Monday, July 18, 2011

How to disable Facebook Chat

PLEASE NOTE:  If you are looking for information on how to Disable Facebook Chat saving directly in your messages inbox, Click Here.

This post is simply about how to stop people from messaging you in Facebook chat.

The New Chat Sidebar

First of all, lets deal with that pesky new Sidebar

If you haven’t yet done so, click the “try now” Button. Don’t worry, It won’t do anything bad to your facebook, and I will tell you how to hide it later.

Disable Facebook Chat

To disable Facebook Chat all you need to do is;

Click on the little gear icon on the bottom right hand side of your browser window.

Then click on “Available to Chat”

 Hide the Facebook Chat Sidebar

Now if you are like me, you probably want to hide that ugly new sidebar sitting on the right hand side of the page. To do this, once again, click on the little gear icon on the bottom right hand side of your browser window.

Then simply click on hide sidebar.

To bring Facebook Chat Sidebar back, just click on the chat box on the bottom right hand side of your browser window.

That’s it folks. Enjoy!

If this post was useful, please share it with your friends on twitter and Facebook, or drop me a comment below.

Monday, June 20, 2011

SQL : select between specific times but relative dates?

This is just a quick post in case any of my more technical readers ever need this solution.

An online friend of mine recently wrote a useful blog post on how to select rows between specific times but relative dates in SQL.

He uses MySQL, so if you are using SQL server, you may need to tweak the solution.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

10 Most and Least Retweeted Words

If you are trying to generate traffic using twitter, then you want to get retreated for 3 reasons;
1. Links that are re-tweeted more than twice car considered to valuable by search engines.
2. If someone with a lot of followers re-tweets your link you can get a lot of visitors from their followers.
3. Some people pipe their twitter feeds into other social networks or their blogs as feeds, this can also generate more visitors and perceived authority on search engines.

10 Most Retweeted Words

1. you
2. twitter
3. please 
4. retweet
5. post       
6. blog 
7. social
8. free 
9. media 
10. help  

10 Least Retweetable Words

1. game 
2. going 
3. haha    
4. lol 
5. but  
6. watching 
7. work  
8. home    
9. night  
10. bed   

From this we can see that it is better to talk to and about your target audience rather than to tweet about yourself. If you are talking to "me", then I am more likely to retweet you.

The word "PLEASE" is also very important. If you want to be retweeted, ask for it and be polite.

But wait there’s more...
If you enjoyed this post then you will probably enjoy the rest of the Using Twitter for SEO series

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Disable Facebook Chat Saving Directly in the Messages (NOT)

Facebook have managed to upset users with their latest upgrade to the chat feature.

PLEASE NOTE:  If you are looking for information on how to Disable Facebook Chat so that your pesky friends don’t bug you when you are on facebook, Click here.

A lot of people are trying to find out how to disable the new Facebook “feature” that saves your full chat directly into the messages inbox as a conversation, whether you want it or not. The sad fact is that there is no way to disable this. The best that you can do for now is to manually delete the unwanted conversations, and that is a total pain.

Here is how to disable Facebook chat saving directly in the messages;

  • Go to "privacy setting"
  • On the bottom choose "Apps and Websites"
  • Below the "Apps and Websites" click "edit your setting"
  • On the section of "Apps you use" click "edit setting" you can see you have an app "chat history manager" that generate auto save of your chat log into inbox.
  • On "chat history manager" there’s an "x" besides "edit setting" to remove the apps.
  • Click the "x" to remove the chat manager then click ok.
This is the best solution that I have found so far, let me know if you find a better solution. 

Update 2011/06/09

Sorry folks, bad news... That solution didn’t work.

After much digging around, searching, investigating and a few Inspector Clouseau impersonations, I have arrived at the conclusion that there is no way to disable Chat Saving Directly into Messages.

I can only hope that as FB rolls out its plans to become an integrated email/Cell/chat/social provider that they will improve the messaging system and fix this, but I won’t hold my breath.

Update 2011/06/17

There is still no word from the facebook development team on how they plan to deal with this, but I know a lot of facebook users are not happy with the chat saving. Some have even claimed that they have lost their girlfriends or jobs as a result of the feature, while others complain that it makes using system difficult as it clogs up the Facebook inbox. If the past precedent is anything to go by, the problem will probably be ignored until it reached a critical mass of unhappy users.

Help get this prioritized and tell Facebook what you think 

    Saturday, April 30, 2011

    Tips to improve your chances of getting retweeted

    Continuing on my Using twitter for SEO series,  in this post I will give you a few tips and techniques to improve your chances of getting retweeted.

    Time of the day:
    Peak tweet hours - business hours.
    Peak retweet hours - 3pm to midnight.
    If you want your tweets read, tweet in the morning; if you want to be retweeted, tweet at night.
    Pro Tip: Keep in mind the time zone of your target audience.

    Day of the week:
    The worst day for retweets is Sunday; it picks up from there and peaks on Friday

    Tweets with links are retweeted much more often. URL shorteners are retweeted the most and tinyurl is retweeted the least.

    The shorter the better. Try to use a maximum of 120 characters if you want to be retweeted. 

    Using trending hashtags greatly increases your findability by Twitter users and Twitter bots alike, but can harm your SEO. Read Are Hashtags Harming Your Twitter Success? for more info

    93% of all retweets contain proper punctuation in them, particularly colons and periods.

    People are more likely to retweet when the tweet is targeting them and contains information that is worth sharing. The word “you” is the most retweeted word. Unless you are a celebrity, nobody will bother retweeting your  plans for the evening.  Generally, the -ing verbs, like "going", "watching", "listening" won't get retweets either

    It’s amazingly  simple but effective . The phrase “please retweet” is incredibly high on the most retweeted list.

    But wait there’s more...
    If you enjoyed this post then you will probably enjoy the rest of the Using Twitter for SEO series

    Tuesday, March 1, 2011

    Are Hashtags Harming Your Twitter Success?

    Over my next few posts, I will be writing about how you can use twitter for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and to drive traffic to your website.

    In this post we will look at Hashtags. I will explain what they are and how they can both help and hurt your efforts to get more website traffic.

    What are Hashtags?

    By placing a the # symbol in front of a word in your tweet, you are telling twitter that it is a keyword. For example;  "Are #Hashtags Harming Your Twitter Success?"

    The Hashtaged word then becomes a link in your tweet, and clicking on it will take you to a list of recent tweets with the same Hashtag. This is great if you want to see what people are tweeting about a specific event or breaking news story.

    Using Hashtags will help provide exposure to more twitter users. And may help building you following on twitter.

    How can Hashtags be harmful?

    Unscrupulous twitter users are now tweeting un-related links with trending Hashtags in order to get more exposure.  An infamous instance of this is Kenneth Cole's #Cairo Tweet.

    According to Amit Singhal from Google,  while such tags can usefully maximize exposure of a tweet, they can also serve as red flags to lower tweet quality and attract spam-like content. While he wouldn't get into details, he said Google modelled this hashtagging behaviour in ways that tend to reduce the exposure of low-quality tweets. This is Googles obscure way of saying that using Hashtags can harm your SEO efforts.

    What Should you do?

    The solution is simple, I would recommend that when you are tweeting for SEO, don’t use Hashtags. When you are tweeting to build reputation and get more followers, use Hashtags, but do so sparingly, and ensure they are relevant.

    But wait there’s more...
    If you enjoyed this post then you will probably enjoy the rest of the Using Twitter for SEO series

    Monday, January 10, 2011

    Productivity and Focus tip

    Has this ever happened to you?
    You’re working on a project, and suddenly get inspiration for another project or task, perhaps you remember some other small job that needs to be done, or maybe you receive an email asking you to do something quickly for somebody else. It’s tempting to stop what you are doing and work on this other task, after all it’s just a small little thing and won’t take much time, and once it’s done it will be one less thing to worry about.

    The problem is that our brains take time to switch focus from one task to another, and if you are constantly interrupting your work to change focus, then you are losing a lot of productivity.

    Here is my solution, write it down for later, then put it out of your mind and carry on working with the original project. In my previous post, I spoke about using a “To Do” list, this is the ideal place to write this down.   It takes mere seconds to do, and you don’t need to shift focus in your brain from one task to another, then back again.

    Simple and effective.

    If you like this blog post, please tweet it or share it with your friends.

    Wednesday, January 5, 2011

    Productivity with a 2do list

    As the senior software developer in a development team I have a thousand and one different things that need to be done an any given time. We have all sorts of systems in place to ensure that I do all that needs to be done; job cards, MS Outlook calendar, project documents, etcetera. Surprisingly, the most effective is still the good old fashioned “To Do” list (or 2do list as I call it).

    The 2do list is quite simply a list of tasks that you need to do. It sounds so simple, and it is. You may be thinking that there must be some more advanced way to do this than just writing a list, or that it’s a waste of time. I will share a secret with you...

    There is powerful magic in 2do lists

    • They help organise your thoughts and prioritise tasks.
    • They boost productivity as you always know what your next task is.
    • From a motivational perspective, you are now working towards a set goal; completing as many task on the list as possible. 
    • Finally,  crossing items off the list has a great feel good factor and you go home at the end of the day knowing that you were productive.

    Make your list now

    You can use a pen and writing pad or a spreadsheet on your PC. If you are using a pen and paper, keep it close to your writing hand, if you are using an application on your computer, ensure that there is a link to the file on your desktop or task bar and that you are able to cross out or change the colour or completed Items.

    Every morning, before your start working, write a list of everything that you need to do, now flag the tasks that must be done before you finish work. If you want to,  you can even assign priority levels to tasks, but I find the simpler I keep the list, the better it works. Cross out each task as you complete it. Start a new list every day so that your list does not get cluttered with completed tasks and provide a false sense of accomplishment.

    Over time my 2do list as broken up into several separate lists. There are lists for home and work, daily and monthly, I even have a yearly 2do list with my goals for the year.

    Try it now, and see the difference.

    If you found this blog post helpful, please tweet it or share it with your friends.