Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Why I Don't Give Blood

I'm all for donating blood and I appreciate those who do give blood as there may come a day when I’m in need of that blood but as for me I’m not able to give blood.  The reason is simple, it’s psychosomatic.

When I was a sophomore in high school, there was a blood drive and in order to get out of Spanish class I volunteered to donate.  This very nice lady with very long decorated fingernails hooked me up and without being indelicate, I started filling the bag.

My bag was about half way full when the needle clotted and the blood stopped flowing.  The nice lady noticed and told me she was going to tap on the needle to see if she could get the blood to flow again.  She tapped and the clot remained.  So she told me she was going to rotate the needle a bit, a notion that made me nervous but what else was I going to do.  She rotated the needle, and as I remember, the pain was excruciating. 

As she turned away after rotating, the needle one of those long, decorated fingernails caught the needle and pulled it out sideways.  The upshot was it cleared the clot.  The downside was the rest of my donation ended up on the floor.

When we returned to Spanish my friends all had small armbands indicating that donated blood.  I returned with an armband that was twice as big.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

HootSuite's Achille's Heel, part 2

Back in October I posted this article relating to a key flaw I saw in how HootSuite interacted with Facebook.  Since then the issues expressed in that post have only gotten worse so I decided to open another ticket on the matter with HootSuite.  I figured I might as well get my $5.99 a month worth as it seemed I was pushing the envelope on what HootSuite was able to do.

Here is the latest reply from HootSuite support.

Rob F., Jul 06 16:43 (PDT):
Hello Jonathan,
Thank you for your patience as we have looked into this issue.
Between discussing this error with our development team and communicating with our partners at Facebook, we are able to verify that you are experiencing this error precisely because the quantity of postings that you are making is breaking the limit imposed by Facebook.
The error message is generated by Facebook and is adjusted automatically in response to how users are using their API. These limits are created dynamically by Facebook itself and there is no easy way to have them raised as they are correlated to how you are using their software.
According to our research, the limits are generated on a per application level. This means that their algorithms measure posts based on quality (in terms of how many times people like or interact with the posts themselves) versus the quantity of posts with little or no engagement.
Since this limit is issued on a per user and per day basis, the best practice would be to attempt to limit your postings throughout a day to match the amount of interaction that you are receiving.
Please note that because Facebook's API is maintained by Facebook, we cannot pinpoint exactly why you're encountering this error. If you'd like further insight into why it's happening, we strongly encourage you to contact Facebook Help Center regarding specific reasons why this error is occurring for your particular postings.
This ticket will now be marked as solved. If you have additional questions regarding this error message, or about Facebook's API in general, we suggest contacting Facebook themselves regarding this matter.
If you have any additional HootSuite related issues that we can help with please do not hesitate to contact us; we are here to help!
Thanks for using HootSuite!
Rob | HootSuite Help | @HootSuite_Help | HootSuite University -

This again confirms that HootSuite, operating on a Software as a Service platform is aggregating all posts to Facebook through their single API.  As a result the Facebook algorithm they mentioned is viewing posts from the application first, and the user second.  As such I only have partial control over when Facebook won't accept any more posts from HootSuite.  I don't have this problem when I use TweetDeck as Facebook views me as a single user only from TweetDeck.  I have posted as many times as 50 in a single hour without issue using TweetDeck.

Seeing as this issue is with HootSuite only and that their platform probably won't be changed to correct this I find myself shopping for an app I can use on my iOS devices that will allow me to post to both Twitter and Facebook without limits.  On my desktop I use TweetDeck for Chrome and even the old Adobe Air TweetDeck client without issues but TweetDeck has abandoned the iOS platform with no recent iPhone or iPad apps.

A recent development between Twitter and LinkedIn also means if I want posts to go to LinkedIn I need to use an app that will post to all 3 networks.  On my desktop HootSuite and the Adobe Air TweetDeck app can do that but on my iOS devices I'm limited to HootSuite.

It's 2012 - how many more years we do have to wait for a single social media app allows for cross-posting, without limits, helps avoid any disputes between social networks sharing information, and runs with all features on all platforms?

If social media is indeed the future and my next refrigerator will be on Twitter and able to text me when I'm almost out of milk then someone needs to figure this out.

Friday, July 6, 2012

And Another Island Forms...and Then Bites the Dust

Taking a page from Google+ it would appear that LinkedIn has decided to become an island, and not just an island, a forced departure point for all other social media communications. Think of it as an airport with no lounge and only a single flight to a single destination.  You can no longer connect your LinkedIn account to Twitter and have your tweets automatically appear on LinkedIn thus increasing your audience, which I thought was one of the goals of this site. Instead you have to use LinkedIn as your starting board and send any tweets from LinkedIn to Twitter and then of course you have to return to Twitter to manage those conversations.

LinkedIn says this is as a result of some changes Twitter made but I doubt that. So once again another social media player is not playing nice with everyone else in the sandbox. Now my LinkedIn audience if they want to continue to follow me, which I don't know why they would, will need to join the ranks for Twitter or Facebook as those posts will no longer appear there unless I use a software program that allows me to post to all 3 at once. In addition LinkedIn only works with Twitter and not with Facebook and of course not with Google+ as nothing works with them.

More fragmentation, that's what we all need. As I say to my friends on Google+, I hope to see you sometime soon off this desolate island.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

It Shouldn't Be This Difficult

I’ve decided I’m through with paying for HootSuite. While the concept is great and while they have great iOS apps, the lack of functionality is killing me. I post frequently and to multiple accounts and need software that allows me to do that quickly and easily. I find I’m spending too much time trying to get HootSuite to work and not letting it work for me.

As such, I’m back on the market. I’ve posted other things here about why I initially chose HootSuite over TweetDeck but the time has come for me to start again. Here are my issues:
  • In HootSuite, I have large gaps in my streams and lists so whenever I open the desktop program I have to manually refresh each list otherwise I will have several hours worth of gaps where tweets are not appearing.
  • HootSuite also has issues with posting to Facebook. They like to blame Facebook and I don’t really care who is to blame all I know is I can post 100% of the time from TweetDeck to Facebook but with HootSuite after 1 or 2 it stops and fails each time thus wasting my time. 
You may ask why I don’t just go back to TweetDeck, and that’s valid. On my desktop, I have gone back to using TweetDeck as it works 100% of the time. The challenge is TweetDeck does not have very good apps for iOS, which leaves me stuck and the actual desktop app is no longer supported. The new web app is ok but limited.

If such an app exists, that is the best for desktop and the best for iOS then I’d love to check it out. Please let me know what you are using. Here is what I want:
  1. Posts to both Twitter and Facebook reliably without any limiting or throttling that prevents frequent posting.
  2. Allows me to choose my image service, I prefer TwitPic but I want to be able to make that choice and not be forced into one like HootSuite does.
  3. Ability to natively post pictures to my Facebook wall and Twitter via TwitPic at the same time. HootSuite forces you to use their service sand only posts links to Facebook. The last version of TweetDeck for iPhone allows you to use TwitPic but only posts links to Facebook. The previous version was perfect, it would post a picture to Twitter as a link from TwitPic and then post the picture to your Facebook wall, it was perfect but it is no longer support and TwitPic no longer works with it.
  4. Ability to schedule tweets and Facebook posts.
  5. Fast. 
Its 2012 – this shouldn’t be that difficult.