Facebook Pages timeline changes suck

I’m not a change resistor. I don’t usually have issues when websites monkey around with their layouts or functionality. I may not like it right away, but normally I can just get used to it and move on with my life.

I’ve tried to do that with Facebook’s new look on their business pages. But it ain’t happening.

I HATE THEM. The timeline is now cluttered with things that *I* don’t need to see as the admin of the page. Things popup on a mouse hover that requires a click to make disappear but in the meantime it covers over the post area. I can’t just see comments under a post now, I have to click to open them up to see them… I just have had it with it today. I manage a LOT of Facebook pages for my paper and several local businesses. These changes aren’t helpful AT ALL.

Here is the first thing that bothers me:

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I don’t need to see this directly under the posting area. Put it in the sidebar. These numbers are nice, but not really vital info that needs to be in my face right away.

This next thing is my most hated issue. The ridiculous ‘Promote’ button that is right in the way of my mouse pointer as I scroll and makes this REALLY STUPID popup that I NEVER USE.  And it doesn’t go away if you move the mouse away. Nope. You have to click outside the popup to remove it. It’s such a distraction when all I need to do is make a post.

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Here’s a new thing I’ve noticed just in the pas few days (at least, on my pages. Might have just been rolled out to me or something) is this grouping of recent posts. No no no no no! And the first one is event the most recent post! In order for me to see all of my recent posts, I have to click that barely noticeable ‘See All’ text, wait for the page to reload, and then go on about my business. Who the eff designed this crap??? This is unhelpful to the admin, especially on pages where there are multiple admins trying to avoid duplicate postings.

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And finally, why the hell are photo and video boxes in the middle of the timeline? These need to go back on the sidebar. For Pete’s sake, this is utterly stupid. I have to scroll past this bollocks to look at and moderate older posts. Ridiculous!

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But tell us how you really feel, Steph! 🙂

Look, I have been trying to get used to these changes for days now and it’s just not working. I don’t want to be this ^^^ whiny person. But none of these changes make sense to me. They make my job a little more annoying.  If Facebook won’t improve these areas, at least give us the ability to layout the page template that admins see the way that works best for us. I know that’s asking for the moon from Facebook, but come on FB designers. Don’t just think about the end user. Think about us middlemen pushing out the content for them too.

So much newsroom progress, still working on it

It’s been a long time since I’ve written about the progress of my newsroom with social media. Too long, really. When I started this blog, social media was in its infancy and getting reporters on board with it was like pulling teeth. Nine years and two corporate owners later, social media is now a company-wide priority focus for our digital strategy. It’s a good thing we’ve had exposure to it for so long because we’re in an excellent position to do some great work.

I’ve been promoted to something called an ‘Audience Development Editor’ and my primary focus is to find ways to grow our digital audience. An ‘Audience Development Coordinator’ has been added to the staff (which is basically just someone replacing me in my old job) who handles the day-to-day social posting.

I still work with the reporters to get them to post how I want them to – sometimes it’s still like pulling teeth to get them to come on board with what I need them to do. We have 5 news reporters and 3 sports reporters. Four of the news reporters have worked here longer than I have (I’m in my 12th year here) and entrenchment is one of my battles. One reporter is a fresh-faced, just-out-of-college who’s been steeped in social media for a long time and understands its importance. She’s excited about it. She enthusiastically sends me ideas for using tools like Storify and Spotify playlists and Timelines and sometimes I just want to weep at her excitement for these things I love.

A lot of times I feel like the entrenched reporters don’t take what I love to do seriously because they just don’t get it. They’ll tweet – because they have to thanks to orders from on high – but they’re not good at it. They don’t take any time to learn how it could benefit them.

So that’s frustrating for us.

Some of the things we’ve implemented to try and impress upon them the importance of all this social stuff:

  • Installed Chartbeat on two monitors in our small newsroom so everyone can see how our website is doing in realtime as well as see latest tweets/FB posts. – Successful.
  • Bought 2 iPads for the newsroom to use when covering meetings or other events. – They are not used enough.
  • Working on getting dual monitors for all of the reporters so that they can run Tweetdeck  during their shifts – So far 2 reporters and the city manager have the monitors. Only one uses it for Tweetdeck. The others just like the extra screen real estate.
  • My audience guy and I attend every morning reporter meeting and talk to the staff about our successes in gaining traffic (popular FB posts etc.) as well as share a social media tip every morning.
  • Facebook boosts for news stories. We had mostly been using our FB boost budget to promote revenue stuff like contests, but we had a corporate visitor the other day who said it would be beneficial to up the budget as much as we can, and start doing one-day-ish boosts of news stories that are doing well on social. So I’ve been doing that for the last week. Definite improvement.

I’m sure there’s more but I need to wind this post up. The tl;dr version of this post is we’ve come a long way but we still have a ways to go.

Funny story about sportsball

Today I saw on twitter that Hillary Clinton will be making her VP announcement via a text alert to her supporters. Later in the day, I saw this:

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Excitedly, because I had been waiting all morning for this so I could post updates on all of our social, I told my audience guy that she’d done it. As I prepared to retweet and set up Facebook posts, my audience guy goes, “Stop! Stop! Don’t post anything. It’s a joke.” Apparently, Jim Harbaugh is a football coach of some kind and the tweet was Onion-like.

I had no idea. I do not pay attention to the sportball things. Thank goodness audience guy does or I’d be in a world of mocking from our readers right now.

Should we give up YouTube?

At my small-ish newspaper, my department is trying to decide whether to keep using YouTube as a host for our videos, or if we should fully switch to NDN, which gives us revshare when our videos are using by other media throughout the NDN network.

Personally, I hate to give up YouTube simply for ease of use. I don’t know that we can monetize our videos on YouTube (we don’t have a big enough traffic draw to make it worthwhile.) My job is to think about the social implications of giving up Youtube and so far, I can’t really think of any apart from ease of use (being able to post directly from phones during breaking news etc. Easily embeddable within stories)

Would love any kind of feedback on this topic…

Tweetdeck

First Twhirl, now Tweetdeck is kaput. I’d *just* gotten used to running multiple accounts in Tweetdeck, and now I’m reading that Twitter will no longer support it, all my reporters in the newsroom use it, and now none of them can get tweets to load, I can’t post tweets and it’s just useless to me now.

I don’t want a web-based Twitter client. It’s just another tab I’d have to keep open and flip over to to check. With a desktop client, I can glance on it on my second monitor and keep an eye on the three main accounts I run every day as well as my set searches. No extra clicking or tabbing.

Does ANYONE have suggestion of a desktop client for Windows XP (I know, I know. But my company is slow to migrate to newer versions of Windows) that works like Tweetdeck (or Twhirl for that matter)?

EDIT: HUGE thanks to Mark Luckie for helping me figure out I was using an old version of tweetdeck, and that it’s actually NOT going away, and he helped me make my reporters happy, so yay! If anyone else has this problem, This is the direct link to download the latest version as of 7/26/13.

RIP Twhirl

Let me tell you why I loved Twhirl: I could run multiple accounts in separate windows and monitor their feeds at a glance. No tedious signing in and out constantly on the web, no trying to figure out how to do that in Hootsuite or Tweetdeck (if anyone knows if this is possible, please leave me a comment.)

As part of my job here at the newspaper, I need to monitor our Twitter accounts, some small business accounts, and then I usually have my own account open so I can watch for social media stories I might be interested in. Twhirl let me open each account in a little messenger-like window that I could run on my second desktop screen, and I could just glance over and skim them at will.

And now, because of Twitter’s API change, Twhirl is totally dead. And I am left to flounder a little bit as I change my ENTIRE social media routine at work to find something that works for me. Thanks Twitter.

Yes, I know I can tweet from multiple accounts in Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. But I can’t monitor those accounts’ feeds in it as far as I can tell. So if ANYONE out there knows of a tool that works like Twhirl (and didn’t get buggered by the API change) I am begging you to pass the word around and let me know.