Thoughts and data on proposing to get married and then sharing online

Earlier this month, I proposed to my longtime girlfriend, saying that we would both be happier and healthier if we lived together for the rest of our lives. She agreed.

That was on a Wednesday. Within an hour, we had the conversation that will confront other web-minded engaged couples today: how should we tell the Internet? It’s the logical maturation of the old idea that online, everyone is both publisher and brand. This news would be acknowledged or shared on the social web with or without our permission, so we ought to at least have it happen to our own liking.

I keep most of my love, romance and emotion private. Here, it’s all about process and lessons. This is what I learned from sharing a big personal update online.

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9 real ways I use social media to report that won’t bore you

Ten years into the modern social media era can leave even the most reluctant digital reporter bored by tactics for news gathering online. Still, though the source gathering, link sharing and network building are common acts, there are other ways I use these open platforms.

Here are some of those ways.

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What would the Founding Fathers think of Facebook?: I’m moderating a panel at the National Constitution Center on privacy and the social web

I’m moderating a panel on privacy, security and democracy concerns surrounding the social web at the National Constitution Center in Old City, Philadelphia next Thursday.

You should come. More details here. It costs $10 for non-members.

Make your Facebook page better

Facebook pushes traffic and helps build an online community.

We’re over that. Joining Facebook and learning lessons from it is in the distant past. It’s time to have that next conversation.

I’m interested in moving to the next step, creating more compelling Facebook pages that keep people coming back, attract more eyeballs, develop brands, help create communication and, of course, help push eyeballs.

I’ve been moving through some conversations, trying to pull out the best lessons. I’m not behind anything compelling yet, but I’d love to do something fun with NEast Philly’s incredibly active Facebook page.

Some worthy reading below:

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The Social Network: thoughts and reading on the Facebook movie

I tend to watch films in move theaters when I think they’ll have a particularly significant impact, will be worth remembering years from now and, of course, when I’m lured in by the story.

The Social Network, Aaron Sorkin’s film that tells with some literary license of the meteoric first-year rise of Facebook, fit the bill.

Last week, I saw and was greatly entertained — call it a 9 out of 10, not perfect but sure close and worth the price of admission.

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Three months of social media growth for nonprofit Back on My Feet

Tracking our Twitter followers from January 2010 to April. Back on My Feet launched a campaign on the Web in January.

Last month marked three months since I started at nonprofit Back on My Feet and launched a concerted effort to share more member stories and help develop a better, broader online relationship with our volunteers, members and supporters.

The first step in that process was to reawaken our social media accounts — the best platforms to create Web communities and ones buttressed by an organizational blog that I hope to more formally announce soon. Because our organization is all about accountability, we wanted to see how we’ve done.

I thought some lessons or benchmarks might be able to be garnered for others interested in social media use by nonprofits or other organizations, so I’ll share our progress below.

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How to switch from Facebook groups to pages

When I first came on to Back on My Feet at the start of 2010, our Facebook presence was off.

We had a Facebook account — officially named “Backon MyFeet” to fit naming restrictions and even then against the social network’s terms of use allowing accounts for only individuals.

The vanity URL facebook.com/backonmyfeet, of course, had already been reserved for that account. What’s more, we had three Facebook groups for our two chapters (Philadelphia and Baltimore) and one for Washington D.C., where we were expanding to that March. All three had different style — i.e. a hyphen between organization and chapter name — and different utility.

We needed a change.

(We’re mostly assuming here that a Facebook Page is probably what you want, but compare them with Facebook groups and get more about that fight with Mashable here.)

While other work was warranted, I’ve found that one of my first objectives is a task that lots of groups, organizations and people have had to complete: transitioning Facebook groups to Facebook pages.

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Are Twitter and Facebook slow on monetization for fear of advertising?

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The funny thing is that with all their growth, Twitter and Facebook haven’t made a damn dime yet — despite all the hemming and hawing about their influence, most recently in the Iranian post-election dramatics.

With their incredible traffic, there was a time when advertising would seem like a natural choice. Even though they are considered among the most powerful Web products, they seem to be missing monetization possibilities, if not outright ignoring them.  Twitter is trying “innovative” revenue streams like, maybe, TV shows.

Could it be part of the fear that advertising prices could be in trouble?

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Technically Philly vies for Knight-Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism

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Update: We lost.

Grant money in journalism is flowing freely in a tightened economy and a historic juncture in print media.

Seems like an opportunity.

So, my two partners and I, who founded Technically Philly, applied for the Knight-Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism, a $10,000 grant to support new ideas in news. See our submission here.

We thought bringing together two niches — the geography of Philadelphia and the industry of technology and innovation — and diversifying revenue streams — going beyond advertising — was a new enough model that it might catch the eye of a judge or two.

We walked into a meaningful business, social and startup community in a major metro region’s creative economies and began reporting, relying on our interests in social media, community reporting and professional and ethical journalism.

We recently introduced advertising — a small first step in monetization –and feel that a grant for $10,000 could afford the three of us an opportunity to work full time for perhaps as much two months or more. Considering how pleased we are with our traffic growth and the response from the community, we’re thrilled by even the chance at the opportunity to give full time to a project none of us have been able to offer even part time thus far.

Unfortunately and entirely unsurprisingly, there is some stiff competition from the nearly 100 submissions that were entered.  Below I share some of the more interesting submissions I saw and my thoughts on our viability.

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