Making Facebook easier

17 Sep

In one week I discovered three things which have vastly improved my relationship with Facebook – saving me time and allowing me to connect my favourite things together…

1. SupaSync – added this application to my Facebook and I can selectively send my Twitter updates to my profile by adding a hashtag of my choice – no more irritating my non-Twitter friends with masses of dull conference updates or work questions as I did with the Twitter app. It looks just like a normal status update, and even better, if you include a link or photo in your tweet, it will show the image or link details just as if you had entered them straight onto Facebook. It really works!

2. Tweetdeck – the new version of this popular Twitter desktop client not only allows you to manage multiple Twitter accounts at once, you can also add multiple Facebook pages and update the status on those too – yes I said page status! At last! It will look just like a normal update, so much better than my previous fudge using Social RSS (which always prefixed ‘feed’). Just got to watch out which accounts you have selected before you post… it is maybe a little too easy…

3. Facebook discovers the @mention – as Facebook continues to chase Twitter, it adopts one of Twitter’s neatest tricks, linking to another person and notifying them when you include them in the status and prefix their name with an @. On Facebook this means that as you do the update and put in an @ it will generate a drop-down list of friends, favourite pages and groups as you type. Once you publish the update the @ disappears and the name turns into a link to that person/page etc. Great stuff. As many have mentioned, it’s just a shame they didn’t incorporate this function into the comment areas but given the volume of feedback on that front we can hope that Facebook will soon tweak that too.

And yet… I’m still not happy! While this has made managing 18 (is it 18 now??) pages much easier the one thing Facebook could do to win back my love would be to tighten security. It’s so frustrating that the default is to encourage everyone to submit every detail of their life and leave it open to the world. It’s great that most people are savvy enough now to lockdown their profile to the public, but I don’t think people realise how much data can still be pulled out by applications and fun quizzes. I am fully behind this campaign ‘What do quizzes really know about you‘ which uses the quiz format to demonstrate that even if you lock your profile down completely, even if you avoid quizzes, if one of your friends does a quiz the developers have access to all your data – your photos, interests! Do it, discover how to protect yourself, and please pass it on!

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