Life Without Social Media

There are few people who love interactive technology more than the people who actually spend their lives working in the field. Which is why what you’re about to read next may come as a shock…

I gave up social media for Lent.

It was less about religion and more about the realization that I have become a social media addict. It is very likely that you and I are in the same boat. Below are five steps to having your own epiphany: Continue reading Life Without Social Media

NerdCast #31: Reading The Digital Tea Leaves – An Analytics Discussion

Nerdcast Album Art In this episode of the NerdCast we talk with Matt Tonak, former Nerdery community manager turned interactive strategist at the company. Listen in on how analytics has been done in the past and what it’s like to be a professional reader of digital tea leaves. If you’re into tracking success or interested in The Nerdery’s digital journey into analytics this is a great discussion for you.

Host: Ryan Carlson

Guests: Matt Tonak, Interactive Strategist at The Nerdery

Got Project?

If you happen to have an interactive project yourself and you need help reading the digital tea leaves, our UX team are experts and mining data to help you make data-driven decisions.  Submit your project details.

Listen Now:
Running Time: 0:27:03 / Subscribe on iTunes


NerdCast #14 – Developer Reactions To The New Facebook Phone

Nerdcast-14-Dev-Reactions-Thomas-McMahonIn this special episode of the NerdCast we brought an Android developer and a Facebook application developer into a room to record a roundtable discussion. We discuss the new Facebook Home experience announcement, what it means to us, what our takeaways are, and go down a few rabbit holes about how we would use this, what we liked, and our questions and concerns.

Host: Ryan Carlson

Guests: Thomas McMahon and Andrew Reitz

Listen Now:
Running Time: 0:30:46 / Subscribe on iTunes


Is owning your own words important?

Found via Waxy, this discussion about whether or not it’s important to own your own words online is thought-provoking and smart.

The discussion features Gina Trapani, Paul Ford, Matthew Ingram, and a few more. It’s interesting because not only do they discuss the difference between how growing up with the social web versus being a grown up when the social web became popular and how that effects your point of view, but also your words being ‘used’ as a product, and the worries about creating a lasting archive.

Really good stuff here, including this from Anil Dash:
“I don’t presume that my work is particularly important or worth preserving, but we lose a great deal of cultural documentation when our default bias is towards disposability. There are lots of people who *are* creating important parts of culture, but are doing so on platforms that default towards throwing our creations away. This becomes particularly acute when we realize that folks like MG, who’ve been *paid* to create these works, can’t even count on their works living on.”

Stats Behind the Ever-accelerating Use of Social Networking

As a Technology Evangelist at The Nerdery, I frequently visit with partners across the country to talk about different engagements and data to validate the implementation of new platforms and technology. I started to collect a mass of stats pertaining to many topics, including social networks. My hope is that providing this data will help you have a better understanding of how technology can be used as part of communication, business, and the human experience.

Social network usage is accelerating. Facebook is still the largest and most used network, but others are growing rapidly too. The majority of users are accessing these networks on their mobile devices.

  • 52% of AddThis users save to Facebook and 14% to Twitter. – AddThis
  • Sharing via mobile devices grew 6x in 2011. – AddThis
  • Facebook usage accounts for 10% of all the mobile data iPhone users consume and 5% for Android users. – Mashable
  • Today nearly 4 in 5 active Internet users visit social networks and blogs. Close to 40 percent of social media users access social media content from their mobile phone. – Nielsen
  • 53% of active social networkers follow a brand and 32% follow a celebrity. – Nielsen
  • The median number of Facebook friends is 401. – buffer
  • Instagram is growing at over 2 million new users a month. – socialfresh
  • Instagram grew from 1 million to 12 million users in 2011 alone. – Instagram
  • Path acquired 2 million new users within 2 months of the launch of Path 2. – All Things D
  • Pinterest had 12 million unique visitors in January 2012. A 56% increase over the previous month. – comScore

Facebook breaking change to launch October 1

Facebook’s recent changes have been all over the news and the Internet, and while most Facebook users won’t care about the change coming on October 1, it does effect those of us who develop Facebook Apps.

On Saturday Facebook is upgrading their SDK for PHP and JavaScript to use OAuth 2.0, a new and more secure version of the OAuth platform. This is also what’s called a “breaking” change. That means all existing Facebook applications using the previous 2.1 PHP SDK and JavaScript need to be upgraded to the PHP 3.1.1 SDK or your Facebook App will no longer work after October 1.

One of the big effects of this is upgrade is the change to how apps access Facebook user information, which means that all Canvas and Page tab apps must convert to process signed_request (fb_sig will be removed).

Two other things to note:

  • Apps that have been built using the Facebook PHP SDK 3.1.1 do not need to be changed.
  • Apps that are using the old JavaScript library for authentication need to modify their code.

If you’re need to get working on these changes before anything breaks you can follow the steps from Facebook to make the upgrade.

Today’s must-read: The Fear of Missing Out

In just four paragraphs Caterina Fake exquisitely explains why so many of us love and hate social media. Go read it, it will make you feel better about yourself and make you think.

“. . . social software both creates and cures FOMO [fear of missing out]. If you didn’t know that party was going on, you’d be home contentedly reading your latest New Yorker. But since you do, you hungrily watch each new tweet.”

The tabs on Facebook they are a-changin’

Facebook is reducing the width of custom profile tabs to 520 pixels (down from 760). If you’ve created a custom tab (think landing page of a Facebook app) it’s gonna get 32% slimmer next week.

Imagine if someone came along and lopped off “are a-changin’” from the headline of this post. Bob Dylan and I would be pissed about losing context and leaving you hanging like that. Now, picture that Facebook tab you so lovingly designed, and imagine watching helplessly as that awful Leatherface severed it by one-third with his chainsaw. How does it feel?

Words and images, if not cut off, may be scrambled instead. Clickable links might lose their interactivity. Scary stuff.

Obviously, from here forward we’re building within the 520 frame, and we’re ready to help you adjust existing Facebook tabs – whether we developed the original or not. So fear not, agency partners and clients. The Nerdery will protect you from Leatherface.

SocialDevCamp Chicago

It’s fun watching the ever-changing digital landscape. If there’s one thing the web is doing, it’s going more and more social. Facebook crested 500 million users. Google just launched SCVNGR, and there’s a lot of talk of them creating a social service to compete directly with Facebook.

If you’re a developer in Chicago August 14-15, there’s no better place to be than SocialDevCamp at the Illinois Institute of Technology, where a few hundred likeminded nerds will be figuring out how they can leverage the social web to create great new applications. With two tracks going each day, plus an unconference and a Hackathon*, there’s something for everyone — social application and platform developers, mobile social developers, evangelists, and enthusiasts.

If you’ve got time on Sunday, swing by the panel discussion “Using Hackathons & Code Sprints for Innovation and Social Change.“ I’ll be sharing my own experience/flashbacks from our own Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge – a 24-hour nonprofit nerdathon we’ll be bringing to Chicago.

*For the Hackathon, I’m bringing a palette of Red Bull, ramen noodles, and my vuvuzela to cheer on our team – who as of August 2nd will be the founders of our new Chicago office.

How listening to fans helped LEGO turn their business around

As you know, we have a penchant for the LEGO here, which is why, of course, we couldn’t pass by this video.

Here you can watch Jake McKee, who was the Global Community Relations Specialist at LEGO, talk about the fans’ role in the company’s brand. And if you like, you can head on over to Smart Blog on Social Media where they have some very nice bullet points that can be culled from this video.

Diving into LEGO’s Strategy Behind Connecting Their Amazing Network of Fans — presented by Jake McKee from GasPedal on Vimeo.