Note: This post was written before Facebook apparently allowed at least some pages to again post link shares with no thumbnail image. So thank you, Facebook. – Dan
Facebook has undergone a lot of changes in the past year, but one that has stuck a thorn in the side of many people is that pages must post an image when sharing links.
Facebook took away the option to post link shares with no thumbnails last summer for the pages that I manage. And I have been hearing and reading from others that they have lost that option since that time, too.
We don’t care if you took it away to make people’s News Feed more visual. We just don’t care. Sometimes, we (as marketers) want to share links that don’t have an image. We know you gave us the option to upload our own, but that’s not always possible or applicable.
So quit acting like a belligerent teenager who’s making incessantly annoying rules in your own bedroom.
I was planning to post this asking Facebook to bring back the option for pages to post links with no thumbnail image. But Facebook beat me to the punch.
As you can see with the photo that accompanies this post, I have the option to post link shares with no thumbnail image on all the Facebook pages that I manage.
I had not heard that Facebook was bringing this feature back, but I am very thankful that they did.
Let’s face it, Facebook should give the page managers the option to do so. And why not? If the content they share is not ranked highly, let it be so. Maybe marketers will stop sharing them automatically.
But maybe not. Maybe they want to share it because it’s a key part of their strategy.
Either way, thank you for giving us (or some of us, at least) the option to post link shares without mandating that an image accompany the link.
Note: If you manage a Facebook page, leave a comment to tell me if you have this option. Thank you!
I started a recurring column on my blog this year focusing on social combos, those times when two tools come together to do something special.
Let’s talk about that.
Ever since Google Reader announced its farewell, I’ve switched to Feedly. It’s been an amazing RSS tool, living up to how I used Reader. And one thing that has enhanced its features is Kippt, the social curation site.
On Kippt, you can create a list and curate things you find from around the web to that list.
And one of the features that is great is that you can take each list as an RSS feed and import it into Feedly.
There are a few lists that I use to fill up Feedly. The first is a read later Kippt list, on which I save any story, link or item from around the web that I just wasn’t able to finish consuming. It’s a great way to ensure I always get to see the content that I want.
The second is a Twitter favorites list. Basically, you use Kippt the same way, saving content from around the web. This used to work much more fluidly by aggregating everything you favstar on Twitter. And then the RSS would pick it up on Kippt and send it straight to my Feedly. But that functionality went away when Twitter closed off its API.
Still, you can use it the same way, but opening links from Twitter and then using the Kippt bookmark.
This is one way to ensure that all of your Twitter favorites will make it to a place where you can read later.
(It’s especially helpful if you’re like me and don’t use Instapaper or any sort of tool like that, and prefer to have all of your content flow in through one source. That’s RSS for me.)
And it’s just another example of how you can crush your everyday behaviors by combining social tools into a social media super tool combo.
When it comes to video games, developers and studios always seem to be a step ahead in the social media sphere.
And video game companies are taking that to heart as they develop original game content for the intended platforms as well as original content and functions for the apps that tie in with the game and provide a deeper level of gaming.
This is more than just a second screen for video games. Indeed, in some instances, it’s really a way to continue playing the game while you’re not able to play the game.
So what do I mean by that?
Take, for instance, the iFruit app from Rockstar Games, maker of Grand Theft Auto V. In the game, one of the characters has a dog. On the app, you can train your dog, teach it new tricks and more, and that pays off in the game by enabling the dog to better assist the character during missions.
Not only that, but the iFruit app allows gamers to mod out their vehicles while they’re away from the game so that they can come back and have a pimped-out ride.
Satisfying side missions
Likewise, in another large video game franchise, gamers can use the app for Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag to interact with the in-game map and with Kenway’s Fleet, a series of side missions that allow the gamer to collect more rewards in cargo and currency.
It’s a nice way to keep gamers playing the game even when they can’t actually play the game. (Especially since it’s a little difficult to lug around an entire console.)
Other uses, too
Then there’s games like Beyond Two Souls, and in the Beyond Touch app, Sony has allowed the use of the app to act as the controller.
It doesn’t really provide a second screen experience, but it does show that game apps can be more than just instructions or a wiki guide.
These apps add more than just a way for game developers to continue to have their name out there. These apps actually allow the gamers to continue their game when not at home, and deepen the gaming experience by providing a way to continue to add to the game.
More and more, apps are becoming the second screen for video games.
I am an avid recreational cyclist. I love to go for long rides in the penetratingly exasperating heat of July. And I love to push my body to its fastest on tough short local courses.
Regardless of the type of ride that I go on, I log my miles and information into Dailymile, a social network dedicated to fitness.
But the app that I use to record my rides on my smartphone is Strava, a cycling-focused app that is used by the top professionals in the world.
This is where I would bring in IFTTT, putting the power of the web for my personal use. IFTTT is one of my favorite tools, and it performs functions that make my life so much easier. It automates tasks and chores that make my daily web use run smoother and faster, and it frees up my time to do other tasks, like being social on social media.
And while IFTTT does a great job expanding and growing, I would love to request that the site make channels for Strava and Dailymile.
I would love to see users create recipes that transfers data between the two networks. I would love to be able to record a ride on Strava with its GPS feature and have the map of my ride transferred to Dailymile.
Automation is where IFTTT shines, and this is one more way in which my social efforts could use some automation tricks.
Reader feedback: What channels would you like to see IFTTT include?
This week we talked about owned vs. leased digital real estate. One of the questions was “Who ‘owns’ the content you post online?”
I’ll admit, my answer, by and large, was the same as most everyone else: You do. But I had a nagging devil’s advocate in the back of my mind. So I answered:
A1: You could make argument that your audience owns your content in a way. #collectivechat
— Dan Polley (@polleydan) January 27, 2014
And that’s what I’m going to do.
Why you own your content
You create your content, so that gives you a right to receive credit when it is shared. You went through that hard work to make content that would be good, useful and used.
You are the one putting all the hard work and effort into getting an idea, a little wisp of a thing floating around in your head, onto paper or photo or video or whatever.
That’s your work, from start to finish, and that’s why it’s your content.
Why your audience owns your content
But let’s get things straight: Just because you create content doesn’t mean you own the content. You can slave over that blog post, spend hours getting the right lighting or nitpick over video edits, but it doesn’t mean you own the content.
Sure, it might be your copyright, your hard work, but it’s not yours.
It belongs to your audience. To your community.
After all, that’s who you created the content for. So it’s their’s to read, to view, to consume, to share. It’s their’s to modify, to tweak, to use.
And if your community doesn’t use, consume, share or discuss your content, does it really matter who owns it?
If you’re like me, when you use social networks, you get inundated by the full stream of status updates, tweets, posts or whatever else appears.
That’s why you use segmented features to navigate the social networks that you use frequently.
Facebook and Twitter have lists while Google+ has circles and Pinterest has boards. As more and more people jump onto more and more social networks, segmented features become an invaluable tool for social network users to navigate through the parts that are most important to them.
That’s exactly how I’ve come to use Facebook. I rely heavily on Facebook interest lists.
And that leads me to my social wish list, a list of feature that I would like to see on social networks. For Facebook, that means shared interest lists.
Right now Facebook lists work like this: You can combine pages and friends and people you follow onto a list. Do you want to have all of your TV shows together? Make it a part of an interest list.
You can do that for any topic, from hobbies to sports to entertainment and more. (I recommend making one for your hometown, including all the restaurants and municipal pages together, so you can keep tabs on what’s happening around your home.)
You can then share your list, and others can subscribe to it.
But what happens when someone who is following your list finds that they have a page to add to the list? Right now, the only choices that person has is to start their own list, replicating all the work already done, or to contact the list owner and let them know they are missing something they might want on their list.
That’s certainly the situation that I have encountered with some of the lists that I follow. Some of my Facebook friends have similar interests to me, as surely some of your friends have with you. So why do I need to make my own list of Wisconsin food producers when I could allow my friends to help me build it together instead of building ours independently?
How it could work
To me, shared Pinterest boards should be the model Facebook emulates. By that I mean one person starts a Facebook list and can give co-ownership to others to help curate that list. And, just as on Pinterest, others are free to subscribe to (or follow) the list.
Another example of what Facebook interest lists could strive for is Listly. On Listly, users make lists and can allow others to help add to those lists. Facebook lists could be set up similarly. Allow list creators the ability to open up list curation to others.
So, please, if anyone at Facebook is reading this, work on allowing users to give co-ownership of lists to others so that lists can be harnessed by the power of community.
If you haven’t realized it yet, I’m a huge fan of social media tools. But one thing I love more than that is combining social media tools to supercharge your social efforts.
Sometimes, even when you really love a specific tool, it just doesn’t have that one feature that you would like it to have.
But when you combine it with another tool, you get a great end product that highlights your social media efforts.
And that’s exactly what you can get when you combine the content curation of Storify and Scoop.it.
Storify’s missing piece
I’ve written a few blog posts about Storify and why and how I like to use it to curate content. I could go on and on about the features that I love about it.
But there’s one thing that bugs me about Storify.
I came to realize it when I started a social campaign using Storify to curate content weekly. I wondered what the best way to display it would be. After all, when I curate a standalone Storify, I can easily embed it on a blog post or web page. But when I make a series of Storify stories, the tool doesn’t have a great way to display them together.
That was especially important because the social campaign using Storify was part of a larger content marketing campaign, all of which was to be displayed on a singular web page.
Scoop.it Widget FTW
That’s when I turned to Scoop.it. On Scoop.it, you can curate topics with web links, media and more. And from there you can take that topic and, using Scoop.it’s Goodies menu, display that topic as a widget, embedded on your website.
There are certainly other sites where you can collect the Storify series content and display it as a widget. But the reason I liked Scoop.it over others is because its widget is deliciously photogenic, with any visual content taking up the width of the widget.
You can customize the widget and increase the width as well as tweak other settings.
And, best of all, since the links I added to Scoop.it were of the Storify embedded on a web page instead of at Storify.com, all of the traffic from the widget and the topic page pointed directly to the website I wanted the traffic to go to.
The next time you’re looking to put together a content marketing campaign using Storify, remember that you can supercharge your social media curation efforts by combining the tools of Storify and Scoop.it.
Contact me at polleydan(at)gmail(dot)com.
Find my guest posts from around the Web on my List.ly list.
- #Brewers spreading their hits across the infield this inning. #MILvsPIT 1 day ago
- RT @Todd_Rosiak: Wow. In a game of oddities, this is a new one. Maldonado literally just hit the cover off the ball. 1 day ago
- The Wisconsin Food Paper is out! paper.li/polleydan/wisc… Stories via @flattopgrill @ClassicSlice 1 day ago
- @AbbeeElla Good luck! Looking to rent or buy? 2 days ago
- RT @M_Gagnier: The expert in anything was once a beginner. 2 days ago
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