How to Create a Quick and Easy Slide Show on Pinterest

How to Create a Quick and Easy Slide Show on Pinterest

How to Create a Quick and Easy Slide Show on Pinterest

 

To tell the truth, I’m only writing this post because it took me so gosh darn long to figure out how to do this recently, and I deal with Pinterest all the time. But even Pinterest’s own Frequently Asked Questions didn’t really explain how to create a slide show. And they call it a showcase, too–not a slide show. No, that would be too “’70s,” apparently.

Note: You must have a business account to take advantage of the showcase feature.

 

Pinterest's Showcase Lets Businesses Rotate Five Boards

Pinterest’s Showcase Lets Businesses Rotate Five Boards

 

Anyway, it is a slide show, and you can make a pretty good one in about five minutes! Pretty cool, huh? Mine (a screenshot) is above.

Step One. Click the big plus mark that says “Set up a Showcase.”

Note: If there is no big plus mark, either your business account isn’t set up correctly, or there’s a bug in your Pinterest. One of Pinterest’s experts helped me find it, since the showcase edit page appeared to have been missing temporarily. First, log into your Pinterest account, then access it at https://www.pinterest.com/showcase/settings/.

Step Two. Choose your five best boards for the showcase. You may want boards with at least eight pins on them.

Step Three. Edit the boards some good pins appear on each of the boards. Choose a good cover for each board. Make sure to save after each edit.

Step Four. Have yourself some of the best DIY Lemon Iced Tea! You may want to reduce the sugar if you’re on Whole30, like I am, though. 😀

That’s it!

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Did I leave anything out?

Tell me if you set up your slideshow! Leave me a comment below and I’ll go take a look! Thank you.

How to Engage on Social Media: Pinterest

How to Engage on Social Media: Pinterest

How to Engage on Social Media: Pinterest

This blog post is part of my series on how how to How to Engage on Social Media: The Complete Guide. You might want to see the previous two parts:

More parts will be added on a weekly basis.

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Pinterest a Rising Star

Pinterest is a rising star, and like certain other social media platforms, underutilized. If your audience includes women, then you need to be on Pinterest! Some 31% of adult Internet users use Pinterest, according to the Pew Research Center.

Can You Be Social on Pinterest?

The people at Pinterest claim that Pinterest is not a social media platform. In some ways, they’re right. But it is still possible to engage, to share, to comment, and to like posts. There is no live video (yet!), but that could be on its way. I’d definitely agree with Justin Horvath that Pinterest is Social Media’s Best Kept Secret.

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Social Discovery

Pinterest is certainly a place for discovery. Say for instance you need a pair of shoes. But that’s all you know. Would you go to Google and search for shoes? No! Instead go to Pinterest, because you’ll automagically get visual search cues to guide you: green shoes, camo sneakers, velvety green heels, and more.

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How to Engage?

When you’re tooling around Pinterest, like and comment on people’s pins (I know they’re supposed to be called saves, but pins sounds so much better.)  Make sure that you tag the person whose post you’re commenting on! Hover over the person’s name and get their handle. For instance, mine is @YourSoMeWorks. Now, make sure to say something a little out of the ordinary. Put a little thought into it.

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Use Direct Messaging Sparingly

If you already know someone, use direct messaging. Or if it’s really important. Otherwise, direct messaging can seem spammy, like a direct message on Twitter when you don’t even know someone. It’s a good way to get unfollowed!

Send Pins and Boards

If you see something that a friend would like, by all means send it their way! Pinterest explains how to send either a pin or a board in a short post. You can engage with people that way as well.

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Group Boards

Another way to engage on Pinterest is to either join or have your own group board. Engage with the other pinners on the group board, making sure to tag them when you do.

Are You Engaging on Pinterest?

Why or why not? Leave me a comment and I promise to write you back! And thank you!

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Social Media: Spotlight on the Speed of Change

Social Media: Spotlight on the Speed of Change

Social Media: Spotlight on the Speed of Change

People have complained about information overload since, well, since there were people. And I suspect that before homo sapiens, cro magnon man (and woman!) were also complaining about too much change.  Now that social media is here, change is happening faster than ever.

Insta-Updates

Insta-Updates

Insta-Updates

With the advent of social media, we can find out about our relatives’ health, life changes, and new pets instantaneously. And even if we don’t want to know, we hear about political opinions. By the way, here’s a fun piece about the latest election: Albert Einstein and the Menace of the November Election. Even on Instagram, which is the best place for introverts, in my opinion, people are yelling–YELLING!–about politics lately. Ugh.

Eustress

Eustress

Eustress

Change produces stress, and there are some types of stress that are in the Good Camp. Promotions at work, getting a seven-letter Bingo in Scrabble, or learning that you won the Lottery could be in this category.  As Elizabeth Scott outlines in When Stress is Good for You,  you don’t need to worry about all kinds of stress. Acute stress is particularly harmful. We humans like some things to remain stable, and not to have shifting sands under our feet.

Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram--Oh, My!

Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram–Oh, My!

Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram–Oh, My!

Just as all kinds of stress are not alike, not all social media platforms are created equal. Let me explain. Twitter moves fast and can catch you off-guard with its constantly moving articles, memes, and newsy tidbits. Facebook can be a rabbit hole of articles about cats who think they’re dogs (and dogs who think they’re cats!), and people ranting about every possible first-world problem.  The videos and sponsored posts can move quickly as well. If you want a more peaceful social media experience, Pinterest and Instagram are much quieter–without tons of ads or newsy posts screaming at you to pay attention.

Reframing Information Overload

There are a million rabbit holes and tasks that call out to us. There are parties and business events. And there is that little voice that says “you should…”. For myself, deciding what I could do versus what I should do makes all the difference. Did you know that there’s an Information Overload Awareness Day (October 18)? And an Information Overload Research Group?

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Meditation and Quiet Time

Everyone needs some time to completely withdraw from the world, whether that’s through meditation, yoga, or simply quiet time in the car. For all you introverts out there, here’s Six Facts About Introverts and Social Media That Will Impress Your Friends.

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How Do You Manage the Speed of Change?

Do you withdraw from the world or does being involved and “on” 24/7 excite and exhilarate you? Leave me a comment! And thank you.

 

 

How to Lose All Your Followers on Social Media

How to Lose All Your Followers on Social Media

How to Lose All Your Followers on Social Media

I almost called this “The Wonderful Art of Subtraction on Social Media,” because sometimes the best thing to do is to subtract. That is: unfollow, unfriend, and mute. After all, everyone wants more, more, more followers on social media. Isn’t that the whole point? Not always! Sometimes less is more.

Same Old, Same Old

Lately I’ve grown tired of seeing the same stuff day after day, month after month. On Twitter, the accounts that spew quotes are the worst. My friends Mitch Mitchell and Terri Nakamura have been tweeting about it. How do those accounts get so many followers when all they do is broadcast quotes all day long?

Fast Path to Losing Followers: Spew quotes all day long.

Unfriending on Facebook

On Facebook, if I don’t remember where the heck we met, or if we haven’t had a conversation for a couple of years, off you go! I’ll bet they don’t remember me, either (even if to me, I’m the queen of the universe!). Wiki has a great list of reasons you might have been unfriended on Facebook and how to get over it.

Fast Path to Losing Followers: Being offensive and way too personal is a good way to be unfriended. Right now, the political rant is also a great way to lose friends.

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Photo by abodftyh

Unfollowing on Twitter

On Twitter, if there’s too much salesy stuff, and too many boring tweets, same thing: they get muted or unfollowed. Muted if the volume is too high and unfollowed if the tweets are tasteless. Partly the fault is mine. I may not have taken a good, hard look at the account when I first followed or followed back. But sometimes accounts change, too. Here are some Twitter Best Practices, by the way.

Fast Path to Losing Followers: Drunk tweeting off topic is a fast way to lose followers. Also, sending direct messages asking for money is a fast path to being unfollowed.

Disconnecting on Pinterest

Sometimes people post about too much of one thing, and it gets boring. Or, as in the case of someone I unfollowed this week–too many “sexy ladies dressed as animals.” Yeah, I know. Weird. I kept unfollowing one board after another, until finally–no boards at all! What a great day that was. If you want a primer on Pinterest, you might like this one: Pinterest: Top Ten Tasks and Power Tips.

Fast Path to Losing Followers: Pin only photos of sunglasses. Or stuffed animals. And you’ll lose followers. Try it!

Getting Unlinked on LinkedIn

Like Direct Messages on Twitter, sending salesy messages before getting to know someone is a no-no on LinkedIn, and a great way to lose followers. Today I got an email from someone I’d never had contact with asking me to buy their IT services. See ya! If you want to know how to prune the rose buds on LinkedIn, here you go.

Fast Path to Losing Followers: Send a lot of salesy stuff, before getting to know someone.

Insta-Unfollowed on Instagram

On Instagram, a really great way to be blocked is to leave a comment on someone else’s post saying “follow me.” Don’t you hate that?

Fast Path to Losing Followers: Say you sell followers in a message on someone else’s post.

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Who Have You Unfollowed Today?

If you’ve unfriended, unfollowed, or blocked someone today, why? I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

Pinterest: 10 Quick and Easy Tasks You Can Do Right Now

Pinterest: 10 Quick and Easy Tasks You Can Do Right Now

Pinterest: 10 Quick and Easy Tasks You Can Do Right Now

If you’re confused by Pinterest, there’s no need to be. You can start pinning for yourself or your business right away. For this post, I’ll skim over a few basics, and then get into some tasks you can do immediately. And I’ll make it as quick and easy as possible!

Set up a Business Account

Set up a Business Account

Set up a Business Account

If you haven’t set up a business account, go to Pinterest’s blog for the easy setup. Don’t forget to verify your business account, too. Skip this step if you’re on Pinterest for fun, of course.

Your Action: Set up your business account.

Create 5 Boards

Create 5 Boards

Create Five Boards

Yes, you could create more, but start with five boards with five pins each. That’s quick and easy, right?

Your Action: Set up boards with simple names to reflect your business interests. For instance, if you sell windows, you could have boards about Glass, Architecture, Shades, Window Boxes, and Trim.

Make 'Em Pretty!

Make ‘Em Pretty!

Make ‘Em Pretty

Your board covers need to be pretty! Guys, that includes you, too!

Your Action: Choose the best of the five pins and make that your board cover. Here’s a post that includes how to create better board covers, by the way.

Pin Descriptions

Pin Descriptions

Pin Descriptions

Of the pins that you pinned, are they filled with keyword-rich words?

Your Action: Put yourself in the shoes of someone searching on Pinterest. Would they find your pin?

Pin At Good Times

Pin At Good Times

Pin At Good Times

If you’re only pinning in the middle of the night, you’re going to get middle-of-the-night results!

Your Action: If you only have a few minutes, pin at 6 pm. That’s when most people are on Pinterest.

Find Your Analytics

Find Your Analytics

Find Your Analytics

Click the little gear at the upper right of your Pinterest account.

Your Action: Spend 10 minutes getting cozy with your Pinterest analytics.

On the first page of your analytics, you’ll see the above screen, or something like it.

Check Your Own Website’s Impressions

Check Your Own Website’s Impressions

Pinterest By the Numbers

In the screenshot above (Find Your Analytics), you can see some of the ups and downs of the numbers. If you hover over what interests you, you can see more details. Here I’m interested in activity from my website. Check the impressions from your own website. Go to the top right (third panel, above) and click More. You will see impressions from the past week, by default.

Your Action: Check the impressions for a pin that got repinned and see what you did right! What was the subject of the pin? (To check when a pin was pinned, simply click on the pin and you should see how long ago it was pinned to the top right.)

It’s All in the Details

It’s All in the Details

It’s All in the Details

Check the details. I’m interested in the spike shown on April 10, above.

Your Action: Choose a pin and check the details. See the impressions, clicks, repins, and likes. Below the Top Ten Impressions, there’s a list of places where your pins got repinned. Skim over it–don’t spend a lot of time.

Follow One Pin with the Highest Impressions

Follow One Pin with the Highest Impressions

Follow One Pin with the Highest Impressions

Here’s where it gets interesting. One repin onto a board with very high traffic caused all of the 4565 impressions, above. Pretty neat!

Your Action: See where your highest pinned pins got those impressions. Above, you can see that one repin caused a number of clicks. Is that something that you could replicate?

Be a Tortoise Not a Hare

Be a Tortoise Not a Hare

Be a Tortoise Not a Hare

Pin steadily. Don’t worry too much about daily fluctuations in analytics.

Your Action: Commit to pinning five minutes per day. If that’s too much, maybe five minutes three times a week.

Bonus!

Bonus!

Bonus Tip

Once you’re a regular pinner, you may want to do more.

Your Action: Create one board of your highest ranked pins. Use your analytics to find, say, your pins that got more than three pins. Or five pins.

What Would You Recommend?

What quick and easy tips have helped you? Let me know in the comments! Thank you!

 

 

How to Recycle Content the 10 Best Ways

How to Recycle Content the 10 Best Ways

How to Recycle Content the 10 Best Ways

Since it’s almost Earth Day, it’s a good time to talk about recycling your content on social media. It’s also a very good time to prevent your brain from exploding. Recycling your content, as it turns out, is a very good way to prevent your brain from exploding. If you need other reasons to keep your brain from exploding, you might want to read: Content Curation: 5 Killer Reasons It’s Your New BFF.

Start with Your Blog

Your blog is like the torso of your efforts. Everything starts there. The “limbs” are the different social platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. You may be a starfish, with five arms, or an octopus with eight limbs. Or maybe you’re a mollusk, with only one leg. But I digress. Create your content on your blog, with plenty of nice, fat keywords.

Recycling Tip: Go back to your older blog posts and see which can be rewritten. A slightly different slant can give new life to an old post!

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Tweet Your Post

Not only should you tweet your blog post, but if you’ve done your homework and gotten some social capital, ask for people to retweet. “Please retweet!” you might say. And then pin that tweet to the top of your Twitter feed so anyone coming there can see it. If you don’t have social capital, this is an excellent post on Reciprocation from my bud Bridget Willard.

Recycling Tip: Retweet your own tweet later. That’s right. When the initial excitement of that tweet is over, retweet your own post again. You could use a different headline and a different image. Or not. Up to you. Guy Kawasaki repeats his posts, and here’s Guy’s strategy.

Pin on Pinterest

You do have a blog board on Pinterest, don’t you? If you don’t, make one right away! And then pin your blog post there. You might also want to join a group board so that you can pin your wonderful writing there, too. Here’s how to join a group board.

Recycling Tip: If your pin doesn’t get repinned the first time, pin it at a different time and delete the first pin. Make sure you’ve added your key words to the description. You could also add it to a different board, at a different time.

Facebook

Facebook is a little trickier, unless you post a lot every day.

Recycling Tip: Use #TBT (Throwback Thursday) or ICYMI (In Case You Missed It) to repeat old posts. And add some different text, for heaven’s sake!

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Email Marketing

Remember that blog post? Take pieces of it and put it into your email newsletter. Maybe use a different image, from further down in the post, and add a sentence or two.

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Instagram

Instagram has been taking off the last couple of years, with more people using it.

Recycling Tip: Regram your own posts, and change up the hashtags. Of course, recycle the hashtags, too!

Google Plus

There’s some disagreement as to whether Google Plus is still relevant. Many Social Media Managers think that it isn’t. Most agree that it’s a ghost town, and that posting there helps with SEO.

YouTube

Videos are one of the best ways to get attention from your audience. Short videos, in particular work very well on social.

Recycling Tip: Chop up your video and reuse it in different ways. You could take a one-minute video and create three or four shorter videos.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is often described as the “sleeping giant” of social media.

Recycling Tip: Share one of your favorite posts in a LinkedIn group at a different time.

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Recycle Your Images

If you’ve created terrific images, you could recycle them. For instance, you could make a calendar from Instagram photos. Or Create magnets from Pinterest images.

Recycling Tip: Use this link, which friend Kittie Walker shared on Twitter (follow her on Twitter ~ @avidmode), to recycle your images from Instagram.

How Do You Recycle?

Do you recycle? How?

 

Automation and Social Media: You Need to Know How to Balance

Automation and Social Media: You Need to Know How to Balance

Automation and Social Media: You Need to Know How to Balance

Finding that sweet spot between live interaction and posts can be a tricky business. Some people like to automate everything, and others are purists about live posting. A hybrid approach can save you time and energy, but what is the best ratio of automated to live posts? And how often can you post before your audience starts to roll their eyes and unfollow you? Here’s a look behind the curtain, so you can choose what you want to do.

By the way, you may have missed this post about social media automation.

Being Informative vs Being Annoying

Hardly anyone sets out to be annoying, but sometimes there’s a fine line. Being top of mind is what we’re all aiming for. In an interesting article from Buffer about social media frequency, author Kevan Lee suggests posting 14 times a day on Twitter, or about once per hour. Of course, there’s another ratio to consider: how often to post about yourself. Could you post about your own brand once in five or once in ten times?

Scheduling Tweets

Scheduling Tweets

Twitter: Live Engagement & Automation

For Twitter, I started with scheduling nothing, then went to scheduling 10 tweets daily, then 5 scheduled tweets, and now 0. When an interesting topic comes up, it goes into my scheduler so it appears at an optimal time. Besides that and the Tweet Old Posts plugin (every 4 hours), the rest is live engagement. The result has been that my follower count has gone up. My ratio of automated to live tweeting is about 1:3 or 1:4. By the way, here’s an article about why not to buy followers and who has the most fake Twitter followers.

Facebook Analytics

Facebook Analytics

Facebook: Optimizing Through Analytics

Do not believe those articles and infographics about the best times to post. Check your Facebook analytics to find your best times and frequency. Unless you bought followers, you should be able to see when your fans are online. I find the best engagement before 9 am and up to 3 pm. It’s important to use a big picture. Some people like to tag others, but I find those posts annoying. For Facebook, I post about once daily. Hubspot has an interesting article about how often you should post on Facebook. As far as automation goes, I’d recommend it and especially if your audience is up early, for instance, and you’re not. Again, check your analytics.

Pinterest Scheduling

Pinterest Scheduling

Pinterest

For Pinterest, since about half of all users are in the United States, you might want to limit your pinning to those times when your audience is online. I’ve been pinning roughly 8 times a day: 4 times live pinning and four scheduled pins. The scheduled pins are from my own blog, and go out between 5:30 to about 8 pm. The others go out usually all at once.

What Works for You?

Do you schedule? How much? Leave me a comment! I’d really like to know!

 

 

How to Avoid Writing Bad Pinterest Headlines and Get Found

How to Avoid Writing Bad Pinterest Headlines and Get Found

How to Avoid Writing Bad Pinterest Headlines and Get Found

This is one of those topics I’ve been meaning to write about for a while. Ok, here’s the deal. You need to think about what you write on your Pinterest pins as being searchable headlines. Because they are. Searchable, that is. After you read this post, you’ll have a clearer idea of how to write the text for your pins. I call it headline writing because it’s similar. For how to write other types of headlines, you might like this article, Headline Writing: 10 Reasons It’s a Pain in the Asterisk.

Pinterest is a Huge Search Engine

Pinterest is a Huge Search Engine

Pinterest is a Huge Search Engine

This is a thing that many marketers don’t get. Pinterest is a search engine. Pinterest does a lot of stuff that Google doesn’t. Here’s a fantastic article about Pinterest Search, by the way. So if you write “this is great,” or “hoo boy” on an otherwise great pin, nobody is going to find that pin. It could theoretically come across someone’s stream, but for the most part, it will be invisible.

How Do You Search?

How Do You Search?

How Do You Search?

Think about how you search. Get on Pinterest right now and do a search for “carnitas.” Now look at the guided search results. You can refine your search by adding the words “Mexican,” “Slow Cooker,” “Paleo,” etc. If your recipe includes all those terms already, why not include those words in your description?

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Here are some examples of bad, better, and best descriptions, using the carnitas example from the last paragraph:

Bad Headline: Yummy recipe!
Better Headline: Delicious Pork Carnitas Recipe!
Best: Mexican Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas – Super easy pulled pork recipe and an amazing way to get juicy, mouth-watering results!

You can see from your search on Carnitas that the top search results already have quite a few good search terms, plus a beautiful, vertical image.

Description Length

Don’t make the mistake a lot of people make and include only a character or a single word in your pin’s description. Add information that lets other pinners know what is behind the pin. Is there simply an image? Is there a full article about cruises to the Mediterranean? Some studies show that descriptions should be 200 characters long to be the most repinnable.

Best Words

Some words are better than other words for Pinterest. You may want to use your own keywords, if you know them, in your pinned blog posts. Take a look at Mashable’s article most popular searches, by country, for 2015. Can any of them be applied to what you pin? Your pin might not necessarily go viral, but you could get a few more repins by using better terms, even if those words aren’t about mason jars, cats, or DIY pallet projects!

Make Your Description Flow

Make Your Description Flow

Make Your Description Flow

Write in a concise, short sentence, if possible. If you must use a phrase, make sure it makes sense. For instance, if you’re pinning something from your own blog, describe what it’s about and why someone would want to click on the link.

Avoid Hashtags

When Pinterest first appeared on the scene, people used hashtags. Sometimes too many hashtags. Now Pinterest is moving away from hashtags, and if your post has too many hashtags, your pin could be labeled as spam.

Pinterest Image Sizes

No post about Pinterest would be complete without a discussion on pin size. You might have a fabulous description with keywords, but a lousy picture. Don’t do that! Here’s a good article on pin sizes. That said, the longer, skinnier pins do the best on Pinterest.

Study Your Own Pins

Study Your Own Pins! The pin above has been repinned nearly 7,000 times.

Study Your Own Pins

Which of your own pins has been popular? For instance, the pin above continues to be repinned one year after it was pinned! Can you tell why? Repeat what you did with that pin, if possible!

 

 

How to Resist Change: Confessions from a Curmudgeon

How to Resist Change: Confessions of a Curmudgeon

How to Resist Change: Confessions of a Curmudgeon

When I was a kid, I looked up to celebrities. There was something magical about their hair, their makeup, and their clothes. I remember being alone, dancing in my room to David Bowie. Sometimes, I would grab a hairbrush (for a mic) and sing along with the Rolling Stones. Sam, our cat, was a willing audience to these outbursts of song and dance. Imagine my dismay when the Beatles broke up. I still can’t believe it’s over!

Breaking Up is Hard to Watch

Breaking Up is Hard to Watch

Breaking Up is Hard to Watch

Miss Piggy and Kermit split up this past year, which was difficult to watch even though they are muppets. What happened to their love?  And their ridiculously cute squabbling? Maybe it was never an act at all. And what about Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner? Is nothing sacred? Well, Batman is sacred, but that’s another story, Ben Affleck!

Change is Intolerable!

Change is Intolerable!

Change is Intolerable!

When change happens, we should pull the blankets over our heads and go back to sleep. Like the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand, we can ignore changes and pretend they didn’t happen. It’s easy, right? Sure! So long as you don’t read your friends’ Facebook posts, or see anything trending on Twitter!

Get Off My Lawn!

Get Off My Lawn!

Get Off My Lawn!

Even though I don’t have a lawn, I’d like to get one just so I could yell that at kids. They don’t belong on my non-existent lawn! Not that there are tons of kids running around where the lawn would be, still it’s troubling to think that they could be. What were they thinking, those imaginary kids?

Ads, Throttling, and Spam

Ads, Throttling, and Spam

Ads, Throttling, and Spam

Facebook is doing more targeted ads and throttling who sees posts. Is that right? No! They should’ve kept it the way it was, where people could see everything. Not only that, but Facebook is terrible for you, says Salon. Twitter has become less about engagement and more about spewing ads. Again, it was way better before. Pinterest now has ads, too, whereas in the beginning it was only about pinning interesting pictures of kittens and flowers.

Deny Everything

One thing you can do to avoid change is to deny it exists. The earth is still flat, Elvis lives, and you don’t have to update that software. Then again, if you procrastinate long enough, you might not have to think about it at all.

Coping with Change

Coping with Change

Coping with Change

Of course, you could learn to cope with change, as this excellent article by Adam Dachis explains. But if you did that, you wouldn’t be able to gripe about it, would you?

 

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