SocMedSean - Social Media Commentary And Humor
Viewing Facebook Messages Without Installing The Messenger App

The new Facebook Messenger app has been called it?Over the last few weeks, there has been a lot of stink over the fact that Facebook is splitting its messaging functionality out into a new Messenger app. Some fear-mongers have been spreading rumors that Facebook plans to use your camera and microphone to listen in on your private conversations, while Facebook has sent pretty clear messages that it has no intent to do so.

Even if it were true, though…is your life really that interesting? If you’re concerned with Facebook listening in on your conversations, maybe you should rethink what activities you’re engaged in. No…Facebook is not really interested in your rants during your kids soccer game. Surprise…they don’t want to hear you use the terms “ping”, “strategize” and “leverage” in your corporate meetings. It’s true…Facebook is not interested in any of your embarrassing bathroom noises while you play Candy Crush Saga on the toilet.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but installing the Messenger app isn’t going to place your privacy in any more risk than the already embarrassing photos and “whoa is me” posts that your putting on Facebook yourself. So calm down, don’t believe the fear-mongers….just relax.

Installing Facebook Messenger is not the end of the world. You can still use the phone to call people. You can still text. You can still email. If you choose not to use Facebook Messenger, great! It’s one less communication channel that you need to check while you’re sitting at the stoplight holding everyone else up in line when the light turns green and you’re fixated on your phone.


But if you don’t believe me and you NEED your Facebook Messenger, yet are terrified that adding it to your phone will require you to wear a foil hat for the rest of your life so Facebook doesn’t steal your thoughts, then here are the instructions on how to do it. No…it’s not optimal. Yes, it’s kind of cludgy…but if you want the best experience, simply install the app and get over it.

Using Chrome, you can request the desktop version of FacebookViewing Facebook Messages On Your Mobile Device Or Tablet Without Using The Facebook App

  1. Install Chrome on your device. If you are an Android user, it’s already on your phone.
  2. Open Chrome and navigate to (don’t log in yet)
  3. Open the context menu within Chrome and check the box next to “Request Desktop Site”
  4. Reload the page and you should see the desktop site.
  5. Log in.
  6. Click the Messages link in the left nav under your profile photo to see your messages and respond to them.

Again, not the best user experience, but it gets you to your messages without ever having to bow to the privacy will of Facebook. Except for the fact that you basically gave away all privacy expectations when you “Agreed” to the Facebook terms of use by creating your account. Oh yeah…that small detail.

I hope this helps. I also hope this post gets zero traffic because people aren’t sill enough to Google “how can I view my Facebook messages on my phone without installing the Messenger app”. We’ll see….



This post originally posted at - Social.Media.Sean
What Is A Social Intranet And Is It Right For My Company?
Karleen Murphy With Intranet Connections Shares Her Thoughts On Social IntranetsToday’s article is a guest post from Karleen Murphy, A Marketing Assistant with Intranet Connections, a Business Intranet Software provider in Vancouver, British Columbia. Thanks to Karleen for sharing her thoughts on how social media capabilities and intranets can be combined to help businesses succeed!

The question about using social features on an intranet is always a highly debatable topic of conversation, and every business will offer different pros and cons of implementing social features on their intranet.  Whether social features will benefit your organization largely depends on your requirements, structure and company culture.  In order to decide if these features are right for you, let’s take a step back and look at what a social intranet is, what its benefits are and some common social intranet pitfalls.

The Social Intranet Defined

A social intranet is a way of conducting business communication within your company or network, using social tools approved by management for employee communication. Rather than structured, professional correspondence such as emails and memos, social tools allow employees to communicate quickly and with less restriction.

Social intranet features could include:

  • Instant chat
  • Message posting & messaging
  • Commenting ability on documents
  • Social calendars
  • Social tagging
  • Ideas sharing or exchange

And so on…

Currently, most employees of the digital age use social tools daily in their personal lives, such as Google Talk, Facebook, LinkedIN and Twitter.  One option would simply be to allow these outside social tools into the office to allow for quicker communication.  However, this creates management discomfort, begging questions such as:

“What are my employees sharing using these tools?”

“Is the tool being used for business?”

“How secure are these tools?”

“Can I ensure that my sensitive documents are not ending up in the wrong hands?”

The Benefits of the Social Intranet

Deploying an intranet with native social communication tools virtually eliminates the questions raised above. Rather than having multiple unsecured and unmanaged social tools accessed through the internet by employees, in-house social intranet tools can be implemented and managed by your company for social, business and productivity purposed as you see fit.  Additionally, a social intranet can ensure all business-related discussions are taking place on their secured network, while still giving employees the quick an easy tools necessary to conduct daily communications.

Common Social Intranet Pitfalls

The primary concern of offering these social tools is that they will reduce employee productivity.  Employees will spend all day chatting, or looking for intranet content to post on each other’s walls, or writing comments to each other.  This is where ensuring that you have an intranet which allows for proper intranet management comes in.  For example, most intranet platforms will allow you to monitor chat conversations.  While you could monitor all chat conversations, simply sending this message to employees that chat conversations can be monitored should be enough of a deterrent.

Do you have a policy that governs your social intranet?

At least they can use their social media strategy to govern their social intranet, as well.

Many intranet solutions will allow you to turn on and off specific social features, in order to introduce them to your employees slowly and therefore allow them to get adjusted to the idea of social.  You may also want to prominently display your social intranet guidelines so that employees are aware of what is expected of them.

The Bottom Line

Whether social is right for your business depends largely on the structure, requirements and company culture of your organization.  There are a variety of benefits to implementing social features and your best bet will be to find an intranet solution which offers flexibility in their implementation so that if you find they are not working for you, you can simply turn them off an continue to receive the benefits of a business intranet.

If you have any questions about implementing a social intranet, social tools or social intranet practices, or if you would like to request a free demo of our intranet software, please visit our website.

Thanks to Karleen, for sharing your thoughts about social intranets and their features! If you think your business might benefit by adding a social component to your internal communications, I highly recommend you check out the Intranet Connections solution. They even offer  21-day free trial of their software. You can check them out via their Website or contact them at

This post originally posted at - Social.Media.Sean
How Do I Turn Off The Trending Box In Facebook?

In case you haven’t notice, Facebook recently launched an addition to the user-experience called their “Trending” box. The content in this widget providers users with a quick way to see what topics of conversation are trending across the entire Facebook community.

While some see this as a great way to learn about new and timely topics, Facebook failed a bit by giving us no way to turn the feature off or even minimize it. Other features like the Ticker, Trending Articles and even the Facebook advertisements in our feeds have options to minimize, disable or remove them so it’s possible that Facebook has not added that feature….yet.

In fact, Facebook has made it pretty clear that there isn’t a native way to turn it off on their support page with the following response.

Facebook does not currently allow users to disable the trending box

Facebook does not currently allow users to disable the trending box

Some Facebook users, however, are kicking back with a petition on asking Mark Zuckerburg to at least give users the opportunity to choose whether they want to see it or not. A response from Facebook, however, has yet to be published.

Luckily, there are a folks out there that just didn’t want to let that Ticker invade their Facebook experience, so here are links to their different solutions. I have tried both, and each worked appropriately in a variety of browsers. If that Ticker is really ticking you off…give them a try:

Using Adblock Plus to remove the Facebook Ticker by treating it like an advertisement

Using the FB Purity Extension to disable the Facebook Ticker widget

So, while you can’t disable it through the native Facebook interface, there is at least a couple options to make it go away. Have another way? Feel free to share it in a comment!



This post originally posted at - Social.Media.Sean
Unsocial Social Media – Surfing LinkedIn Profiles As Anonymous

I’ll be starting a new series on SocMedSean that focuses on some of the most unsocial social media behaviors that I see in the digital space. In previous posts, I’ve covered items like:

This weeks comes focuses on those folks who surf LinkedIn profiles and choose to display themselves as anonymous. Really? When you visit my LinkedIn profile, I invite you to unmask yourself and show that you stopped by. Yes, I check to see who visited my profile on a weekly basis and I often reach out and connect with the folks who check out my profile. Who knows, I might be the connection that answers a question about your social media strategy, connects with you regarding a job opportunity or shares one of your blog posts with my followers.

Do you browse LinkedIn profiles and choose to be displayed as anonymous? Why?

Take off the mask, be social, share who you are.



This post originally posted at - Social.Media.Sean
Social Media Comic: The Technophobe

Anyone else run into technophobes in their digital lives? You know…the one who never wanted to be on “the Interweb” or thinks that “the YouTube” is just about cats on skateboards? Funny how those same people who dismissed email and mobile phones are now seen carrying smartphones, tablets and sending pics of their vacation via GMail. How long do you think it will be before they are tweeting?

Enjoy the comic! Would love to hear your technophobe stories :)


Do you know folks who are absolutely terrified of new technology? So much so that they just dismiss it as silly?

This post originally posted at - Social.Media.Sean
[Sponsored] Buffalo Wild Wings Takes Finger Football Mobile And Social

Disclosure: Buffalo Wild Wings did compensate me to write this post in the form of a gift card. The gift card was used to purchase meals for my family while we tried out the new mobile app. The opinions in this post are mine and do not represent those of Buffalo Wild Wings.

From a social media perspective, I’ve always been a pretty big fan of Buffalo Wild Wings.  Not only do they provide value to their fans and followers in the form of promotional coupons and updates on sporting events, they actually engage with their customers.

Yes, you heard me. They actually use social media channels like Twitter and Facebook to talk with their customers…something that a lot of other big brands are still trying to figure out.

So when BWW reached out to me via Twitter and asked if I would be interested in checking out their new Big Kick Challenge mobile app, my curiosity was piqued. I love the Texas Hold ‘Em and trivia table games that they offer in their restaurants, so why not check out their new mobile game to see what it offers. Oh yeah, and they offered to buy me and my family dinner if we’d stop by our local BWWs and give the app a try. Ummm….hello, no brainer!!Buffalo Wild Wings Takes Finger Flick Football Mobile With Their New App

After I agreed, and BWW sent me a gift card in the mail, I downloaded the app from the Google Play store, packed up the family and headed down to our local Olathe BWWs. FYI, the download is pretty quick via Wi-Fi since the app is not very big.

Note: My wife and daughter tried to download the app on their Samsung Galaxy Epic (slider) phones, but it wasn’t available to them in the Play Store. I’m assuming that this is because their phones are Galaxy 1-class and are stuck at an older version of the Android OS. If you don’t see the app in the store, you might be in the same situation.

As we anticipated, there was a placard on the  table-top describing the app and giving instructions on how to play. Basically, if you have ever played finger-flick football in elementary school, you already have all the skills necessary to rock this app. You remember finger-flick football, right? The folded-up triangle of notebook paper that you used to flick at your best friend in a feeble attempt to score a field goal between his or her fingers without poking them in the eye with the sharp corners of the triangle? This game is essentially the same thing in a mobile format.

For those of you who were deprived of the joys of finger-flick football, you might find similarities between the Big Kick Challenge app and Paper Toss, a similar app where you attempt to throw crumpled up paper balls into a wastebasket.

The Table Sign Associated With Buffalo Wild Wings' Big Kick Challenge Becomes A Virtual Reality Goalpost

The difference between the Big Kick Challenge and Paper Toss, however, is the augmented reality aspect to the game, which means you can point your phone at the sign on your table and it will transform the goal posts on the sign into a virtual football field on your phone. Based on how you move your phone, you can position yourself as a kicker, ready to send the ball through the uprights. You can then use your finger to flick the ball through the upright. There is often a cross-breeze that impacts your ability to kick straight to the field goal, so pay attention to the wind indicator! Additionally, your score is being recorded so you can compete with other challenge players nation-wide.

The Buffalo Wild Wings Big Kick Challenge Takes Finger-Flick Football Mobile And Adds An Augmented Reality Component

BWWs takes finger-flick football a step further with their new Big Kick Challenge App. Think finger-flick football meets mobile meets augmented-reality!

Also, keep in mind that the further your camera phone is from the sign, the further the kick will be. If you make it….that’s more points!

Be sure to register, so your best scores are registered and you can compete to win a trip to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl game!

My overall impression of the app is that it’s a pretty simple, straight-forward take on one of my childhood favorite lunchtime activities. The augmented reality piece is pretty cool and worked flawlessly on my Samsung Galaxy S3. The other nice thing is that you can play offline and don’t need the table sign if you’re sitting somewhere and want to practice your finger-flick skills.

With The Big Kick Challenge, Buffalo Wild Wings Also Let's You Share To Facebook And TwitterThere is a social media component to the game that allows you to see the nationwide leaderboard of scores and also allows you to start some smack-talk as you share your scores to your favorite social network. So get practicing and start thinking of your best witty football banter to challenge your friends and family to beat your score!

Overall, by adding the game to their already-great poker and trivia games, Buffalo Wild Wings has continued to develop a suite of in-restaurant entertainment that keeps me busy while I’m waiting for my wings.

So, if you’re in the mood for some wings and football, definitely check out the app. Just remember to wipe the spicy buffalo sauce off your fingers before you start flicking ;)



This post originally posted at - Social.Media.Sean
Should We Expect Health Care Professionals To Post And Tweet?

There’s no doubt about the fact that patients are becoming more vocal in the social media space. There are amazing digital conversations going on about widespread diseases like Diabetes and Multiple Sclerosis, as well as very niche diseases like Huntington’s Disease and Spontaneous Coronary Heart Dissection.

What do all these conversations have in common? They generally start with patients sharing experiences and information with each other, so they can learn more about their disease, treatment opportunities and how to best balance managing the disease with living their life. Often absent from the online conversation, however, is the voice of the health care professional.

Doctors that I have discussed social media with have a broad range of opinions about whether they should engage with their patients online. Gen-Y docs have generally grown up with a digital device in their hand, so they often feel that patient communications should naturally extend into the digital space. Boomers are often the polar opposite worrying about the time required, technical concerns, and potential privacy issues that may arise. Gen-X doctors seem to bridge that digital-divide, trying to figure out the right balance.

Regardless of generation, most health care professionals express concerns about not allowing social media usage to diminish the time they have to be available for in-person patient conversations.

Should we expect doctors and nurses to tweet and post?

The big question HCPs are facing is how to get involved in the online conversation while still doing everything they need to do to help patients in the exam room. While patients have the time and energy to share treatment recommendations and experiences freely, guidance from a doctor or nurse is usually nowhere to be found…and patients are noticing. Which raises the question as to why docs aren’t tweeting and posting.

Is it lack of time? Do they not understand how the various social media channels work? Is it fear of privacy violations? Are they concerned about the liability if they should disclose private information?

To better understand how others felt about the topic, I posed a question on Twitter:

the response was a great conversation with several folks who are passionate about the topic.

@DebHoury responded advocating for HCPs getting involved and sharing their expertise with patient communities:

When I brought up the issue of potential disclosure of sensitive data and/or insurance liability, Debra also pointed out that there are still a lot of topics that doctors and nurses could discuss in the digital space:

@Kristy3M pointed out that it might be an issue with communication training, as well:

As the conversation progressed, I asked whether Practice Managers might be better resources to share information in the social space. The responses were mixed, questioning whether Practice Managers would be the right resources to share the information that patients want:

However, @Kristy3M made an insightful recommendation that maybe Practice Managers evolve their role to develop and publish digital content that is reviewed and approved by the doctors and/or nurses.

While I’m sure Practice Managers wouldn’t be thrilled at adding yet another duty to their long list of daily activities, it might actually be one of the best solutions to the challenge. Engage Practice Managers, help them understand the digital space and develop content that would be valuable to the patients that they serve. The content would leverage insights and experience from both the nurses and doctors in their practice.

While I’m certainly not here to make excuses for HCPs and let them off the hook for evolving to digitally-savvy, I do understand that the current state of the health care profession requires them to spend less time with patients and more time on paperwork, leaving little time for tweeting and posting. Additionally, with the legal liability of disclosing patient information social media is probably a daunting challenge to most health care professionals.

So…I’m curious.

Would you prefer that your doctor engaged in social media? Share your thoughts in a comment or add your opinion to my original tweet (click the link in my tweet above). I’d love to hear some additional opinions, thoughts and experiences.



This post originally posted at - Social.Media.Sean
[COMIC] The Critical Element Of A Successful Big Data Strategy

Big data…it’s all the rage.

Why wouldn’t it be? It’s big. It offers promises of lots of data. Who wouldn’t want to know more about their customers, their employees and their operations?

With big data, we’ll be able to know everything about our business, develop new innovative ideas and serve our customers in ways that we never imagined. Mainstream emergence of social media has certainly created an environment where consumers are willing to share every aspect of their daily activities, so we should be able to filter out the noise and get to the juicy nuggets. Right?

Well, maybe.

Big Data May Sound Sexy, But Are You Ready For The Challenge?

While the promises of big data are almost too good to be true, there is a dark underside that needs to be understood. The fact that big data is, well…BIG and it offers us…ermmm…DATA.

If you’re scratching your head, thinking I’m a loon, or ready to click the close button on the browser hang with me for just one more second. I promise I’ll explain.

You see, a lot of folks out there confuse data with information. Let’s be clear, they are NOT the same thing. Data is raw. It’s unorganized. And, honestly…it’s not worth much when it comes to improving your business. Information, on the other hand, is what data becomes when you organize it, analyze it and give it some sense of structure.

And from information, we gain access to some of the most valuable opportunities available to us as business professionals. Insights.

Insights are what help us understand what our customers want. They help us learn whether our services are working or whether our products are succeeding. Insights help us identify new business channels and find ways to serve our customers in a more meaningful (and often more efficient) way.

Insights help us identify new business channels and find ways to serve our customers in a more meaningful (and often more efficient) way.

So, when developing a big data strategy, the questions that you should be thinking about include:

  1. How can we gather data from the appropriate sources?
  2. How do we organize that data and convert it into information?
  3. How do we glean insights from that information that we can act on to improve our business or serve our customers?
Does gobbling up customer data like Pac-Man actually get you any business insights?

In the age of social media, businesses are gobbling up customer data like Pac-Man.

The answers to 1 and 2 are usually the traps that suck businesses into the never-ending spiral of analysis-paralysis. We sometimes become data fiends, trying to locate every source that might have information that relates to our customers, our competitors, our industry and our business. We gobble up customer data like Pac-Man, under the misconception that if we have more data, we’ll be able to succeed. We spend time and money on sourcing data, buy servers with terabytes of drive space where we can organize it into information…and then what? We live as data hoarders and watch as the information becomes stale and useless.

Why? Because we miss out on the fact that #3 is the most critical element of the process. Without insights, all of the time and money spent on data and information was wasted.

Why is it, then, that business have such a hard time with step 3? Because it’s a step that requires significant human intervention and in these times of business automation and budget cuts, budgets sometimes simply do not afford another human on the project.

That’s right. I said it. If we remove the human analyst from our big data project, we might as well turn off the lights and close down the big data project.

Humans understand speech patterns. Software can, too…but not very well. Trust me on this, I work with very advanced social media listening tools that still think that the message “I love your product…NOT!” reflects a positive sentiment because the word “love” was close to the word “product”.  Software also can’t truly understand your customers. It doesn’t know when they are sick or celebrating a life event. It doesn’t know their kids’ names and it certainly can’t see through the sarcastic undertones of a message to read between the lines and understand what a customer wants

I’ll say it again.

If we remove the human analyst from our big data project, we might as well turn off the lights and close down the big data project.

So, when thinking about your organizational big data project, do you have the right resources? Software, data partnerships, servers, terabyte drives, data cubes…all good things. But don’t forget about the analyst who is going to disect that data and help you understand it. Care for them, feed them, give them M&Ms and lots of coffee.

With all the data you’re about to throw at them, they’re going to need it.



This post originally posted at - Social.Media.Sean
[COMIC] The Complexity Of Social Media Communications

Social media…it’s a whole new shift in the way we communicate, right?

But are we prepared for the vast range of communication channels that are available as new social media platforms launch? As social channels promise to connect us more closely, do we run the risk that some of our friends/family might not be using our preferred channels? It all remains to be seen how humans will filter and process the massive amounts of data that are being thrown at us via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and SMS text messaging. In the meantime, pen and paper works still works, too.



Is social media adding complexity to your communications? Can you avoid it?

This post originally posted at - Social.Media.Sean
Butchering The Google Chrome CPU Hog

This one is going in the tech category, but since so many of manage our social media channels via a browser like Chrome, I’m going to post a solve that might help others out there. Recently, one of my computers has been behaving badly. The fan run constantly, the CPU cycles are running high, and the performance is just…well…horrible.

I spent a considerable amount of time looking for spyware to see if some malicious little software spy had been installed, but came up empty. BTW, if your PC is running slow and you haven’t run a spyware check recently, now would be a good time to do it. Here are links to a couple of tools that offer free trials that will get you going:



Since I didn’t find any offending malware installed, my next step was to clean my registry in case there were old registry keys that were mispointed or just out of date that would be hurting the performance.  Again, I turned to a free tool. Took 30 minutes, cleaned up quite a few old registry keys, but no luck in calming down my CPU.


The final step I took was to defragment my hard drive. Just to make sure that disk fragmentation wasn’t slowing the computer down. I followed my own advice and used Defragler to clean up my hard drive space. Unfortunately, it didn’t really help speed up my computer, so I had to continue the search.

Since the easy stuff was done, but my CPU was still cycling high, I turned to the Windows Task Manager to see what might be causing the issue. You can open the Task Manager by choosing Ctrl + Shift + Esc. You can see how your CPU(s) are performing by selecting the Performance tab. As you can see from the image below, my CPU cycles are really high…that’s what I’m trying to figure out.

Windows Task Manager Shows That My PC CPU Is Running Hot

The best way to see what is using all those CPU cycles is to switch to the Processes tab and then order the CPU column from highest to lowest by clicking the column header twice. When I did that, I saw something very, very interesting.

Chrome. Multiple instance of Chrome. All consuming a ton of resources.

Wow! Chrome Is Using All My CPU Cycles, Causing My Processor To Work Overtime

Seriously, Chrome? You are running 13 different process that are consuming a TON of resources on my machine? After thinking about this for a couple of minute and Googling for a couple minutes more, I realized that each of the tabs I have open in Chrome are being treated as a separate process, and are consuming their own allocated resources.

There is one word for that…ridiculous.

Yes, I had 11 tabs open in Chrome and that was probably a little on the high side, but for there to be 13 different memory hogs and CPU hogs slowing down my computer…that’s just bad architecture. In fact, take a look at the image above and notice that Firefox is running. I opened the same 11 tabs in Firefox and it’s running a single process using significantly fewer resources than Chrome.

I could ditch Chrome altogether, but I actually like the integration with my phone (a Galaxy S3), so I wanted to find a way to keep Chrome, but have it run more efficiently. The answer {drumroll please} is an extension in the Chrome Store called “The Great Suspender”.

You see, whether you are using those tabs in Chrome, they are still consuming resources. Chrome doesn’t know that when I’m not looking at a tab, I want it to go to sleep and stop consuming resources. So The Great Suspender does just that. It allows you to put a tab (or all the tabs) to sleep so they don’t bog down your computer while you are working on other things.

To install this great extension, just go here:

and choose “Add to Chrome”. The extension will install and you’ll see a new toolbar icon that gives you the ability to control your tabs.

The Great Suspender Chrome Extension Puts Your Browser Tabs To Sleep While You're Not Using Them

By choosing “Suspend this tab” you can put the currently active tab to sleep or by selecting “Suspend all tabs”, you can stop Chrome from using all but a bare minimum of your CPU cycles so you can work on a Powerpoint deck, play a game, or work on a cool new infographic in Photoshop. Then, when you want to browse again, either activate the tab you want to use or activate all your tabs.

Want to see the proof? When I suspended all 11 tabs mentioned above, the additional Chrome processes disappeared and look how many cycles it’s using now.

The Great Suspender Chrome Extension Stopped Chrome From Using All My Processor Cycles

Not too shabby. Basically, Chrome CPU cycles were reduced to nothing.

So there you have it. Hopefully, that little tip will help someone else out there who is having issues with Chrome chewing up all their CPU cycles. Sure…you could buy more memory or a faster computer, but why not just nip Chrome in the bud?

Have experience with this or other tips that could help reduce the overhead of running Chrome as your browser? Share them in a comment!



This post originally posted at - Social.Media.Sean