This post originally appeared on the Buffer blog.
Funny, we’ve had the Facebook Like button along the side of every Buffer blog post for the past several years. And I don’t think I’ve ever clicked it.
I’ve hoped that others would, of course. I hope they click all the share buttons. But until now, I’ve never known what that experience was like for the end-user.
What’s it like to actually share a story to Facebook? And how can I make it a better experience?
We talk a lot about reversing the decline in organic Facebook reach and succeeding with Facebook marketing. Maybe we’ve been overlooking a quick win right under our noses. The Facebook share button could be a huge opportunity todelight a reader with a seamless sharing experience, one in which you can control the look, feel, and message of what gets shared.
Come along to see what I learned (and what I’ve fixed) when I clicked on my own Facebook share button.
Each post on the Buffer blog has social share buttons that sit along the left side of the post (via the Digg Digg plugin for WordPress). Share button No. 3 is the Facebook like button.
Now for the moment of truth. What happens when someone clicks the Facebook Like button on a Buffer blog post? Drumroll please …
Not a whole lot.
In fact, to the naked eye, nothing happened whatsoever beyond the share number going up by one and the Like button changing to a checkmark.
Let’s hop over to my Facebook page. There are no new updates in my News Feed to tell others that I liked this awesome blogpost. No notifications, no alerts.
To find any evidence that I clicked at all, one would have to scroll 50 percent of the way down the page, past my About section, my photos, my friends, my places, my music, my movies, my TV shows, my books, and my groups, all the way to the very last item in the left sidebar: Recent Activity.
Phew. That’s a long ways down.
It’s worth noting that the Facebook Like experience on your blog might be different than it is on Buffer’s. When I ran the Like experiment by clicking on buttons elsewhere, a share box popped up after I clicked “Like.” You can see this in action at the KISSmetrics blog, for instance. Point being: Test your Like button on your own blog to see what happens.)
OK, new strategy.
How about if we change the Facebook Like button to a Facebook Share button? (Fortunately, there’s an easy setting inside of the Digg Digg plugin to do just that.)
Now that we’ve got the Share button live on the blogpost, what happens when we click it?
Voila! A Facebook Share box arrives.
This is likely the box that bloggers expect to show up when someone clicks a Facebook button. Readers get to choose where the message is shared, what they want to say about it, and which picture to use as the thumbnail.
After all these options are chosen, the post will show up at the very top of the News Feed on a profile page, and in the News Feeds of all one’s friends (depending on the Facebook algorithm, of course).
Takeaway: “Liking” and “Sharing” on Facebook are two totally different experiences.
Let’s continue our Goldilocks trip through Facebook sharing with the most native of share options: Posting a link directly via your Facebook page.
Assuming that there were no Facebook share buttons anywhere on a page and that you really wanted to pass the page along to your Facebook friends, what would you do? You’d grab the URL, head to facebook.com, and share the link yourself.
Here’s what that looks like when I share a blogpost directly on Facebook.
The experience is almost exactly the same as it was for the Facebook Share button. You get to choose who sees your update, what you say about it, and which picture is used as the thumbnail. Here’s the finished product as it appears in my News Feed.
After reading this far, you may have already chosen your preferred style of Facebook button. Your preference probably has to do with what you hope to gain from your social share buttons, and it’s important to note that there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to liking vs. sharing. Each has its own virtues.
The Like button is good for social proof.
There is power in seeing 600+ Facebook Likes on an article you wrote. The psychological explanation behind this is wisdom of the crowds, where large groups of people approving a certain something (a blogpost, for instance) motivates others to do the same.
There may even be a bit of FOMO (fear of missing out), an anxiety from new readers that they need to read this article to catch up with what everyone else has found so great.
The Like button is almost entirely frictionless.
Did you notice how little effort it took for me to complete the process of Liking a blogpost? If you want to make the experience as absolutely easy as possible for your readers, it doesn’t get much easier than the one-click Like button. There’s no messages to create, no networks to navigate. It’s just a simple, easy click.
The Share button gets your content maximum exposure.
If you want your story to be seen in more News Feeds, then go with the Share button. Liking a post keeps the post relatively hidden on one’s profile. Sharing a post puts the content front-and-center. (And the rest is up to Facebook’s algorithm to disperse.)
Smashing Magazine ran an interesting experiment on their popular blog, removing all Facebook buttons and trusting readers to share posts on Facebook individually when they found them worth sharing. The results:
The Share button lets you customize the visuals and message.
Not only will Sharing a post put your content in front of more eyes, your content can look by-and-large how you want it. You can customize the title and description that Facebook grabs as well as the series of pictures that it uses to pull thumbnails.
Next: Here’s how the Facebook customization process works in detail
OK, here’s the fun part.
You can make your post a Facebook work-of-art with just a few simple tweaks to the code and the images on your page.
Facebook sharing 101: A primer on “og” tags
The engineering behind this customization comes from Facebook’s Open Graph, a system that lets third-party websites (like your blog) speak Facebook’s language when the two communicate. Facebook uses Open Graph functionality on its own network, and outside websites that do the same can create Facebook-optimized updates in a snap.
(Open Graph elements are used by other social networks, too, to customize the sharing that happens there.)
These Open Graph elements are represented in the code with “og” tags (“og” stands for, you guessed it, Open Graph). There are three main tags that deal with the look of a Facebook update.
We’ve found that the easiest way to implement Open Graph code on our blogposts is to use an all-in-one WordPress plugin like WordPress SEO by Yoast that handles the Open Graph elements automatically. In our experience, it works almost perfectly—with the exception of images. I’ll tackle that one below.
How to check the “og” tags on your blogpost
Before we begin, it might be handy to know if you already have these Open Graph tags in place. To quickly find out, you can inspect the code of your page to see what’s going on behind the scenes.
In your browser, right-click anywhere on the page and select “Inspect Element.”
Then look in the
section near the top of your HTML code. Inside the should be some tags that begin with “
You can also check the tags on your content by using Facebook’s Open Graph Object Debugger. This free tool will analyze your page and show you what data Facebook will pull (as well as any errors). Also, if you’re ever in need of resetting the cache for your page, plugging the URL into the Debugger tool tells Facebook to go check your page again for updates.
How to customize the title on your Facebook article
To create a specific title for your Facebook shares, use the og:title tag.
Best practice here is to keep the title to no more than 90 characters. If your title is longer than 100 characters, Facebook will cut it off at 88.
You can think of this og:title like you would the SEO title for your post. In fact, if an og:title isn’t present, Facebook will grab the SEO title instead. All the best headline-writing advice applies here, as you’ll want to make the most of the bigger, bolder fonts that Facebook uses in article titles.
As an example of what this og:title might look like, here is the code from the blogpost featured in the screengrab above.
If you click over to the post itself, you’ll notice that the actual headline used on the post is “What Is a Community Champion? Inside the World of Buffer’s Community Builder.” We went with a slightly shorter version for the og:title tag for Facebook.
How to customize the description on your Facebook article
To create a specific description for your Facebook shares, use the og:description tag.
Much like the meta description for your page, this sentence or two should serve as a good introduction to your content. Make it exciting and intriguing—and no need to fill it up with too many keywords because there is no SEO factor here.
Make the first few words count. In the example above, Facebook only revealed 79 characters before cutting off the description. In other cases, you might see up to 200. To play it safe, pack your description with impactful words first.
Here’s an example of what the description tag might look like:
How to customize the images on your Facebook article
Here’s where things get a little tricky for us.
If you have all your “og” code in place for your piece of content and your content happens to contain a lot of images that are all tagged og:image, what might you expect to happen?
I expected each image to be available as a thumbnail option. I was wrong. There are only three.
I tested this with the Social Media Strategy post on Buffer, as well as with some blogposts from other sites like KISSmetrics, Quick Sprout, and Hubspot. The results: There are always only three images to choose from, despite the code containing more than three og:image tags.
So which ones does Facebook choose?
In my limited experimentation, I believe Facebook chooses your three largest images.
That’s a good bit of information to know. In my case, most of my largest images are screengrabs, not the custom images I create for each post. It seems that the images I make in Canva and other custom apps are being outshone by some ultra-specific screenshots. Definitely not ideal.
So what are we to do?
Well, there are a couple options.
The latter option may require a unique plugin that lets you manually change the og:image tags for each piece of content. There are a few plugins out there—like WP Open Graph and the official Facebook plugin—that let you do this fairly easily.
And whatever method you choose to use, you’ll likely want to create some images that are meant to look good on Facebook. I’ll leave the design part up to you, but I can answer the question, “What image size is best?”
Well, in a perfect world, our Facebook shares would look like this:
Instead of this:
We want the large, banner photo because it’s those kinds of photos that seem to instinctually draw the most interest and engagement.
To get this banner photo, Facebook recommends that images be at least 1,200 pixels wide by 630 pixels tall. This aspect ratio works out to 1.91:1. You can go as small as 600 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall and still have it appear as a featured image, but in general, you’ll want to get your pics as big as you can so they look good on high-definition monitors.
The takeaway: Create big, beautiful images at an ideal aspect ratio, and make sure they’re bigger than the rest of the images in your post. This is your best bet for getting the Facebook share style you crave.
Have you clicked your own Share and Like buttons?
I was really interested to learn the experience of sharing from the Buffer blog. It was not at all what I expected and a bit of a challenge to get it all working perfectly. In the end, changing the way I go about creating my images and being purposeful with how we set up our share buttons were big improvements for the shareability of our blog posts.
Feel free to share this post to see some of the changes in action!
Which of these tips might you try out on your content? Have you been using Open Graph tags for your blogposts and Web pages? I’d be keen to hear your experience in the comments!
This post originally appeared on the Buffer blog.
There’s a saying you’ll often hear around Buffer’s content team: “There’s probably a plugin for that!”
We’re quick to grab any and all WordPress plugins that can give the blog an extra edge or can wire up a feature we’d love to test. Whenever we dream something up to try on the blog, the first place we turn is WordPress plugins. We’ve collected quite the list of favorites. How about you?
As we’ve tried and tested new plugins on the blog, you’ve likely noticed new pieces and parts popping up on our pages—slideups, social share buttons, CTAs, and more. We get asked quite often about which plugins we use. So we thought we’d share!
Below is the list of plugins that power the Buffer blog, along with a handful of others that are on our to-try list.
(A note about WordPress plugins: They’re super great, which makes it easy to add a whole bunch without thinking of the ramifications. Here’s a helpful post from WP Engine about the effect that plugins can have on your site speed. Takeaway: Check the quality of the plugins you install.)
Probably our most-asked-about plugin is the one we use for our email capture slideup. Drumroll please … it’s Dreamgrow’s Scroll Triggered Box.
The email capture box slides up from the bottom right-hand corner of the page whenever a visitor scrolls down 60 percent of the page’s height. If a visitor closes the box, they won’t see it again for 30 days. The box itself can be completely customized with whatever HTML text you want; we chose to sync it with our MailChimp list.
And all these numbers and options can be completely customized—scroll percentage, days hidden, position, width, colors, and more. You can even choose where the box is visible, e.g. frontpage, posts,and/or pages.
There are a huge number of different plugins you can use to display social share buttons on your blog post. We’ve got a rooting interest in Digg Digg.
Digg Digg was built by our Buffer engineers a couple years back, and it’s been a staple on the Buffer blog ever since. What we’ve found most helpful with Digg Digg integration is the flexibility of where you can place the share buttons: floating to the left or right of the article (see our Open blog), pinned to the top or bottom of a blog post (see this Buffer Social blog), or manually wherever you wish inside your theme.
(While I’m thinking of it, I should mention that we’re often asked about the plugin that powers our author bio sections. Believe it or not, we don’t use a plugin for that! Our theme designers built the bios right into the template code.)
The most direct impact of this plugin on us writers is the SEO box beneath every post. Here we can choose our keyword for the post—a great tactic for staying focused on a topic—and add a custom title and description. The plugin will also show you in bright green/red text how your post stacks up based on the keyword you’ve entered.
You’ve likely noticed the bright, orange bar welcoming you to the Buffer blog every morning. That’s the Hello Bar, an amazing tool for A/B testing different CTAs and power words—and a pretty great tool for collecting email addresses, too.
Via HelloBar, we collect over 400 email addresses each week on the Buffer blog. Along with the slideup, those two sources account for over half of our new email signups each week.
The WordPress plugin for Hello Bar is as simple as it comes: Simply download, install, and paste in your Hello Bar code. You can also signup for a free Hello Bar account and grab the embed code yourself. We found the plugin to be the easier way to go.
One of the easiest (and prettiest) commenting systems we’ve found has been Disqus. The powerful Disqus system works right off your standard WordPress setup, allowing you to manage all comments neatly and quickly through the Disqus admin area or straight from the comments section on your blog.
We’ve run into a spate of comment spam on some of our old blog posts recently, and turning off comments for individual posts is as simple as two clicks on a drop-down menu.
We host the Buffer blog through WP Engine, and we get a lot more goodies from them beyond just hosting. WP Engine creates daily backups and one-click restores of the blog, manages all our major WordPress updates automatically, and provides security features to keep our blog safe.
While it’s not technically a plugin, WP Engine does add a little menu item to our WordPress sidebar, and we can quickly check there to see error logs, change some advanced settings, or log in to our WP Engine dashboard.
Price: Starting at $29 per month
Here’s one people seem to love: the Pin It Button for Images. This plugin adds a Pinterest Pin It button overlay on top of any image that appears in your blog post. Simple as that!
We’ve installed the plugin on the Buffer blog, and we’ve changed the settings so that the Pin It button only shows up when you add a specific CSS class to an image. You can also change the settings so that the button only shows on images on single posts, pages, index, category, and more.
When Courtney and I were getting into the groove of posting to the Buffer blog, we found it helpful to stay organized with an editorial calendar. The Editorial Calendar WordPress plugin seemed to do the trick just fine. It grabbed all of our scheduled posts and drafts, and it placed them on a neatly organized calendar so we could see at-a-glance what content was coming up.
Perhaps my favorite feature of the plugin was the cool way you could drag and drop different stories around the calendar, and it would update not only the calendar but the post itself. It was a huge help for keeping all our content organized and our team in sync.
Most likely our least-known WordPress plugin, WP Hide Post does exactly what it says: It hides posts from the blog.
Of course, these posts are still visible if you navigate there directly. However, they won’t show up in RSS feeds or on the main index page of blog posts.
We use this plugin to publish marketing materials (case studies, interviews, etc.) that we might want to reference later with our outreach efforts or promotions. These materials typically don’t fit the content strategy we have on the blog, so we hide them from our standard publishing streams.
Another plugin we keep in the toolbox (but you might not have seen lately) is MyTweetLinks. Think of this plugin as a soundbite source. You can enter a soundbite or quotable via the post editor, and this plugin will create a list of tweets to share and buffer at the end of your published post.
Next: 10 more plugins worth trying
You might be familiar with Filament’s adopted plugin Flare, a social share button plugin made byDigital Telepathy. You download and install Filament to your WP blog one time, then you can add any number of apps through the Filament dashboard whenever you choose.
Current apps include: MailChimp subscribe form, Google Analytics tracking, all-in-one profiles, code management, and share highlighter.
Built by Noah Kagan’s App Sumo team, SumoMe has a three-part tool to help promote your website: Visitors can share text they highlight, they can share images they find, and they can easily sign up for a newsletter. You can see parts of this plugin in action at the OK Dork blog andAndrew Chen’s blog. Here’s a screengrab of what the photo share overlay would look like:
Among the elements that make up a perfect blog post is one that often flies under the radar: Give your readers an easy way to share your best sound bites. The Click to Tweet plugin by CoSchedule accomplishes this in a really beautiful way. Once installed, you can add shareable quotes right inside your blog posts.
(Note: CoSchedule also makes a full-featured editorial calendar plugin that integrates nicely with a social media promotion strategy, too.)
Built by the team at WooThemes, the WooDojo plugin contains a suite of fun tools that add a bit of flair to your blog. Several of the WooDojo features deal with the WordPress sidebar and widgets, including some fun installations for social widgets and a tabbed content box.
A few weeks back, we were itching to put a featured box email signup form on the home page of our blog. Before we found a custom solution, we explored the PlugMatter plugin. With PlugMatter, you simply insert a piece of code at the end of your header.php file, then you can design and customize your featured box right from within the PlugMatter interface inside WordPress.
PlugMatter basic comes with a handful of premade themes, and you can upgrade for even more options.
Price: $37 and up
If you’re in the market for daily backups of your blog along with strong security features,VaultPress deserves a look. Built by the WordPress team (so you bet they know their stuff!), VaultPress performs daily backups, simple restores, and constant security scans, and you can monitor all the activity from your ValutPress dashboard.
Price: Starting at $5 per month
Another incredibly useful plugin from the WordPress team, JetPack features a bevy of tools all bundled into one plugin. Many of the 33 tools are the same as those available to the WordPress-hosted blogs. You’ll find things like contact form, related posts, share tools, and single sign on.
Perhaps the most-loved feature of Jetpack is its built-in analytics reporting. You can check your site stats straight from your WordPress dashboard, without having to log in anywhere else.
Do you remember the little slideup made popular by the New York Times website that showed a link and preview of related content to read next? Well, wouldn’t you know it, someone made it into a WordPress plugin!
The upPrev plugin shows a related content box when a visitor nears the bottom of a post. The related content can be picked however you choose—the previous article, from a certain category/tag, or a completely random article.
You can use this one for professional branding purposes or just for fun. On my personal blog, it’s completely for fun.
Basically, you can upload any photo and use it as a tiled background on your WordPress login page. Same goes for the WordPress logo, too, if there’s a company logo you’d like to use in place of the WordPress one. Along with photos, you can change typography, styles, and alignment of pretty much every element on the login page.
Much like the Hello Bar, the ManyContacts Bar is an email capture form that sits in a bar at the top of your website. There’re just a couple differences: The ManyContacts Bar has a bit of animation when it pops onto the screen, there are a couple design differences, and you can set it so that a custom message pops onto the screen after a few idle moments on the page:
All contacts are emailed directly to you and added to one of nine popular email newsletter services, including MailChimp and Aweber.
I don’t know about you, but there always seems to come a time when I’m browsing a site and find a feature or tool I absolutely love. How do they do that? I wonder.
Well, if the site you’re browsing runs on WordPress, there are a few simple ways to find out. The sleuthing requires that you know how to look at the source code of a website. To do this, you can press CTRL+U in most browsers or right click and select “View Source.” (Chrome users can select “Inspect Element” to look at a specific piece of code.)
To check to see if a website is using WordPress, look for this tag in the
section of the code:
To see the name of a site’s WordPress theme, open the site’s style.css file, and look for this section:
/* Theme Name: On Topic Theme URI: http://www.woothemes.com/ Version: 1.1.2 Description: Designed by WooThemes. Author: WooThemes Author URI: http://www.woothemes.com Tags: woothemes
To see the name of a plugin, you can browse a site’s scripts and stylesheets, looking for anything that might include the word “plugin” or similar naming. If there is an element on the page that looks like a plugin, the classes and ids of that element might also contain the plugin name. Here’s a good example from Stack Exchange:
Go through the source code and look for any scripts and stylesheets that might be loaded as well as any unique IDs or class names inserted by the plugins.
would all be hints that the theme is using a plugin called Socialize. Here’s a screengrab of what the code looks like just below the buttons for our Digg Digg plugin.
We rely quite heavily on WordPress plugins to make our job a little easier and to help the Buffer blog run at full capacity.
Which plugins are most helpful to you?
I’d love to hear which ones have helped you supercharge your blog or website. I’m always in the market for new plugin ideas (as you can tell!). If you’ve got one to share, it’d be awesome to hear about it in the comments.
Continue reading here: 20 WordPress plugins for easier sharing, better posting and a more powerful blog
On Friday afternoon, we had some fun with the Yo API. We wanted to build a program to trigger actions whenever someone sent us a Yo.
From this basic idea, I actually spent a large part of my weekend writing a distributed version, and I had a lot of fun connecting the Yo API with other services (like the Mailjet API to send an email each time someone Yo’ed an account).
While playing around with the API, we also wondered why we were attracted to it in the first place. Having a closer look, we discovered that it has great lessons to teach us!
Yo is still in its infancy but they are moving fast, in a very pragmatic way.
A few weeks ago, you had no way of logging into your account again if you logged out because of a missing password. To get access to the API, you had to wait for a few days. But from the beginning, they knew that their API had a large role to play in their success!
Two weeks ago the only endpoint available was “yoall,” to broadcast a Yo to all the subscribers of an account, without reasonable rate limits.
One week ago, they launched their API dashboard, to create and manage API accounts. They also added some rate limiting (currently one call per minute), to reduce spam.
The API is like the product: simple. For now, all you can do is Yo all your subscribers (“yoall” endpoint) or an individual account (“yo” endpoint) along with getting the subscriber count (“subscribers_count” endpoint).
This simplicity lets people use the API in seconds: a simple call with cURL gives you instant feedback. It should always be that simple!
Providing clean documentation about what your API can do and how to start using it will always be rewarded by developers.
It you think about the Yo API which is still really simple (two endpoints, one parameter: the API token) they still took the time to document it and make this documentation easily accessible from the API dashboard.
Building simple things doesn’t mean you can’t offer great opportunities, and the guys behind Yo understood this! To succeed, you also need to give context to people to inspire them to create new things.
They organised a hackathon in SF two weeks ago, taking advantage of the momentum their launch has created.
Afterwards, they did a great follow-up blog post featuring all of the great ideas that were developed during the event. Featuring these projects was a great way for people who did not attend to see the opportunities that the product has to offer.
When I read this blog post, it really struck me just how many possibilities there are for building with their API. For example, the BASKETBALLBERRY project featured in the article was a source of great inspiration for me to write this client, one that sends me a Yo if my train is on time according to its schedule.
Always make it easy for developers to show you what they’ve built with your product. That’s always invaluable.
The Yo API is really straightforward, but it opens endless possibilities. The guys behind it did a great job of making developers’ lives really easy by helping them build amazing things with it.
What are your thoughts of integrating Yo in a larger context? Let’s discuss in the comments below.
Read the original here: What we can learn from the Yo API
If you’ve seen a bright orange Volkswagen Type 2 labeled “Hashtack 2.0″ recently, you’ve spotted Jeremy Greenfield who has been living and moving around the country in it for the past few months trying to raise awareness for his app and get investors to back him.
Hashtack, a startup that pitched at the Seattle TechCrunch meetup this year, is a photo- and video-sharing app that brings together Facebook, Instagram and Twitter into one medium. Users can like, comment and zoom into pictures, as well as repost them, or as Greenfield says, “retack” them.
Instagram has a problem where users screenshot posts by other users and upload those photos by themselves, without the original poster’s knowledge. One way Greenfield says Hashtack tackles this is by allowing users to easily “retack” a photo they like, while also loading any descriptions and the name of the original uploader. It also applies a faint watermark to the image to show that it isn’t an original post.
Yet since users can also save videos and photos by just pressing down on them, you can upload the content by yourself and still pass it off of your own. But Greenfield says Hashtack makes the whole process easier to incentivize users from reposting other people’s photos without giving credit.
Hashtack also allows you to create your custom hashtag stream. So if you create the stream #WorldCup, you will be able to view any photo or video using that hashtag.
And this is where Greenfield says he is trying market the app. He believes the app is great for the average user, but becomes a lot more powerful in the hands of social media managers, content creators, community managers and small business owners.
This makes it easier for companies to respond to users who are engaging with them, and a company “retacking” a users post could build brand loyalty.
Hashtack is opening its first round of funding. Up until now, the project has been personally funded by Greenfield. The product was originally called Divyy, but was rebranded and released as Hashtack in March. Version 2.0 was released last month.
The app is available on iOS and an Android app is on its way.
IMAGE BY Hashtack (IMAGE HAS BEEN MODIFIED)
See the rest here: Hashtack Combines Photos From Facebook, Twitter and Instagram Into One App
Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg has admitted that a week-long psychological experiment affecting almost 700,000 unaware users was “poorly communicated.”
As the Wall Street Journal reports, the company executive said:
“This was part of ongoing research companies do to test different products, and that was what it was; it was poorly communicated. And for that communication we apologize. We never meant to upset you.”
The controversial tests came to light through a research paper. Led by data scientist Adam Kramer, a team of researchers altered the News Feed algorithm to show 689,003 users a larger percentage of either positive or negative content. To be clear, these were unaltered posts from people in their network – the company simply altered which posts appeared first in the News Feed.
Facebook discovered that users’ posts were influenced by those shown to them in their News Feed. Those who saw positive content were, on average, more positive and less negative with their Facebook activity in the days that followed. The reverse was also true for those who were tested with a larger percentage of negative posts in their News Feed.
Researchers are now questioning whether Facebook breached ethical guidelines around informed consent. Kramer has also posted on Facebook to apologize and explain why the study was conducted without users’ knowledge.
“We felt that it was important to investigate the common worry that seeing friends post positive content leads to people feeling negative or left out,” he said. “At the same time, we were concerned that exposure to friends’ negativity might lead people to avoid visiting Facebook.”
He added: “I can understand why some people have concerns about it, and my co-authors and I are very sorry for the way the paper described the research and any anxiety it caused.”
Featured image credit: Ramin Talaie/Getty Images
Yahoo’s spring cleanings have extended into the summer months, the company announced today, detailing a series of product changes and closures, many of which are nearly obsolete, obscure, or just unpopular. But among the more high-profile of these closures is Yahoo acquisition Xobni, the maker of smart email and contacts management apps that were acquired last summer.
At the time of the acquisition announcement, Yahoo said people using Xobni’s products would be able to continue to do so “indefinitely.” However, in today’s post, the company points to a FAQ on the Xobni website, implying that the product’s total shutdown was previously announced. That may confuse the handful of remaining Xobni users who may have thought that as long as they had the Xobni Smartr app installed, for instance, it would continue to work even though it was no longer being actively developed or supported.
But according to this new post, today is Xobni’s last day.
Yahoo buys then kills a startup? That’s not really news, I suppose. And at least Xobni’s complete and total death was held off for a full year.
Other products getting the boot (or that already got the boot and you didn’t notice!) include a virtual makeover tool called Newlook, Yahoo Finance’s “research reports” feature, Bookmarks.yahoo.com, Yahoo People Search (bundled into Yahoo Search), Yahoo Toolbar on Chrome (replaced by Yahoo’s Chrome extension), Yahoo Shine (replaced by new magazines, Yahoo Beauty and Travel), Yahoo Voices, and the Yahoo Contributor Network. The last four in that list have yet to close, with the Toolbar dying off on July 22, while the remaining products will live until the end of the month.
It’s not surprising for Yahoo to cut its non-performing products, as the company is trying to “further its focus” on core experiences – Search, Communications, Digital Magazines and Video – as it says today. This is also not the first time Yahoo has made the decision to eliminate items from its overly large lineup – it did the same in March and April 2013, today’s announcement also notes.
Now its found its way onto the most elusive and coveted platform of all: some dude’s chest.
In honor of Tetris’ 30th anniversary, tinkerer Mark Kerger grabbed 128 LEDs, a fistful of batteries and an Arduino Uno, and crammed ‘em all together inside of a plain white tee.
The end result: Tetris. On his T-shirt. Tee-tris? Chestris?
Note: since the above video is muted, I’ve embedded the song you probably wanted to hear down below. I’ve also embedded Smooth McGroove’s a cappella version below that, because any day I get to put a Smooth McGroove video in a post is a good day:
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of “the tech industry”? For many people, it’s a bunch of company or brand names, like Facebook and Microsoft. Maybe a couple of key identifying people come to mind, like Mark Zuckerberg wearing a hoodie or Sergey Brin walking about in Google Glass.
But the actual tech industry is comprised of the thousands of people who work every day in roles beyond the most high profile CEOs — the programmers, the designers, the product leads. I love working on our Cribs and Inside Jobs series, because they help shine a light on those stories. And a new network of blogs called “Hackers Of” does a beautiful job of it as well.
Hackers Of debuted earlier this year with Hackers of NY and has since spread to include Hackers of Silicon Valley, Hackers of LA, and Hackers of London, with sites for Chicago and Seattle on the way. It was all started by Dani Grant, a recent graduate of NYU who majored in computer programming. Grant now helms the Hackers of Silicon Valley site, with the other cities being covered by other tech writers.
The Hackers Of sites are simple, but powerful: Each post provides a full “snapshot” of someone who works in the tech industry, featuring a beautifully shot photograph and a short pull quote from an interview (the featured image above is from Hackers Of NY’s post about front end developer Alexandra Qin.) Often the quotes focus on programming and the projects they’re working on, but they also get into personal philosophies and motivations, work habits, and more.
They’re the kind of blogs that keep you scrolling through to read entry after entry, and make you bummed when you reach the end.
In an email, Grant told me that she started the site to get a wider network of people interested in programming. “I thought, the best way to get people to hack is by celebrating the hackers.” In a personal blog post last week, Grant elaborated on that thought:
“… In computer science, we are tasked with solving problems not just with any solution, but with the most efficient solution. In open source, the problems we solve for ourselves, we solve for the rest of the developer community. Hackers are superheroes to one another.
This is so empowering, even outside the scope of tech. What could I do to give this optimism to others, to get people hacking?
I taught an introductory coding class at school, but that wasn’t really the solution I was looking for. I wanted a way to celebrate hackers. When code is pushed, it ships without a face. If I wanted to get people excited about hacking, I had to bring back those faces.”
Overall, Hackers Of is a straightforward idea that comes from a positive place, and it’s being executed quite well. That’s how the best things in tech often start, right?
Read the rest here: Meet The Real Hackers Of Silicon Valley (And NYC, LA, And London)
To the surprise of some, Opera has released a new version of its Web browser for Linux-based operating systems.
Available to download now, the last new version of Opera for Linux was version 12.16 from around a year ago, which doesn’t include a lot of the newer features seen on other platforms. Opera stopped updating the Linux build when it abandoned its own rendering engine and browser stack in favor of Chromium. Now, a Chromium-based Opera 24 is available to download for developers.
The company said in a blog post that it had been testing the new build exclusively on 64-bit Ubuntu Linux running the Unity or Gnome Shell. Although it could work on other Linux systems, support isn’t guaranteed.
View original post here: Opera’s Chromium-based Web browser is now available on Linux
Update: This is a video that’s been shared throughout the Internet purporting to show a concerted DDOS attack coming mainly from China and concentrated on United States internet servers on the day that Facebook’s service was down for many users worldwide.
We’ve looked into this further, however, and it turns out this attack bore no relation to Facebook’s outage on Thursday. For one thing, we’re told the time stamps don’t square up quite correctly. We’ve updated this post’s headline to make that completely clear. Meanwhile, Facebook says its initial statement that the outage was due to an internal software configuration error still stands.
So, as action-packed as it is, the video above was just another of the many global DDOS attacks that regularly occur in cyberland (showing why companies like Facebook have had to erect top-notch security teams for constant protection.) Technology companies large and small are increasingly targets for such attacks — as more people come online, the potential for havoc gets larger.
Update 2: And now, the video has been pulled from YouTube for violating the site’s policy against “spam, scams, and commercially deceptive content” (the title of the video said the attack caused the Facebook outage.) You can still see a blip of the video in the screenshot embedded in this post.
Original post: This past Thursday, a number of Facebook users worldwide were unable to access the social networking site worldwide for about a half an hour. Such an outage is big news for as large a site as Facebook, and at the time, the company acknowledged the event with a short statement that attributed it to a software configuration that had been enacted before the outage.
According to footage posted by a YouTube user called Tournaments Replays that was allegedly pulled from Norse, a security intelligence company that monitors cyber attacks in real time, there appears to have been a large distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attack coming mainly from China and concentrated on United States internet servers on the day that Facebook’s service was down for many users worldwide. Video of the alleged attack is embedded above.
See the original post here: This Video Shows A Day In The Life Of DDOS Cyber Attacks