Are You Seeing ALL Your Friends’ Facebook Posts?

In yet another semi-secret update, Facebook continues to tinker with which updates you’ll see when you get to your News Feed. The default setting is that you will now see “Most” of your friends’ posts.

Click in the upper right corner of any post on your feed, and you’ll see this insidious new setting selected for you.

Gladly, you can change this setting right from that menu, and also from your friends’ profile pages. Just mouse over the “Subscribed” button on the top right of the profile page.

Unfortunately, you have to do this one by one for each of your friends. If you want to use your Lists to prioritize, you’ll find the setting in a slightly different place. (You are Using Facebook Lists, aren’t you?)

From the news feed, the last category of links in the left column should be “Lists.” Select the name of the list you want to work with and you’ll see updates from only people on that list. Mouse over any friend’s name and you’ll see the subscription settings pop up.

Of course, you can also use this setting to see fewer updates from some connections. You can even unsubscribe from updates without defriending the person. That may come in handy now that we’re in an election year.

I hope if we’re connected, that I can count on you to go and select “All Updates” from my Facebook Profile right away!

Hide Facebook Games from your BlackBerry

My most popular blog post ever is “Hide Games From Your Facebook Timeline.” I’m glad to have helped so many people rid themselves of the scourge of Farmville and Mafia Wars. However, that warm feeling has always been marred by the BlackBerry owners who comment pitiably on that post, saying they still get all the undesired notifications when they’re on the go.

It seems Research In Motion is the author of the Facebook app, and they’ve done a very poor job of coordinating with the web version of Facebook, so new message notifications are repeated, and changes to your timeline preferences are completely ignored. For its part, Facebook seems uninterested in developing its own app for BlackBerry, as they’ve done for iOS and Android.

But now, at last, there may be hope.

HootSuite, one of the most respected third-party apps in the social media space, now has a BlackBerry app! You can use it from your mobile device to manage both your Facebook profile and Twitter feed from one application. And given the high level of flexibility HootSuite offers for tending your feed, surely it will once and for all allow you to regain control of your timeline.

If you’re on a BlackBerry, please give it a try at I’d be grateful if you let me know in the comments how it worked.

How to “Like” Facebook Pages Without Following

Facebook pages can be a great way to stay connected with the companies and brands that interest you. But sometimes you just want say in your profile that you literally “like” something without actually reading a flood of posts.

For example, I love MotoGP racing and Ducati motorcycles. It would be ridiculous for my profile to omit them in a list of things I like. However, the Facebook pages for both of those brands often include spoilers for races that take place overseas which haven’t yet reached my television.

So here’s how to keep some of your beloved institutions off your News Feed.

1) Find the most recent post from the page in question in your News Feed. If you don’t see a recent post in your feed, you can use the pulldown menu from the top right of the feed to see updates from Pages only.

Select Pages in your News Feed

2) In the upper right corner of one of those posts, there should be an invisible “X” that appears when you move your mouse there. Click it to bring up the Unlike or Hide menu.

The Hide Menu

3) Select “Hide all by…” to keep the Page’s posts off your News Feed.

So now your News Feed is cleaner. You won’t see unwanted posts, but you can still show your affection in your profile, and comment on those pages when you choose to visit them.

Track your links with

Short URLs are a really valuable tool for social media, and anyone who’s been tweeting for more than a few months is already a devotee of services like tinyURL or But there’s a good argument to be made for the great big new kid on the block:

If you hadn’t already heard of it, I’m sure you’ve guessed that it’s an URL shortening service from Google. And sure enough, if you point your browser to you can quickly get a short URL suitable for emailing or tweeting.

URL shortening screen at

Shorten an URL or check click totals for links you've already shared

But things get really magical once you log in with your Google account. You are already registered at Google, right?

Creating an url while logged in adds it to a list of all the shortened URLs Google has created for you. And it gives you data on how many clicks each one received, from what continent and what operating system and browser. So whether it’s a tweet, an email or even a Facebook post, you can see exactly how effective each of your shared links is.

You even get a QR code as an image. Save that to your phone and you can share your link on the go with anyone who has a QR-equipped smartphone.

Previously, using shortened URLs handicapped your Facebook links because it wouldn’t always get a picture and summary from the page you are sharing. But Facebook now follows links through to grab that data and make your links look pretty.

You still get a description and thumbnail when sharing.

You can get link tracking from or HootSuite as well, but I’m a big fan of the service. I’m already logged into Google all the time to manage ads and view analytics, so it’s one less account I need to juggle. And the features are pretty powerful for a service that’s completely free.

Where do you use shortened URLs? And what service do you prefer? Please share your experience in the comments.

I love content partnerships

I’m happy to be adding a new feature to

Zacks worked out a deal with dynamic chart-maker Ycharts to supply a widget for, and it looked perfect for inclusion on Stock Research Wiki. A few emails later, I have a short snippet of code to give my developers, and it’s an instant, significant update to the site.

Here’s an example:
yChart for AAPL

Partnerships like this are quickly becoming the lifeblood of our business. Zacks content is featured on Seeking Alpha, MSN Money, TD Ameritrade and a growing list of others. It gets the word out about the quality of our research much more powerfully than an email or ad. If people find our data useful on their favorite sites, they’re much more likely to follow our link and find out more about the products we offer.

At the same time, it allows the syndicating partner to provide added value to their visitors for almost no investment of development time. It would take me months to get my own javascript charts built into the Stock Research Wiki. I’m getting a powerful new feature for my users by inserting a few lines of code.

And for the user, it means a lot more features and data all in one place, and fresh avenues to discover useful resources to help them make better decisions.

Everybody wins.