Aug 122010
 

The puzzle

Lately it seems like many of the web sites I browse stall for 5  or 10 seconds while they load. Sometimes they refuse to load at all and I have to hit the reload button to get them started again. When this happens I tend to look at the lower left corner of Firefox to see the domain of the content that is holding up the web page.  In many cases this is a domain other than the website that I am trying to load, such as advertisement servers.

After a while I noticed that an inordinate number of times web pages would be slow to load the domain that seemed to be holding up the works was fbcdn.net .  One particularly frustrating day I went looking for this offending domain. A little research and I discovered this was the FaceBook Content Developer Network domain.  The servers at fbcdn.net are used for providing most of the static content of Facebook, such as member pictures, images, buttons,  and other content that does not change.  With 500 million users on Facebook you can imagine what an incredible load these servers are under every day. They are also responsible for providing static content outside of Facebook and this is where the problem lies.

The answer

The next time I noticed a piece of content from fbcdn.net was holding up the loading of a non-Facebook web page I looked at the page source.  I discovered that the piece of content that was slow to load was one of those Facebook “Like” buttons. That’s when it occurred to me that since so many web sites are adding Facebook “Like” buttons the slow response of the servers at fbcdn.net could account for a major slowdown in the web browsing experience of almost everyone on the Internet!

What can be done?

If you are not a Facebook member you could use an ad-block add-on to your web browser and add the fbcdn.net domain to the block list. If you are a Facebook member I don’t think there is much you can do. Blocking fbcdn.net would pretty much ruin your Facebook experience.  If you are a webmaster you could remove the “Like” button or at least load it as far down your web pages as possible so that it impacts your readers less.

Of course the real answer would be for Facebook to make their server farm fast enough to handle the load. There’s no telling when that will happen.

Jul 152010
 

Linking your different social media accounts so that they feed one another is a great way to cut down on the time spent maintaining your social media presence.  One of the simplest of these is linking your Facebook business page so that it feeds your Twitter account.

A short while after setting up your Facebook business page there is usually a message displayed asking if you would like to link to your Twitter account. Here is the procedure to follow if you didn’t take advantage of that message at the time it as displayed.

  • Log in to the Twitter account that you want to link your Facebook page to.
  • In a different browser tab or Window log in to the Facebook account that was used to create your business page
  • Go to the following page http://www.facebook.com/twitter/
  • You should see a page like this:

  • Click the Link A Page to Twitter button and you will be shown  a list of pages associated with this account:

  • Click on the Link to Twitter button next to the page you would like to link
  • You will be sent to a twitter page to authorize the connection. (Be sure that you are linking to the correct Twitter account!)

  • Click the Allow button
  • At the time of this writing the redirect back to Facebook is not working. If that is still true when you link the accounts you will need to manually navigate back to the Facebook link page. (http://www.facebook.com/twitter/)

  • Click the Edit Settings button to display the types of posts you would like to send to Twitter
  • Select the types of posts you would like to send to Twitter and click Save Changes.
  • Your Facebook posts should now automatically post to your Twitter account.


Jul 122010
 

I’ve kind of shied away from location based social networks.  I’ve never really felt very comfortable about applications that can track my location and the earliest ones I tried out were limited to large metropolitan areas.  (I live in the small town of Durango, CO)

After talking to a friend last week I decided to take the plunge. Last night I registered for foursquare and buzzd and downloaded the applications to my Blackberry.  I’ll report back after I have had a chance to use them some.

Do you have any experiences with location based social networks that you would like to share?

Jun 302010
 

Most businesses at some point will ask themselves if it is better to keep their social media account management internal or to outsource it. Here are 7 reasons to consider outsourcing your social media account management to a professional.

  1. Save time – While social media marketing may not cost as much as other types of marketing in direct dollars it can take a daunting amount of time to do properly. That time may be better spent running your core business.
  2. Thoroughness – A professional social media manager will have a complete understanding of all the daily, weekly and monthly tasks needed to keep your social media effort running like a well oiled machine.
  3. Focus your social media marketing effort  – A professional social media manager will be able to identify and recommend which social media communities are most suited to your organization/products thereby maximizing your efforts and avoiding communities where you may not be effective or even wanted.
  4. Avoid social media blunders – Social media has its own rules of etiquette that may not be immediately obvious to an outsider and they are constantly changing. A professional social media manager will help you avoid stubbing your toe or worse in the social media world.
  5. More efficient use of resources – A professional social media manager will have time saving tools and techniques to accomplish tasks thereby making more efficient use of your social media budget.
  6. Monitor your social media reputation – A professional social media manager will be able to monitor your reputation in the social media world. Slow response to customer service or quality problems can let minor problems snowball into major ones.
  7. Quickly grow your social media following – A professional social media manager will have tools and techniques for identifying the best potential fans and followers for your organization/product and recruiting them into your social network.