Decorative Flower
Her Realm, Personal website and blog of Cole
Nov 13

Facebook App’s New Internal Browser Sucks!

Facebook's App Settings for external browser

Facebook’s App Settings for external browser

Over the past several days, I updated Facebook on my phone. One of the biggest changes — yet one that I heard little about beforehand — is that Facebook now opens links in the app rather than in your browser. I suspect the idea behind this is to protect users from malicious files and perhaps even scams. However, it also prevents us from using all the features we expect in a modern browser.

This includes private browsing mode and all the options available with a long-click, such as opening a link in a new tab. Although you can readily share any link back to a Facebook post or even a message, opening a link in the app “browser” doesn’t work with a smartphone’s native sharing menu, so sending via text, Bluetooth or email takes a few more clicks.

Plus, links to the Google Play store and YouTube ignore the default settings in my phone. Thanks, Facebook! You can “Save” things to Facebook, but it would be much nicer to access our favorites, especially if you sync browser data across multiple devices.

Perhaps what frustrates me the most is that you’re not able to browse history. I don’t even use favorites all that much because I use the browser on my phone — and tablet — for casual surfing. This morning, I clicked a link in Facebook, wanted to visit it later and promptly lost it because I didn’t “Save” it and there’s no history or any way to return to pages viewed in the internal browser. Arrgh!

Fortunately, you can disable this “feature,” and it’s not difficult. In your App Settings for Facebook, you’ll see an option to open links in an “External” browser. That is, Safari, Firefox, Chrome or whatever browser you prefer on your smartphone or tablet.

I’d love to remove this feature entirely. I’m sure it’s using up precious space on my phone, and it’s definitely causing lag!


Mar 14

Dating is Weird

There, I said it.

I mean, dating at 26 is weird because it’s the first time in my life I’ve actually done all the awkward do-I, does-he, do-we stuff in person. So there’s that.

And dating is weird when you’re divorced. I inevitably have to bring it up, to explain why and to detail my ex-husband’s role in my life (none). I feel pretty self conscious about that.

With Facebook? Dating is even weirder. I can’t quite say everything I want to say because even if the person I’m discussing isn’t on my friends list, someone who knows them is. Words spreads quickly in a small city like this.

Finally, dating is weird when you become romantically involved with people who have historically been your friend. I’d never expected to have to navigate that road. It’s just. Strange. It’s slow and awkward. It’s still fun and exciting, but you’ve got to be careful when becoming more-than-friends. In fact, I think this is trickier than dating someone who was previously a stranger. There’s just so much at risk.

So, you can guess what I’ve been doing from this post.


Jan 12

I Don’t Give a Damn About EdgeRank

If you’re not familiar, that’s the term for Facebook’s algorithm. If you want to show up in a person’s feed, you need a lot of likes, shares and comments. It’s how it works. That’s why some pages disappear from your feeds, while other peoples are always there. I get how it works, but I don’t care. Unless I’m fooling around in a thread with my friends, I don’t want to manipulate it.

Why?

The people who want to see my Facebook page already do. They make a point to find it. They read. They comments. I smile. Happily ever after. The end.

People who have liked my page may not want to see what I have to say all the time, and they may have done so in passing. Maybe engagement isn’t what matters to them. I say this because I am one of those readers. I ignore 99% of what shows up in my feed because I just don’t have time for that shit.

And that’s the second reason why I couldn’t care less about EdgeRank. My blogs are my hobbies. They’re fun. They’re mildly profitable. They’re engaging to some, but they’re not my source of income. They don’t even take priority over my friends and family. I don’t think in blog and, you know what? I do pretty well with that stance. I don’t feel like I have sold myself out. I haven’t forsaken quality for quantity, and that’s important to me.

So, whatever. Concern yourself with EdgeRank. I won’t.


Dec 02

When Do You Need a Facebook Page?

Give the thumbs up to Facebook pages

Give the thumbs up to Facebook pages

There is a local establishment that uses a profile rather than a page for business activities, and it’s so strange. I don’t understand who thinks that’s a good idea. I don’t want to befriend a business, but I may want to like it. This business isn’t the only one that operates like  that, so it seems that this is a needed post.

You should get a Facebook page if you are or represent the following:

  • A business — of any sort. If the general public doesn’t want to talk to you personally, there’s no need for a profile.
  • A brand — Maybe you’re not selling anything directly, but if brand recognition is what you want, then a page is what you need.
  • A website — A website may be a brand or a business, but it’s also worthy of a page. Facebook even has a category specifically for pages.
  • A location that consumers would “check into” — You can both have a page and claim your page on Facebook Places.

A page, rather than a profile, gives you a great place to post photos, generate buzz, host giveaways and advertise events and promotions. You can interact with consumers, and because multiple people can administer a page, it doesn’t matter who in the company is doing the interacting. When you post website or blog updates to Facebook, you can also generate traffic to your own website. Include your website URL in your “About” section. If you have no website at all, a Facebook page is an adequate substitute, but I’d advise against using this as your only Web presence.

However, a Facebook page requires that you’re active. You should post at least once a day and respond to any comments, questions or concerns your fans have.  You should completely fill out your profile and use your company name in the text areas. Make sure to use a recognizable name for your page title and claim your company name as the URL for your new Facebook page.

Furthermore, you won’t directly sell anything from your Facebook page, but it’s a good way to encourage visitors to click over to your website to see new products or deals. Patrick Healy has something to say about this.


Nov 02

Addict.

I spend too much time on Facebook. I get alerts on my phone, too many really. There’s no good settings that let me see replies and comments to stuff I post without also seeing people who randomly reply to a friend’s photo that I may have commented on six months ago, but I digress. It’s one of the first sites I check when I log on to my laptop, and then I proceed to check it hundreds of times per day. No lie. Sometimes I log on, see nothing, close the tab and repeat the whole process because I forget that I was just on Facebook.

It’s ridiculous, but I bet it’s pretty common. I know I’m not alone. Dez tells me how she feel Facebook sucks her soul. We wait for clicks and comments and links. Somehow, those stupid red bubbles validate our existence. I’m no fool. I realize how unhealthy this is. I know if I stayed away all day and simply signed on to a couple likes, that would be okay, but the way I check constantly is not. I also know that I am fighting to open Facebook in another tab as  I type this.

It’s part of the Internet addition, but there’s something else with Facebook. The rest of the Internet constantly has new information. I can find facts. Play games. Write blogs. I can look at photography or even porn if I want. The rest of the Internet offers something new, and I only need to find it. Facebook is addicting because it’s personal. I wait for those alerts because I assume they’re about me.

You know the kicker, though? It’s often not. It’s those stupid six month old photo comments. It’s updates from friends that I don’t care about. Sometimes it’s game requests — which I just took the time to block a few. It’s rarely something  I actually want to see. That’s the punch line of this whole thing. I’m sure my brain reacts like I’ve taken a hit of something when I see the little red alert, but then it drops right back down when it’s what it usually is: useless trash.

You see, I’d kind of like to deactivate Facebook. I prefer much of the communication I do on Twitter. I feel like I have more useful conversations. Sure, they’re fewer and farther between, but I also say more with fewer characters. Something inside me suggests that more people on Facebook will see or care, like I’m signal boosting in a way that’s necessary. Usually, I wind up realizing how far I am from emotionally intimate to most of these people or heartbroken when my close friends don’t manage to respond in the right way or a timely manner. Again, not healthy.

Of course, my selfish mind assumes everyone saw and they’re just ignoring me or something else just as ridiculous. It’s not true. Facebook makes it difficult to see updates. Not everyone checks it as frequently as I do. Others might not feel like they can reply to a post, etc. I know that reasonably, but Facebook makes me feel so unreasonable.

As I was saying, deactivation is becoming more and more appealing, but it’s just not an option. I can’t deactivate my personal account and continue to operate the page for Reviews by Cole. And the interactions I have on the page, while sparse, are rewarding. The numbers keep going up. The people who fan me do it because they want to. The groups I’ve joined have been informative if not exactly warm communities. (Many of them are warm, but I have a habit of distancing myself). And Facebook has become a necessary part of my blog’s success.

Regardless, I will attempt to reign in this beast.. right after I check Facebook once more.


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