Running a conference or convention? You need to read to read this.

Why?
Every conference.
Every single conference…

“Here is the wifi password: XXXXXXXXXX1234.”

The hamster starts running in the wheel…

Aaaaaand, has a heart attack.

Conference attendees beat their heads against their iThings and other devices.
The tweet feed slows to a dull roar, then a trickle … Then … Stops.

Every time.

Why?

Venues do not seem able to comprehend the idea that while they may deal with conferences all the time, that more people are bringing more devices to a conferences in order to record all their brains may not be able to capture. Not only that, but they still want to be able to keep up with their own tweet feeds and Facebook pages. Needless to say, while it may be a good enough wifi service for small numbers of people, it simply cannot shingle the load of attendees carrying two or three devices, all to which have notifications on for multiple apps, and are trying to get their emails at the same time as tweeting and blogging.

I’m not sure what the solution is to this. I know in the past, I have worked for events at have one dedicated wifi for the official bloggers and one for the rest of the attendees. Even then, the strain was too much, it broke on a few occasions, and I was forced to resort to using my cellular data in the interim while the problem was solved.

Another pet peeve, and some may well see this as a bit of “gimme gimme”, with all the different devices being employed, and with the drive to tweet away to your heart’s content, or “follow the event on the following hash tag”, why do events not think of setting up a bank of power boards. I’m not suggesting that they supply an array of various charge cables for the different devices out there. People should bring their own! What I am suggesting is that we admit that we are a power-hungry society, meaning electricity but you can read into that what you will, and cater to that need. Want people to tweet? Let them, but provide them with a means to charge their devices so they can.

Ahem…

I will now return you to your normal programming.

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FaceBook Beaten Into Submission.

We grumble about it. At each layout change or move of a button, we complain ad nauseum.

So why on earth do we still use FaceBook, if we hate it so much?

For one thing, it has such a large portion of our immediate population attached to it, that in order to know what is going on socially, we need to be on FB. How many times have you heard of an event that invites really only went out on the darn site?

Secondly, in this time-poor world we need all relevant social data in one place so as to minimise time spent trawling for details. It also gives us a nice one-stop-shop for “catching up” with friends in a minimalistic way. Little to no actual applied effort means we can feel good about ourselves for having sent a message to that friend just to see how they are.

However, those constant changes are really annoying. Just as you get used to where one thing is, it gets moved. And what is with all the privacy setting changes? I personally thought that if we made our settings one way, the site we made them on shouldn’t be able to just change them, or if they did, they should have to let us know…? Clearly not, as such information is generally passed on via friend connections.

I have been using an add-on called Social Fixer for a good few months now, to help me manage all the curfuffle that FaceBook seems set on including in my life. I am logged into FaceBook for the better part of most days, so it stands to reason that I make it as easy to use as possible.  It’s free to use, and darned easy. It is not, however, supported for Internet Explorer, though if you’re a real computer user, this shouldn’t be a problem. Let’s face it, no one who has a say about how their computer is run, and knows what a real web browser can do for them, uses IE.

Image

Lifehacker got a hold of Social Fixer and called it “… [an] essentially a panacea for the most common Facebook problems…” so it has to be good, right? Reading the rest of the LifeHacker article also gives you a fair few good ideas on how to simplify your FaceBook presence. Consider adopting frequent “friend” culls. Do you really know all of the people on that list? Also, check the apps you’ve given access to your account. do you still use all of them? If not, cull!

Just as a side-note, personally I think FaceBook only has a few more years left in it before the “next big thing” in social media comes along and steals its thunder. It will go the way of MySpace before too long, so don’t invest too much in it (monetarily or otherwise), and start thinking about slowly adopting a “removal” process to your data. Download those pics, notes, significant details or anything else you think you might miss if FB were to go belly up. You will find the move to the next big thing easier, and less frustrating. Also, it never hurts to have less of yourself on a site that refuses to acknowledge privacy as a real thing that shouldn’t be changeable unless by the end user.