Sorry Derrick

So one of the things I do at work is deal with the ‘general mailbox’ … including all the email that comes to non-existent users on our domain. Most days this includes various degrees of subscriptions and junk mail and outright spam sent to former employees who no longer have an active email account.

Today it was unsubscribing from Groupon emails being sent to a former coworker. I have my doubts about how effective unsubscribing from this one will be, but this is without a doubt the most brilliant unsubscribe confirmation page I’ve ever seen.

Image

You guessed it … who can resist clicking on ‘punish Derrick’ just to see what will happen, and yes, it ends with a guilt-laden plea to resubscribe.

So, the user is going to think twice about unsubscribing. As the manager of a Mailchimp account I can certainly see the value in that. We regularly have users accidentally unsubscribe from our mailing list. I started to figure it out when a member of our congregational council wondered why she wasn’t getting the newsletter any more. Sure enough, Mailchimp showed that she had managed to unsubscribe herself. Now I occasionally go through the unsubscribe list to see if there are a few people I need to check in with to see if that was really their intent.

And, even if you did really mean to unsubscribe, I think it would leave the user with a more positive impression of the sender … as more human, with a sense of humor, than as a nasty spammer.

That is, assuming unsubscribing actually worked and I don’t get more email from Groupon tomorrow ūüôā

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Notes on Telling Your Story

Notes from Breakout session #2 at Echo 2013

Communication Track > Telling Your Story: What Gets Communicated When & Where? > Dawn Nicole Baldwin


The recent explosion in technology is enough to make anyone’s head spin. We’re supposed to develop a social media strategy, a mobile strategy as well as a web strategy… not to mention print. If we’re not careful, we’ll end up exhausting ourselves trying to manage it all (not to mention overwhelm our audience). In this fast-paced, interactive session we’ll step back to look at how the pieces fit together to form a communication strategy as well as cover practical ways to: sharpen the focus of your communications, identify and reach your audience with greater impact, prioritize messaging, determine how multi-site campuses fit in the mix, and get the rest of the team on board.

Dawn Nicole Baldwin formerly worked at Willow Creek and Veggie Tales, now at Aspire One
What is the problem we’re trying to solve?

Where is the audience at today?

The editing process and having someone sift through the noise is important
  • The impact of information overload¬†becomes numbing ->¬†We only remember 10%
  • Only 1 in 5 people are super takers who¬† can multitask and not lose efficiency
  • Noise costs us lost connections and missed ministry opportunities
“The greatest challenge with communication is the illusion that it has occurred” ~¬†Charles Kettering
Know what is nice to know vs what the audience needs to know

Who are we serving
Where are we going 
What are we doing well

Important to communicate -> Why are we here? What would people miss if this ministry weren’t here ?

Who are you trying to reach? How are their needs changing? What is their mindset? What do they have in common? Even if they are diverse they must have something in common.

If you try to be all things to all people you end up being nothing to anyone

Endless opportunities do not make people more aware of the opportunities -> they convert into white noise

Awareness Test http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSQJP40PcGI

  • If you are concentrating on the number of passes made you might miss the moonwalking bear

What is the one big thing and how is this reinforced by secondary messages?
What are the common denominators and how do you focus on it?
(Example Lifetouch church.TV > start with one big thing instead of all the options)

Ministries end up competing with each other for the time and attention of the congregation

Create a system for prioritizing communications such as the Priority Matrix (#5 in the slide deck linked below)

  • Create categories for visibility > high / medium / light
  • Give examples that would fit in each category
  • Define the available tools for each category
Taking away crutches can actually increase effectiveness

Put the most resources into the main items > can be rotated to some extent
Needs to be rolled out by senior leadership ->¬†“We are fundamentally changing how we are communication so we can be more effective”


A few links of interest:

To do:

  • Create a priority matrix

The Challenge

  • Buy in

Notes on Building a Tribe

A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Echo Conference in Dallas. What a wonderful week! Now, after a week of catch-up, perhaps I can find time to go through my notes … here’s the first breakout session I attended:

Communication Track > Building a Tribe > Jon Acuff


Everyone¬†can communicate. Everyone has something to say. But not everyone has a tribe that will listen to them. In this Q&A session with Jon Acuff, we’ll explore how he was able to successfully build his tribe with Stuff Christians Like and apply that to you building your own tribe.
To be a leader you must have:
  • Ideas worth sharing
  • An audience to share them with
  • The ability to share

“Creativity is a wild mind and a disciplined eye.‚ÄĚ ~ Dorothy Parker

Broca’s area bounces out the ideas that the brain can’t process

Build good bridges / avoid segregating ideas

  • Jesus jerks
  • Booty-God-Booty / fracturing our lives
  • Drive by Jesus
Time = love … Who do you spend time with … What non-Christians do you spend your time with?
Creativity funnel has 3 parts
  1. Imagine  Р> Quantity of ideas must be deliberately fed by many sources. This is like the time a cow spends chewing the cud before producing milk (got to love a dairy example)
  2. Capture the better ideas
  3. Execute -> Time now to tune out the distractions of the imagine phase and go for Quality
To build a community -> Clarity / Consistency / Core values
Satire vs mockery ( to cause change or to cause a wound)
Choosing the right vehicle

Finding small gaps between where you are and what you need to do

  • Ask ‘What is a reason we might want to change this?’
  • Rate it 1-10 … Why didn’t you choose a higher number?
What is the motive (not the mafia)
Using the wrong way to communicate blocks someone from using the right one
Think about how to put my idea in the language of the audience

A few links of interest:

Where I’m doing OK

  • I see a big part of my communication ministry as building bridges between Sunday and the rest of the week

What I can work on

  • Creating space for imagining

Hoop Pergola

P1320905We built our house in 1997. In 2002 (I know this because it is etched on the corner, along with the kids’ names) we poured a large concrete slab outside the patio doors for a future pergola … which means for over 10 years now I’ve been looking at plans and photos and hoping we’d get something built.

I kind of assumed I wanted a typical wood pergola, But it wasn’t a cheap or (for me anyway) DIY project.¬†See, that’s my garden style, cheap and DIY. I buy random plants on clearance, divide what grows well, and move things around. I guess that’s why I just kept thinking about it and never doing anything.

Just over a week ago I was inspired by this picture from a This Old House magazine. Maybe I didn’t want a typical square wood pergola after all?

After a bit of research on the type of hoop construction that is typically used for greenhouses, some math with help from my college student daughter, and a couple of test hoops, I came up with a plan to build my pergola frame with hoops. It only took a few hours, $100, and a teeny bit of help (maybe 5 minutes).

Here’s what I bought at our local big box home improvement store:

  • 12 pieces of schedule 40 1/2″ x 10′ PVC conduit with bell end @ 1.31 ($15.72) Make sure to not get schedule 80, because it won’t fit over the 1/2″ rebar … guess how I know)
  • 6 pieces of schedule 40 1″ x 10′ PVC conduit with bell end @¬†¬†2.45 ($14.70)
  • 1 Can spray paint for plastic $5.19
  • 1 Pkg 5′ bamboo stakes $2.68
  • 1 Pkg 3′ bamboo stakes $2.28
  • 12 pieces 1/2″ x 4′ rebar @ $2.98 ($35.76)
  • 1 reel of electric fence wire $15.49 (I could have got by with the $6 roll, but we live on a farm so always need fencing wire)

With tax it all came to $97.79

The tools I needed were simple:

  • hammer
  • pair of piers
  • sandpaper
  • ladder

First, I lightly sanded and spray painted the pipes. Not in the way that you’d want to inspect them too closely … just enough to make them blend into the house a little, and cover the markings on them a bit … until I exhaused the spray can. If you wanted to be more particular about painting you’d want to use 2-3 cans of spray paint. I used a couple of pieces of garden edging that were laying around as a make-do rack for painting them. This way I could turn them around and do the other side right away.

I marked out where the hoop ends would go, 6 on each side of the patio. Because I have steps coming down to the side of the patio (so I needed a ‘doorway’), and because I just don’t tend to do things in straight lines, I zig-zagged the middle hoops slightly. My patio is 14′ wide, and with a little experimentation I had found that with 30 foot hoops, a width of about 17′ gave a nice height (cleared the patio door but didn’t get too close to the window above), and I wouldn’t have to cut any pipes, so the ends would be about 1.5 feet out from the edges of the concrete.

I used the hammer to pound the rebar about 15 inches into the ground, leaving just under 3 feet above ground. The great thing about this is there is no digging and no need to disturb the existing plants in the area.

By this time the paint was dry enough to handle. I assembled the pipes in groups of 3 to make six 30′ lengths – 2 of 1″ conduit which would be the ends, and 4 of 1/2″ conduit. With the bell on one end of each pipe they just slipped together.

To install the hoops I simply slipped the ends over the rebar. Putting up the end hoops (made of the larger pipe)  is the only place I needed a second pair of hands. Because of the weight I needed a helper to hold the other end so I could get enough of it up in the air to bring it down straight onto the rebar. This photo from one of my research sites shows how.

P1320907

I connected the hoops with bamboo stakes and wire. I didn’t have any particular plan for this part, other than leaving a couple of ¬†‘doorways’. I curled up the ends of the wire and added a few beads from my craft stash just for the fun of it.

I’m not sure what I’ll grow on it yet. I do have a wild grapevine in the vicinity, growing up the deck to the left of the photos. After my husband’s ruthless trimming last year it just barely reaches to the first hoop this year, but I’m going to try to train some of that on the hoops. I also have had some morning glory for the last few years which self-seeds, so I moved some seedlings to the bottom of many of the poles. I’m hoping the morning glory will give me some coverage already this year while I see how the hoops work out.

Facebook Strategy – When to Post

One of my official work goals this year is develop a communication strategy. One part of that which I’m particularly interested in is Facebook strategy, and something I’ve seen mentioned many times is to be intentional about not just what you post, but when you post it.

I’ve finally found a place today where I feel enough breathing room to return to this blog post on exploring the timing of Facebook posts from “Gilligan on Data”¬†that I must have bookmarked back in February. I don’t remember where I came across the link, Remember the Milk tells me I’ve postponed looking at it 56 times though ūüôā

I exported my data as far back as I could go for the Zion Lutheran Church page (July 2011), which had to be done in several batches (there is a maximum of 180 days). I ended up with data for 813 posts, which I pasted into one spreadsheet.

As mentioned in the comments of the original post, the data columns tend not to match the template provided. I rearranged and added blank columns where needed into my data to make it match the template. I also had to add some blank columns in the template. Then I pasted the data as instructed into cell A8 in sheet 2.

That’s where it stopped working for me (I’m assuming because I have Excel 2003), and here’s how I proceeded:

  1. I sorted the data by Day of Week and edited the fields to make it sort in chronological order (1-SUN, 2-MON, 3-TUE, etc.)
  2. I did the same thing with Time of Day (1-Midnight to 6:00 AM, 2-6:00 AM to 9:00 AM, etc.)
  3. I sorted by Day of Week and Time of Day
  4. I subtotaled by change in Time of Day with averages for Total Reach and Engagement Rate and a count
  5. I manually transferred the counts and averages into sheet 3 (I also had to change the cell formatting from Custom to General to make the numbers show up)
  6. My own data had very few posts in the midnight-6am or 9pm-midnight time slots, and those that were there were frequently far higher or lower, so I grayed those out
  7. I averaged each week day (6am-9pm time slots) and each time period in each table, and graphed them
  8. I manually colored the Post Reach and Post Engagement boxes. Since I had no idea what the original scale was I used the following:
    1. Pink = below average for both the day and the time of day
    2. Green = above average for both the day and the time of day
    3. White = above average for one and below average for the other

Here’s what it looked like:

day and timeWhile I was playing with the data, I pulled out the 50ish worst and best posts (based on having the relatively lowest or highest reach and engagement).

  • I know that using photos is generally considered a good tactic, and every one of my best 50ish posts were photos. The majority were either albums of photos from events, or¬†behind-the-scenes photos of staff, volunteers, and facilities projects.
  • Only two of the 50ish worst posts were photos. The majority were basic status updates, links, and videos.

best and worst

I also ran some subtotals by month so I could graph reach and engagement over time. I don’t think I learned a lot from this. Reach generally trended upwards (although it took a dip last fall / winter), and engagement is all over the place.

My new goals after this process:

  • Try some posts in the earliest and latest time slots which I haven’t used much
  • Be intentional about using the time slots that were above average for both the day and the time in both graphs
  • Keep posting photos, especially sets of photos soon after events, and behind-the-scenes photos of staff, volunteers, and facilities projects
  • Avoid links, unless they are attached to a photo

Pondering Pronunciation

I’ve lived in Minnesota as an adult longer than I lived in Australia as a child. Most of my American friends would say I still have an Australian accent (at least until they meet my dad), but most of my Australian friends would probably say I have an American accent by now.

I guess that means it is neither one nor the other. There are still words I tend to say the Australian way, words I make an effort to say the American way, and words that now come naturally the American way. When I visit Australia, or even talk to another Australian some of those words slip back to the Australian pronunciation, and some remain American.

Some years ago I read a book titled Digging to America, and I wrote down this quote:

‚Äú. . . how long had she been in this country? And did she like it? Maryam hated being asked such questions, partly because she had answered them so many times before but also because she preferred to imagine that maybe she¬†didn’t¬†always, instantly, come across as a foreigner.‚ÄĚ

Wherever¬†I go, I am that foreigner. Language is a funny thing. A series of things, though, have perhaps made me think about this more lately than usual …

  • Last summer I took my family to our first ANZAA event. It was so surreal to be surrounded by Australian and Kiwi¬†accents and food after an hour in a car rather than a day in a plane.
  • In December my girls and I were hooked on Call the Midwife on PBS. So much so, that when one of them had a gift certificate to spend at Buffalo books, this is what she selected. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, just as I did the mini-series, but perhaps my favorite part was the unexpected appendix, ‘On the difficulties of writing the Cockney dialect‘. It made me think about the great similarities between Cockney and Australian, and it was interesting to see the hallmarks represented in that way.
  • In January I was able to be a guest speaker at a local elementary school when they were studying Australia. That always brings up both great questions about the language, and attempts by the kids to mimic my accent with varying success. Here are the slides from my presentation.
  • I’ve recently had cause to speak more regularly to an American Natalie, as I did yesterday, and every time I say that name it sounds foreign coming out of my mouth. Each time I think of my Australian childhood friend Natalie, and how the two names are so NOT the same.

Before I go any further, let me be clear with a couple of disclaimers

  • I don’t know nothing about the ‘right’ way to notate phonetics.
  • Language varies all over Australia, and even more so all over America. It is probably different where you are. This is just my own experience.

Anyway, to me there are a few words that come to mind which illustrate some pronunciation differences.

Rotary

Australians have a tendency to shorten some 3-syllable words into 2 syllables. Natalie falls into this category (nat-ah-LEE vs NAT-lee), but rotary is the first one I dealt with. I was a Rotary exchangee, so had to say that word a lot! In Minnesota it is pronounced RO-tah-ree, while in Australia it is ro-TREE.

Now, even when I go back and visit my sponsor Rotary Club, it comes out as RO-tah-ree and I feel like it is the thing that immediately marks me as an American. The town of Westbury is WEST-bree, not west-BUR-ee. My childhood friend was NAT-lee, and my more recent acquaintance is NA-tah-lee.

Barb

While we’re on names, there’s also Barb. For years when I would refer to one set of my host parents as Mike and Barb I got confused looks. Eventually I came to understand that when I thought I was saying Mike and Barb, others were hearing Mike and Bob. It took several years longer to learn and remember to pronounce the R in Barb.

Now, my Australian friends can maybe not comprehend how Barb becomes Bob. Because Australians would put a short O in there (just the way it looks), but Americans make it sound more like Bahb.

By the way, here’s a fun post I found on the¬†pronunciation of names with accents. Makes me wonder what my own family thinks of my weird pronunciation of their names, especially the ones with Rs in them … wow, I never thought about that before …

Farm

Here we go with the Rs again. I live on a farm within sight of a barn. My brother farms in Australia (not so many barns there though). In America the R is right there, jumping out at you … this time they are the ones who pronounce it just how the word looks. In Australia the R almost disappears, and becomes fahm. Barn becomes bahn.

Water

This is one that still gets me … no one understands me at all if I don’t remember to say it the American way, and I don’t always remember. If you have ever served me in a restaurant or offered me a cold drink in your home I apologize. There are actually two separate issues with this word. Dictionary.com lists the pronunciation of the word as ‘[waw-ter,¬†wot-er]’, and I think in these parts (Minnesota) it sounds to me more like ‘WAH-ter’. To make things fun, I have ‘issues’ with both parts.

The ‘wah’ comes out ‘wohd’, but not exactly. I’m sitting here saying it aloud over and over (good thing no one else is home)! Maybe ‘word’ … but it isn’t like the word ‘word’ at all because there is no ‘er’ at all and barely an ‘r’ … and I’m trying to think of another example, but if there is another word that starts like water it is eluding me …

The ‘ter’ is perhaps easier to explain. Just like barn and barb, the R disappears an becomes more of a ‘uh’. Butter becomes BUD-ah, hammer becomes HAM-ah, mother becomes MUTh-ah and so on.

Put them together and WAH-ter comes out WOHD-ah … or something like that. No wonder I confuse servers!

Tuesday

All of the other days essentially translate just fine, although in Australia they all end with a ‘dee’ instead of a ‘day’. Tuesday is particularly odd, usually pronounced CHEWS-dee. Australians think TOOS-day is equally odd. Same goes for tuna, TOO-na in America and CHEW-na in Australia (and sometimes in my kitchen). Other examples would be tune (CHOON) or tube (CHOOB) A similar thing happens to some D words … due is d-YEW in America but JEW in Australia and dune is pronounced d-YUNE while in Australia it sounds exactly the same as June.

Arse/Ass

I don’t say it often. It happens that I don’t tend to use even mildly questionable language much at all. But, there is something lovely about a word that sounds so coarse in American English becoming decidedly more refined. Almost like Violet Crawley might say it … almost.

Oh, and isn’t the class that rhymes with arse so much classier than the class that rhymes with ass?*

I love¬†this blog post¬†on Ass vs Arseūüôā

Although the spelling doesn’t change, there is the same difference with grass. ¬†The first time I realized my eldest child had noticed my accent she was about 3, we were walking along a grass roadside and I heard her singing to herself grass-grahss-grass-grahss.

Australia*

Today, I was asked the¬†inevitable¬†question, “so where are you from.” I resisted the urge to say “Buffalo.” Yes, sometimes that is my actual answer, which never actually avoids the question they are really getting at. So, I ¬†say “os-TRAIL-yah” … somewhere between the hos-TRAY-lee-ah I think people expect, and the uh-STRAY-uh inside my head. Of course, the one-syllable STRAYA also makes perfect sense to me, although I imagine that would be completely¬†unintelligible¬†to an American.

Assorted Links

* added 3/15

Beware your Friends of Friends

Earlier this week we had a speaker at church on Internet Safety: The Anti-social Side of Social Media. His focus was on the ways the internet can misused by the ‘bad guys’.¬†In fact, an example of what he was talking about showed up in the news the very next day.

My takeaways from the presentation can perhaps be summed up by

  1. Know who your friends are (‘cull’ or ‘weed’ your list if needed),
  2. Set your privacy so only your friends can see information about you (more information about this one below),
  3. and (perhaps my favorite) ‘teenage boys are stupid‘ … in other words, if you send them something provocative it WILL be shared with people you don’t want it shared with. Once you post (or private message) something it is out of your control.

What the speaker did not cover so much was the how-to of managing your privacy, and I know that is something parents are looking for … so here are a couple of my suggestions:

Understand the Privacy Icons

Privacy IconsYou see them all over¬†Facebook¬†… including under posts, beside pictures, and at the bottom of the status update box. If you hover over them they will usually pop up a description. Before you can manage your privacy, you need to understand what the most common settings mean.

Public is simply everyone that uses Facebook. If a post has the globe symbol next to it, anyone can see it. If your friend posts a photo or status with a public setting, and you comment on that public item, your comment is also public. If you don’t want your comment to be public, don’t comment on public items.

Friends of Friends¬†looks like 3 people, and is the most misunderstood setting. It doesn’t sound like a problem … we tend to relate to real life friends of friends (like coworker’s brother, or neighbor’s babysitter). Online, it is more like acquaintances of¬†acquaintances, or even random connections of random connections.

Networks like this fascinate me (I¬†recommend¬†this Coursera class if you really want to dig deep) … bear with me a minute …

A¬†user with¬†with 100 friends is likely to have 27, 500 unique friends-of-friends (from this 2011 study, page 8). The average¬†Facebook¬†user has, according to this 2012 study, 245 friends. Take into account a phenomenon¬†known as the friendship paradox, which says that your friends are likely to have, on average, more friends than you do (this holds true in real life, not just online). Add it all up, and the 2012 study found¬†that a Facebook user’s friends-of-friends can easily number 31,000 (median) to 156,000 (average) or way more (of just 269 users in the study the maximum friends-of-friends found was over 7,000,000).

If you are posting something to friends-of-friends you probably should have a good reason for doing so. If you are commenting on a photo or status that your friend or a friend of your friend has set to friends-of-friends, then each of those friends of friends can see your comment.

Friends looks like two people, and is the people in your friend list. For many Facebook users this is a good default choice for their own posts. Do be aware though, that when you are commenting on a photo or status of your friend, and they have set their post privacy to friends, it is *their* friends who can see your comment.

Custom looks like a cog, and lets you specify friends who will be ale to see a particular post.

Use Privacy Settings

In many ways, Facebook does let you fine tune who can see the things you post. Click on the padlock icon at the top right of your page,  [Who can see my stuff], then [see more settings] to get to the privacy settings. Here are some details to check and tweak:

  1. Make sure [who can see your future posts] is NOT set to public or friends-of-friends. As mentioned above, friends, or possibly custom would be a good option. This becomes your default setting for future posts, you can still specify a different audience for particular posts.
  2. If you are in doubt about what you might have posted publicly in the past, click on [Limit the Audience for Old Posts on Your Timeline], [Limit Old Posts], and then [Confirm]. Be aware that his is a global change which can’t be undone in one click.
  3. Turn search engines off.
  4. Check your Activity Log. Everything listed here shows up some place on Facebook with your name attached to it. In some cases the Privacy icon on the right side will have a drop down menu to change the privacy right from the log or at least indicate what the audience is. In some cases the Edit icon on the right side will have options for you to delete or unlike or untag right from the log. You can also click the word [timeline], [status], [link], or [photo] on the left side to go to the item in question.
  5. Next, go to the Timeline and Tagging section (accessible from the left menu of the settings page) and turn on / enable [Review posts from friends…]¬†if you have friends who might post something objectionable on your wall or tag you in a post or photo you wouldn’t want to be tagged in.
  6. Return to facebook.com and click on [Edit Profile] under your name. When you click [Edit] on each box, you will find that each individual item has a privacy icon next to it. Work through each item and tweak the settings to suit your comfort level.
  7. Click on the padlock and [Who can see my stuff] again, this time click on [View As]. This will show you what your page looks like to a non-friend (such as a potential employer or creepy stranger). You can also click on [View as Specific Person] and enter any friend’s name at the top to see what they see.

Ignore the Hoaxes

I’m sure you’ve seen the posts … it usually goes something like ‘Hover over my name above. In a few seconds you‚Äôll see a box that says ‚ÄúSubscribed‚ÄĚ. Hover over that, then go to ‚ÄúComments and Likes‚ÄĚ and un-click it,” and how it will¬†supposedly¬†‘limit hackers from invading our profiles‘.

Your friends probably mean well … but they don’t know what they are talking about.¬†It doesn’t work that way, it doesn’t help anyone, and it leads your friends to think they’ve taken the proper steps to protect their privacy, when all they have really done is hidden your comments and likes from their own feed, and only their own feed. The actual culprit is that friends-of-friends privacy setting … if you don’t want your comments and likes showing up in the sidebar of strangers, check that privacy icon and don’t comment on or like posts that are set to friends-of-friends or public.

Read more here and here and here, and please, don’t repost this type of ‘warning’ unless you have checked it out and understand it. Pretty please.

Use Lists to Manage Friends

If you have a large number of friends you might want to manage them with lists. Lists allow you to easily publish content to selected friends. Keep in mind, you still don’t want to post the kind of thing that would¬†embarrass¬†you if it spread all over the internet, but some things might be of more interest to some friends than others. For example, you might have a ‘friends’ list and a ‘family’ list … in my case, I have a ‘Church’ list. I won’t go into all the details right now, but start with¬†this help page.

About Tagging

tagging exampleThe comment was made at the presentation, that once you are tagged in a photo you cannot untag yourself. Well, this is partly true.

If you are tagged in the ‘normal’ way, you will be notified that you were tagged, your name next to the photo will be blue and linked to your profile (Angela and Steven in the example).

Here’s how you remove that tag (these instructions vary slightly with different views):

  1. Go to the photo in question
  2. Click on [Options] at the bottom
  3. Click on [Report/Remove Tag]
  4. Select [I want to untag myself]
  5. Click [Continue]

What happens sometimes is that someone who knows you but is not your Facebook friend can tag you by name without linking to your profile. In this instance your name net to the photo will be black and not linked to your profile. You won’t be notified, since it isn’t linked to your profile, and you can’t untag yourself, since it isn’t linked to your profile (Debra and Jason in the example). You probably won’t even know about it.

If you do find this, and it bothers you, I would suggest commenting (if you are able) or messaging the poster with a request to untag you … they are the only ones who can do so. If that doesn’t work and it is especially objectionable you could try the [I want this photo removed from Facebook] option under [Report/Remove Tag] (disclaimer … I’ve never tried this and I don’t know how effective that would actually be).

About Twitter

Kids (this is mostly for the youth) … I just want you to know three things:

  1. If you block someone (say @ZionYouth or your parents) from following you, but your account is not set to Protected … we can still navigate to your page and see your posts … and plainly see why you blocked us
  2. If you have multiple accounts, but both follow or are followed by the same friends … it probably isn’t accomplishing what you think it is.
  3. Before you update Twitter (or any other social network), think twice. Would you use that same foul language in person with your teachers, parents, employers and pastor? Have you considered how that same flirty comment intended for your friends or a cute classmate might be seen differently by some sleazy stranger? And before you retweet (or like), remember that  comment now shows up with your name next to it, as if you had said it yourself.

And the Links

Finally, here are two of the links mentioned at the presentation