Is Facebook’s Latest Update a Gamechanger?

Facebook makes changes to the way the network works on the daily. I do my best to stay up to speed, and I’m normally pretty polar in how I feel about an algorithm update here or an interface change there, but Facebook’s latest major announcement has me teetering.  Here’s what’s going on. . .

Facebook is introducing a “Subscribe” button. I think this is major. Here’s how it will work:

  1. You can subscribe to Public status updates from people you are not Facebook friends with.
  2. You can choose what kind of updates you see from your current Facebook friends. You can choose to subscribe to All Updates, Most Updates or Only Important Updates.
  3. You can allow people who aren’t your friends to subscribe to your Public Facebook status updates. Don’t worry, you have to opt in for this to be available to those who stumble across your Facebook profile.

Why this is great

Follow your Faves

You can subscribe to a celebrity or famous blogger’s Public status updates. They’ll likely never make Facebook friends with you, and now you don’t have to troll their profiles to see what they are publishing publicly.

Filtered Content

You can trim your newsfeed down to the status updates that really interest you. For example, if the girl who sat behind you in Sophomore Chemistry updates her Facebook every time her cat sneezes, you can choose to see “Only Important” updates from her without feeling badly about hiding or unfriending her (but if she really updates every time her cat sneezes, you really shouldn’t feel badly about unfriending her. Just sayin).  You can also subscribe to specific types of content your friends are posting. Choices are Life Events, Status Updates, Photos and Videos, and Games.

Market Yourself

For personal marketing purposes, you can extend the number of people who read your content by allowing non-friends to subscribe to your feeds. This way, if you would like anyone in the world to easily access to knowledge you share regarding specific topics, but don’t want to be friends with the whole world, you can allow other Facebook users to subscribe to your public content.

Why this really isn’t that great

Dilutes the Power of the Fan Page

I totally get that there is a difference between a celebrity’s personal profile page and their Facebook fan page, and that there will be different content, but:

  1. Being able to subscribe to their personal pages seems to dilute the purpose of the fan page.
  2. Seeing as most celebrities share what they want the world to know via their public fan pages, what new content would I really be subscribing to here?

I know that this feature doesn’t just apply to major celebrities, but you get the point.  Lines are getting greyer here. Could be a good thing, but my gut reaction is to feel a tad uneasy.

I’m Just Jaded

I really appreciate getting to trim down what I see from which friends. This is cool, and by far the best part of this new feature. But honestly, Facebook, I’m not inclined to use it, because you’re just going to change it up in two weeks anyway.

Hello, Twitter, is that you?

This whole subscribing-to-people-without-having-to-be-their-friend thing reeks of Twitter. I like using Twitter and the way it works. . .  when I’m on Twitter. Basically, I feel like this update begs the question: “ISN’T THAT WHAT TWITTER IS FOR?”

Let’s look at the numbers: Facebook has 750 million active users. Twitter just announced that it reached the 100 million active users milestone. If I were to make the assumption that everyone on Twitter is also on Facebook, I could reasonably assume that 650 million of the active users on Facebook are NOT interested in Twitter. So, why are we trying to make Facebook more like Twitter?!

This Automates Trolling

Well, that about sums up my point there.

Those are my two cents on this update. I’d love to hear yours. If you’re interested, you can follow my public content on Twitter, which is where I will continue to focus on posting it until I see Facebook embrace the subscription thing for personal marketing.

THE END

Tweets in Space – NASA Promotes the Final Shuttle Launch Online!

Final NASA shuttle launch

This Friday July 8th marks a historic moment in both U.S. History and the story of Humanity when the Space Shuttle Atlantis launches to carry supplies to the ISS-Station in orbit around Earth. NASA’s space shuttle program will conclude with mission STS-135.

I am super excited to have the opportunity to view the launch from Kennedy Space Center Friday morning. For those of you who cannot make the trip – there are a number of awesome online outlets including twitter, NASA TV, Facebook and more to hear updates, watch the countdown and launch, and hear directly from the astronauts as they prepare to launch into space.

Follow the launch on Twitter!

First, if you are relatively new to twitter or want a quick refresher course, check out Schipul’s Twitter Speak Help File.

Next, here are just a few of the official NASA twitter accounts to follow:
@NASA – official NASA twitter account
@NASAtweetup – official “tweetup” account for NASA
@NASA_Astronauts – NASA twitter account that retweets all of the astronauts tweets

The four Astronauts that will be flying Atlantis for STS-135 each have twitter accounts as well and have been tweeting actively about their mission preparations and thoughts. You can follow them in the “Twitter-verse” here:
Christopher Ferguson: @Astro_Ferg
Douglas Hurley: @Astro_Doug
Sandy Magnus: @Astro_Sandy
Rex J Walheim: @Astro_Rex

Hashtags to follow on twitter: #NASATweetup and #STS135

Other NASA-friendly social networks to follow

If you want more than just 140 character updates, you can head to NASA Connect to find dozens of other official NASA social networking sites including the official NASA Facebook Page, and NASA Headquarters Flickr account including a collection devoted to the Space Shuttle program as well as many other social sites.

Then, on Friday morning watch the shuttle launch live online on NASA TV. The launch is currently scheduled for 11:28 AM EST. That’s 10:28 AM CST for those of you in Houston and 8:28 AM PST for all of you in California.

Finally, I want to include a couple of great non-NASA organizations that will be tweeting and uploading photos and video from the launch site in Florida too. Both of these organizations are focused on sharing the excitement of space exploration and all things space with others and are extremely active on the web.

The Space Tweep Society is an organization whose mission is to connect those inside the space industry with those on the outside looking in and generate enthusiasm for all things space. You can find the Space Tweep’s on twitter, Facebook, and Flickr.

SpaceUp is a new organization that hosts “un-conferences” focused on space-related topics all over the country including Houston, Los Angeles, San Diego, Washington DC and Minneapolis. You will find a number of organizers and volunteers from the different SpaceUp cities in Florida this week for STS-135.

Want a play-by-play?  You can follow me on twitter: @SarahMWorthy as I tweet throughout the events leading up to the launch with all the other Space Geeks.

Before the launch, I urge you to go check out TEDxNASA in Silicon Valley and register for FREE if you can attend. This official TEDx event will be August 17th, 2011 in San Francisco, California. I was honored to attend the recent TEDx Houston event last month and definitely want to see all of you at TEDxNASA if you can make the trip to San Francisco next month!

Great launch photo up top thanks to Flickr user Stuck in Customs

A Bigger, Badder Twitter

New Twitter Design Interface

In an effort to lure users back to their site and away from 3rd party clients, Twitter is rolling out a slew of new features. The most important feature of the #NewTwitter will allow users to embed videos, photos and other multimedia directly into their streams.  Followers will now be able to view these media-rich tweets without having to click on any external links. Instead they will access video, photos and live streaming content from the Twitter interface.

The new UI (user interface) uses a two panel design that allows users to view their feed on the left and media content on the right. If the design looks familiar don’t be surprised. It is essentially the same design as the Twitter Ipad app.

This new design will allow users to integrate multimedia far more easily in their tweeting experience. The #NewTwitter has essentially taken the best features of 3rd party clients like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, and Seesmic and combined them.  Here is a list of some of the new features:

  • Streamlined user interface w/ tabs
  • Ability to view photos, videos and other media content without clicking a link
  • Access to mini profiles
  • Access to meta data: location, number of mentions, @ replies, etc
  • Access to keyboard shortcuts similar to Gmail

UPDATE: Twitter will launch a free real-time analytics dashboard later this year.

If all these features sound great to you, you will probably have to wait to use them. Twitter is rolling out these changes over the next several weeks. In the meantime, check out this video showcasing the new Twitter design and features.

I don’t know about you but I am perfectly happy with my 3rd party app. I have been using Hootsuite for over a year now and I love it. I can manage several accounts, assign users, view multiple streams, review account analytics, schedule tweets, attached files, images and watch video directly in the stream. Most importantly, I can access Hootsuite from any web browser.  I wonder what took Twitter so long to adopt these basic functions to their site.

Don’t get me wrong, once I’ve been upgraded to the new version, I’ll give it a go but something tells me that I will return to my beloved twitter app.  How about you? Which twitter apps do you use and will you abandon them for the new twitter? Let us know in the comments.

Boss Blog of the Month: C Pemby’s Top NFL Players on Twitter

Boss [baws, bos]

-adjective
1. exemplifies a unique quality; awesome; incredible
2.  An expression from the mid 1950s, which fell from favor by the early 1960s….until now…

What does August mean to you? If you said football season, well I’d say you just earned yourself a gold star. Simply put, the world is  a better place when you spend 10 consecutive  hours, every Sunday, watching the gridiron madness.

This year more than ever, we have the ability to be a part of the game via Twitter- witnessing a player’s thoughts pre-huddle, during the 60 and after the stadium has cleared. We are not just following bloggers who love the sport; we are following the guys down on the grass, feeling the pressure in the red zone. You will find that some players will inspire, others will talk trash and the majority will misspell common words…but collectively, their micro blogs Twitter streams are most definitely boss.

C Pemby’s Top NFL Players on Twitter

Craig Terrill@TerrillMusic

Team: Seattle Seahawks

Position: Defensive Tackle

Terrill is the Defensive Tackle for the Seattle Seahawks…and let’s not kid ourselves, he’s a whole lotta’ man. While he is not on the football field, he plays in a band surprisingly called, The Craig Terrill Band.

Seahawk bowling day. I am on track for a perfect 300 right now. Pounds…that is.

If Sanchez doesn’t pull this game out he always has ‘Entourage’ to fall back on.

Ryan Grant @RyanGrant25

Team: Greenbay Packers

Position: Running Back

While he consistently over uses the acronym, “lol”, you can always count on Ryan Grant to provide entertaining banter with his teammates.

Everyone needs to know that @AaronRodgers12 accuracy in practice with a football is phenomenal, but with a water balloon, questionable

And honestly, anyone that can laugh out loud this much are what we call, good people.

Ive been asked twice this week by fans if I’m playing again this year lol……come on now..lol NOTHING’s CHANGED…Im coming to work lol

Jared Allen –@JaredAllen69

Team: Minnesota Vikings

Position: Defensive End

Jared Allen’s twitpics speak for themselves…

Again, it was only a trim. It was starting to get a little out of control.

Chad Ochocinco@OGOchoCinco

Team: Cincinnati Bengals

Position: Wide Receiver

If you loved him on Dancing with the Stars then you will most certainly love following Ochocinco – a lover, fighter and designer shoe connoisseur. While I commend his efforts, there will never come a day where I will take a man seriously with a reality show called, “The Ultimate Catch.” Get it? He’s a wide receiver and he catches the ball…you’re so clever Chad.

New Christian Louboutin Rollerboy Spike Flats yes or no http://twitpic.com/2jtu00

Brian Cushing@briancushing56Team: Houston Texans

Position: Linebacker

If you are living in Houston and want to literally follow a local player – Brian Cushing is your man. He will keep you up-to-date on exactly where he is at all times which leads me to believe he is unaware of his 10,777 followers . Come on Cushing, we all know there is only one bowling alley in Bellaire (Palace Lanes).

Bowling w/ the team over in Bellaire.

Ok, your turn – tell me about an NFL player that keeps you entertained via Twitter!