Sam Harrelson



Sam Harrelson

74% of Facebook users say they have changed their usage in the past year

Wow, these are astonishing numbers…

Around four-in-ten (42%) say they have taken a break from checking the platform for a period of several weeks or more, while around a quarter (26%) say they have deleted the Facebook app from their cellphone. All told, some 74% of Facebook users say they have taken at least one of these three actions in the past year.

Americans are changing their relationship with Facebook – Pew Research Center




Live News on Twitter

Nice work by Twitter to have live video of local press conferences and local news up top of the feed (as we wait out the slow arrival of Hurricane Florence here in Columbia). I’ve always used Twitter for live news and updates in text form, so it’s interesting to see them move more into the mobile video side of things…




Do Facebook Ads Really Work?

Within the advertising industry, the debate about whether advertising works on Facebook is not new. A survey last year showed over 60 percent of small business owners felt advertising on Facebook was ineffective. The lawsuit takes it a step further, saying Facebook is misleading advertisers.

Source: Does Facebook Really Work? People Question Effectiveness Of Ads : NPR

Like anything else, you do need some expertise to make Facebook or Instagram or Snap or Google or Pinterest ads work. We are finishing a period where these advertising companies have held that “ANYONE CAN DO IT! IT’S SO EASY! JUST SIGN UP AND TELL US WHO YOU WANT TO TARGET!” with regards to their ads and effectiveness.

But that’s simply not true. I could probably re-roof our home. But I’m not going to spend the time, effort, and money trying to do that job myself. I’m going to hire someone who knows what they are doing.

Same with social media advertising and marketing. That’s how I pay our mortgage (and for our new roof) every month!




“We won’t let that happen.”

Who would have thought the annoying little service that lit up my text messages in 2006 with updates from other text nerds posting to 40404 would go on to become the political and media juggernaut it is today…

President Donald Trump on Saturday took to Twitter to allege social media companies are discriminating against prominent conservatives, saying “we won’t let that happen.”

— Read on www.politico.com/story/2018/08/18/trump-social-media-censorship-conservatives-twitter-facebook-787899




Let’s just all blog again #BreakingMyTwitter

Let’s just all go back to our blogs…

“Or maybe it’s time to admit the open forum for everything that Twitter – and social media, really – has promised is failing? Maybe it’s time to close the apps – third-party and otherwise. Maybe it’s time to go dark. Get off the feeds. Take a break. Move on.”

Twitter company email addresses why it’s #BreakingMyTwitter | TechCrunch — Read on techcrunch.com/2018/08/16/twitter-company-email-addresses-why-its-breakingmytwitter/




Twitter is Not The Public Square

You should blog more…

“Twitter is not the public square. It just wants you to think it is. The web itself is the public square.”

— Read on inessential.com/2018/08/08/the_public_square




The reason Twitter will ultimately fail

I still firmly believe we’ll see a reckoning of sorts for social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter (and even Instagram and its lovely filters) where the network effect takes a backseat to quality interactions and we move away from hegemonic one-size-fits-all walled gardens towards decentralized and specified communities based on our preferences. Reddit is already pointing the way on this (partly):

The internet of old — composed largely of thousands of scattered communities populated by people who shared interests, identities, causes or hatreds — has been mostly paved over by the social-media giants. In this new landscape, basic intelligible concepts of community become alien: The member becomes the user; the peer becomes the follower; and the ban becomes not exile, but death. It is not surprising that the angriest spirits of the old web occasionally manifest in the new one. But what’s striking is how effectively they can haunt it, and how ill-equipped it is to deal with them.

Source: Twitter’s Misguided Quest to Become a Forum for Everything – The New York Times




Should social media be regulated?

Interesting numbers From the Knight Foundation and Gallup that, if enacted, would have huge ramifications for the advertising and marketing industries (especially for nonprofits)…

A new survey says yes — almost eight in 10 Americans agree that these companies should be subject to the same rules and regulations as newspapers and television networks that are responsible for the content they publish. The survey is part of a series of reports released by Knight Foundation and Gallup over the course of the year exploring American perceptions of trust, media and democracy.

— Read on medium.com/trust-media-and-democracy/should-platforms-be-regulated-a-new-survey-says-yes-2f3f4d0d1f00




Twitter Changes Dramatically For Me on August 16

I use Twitter heavily for work and personal reasons. It’s been a service I turn to for news, socializing, brainstorming, and promoting services (including mine). That all will change on Thursday.

One of the changes being pushed through is the removal of the “streaming API.” Most Twitter users don’t use 3rd party apps and stick to the default apps. One of the greatest features of 3rd party apps like Tweetbot and Twitterific is streaming timeline.

It’s been in place for years and allowed Tweetbot etc to cater to “power users” like me who use something like an iPad to watch Twitter stream by in real time. There is no streaming in the default app, so you have to constantly refresh your timeline. That’s fine if you’re just dipping in or looking for something specific (or the Moments feature that Twitter is always pushing on me), but I think of Twitter as a river that is constantly flowing.

I enjoy seeing the nonstop flow over on the side of the screen on my iPad and it’s something I’ve done for years. As I’ve said before, Twitter has paid our mortgage a number of times over the years because I caught a tweet out of the corner of my eye and made a quick action on it. Don’t @ me about being a distracted ADHD-riddled Gen Xer. I know. But it works for me.

There is still Tweetdeck that will offer streaming tweets (for now) but that doesn’t work on iPads or iPhones or Android devices. Before I became so iPad centric, I used Tweetdeck for years on its own monitor. Yes, I’m that guy. But again, it worked for me.

I’ve been following the developer discussions closely over the last few months, and I’m incredibly sad that it’s come to this point and not quite sure why Twitter continues to tighten the noose around developers and its most devoted users that it could easily tap into if it cared about things like, oh… say, monetizing beyond advertising.

So starting on Thursday I guess I’ll be using the default Twitter app on my iPad a great deal more. That means I’ll definitely be using the service less. Thanks, Twitter.

Core functionality like access to your timeline and the ability to post tweets will remain, but several basic features will be limited or removed. Alerts for mentions and direct messages in third-party apps are expected to be delayed, and timeline streaming which populates your timeline with new tweets in real time is expected to go away.

Source: Twitter API change strikes next week, Tweetbot and Twitterrific affected | 9to5Mac




Facebook and the Humanities

I strongly think this aspect of Facebook’s leadership, and leadership in Silicon Valley in general, is an important piece of the current trend in tech and politics. There’s a reason the “Titans of Industry” in the 20th century placed such an emphasis on the liberal arts and libraries…

“That’s because it was based in the idea that Facebook was essentially benign. Worse: Mr. Zuckerberg stuck with this mix of extreme earnestness and willful naïveté for far too long.

Because what he never managed to grok then was that the company he created was destined to become a template for all of humanity, the digital reflection of masses of people across the globe. Including — and especially — the bad ones.

Was it because he was a computer major who left college early and did not attend enough humanities courses that might have alerted him to the uglier aspects of human nature? Maybe.”

via Kara Swisher in the New York Times