Category: Social Web

Facebook now exposes suicide-prevention resources to their users through an infographic flow-chart


INFOGRAPHIC: Suicide Prevention Resources On Facebook – AllFacebook

My Comments

I have previously covered the issue of Facebook in relation to the difficult topic of suicide and self-harm with an article about some incidents where a Facebook user sought assistance to handle a suicide attempt across the other side of the world; as well as another drawing attention to teenagers using this service as a counselling resource to reach out to other at-risk teens.

Now Facebook have taken it upon themselves to provide resources to help users worried about a person who is at risk of self-harm or suicide. This is more so where a Facebook status update becomes something to vent one’s feelings as I have seen before many times.

Here, they have exposed these resources and what they can do by showing an infographic flow-chart (PDF) about what they can do to help the user who is worried about their friend. They are exposing this flow-chart using a series of public-service announcements that appear across the Website so everyone who is using Facebook is aware of the resource.

This is in addition to partnering with organisations like Lifeline and Samaritans as well as implementing protocols and procedures to handle these situations especially where it happens in another country. One of the actions can include Facebook drawing the affected person’s attention to their local resources as well as keeping the concerned friend “in the loop” through a special Web dashboard.

As well, they have made a “one-touch” reference list of these organisations in their online help so that anyone across the Internet can be aware of these resources.

What I see of this is that Facebook, due to the sheer number of regular users, has done the right thing to handle this situation and this could open up questions amongst Internet-based online communities about how to handle situations where a person expresses a desire to harm themselves through these communities.


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The latest Facebook feature is to create photo albums which your Friends can add photos to


Facebook Allows Multiple Users To Upload Pictures To Albums | Fast Company | Business + Innovation

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Previously, Facebook, the social network that has a lot of people having a love-hate relationship with, has led the field with the concept of people tagging in its early days and has improved on the privacy issues with that. This concept has been taken further with some image-management software like Windows Photo Gallery

A classic scenario that encompasses every Facebook user is a group event like a party or holiday. Here, each member takes plenty of photos of this event with their smartphone or digital camera and most if not all of the members have each other as Facebook Friends. But what do we do with these photos and how do we share them?

Typically, each of us would create an album in our own Facebook Profiles, having it set as “Friends Only” or “Friends Of Friends”. Then we would add the photos that we took at the event to this album. These photos and any subsequently-added photos would then be advertised in each others’ News Feeds and each of us could view each other’s albums of the same event.

One way I thought that this situation may be mitigated would be to create an event-specific tag that you attach to photos or albums and support browsing along photos and albums that contain this tag no matter who created them. This could effectively created a “super-album” for that event or place.

But Facebook have recently added a feature where other Friends can contribute images to an album. Here, the owner of the album can specifically invite others to add the photos or make it a free-for-all; yet be able to edit the images as required. There are three privacy levels for the album – public (everyone can view), friends of contributors (contributors and their Facebook Friends) or contributors only can view the whole album.

In the case of someone who “came in to town” or you went on a trip, they or you could create one album which encompasses the shots around town plus one or more albums with public events which they own. Then, when they are invited to a dinner party or other event by local friends, they (or the hosts) create an album set up for contribution in their Facebook Profile with appropriate settings and use that album for images of that event.

If you hosted a party like a 21st, you or a guest could run one of these albums so that guests can contribute images from that party. The large album size that is being part if the equation can allow you to see the album become Facebook’s equivalent of the photowall that some hosts may use for major parties.

A problem that I do see with the contributable album is Facebook making it difficult to move or copy photos between albums. This is of importance with the “mobile” albums that mobile Facebook implementations always insist on creating such as “Mobile Uploads” or “iOS Photos”; along with generically-named albums that Instagram and other apps like creating. I would suggest that this feature is augmented with the ability to move or copy photos between albums.

As well, Facebook allowing the use of user-determined tags could allow for the creation of “super-albums” for events or places without the need for one person to create contributed or other albums.

Similarly, the ability to create shortcuts to albums or photos between one’s own profile and a Page that one is administering could work as a way to avoid the need to upload pictures twice for a page and one’s own profile.

As for client software, I would like to see Facebook mobile clients be DLNA servers / control points so that one could “throw” single images or collections of images such as the albums to a Smart TV or TV attached to a DLNA-capable Blu-Ray player if you want them on a large screen or for group viewing.

At least Facebook are taking better steps to making it easier to “pool” photos of group events in order for all of the members of that group to enjoy them.

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Orange to set up Facebook-based voice calling in France


French wireless carrier lets you call friends through Facebook | Internet & Media – CNET News

Facebook Is Launching A Numberless ‘Social Calling’ Service | Gizmodo

My Comments

The French are at it again with their online technology. Orange (France Télécom) have provided a Facebook-based “social calling” feature as part of their Livebox service for their subscribers.

The service, sold under the marketing name of “Party Call” is not a VoIP service but uses Orange’s mobile and landline voice infrastructure. But how does it exploit Facebook? Instead, it works as a Facebook app for the call management process, using your “Friends” list as the phone book if your Friends have listed their phone numbers, typically their mobile numbers, in to Facebook. Effectively it is as though you don’t have to remember their phone numbers.

I would improve on this through the ability to manage whether you can receive calls made on this setup or not. Here, this could prevent people from “stalking” you with your Facebook identity especially if you have tied a phone number to it.

Similarly, I would like to see a warning if you are calling someone who has an overseas mobile number or is roaming mainly to avoid bill shock for either party. This could be augmented through the the call routed through Skype, Viber or similar over-the-top VoIP services when the caller is roaming or overseas.

Of course, for people who use regular computers or tablets that don’t support cellular voice calling, I would want to be sure whether this function ties in with Orange-supplied telephone equipment like the Livebox and its DECT handsets or whether it simply uses a “softphone” setup that uses a VoIP setup.

It can also relate to issues like highly-strung DECT cordless handsets being able to import Facebook “friend lists” in to their contact lists and, eventually, Facebook turning in to an Internet-driven contact directory.

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Email suits messages to be taken further better than the social-network message

A common task that I have had to help people with lately is when they use an instant messaging service or the messaging function in a social-network service to send a message that is to be handled further. This is more so with people who rely heavily on Facebook as their online communications medium and start to forget their email address.

For example, it may be a message that is to be sent to somebody by email or to be printed out in order to be signed then sent by postal mail or fax. This includes messages that contain “boilerplate text” that is to be modified with further information before being sent or printed out.

Most instant-messaging or social-network messaging user interfaces don’t have a way of allowing you to print out or select the text of a particular message. This is typically frustrated by the “conversation” view that these user interfaces show the messages in, and this problem can be made worse by hard-to-manipulate user interfaces like laptop trackpads or touchscreens.

What do you do?

Here, it would be preferable that if you are talking with a correspondent via a service like Facebook, make sure that each of you know each other’s email address, not just the “handle” or member-name for these messaging services.

Then, send the message that is to be “taken further” to the correspondent using email rather than the message system. Infact you compose the message to be taken further using your email software or Webmail user interface. The correspondent can then print out that message or copy it to their word-processing software for modification and printing out.

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