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Are criminals using technology like Facebook, Twitter, Google Street View and/or Foursquare to help them commit their crimes? Click here to visit original post.
Facebook has shamefully added all of our friends phone numbers for everyone to see. Was this a mistake or the evolution of facebook? See it for yourself, go to the top right of your screen, click “Account” the “Edit Friends”. On the upper left side of your screen is the “Phone Book”. Everyone’s phone numbers are now being published. You need to manually change your privacy settings to fix this problem.
Unless Facebook changes their ways, you better get very familiar with the user interface on the facebook privacy page.
When a user chooses the “Not Now” option, the friend request will be moved to a “Hidden requests” folder and the user will be able to go back later and approve or deny. If you go back later and then deny the request, Facebook will offer you the further option of marking the person as someone you don’t know, and then that person won’t be able to initiate a friend request with you in the future. So likely in effect this will mean a total block on this person.
As with the current system, none of these actions will be visible to the person that is getting denied / put on your wait-list.
By adding “Not Now” as an option, Facebook would seem to be making a smart play on two fronts: first of all, it is a way to make users feel less guilty when they don’t really want to be friends with someone, and on the other hand, Facebook might see some more connections as a result of this as some people may actually go back later and accept a friend request that they may have simply denied when that was the only alternative to accepting a friend request. Of course, Facebook thrives on friend connections, so any up-tick in those conversions can only help its network and bottom line.
We’ve sent Facebook an email asking when this option will be rolled out for the entire network, and what will happen to the current “Ignore” button, which seems to be absent in the screenshots taken by Inside Facebook.
UPDATE: Facebook just got back to us saying that the “Not Now” option will roll out over “the next day or two” and that it is indeed replacing the “Ignore” option.
Several days into the “shutdown,” the college’s inability to keep students away from social media is showing.
It was a bold ambition to begin with. Nationwide, 92% of students log into Facebook and spend an average of 147 minutes there per week, according to the Student Monitor. Harrisburg will not have a firm idea of how many students actually abstained from using Facebook and other blocked sites until it does exit surveys and focus groups. But Eric Darr, the provost behind the plan, says that based on his own anecdotal observations, the proportion of students who are actually going cold turkey is probably around 10% or 15%.
Meanwhile, some students have gone to great lengths to foil the university’s attempts to block them from accessing the sites on campus. Darr says he talked to three who hiked three blocks to log into Facebook from the lobby of a nearby hotel. Some particularly tech-savvy students have tried hacking the campus network to get around the block administrators put in place on Monday, says Charles Palmer, director of the university’s Center for Advanced Learning and Entertainment Technologies.
Still, the provost says that even if only a slim percentage of students actually renounce Facebook and Twitter for the week, the project will have been a success, if only because of the conversations it has started. The university never expected full abstinence from students, Darr says, nor was it trying to conduct a scientific experiment. “This extreme media coverage in and of itself is forcing more focus on social media,” he says, noting that he had just gotten off an interview with a radio talk show based in Seattle. “That was the whole point of this in the first place,” he says.
The proposed moratorium, originally reported last week by Inside Higher Ed, spread to some unlikely reaches, including a Latvian news site and NBC‘s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. In his monologue on Monday, Fallon quipped that students assigned to write about the experience might title their essays, “We all have smartphones, dumbass.”
Not all, but some. “The blackout isn’t really that bad,” says Noel Stark, a junior at Harrisburg. “Anyone with a 3G phone can still view these sites on campus.” A number of faculty have also availed themselves of this workaround, says Palmer.
Then there is the fact, omitted from much of the media coverage (including Inside Higher Ed’s), that Harrisburg is nonresidential. Many students live nearby, but not under the umbrella of the campus wireless network. This means that while the college can try to prevent students from accessing social media sites in class, it cannot make students honor the spirit of the project once they get home. And it appears most students are not.
This is not to say the project has failed to inspire reflection. “Direct social interaction (aka the old fashioned face-to-face kind) seems to be increasing this week based on observation,” writes Rene D. Massengale in an e-mail. Massengale, an associate professor of biotechnology, says he has had thoughtful discussions about the project in his class. He says it has affected his interactions outside the classroom as well. “Sometimes I see a student I know with their head out of their PDA or computer, and I have to resist the urge to go introduce myself,” he says. “‘Hi, I’m Dr. Massengale — you know, that person who teaches your class.'”
Students in Harrisburg’s degree programs are required to have laptops, and, perhaps more than at many other colleges, students have their computers open in class. (“We are a paperless school,” says Mehdi Noorbaksh, coordinator of general education at the university.)
“It turns out that a number of them were on Facebook or chatting online,” says Palmer, the educational technologist. “We had one student who said, ‘I guess now I’ll have to pay attention in class.’ ”
“Some like it, some don’t,” says Gio Acosta, a junior. “Some say they’re getting [more] work done; some of them say, ‘I need my Facebook!’ ”
Acosta says he has been feeling the itch himself. Since being blocked from accessing the site on his laptop during class, Acosta has noticed an impulse to browse Facebook every 10 minutes or so. “I don’t know if that’s because it’s restricted, or because it’s part of me right now,” Acosta says.
He says he misses unwinding with Facebook between classes, when he does not have to be following a lecture but is still beholden to the proscriptions of the campus network. And Acosta has found it hard to keep track of his friends like he is used to, since most of them, remarkably, are more responsive to Facebook than to text messages. But while he is in class, the computer and information sciences major says, being barred from Facebook has helped him focus.
Once he gets home at night, though, Acosta says he makes sure to scratch that digital itch. “It’s fair game at home,” he says. “They didn’t make any rules about that.”
Facebook Competitor Diaspora Launches Developer Release
“This is now a community project and development is open to anyone with the technical expertise who shares the vision of a social network that puts users in control,” the Diaspora team wrote in a blog post.
The company will now be “improving and solidifying” Diaspora – with the help of the community, they said.
Despite the open-source label, Diaspora said its goal is to create an “intrinsically more private social network.”
“Even the most powerful, granular set of dropdowns and checkboxes will never give people control over where their content is going, let alone give them ownership of their digital self,” according to the blog post.
Site creators Daniel Grippi, Maxwell Salzberg, Raphael Sofaer, and Ilya Zhitomirskiy initially described Diaspora as a “distributed network, where totally separate computers connect to each other directly, will let us connect without surrendering our privacy.”
Those computers are known as “seeds,” which will be owned by the user – hosted by them directly or on a rented server. That seed will then aggregate information – from Facebook, Twitter, or any other social network.
The founders discussed a social network that will focus on contextual sharing. “We live our real lives in context, speaking from whatever aspect of ourselves that those around us know,” they wrote. “Getting the source into the hands of developers is our first experiment in making a simple and functional tool for contextual sharing.”
Diaspora posted a few screen shots of the service, which looks very similar to Facebook (above). At this point, you can share status updates and post photos in near real-time via something called “aspects.” You can also find people across the Internet regardless of your seed’s location.
Diaspora plans an alpha release for October, at which time they hope to include Facebook integration, data portability, and internalization.
“It is by no means bug free or feature complete, but it an important step for putting us, the users, in control,” they concluded.
By Tim Ware
Published September 9, 2010
One of the most popular FBML tags is fb:visible-to-connection. A favorite of marketers, this FBML tag allows a Facebook page to show different content to fans and non-fans. When a non-fan clicks the Like button – viola! – the non-fan content disappears and the fans-only content replaces it. As a method of motivating a visitor to become a fan of your page, this can be very effective.
This FBML tag is often—and erroneously—referred to as a “hack”; however, it was created by Facebook to do exactly what it does: ”to display the content inside the tag on a user’s or a Facebook page’s profile only if the viewer is a friend of that user or is a fan of that Facebook page.”
Examples of Brands Using Fans-only Content
There are many ways to motivate your visitors to Like your page. Here are a few examples from brands on Facebook:
Levi’s promises “Instant access to exclusive content.”
DIGISTORE offers “Discount Codes, Unadvertised Specials, Free Monthly Giveaways.”
You get the picture. “We have great content here, BUT FIRST you gotta Like us!”
Of course, you should make sure that your “teaser” to non-fans is sufficiently compelling for them to Like your page. Many pages require a visitor to become a fan before displaying certain content, but they don’t convey the value of the content. Teesey Tees, above, comes very close to this.
Following are instructions on how to add fans-only content to your page.
Add the Static FBML Application to Your Page
NOTE: Static FBML can only be added to a Facebook page (i.e., Business Page, Company Page, Brand Page). It cannot be added to a personal profile.
What Is FBML?
FBML is Facebook’s own proprietary mark-up language that enables your tab content to interact with the Facebook API (”Application Programming Interface”). It is as easy to use as HTML.
Most FBML tags, including the ones I use in this article, have an opening tag and a closing tag. The content for each tag — HTML, CSS and/or more FBML — is placed between these opening and closing tags.
Creating Your Fans-only Content on Your Custom Tab
Once you’ve added the Static FBML application, the implementation of this FBML tag is pretty easy. The only part that is somewhat tricky is getting rid of the white space the fans-only content creates even though it’s not yet visible.
Facebook uses the “visibility:hidden” style to hide the fan content until the user Likes the page. However, this style rule still reserves the space for the content; it just doesn’t show the content. Consequently, the non-fan content is pushed down the page! However, this is easily solved with a bit of CSS “absolute positioning.” I incorporate this approach into the following examples.
The code for the FBML box:
FANS-ONLY CONTENT GOES HERE
<div id="non-fans">NON-FANS CONTENT GOES HERE </div>
As shown above, all the tab content will be contained in the “wrapper” DIV.
<div id=”wrapper”> opens this containing DIV. CSS styles are applied to the ID “wrapper” via the stylesheet.
All the fans-only and non-fan content is placed between the opening <fb:visible-to-connection> tag and closing </fb:visible-to-connection> tag. This content can be HTML, FBML and CSS.
The fans-only content comes first, followed by the non-fan content which immediately follows the opening <fb:else> FBML tag.
The non-fan content is contained within the <div id=”non-fans”> and </div> tags. CSS styles are applied to the ID “non-fans” via the stylesheet.
Immediately following the non-fan content is the closing </fb:else> tag, followed by the closing </fb:visible-to-connection> tag and, finally, the </div> tag to close the “wrapper” DIV.
Here is the Static FBML box with the above code, and the link to an external stylesheet:
Here is the CSS for the external stylesheet (with example URL):
margin:0 auto; border:0; padding:0;
position:absolute; top:0; left:0;
Your external stylesheet should have only the CSS style rules. Don’t include the <style> … </style> tags!
If you can’t use an external stylesheet
If you don’t have a server where you can upload a separate stylesheet, you can “inline” the styles inside the HTML tags. Although this isn’t ideal, it’s an option if you can’t create a separate stylesheet, host it on a server and link to it with the <style> tag.
Here is the above example, with the styles for the <div> tags inlined (notice we don’t need the IDs if we use this approach):
Testing and Troubleshooting
Testing and troubleshooting this particular FBML tag is a bit tricky, because when logged in as a user who is a page admin, you will see both fans-only and non-fan content when viewing the tab.
- Create a user account for testing: The most efficient way to test is to create a Facebook account for testing only, or use a friend’s or colleague’s account. (Creating a new personal profile for testing may violate Facebook’s Terms of Service — See #4, Registration and Account Security — even if done with good intentions.) You can be logged in to Facebook as one user (the admin account) in one browser and logged in as the test account in a different browser (I use Firefox and Safari). Then you don’t have to keep logging in and out of Facebook as admin, then as tester, etc.
When testing, you’ll need to toggle back and forth between Liking and Unliking a page. To Unlike a page, click on the Wall tab. Near the bottom of the left column of the Wall, you’ll see “Unlike”:
Click that to Unlike the page, and you can click the Like button to re-Like the page. Repeat as necessary.
- Use an external stylesheet, NOT inlined styles: Most browsers will correctly display your page if you have inlined the CSS with the <style> tag, but NOT Internet Explorer 8!
Because millions of people use this particular browser, your CSS should be in its own file (with the extension “.css”) and be referenced from your FBML page, with the <link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” href=”URL-TO-EXTERNAL-STYLESHEET” />. You’ll need to have this file hosted somewhere on the web where you can link to it.
- Double-check all URLs: If any files (images, CSS, etc.) are not being displayed or accessed, be sure to test the URLs for these files directly in your browser, typing or pasting the URL in the address bar to make sure you can access the file directly.
If you can’t access the file directly, then your URL is incorrect.
- Check for proper syntax: Make sure that URLs are surrounded by matching quotes (single or double is fine, but they must match) and that they are plain-text, straight-up-and-down quotes (not “fancy” or “curly” quotes).
- Check your Tab on the Most Popular Browsers and on Mac AND Windows: You want to be sure your tab is displaying properly on the most popular browsers (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and Chrome, at the very least) and on both Mac and Windows. What displays well in Firefox, Chrome and Safari may not (and often doesn’t) display well on Internet Explorer.
What About Facebook’s Announcement on Killing Off FBML?
On August 19, 2010, Namita Gupta announced the impending phase-out of FBML. However, I expect that support for Static FBML and the fb:visible-to-connection tag will be around indefinitely. Static FBML is Facebook’s own application and just several months ago they offered Static FBML custom tabs as a consolation prize to users who were distraught over the killing off of the Boxes tab. I expect it will be supported well into 2011 and perhaps beyond.
Read this detailed article on the future of Static FBML and FBML, which includes the opinions of a number of expert developers.
Have you tried fan-only content on your Facebook page? What has been your experience? Please leave your comments in the box below.
Tags: 1800flowers, custom tabs, digistore, facebook api, facebook code, facebook page, facebook tabs, fan content, fan page, fans only content, fbml, fbml tag, fbml tags, levis, like, mark up language, namita gupta, non fan content, phase out of fbml, static fbml, teesey tees, tim ware
About the Author, Tim Ware
Tim Ware is the owner of HyperArts Web Design, helping businesses build and promote their Web presence. His focus these days is Facebook app development and Static FBML. Other posts by Tim Ware »
galore, while being coy about its plans. According to the Wall Street Journal, Google CEO Eric Schmidt told Zeitgeist conference attendees in Arizona to look out for new social networking products before the end of the year. While these are expected to be launched as part of Google Me, details are skimpy at this time.
Instead of an all-out Facebook rival, Google plans to introduce social networking add-ons that will integrate with its core products, including Gmail and YouTube. For example, YouTube will share information in real-time about what videos are being watched by the people on your friend-list.
“With your permission, knowing more about who your friends are, we can provide more tailored recommendations. Search quality can get better,” said Schmidt.
Considering the number of gaming companies Google has acquired over the last few months, social gaming will likely be a big part of this offering. Acquired companies include virtual currency company Jambool, mobile games provider SocialDeck, and social game developer Slide. The company is also working on a partnership with social gaming heavyweight Zynga.
Google has struggled in the social networking space, with the long-forgotten Orkut and the more recent Buzz. Even so, Google kept shopping, adding like.com, a “visual search” technology, content aggregator Angstro, question/answer service Aardvark, and microblogging service Jaiku to its portfolio. Its own Social Search moved out of Google Labs earlier this year, as well.
There may be a slight hiccup in Google’s grand plans: Facebook. But not in the Facebook-killer kind of way. Currently, Google allows Facebook to let users pull over Gmail contacts as part of the FriendFinder application. Google wants similar access from Facebook, to pull user data into its platform, said Schmidt.
Considering the odds of that ever happening are not likely, Schmidt has just one thing to say: “Failing that, there are other ways to get that information,” said Schmidt…continue to article.