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Socially Medium

With my ingénue eyes, Social Media is a fascinating, vibrant field full of mystery and excitement.. and twists and turns equal to any film thriller. Since I don’t work in the field, it is always new and fresh. And I’m not encumbered by too much actual technical expertise.

So I’m launching a sometime-series of Social Media from the layperson’s point of view, or the consumer’s point of view, or something like that.

Catchy title in process — currently ‘Socially Medium’ under consideration.

Today I just have to mention that HootSuite, much as I love it and celebrate it every day, is making me crazy.

I have used it with a range of accounts, from 2 to 5 at any given time.  These accounts are mine, family members, work places.  I’ve found HootSuite really has a serious ceiling on its functionality, and 2 accounts seems to be a limit (I’m using the free version).

So in my comments today, it’s with that framework in place – 2 account, each of which has all 20 lists in place.

Problem #1: Favoriting – when I favorite a tweet within Hootsuite, it doesn’t give me the choice of which account I want the favorite to be added to.  It makes a decision based on which account I’ve used more it seems like.  So, often the wrong account is used.. not a big problem, since I do the process knowing that that is the likely outcome, but it’s annoying. I could go to the Twitter site and favorite it there, but I’m usually trying to spend fewer minutes rather than more, and staying in Hootsuite is simpler.

Update: You know what? Classic case of the utility of writing — I figured something out about this since releasing it in this post. When Hootsuite doesn’t ask which account the favorite is for, it assigns the favorite to the account that owns the column from which the tweet came.. so if it’s a company-list, it favorites the tweet on to the company account, personal list – personal account. Finally. Still doesn’t work for me, because I put things in lists in a very organic manner, and that 1:1 correspondence is pretty off base. Good to understand though!

And when the thing I want to favorite is in a list/column from the other account, not the one I want the favorite on, just realized: If I click on the account of the tweeter (bringing it out of the paradigm of the particular column that tweet was in), then Hootsuite does ask which account I want the favorite to be on. Hallelujah.

Atleast, those are my working theories for now..

Problem #2: The lists. I often find interesting accounts on Hootsuite that I want to add to a list, or several.  One thing is that the add-to-list process works for one list at a time, which is painful. The other is that Hootsuite doesn’t update the list names from changes made in Twitter .. at all, it seems. So I have to know that X old name = Y current name.

Also, Hootsuite constantly changes the order of the list names that it presents. So I can add an account to a list from either of my accounts in Hootsuite, which is nice.. if I can find it in the constantly newly-sorted order.

Also, it presents some list names twice.. so it’s either showing two different lists with the same name, or one list twice. Neither is optimal..

I have somewhat randomly redundant processes, and overlapping list memberships, so it’s not fatal, but it bothers me. I wish there was some way to tell Hootsuite to update its list info from Twitter periodically. And I’d love to be able to order the lists that it shows in that ‘add to list’ function myself, or just have it use the list order established in Twitter.

Also, the links – seems like for a while Hootsuite would just not send scheduled tweets that included those kind of links, so after noticing that, I started trying to remember to replace each of those links with a Hootsuite –generated link. Not time-efficient much.. and then sometimes I forget, and now it seems one tweet with a link did go through. So maybe that isn’t required any more.

Finally, I noticed somewhere something about 6 characters being set aside for the tweet wrapper or something.. it had been the case that Hootsuite would send tweets that were longer than 140 characters. My understanding was that other Hootsuite users would see the full tweet, folks using other interfaces would not. But now it seems that Hootsuite won’t send tweets over 134 characters: 140 – 6.. but that’s not always the case either.

Clearly, there is a LOT of mystery involved for me! A smidge less would still be completely sufficient, honest.

Adapting to conditions is constantly required, would be nice though if the conditions would remain consistent – or get better. If only Hootsuite would fix these things, I’d be a very happy participant!

Insights/suggestions welcome. But save your breath if you would tell me to use a different interface – honestly that’s just not going to happen any time soon. The investment is too great.. I save most of my computer-y energy for work, constantly getting the best out of the different accounting software programs I’m using (3 different ones right now, between work and home).. everything else is secondary.  Including this site, etc.. simple suggestions welcome, anything more is probably not realistic. This is the elsewhere-focused outback on social media, hopefully with some attendant charm, despite all interwoven deficiencies!

P.S. Some other things I want to write about soon include Facebook advertising and that new option ‘Listly’..


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Clarity Sol Anniv Musings: Content Thoughts

Note: This note was originally published on my Facebook business page (, which was my initial business site. My initial one, this time around anyway – I’ve been consulting on-and-off since 1997. I established the page on Facebook first because it was so easy, and I had a ready audience there, etc.. But the Facebook concerns continue to persist. So my presence here on WordPress is exciting for me, as I explore this site for my main public presence.

So, as part of my first-year anniversary review and upgrade of operations here, I wanted to share a bit about my content thoughts.

Since getting involved more w/ Twitter, it’s become impossible to stick to the Tuesday-News, Wednesday-Wisdom, Thursday-Technology pattern.

Because my intention is to share with you the most useful material I find, when it’s most useful (which usually means asap). Holding things for a day or two or five, so that it finds the content definition on the calendar, doesn’t make much sense.

The way in which we could still use that (cause I did like it) is in the case of authored material.. several of you have requests outstanding for material, and all of you are always welcome to write something. So if it fit for you, or for me if I do that, we could use the framework in that case.

Of course, Friday is always Friday! Meaning, it’s certainly always important to take into account the community in which we live, to focus on work-life balance, and to be aware of our neighbors and all that is going on around us. To support the entire community, for the greater good. So, I generally don’t post as much business-y material that day (unless it is amazingly useful and good), and focus instead on community awareness, with a particular focus on the activities of Site-Members.

Speaking of which, Site-Member profiles have always been on Monday, with no other content posted that day usually. Again, that’s started to feel more artificial than useful. So now I post other things on Mondays too. And the Profile(s) will still often go up on Mondays, in their place as being of crucial importance. But they may be on other days instead/as well.

And I’m starting to invite additional site-members, which I’m going to write its own post about. But feel free each of you as well, if you know someone who holds the values of collective well-being and inclusion and ethical conduct. I had been holding back due to Facebook concerns, and this being the primary site. But that’s changed a bit (which I’ll also write more about).

What also happened around going on to Twitter was I established Clarity Solutions websites on WordPress, WordPad, and Blogger (gmail’s).. in addition to the site on Tumblr which went up last fall. All of which adds up to a lot of posting.

So I’m thinking to look in to Postling, but even so, will still be a lot.

As well as that, an idea I’ve been mulling over seems to be sticking – I’m thinking to open up one of those other sites each day, and post to it (as well as here), and pull from there to here, and so on. That way each of them will be updated at least once a week, this site will get the FB-type content from there, and it will be more manageable.

On each of those sites I’m building a set of sites I follow, they may eventually follow me, the content and tone is somewhat different in each case, and so there’s really a different community in place at each one.

So any feedback/suggestions etc… are welcome. And I’ll update further as things move forward!

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Sole entrepreneur websites – Then and Now

Back when I first had a consulting practice, in the 1997 – 2000 period, online marketing was very different.

I put up a website (had worked at an ISP, learned a bit there) using one of those do-it-yourself software programs (will post the name when it comes to me), managing all the linkages and parent-child relationships, choosing the look from the set options, etc..

It was a lot of work, but fun too. Then, I published it!

On to my domain that I had registered, via an ISP I had a relationship with.

And then I waited, hopefully, for people to find it!

It was like constructing this beautiful, elaborate structure.. on the edge of a cliff. Then, standing beside it, staring out into the vastness — hoping that some human energy from somewhere would boomerang back in return. Certainly that did happen, sometimes, for some people. Not so much for me though. Accounting services just aren’t all that compelling, really. Lesson learned, now all sorts of other content as well. Still – so nice to not have that chasm-staring thing going on any more!

I didn’t know anything about whatever search processes were in place at the time. There certainly was no online blog community like this with any ‘dashboard’ or ‘followers’ or anything.

Just had to hope that somebody would click on it from my web address in an email, or from a posting on an online forum.

Things are *so* different now.

I tend to look askance at some aspects of social media – the inserting of commercial relationships in to other social contexts, the privacy issues, the manipulations. However, the ease of access itself is so wonderful now. Remembering back makes me that much more grateful for all that is in place now. Definitely worth the struggle of minimizing the bad to have the good!

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Filed under Business, Community, Infrastructure, Resources, Site, Social Media

Fun Friday!

The other main structure of this site right now is that each day of the week, I like to focus on a certain area of concern.

They are:

Monday: Site-Members (that’s when the profiles post)

Tuesday: News (of interest to small business/nonprofits)

Wednesday: Wisdom – what is of use generally in running a business, mistakes we’ve learned from, general topics of use very broadly.

Thursday – Technology (which, lately, has been mostly social media more than hardware/software).

Friday – Fun!

And that’s today – Friday! So the next posts will be fun items.

Your participation is always welcome!

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Site-Member Profiles

So, am in the process of posting the profiles from the current cycle, and Ann’s since I posted an article of hers yesterday (her turn hasn’t come up yet in this cycle).

These profiles are a primary linchpin of this site, which is (as well as my business site) kind of an online networking group. These are folks I know in real life, or have become acquainted with online. Their profiles and involvement here are their introduction to you, direct contact with them is advised for further information.

Additional site-members always welcome! This site is inclusive, and does not contain any content that is political or religious. The only real criteria is acceptance of those terms, that the business be owned by individuals/small group (not a MNC), and that the business be community-oriented. Community is a big part of this site.

Nonprofits also very welcome! That is actually the area I’m most active in right now.

Questions/comments/ participation always welcome!


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Welcome to the Clarity Solutions Website!

This site is under construction, your patience is appreciated.

Soon you will find information here about my accounting/software services practice, how to contact me, as well as various other information.

Please also look up our site on Facebook. That page is a community gathering place, an information aggregating site for all things useful to the small business/local nonprofit community.

Thanks for visiting!

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