Tag Archives: facebook

Tweet This, Facebook That

SmallBusiness.com has an interesting post about how the uses of Facebook, Twitter and Reddit differ depending on the subject:

  • Platform usage is context-dependent. Entertainment events are more likely to be discussed on Facebook, while sporting events (and live news events), like the NFL Kickoff or the Napa earthquake, are more likely to be discussed on Twitter. Reddit tends to be the dominant platform for political and international discussion.
  • Timing is crucial when posting to certain social networks. Facebook tends to be the dominant platform to discuss and publish stories 2-3 weeks around an event; but Twitter and Reddit are more reactive, dominating 2 to 3 days around an event.
  • Within 24 hours of a major event, 85% of sharing occurs on mobile devices.

This next one was very interesting:

  • News events like the Napa earthquake and the Ferguson riots are highly localized with sharing. Missouri saw a 7.7x surge during the riots.

Back in the early days of blogging it became trendy to “liveblog” at conferences. Basically attendees would send out rapid fire blog posts sharing what they were seeing, hearing and learning. While it still happens that action has been largely replaced by people Tweeting their experiences and using a hashtag so that their observations will be group with other attendees’ in a stream of conference-related information that any Twitter user can see. That’s why every conference now has a #ID printed on everything so that everyone knows which one to use and they can generate some real-time conversation.

Facebook is also used at conferences but usually it’s people posting photos, letting people know they’re there, or at the end of the day saying things like “Had a great day at JonCon. Can’t wait for tomorrow’s session on excellent enemas!” It’s not nearly as spontaneous and, to use a real world analogy, is the conference yearbook vs. Twitter being the conference newspaper.

What does all that mean? If you’re using social media for business, church, non-profit, school, club or whatever, you need to make sure you utilize the proper social media channel at the right time. If you don’t you’ll be whistling in the wind.

Dealing With Surprising Social Media Fame

Update 8/2/14 – NPR has a story about this and in it mention that they are checking with the Justice Department to see if the restaurant’s policy is a violation of the prohibition against public businesses like restaurant’s discrimating based on religion. It would seem not since the discount is supposedly at the discretion of each server, but then again stuff like this is often not obvious or all that logical. I wouldn’t blame the restaurant for discontinuing the policy just to play it safe.

Mary’s Gourmet Diner on Trade Street in Winston-Salem just found out what it’s like to have something go viral. From a story on HLNTV:

The tab belonged to Jordan Smith, who had traveled to Winston-Salem for a business trip and stopped for breakfast at Mary’s with two colleagues Wednesday morning.

She tells HLN the group “prayed over our meal and the waitress came over at the end of the meal and said, ‘Just so you know, we gave you a 15% discount for praying,’ which I’d never seen before.”

Impressed, Smith shared a photo of the receipt on her Facebook page. A mutual friend then posted the pic on the page of Orlando Christian radio station Z88.3 and it’s taken off from there, being shared more than 1,700 times as of Thursday afternoon.

Well, apparently things heated up on Facebook thanks to all the attention, causing Mary to post the following on her business’ Facebook page:


Here’s the text in case that’s hard to read:

There’s a lot of craziness going on in regard to the 15% discount. I will not respond to all the posts. I will say that it is not a “policy”, it’s a gift we give at random to customers who take a moment before their meal. This could be prayer or just a moment to breathe & push the busyness of the world away. Who you talk to or meditate on etc. is your business. I have lived in a 3rd world country, there are people starving. We live in a country with an abundance of beautiful food. I NEVER take that for granted. It warms my heart to see people with an attitude of gratitude. Prayer, meditation or just breathing while being grateful opens the heart chakra. It’s good for everyone!!!! Thanks to my local community for your support…you know who I am. As for all the people posting negative comments about me & my restaurant who have never met me or been to the restaurant, thanks for sharing, it’s your right to speak out, just as it is mine. Peace, love & happy eating!!!!

It’s a sign of our times that doing almost anything positive can be turned into a negative. Sheesh.

We were talking about this at work and we all had the same thought before Mary posted on Facebook: if we know they’re giving 15% off just for praying we’d bow our heads in a heartbeat. Of course that kind of defeats the purpose, but I wonder how many people around Winston were thinking the same thing?

A Couple of Interesting Developments at JournalNow

The Winston-Salem Journal's online operation caught my eye a couple of times this past week.  First they integrated Facebook with their comment system in an effort, I assume, to deal with some pretty nasty/terrible anonymous commentors on the site.  I haven't studied it in depth, but the move seems to have helped with the tone of the comments.  Truth be told they couldn't have made the situation any worse so I think it was a good move.

The second thing I noticed was this story on a man who's installed a water capture system at his house.  The story itself was interesting, but what really grabbed my attention was that it was a video.  It was produced by the folks at the Hickory Daily Record, but I could see the W-S Journal doing the same thing with their own reporters.  Seems like a smart move to me – especially with stories that lend themselves to the video format – and now that they've added the ability to share/embed the stories I think they'll be able to really take advantage of their readers' social media activities. (Maybe they've been doing this for a while and I missed it, but either way I think it's a good idea).  Here's embed of the story:

Breaking News via Facebook

There's a bit of a political kerfluffle brewing right now in Greensboro over a recent redistricting vote by the City Council.  It's been a hot topic at Ed Cone's blog, which everyone in Greensboro knows is where you go to be seen, er heard, er read when you want to vent your spleen about the goings on in what is likely North Carolina's whiniest city. What's interesting to me is that Ed just broke the news that one of the City Council members announced that she's going to ask that the vote be reconsidered, and she made the announcement via her Facebook status.  

It would be easy to just say that this is a sign of the times, and it is, but upon further examination I think there are some fairly interesting ramifications in this simple act. Here are some that have come to mind:

  • Any reporter "friended" by a public figure who uses Facebook as a primary communication vehicle will have a competitive advantage over a reporter who isn't. Public figures have always had preferred members of media and I suspect they've always cherry-picked who they leak news to, but this is a very public way to play favorites with members of the media. 
  • Of course the public figure can also completely "disintermediate" the media by friending everyone but the media, thereby communicating directly with their audience and excluding the media.
  • Whether or not a member of the media is included or excluded, the news will be old to a healthy chunk of the audience by the time the 5 o'clock news airs or tomorrow's paper is printed.
  • This development has only reinforced my conviction that "news" operations need to move away from the shallow "breaking stories" MO and move quickly towards deep and analytical stories that provide context and avoid titillation and tattling.  In other words most of us now know what happened with the Greensboro redistricting, but few of us really know why.  Giving us the "why" is where the professional media can make hay.
  • In another interesting twist I've found that most of the really good comments on Ed's blog are posted by the professional journalists (I'm thinking of Joe Killian here) who often provide context and expert understanding of the issues in response to other commenters on Ed's posts.

How To Facebook Video by Local Food Blogger

You may not know it, but Winston-Salem is home to a food star.  Rebecca Subbiah is a Brit living in our fair town and she has a great food blog called Chow and Chatter.  She's also a wiz at Twitter and Facebook and she's been generous enough to share her Facebook wisdom by making a how-to video.  I think her target audience is other foodies, but her advice pertains really to anyone trying to use Facebook for their business. Oh, and she's my new hero for using her Twitter feed to share a link to this story about beer being good for heart health.  Gotta love when a vice is magically transformed into a virtue.

Using Social Media to Brainstorm Changes for North Carolina’s Government

Former Forsyth County commissioner and NC State rep Ted Kaplan is using Facebook to share ideas on how to reduce the state budget.  He's posting one suggestion a day and thus far we have:

Day 1:Increase tuition rates by 24% (at $4,400 we are the lowest in the land) and reduce the number of years to get a bachelors degree to 3. There may be some summer work. In total the tuition increase won’t cost student's more (less room and board too) but will allow for more students to get degrees.

Day 2:Today’s proposal: To consolidate the admissions offices of the University System. Each applicant sends in one application to the UNC system with a list of preferred schools. The applicant will get back a list of schools which best fits the student. This would reduce the costs for applications. There will be exceptions , athletics and scholarships. The costs of eliminating each schools admissions office and funding a new universal admissions office will save over $30 million and reduce paperwork.

He received over 40 comments on day one and already today, day two, he has five comments. If I was a state leader I'd be considering this as a method of getting some constituent feedback.

Al-Qaeda Marching Band in Macy’s Day Parade?!

I love The Onion, and this piece titled Al-Qaeda Marching Band To Join Macy's Parade After Incredible Audition is a good example why. As with most satire there's always the risk that someone won't get it and take it seriously, which can offer its own form of entertainment.  A perfect example of this happened recently on Facebook when a friend of mine "shared" the aforementioned article and a friend of his took it seriously.  To avoid piling on I'm going to use pseudonyms when replaying the conversation that ensued in the comment section of the post:

Took It Seriously: absolutely obnoxious that this country even allows this to happen, what an insult to the Americans who have lost their lives to these people……….sorry <Jon'sFriend> call it as I see it, I hope you son never knows what it is like to find himself in the sight of an Al-Qaeda terrorist.

Jon's Friend: Its a joke <TookItSeriously>

Took it Seriously: It's a joke?

Jon's Friend: Yes – The Onion is a humor site.

Jon's Friend: Like this http://www.theonion.com/articles/worlds-power-brokers-hold-annual-summit-where-they,18474/?utm_source=recentnews

Took it Seriously: Quit givin me a heart attack <Jon's Friend>!! No chocolate for you this week!! Forgive my momentary loss of sanity!!

Before you're too judgmental about Took it Seriously, remember that we live in the post-9/11 age of hyperventilating news so we're inundated with seemingly implausible headlines like:

Seriously, if you live in a world where headlines like these appear on a regular basis I think you can be excused for mistaking The Onion for a real news outlet.


Jarvis: “A” Public Versus “The” Public

Jeff Jarvis explores the hubbub over Facebook's (anti-) privacy moves and does the best job I've seen of explaining the recent angst of the digerati:

Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg seem to assume that once something is public, it’s public. They confused sharing with publishing. They conflate the public sphere with the making of a public. That is, when I blog something, I am publishing it to the world for anyone and everyone to see: the more the better, is the assumption. But when I put something on Facebook my assumption had been that I was sharing it just with the public I created and control there. That public is private. Therein lies the confusion. Making that public public is what disturbs people. It robs them of their sense of control—and their actual control—of what they were sharing and with whom (no matter how many preferences we can set). On top of that, collecting our actions elsewhere on the net—our browsing and our likes—and making that public, too, through Facebook, disturbed people even more. Where does it end?

Smitty Writes About Whoopi

Found this at Smitty's Notes and thought it very worthwhile to share:

It's not too often an idea so simple and worthwhile takes a life of its own. In the past few weeks, I've watched something local on Facebook do just that. Many of you may know or seen the elderly homeless woman who rides a pink girl's bike around town. She can be normally found around the Stratford Rd and Peters Creek Parkway area. Often, many refer to her as "Whoopi" because she favors actress Whoopi Goldberg with her looks and long dreadlocks. The lady is Ester Deaver. She is 70 years old, homeless and survived on the streets of Winston-Salem for over thirty years. However, she is known all over town. Deaver has touched many hearts of people who live here or have passed through over the years.

A group of Facebook members have taken an interest in Deaver and created a "Where's Whoopi" group page. The purpose is to keep track of her around town. Since being started last month, the page has quickly grown to close to 6,000 fans. Yvonne Rorrer, a lifelong Winston-Salem citizen, is the group page owner who has taken an interest in befriending Ms. Deaver, and helping with her well being. So much, she has been able to have donated some medical care and made sure Deaver has made it to appointments. Much has come of this friendship that Deaver has asked for one thing. To get her "bus" back. Apparently, Deaver use to own a yellow conversion van years ago. It was "decommissioned" by the city for various reasons which is why she is riding her pink bicycle. Rorrer has set up the Ester Smiles Foundation to help Deaver get a used "bus" that will help transport her get around town and have a safe place to lay her head.  They hope to have it for her 71st birthday on June 9, 2010.  The goal is to raise $10,000.  The Foundation has applied for 501 (c) (3) status and over $1,500 already been donated. Monies raised will go toward the van, it's future upkeep and supporting the homeless senior citizen community in Winston-Salem.

You can get more info at Smitty's place, and/or visit the following Facebook pages:

Where's Whoopi

Esther Smiles Foundation