Tag Archives: Social network

Instagram Spam Protest: “Go Private Day” December 4, 2012

4 Dec

Instagram spam has been exploding, with no stop in sight. Formerly attractive hashtag photo groups are now becoming polluted with ads for more followers and get-rich-quick schemes: Instagram Spam

Hashtag: #OneDayWithoutSpam

Users have become increasingly annoyed at the situation, organizing an informal “instaprotest” by setting their profiles to private on December 4 and using the hashtag “#OneDayWithoutSpam” in related posts.

Instagram Spam

What do you think? Will a protest make a difference? Have you noticed more spam on Instagram? Could this affect Facebook’s stock price? Share your thoughts in the comments.

5 Really Useful, Really Easy Twitter Tools

7 Aug

5 Really Useful, Really Easy Twitter ToolsHere are five Twitter tools to give insight or new functionality to your Twitter experience, without requiring much more than a login on your part. These utilities are so self-explanatory, I hardly feel the need to add descriptions. But that’s what makes them worthwhile: instant benefit and utility with minimal explanation.

Review of Twitter Helpers

I’ve used each of these consistently, so I can personally vouch for their value. Each is good for a different function, and while not necessarily the most feature-rich, the benefit is immediate and actionable — those are the criteria I’m evaluating for the purposes of this post. See if you agree.

1. Dynamic Tweets

Before I started using Hootsuite (not detailed here because it’s slightly more intricate), I was a longtime user of Dynamic Tweets to schedule tweets. You pick a date, compose your tweet, and you’re all set. It works especially well for recurring tweets, such as yearly holiday-themed tweets.

2. ManageFilter

Does it annoy you when someone doesn’t follow you back? Hey, it happens. Check out ManageFilter to see who’s not following you back , when you started following them, and other useful details that can help weed out your stream.

3. TweetStats

If you’re a visual learner like I am, you’ll love TweetStats. It’s a detailed, informative representation in chart form of how your Twitter activity looks to the outside world. It’s a good way to keep tabs on what you’re sharing, and to help balance your efforts if needed. NOTE: TweetStats is sometimes buggy or slow to load, but it’s worth the wait — just let it do its thing and try again later if it gets stuck. In the meantime, If you’re looking for something similar but not as detailed, check out Tweetcharts.

4. InboxQ

Here’s a super-handy tool for finding questions being asked on Twitter, based on subjects of your choosing. Did you just write a cool blog post about photo sharing networks as alternatives to Instagram? Maybe you’re making a sweet Pinterest board of awesome iPhoneography? Just enter some associated keywords and you can easily engage with like-minded folk on Twitter.

5. Fakers – by StatusPeople

Ever wonder how many of your followers are bots or spam accounts? This utility will break it down for you by percentage.

>>> Impress your friends: share this on Twitter! <<<

What do you think? Have you ever used any of these utilities? What are some Twitter utilities you like that aren’t listed here? Let us hear from you in the comments!

Social Media Selectiveness

20 Jun
Social Media Roulette

Where are your contacts landing?
Photo by Håkan Dahlström / Edit by rsmithing.
Click for original.

Are social networks a gamble? Do you spin-off your contacts from one to the next?

With each new social network I actively participate in, beyond simply creating an account for, I become more selective with the people I follow. This started with MySpace. Initially, I followed bands and other folks whose profiles seemed vaguely interesting. I made some real friends (still in touch to this day), and as my offline friends got into social networking, I racked up contacts at a steady clip. This was fun until MySpace started to go downhill with spammers and overly customized profiles. But that was fine, because Facebook was ready with open arms as a fresh start.

Facebook Got This Right

Once on Facebook (just after they opened up beyond universities in 2006), I made it a point only to add familiar folks and people I knew in “real life.” What a difference this made! Pretty soon, I was reading status updates on MySpace about how folks were abandoning their profiles there and going to the cleaner, faster, more relevant Facebook. It’s my theory that this “fresh start” element was part of Facebook’s early mass appeal. That they got other things right also helped — photo sharing is what really sold me on embracing Facebook.

The one exception is Twitter, where following can become a free for all. Being selective there is somewhat counter to the experience, because content there moves so fast. I personally tell folks new to Twitter that until they follow about 200 active users, the experience just won’t be that interesting. I also use lists to sort those I’m interested in, some of whom I may or may not follow.

That said, I’ve been selective about my Instagram, LinkedIn, and now Pinterest accounts. As I’ve become familiar with Pinterest, I’ve found the experience at the site more rewarding now that I have a stream of cool and inspiring images coming in– rather than lame pictures from folks I don’t even know (or may actually know, but whose tastes don’t match mine).

So did LinkedIn

LinkedIn is another example of the fresh start approach, at least in my experience. The longer I’m there, the more steadily my colleagues trickle in. And I can truly say I’ve worked with, done business with, or somehow professionally interacted with each contact there. For me, LinkedIn represents quality over quantity rather than a numbers game.

Who’s Next?

My theory is that Pinterest will experience similar adoption, but these are still early days, and the site is more about visual content than social interaction. Only recently have I gotten serious about the site, and it takes some work to find boards to follow that really catch my eye. I think that’s a good thing for now, since it keeps the content I see relevant – not unlike when I signed up for Facebook after ditching MySpace a few social networks ago.

Did you welcome Facebook as a fresh start from MySpace? Do you welcome Pinterest as a fresh start from Instagram, now that Facebook owns Instagram? Do you follow people on different social networks all the same way, or does your criteria change from one to the other? Let us hear from you in the comments!

3 Instagram Alternatives: Beyond Facebook’s Instabillion Buy

9 Apr
Disturbance In The Force

Join me and together we will rule the galaxy!

Did anyone else sense a disturbance in The Force recently?

You may have heard the news: Facebook Buys Instagram for $1 BillionMoves Operations to Secret Volcano LairIgnites Hipster Outrage.

I’m not afraid to say I love Instagram, and I anticipate continuing to enjoy it as a casual consumer for some time to come. It’s opened up a world of mobile photography and photo editing via smartphone that I never would have considered before. It’s been just enough of a social network to add engagement and hold my attention, while also making it easy and rewarding to discover some great images and have fun interacting with fun people.

I personally am encouraged by this news, since there’s only so much Instagram’s 13-person operation is capable of, and since their monthly hosting bill alone must equal the GDP of a small country. I think having the vast resources of Facebook will ease more growing pains than it will create, and I don’t plan to change how I use either service, for now anyway.

Instagram’s New HQ (rumored)

That said, this opens up all kinds of questions about whether your Instagram content is now Facebook’s content, if Instagram will now have ads, or if the whole Instagram experience goes down the tubes.

Whatever.

I’m not so concerned, because, simply, Instagram is not the only show in town. It’s service is one of the most streamlined, accessible, and, ironically, the most connected with other networks. I think that’s ironic because it’s these other networks that offer so much of what Instagram already does: easy photo sharing, mobile apps, and interaction with like-minded folks. They also come with web interfaces – something you only get for Instagram through 3rd-party sites like Gramfeed or Statigr.am.

These other networks might not have filters at the ready, but most of my photos don’t even use Instagram filters, since there are so many apps far more capable of turning everyday snapshots into appreciable art. And once you’ve become handy with some photo editing apps that suit your taste, here are three other photo-sharing networks to consider:

If you find this useful, share it on Twitter — thanks!

Flickr

While more general-purpose and slightly more complicated to use than other networks, Flickr is a fantastic value (2 videos and 300MB worth of photos each calendar month for free accounts) and has a very robust web interface for organizing your images. You can use collections, sets, adjust privacy levels for each, and plenty more. Just like Instagram, there’s commenting, favorites (likes), followers (contacts), groups, but then there’s still more beyond that. And they have a wacky sense of humor (big points from me for that). The Flickr mobile app is also a great way to browse images and see those of your contacts.

Hopefully, this could be the business model Facebook anticipates, where the service is practically independent from its parent: much-beloved Flickr is thriving, unlike much-cursed Yahoo. It might take a little more searching to find arty pics here, but it’s worth a look if that’s your thing. If mobile art specifically is your thing, you might like…

iPhoneArt.com

Designed by artists for artists, iPhoneArt.com has an inherent elegance to the interface, both on the site and the mobile app. Full disclosure: I’ve been featured as artist of the day there, but as I’ve noted earlier, it tends to make Instagram look like MySpace, since one major distinguishing feature is that you can only upload five photos per day. So they’d better be good. You won’t find the deluge of mediocre snapshots all over the place highlighted for their so-called popularity, but you will find a talented community of creative folk who are into pushing the limits of what can be done with mobile photography as art. If art beyond the mobile platform is what you’re after, you might like…

DeviantArt

No, liking it doesn’t make you a deviant (let’s hope), but DeviantArt does offer an enthusiastic community and tons of content, all sortable and searchable depending on what your interest may be. DeviantArt is truly a social network for creatives, with a slant toward the artistic. There’s not a specific app, but that’s a non-issue, since their ultra-slick mobile-friendly version of the site gives you the same experience and functionality as the full-site version.

I’m already on Instagram; Why Reinvent the Wheel?

Good point. You don’t have to abandon ship. And I, especially, am not eager to learn a new photo-sharing interface just because of an acquisition – heck, I just recently figured out Pinterest. But one thing to consider is that unlike many other photo sharing apps or networks, these particular examples are very well-established – either in terms of how long they’ve been around, the depth of experience they offer, dedicated user base… or any combination of these and other factors that are of proven appeal to many Instagramers.

So if you think the party is over for our beloved Instagram, have a look at these other, less-likely-to-be-purchased-by-Facebook networks serving up their own style of social art.

What do you think of Facebook’s Instapurchase? Are you already on one or more of these networks? What has your experience there been like vs. Instagram? Is there another network (not app, but network) you would recommend? Let us hear from you in the comments!
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