Do we need or even want a Facebook phone?

While some in the technology industry had been buzzing about a Facebook phone for more than a year, is there any actual demand for it among Facebook users?

While it’s been talked about between social media and tech people, it’s one of those things that I’ve never really seen the average Facebook user say they want.

What they have said is that we need a better mobile experience. The Facebook app on both Android and Apple devices has long been a frustrating app. While I like the idea of the “skin”, I don’t see why it couldn’t have been just a better, stronger app instead of an entire phone.

That said, I think there are some good ideas in there, I love the idea of having your friends images in place of the icons for the apps with the feature chat heads. I also like the “cover feed” feature which seems to me like an interactive slide show. My worry there is more advertisements and possibly having an annoying or innappropriate image sitting there for too long. The notifications feature is also helpful. You get to swipe away anything you’re not ready to look at yet.

We should be clear too that all of your other apps are easily accessible too through the app launcher. This is where you would go back into the normal operating system of the phone.

As of April 12th only about five Android devices will be able to download the “home” skin from the Google Play store: HTC One, HTC One X, Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, and the Galaxy S4. Also on April 12th the HTC First will be released which is designed around the Facebook phone idea. It will be available for AT&T users and will cost $99. Tablets can see this feature later in the year.

If you’re a big Facebook user, and you’re looking for a device, like an iPod touch, that really only does one social media, then this is the device for you. I see people who would want this, but not big of a crowd as maybe Facebook thinks.

Originally posted here:

Sulia: the subject based social network

Occasionally, I will hide people who post on Facebook stuff I’m just not interested in. And on Twitter, I look for people who have common interests to me, same thing with Pinterest. In some ways Sulia is like Pinterest. There we “pin” items about topics that we’re interested in, we basically make our own interests lists. Sulia, builds the interests lists for us.

It sorts through all the stuff on the Internet, including Facebook and Twitter, then narrows down all that stuff and builds a channel of information based on that whatever topic you’re interested in. This is why they call it “subject based social media.” These channels are based on topics, like news, sports, entertainment, technology — there’s a channel for pretty much any interest. Then if you have something you want others to see about any of these topics, you would then post your content to those channels.

Because Sulia is constantly combing the Internet for any topic, they are looking at public information — that includes Facebook and Twitter. They then look at all that stuff and based on the social activity of it they decide who the experts are and from that they feed the interest channels.

So if I tweet a lot of articles about Maine as, as our station does, then I’m probably feeding Sulia already. And sure enough when I first logged in I saw that NEWS CENTER had some of the top topics in the “Maine” channel.

Want to know if you’re an expert? Find a channel, or interest, then look at what is called the “leaderboard” and it shows a ranking of social accounts from the last seven days. There is also a global score that ties into the ranking. It’s this list where I saw a lot of my friends who didn’t even know they were on Sulia. They were ranked based on the content they were tweeting about, which was pretty good for some of them.

To use Sulia, you have to log in with either a Facebook or Twitter account. Sulia will then look through your social activity and make suggestions which you can choose to ignore or use. The other thing it constantly wants to do is post on your behalf anytime you make an action. So if you like, share, or comment on something it always asks if you want to post that to either Facebook or Twitter (depending on what you logged in with). You can always choose to cancel that, but I have not found an option to turn that request off.

For more information:

Your name is your brand

Brett WhitmarshWe tell kids in college — when a future employer goes looking for you online, make sure they find what you want them to see. The same goes for journalists (or any professional). Your name is a brand, but that’s okay. When someone searches for my name, I want the results to associate me with knowing about social media in journalism (or my obsession with the TV show Doctor Who). Your name has always been a brand, except now it’s all over the place with social media. In this case I’m using the word brand, but you could also say reputation. Before social media, if I asked a co-worker about someone they would tell me what they knew about that person. We’ve basically replaced that idea with a Google search. When I search the term nerd, Chris Hardwick comes up. He basically owns the Nerd world with his Nerdists podcast. In TV news, we brand an anchor’s name with a newscast, or the TV station. Having a presence in social media, or having a website is the same idea.

 This morning on Twitter a co-worker asked her media followers this question:

 “Do you have a personal webpage and if so, how do you use it?”

 I jumped in with a few thoughts, but the main idea that needs to be conveyed to any professional, you are a brand. Journalists hate this idea. I certainly did when it was explained to me in grad school. It’s taken me two years to realize what my professor was trying to say to me. We, as journalists, use our brand to tell our stories. A personal (or professional) website can be a tool to help do this.

 For any professional (but for the purpose of this argument – journalists), when someone searches your name online, what do you want to show up in the results? You probably want your best work to come up. More often though your Twitter, Facebook, or Linked-in profile will come up first (Google + profiles too if they search through Google). The more we use social media, the more our social media activity drives those results.

 Having a personal, or professional, website will do the same thing. Though the website might come up underneath the Twitter and Linked-in results. You can also accomplish the same goal (maybe even better) with a Tumblr blog. It will show up faster in a search result, and you don’t have to pay for a domain or hosting.

The more you feed content to these resources, the more you build your online profile (or brand). So tweeting a lot, posting (or updating) your Linked-in, post your stories to your Tumblr (or your personal/professional website). If you don’t use, or want, a website then make sure when you post your stories to your company’s website that your name is in the keywords. In many cases the fact that you do the posting on your station’s website will also help play into search results. Content is king, and feeding the beast (the Internet) with more content is key to owning your online profile and the search results. So that means post your stories everywhere. Once it’s posted on your station’s website, post it to your website, blog, (or Tumblr) and obviously Tweet it and post it on Google +.

 I have a website for my podcast and a Tumblr site for my social media work (my reporting). It’s a way to both have all my work in once place (plus it links back to my station’s website) and helps built my brand/reputation.