Facebook Fans, You’re Probably Missing Out

If my stats are any indication, many of you are relying on the Facebook page to alert you to new posts here.  If that’s the case, I have some sad news. Facebook is consistently and strategically hiding each post from up to 90% of you.  It’s worse than it’s ever been and expected to continue!

This is true for ANY Facebook page you like!

The Problem

Like any other business, Facebook wants to make money.  They’re purposely limiting who sees posts from Facebook pages and then forcing the company (blogger) to pay for their posts to show up in their fans’ News Feeds.   Even when posts are highly engaging (which normally makes it show up more), only 30% of you are seeing even those posts.  You’re missing out on some great conversation and you don’t even know it!

Here’s what I really hate about this: when I pay to promote a post, it automatically turns a post into an ad.  I feel like I’m spamming you, and you feel spammed (just me?)  If it were like a traditional subscription service where the consumer pays for the content (think magazines), then you better believe I’d be honored and willing to dole content out!  While I’m not saying I feel like the content here is worth paying money for, I am saying that this model Facebook set up does not work well for bloggers.

I don’t mind spending money to promote posts to make sure you’re getting the content you asked for (you’ll see Sponsored underneath), but I can’t do that consistently either. 

Below I have 3 alternate, automated ways you can be sure you don’t miss a post. I hope this helps you not just with this blog but others too.

 

Option 1: Get Notifications on Facebook

If you really want to continue using Facebook to hop over here, choosing to “Show in News Feed” is not enough action (since they’re not actually doing that as you requested). You need to turn notifications on. You can do that by going to the Facebook page, click on Liked so the drop-down menu appears, and then select Get Notifications.

 

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When you do this, you’ll get a notification the second I post something new to the Facebook page.

I’ll be honest on this option: if you do set notifications on for too many blogs, your notifications are going to drive you a little bonkers.  Options 2 or 3 might be better.

 

Option 2: Subscribe via a Feed Reader

If you are savvy enough to know what an RSS feed is, this is probably a moot point, but you can use sites like Feedly.com or Bloglovin.com to subscribe to this site’s RSS feed.  I always compare it to a blog-only email inbox. 

 

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The downside to feed readers is you have to remember to visit the feed reader to read all the posts.  The good news is when you eventually revisit it, ALL the posts will be there waiting in sequential order for you.  This is actually my preferred method of keeping up with blogs.

I find that RSS subscriptions are a little too technical for some, so Option 3 is probably your best bet.

 

Option 3: Get an Email

The best way to be sure you’re getting alerted to all the posts is to have it delivered to your email inbox.  For this site, an email is delivered around 7am with the previous day’s post.  If you want to sign up: go here.

This option is great since most people keep a consistent eye on their email and you have total control about comes in and what doesn’t.  If you need a good way to organize incoming emails from your favorite bloggers, check out my post on how to use filters to manage your inbox.

 

 

Alright, that’s my PSA for the day.  If you are reading this at all, I appreciate you so much!  You just have no idea how much I think of you!

If you start seeing some Sponsored posts on Facebook, please don’t feel spammed.  My goal is to get the posts out to people who have already stated an interest in reading content here.  I’m trying to help!

Share this post with your friends, readers or anyone else that might benefit.  Facebook is NOT being nice but hopefully with these options, we can still connect with the content we want.

What I’m Into – August 2013

It’s time to share all the fun things from the month that I’ve been obsessing over.

 

Monogram App

monogram

So we’re here—I’m getting app recommendations from my kids’ friends.  I saw Emma’s friend use the Monogram App to create background and lock screen images for her iPhone and fell in love.  The combinations are endless. I’m very sure there’s something better I could have spent $1.99 on but I did it anyway.

 

South Hill Designs Locket

south_hill_designs_locket

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure these lockets would really be my thing.  But listen, after I picked out all these charms, I was, well, charmed.  In my locket I have a coffee cup, a sparrow (his eye is on the sparrow), a typewriter, a camera and a little girl with my girls’ mutual birthstone.  I’m sure my rep (and friend) JoAnn would love to hook you up with a locket of your own.

 

FlightTrack App

flighttrack

 

It’s not new to me, but earlier in the month when I was flying, I was into my FlightTrack app.  You can check times of the flights, status, and even maps to watch the flight path as it travels.  While you can totally travel without it, I liked being able to check my connecting flight as we taxied in from the first.  (That doesn’t sound pretentious at all).

 

Man Woman Wild

Man,_Woman,_Wild

Man Woman Wild is our latest Netflix find.  An ex-Green Beret and his British wife get stranded in different locations each week and have to survive for three days on their own.  It’s totally staged but still fascinating.

Good Natured Potato Chips

HERRS_GoodNatured-Chips

These are really fantastic potato chips.  They’re not thin and greasy but thick, crunchy and tasty.  The kids don’t care for them and that just means MORE FOR ME.  The Cheddar Cheese flavor is my favorite.

 

HootSuite

hootsuite

 

I’m a self-professed social media addict and I just now started to use HootSuite this month.  Honestly.  I’m a little embarrassed to admit it.

I’m able to pull in my Twitter and Facebook accounts and monitor them all from one screen.  More importantly, I can post to all of them—and schedule the posts—all from one location.

 

Sandals

 

aerosoles

 

So, 34 is the age I bought my first pair of shoes for the sole purpose of comfort <—see what I did there.  And it turns out all those ladies were the smart ones.  These sandals are SO comfy. If you’ve been paying attention in my WIWW posts, you’ll see I wear them ALL THE TIME.  I can wear them all day and no pain whatsoever.  And wow, Aerosoles has all kinds of cute shoes.  I think I’ll just take my cardigans and Aerosoles and retire now, thankyouverymuch.

 

Tangle Teezer

tangleteezer

Now, for one of my favorite finds. This is a brush called the Tangle Teezer. Lexi used one at a sleepover and just raved over it. The family had gotten it on a trip to England.  We were in luck, though.  The same family made a trip back there this summer and bought one for us to save us shipping.  It is fantastic.  Lexi has such a sensitive scalp but this Tangle Teezer somehow makes it easier to brush.  Score!  You can get it online here.

 

 

Alrighty, those are some highlights from the month.  What has captured your attention lately?

 

This post is linked up with LeighKramer.com

What I’m Into – April 2013

On the Internet

Coffitivity

coffitivity

Coffitivity is a web site that plays coffee shop background noise.  They say it helps boost creativity while you work. 

I have no idea if it really boosts any creativity but I’m at home working often and find that it’s super helpful to have some noise, but nothing I have to pay close attention to.  With music, I’m paying too much attention to the lyrics. Although the site does allow you to add in some music if you want.

Pocket

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Pocket is my absolute new favorite tool online.  I come across SO MANY links to read on Twitter but usually don’t have time to read them. I just click a little button in my tool bar and Pocket puts the link in a list to read later.  

Pocket has a great iPad app and I tend to read through my list at the end of the day while I’m lying with the kids at night when they read.

You should totally “pocket” this article for later if you don’t have time to digest it all now.

 

On TV

Duck Dynasty

dd

I’d been hearing about Duck Dynasty for months and months but without satellite, we’ve been missing out on watching.  I couldn’t imagine that we’d get a lot of enjoyment from a show about a group of self-professed redneck duck hunters but I was really wrong.

We borrowed the first two seasons on DVD and got totally and completely hooked, staying up late every night of Spring Break to watch episode after episode all together.  I wish you could see Scott cackle at Uncle Si.  Jase is my favorite and the girls have a crush on John Luke.

We just realized we could have been watching it online and have watched much of Season 3, much to our disappointment.  It’s been forced and bland.  But still, Si still seems to pull through with some sort of shenanigan every episode and makes it worth the 30 minutes.

 

In My Kitchen

Chocolate covered espresso beans

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Espresso beans by themselves? Grody.  Chocolate covered espresso beans?  Heavenly.  

Love having these to snack on in the afternoon.  They’re not cheap though so wait for a sale.

 

In My Closet

Neutral Sandals

sandals

I picked these sandals up for $14 with free shipping from a Loft sale a few weeks ago.  I was ecstatic when they were a perfect fit.  

If you haven’t noticed in my What I Wore Wednesday posts, I’ve been wearing the hound out of them this month—capris, jeans, dresses—they go with anything. 

Striped Maxi

maxi

I’ve mentioned it in my What I Wore Wednesday posts but I adore my striped maxi.  I can wear it so many ways and I plan to keep experimenting through the summer.

 

In My Hands

Crocheting

crochet

I knocked off an item from my Growth Plan and have been crocheting this month! 

My friend Becky met me at Starbucks a few weeks ago and taught me the basics.  I’ve been practicing and finished the roll? spool? bundle? of yarn she gave me.  It turned out like a very wonky doll blanket.  The sides have more waves than a pageant winner in a parade.  I’m horrible at it so far but I do like it.

Bella

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OK, you haven’t been reading if you don’t know the biggest new thing I’ve been into this month is our new puppy Bella.   She’s a terrible amount of work but oh so fun-loving and sweet and worth it.

 

 

This post will be linked with LeighKramer.com.

———————————————

 

BONUS ANNOUNCEMENT!

If you are AT ALL interested in eBooks there is a HUGE bundle that goes on sale on Monday FOR ONLY ONE WEEK that you’re going to want to get your hands on.  There’s going to be NINETY-SEVEN books in this bundle worth over $600 from your favorite bloggers (including my eBook Entangled) PLUS $140 in FREE bonus offers for only $29.97.

I’ll be putting up a post on Monday listing all the details on how to get it so make plans to swing by!

 

What I’m Into – March 2013

Loonng iPhone Cord

iphone cord

Shelley from TheHouseofSmiths posted about this cord from MiniInTheBox a few months ago.  I finally remembered to get one this month and man, oh, man.  What a difference it makes. 

I plug my cord in behind my bed.  With the old cord, I’d have to lay on my side at the edge of my bed to read my phone.  Now, Scott can read it plugged in on the other side of our King-sized bed if he needs to.  It’s pretty great.  And wow, I’m entirely spoiled.  The good news is these only cost $2.99.

 

iPad

ipad

I know, I know, I’m like 3 years late.  I always said I didn’t see a need for an iPad but my faithful Kindle finally died this month.  I was set to replace it with another basic Kindle but after checking Craigslist, I found a pretty sweet deal on a used iPad 2 and couldn’t resist.  Apparently some parent was having a “teachable moment” with her son. Poor kid.

So far I like how the screen is lit so I can read in bed after Scott’s asleep.  I’ll be interested to see how much I like it compared to my Kindle when I’m reading outside more in the Summer.

I also really like the Evernote app a lot better than my iPhone since the keyboard is so much larger.

And of course, the kids love it.

 

Snuggle Fabric Softener

snuggle

Man, I know this is old school stuff here but I branched out (not far, clearly) to try a different fabric softener and wow, what a difference.  Seriously, the entire family is going around sniffing their own clothes.

 

Almonds

 

almonds

In January, I posted about the Smokehouse Almonds I’d found that I like.  Turns out I like the several of the other flavors.  Last time they were on sale, I picked up Smokehouse, Bold Jalapeno Smokehouse, Bold Honey Dijon and Toasted Coconut and they’re all yummy. I eat a handful almost every morning for snack. 

 

Hazelnut Macchiato

 

hazelnut

Starbucks is offering a new Hazelnut macchiato and I think it’s perfect when you don’t want plain coffee but white mocha is just too sweet.  Which, in my case lately is just about anytime.

 

Candle

candle

I tried this scented candle (Boticario de Havana) from Archipelago from the 31 Days to a Heart of Hospitality ebook from LifeinGraceBlog.com and I love it so much.  It’s rich and smoky and is perfect for our bedroom.  Wait for a sale to pick this up though.  It’s kind of pricey for the size.  This would also be a great idea for Mother’s Day coming up for yourself.

 

Online Finds

 

 

Make sure to check back mid-April when I join Modern Mrs. Darcy to talk about all the great books I’ve been into lately.

What are YOU into lately?

 

This post is linked up to LeighKramer.com

Make Gmail Work For You: Using Filters to Manage Your Inbox

filters

As a programmer, it’s my job to help develop systems that make people more efficient.  However, I realize that technology sometimes makes us work harder.  Let’s be clear: your technology should be working for you, not the other way around.

I’ve been doing some e-coaching with Holley Gerth over the past few weeks and in one of the assessments I realized that as much as I LOVE getting emails, managing my email account can be a huge drain.  Lately, I’ve tired of waking up to an email account full of emails of ads from companies.  Blech.

I’d subscribe here to get a coupon and then subscribe there to get a newsletter and over yonder to enter a contest and before long my inbox was a pain and a half to manage.

A few years ago {wow, it’s been 4!} I started using Quick Links and Tasks in Gmail to organize my inbox a little better.  However, while Quick Links and Tasks are great for managing email you already have and want to keep, I still needed to manage the email as it was coming in. 

This was a two-part solution for me.  Stick with me because the post is long but it’s not hard.

Step One: Unsubscribe

This has nothing to do with Gmail but it must be said. We all need to step back every once in a while and spend the time to click “Unsubscribe here” at the bottom of those emails

I seriously had an automated email from the Precious Moments web site.  How? Why? I haven’t bought a Precious Moments figurine in about 15 years. I finally unsubscribed today after deleting the daily email for who knows how many days in a row.

However, there are some company ads that I’d like to receive for the sale alerts (Hello, Loft and Bath & Body Works), but I don’t feel like wading through them every morning.  If I need something, I’d like to have it available, but not in my face.  I’d rather have the emails from Sarah, Becky and Dani greeting me front and center.

Here’s where we get to step 2.

Step Two: Apply a Filter

This is where it gets fun.  Gmail lets you apply filters to your email as it comes in.

So, let’s say there are emails from some person that you want to completely ignore but for whatever reason you can’t ask them to stop (or hate confrontation and don’t want to *cough*)…you can tell Gmail to skip your Inbox for those and send it right to the trash.  Squee!

Or, let’s say you get emails from 3 or 4 different blogs and you want to organize them into one folder so you can check in at one time later.  Just tell Gmail to skip the Inbox and archive it under a Label titled “Blogs”.

Let me show you step by step how to do this with those company ads I want to have handy, but not in my face.

First, click on the Gear icon in the top-right and then click Settings

 settings

In Settings, you’ll find a Filters tab

 filtershome

 

I don’t know why they make it hard to find, but at the bottom of the Filters tab, look for “Create New Filter”

 createnew

 

Click there and you’ll get a pop-up.

newfilter

 

*rubbing my hands together*

Here’s where the magic begins.

The first step here tells Gmail what to search for when an email comes in.  I’ve found the very easiest thing to use is the email address where the emails are coming from.  For example, Bath & Body Works uses “bathandbodyworks@e.bathandbodyworks.com” to send their emails.  Likely you won’t know it off-hand so just find an email in your inbox from them and copy the from email address and paste it into the “From” box above.

Additionally, you can even include the Subject or even any words that might be in the email but I didn’t find that necessary.

You might want Bath & Body Works “3-wick candle” emails but not their “lotion” emails.

Once you tell Gmail how to find the email, click the “Create filter with this search” on the bottom right. It’s hard to miss in light gray.

OK, THIS is the magicTell Gmail what to do with the email.  Do you want it to Archive it? Delete it?  Forward it?

filteroptions

 

What I did for my company ads is checked the “Skip the Inbox (Archive it)” and “Apply the label” and selected a new label I created called “Ads”.

So, the next time I get an email from Bath & Body Works, I don’t see it in my inbox, it shows up under the label “Ads” (accessible in the left sidebar) as an unread email.  If I wanted to, I could also “Mark as read” and it wouldn’t even flag it as a new email.

After a few days of emails, it turned out there were about 25 emails I wanted to continue receiving but didn’t need to manage on a daily basis.  That’s at least 25 clicks I’m saving every single morning not counting the many I unsubscribed from.

Now, once a day, or even every few days I can quickly scan my Ads folder and easily tick my Select All check box and Delete.  Way easier than wading through my main inbox!

Listen, I know filters on email accounts aren’t a new thing but I think the point is a lot of us don’t take the time to actually make them work for us.

Hope that helps and let me know how you have filters working for you!

Forward this post to your fellow Gmailers–I’m sure they won’t want to filter you out.  {Heh. Sorry, it was too easy.}

 

This post is linked to ProBlogger’s Group Writing Project