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Leave My News Feed Alone

January 26th, 2014 | Posted by elfworld in Facebook | Social Media - (1 Comments)

A lot of people expect all their friends to see what they post, except those friends you have put in a group that should only see selected posts from you. The hard and cold truth is that surprisingly few of your friends see what you are posting. Nobody but Facebook knows quite how this is calculated, but it seems that the more you post, the fewer see your postings. And if people are not interacting with your posts, even fewer will see them.

This is especially true if you have a Facebook page, for instance for your company or for your organisation. I’ll give you a good example.

I’m administering the Facebook page for the local revue group I’m a part of. We have 536 followers. Just before Christmas I posted a status telling people that we were selling season tickets for the local football team. Do you know how many people who got that post in their news feed? 23 people! That’s twenty three out of 536 people!

How do I know this? I know this because as an an admin of a Facebook page, you are actually told how many people your postings reached. And by that Facebook means how many people actually got this in their news feed. The last posting we did reached 116 people, but that’s only because we mentioned another Facebook group in our posting, so that it also appeared in their news feed. Which means that both our groups have a very low posting impact…

Dear Facebook

A list of demands for Facebook

So why is this? It’s because Facebook wants you to pay them to promote your updates. Behind the statistics for each posting that I get to see because I’m and admin of the group, there is a button marked “Boost Post.” If I click on it, you’re told how to pay so that your posting will reach even more of your followers.

Yup, you read that right. Facebook wants you to post and share so that they get as much traffic as possible. At the same time they make it as hard as possible for you to do so, and hide your posts behind some bizarre logic. And then they ask you to pay so that the posting will reach the people you really expect it to reach anyway. This is in complete contrast to how all other social media sites operate. On those sites they actually promote your postings for you, for free, if they reach a lot of people.

If you post something on Twitter, every single one of your Twitter followers will be able to see it. When you post a photo on Instagram, all your followers can see what you had for lunch. On LinkedIn all my contacts can see my update. What LinkedIn counts is whether anyone clicked on that update. On Google+ all your postings show up in all the circles (you can group Google+ connections into circles) you choose (but nobody uses Google+ so I guess that point is mute). On Youtube, all your subscribers can see your video, and as long as a video isn’t marked private, everybody who wants to can search and find it. The same goes for your photos on flickr. On all these sites, your posting will be promoted on a front page (or in Twitter’s case as a trending post) if it gets a lot of hits. And that way your posting will reach even more people.

So Facebook bascially sucks. However, there is hope. See the list above? I will give you some tips for every point in that list:

1) To see all your friends posts you can create your own News feed. A couple of years ago, in my old blog, I showed how to do that, and that recipe will still work.

2) Posts in the order they are posted can also be achieved, either by following my first tip, or by installing FB Purity. Please, please, do your self a favour and install FB Purity. You can edit your newsfeed to your heart’s delight. Seriously. You will want to send me flowers or have my babies for giving you this tip! FB Purity doesn’t work on your cell phone, but if you go to Settings in your Facebook app, you should see a cog wheel (or similar) for editing your news feed settings. Here you can choose to show recent postings and get most postings in chronological order.

3) Get rid of “top stories.” See any of my tips in point 1 and 2. Have you installed FB Purity yet? No? Well go ahead! It’s the only thing that keeps me from leaving Facebook.

4) You can get rid of old postings at the top of your stream because of new comments on it by…. INSTALLING FB PURITY or create your own news feed.

5) Want Facebook to stop telling you everything your friends do on Facebook? In this case creating your own news feed won’t work, but what will help is…. FB PURITY!

6) However, how to see all posts from pages you like I something I can’t help youwith . None of my above tips will help. If you got any tips, please share.

So now you know why so few people like or comment on your postings compared to what they used to do. And now you know why you really should analyze whether a Facebook page for your company or organisation is worth the trouble. As you can see, getting people to like your page is no guarantee that they will see what you post…

 

IBM added support for libraries (derived from Content Manager) in IBM Connections 4.5 Unfortunately the Files-plugins for IBM Notes, Windows Explorer, Microsoft Office 2010, Outlook or Open Office do not support libraries. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has received complaints from users about this.

Then I remembered that at the IBM Connect conference last year, it was also announced that IBM Quickr was discontinued, and that companies using Quickr instead could use libraries in IBM Connections. We used Quickr at my previous employer, and there we had a great plugin that made it possible to work directly with files that had been uploaded to a Quickr Place. You could also create new files, as well as folders, and you could also rearrange files and folders and even rename them. The plugin was used from Microsoft Office, IBM Notes, Explorer, Outlook and IBM Sametime. I don’t think it exists for Open Office.

So I downloaded the IBM Lotus Quickr Connector, and did the following (click on the screen captures to see them in a larger and slightly more readable format):

1) Closed IBM Notes and all Microsoft Office programs that were running

2) Double clicked on the downloaded file and started the installation:

Places plugin install

Start of installation

3) I chose the language for the installation

4) Clicked Next.

5) Agreed to the license rules (we all read through these, right?)

6) Got to the screen where I chose what programs the plugin should be installed for:

Choose the software that will be using the plugin

Choose the software that will be using the plugin

7) As a default, all of them are selected, so you have to deselect the ones you don’t want. I did this by clicking on the small arrow to the right, and then I chose This feature will not be available:

Deselect software you don't want the plugin to be installed for

Deselect software you don’t want the plugin to be installed for

8) In my case I only wanted the plugin for Microsoft Office, IBM Notes and Windows Explorer:

The result of my choices

The result of my choices

9) I clicked Next. I was then asked about the location for the plugin, but I wanted it installed in the standard catalogue, so I just hit Next again. On the next screen I chose Install and the installation started to run. If you do this, and you still have one of the programs that will be using the plugin open, you will be told to try again after closing said program down.

10) After the installation I was told to restart my computer, which I did.

Now I was ready to configure the plugin. But here’s the trick. I was going to tell the plugin to connect up to our IBM Connections server, and not a Quickr server. We don’t even run Quickr at our company.

Here’s how you set up this plugin to work with your libraries instead of a Quickr Place:

You can do this from any of the programs that will be using the plugin, and you only need to do it once. So if you do it in Outlook, you will not have to do it again in Office later. Most people will probably do it from Windows Explorer. The process and all pop up windows will look the same no matter where you do this from.

1) I opened Microsoft Word and found the new ribbon called Places:

A new ribbon will appear in Microsoft Office

A new ribbon will appear in Microsoft Office

2) I then found the Configure button and chose Add Places…:

Add New Places

Add New Places

In Windows Explorer you would have done this by right clicking on the new Team Places icon which is located beneath the list of all your disks and network drives:

Add Places in Explorer

Add Places in Explorer

3) The following screen appears:

Logon screen

Logon screen

4) Now, this is where we do the trick. Instead of entering the address of a Quickr server, you enter the address of your IBM Connections server. Trust me, it will work! Then it’s time to choose your Authentication type. You do that in the pull down menu. In our company we use Integrated Windows Authentication, so I chose that (this means that our users only have to log on to Windows, they don’t have to log on to IBM Notes, IBM Sametime or any plugins). If your company doesn’t have this you choose Basic enter your User ID and Password. Hit Next.

5) On the next screen, all libraries that you have access to in IBM Connections will be listed. They will not be sorted by community, however, so I always instruct my users to include the community name in the name of the library:

List of libraries

List of libraries

6) Then you just check the libraries you want access to and hit Finish. They are now accessible directly from all the programs where you will be using the plugin. If you want to add or remove places later, you just choose Add New Places again and add or remove to your heart’s delight.

But there’s one more thing you need to do before you can use this 100% seamlessly. Open up your IBM Connections site in your web browser. Then navigate to a community containing one of the libraries you just chose. Open the library and scroll to the very bottom of it. You will need to activate that the Quickr plugin should be allowed to check in and out documents from the library:

Here the plugin is activated

Here the plugin is activated

If it looks like it does above everything works just fine. If not, the link to the right of Subscribe to this library will tell you that you need to activate it. To do so, you click on that link and confirm your choice in any pop up windows that might appear. When it looks like it does above everything is fine.

Another way to check if this is ok is to open up a file in the library. If the button the left says Download, it’s not ok:

Only a Download button is showing

Only a Download button is showing

If the button to the left says Edit, everything is hunky dory:

The file can be checked out

The file can be checked out

If you click on Edit the document will be checked out, downloaded and opened in the correct program. You can now edit the file. Every time you save, it will be saved directly into the library. You can also check the file in from the program you are editing the file in.

PS! You need to have at least write access to the library. If you only have reader’s access, you will naturally not be allowed to check out or check in files.

I hope this was useful for you, and that you now will be able to work directly with files in libraries, until IBM starts supporting libraries in the regular Files plugin.