Attaining A New Level Of Geekdom (Twitter For Good)

I feel as though I’ve attained a new level of geekdom: I’m quoted (like, a paragraph or two’s worth!) in Claire Diaz Ortiz’s new book, Twitter For Good: Change The World One Tweet At A Time.

It’s available in hardcover or ereader – and, it’s actually free on Kindle today only!

Claire is so passionate about her work and I can’t wait to read the whole book, not just the part I’m quoted in.

Facebook’s New Grouping System: One Big Problem

Many bloggers aren’t fans of how Facebook is grouping posts that are talking about the same topics. As a Facebook user, I’m not personally a fan of it, either, as it messes up the chronology of posts and tends to make me skim things that I would be interested in reading.

Regardless of what you think of the new “feature”, there’s definitely some room for improvement, as evidenced by the below screenshot:

Suggstion to Facebook: filter out common phrases like “stay tuned” from your new grouping system.

How Keep A WordPress Post Off The Main Page (5 Ways)

Want to publish a blog post in WordPress but not have it show up on the main page?  Here’s a few solutions for how to do this:

1. Backdate the post.

The simplest of options: simply date the post with a publish date of far enough back that it won’t show up on your home page.  Extremely simple, but can be less than ideal in many situations.

2. Publish it as a page.

Another simple option: instead of creating a blog post, create a page.  This will not show up on the main page of your blog, although you should keep in mind that depending on how your WordPress theme is set up, it may show up in lists of pages, such as your menu bar.

3. Exclude the post with PHP code.

You can add code like this to your theme’s functions.php file to keep it from showing up on the main page.  You can exclude a certain post or category ID this way.  If you’re not familiar with editing PHP, it can be tricky and is kind of a pain to maintain if you think you may need to add posts IDs to the list frequently.

4. Use your theme’s settings.

Some themes, like the Genesis Framework, have options to exclude certain categories or posts from the main page.   In the Featured Widget Amplified plugin for Genesis, you can choose to exclude categories, tags, and posts by their individual ID number.

5. Use a plugin.

Using a plugin to exclude a post from the home page is probably the best option for most WordPress bloggers.  Some of these plugins will exclude posts on a case-by-case basis; others will allow you to select a category to exclude.  I would suggest creating a category called “Excluded” and then selecting that category when you publish a post that you don’t want to show it on the home page.

Simply Exclude Plugin

Here are some plugins that will keep posts from showing up on the main page:

I personally like the Simply Exclude plugin, as it not only allows me to exclude certain categories from the main page, archives, and search, but also from the RSS feed.

There you have it!  Five ways to keep a post from showing up on the home page on your WordPress blog.

How To Download Your Facebook Profile And Photos

Though we don’t usually think of Facebook in these terms, a lot of us use the world’s most popular social networking site as a personal journal, mini blog, photo album, and even maybe a baby book for our kids.

Have you ever stopped to think what would happen if Facebook no longer existed?

What if their servers crashed and they lost all of your data?  Or what if your account got suspended and you were unable to access any of your photos, status updates, and friends information?  What if you were using Facebook as a “baby book” for your kids and you no longer had record of the funny things they said?

Well, there’s a way you can download your Facebook photos and your Facebook profile directly from Facebook.  It will save your messages, Wall, photos, and profile information in HTML and image files that you can store on your computer, separate from any dependency on Facebook to keep the data safe.  It’s just like backing up your files on your computer to an external hard drive or online storage service.

Here’s how to download your Facebook profile – it’s really quite easy!

Step 1 – Request the download files

Login to your Facebook account and go to Account Settings.  At the bottom of this page you will see a link that says “Download a copy of your Facebook data”.  Click on this link and on the next page, you’ll see this:

Reenter your password and then Facebook will begin generating a backup file.  When I did it, they said it would take some time to generate and that they would email me when it was done.

Step 2 – Save the files to your computer

In less than 30 minutes, I’d received an email from Facebook (sent to the default email address on your account) with a link to download the 22 MB zip file that contained HTML files of my Facebook profile, status updates, and photos.

The link will open in your web browser and will save the zip file whereever your browser normally saves downloaded files.  It will probably be named in this syntax: facebook-yourprofilename.zip, and will “unzip” to something like yourprofilename.zip.

Step 3 – That’s it!

Yes, it was really that easy.  You can now open the zip file, and inside you’ll find something similar to this:

  • index.html file
  • HTML folder
  • photos folder
  • readme.txt

The index.html file is basically your profile, with links to your profile, Wall, friends list, and messages.  You can click on these links, which will access the other files in the HTML folder.

It does look a little different than Facebook, but all of your profile information is there so if you really need to find something, it’s pretty easy.

One thing that’s nice is that unlike on Facebook.com, you do not have to click “More Posts” to keep seeing all the posts in your profile – it’s all there in one long web page.  So, you could easily use Ctrl+F or Command+F to search for key words or phrases of what you might be looking for.

Where are my photos?

All of the photos that you’ve uploaded to Facebook are now saved in the photos folder, organized by the album name.  They’re going to be a maximum resolution of 640 wide.

What’s the readme.txt file?

This file just contains the information about who downloaded the file and when.

Go download your Facebook profile now!

You may not have a need to save a copy of your Facebook profile right now – but since we all know that Facebook changes things right and left, I would go do it before they take away the feature!

How big was your Facebook profile download?

QR codes: why?

The latest fashion in blog business cards and conference badges is QR codes, and I have to ask why?  Have you ever scanned a QR code?

Image from Wikipedia

Let’s rephrase that: how many times have you scanned a QR code when you weren’t trying to test out QR code apps?

Most of the people that put them on their stuff have only scanned a code once or twice in their life.  If you rarely scan codes, what makes you think other people are going to scan yours?

If you must put a QR code on something, give people some sort of incentive to scan it – don’t just make it go to your website (which is likely already listed on your card).  Something sensational, like Scan this and receive exclusive access to my 154-page ebook on why QR codes are the future of marketing!

The myth of growing your LinkedIn presence

How bad would it be to return a request for a LinkedIn connection with a simple question:

Why do you want to connect with me?

Are you going to write a recommendation for me or do something otherwise beneficial, or are you just trying to grow your network?

Does it really do you any good to grow your network if all you’re doing is building connection upon connection without ever interacting?

How effective would Facebook be for keeping in touch with family and friends if you had thousands of connections but no one ever wrote an update or sent a message?

Would it be more effective to have 1,000 connections on LinkedIn and no reviews or recommendations, or to have 100 connections with five genuine recommendations from people you truly know and have worked with?

Why do you want to connect with me?