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New Facebook Profiles

My Facebook Profile just updated. Here is a look!

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Highlights:

Posts and life events are on the right, with everything else on the left. I kind of like this because having two rows of stories was sometimes hard to read. But I do wonder how this will affect featured posts now that everything is the same size.

The About page has been updated quite a bit. The page keeps scrolling and scrolling to show all of your interests, likes, events, notes, photos, etc.Facebook Profile Updates

I also noticed that the mini feed on my homepage is missing. I wonder what that means…

Facebook’s Big Announcement: Graph Search

On Tuesday, Facebook introduced Graph Search to the world. In their words, Graph Search allows users to, “Find more of what you’re looking for through your friends and connections.”

Graph Search will appear as a bigger search bar at the top of each page. When you search for something, that search not only determines the set of results you get, but also serves as a title for the page. You can edit the title – and in doing so create your own custom view of the content you and your friends have shared on Facebook.

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Facebook says that the first version of Graph Search will focuses on four areas – people, photos, places, and interests.

People: “friends who live in my city,” “people from my hometown who like hiking,” “friends of friends who have been to Yosemite National Park,” “software engineers who live in San Francisco and like skiing,” “people who like things I like,” “people who like tennis and live nearby”

Photos: “photos I like,” “photos of my family,” “photos of my friends before 1999,” “photos of my friends taken in New York,” “photos of the Eiffel Tower”

Places: “restaurants in San Francisco,” “cities visited by my family,” “Indian restaurants liked by my friends from India,” “tourist attractions in Italy visited by my friends,” “restaurants in New York liked by chefs,” “countries my friends have visited”

Interests: “music my friends like,” “movies liked by people who like movies I like,” “languages my friends speak,” “strategy games played by friends of my friends,” “movies liked by people who are film directors,” “books read by CEOs”

Facebook Privacy

As with every Facebook announcement, many are concerned about how Graph Search will affect their privacy. The best way to protect your private information on Facebook is to not share anything you don’t want to be made public. If you do share something personal, make sure that it is only made visible to your friends, and is not a public post. For tips on how to adjust these settings you can read my post about Facebook privacy updates and tips.

Graph Search is currently available in a very limited beta program. You can sign up here to be the first to hear when you can start using the new tool.

Suggested Reading/Viewing:

Mark Zuckerberg explains the design and engineering behind the Graph Search: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10200156550214780

Venture Beat discusses Facebook privacy: http://venturebeat.com/2013/01/16/facebook-graph-search-privacy/

How privacy works with Graph Search: https://www.facebook.com/about/graphsearch/privacy

Facebook Privacy and Sharing Tips

You have surely heard about and experienced Facebook’s privacy and tagging changes over the past few months. These updates have changed privacy settings on user profiles as well as the ways users share content on Facebook.

Facebook Privacy Settings

Facebook profile controls can easily be adjusted directly from the user profile rather than navigating through the confusing Privacy Settings page. Each section of the profile has an option to select who can see this information. To change these settings navigate to your profile and click edit. In each section you will see a drop down to adjust the privacy level.

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Users can also preview how their page looks to certain people using the “View Profile As” tool. You can find this on your profile under the wheel next to Activity Log.

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Users also now have the ability to review tags before they appear live in the newsfeed. This means if a friend tags you in a photo, check-in or post you will have the ability to approve or reject before the post is made visible to anyone else. To enable this setting navigate to Use Activity Log – Timeline Review under your privacy settings and make sure it is enabled.

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Options for removing content and tags from your profile are also more robust. When removing content that you have been tagged in you now have the option of removing the content from your profile, removing the tag itself, messaging the photo owner or tagger, and requesting the content get taken down.

Changes to Sharing on Facebook

Each Facebook post now includes options to share your location, who you are with and who you want to see the post. All directly from your status update! Your physical proximity to the location also no longer prevents you from tagging a place. After writing your status update you can:

  1. Tag who you’re with
  2. Share where you are
  3. Choose who sees your post

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As always, if you don’t want the world to know something about you, do not share it on Facebook! If you do post something personal or risque, be sure you have adjusted your settings so that only friends (or a custom group of friends) can see the post. Facebook only knows what you have told it about you so when in doubt, don’t over-share!

Facebook Timeline Updates Coming Soon

Mashable is reporting that Facebook is once again updating the look of Timeline for users. Users in New Zealand are waking up to fresh options at the top of the page and the removal of maps and thumbnail tabs.

Here is what the Timeline update looks like:

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Image courtesy Flickr, scobleizer

There is also apparently another feature called Collections Manager that allows users to rearrange the boxes in the right-hand column of their profile (Photos, Music, Likes, etc).

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Image courtesy Flickr, scobleizer

Facebook’s only comment so far has been, “we are always testing.”

It is likely that us in the US will wake up to these changes Wednesday morning. So set your alarms!

Update (1/11/13): I still do not see these changes on my own profile.

Updated Foursquare Privacy Policy and New Features Announced

foursquare-logoEarlier this year, Foursquare announced new features and an updated privacy policy. Here is their message to users:

Hello Foursquare community!

2012 has been a pretty huge year. We’ve released over fifty new features, welcomed nearly 15,000,000 new people to Foursquare, and had our 3,000,000,000th check-in. It’s a bit clichéd to say this, but your support really is what keeps us going day after day.

As our product evolves, one of the things we do is update our policies to match it. And a big aspect of that is privacy (something we think about a lot). This email lays out a couple changes that we’ll be making to our privacy policy in the coming month, and explains how they affect you and what you can do about it.

We know that privacy policies can be dense, so we put together a high-level document that we think of as our “Privacy 101.” It describes, in an easy-to-read way, how we build privacy into our product. While it doesn’t replace the legal need for the complete description of our privacy practices (which you can read here), we hope it helps you better understand how we think about privacy. We’ve also added new explanations of how privacy works throughout the app in our FAQs, including our default privacy settings and how they can be adjusted.

In addition to creating and refining those documents, we want to point out two specific changes to our policy, both of which will go into effect on January 28, 2013.

1. We will now display your full name. Currently, Foursquare sometimes shows your full name and sometimes shows your first name and last initial (“John Smith” vs. “John S.”). For instance, if you search for a friend in Foursquare, we show their full name in the results, but when you click through to their profile page you don’t see their last name. In the original versions of Foursquare, these distinctions made sense. But we get emails every day saying that it’s now confusing. So, with this change, full names are going to be public. As always, you can alter your ‘full name’ on Foursquare at https://foursquare.com/settings.

2. A business on Foursquare will be able to see more of their recent customers. Currently, a business using Foursquare (like your corner coffee shop) can see the customers who have checked in in the last three hours (in addition to the most recent and their most loyal visitors). This is great for helping store owners identify their customers and give them more personal service or offers. But a lot of businesses only have time to log in at the end of the day to look at it. So, with this change, we’re going to be showing them more of those recent check-ins, instead of just three hours worth. As always, if you’d prefer not to permit businesses to see when you check into their locations going forward, you can uncheck the box under ‘Location Information’ athttps://foursquare.com/settings/privacy.

The Foursquare of today is so different than the first version that launched in 2009, and we appreciate that you let us continue to evolve and build our vision. This occasionally means altering our privacy policy. When we do, we make it a priority to come up with clear ways to help you understand your privacy choices, and to communicate them clearly. If you have any questions or want more details, head over to our updated privacy policy or support.foursquare.com.

Have a lovely holiday, and thanks for being part of the nearly 30,000,000-strong Foursquare community. We have a lot planned for 2013!

– Team Foursquare

How to Update Your Twitter Header Image

Starting today, Twitter is allowing users to add a header image to their Twitter profile. Similar to Facebook and Google+ cover photos, this is an opportunity to add another visual to your profile. Keep in mind that your Twitter icon and bio will appear on top of the new header image so it should be somewhat simple or it will make your bio hard to read.

Here are the steps to take to change your Twitter header:

1. Create your header image

The header image must be at least 1252×626 pixels and the maximum file size is 5MB. Remember that your icon and bio will display on top of the image so avoid adding a lot of text to the image.

2. Navigate to your design settings

You can quickly get to your Twitter design settings page by clicking this link – https://twitter.com/settings/design. This is where you set up your background image and color scheme.

3. Click change header

Click on the button that says “Change header” and select the image you would like to use for your header. Then click “Save changes” and your new header image will be saved.

To view your header image click on the link that says “Me”in the top navigation. You won’t see the header image on the homepage timeline. If you prefer the old look of your profile don’t worry. You can easily remove the header image and everything will return to the old look. Simply click Change header and then Remove in your design settings.

That’s it! Here is the before and after.

Before:

After:

What do you think? Does this make Twitter profiles more visually appealing? Will you be updating your header image today?

Social Media Engagement Tips

Just getting started on social media or looking for way to jump start your engagement? Here are a few tips that have worked for me:

Share photos and video

Posts that contain a photo or video receive more engagement than those that do not. As much as possible, attach an image to your update to add a visual to your post and catch the eye of your fans.

Ask questions

Ask follow up questions after events to encourage your followers to share what they thought. Asking questions and commenting on current events is also a great way to get follows talking.

Use the words “you” or “your”

Have your update sound more direct and personal by adding you and your to the post. “What are your thoughts?” “What do you think about xyz?”

Comment yourself

If needed, add your own comment to get the ball rolling. Get your team members involved to help add to and initiate some conversation.

Thank your fans

Acknowledge your fans often with simple thanks. “Thanks to all our new fans.” “Thanks to everyone who joined us at xxx event.” “Thanks for your feedback on xxx.”

Use @ tagging

Great to use for tagging members, friends, followers, influencers or media on Twitter and Facebook.

Using Facebook, you can tag pages that you’re a fan of as well as your own friends. Facebook pages can tag other pages but not personal profiles. This is a very powerful way to have your post show up on others’ walls, which gives you more exposure and brings more fans or potential fans to your page. Simply enter @ and start typing the person or page’s name.

On Twitter, anyone can use tags or @ mentions. Whenever possible, use a person or company’s Twitter handle so that they know you are talking about them.

Google Buys Wildfire

In case you haven’t heard..Google announced the acquisition of social media management tool, Wildfire, on July 31, 2012.

Suggested Reading:

Wildfire is Joining Google!

4 Reasons Google Bought Wildfire

Sparking a better conversation with Wildfire

I also had to share this video. Such a sweet way to break this news to their team. Go Wildfire!