Thursday, April 28, 2011

Review of SharkEye Case for iPhone 4

I got a brand new case for my iPhone 4 from the very personable, customer-service oriented folks at SharkEye. So far, so good. Being my clumsy self, I've dropped my phone from standing a few times already (in the day and a half I've had it) and it has held up beautifully. The trickiest bits so far have been learning how to get the case on and off and remembering to slide the SharkEye screen protector back across when I'm done looking at my phone. That's the main difference between the OtterBox Defender I had before and the SharkEye. While the OtterBox had a built-in screen guard, the SharkEye's protector retracts. Both cases include a hard shell and a soft silicone. On the SharkEye, the silicone layer is beneath the hard layer, preventing the gapping and ripping that I experienced with the OtterBox.

Here are my thoughts on the Pros and Cons of the SharkEye:


  • Slick Surface- The hard outer shell of the case is a bit slick, meaning accident-prone folks like me may have a hard time holding on to it occasionally
  • Hard Edges - When the screen protector is retracted, the edge around the screen is a bit harsh. When it is engaged, the small gap on the back side of the phone where you push it across is exposed, and those edges are a bit harsh as well.
  • Screen Area - The hard shell encroaches on touch screen area, sometimes making it hard to type on the keyboard or click on things near the edges of the screen.
  • Water - Because the case is not an enclosed piece, like the OtterBox was, the SharkEye seems a bit less water resistant. While all of the ports except for the speakers were covered on the OtterBox, the SharkEye exposes the lock button. The places where you'd worry about water damage, however, (headphone and line-out jacks) are covered very tightly and better than the OtterBox, since the silicone caps actually go into the jacks.
  • Noise Factor - Since the case is a hard shell, it is a little noisier than the stealthy OtterBox. There's also a noise when you retract the screen protector (but it is a satisfying noise, akin to doing up a zipper.)
  • Wiggly Piece - The separate plastic ring around the camera lens on the back of the phone (at least on the case I received) is a little wiggly.


  • Slick Surface - The slick outer shell means that the case is a lot easier to get in and out of bags, pockets, etc.
  • Rugged - This is sure one tough case! From the videos the company has produced to my own experience dropping the phone a few times already, this case is definitely going to hold up.
  • Buttons - With the defender, I was starting to experience button lag, perhaps because the silicone layer wasn't snug enough. The SharkEye buttons work great.
  • Glare - The anti-glare screen protector sticker is great, especially after being used to tilting the phone to see in the right light with the old OtterBox.
  • Design - I got the black and pink model and I love the peek-through pink. The design is less sleek than the OtterBox, with its rounded edges, but I like the rugged, chunky look.
  • Weight - Something about the way the SharkEye is put together makes the full package of case plus phone feel lighter in the hand. I weighed the two cases for compairson's sake, and the SharkEye is 57grams compared to the OtterBox at 58grams, so the difference is mainly in perception. But when you have such a big case, it makes a big difference

Here are some photos of the two cases side by side, for comparison's sake.
For more information, visit the SharkEye website:

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

How to Tag People, Pages and Events on Facebook Using the @ Symbol

On Facebook, you can tag people, places and events when writing status updates, posting on other pages and even when commenting on existing posts. Here's how it works:

Write your message as you usually would.. (for example:)

Come see me perform in

Here's where it gets fun - if you want to reference a specific event to which you have RSVPd on Facebook, type the @ symbol followed by the name of the event - you will see a drop down menu with choices - click the one you want and presto! a link appears! (It won't in here, but it will in your wall post, I promise.)

@The Sound of Music

(After your link appears you can keep typing and finish your message)

at Kitsap Forest Theater. The show opens Sunday - see you there!

Things to remember:
  • Facebook is not Twitter - if you want to say "at" something, remember to type the word, since the @ symbol won't show up.
  • You must be a fan of a page, have RSVPd to an event or be friends of a person for the @ process to work.
  • When you use the @ symbol, your message will show up on the wall of the person, page or event in addition to whatever wall you are writing your message on, depending on its privacy settings. Sometimes the person or page moderator might delete this reference on their page, but it will still be on your wall and in the news feed, so your friends will see it.
  • You can mention multiple people/pages/events in one wall post.

(Special P.S. for Facebook page administrators - be on the lookout for users tagging your page in their posts. If you use the Profanity Blocklist, users can get around it by tagging the page.)

    Thursday, April 21, 2011

    Social Media After Death (Five Steps to Plan Your Digital Afterlife)

    As the population of social media users increases (and ages), the topic of what happens to your social networks after you die is bound to come up. The recent death of one of my young coworkers, who was active on Facebook, brought the issue to mind for me when I overheard one coworker say to another "What? But I didn't see anything about it on Facebook!" As someone with Facebook and Twitter friends in many states and countries, I've often thought that for the news of my death to reach my entire circle of friends, it would have to be posted on my social networks. But these things don't happen automatically, and social media may not be a priority for a grieving family. It's up to users, therefore, to make their wishes known in terms of if and how they would like their social profiles handled in the event of their death.

    Here are five steps to plan your social media afterlife:
    1. Make a plan (aka follow these steps). Yes, it's uncomfortable to think about. But if the worst happens, you and your loved ones will be prepared. (I'm starting to sound like a funeral home...)
    2. Make it safe. Just emailing your usernames and passwords to your mom doesn't cut it. Either keep a hard copy in a safe, secure place or find an online resource to safeguard your privacy. Check out Mashable for a few resources (some free, others paid) that provide everything from username and password transfers to emails from the afterlife:
    3. Think about what information you want out there after you're gone and what can be taken down (photos, posts, profile information, etc)
    4. Consider how you'd like people to be able to interact with your profiles after your death. It can help in the grieving process, for example, for friends to be able to leave messages on the Facebook wall of a deceased person or access their photos. When a person is reported as deceased on Facebook, their account is "memorialized" and privacy settings are enhanced to allow only friends to see the profile or locate it in search.
    5. Share your wishes with your loved ones. Having a plan is great, but only effective if someone knows what that plan is.
    There are a lot of resources out there on this topic, but I hope this post has provided a basic framework to help you begin your own plan.

    For those of you who have unfortunately experienced the loss of a loved one without this type of plan in place, Facebook provides a form to report a deceased person. Filling out this form will prompt Facebook to memorialize the person's account. On Twitter, loved ones can contact the company via mail or email and provide verification of the death to deactive the account and/or save a backup of the user's public Tweets. Check the policies or help sections of other social networks to find information on their process for handling profiles after death.

    UPDATE: Here are some very thorough and useful articles on this topic from an Australian life insurance copmany.

    Monday, April 11, 2011

    How to Hire Someone to Manage Your Facebook Page

    So you want to hire someone to manage your Facebook page. Here's how to do it:
    • Decide why you want a Facebook page - remember that social media should be more about building relationships than selling products or services. A strong, supportive and engaged Facebook following will drive more sales than a group of people who have hidden you from their news feed or "unliked" your page because you spammed them with sales pitches.
    • Determine how much you can spend - be realistic!
    • Research online and find a social media consultant like me (another fun term for us is "community manager") and review their social media profiles - Facebook, Blog, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Hint: If they're not managing their profiles well, they will probably do the same (or worse!) for yours. See if they have a portfolio of past or current Facebook work.
    • Choose a few contenders and reach out to them. Describe your needs and ask for their approach to helping you meet those needs. Make sure they have a firm foundation in basic content (status updates) as well as familiarity with extras (apps and tabs).
    • Pick one and sit down with him or her in person, online or on the phone. Discuss your working relationship, payment plan and Facebook strategy. They should leave with a clear vision of your brand, the voice you want your Facebook postings to be in, an idea of where they will get content from (you, online, etc) and a strategy for managing your page. Some consultants will formalize this in a contract, or you can create one yourself. Make sure it is flexible enough to allow for changes in the needs and interests of your Facebook community (a.ka. don't specify postings every Tuesday and Thursday at noon, since your fans might not be as active then.)
    • Let the social media consultant do their job. If you are also an admin on your page, great, but it's best to leave the posting to the professional most of the time. You can use your admin privileges to keep an eye on your Insights page and see who your audience is (Users) and how they are interacting with your page (Interactions). Keeping an eye on these statistics will show you if your consultant is doing a good job.
    If you are looking for a social media consultant, I'd be happy to talk with you. You can email me at

    Wednesday, April 6, 2011

    Confirm Your Facebook Page Category

    Heads up Facebook page admins - your page's category is now featured at the top of your business page, beneath the name of the page. This will help Facebook users better identify at first glance what type of page they are seeing. Now's your chance to confirm and/or change that category. You may see a message that asks you to "Confirm Your Page Category" next time you view your page:

    You can use the two dropdown menus to edit the group (general) and category (specific) that classifies your page. Then click "Update Category." If the group and category shown are what you want, you can click "Update Category" without making a change. When Facebook switched to the new pages format, many page categories changed to an incorrect or generic type, so this is a good opportunity to make sure your page is listed correctly. The type of group and category that you choose affects the type of information on your Info tab, so if you do decide to change your group and category, be sure to check on the Info tab and make sure that the information displayed there is accurate and everything looks OK. If you'd like to update the categories in the future, click "Edit Page," "Basic Information" and then you'll see the same dropdown menus.

    Sunday, April 3, 2011

    How to Deal with Spam and Malware on Facebook

    Looking back on it, that link your friend supposedly "liked" on Facebook probably did look pretty bogus. But you couldn't help it - you just had to see the video of the fatal April fools joke or the top 10 public proposals gone wrong. Or you got a message from a friend saying "OMG I can't believe this video of you" and just had to see what she was talking about. And now there's an automatic post on your page and in your friends' news feeds and an app buried in your account broadcasting your info to who knows where. Or worse yet, your account has been hacked and your friends are filling your wall with complaints that you're spamming them. So now what?

    Here's what to do if you accidentally click on a spam or malware Facebook link:
    • If you see a popup asking for access to your account, it's not too late! Click "Don't Allow" and get the heck out of there.
    • If you do indeed go all the way, navigate your way out of whatever application page the link has redirected you to, go to your wall and delete the post that will inevitably appear there. It will look exactly like the link you clicked on in your news feed. You can also report it as spam at that point as well.
    • On the bottom right corner of your Privacy Settings landing page, click "Edit your settings" under Apps and Websites

    • Click "Edit Settings" on the next page to see the full list of Apps you have installed 
    • Click the X on the right side to remove any suspicious apps that you don't recognize (while you're at it, this is a good time to do some app spring cleaning - apps can automatically access and distribute your information at any time, so get rid of it if you're not using it!)
    • OR - click "Edit Settings" next to individual apps to change the way they are able to interact with you

    (Don't believe that apps actually do access your info? Check out the "Last data access" line and click "See details" to see what info the app accessed and when. You'll be shocked.) 
    • If you realize your account has been compromised, Facebook can help. Click here: to fight back.
    • If you think your account has been hacked, but you are still able to log in, change your password as soon as possible.
    I know at this point you might be thinking, "but what if I've been a good little boy/girl and I haven't been infected by Facebook spam or malware?" Here's how to avoid it and what to do if you see it:
    • Spam links are fairly easy to spot based on the URL and the teaser-style preview - if you really want to see Miley's latest scandalous photos, run a search in your favorite engine instead.
    • Check out the text of the URL - spam pages usually have very short, generic URLs designed to look innocuous.
    • If you click the link and are asked for permission for an app to access your account for you to be able to see it, it's malware. Click "Don't Allow" and get out of there.
    • If you see a link in your news feed or on a friends' page that you know is spam or malware, report it! (If you have a good relationship with your friend, you can also politely mention to him or her that the link is spam and explain how to remove it and avoid such junk in the future.)
    I hope this post has helped you learn a little bit more about spam and malware on Facebook, what to do when you interact with it and how to recognize and avoid it.We don't all have to be the spam police, but a cleaner news feed and a safe account makes everyone happy.