Tag Archives: facebook

6 reasons Facebook is the best thing that ever happened to friendship – ChicagoNow (blog)

See on Scoop.itCreative Social Content

6 reasons Facebook is the best thing that ever happened to friendship

See on www.chicagonow.com

Joel Cheuoua‘s insight:


This blog entry is right on point.

With the caveat that engaging with friends on Facebook is largely depending on Facebook’s news feed algorithm that sometimes doesn’t show everything. Important updates and even birthdays are sometimes missed.

To Facebook’s credit, they are trying their best to filter out noise and spam from signal. It’s not an easy feat, and they still have a lot of room for improvements.

Nevertheless, the value of Facebook, as described here, still holds.


How to create and send thoughtful holiday greetings (Part 2)

In Part 1, we’ve learned how to create a simple, thoughtful, personalized holiday greeting image for everyone, using our Happy Birthday app.

In Part 2, I’ll show how our Social Assistant app helps you to make a big impact with less effort by making it a lot easier to create individual greeting images for your important friends.

How it works

We said it in Part 1: one great way to create a thoughtful greeting message is to personalize it and, of course, make it look beautiful.

When it’s for a group of people, a greeting image can be personalized with content only related to you. But when it’s for a specific person, it’s of course best to personalize it with content related to both you and the person you’re sending your greetings to.

If you are looking to send a group card to all your friends at once, this tutorial is not for you, and you might be looking for Part 1. If you are a Photoshop pro, and it’s a piece of cake for you to create beautiful cards for several friends, or if you are using a specialized service to send customized cards to a list of contacts, this is not for you either.

But If you are looking for a simple way to send an individual greeting messages to a select list of important friends, you may be concerned about spending a lot of time and effort creating a personalized card for each and every friend on your list that you want to make a big impact on.

Rejoice! as you can do that easily this year using our Social Assistant application.

All it takes is only a few steps and a few clicks.

Step 1: Log In to Social Assistant 


Log in to Symbyoz – Social Assistant and go to the “Friends” tab.

If you’ve already added your list of important friends there, you’re good to go.

Otherwise, you’ll need to add friends. That’s done by simply clicking on the “Add a friend” button on the tool bar menu and following the next step.

Step 2: Add your important friends


Click on “select” to select friends from your Facebook account.

If you want to add friends that are not connected to Facebook, or if you do not want link your Facebook account to Symbyoz, you can also simply type their name and an email address.

Note that you will not to be able to post the greeting on Facebook for friends that are not connected to a Facebook account.

When you are done selecting/typing the friend name and email address, simply click “Add”.

Step 3: Open the greeting card creation canvas

There is a “Catch-Up” button next to the line with your friend. Simply click on that button, then click on “Create greetings card”.


Step 4: Tweak your personalized card collage

Tweak the collage the way you like it …

Same drill as in Part 1: you can change the background, move or rotate the text and the images, add the logo of your company, the pictures of your cat, your favorite quote … OR … you can save time, do absolutely nothing and go with the default arrangement we created for you.


Step 5: Select your delivery Channel and Send


Select the delivery channel and simply send your message.

Congratulation, you’re done, only 19 more friends to do … :)

Step 4: Rinse and repeat

Simply do it again for all your important friends in your list.

It may take more time than sending a collective message to a group in one single shot, but the reward of having every single of your important friends receiving a beautiful, personalized and specific greeting just for them is huge, and we’re making it a lot easier than it could have been … for free! :-)

Seize that opportunity to make a big impact in your loved ones lives.

Happy Holidays!

Facebook Nation — Privacy loses to indifference

Deutsche WelleFacebook nation — privacy loses to indifferenceWashington Post (blog)Facebook Nation is the group of people who say they will move to Canada after the election but never do. We complain and complain and complain, but we never leave.

This story is one of the most hilarious (and accurate) one I’ve read about Facebook lately. Some of the money quotes:

“Quit Facebook? But where would I go to complain to my friends about what Facebook has just done to its privacy settings? Twitter?”

“You can’t even be brought to click a simple button to vote on the issue! You’ve taken more complicated steps to access pornography! But this button? Nope. Too far.”

The truth is that Facebook culture is indeed that of hyper slacktivism and other passive/pleasurable activities. Inspiring people to take action and do something meaningful is incredibly hard. At Symbyoz we’ve got the scar tissues to prove it.

But Facebook is not a small startup anymore. They are uniquely positioned to influence the way people behave, and with these powers comes the responsibility to act like the adult/parent they should be, guiding and protecting the bratty children we can’t help but still love because we’ve been there.

In a way, that’s exactly what they started doing by removing the children the right to vote. That was exactly the right thing to do IMHO.

As Robert Scoble would say: “This is a freaking company, not a communist experiment”.

See on Scoop.it – Stay on top of your friendships

Facebook-Induced Depression: Comparing ‘Friends’

There is an interesting story on the state of things in Facebook that I strongly recommend. For the full story, Read more here from Madeline Grimes/Salon.

Personally, I’m less depressed than overwhelmed by the quantity of content I still have to consume on the social network.

But the story does ring true. Here’s a short video from The Young Turks along with snippets that summarizes it.

This is a story about a woman named Paula.


Paula and I were never friends, even though we went to middle school together.


After we connected on Facebook, I began watching her life; I began creating some version of her that seemed just as real to me as that plump girl with greasy bangs. And as Paula’s life fell apart, I couldn’t stop watching.


I became a cobbler of her life, stitching together an imagined tapestry from her poorly typed messages and grainy photos. She was married with three children. Her husband wasn’t around; he was in jail for a crime only committed by fools. She was on welfare, food stamps and subsidized housing.


The dark side of me – the side I share only with those who have pledged their unconditional love – thought she was too stupid to notice that her life looked like a condemned building and that the wrecking ball was coming swinging.


Also on Scoop.it – Stay on top of your friendships.

How can smart social shoppers be smarter this holiday

Shopping for gifts on Amazon?

Chances are it will take you a reasonable amount of time to ponder things before you decide to buy. You’re a smart shopper: why pay your full arm for that shiny new iPad when many items on Amazon change prices throughout the day, and there’s a chance to get it at a nice bargain a bit later?

But why also spend time checking your wish list every day, anxiously praying and waiting for the price to drop and hoping that the product you want doesn’t sell out?

We’re pleased to announce that Social Assistant and Social Wish List now includes a new price tracking feature.

Whether it’s for yourself or for a friend, you can now save time and save money on items that are in your social wish list.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Login to Social Wish List or Social Assistant.
  2. Find new gift ideas and add them to your wish list or to your friend’s wish list.
  3. Receive price alerts by email and on Facebook and start saving time and money
  4. Share with friends and family to split costs for group gifts or simply track item together

When prices are down, there’s obviously bargains and good deals to be had. When prices are up, it’s a good indication that products are running out of inventory and less merchant compete: you should go get them – if the price is still reasonable – before they sell out.

Social Assistant and Social Wish List are available online right now. They are part of the Symbyoz platform suite of free apps for meaningful social interactions.

Social Wish List is a standalone Facebook application and you need a Facebook account to sign in. But you can sign in to Social Assistant with a simple Email and Password.

If you decide to use Social Assistant, you will have to go to your profile to add and track items on your wish list, and you will have to add your friends and go to their profiles to track items on their wish list.

About Those Facebook Evil Plans To Ruin Your Business …

Is Facebook intentionally hurting small businesses?

More voices are ganging up around this meme, due to the recent strategic decisions that are changing the ubiquitous, ultra popular social platform in ways that few really understand, but most already feel.

In a recent blog post the good folks at Dangerous Minds are asking their “Friends Back”, and are hoping to unleash a protest campaign to force the hand of the internet giant to revise their strategy.

Dangerous Minds Want Their Friends Back …

Although the obvious should be pointed out, which is that Dangerous Minds subscribers are technically not “friends”, but (at the very best) “fans”, the article has very interesting comments and explanation about the legitimate concerns many fan page admins and small business are having.

You should definitely take a look at it.

I personally have mixed feelings on that one. For sure, we (Facebook developers and advertisers) have been impacted by the recent strategic choices coming from Facebook these days, and it actually goes way beyond just limiting posts seen by fans and/or charging fan page administrators to reach an audience they’ve spent a lot of time, effort and very often money building. But I ultimately believe that they’re doing the right thing, for their business, and for their users. And therefore I don’t buy – yet? – into the argument that this is going to be their downfall.

Let me explain…

Facebook is also changing their APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) in a way that will make more difficult for developers like me to get as much “viral” juice and traction from people using their applications.

For example: it was previously allowed to use the Facebook’s Graph API to publish stories on your friend wall. This is what we are using to post toughtful “Happy Birthday” messages on a friend’s wall when a user wants to send or schedule a birthday greeting. It’s still possible to do it now, but that will change soon. It’ll not be allowed to post on a friends wall using the API anymore … at least it won’t be easy. There is a convoluted way to do it that has been proposed, but at first glance, it will introduce so much friction for our users that I strongly suspect that it’ll make things harder for them, and that of means less engagement and less growth for our app. I suspect that the next move for Facebook will be then to say: “yeah, we know it’s not ideal … pay us and you’ll have access to the API to post directly on the friend wall”.

However, as I said, It makes perfect business sense for Facebook to do this. First of all, let’s be clear: they didn’t build the service to help advertisers and companies like me to make money. They built Facebook to solve the problem of people willing to be more connected with others (I’m intentionally leaving out the “open” part of then “open and connected” that their PR is eagerly spinning about). So, going the route they seem to have taken recently not only will help them to make more money, but it’s also a lot more aligned with their original mission because people don’t actually really want to “connect” with smaller brands, they want to connect with their friends first, then with bigger, well established brands for coupons or promotions.

I believe their thinking is this: “We’ve grown as a company, and we’re public now. The hell with the ‘small’ players. Whoever wants to make money on our platform has to be a big cat and has to pay us”.

Of course, the flip side of the coin is that smaller brands/companies that have something even extremely meaningful to give to people won’t stand a chance in the long run, or at least it’ll be a heck of a lot more difficult for them to shine. Yet again, that’s the nature of business … nobody said it’s going to be easy.

I understand and empathize with modest shops like Dangerous Minds who are trying to be vocal about this issue to make Facebook flinch – hey, we’re even smaller, and probably will never be able to even try promoting only one post daily anytime soon.

I’m just very skeptical that it’ll work: real users are trying to solve basic emotional and relational problems on Facebook. Power users, like us or Dangerous Minds, are trying to solve business problems. There’s a clear conflict of interest, and frankly I don’t think that Facebook gives a damn about the latter camp at this point, and neither should they: the latter camp seems not to care too much about Facebook’s bottom line and real value for real users either.

Goals: To Share or Not To Share?

A friend recently shared a Ted Talk from Derek Sivers, who’s suggesting that we should keep our goals secret even if our first instinct is to tell someone.

Derek presents research dating as far back as the 1920s to show why people who talk about their goals are less likely to achieve them. The main theory behind it is this: Talking about their dream is so exciting that people are thrown into a big illusion that it’s already achieved.

But many other research such as this one are actually showing that the exact opposite is true.

Research recently conducted by Matthews shows that people who wrote down their goals, shared this information with a friend, and sent weekly updates to that friend were on average 33% more successful in accomplishing their stated goals than those who merely formulated goals.

First, I think there’s something about our first instincts that should never be put down too quickly based on relative observations.

Second, while I can buy the thesis that receiving positive social gratification when exposing a goal or an idea to peers could lead to a feeling of “it’s half done”, I don’t think it necessarily throw people out of the path of accomplishment.

Case in point, the multiple weight loss support groups that truly help people to overcome their procrastination and achieve things they wouldn’t without peer pressure and support.

Besides, it’s simply not true that peers and friends are automatically and complacently nodding in agreement to whatever our goals are. At least not if they are true friends who care enough to give genuine (and most times actually over-protective) feedback and support.

What is your take? should we share our goals or should we not?

Either you lead or you follow

There’s a pretty good piece up on the StarTribune about how people are using social networks  to either lead or follow. It starts with the following thought provoking statement:

 In the world of Facebook, users are either kings or lemmings…


Indeed, It’s an old-age observation and debate that leads to this interesting question: what really makes Facebook, Facebook? Is it the fact that it’s easy to produce (share) or is it the fact that it’s easy to consume (like and comment)?

Seems a bit like a chicken and a egg problem … without likes and comments, there’s no point in sharing, and without sharing, there’s no point in liking or commenting in the void.

Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend. – Albert Camus.

Or as we say at Symbyoz “real friendship requires more than talking to a wall”.

But let’s fastrack to the real deep existential question here: between the sharer and the liker, who’s the chicken? :)


What happens in Vegas …

Someone please fire whoever is in charge of keeping things in Vegas.

What happens in Vegas almost always ends up on … Facebook.

It’s a new social era. As we’re more and more connected with each other, we want to share the good, the bad and the crazy with our friends (especially the crazy).

Yet, we probably still don’t want just about all our 250+ friends to know and see everything we post. We probably don’t want to probe them all with personal questions, openly discuss personal ideas or ask them all special favors. Aside from hiking friends, who cares that we want to go check out that new spot in the hills? What if we want to discuss a surprise gift idea? Make quick get together plans? Or secretly ask friends in common about a forgotten birthday?

What happens with a group of friends, should stay between that group friends.

But chances are you may end up posting to everyone, including your boss and colleagues (gasp!). Or you may end up not posting anything at all – Those pesky privacy settings are just so darn complicated …

Or are they?

Let’s be real. That’s not true. They’re not that complicated. They’re just not convenient.

Who has time to pause, think about exactly who to share with, and set custom settings each time they want to post a status on Facebook?

Exactly …

There’s got to be a better way right? (hint: answer is yes)

How Americans Are Keeping In Touch

At Symbyoz we’re passionate about finding the smartest ways for people to keep in touch. Yes, we believe it’s that important.

A good way to do that is to listen and learn. We’re constantly listening and  learning to understand how people do keep in touch and nurture their social links, and we’re obsessing about finding ways to make it easier, better, smarter.

Recently, we conducted a survey to find out how Americans keep in touch with their friends and family and important connections. Surveyed people had the option to pick several tools or services to keep in touch. We also asked how important it was to them, and how they rate themselves.

Long story short, the survey confirms that keeping in touch is a major driver for most people, that Email and Facebook are their tools of choice, and that they don’t feel particularly good nor particularly bad about how they manage to stay in touch.



So, women are mostly using Facebook, and men are mostly using their email.

SMS/Phone is only a solid 3rd. Who knew?

While very useful for connecting to find a job or spot a skilled profesional, LinkedIn is not the medium of choice for nurturing relationships.

Google+ still has a long way to go, but is already doing better than LinkedIn. Not bad for a youngster.

So, how important is it for Americans to keep in touch?


While a large majority of the population said that keeping in touch with friends, familly, and important connections is very important, women and young people seems to care more than middle age men.

What’s up with middle age men? If you have a clue, please share.

How do Americans rate themselves for keeping in touch?

There’s an interesting correlation between the income level and the self satisfaction with nurturing social links.

Overall, Americans feels mediocre/pretty average at keeping in touch with their friends, familly and important connections.

We are more connected to each other than ever before. It’s amazing that we still aren’t all feeling great about how well we keep in touch.

We are changing that with Symbyoz.