Facebook Scheduler Fails to Impress

After years of resisting and publicly negging the act, I’ve started to automate. I have enough different accounts now that I’ve finally given in to schedulers. And, despite the fact that EdgeRank is  officially gone, I still harbor suspicions that Facebook prefers content to originate inside its walled garden.

So, instead of using trustworthy HootSuite, I’ve been trying the Facebook Scheduler. At first, everything went smoothly. Now, in the past 3 days, I’ve had four failed posts. When time of day can be crucial to a post being seen, nothing is more teeth-gnashingly, head-against the wall irritating than a failed post with no notification.

Is there a solution? Well, I’ll probably have to end my superstitious avoidance of HootSuite for Facebook, but for the rest of this week, I’ll be setting alarms on my cell phone to check the remainder of this week’s posts.

Podcasts worth listening to, Vol. 1: #YSLTF (You Should Listen To Friday)

Today is the first You Should Listen to Friday on Twitter.  I’ve been meaning to post about my favorite podcasts for a while, so today is the perfect time to get started, here on the blog instead.

On the Media: On the Media covers all types of media in a way that’s both responsible and entertaining. It’s rare to find that combination, and On the Media delivers it weekly.  It consistently delivers, and has me refreshing my podcasts compulsively at the end of the week, waiting for the latest download.

TLDR: An On the Media offshoot, TLDR deserves its own mention. Its topics tend toward the internet-related, and drill deep, then squeeze the results into a tiny package–each podcast is less than 15 minutes.  One of my recent favorites is “the Unicorn,” where the staff tracks down an adult who doesn’t use the internet.

Back to Work: Buried in the banter are invaluable tips about working, productivity, and job satisfaction. It helps if you’re a comic book fan, too.

Five quick tips for cleaning out your Inbox

Image

Waterslide

You probably have more than one email address. The Gmails and Yahoos of the world combined with your work email mean you’ve got a lot of incoming mail to deal with, and unless you’re an organizational whiz, one of those boxes will be neglected at one time or another.

The tips below are specifically designed for those times when one or another account has become too much to handle. I’ll cover daily maintenance like rules and folders another time. 

Run a search for emails from donotreply
It’s a one-word phrase that can send as much as 25 percent of your neglected inbox to the trashcan instantly, but it’s a step people often forget, or try to do manually. These “do not reply” emails will get rid of months-old “breaking news” updates, expired sale notices, and anything you can almost certainly safely delete as a first step. 

Run a search for the letters fwd
This one will filter out chain letters, lolcats, paranoid conspiracies from uncles, et cetera.  In fact, I recommend creating a rule that sends fwds outside of work (or from particular coworkers…you know the ones) to a separate folder. You’ll want to scan the results of this search a little more carefully than the last, since there is a slight chance there may be something legit here.  

Reorganize your inbox by files with attachments
The same shady or annoying flotsam and jetsam can exist here…with pictures! Either that, or in your absence, someone has sent you a lovely little virus. The point is, use the same scanning technique you used above, but be extra careful and avoid downloading any of these files unless they’re safe and vital to keep. Mass delete the rest.  

Pick a date and delete
Chances are, anything important that you had the chance to deal with would have been re-sent in a certain time period. If that time has passed, It may be best to avoid the frustration that comes along with trying to deal with it. Pick a date in a manageable-for-you time period and delete anything before that day. 

Take the opposite approach
Use the search function to find what you are looking for and delete the rest. If you were able to let it go with little negative result, just search for VIP names or subjects, read and save those, then delete the rest.

Optional Step Six: Do a little dance
…because really, what’s more satisfying than deleting email?

When is it Done?

hand-66631_1280

I’m crushing your head.

My least -favorite high school English teacher had a saying: “Turkeys are done. You are finished.”  As much as we didn’t see eye to eye on any other issues, this little nugget (no pun intended) has stuck with me for approaching two decades, and its veracity goes beyond the grammatical.

You see, I’m a big fan of not over-writing, especially online. Brevity should be digital writing’s watchword. In other words: Your writing may be done long before you are finished. Learn to live with it.

If I were truly practicing what I preached, this piece would end here. I do have another idea to share, though: how you can continue to share ideas while keeping your concepts brief:

  • Links Be they supplementary, contrary, or whimsical, don’t be afraid to send your users elsewhere. After all, they had to find you somehow, too, right?
  • Reading Lists Try providing an annotated bibliography or list of what you’ve been reading lately. This is a great way to help elaborate how you formed your ideas without sounding like an essayist.  You can, however, sound like a junior high term paper writer. Watch out.
  • Serial pieces If all else fails, limit yourself to a word count and stick to it. If you need to go beyond that, leave it for another installment.

Please feel free to share your tips on brevity and knowing when to stop in the comments!