I got my baby back!

After a few days of panic, my four year old has been returned. Unharmed, as if nothing had happened. The only thing that suffered during the ordeal…my nerves. Not knowing what was going on, what was going to happen. Thinking of the worst case scenario, over and over and over…

According to a comment from my new, favorite Facebook employee:

This was a technical issue on our part and is now resolved. These Pages should go back to normal when the fix gets pushed out. Thank you! -Nicci

No, Nicci, thank YOU!

Even better, the Community Page now includes a “Did you mean UWGB?” link that goes to our official page. THAT is a wonderful surprise. Sort of like the kidnapper took my kid for a haircut before returning him. Looking good, son!

official university facebook page is no longer a community page

A huge thanks to the higher ed community for not remaining silent — not waiting for things to get better on their own — tweeting, blogging, attempting to get an answer. Writing on the castle’s wall with the hope that the king would venture out and notice. Did it work? It remains a mystery, but it definitely didn’t hurt.

And Nicci, I dedicate this song to you! I didn’t want to go the Bette Middler “Wind Beneath My Wings” route, so the metaphor gets a little sketchy. I’m Jennifer Love Hewitt, you’re Enrique and the role of “naughty” Facebook is played by Mickey Rourke. Thanks for not only fixing the problem, but for taking the time to leave a comment. I now feel a little less alone… you’re my hero.

It’s official, the UWGB facebook page is no longer official

The UWGB facebook page has been demoted to a “community” page. At one time, community pages were created by facebook when an interest shared on a profile didn’t match* an existing page. It gave your interest a home to link to, so you could connect with others with the same interest. Community pages are not run by a single author, and they don’t generate News Feed stories… basically, they’re the opposite of what our official page used to be.

Good news, facebook has linked our newly demoted page to the “official” page.

Bad news, the official page is yesterday’s community page — a Wikipedia-populated clone produced by facebook. It is lifeless. It hasn’t been nurtured. It growls when humans approach.

Wikipedia-populated? Clone? Sounds a little harsh, maybe you’re just upset.

True, someone just kidnapped** my four year old, upset is where I’ll remain until I get him back. But I speak the truth, they are populated by the very Wikipedia entry that I edit over on Wikipedia.org. And they are clones, facebook has covered most of our potential spellings by creating duplicate pages (pages that I’ve continuously reported as duplicates because they fragment our community — 2,470, 356 and 311 likes for a combined 3,137 people who might prefer our true “official” page but were misguided by facebook’s attempt at creating interest hubs).

So why the rant? Nothing better to blog about?

I’ve filed a “bug report” with facebook. Provided a screenshot. Complained on twitter. So this was the next logical step to form a more structured complaint. And yes, I will post it to my facebook profile.

The sad truth is, unless you know someone at facebook, unless you have a connection… THEY DON’T LISTEN. They don’t have to. It’s a free service. You don’t pay a dime. Don’t like it? Don’t use it. Move on…

Unfortunately, I’ve leached my career on the existence of facebook and other social web hangouts. I don’t need them to function perfectly, just fairly. If the University account is no longer able to generate News Feed stories, I’m in a world of hurt. But if we’re the only University in the UW System to experience the loss of this feature, it’s game over.

So this isn’t so much a rant as it is a plea.

Dear Facebook, I accept your faults. Nobody is perfect. But please spread your faults evenly across the ecosystem. Listen to all of the cries, not just the ones from the big universities, wealthy companies or incredibly famous people. Act as quickly when a “bug” is reported by an insignificant member as you would if it were reported by a valued investor. I guess what I’m saying is, suck evenly for everyone. If you’re going to flip online properties from official pages to community pages, get a bigger spatula and flip everyone at the same time.

As with most facebook issues I experience, I know I’m not alone, I have fellow ranters over on twitter (see above). And I also realize that time heals nearly all facebook complaints. But while I wait, I will vent. I will tweet, I will blog, and I will share my unhappiness. Not because it’s what I want to do, but because it’s the only thing I can do.

*I’m guessing that to facebook, “match” means the exact spelling. Therefore, even though there was a UWGB page in place, they felt the need to create a University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, UW-Green Bay and UWGB page. Wait, what? Never mind.

**If you believe your page is NOT a community page, you can remove the link… unfortunately, the directions facebook provides are flawed. There is no “Fix this” to click. AND upon attempting to remove the link to the new “official” page, your efforts are rewarded by it defaulting back after you click the “Save Changes” button. Helpless and frustrated… the emotions you feel when facebook goes boom.

UPDATE: Decided to like the new “official” page so I could post a link to the correct “official” page…

Also noticed that since the page pulls its content from Wikipedia, and since I edit the Wikipedia page, it actually lists the correct “official” page. Funny, yet sad…

How can you help? (hat tip @lougan)

    Go to facebook.com/uwgreenbay

  1. Click the “Is this wrong?” link in the page label
  2. Select “This is the official page about UWGB”
  3. Click submit.

UPDATE 2: As noted by Deborah in the comments, the “Is this wrong?” link has vanished.

FINAL UPDATE: All better now!

We used to like Instagram…

…but now we LOVE it!

My number one social web rule is to play with “the tool” on a personal account before using it on a university account. When people make mistakes, it is understood that they are only human. When a company makes the same mistake, they get a fancy case study highlighting their ineptness.

What follows is an Instagram love story as seen from both the personal and brand perspectives.

The first date:

@tsand – I posted my first photo to Instagram on October 23, 2010. That’s when I got my first iPod touch with a camera, we hit it off from the start.

@uwgb – First post was on May 4, 2011. I just got out of a relationship with Twitpic, and was still seeing flickr.

The relationship up until today:

@tsand – In just over 14 months I’ve amassed 1952 photos. I have 314 followers, average 1.6 likes per photo and have almost 900 comments. The extremely poor camera quality of the iPod touch needs filtering, Instagram makes it effortless. Instagram is constantly improving, we’re growing together, creating and documenting memories.

@tsand on Instagram

@uwgb – A little over 8 months in and only 67 photos. I have 27 followers, average 0.6 likes per photo and have just 6 comments. It’s OK, but nothing special. I mean, I guess we both have things to work on, who doesn’t?

@uwgb on Instagram

The day you realized Instagram might be the one:

@tsand – Today, January 6, 2012

@uwgb – Today, January 6, 2012

What did Instagram do to seal the deal:

@tsand – I shared a “bigger photo” on facebook today and it got the most fb likes of any Instagram photo I’ve ever posted. It was a photo of my daughter and I waiting for the bus, I’ve probably posted the same “daddy/daughter/bus” photo at least 50 times with little to no reaction of facebook. I SERIOUSLY THINK THE BIGGER PHOTO ON FACEBOOK IS THE REASON. Before they were tiny and required a click off of fb to see the larger version, now it’s right there in the timeline/feed. Total marriage material.

@uwgb – I discovered (thanks to a tweet from @InstagramHelp) that I can share Instagram photos on my facebook page directly from the app. Up until now, I was afraid to connect the university account to facebook, since it must be used via a personal profile. Turns out my fears were unwarranted. AND with the larger photos hitting the feed and getting their own “Instagram” album, I think I’m ready to take the next step!

Instagram photos get their own facebook photo album to call home

The real beauty of Instagram is more than skin deep, it’s not all about the pretty filters (currently 16). I think what makes it special is that the mobile app makes it easy to share your pics EVERYWHERE (instagram, twitter, flickr, facebook profiles and pages, tumblr, posterous and foursquare). I don’t suggest blasting the same photo out to all your social haunts, but taking different photos and sharing them in different circles is extremely easy. Also love how geotagging a photo in Instagram and posting to flickr pins the map, super slick.

The ugly part of Instagram is that it’s super selective with choosing a partner. If you don’t have an iOS device (read: iphone/pod/pad) you’re not allowed to date.

Got an Instagram question? Leave a comment and I’ll try to answer, or visit the Instagram Support Center.

Stats and screenshots are thanks to Statigram.