Tag Archives: Facebook

Want a Private Facebook? Try #Slack

NYTimes: A Charming Alternative Universe of You, Your Friends and No News

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/18/technology/a-charming-alternative-universe-of-you-your-friends-and-no-news.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share

imageThe Times article (above) tempts with the idea of an alternative to the competitive, super-public, extrovert dominated world of fake friends and insincere “likes”. But, the NYT never seems to escape from that social norm, suggesting instead the candy sweet illusion of Instagram “Stories”.

Really?

TechWite says: Try Slack
Do you want a place online where you can share photos, web links, movies, and all that other stuff but not have it smeared with ads, streams of articles and media curated by robots, comments from people you don’t know, don’t remember, or want to forget? Do you want an app where you can have a private conversation (the “DM”—Direct Message—in Twitter becomes a “Private Channel” in Slack) with someone you already know, who is already participating in this place, and where you don’t have to use email to do it? And your team only has members that you want in it. Period.

Not “The Next Big Thing”—Better!
Yea, yea, yea, everyone tells you to use Slack for business, for software development projects, to integrate your two diverse companies that now have to merge their email systems and don’t have a common platform to work on, blah, blah. Blech!! I’m suggesting you, and a small group of real friends who want to plan your next bike trip, group vacation, backpacking adventure, etc. etc., create a Slack Team. Spend a little time and effort figuring out how Slack works. Yes, there are apps for iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and POWB (plain old web browsers). And sure, there are tons of plug-ins and commercial upgrades and corporate tie-ins, but only if you want them. This is not “The Next Big Thing”—this is the thing you want to use to communicate and stay in touch with your REAL Friends and Family. The basic version is free.

Life is short. Create a team! Have fun!
These links open in a new window:
Create your own Slack Team:  https://slack.com
Join the public SlackBITS Team run by our friends at TidBITS: http://slackbits.herokuapp.com

Tell them TechWite sent you!

BTW: No, I have no commercial, financial, or stock interest in #Slack. But I am open to the possibility!

—Peace Out

Followers, Friends, and Likes. Oh My!! Engagement is a Social Lie.

via And Now, I Unfollow Thee – The New York Times

Take it all “with a grain of salt…”

More help for the Nverts. TechWite dashes another social myth!

The brilliant analysts of Wall Street, looking for better ways to blow more air into the bubble of Social media believe that “engagement” is everything. But what is it?


“Engagement*” – Catch word for ‘user involvement’ –  the popularity of your web site, application, social feed, page, etc. “Engagement” supersedes “eyeballs”: the number of people who looked at a page. Engagement sounds more scientific, and is therefore more useful to analysts, stock brokers, and journalists in declaring the success or failure of an online campaign, and especially in applying a monetary value and potential for advertising revenue. But unfortunately, there is no standard “measure” of engagement. Is it: How many members have signed up? “Daily Views” of a page, or video? **  How many times they ‘click’ from one page to an advertisement? How many “likes” they post for your business on Facebook? How many “friends”, how many “followers”, how many? How many? And how many of those are even real???


Wake up world. This is all vapor. Not even the kind of vapor you can inhale.

Today’s lesson is easy: Whatever anyone tells you about the popularity and massive use of a site, page, or “social network” is probably not (I’m being kind here…) exactly what is going on. Review your own experience with social. You are a VALID user. Your experience is probably not much different than anyone else’s. Think about it:

  • Facebook—In spite of the many ads you can now find all over “your” Facebook, how many times have you ever actually used one of those ads to make a purchase? Have you? Tell me!
  • YouTube, Web Pages, and elsewhere—The pop-up ad on the web page, do you want to see it? Or skip it?
  • Twitter—Poor Twitter. I like Twitter. Do you choose to read Tweets that Twitter inserts in your feed? Do you have any idea where they come from? Can you really keep up with the tweets of the 50 Twitter feeds you follow? 150? 500? Do you think those people who claim to follow over a thousand other Twitter feeds ever even LOOK at the tweets?? How do you feel about being followed by all those robots and porn sites?
  • Instagram – More robots and porn sites. More opportunities to buy followers.
  • Followers – That’s right, you want to have a popular Twitter feed or Instagram?? Buy yourself 10,000 followers. Or more. It doesn’t cost that much.*** We are really talking about a hall of mirrors here.

You can read more about it using the links below. I won’t waste more words. I want to get off my computer now because I have a real book I am reading. One made with paper. Seriously. So, because it means nothing:

  • Don’t follow me on Twitter!
  • Don’t like my Facebook page!
  • Don’t follow me on Instagram!

Peace Out,

—TW 


(Links below open in a new window.)

*Engagement (Rate)
Trackmaven – Engagement Rate is a metric that measures the level of engagement that a piece of created content is receiving from an audience. It shows how much people interact with the content. Factors that influence engagement rate include users’ comments, shares, and likes. <http://trackmaven.com/marketing-dictionary/engagement-rate/>

“4 Instagram Analytics Tools for Your Business”, HootSuite, <https://blog.hootsuite.com/instagram-analytics-tools-business/>

**Daily Views
“Snapchat Video Traffic Has Caught Up With Facebook”, Fortune <http://fortune.com/2016/03/01/snapchat-facebook-video-views-2/>

“Facebook Daily Views get New Metrics”, International Business Times <http://www.ibtimes.com/facebook-inc-fb-daily-video-views-get-new-metrics-publishers-2342825>

***Buy Followers:
“Big Business: Buying Fake Instagram Followers”, Huffington Post,<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shayla-r-price/big-business-buying-fake_b_6322362.html>

Forecast CLOUDY For IT Jobs and Vendors

AWS_sysadminWake up and smell the drought. IT infrastructure jobs fast evaporating…

via The Morning Download: Cloud’s Impact on Traditional IT Vendors Looks Increasingly Serious, JPMorgan Chase Says – The CIO Report – WSJ

“41.6% of corporate workloads at big companies are expected to be running in the public cloud within the next five years, up from 16.2% today.”

Hey, this is no happy blog post. Techwite wants to help, Techwite wants to be positive. And Techwite also wants to speak the truth. Sometimes that means taking a look at what is happening and discussing it. If that’s not for you, skip this. I’ll have a Tip soon about iCloud Calendars. Otherwise, if you have more information or comments about this post, join in.—TW 

Make no mistake, moving to “the cloud” is part of a trend to shift as much of corporate IT as possible into a commodity subscription service, like electricity.  Billed monthly by volume used, managed offsite, no local server upgrades or software updates, maintained by somebody else. The WSJ article referenced here concerns itself chiefly with the effect on the investment world of mega-cloud vendors Microsoft and Amazon on their smaller rivals Oracle and IBM. But from a human standpoint, your local IT, your local data center, your local administrator, your local Help Desk, THEY (and if you are one of these people, I am talking about you)—ARE ALL GOING AWAY.

“Hybrid Cloud” and “Middleman” Hosting is a stepping stone. You’re company isn’t putting everything in the Cloud? Not yet? Accenture, IBM, Dell—somebody like that—can take care of your local IT administration requirements! They’ll manage your relationship with Microsoft, and for now you can tell everyone you are “going to Office 365” although technically, you’re not. (That would be using Microsoft totally as your host for Office…)

Your IT Infrastructure Director may optimistically tell you, “Don’t worry, we’ll need someone to engage in ‘vendor management‘, someone who understands Infrastructure…, and heck, if you get on well with them, maybe you can work for the hosting vendor!”

If you know your stuff, you can probably point out that your “hosting vendor” is missing the boat with Microsoft Exchange backups, mobile security, a proprietary and non-standard archive solution that “locks you in”, and inefficient mail routing. But how long will that save your job if you are seen as a bump in the road to “the full Cloud”? And will that endear you to your potential new employer? Remember, the CIO wants his IT Infrastructure to be as easy to manage and replace as an iPad.

Meanwhile, the data center/hosting company is getting squeezed on both ends and trying to survive a similar change. How long can they compete with their big brother—and former mentor? Does anyone need a middle man?? Your Account Manager’s boss is telling him, “Don’t worry, we’ll probably get absorbed by Microsoft. And either way, you can probably work for them!”

We are seeing a massive consolidation and centralization of data and processing, and elimination of jobs. In addition to the stripping of jobs as the infrastructure ascends to the cloud, much of the work that was outsourced to cheaper labor sources will soon be automated—think robots and “chatbots“. There are going to be fewer and fewer jobs in IT Infrastructure. (Coincidentally,  last week the Verizon strike provided an example of this shift:  The Verizon Strike Signals a Larger Economic Battle.)

What about the people? The overall trend is clear for companies, especially large companies, and service organizations. But what about at the individual level? The level of the gal or guy in IT today? IT is the “service economy” equivalent of the Detroit factory job in the manufacturing economy of 20 years ago. This is just the beginning. Clearly there will be some jobs in hands-on management of Cloud services, such as AWS, and there is still time and opportunity for corporations and small businesses to hang onto that shred of control. As for other opportunities in IT? Infrastructure is going to shrink drastically or disappear altogether. That leaves software development. Web development, mobile apps, databases. The skills will be needed and they are constantly churning, so those who can stay on top of the latest development trends will likely stay employed.

Many of these trends are going to affect the rest of the economy as well. The Uberization of driving jobs will soon shift to autonomous cars and robot assisted shipping. Even the old saw about finding a job “flipping burgers” will not hold true for much longer. Where will people find work? That I would like to know.

“…we have to make sure that we have the kinds of policies here at home where we provide people with the skills they need to get the jobs that are available in the economy…”
US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, interview with Kai Ryssdal, Marketplace

Yes, Jack, we need to be sure that people are trained up for those jobs. But what are those jobs? And where are they? Where are they?

— Techwite

Call me Ishmael. Call them Nverts.

 

They used to call it the “blog-o-sphere”—the world of bloggers. As blogs became less fashionable and Tweeting became all the rage, “Twitter-sphere” became “Twitter-verse”. (Because a Universe is BIGGER than a sphere, or planet, get it?)

Then it was “Facebook”, the number one tip-top destination, yea, the very Paris of the Internet. What do you call that?  “Facebook” obviously. To many people, Facebook is the Internet. (But, by the way, as India proved recently to Mark Zuckerberg, it’s not.) Are the unwashed Facebook masses the “Facebook-ians”? “Bookees?” “Fakers?” No matter. Today, I want to identify the un-brainwashed masses, the unfettered few, the unsavvy, who don’t know, and maybe don’t care about all that social stuff, and who, in this wacky, world wide web may get misled or tripped up by their blissful ignorance.

You know who “they” are, you might even be one of them. And heavens, “they” represent a whole spectrum of experience: Folks who founded the Internet, who pioneered it using America OnLine or CompuServe, yet they don’t know a Snapchat from a Tinder. Face it, at the speed of tech, even the savviest of ellipticals probably aren’t familiar with the most current and hippest of apps, whatever those may be this weekSo there are plenty of people out there who don’t know one thing or another about “social”, and I want to help.

But first what are “they” called? How to refer to the innocents in this overwhelming and over-rated world of Social Media? The collective mass of humanity not hip to “social”. Is there a name for what Apple’s marketing used to call, “The Rest of Us?”

“Newb” suggests they are “new” to Social, but are joining the herd. Not what we are looking for.

“Social Media Luddite” has been used—way too judgmental.

Call them nverts! First we identify their “place” as “the Nverse”. This is short for “Non-Social Universe”—”Nsphere” sounds pretty good too, but face it, a UNIVERSE is bigger than a SPHERE, and we need a lot of room. (And in this crazy, mixed up world, nothing is original. If you Google, you’ll find #Nverse, meaning, who-knows-what? Some kind of reference to a Math equation? We don’t care.) Oviously the denizens of the Nverse are Nverts—like Non-Social Internet Introverts, they turn away  from the social Internet. It’s not perfect. How many people know what a phub is anyway? A lot of research and effort went into creating that word. Nvert. If you have a better name for Nhabitants of the Nverse, tell me!

But why am I do doing this? What’s my point? Here. I read this on a web site recently:


“Currently, we have about 70,000 followers on Facebook and Twitter.  That’s 70,000 people that we can learn from and service on a daily basis.”*


Uh, no. Seriously. No, you can’t. Nverts, awaken! NO, THEY CAN’T LEARN FROM AND SERVICE Seventy Thousand of them ON A DAILY BASIS.

There is a certain naïveté, a hubris in that statement. The world has not changed that much. A small company, well-staffed by super-smart well-parented and motivated and energetic staff, may “learn from, and service” some of their customers who “follow them” on Facebook and Twitter. But 70,000? Uh uh.

I have a Twitter feed, I use Instagram, I write a blog. It’s “reality check” time for the Nverse.

—TechWite

P.S. Happy Tenth Birthday Twitter!!

*I’m not going to follow good journalistic practice and tell you where I got this quote because I don’t want to drive more traffic to their site. They may implode with information!

Just Another Facebook Thing on Instagram

via Photo Taking, Editing and Sharing | Instagram Help Center

Instagram_noDesktop

I like being able to post things quickly. I like being able to share things online. I like when different tools from different companies run on different systems from different companies and work well.


“Instagram” – A photo app for mobile devices that posts pictures on the Internet. As in “Instantly”, and from the ancient photographic device the “Kodak Instamatic Camera“, and “gram” as in the ancient electronic communication tool the “telegram”. The name suggests, “Instantly sending a photograph electronically.” Not: fiddling around, copying files, and all that…


Some things, I don’t like.

I don’t like the way Facebook controls the Instagram API, guarding it jealously, and making it hard to post Instagrams if you are not using the Instagram app. And definitely if you would like to do it from a DESKTOP computer, i.e. “dinosaur technology”, “platform of the previous Millennium”, etc.—in other words, “not a mobile advertisement device”. (This is old news if you’ve been Instagramming for awhile. I came late to Instagram mainly because I didn’t want to use it after it became part of Facebook—right as I was letting the tumbleweeds blow down the sandy main street of my Facebook page on the Internet.)

So, Okay. I’ll work around this. I’ll move files, and copy and paste, and upload, blah, blah, blah. I’ll use IFTTT. I’ll do what it takes and I’m going to send photos to my blog from Instagram. So there!

This is part of the Zberging of the Internet. It’s gonna work the way “The Mark” wants gosh darn it, or it isn’t going to work!

—TechWite

IPad Quirky? Unstable? Manage your storage!

A former colleague, Cary, asked TechWite about her unstable iPad. TechWite responds…

Your iPad, has a limited amount of storage.  You may recall hearing that it had: 16 Gig, 64 Gig, 128 Gig (Gigabytes). Depending on what you do with it, that storage on your iPad gets used by photos, songs, movies, books, and everything else. If the iPad gets slow, undependable, crashes, or won’t install the latest iOS update, chances are the storage space (whatever it was originally) is all “filled up”. A trip to visit your local Apple Store, or Apple Dealer, or friendly, knowledgeable consultant may be in order. But first, you can try clearing out some space yourself.


“What was a lot then, is nothing now.” —Christo’s 2nd Law of Computing

What’s a Gig? A Gigabyte is a thousand Megabytes. What’s a Megabyte? In the PaleoMac days of the PC revolution BI (Before iOS), early adopters and PC enthusiasts liked to throw around numbers the way auto afficianados today talk about the doomed-wheeled-hunks-of-metal-and-plastic that will soon be replaced by autonomous cars. Those PaleoGeeks made hilarious comments like, “I upgraded my Mac to 512K RAM and bought an external 10Meg SCSI Hyperdrive.” If you’re a Facebook user, or an “elliptical” (as the media calls this new generation), you don’t care what a Megabyte is, and it doesn’t matter. So forget the details.

Just remember, as always in capitalism and technology: more is better. When you buy your next Apple device, try to get the one that has *more*. Eventually, even that won’t be enough, but for now, that’s all you need to know.


To get started, the Settings app is the place to go. Open it, and follow along…

Step 1 – Check Storage

Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage

This will take you to a panel that displays your “Used” and “Available” storage (below). There is no hard and fast rule here, but you want the “Available” number to be big. (If it is already 5 Gig or more, then storage is probably *not* what is causing your problems.) Next, let’s make more storage available by getting rid of stuff that no longer serves you.

Step 2 – Manage Storage

Tap Manage Storage…
It may take some time for your device to fill in the details of your “Storage” panel. Be patient. Eventually, you will get a list of your apps and how much storage they use—sorted from biggest data usage to smallest. You can go through all of these apps, but you are going to get the best results by working on the apps at the top of the list, which are usually Music, Videos, and Photos (below).

Step 3 – Identify and Delete Songs that no Longer Serve You
Tap Music:
You’ll get a list of all the music on your iPad, grouped by Artist, Album, and Song. You can start deleting right at this “top” level, and Delete all songs by one artist.

Tap on one Artist, and Slide to the LEFT, to reveal the “Delete” button.
Tap “Delete” to delete all the songs by that artist.

Don’t want to get rid of everything by that artist? Just want to delete one song? You can “drill down” and use the same method as above to Delete specific albums or songs. Below, we tap Artist “A.C.Newman” > Album “Shut Down the Streets” > Song “Encyclopedia of Classic Takedowns” and then Delete.

6bc6f9ff9c8c058fb88996da1e725d5a

13bc945723bc8de65619270d58ca471f

 

9ca675a1b9de2aaec89eaedfea24992a

Step 4 – Repeat, and Validate
Repeat this process to get rid of as much music as you want. You can then use the same process to Delete the space-eating data of other apps on your iPad. When you are done, check your storage again. (From Step 2, above):
Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage

Finally, power your iPad completely down and restart it:

  1. Hold the “Sleep/Wake” button down until the screen goes dark and you see the “Slide to Power Down” button on the screen.
  2. Slide to Power Down.
  3. After the iPad completely shuts down, wait 30 seconds, and power it back up. How? Hold down the Sleep/Wake button until the Apple logo appears.

NOW, with that extra space that you’ve saved, does your iPad behave better? If not, you could try re-installing the OS, but for most people, that means it’s probably time for a visit to your local Apple support person.

Thanks for stopping by,

—TechWite

This post was written (almost) entirely on an iPad using Evernote. Interested? Tell me.

Dear #Millennials, The “Z’s” are coming. 😱

 

ted_scott_2016-02-07 at 5.49.12 PMDear Millennial, you are aging. 

No, I’m not talking about this GREY HAIR THING. Stop a minute, put down the phone, fingers off please, now listen to me. YOU ARE AGING. By most definitions you joined us on this planet as early as 1982. That means the oldest amongst you are approaching their mid-thirties. Many are easily within 10 years of the age of 40. Mark Zuckerberg, the icon of your generation, will be thirty-two in 2016. Sorry. I know you were busy texting and trying to get corporations to understand how to hire and retain you, and you didn’t see it coming, but it’s true. You are aging. In fact, you are not even “the new generation” anymore. Corporate Human Resources departments are already trying to figure out how to recruit and retain the next generation. Not you. I’m talking about “Generation Z”.

Got that? Take a deep breath. It will be okay. I’d like to offer some advice for what to expect, and how to move forward as the universe pulls away from you as its center.

First, although many of you hate the term “millennial”, by now you should be used to it.
I know,  “Gen Y”—being just an iteration in a series—was not as cool as it was for your predecessors. They got “Generation X“. You got “Generation Y”. They got to affiliate themselves with the “X Files” and “X Box“, and even, “OS X“. They gave you the “Y”, and then they changed it to the “M” word. “Millennial”. Jeez. For you gals and guys, someone might confuse your generational nom de plume with “Perrennial”, or “Centennial”, but not much else, and neither of those mean much. A flower that comes up every year? Okay. But  certainly “Millennial” isn’t as bad as being called a “Boomer” or even: “Baby Boomer“! What does that bring to mind? So PUH-LEASE, it could be worse; stop whining about what people call you and get over it.

Next, be prepared for the marginalization of the systems that you have created and used, whatever they are, and no matter how well they work. “Change for the sake of change” is the byword here; that’s what generations do. Can you remember these favorite Boomer tools that are now nearly non-existent?

  • “paper”
  • “book”
  • “telephone”
  • “pencil”
  • “calculator”

A similar fate may fall upon the favorite tools of you and your cohorts. Be prepared!

Keep your ears open for the “big proclamations” about change that come from the media and corporate CEO offices. These will affect you. There are precedents. Look backwards. Forty years ago futurologists told the Boomers, “Paper is obsolete. We are going to the paperless office. Nobody will print anything!”. They said this every year for years. “This is the year we see the paperless office!” It was a joke. No Boomer believed it. But here’s why you should be wary: “The Paperless Office” wasn’t about getting rid of paper, it was about getting rid of Boomers! The Boomers became complaisant. And what happened? Filing cabinets disappeared. Giant shredders materialized in hallways. In the midst of this melee, jobs were outsourced. And the final blow, Boomers were bushwacked by “the Cloud”.

Today the futurologists say—as if telling Millennials what they want to hear—”Email is obsolete, email is going away. People don’t need email. The ‘M’s’ communicate with texting. (‘Snapchat’, ‘Facebook’, ‘Tinder’, ‘Slack’—fill in the name your favorite social media app that the Big Heads don’t use, and don’t understand)”. Who cares about email? You don’t use it. But getting rid of email clears the queue to put your technology on the guillotine. What do you suppose will go next, when the “Z’s” take over?

You “M’s” are big on “the Open Office”—no walls, lots of collaborative open space. Want privacy? Use headphones. And there’s the whole “remote work”, “working offsite” thing, which really means, “working from home”.  I wonder what will happen with that? I’m guessing next it will be the “office-less office”. Maybe it’s the texting apps? You tell me. Expect things to be dashed to pieces and cast aside as “old fashioned”—certainly “not as good” as whatever the “Z’s” come up with. Oh, and hang on, you won’t like this next one.

In the workplace, expect the senior people in the company to lavish great praise, and without actually comprehending it, to marvel at the creativity of the new changes that the next generation has brought forth, even if those changs have no practical business use. They’ll fall all over themselves trying to figure out how to get their old lumbering organization to look attractive to this new group of people. To anyone looking at this objectively, the obsequious nature of their actions appears pathetically desperate and says more about the incompetence of their leadership and the inability of their organization to innovate than it does about a new generation in the workplace. You might see really weird things happen, like the whole giant corporation change its branding to something that is just weird. Or the IT department may abruptly switch platforms, forcing the whole workforce to change how they work, because the CIO attended some conference where the “technology of the new generation” was discussed.

You may begin to feel marginalized in the workplace. At first, this might seem like your ideas are just not getting the respect they deserve. You have to work harder, or fight harder, to get your colleagues or managers to do what you know—because you are smart, and from your years of experience—to be the right thing. But when you begin to feel that you are being humored or ignored, take a breath. Pause. Evaluate. When it seems that your creativity and experience are no longer valued, perhaps even mocked, then it’s time to step back and appreciate your excellent Benefits package and consider your options. If the company begins to have “town meetings” about “change management”, and suggests that you all read, the latest faddish management book for companies in transition, then move quickly, because you will probably not be there long enough to retire.

Focus on what is important. In your home life, with your children, hopefully you realize by now that not everyone on the soccer team deserves a trophy. (Probably least of all, the coach.) There are those who are better than others at some things ,and there are those who rise to the situation, and there are those who just do the work and get it done and they’re all valuable. They all make worthwhile contributions, and if they are your children you appreciate and love them no matter what. With that in mind, step out of the way, and move on gracefully, and hopefully to something better. But, like it or not, now it’s someone else’s turn.

—TechWite