Social Media

2023 in Tech

It’s been quite an interesting year regarding technology and social media, so this is what has happened in my world.

Social Media

I have kept clear from social media somewhat this year, maybe because the world is in such a mess reading more about it makes me depressed. Also, the constant barrage of hearing about Trump depresses me too.

  • Twitter/X – It’s been over a year now since I left the platform and I don’t miss how toxic it’s become.  Mr Musk has certainly destroyed it further.
  • Facebook – I am still on there but don’t post frequently, only 5% of my friends actually use it now. I will delete my account there in the near future, there will be a minority of people who would keep in touch, probably can count them on one hand.
  • Instagram – I deleted all my posts and just view what other’s put up, mainly museums and art galleries. As Facebook, I will most likely delete my account in the near future.
  • Threads – I was on there for one day, pretty much says it all.
  • Mastodon – I am on this platform more frequently given its a non-profit and feels like a safe place. However, there is potential connectivity with the Meta’s Threads so I will have to monitor what happens when there is more information available. They have connected to Flipboard and followed a couple of entities there but not seen any posts come through.
  • Pixelfed – Also part of the “Fediverse” this is the new Instagram for me although I don’t post that often. Being a non-photographer doesn’t provide me with much impact.


Earlier in this year I found out China is blocking my website. Upon further investigation it looked as though they blocked it in some, but not all, areas of the country. I was advised it was because I used Google Analytics and placed YouTube videos in some of my posts. The Chinese firewall blocks Google. I also understand it also blocks the DuckDuckGo search engine. It’s interesting to note that my website is linked from Chinese search engines.

I received a notification from Google Search Console that iQiyi, the Chinese TV maker/platform, had asked Google to remove links to my review of Strange Tales of Tang Dynasty. The message suggested that they wanted to control all messaging about the program. I removed the content from my post even though the company didn’t have the courtesy to contact me directly or go through the usual DMCA rules about removing copyrighted material. Not sure why they wouldn’t want their programs promoted but it’s no big deal for me to distance myself from them, they certainly aren’t going to make friends with this attitude though.

If I have any more stress from China I may just drop all related reviews from this website and just stop doing all reviews. We’ll see how things go.

Other Tech

  • Microsoft Outlook – I am disappointed with what Microsoft have done with New Outlook. It’s been 3 years since they been working on this and functionality is more advanced with other email programs. I’ve tried Apple Mail and it’s really slow, there are many issues with Mozilla Thunderbird too so those aren’t really doable for me.
  • Tap Forms 5 – This is a database software for Mac that I do most of my work in, I created my own CRM in it. This is now my vital tool of choice.
  • Cloud – I stopped using Microsoft OneDrive and now use either external drives or iCloud.  I found OneDrive fairly hit and miss to use.
  • Computer – I have a souped up 2017 iMac and I know I will have to replace it at some point. With Apple’s current offerings I’m not sure what I would get, either way it would cost me an arm and a leg. The 2023 iMac is very disappointing at only 24″ so this wouldn’t be worth it. I guess we’ll see what happens in the future.
  • Adobe – Although the software is expensive I am pleased with the progress the company is making. I tried out their Generative Fill/AI tools in Photoshop, they appear hit and miss right now. I have used it to clean up old photos with either extremely impressive or very poor results. I look forward to see how this feature develops.
  • AI – Aside from Adobe above, I have played with other online AI tools. They are quite amusing but don’t have a real need for them right now. I have made several moves to protect my assets, in particular this website, from text and pictures being utilized by these companies.
  • Joplin – This is now my notes program of choice, been using it a while and it suits me perfectly. Apple Notes and Microsoft One Note are really slow to sync.
  • Apple Calendar – This is ok for my needs, the New Outlook one has too many issues, Thunderbird Calendar is unusable.

Web Site Security

For my client websites more of my time is taken up with security issues. The constant barrage is tiring. December has been a fairly quiet month though.

For my website, I have blocked Russia and Belarus so I don’t have any security issues at all. For the reasons stated above I have also blocked China.

News and RSS

Meta has blocked news links on their site, this is a good explainer from the BBC. As I discovered, non-news websites can be blocked, Facebook and Instagram have never been to bright with their “algorithms”. This is obviously another reason to keep off Meta entities but my main source of news has always been via RSS feeds and more so during 2023.

2023-12-24T18:24:16+00:0024 December 2023|Social Media, Technology|

YouTube Ruins YouTube

On the OpenSource forums and social media platforms I belong to there is a lot of discussion about YouTube being stricter on the use of AdBlockers.

What Is An AdBlocker?

Many people use AdBlockers online not only because they block many intrusive adverts but also because:

  1. Improve the speed of web pages showing up in a browser rather than waiting for the adverts to appear.
  2. Improve privacy as adverts can come with third-party trackers that may collect data you don’t want others to have.
  3. Protect users from malware.

What Data Does YouTube, aka Google, collect from me?

This is easy to find out from the Apple App Store:

YouTube Data Collected

It’s very scary how much data is collected from users. Note that Meta and Twitter also harvests the same amount of information from its users. I would recommend double checking before installing these apps and ensure, using tools on your smartphone, they cannot track you.

YouTube Strategy Regarding AdBlockers

Lately, users have been receiving the message below. They are being given three warnings, if they don’t disable their AdBlocker/s they won’t be able to play any more videos. This policy is in their terms and conditions, it’s just now they are enforcing it in a very strict manner. This is partly achieved using cookies so the technology they are able to do this is not really ground breaking.

YouTube AdBlock Message

Looking at various articles around the internet I notice these perspectives on this strategy.

  1. “SEO Experts” and “advertisers” like this strategy as it will force YouTube users to watch the adverts and buy their products.
  2. This is just a way of YouTube to make more money out of users through their extremely expensive and unreasonably priced “premium” subscription. The content on there is not worth the subscription price.
  3. AdBlocker’s mean “content creators” don’t get paid, however, many now include in-video affiliate advertising as they have adapted over time. Some users have Patreon accounts to make money and offer additional content. Also, some people suggest money hasn’t gone to content creators since 2012 from YouTube.
  4. There is so much trash and illegal content on YouTube that, along with the adverts, will force viewers off the platform.
  5. Users don’t want adverts especially when they appear several times during the video they are trying to watch.
  6. YouTube aka Google are so rich they could limit their advertising including those which interrupt a video.
  7. I don’t have any AdBlockers but still receive their message, YouTube can’t even get this right and don’t get back to users when the issue is reported.

On YouTube there is the “My Ad Center” feature in which you are supposed to be able to indicate your advertising preferences relating to subjects and brands you don’t want to receive adverts about. However, in my experience, this is broken. I tell YouTube I don’t want to receive adverts on a certain subject but I appear to see more of them, same with brands. I suspect this is just a tool which creates the perception that they care about the users, a placebo, but has the reverse effect since it doesn’t work.

Is Google To Be Trusted?

I would say no. I’ve seen a trend from quite a large community of people, especially security and privacy experts, to “De-Google” their devices and computers. There are plenty of high quality alternatives around today regarding all Google products. For a YouTube alternative consider the more professional platform Vimeo or the federated universe platforms such as TILvids.

For me, Google is one of the worst spam supporting ISPs. Most of the spam emails I receive comes from Gmail accounts that someone can all too easily set up. Microsoft is another one of these spam ISPs as well. Neither of these companies do enough to protect their users, this is contrary to the adverts they play time and time again on the television.


YouTube, like other platforms such as Twitter, have become too big for their boots that it is difficult for users to leave them. The amount of useful accounts on the platform are few and far between. Everybody has something to sell us no matter where we go and it’s becoming tougher to avoid; we get it on the TV, radio, newspapers, through our letter box, email, telephone, social media and more. Personally, they are a waste of my time and unlike what these companies want us to believe, they aren’t helpful or life enhancing and more than ever I am careful about companies siphoning off my personal data.

2023-10-19T03:52:44+00:0019 October 2023|Social Media, Technology|

Social Media July 2023

The social media world seems rather in a mess right now with Meta’s new Threads recently being launched. This is where I stand with them all.

Why Social Media

I’m starting to think there is no reason for me to be on social media really. Hearing from different people and perspectives is of most interest to me, not sure if people care what I say. One day I might just delete them all.


This is where I prefer to be right now for the following reasons:

  • No advertising
  • Run by the people, not billionaires just trying to make more cash
  • No creepy farming of my data by privacy vampires
  • A safe place for LGBTQ people
  • People respect each other more

I’m on Mastodon and Pixelfed.

I did think about being on PeerTube, which is the Fediverse alternative to YouTube, but my content doesn’t fit in there.

Threads vs Twitter vs Bluesky

It seems there is a lot of competition between these billionaire-owned social media giants. One is in free fall, the other taking advantage by launching its product early and on the sidelines is something else which hasn’t made a lot of publicity lately.

Vulgar insults coming from Mr Musk and threats of legal action supposedly because Mr Zuckerberg hired some staff that he pushed out of Twitter. Then ex-Twitter owner Mr Dorsey stirs the pot by putting down both Threads and Twitter, but he has Bluesky and I’m not sure what happened to that. Threads had millions of new sign-ups in its first few days even though it can’t launch in the EU as their privacy rules would not go down well there.

The privacy part of Threads appears quite distasteful, even worse than Meta’s other entities like WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook. I don’t have any desire to sign up to Threads, who haven’t even got a web version yet, and I left Twitter some time ago.

In the news today were the rate limitations Twitter had implemented and how that affected DriveBC getting out critical information.

I would say don’t rely on social media. Some people aren’t on Twitter or Threads, and the only way to get assurances that a wider audience will see important messages is through your own website. My web host does a lot of special events over Twitter but I can’t participate in this benefit as I’m not on that platform, I wish they’d use their own assets to get the info across.

Video and Graphic Apps

I deleted my account from Vimeo some time ago, I wasn’t getting any visitors to my content so there was no point being there.

I had an account at Vero for a while, it was a beautiful app but no one viewed my content maybe because it’s a home for professional photographers and I don’t blame visitors for not wanting to my crappy pictures.

I still have an account on YouTube, my videos are very popular there although I don’t create content too often as the type of videos I produce takes a lot of work.

I’m still on Instagram but don’t post much content there.


The only business type social media I’m on is LinkedIn although I only visit twice a year but quite often forget that its there in the background.


If a social media company has too many “issues” I’d rather just keep away from them and I don’t want to be a pawn in helping billionaires become even richer which is why I am on the Fediverse. Open Source rules!

2023-07-12T21:28:47+00:0012 July 2023|Social Media|

Rethinking A Social Media Strategy

The past couple of weeks regarding Mr Musk’s takeover of Twitter have been a total gong show and now he has reinstated Mr Trump’s account.

Seeing how this has unfolded has given me time to review how and what platforms I wish to engage on, so this is my line of thinking.


I have stopped tweeting on the platform, locked my account and left basic information on where to find me in the future. I’ve also deleted links to Twitter from this website; links to my account and for social sharing my posts.


I am pretty happy with the way things are going on Mastodon, it is a wonderfully sane platform with many interesting people to collaborate with and learn from. It is an open-source platform run by volunteers which creates a feel-good factor for anybody who is coming on board. Twitter is a business but Mastodon is a community. I know which one I prefer.


I do promote this but my activity there is virtually nonexistent, about 95% of my friends have stopped interacting on that platform. Personally, I am aware of the platform’s privacy issues and I’m careful what I do on there now.


It’s best to use Instagram on a desktop computer with as many ad-blockers as you can find. Adverts and recommended content will be invisible if you have ad blockers. I don’t think the photos I have a very wide reach, there are too many celebrities and influencers on the platform that detract from regular people like me, so I don’t go to any effort in putting new work up, just now and again.


This is an Instagram-type platform but much better and has additional features that would be attractive to many users. It seems to be mainly for professional photographers and against their work my content is just naff. Either way, I still get some feedback and likes, and there is also a lot of inspiration for me to do better at my photography and photoshop.


I have actually placed more information on LinkedIn lately, I had cut down to about one item every 6 months, about the frequency I used to log into the platform. However, you never know who might pick up information that will benefit my clients.


This is the place where I need to focus my best efforts. I haven’t posted much recently and that needs to change. I enjoy this the most.


I take it as a positive step that the Twitter gong show has woken me up to look at what I do online and come up with a plan to focus my best efforts on.

2022-11-20T06:04:34+00:0020 November 2022|Social Media|

Twitter An Uncertain Future

This week the Social Media company Twitter was privately purchased by Elon Musk and now faces an uncertain future.


There are many things I don’t care about Mr Musk and some of them are:

  • Picking a fight with Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine
  • Tesla’s connection with Xinjian, China and the draconian repression of Uyghurs
  • Some Pro-Russia bias
  • Seeming to side with US right-wing radicals and extremists
  • The tendency to say insane things

So, for Twitter the fears are:

  • He will place the whole system behind a paywall
  • Trump and other right-wing characters who have previously been banned will be allowed back on
  • The platform will be a free-for-all for hate speech creating an exodus of users

The First Day

As soon as the procurement went through Mr Musk already fired some of Twitter’s leadership simply because, so I understand, he just didn’t like them. However, there have been some legal arguments between them so maybe that was the case. Also, some regular employees have been dismissed too. Musk already said he’d fire 75% of the staff, I guess in order to make the company more financially viable that would be necessary.


Currently, the company has Twitter Blue which users subscribe to have access to advanced features. Will those subscribers vanish given that they don’t believe in Musk’s lack of ethics?

A paywall will mean the end of the platform for many users since they just can’t afford it given the economy the state is in and rising prices. The more that unsubscribe from Blue the less income the company will have.


A number of human rights organizations have written to advertisers that use the Twitter platform urging them to boycott should Musk open it up to hate speech and disinformation. Certainly, if there are fewer users on the platform they less likely they will be to sell their products anyway.

When Trump was banned from Twitter it was applauded by many, some complained it was too late and if it had been done earlier the 6th January Insurrection wouldn’t have been as bad as it was. One can block Trump and even mute words containing that name but users will still provide commentary on everything he says, which I could not take.


Twitter is currently full of disinformation and hate speech, a day doesn’t go by without seeing something that will shock and disgust users. I wonder what the likelihood is that Musk will do something about the fake accounts. Will it get worse under him as he opens the floodgates to anybody? I reckon the latter is more possible, unfortunately.


On Twitter, this appeared to create shock waves for users:

  • Some users have already vanished
  • Others said they would be closing their accounts soon as they can
  • Some are saying “I’m not going anywhere” suggesting they will not be bullied off the platform
  • Many have been talking about how awful Musk and Trump are
  • Those on the right wing have been celebrating “oh, he’s one of us”.

So, if people have to go, where should they migrate to:

  • It appears that Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter, is coming up with a new social media concept called Bluesky Social, currently reaching Beta.
  • Mastodon looks very similar to Twitter, I know a couple of people who have created accounts there – my profile is here. I notice the European Commission is on there so it must be attracting some high-profile people.
  • Counter Social looks like TweetDeck, not very user-friendly at first but worth checking out – my profile is @stevendrowe, profiles are not public unless a user pays for the subscription, also, certain “high-risk” countries are banned.


I’ve been on Twitter since 2008, that is 14 years, and have picked up a great bunch of connections both business and acquaintances, it would be a shame to lose them all now. That is the way it goes I guess.

2022-10-28T23:46:49+00:0028 October 2022|Social Media|

Instagram vs Vero

There have been complaints against Instagram lately and many professionals are choosing to abandon the platform to go to Vero.

Vero vs Instagram

There are advantages and disadvantages on both platforms, just like any other social media I guess.

Here are my thoughts on the platforms

  • More distractions on Instagram such as adverts and recommended accounts/videos that one is bombarded with
  • Photographers don’t necessarily produce videos and that is now, according to the CEO, the general push on Instagram
  • Instagram is better for portrait rather than landscape format whereas Vero accepts both. I personally find it difficult to take photos that are in portrait format.
  • Users will go to Instagram for video content, like TikTok, but start to become dis-insterested in still photography, unless of course, you have celebrity status.
  • Little chance of being spammed or receiving vulgar comments on Vero
  • The algorithm in Instagram will distract from your content, for example, I might subscribe to your account but there will be little chance of me seeing your posts.
  • There are more features on Vero such as recommending another user, a book, share music and so on.
  • The disadvantage of Vero is that one might find it difficult to gain followers if the quality of your content isn’t on par to photography enthusiasts or professionals, which has been my experience. I will just never be able to produce the same quality photographs.

Tips on using Instagram

There are ways of attempting to make Instagram more palatable, such as:

  • Use on a desktop computer
  • Ensure you have as many AdBlockers on your browser as possible
  • Either use a private browser or something like the “Facebook Container” extension in Firefox.

The above will ensure you don’t see the many adverts and receive the barrage of recommended content from accounts you don’t want to see.

My Strategy for Photography/Video Media

Firstly, I try to create the highest quality content that I think users on Vero might be interested in. Of course, other users’ work is inspirational to me in that process.

Now that the material is in the best shape that I can get it in, within my meagre skillset, I then post it on other social media accounts.

The highest engagement I receive on any social media platform is Twitter, so that is always a priority. Then, Facebook and Instagram, for which I receive very little engagement if anything at all.

All of my content is uploaded on my website, I get more visitors there than all my social media accounts combined.

So, my strategy is to upload it on all possible platforms for maximum exposure as you never know who might find it, someday.


I’m so chuffed that anybody likes and/or sends me positive comments on my work.

Please visit my Vero account.

2022-09-10T20:59:32+00:0010 September 2022|Social Media|

Twitter Blue Review

A subscription add-on to the Twitter service started here in Canada recently so I thought I would check it out for a while.

What Twitter Blue Includes

  • Bookmark Folders – users already have access to store their bookmarks but upon subscription, they are able to file them in folders.
  • Undo Tweet – a tweet is sent on a delay giving the user time to review before it is sent, like the delay you can set on emails going out. A user can stop it being sent and change any of the text. Once the tweet has been sent you cannot undo it.
  • Reader Mode – able to read long threads in a newspaper-style format
  • Icons – some more icons available for the user to choose from
  • Support – Twitter promised a faster route to obtain support


For Canadian users, the service is CAD$3.49 per month which, after-tax in British Columbia, works out to be about CAD$3.91.  So really, that is $4.00 a month just about.


The only benefit that was moderately useful to me was the Undo Tweet feature, but that turned out to be a bit of a nuisance waiting for something I had already reviewed to be sent. You can’t set up a delay on each tweet just on all tweets going out. Twitter has pitched this as an Edit feature but falls short of actually editing an entry once it’s been posted, in which case you have to delete it and post it again.

The bookmark feature is moderately useful but I tended to actually place them somewhere else outside of Twitter.

Icon. Well, that’s just silly really, I don’t really care about what icon is there on my iOS screen.

Support. I never noticed any route to gain faster support, felt I was the same as anyone else.

The Twitter blue service isn’t even available on Desktop, even though I had access to it via my iPad and iPhone. Since I use my Desktop the most I wasn’t even benefiting from it for most of the time I was on the service.

What Made Me Cancel

I wasn’t impressed with the service at all.  If they are going to charge they really should have been more imaginative. All users should have access to the Undo Tweet feature anyway, it may make people think before they tweet anything offensive.

If I had many thousands of followers and a business I would find Twitter Blue useful, but I am just an average user with not a large impact on there.

Also, today, Sunday 1st August, Twitter has been down all day and felt I wasn’t going to pay a special price for something I can’t even access from hours upon end.

2021-09-12T04:09:07+00:001 August 2021|Social Media|

Twitter Etiquette

I have learnt plenty of lessons being on Twitter for quite a few years now and have built up my own social media etiquette.

I think of Twitter as a newspaper, I am the Editor responsible for my own content and ensuring it reflects my brand and thoughts, but at the same time hopefully of interest to other people. There are certain areas I am a subject matter expert in but I tend to share a large breadth of commentary on a large range of content. I am trying not to pick up bad habits of others on the platform and I detail some of these here.

Retweeting/Sharing Content

Twitter StressI’m asked quite often to share, or retweet, other people’s content so it “becomes viral” for them. I don’t take any notice of these requests.

If the posting is awesome I will share it without being asked and I’m sure others will do the same. I also believe in reciprocal arrangements on social media, if someone is constantly asking me to share their content, but they don’t share any of mine, then it’s not really collaborative.

Retweeting Your Own Tweets

There is one newspaper that does this constantly, I see the same article at least 5+ times a day.  They do the same on Facebook too. I have actually muted people who do this as it becomes tedious to see so many repeats in my timeline.

Having said that when people strategically retweet at a certain time this can generate more clicks and engagement. However, there is always a danger that while more clicks might be gained there is always a possibility that you would lose followers.

Be Strategic, Not Angry

There are certain tweets or users on Twitter that I certainly want to keep at a distance because they are either always angry and often offensive.

There are certain behaviour patterns I don’t care for and I will either mute or unfollow:

  1. Shouting (writing in caps)
  2. Name Calling
  3. Putting down others looks, weight, sexuality, gender, ethnicity etc
  4. Extreme views on politics
  5. Constantly complaining
  6. Negative views
  7. Arrogant
  8. Judgemental

I rarely tweet on the fly now, I type it out, schedule it to go out in advance, think about what I said, and edit it if necessary.  If I say something that is not quite correct which someone points out to me in a constructive manner I will give them my thanks and send out a correction, just like a newspaper would (should) do.

Cite Sources

For me it’s important to cite sources of the content or research that I am referring to in my Tweets, someone has gone to a lot of trouble working on something and I want to be able to give them credit it for it.  I will definitely link to their website if they have one, and their Twitter handles. I see this more in the scientific community as there is a code of practice when writing research which I try to reflect on social media.

There are many who call themselves “subject matter experts” on Twitter, but they clearly aren’t, who will steal work and not provide credit to the original author. I don’t like this practice at all especially when many could have the imagination to create their own work.

A profile is Anonymous or Lacking in Detail

I try not to follow or engage with anonymous people. If people are proud of their work they should be upfront in who they are. There are many anonymous profiles on Twitter because they have legitimate reasons to avoid the authorities, but they could be bots, or more likely they want to be vulgar producing a huge array of obscenities.

There is a huge range of guidance online to help beef up your brand on Social Media and elsewhere, it’s worth doing to come across as a more credible resource and someone you would want to know.


I am not an emoticon person and many people have a deluge of them in their tweets. As an older geezer, I have no idea what they all mean so I don’t read the tweet. I will sometimes use emoticons in bullet points on twitter from a visual appeal perspective, but not to form parts of a sentence.  I guess it depends on how wide people want their tweet to go since there is a certain part of the population would, maybe, understand all these emoticons.


There are quite a few naughties around hashtags, these are my “prefer people didn’t do” list:

  1. Hashtag every single word
  2. Hashtag incorrectly, not on keywords
  3. Place trending hashtag’s on a tweet just to get it seen by others. So, the trending hashtag could be #banana but their tweet is about apples, but still use #banana.

Flashing GIFs or Videos

Sometimes Twitter users will share high speed flashing gifs on social media but they can trigger epileptic seizures in others. Some do this on purpose but hopefully, the majority of people are unaware of the effects of these gifs. It’s worth just thinking about this when posting graphics online.

Me, Me, Me, Me, Me

Constant self-praising and saying how fabulous they are can be fairly tedious on Twitter. Telling people how awesome they are is less self-indulgent and viewers will think “oh what a kind person he/she is” which encourages them to follow.

On Twitter, I’ve seen someone: a. I wrote this, isn’t it fabulous, it what everyone should want to read, b. retweet the same thing, c. retweet again saying “the article is talk of the town, I’ve received so many positive replies on twitter” (which they didn’t), d. wait an hour and retweet again saying how fabulous it is…and so it goes on.

Follow to Advertise

Many companies are now following others online just to grab their attention to their product or service. Then some will follow them back. In turn, the company will then unfollow them as the deed has been done – generate more followers.

I don’t follow anyone back unless their content aligns with my interest groups, I am not tempted to “follow back” on auto-pilot.

Unnecessary Direct Messages

These fall into several categories:

  1. DM to say thanks for the follow, these are often automated
  2. DM to say “please follow me”
  3. DM to sell something to me

My personal preference is to receive DMs from existing friends only. I don’t like talking to customer service departments via DMs, companies should have their own self-service website that provides me with a tracking ticket number or at least live-chat via a logged-in environment.

2020-08-25T21:56:47+00:0025 August 2020|Social Media|

Facebook Alternatives 2020

FacebookMany users have been asking themselves whether they should remain on Facebook due to the number of controversies surrounding the company and subsequently looking at alternatives.

I don’t want to recommend any alternatives to anyone, most can discover those on their own, but I will run through what I currently use.

The last straw for many people was Facebook willfully allowing misinformation and divisive content to proliferate on its platform leading to walkouts from staff [Business Insider – 2nd June 2020]. A group of civil rights organizations are asking big brands to boycott advertising on the platform during July 2020 because Facebook allowed incitement to violence against protestors fighting for racial justice in America [Mashable – 17 June 2020]. These are a mere drop in the ocean of controversies Facebook has been involved in. As a result, the majority of friends have stopped posting on Facebook to see how these pan out until the US election is over.

So what are the alternatives I use?

Keeping in touch with people and experts

Far from perfect, lots of fake accounts, people tweeting before engaging brain first, and way too much politics.

However, this is how I organize my account:

  • Add subject matter experts to Lists
  • Place those lists into streams in TweetDeck and/or Hootsuite
  • Only view/engage with those in the lists as this keeps your account on message and for a large percentage avoids toxic political messages

I rarely engage with those who are not identifiable as a real person or company/organization. Identifying oneself adds a layer of credibility.

Telegram and Skype
Replacements for Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp

I was getting a huge amount of spam on Messenger, including adverts from companies I didn’t know and fake users.

Telegram has a better layer of security, although nothing is 100% secure, journalists are known to use the platform as well as activists around the globe.  Nothing is 100% secure and the negative thing about Telegram is the lack of my own contacts on there.

As I have Office 365 I use Skype quite frequently but mainly for business. Now and again I do receive spam invites but they are easy to detect and block.


I haven’t really found an alternative to groups although many online applications do have them.  In Facebook I belong to a couple of technical groups that are not emulated anywhere else, which is a shame. Google+ was the best forum for groups but that met it’s demise over a year ago. MeWe was one of the replacements but didn’t impress me at all, I left.

LinkedIn has some groups but I have noticed the level of engagement on the ones I subscribe to have considerably dropped, it’s hardly worth going back to see if there is any new content there.

RSS Feeds
Replacement for following news organizations in Facebook

I was following a couple of media companies but not for long, I quickly deleted them. I didn’t like the comments that came along with them and the offensiveness of the engagement on there.

I’ve been using RSS readers for as far back as I can remember and will follow news organizations there. Many news websites do have RSS feeds even though they may not advertise them so it’s worth playing with URLs in a reader.

There are many RSS readers on the market, I use the following:

News Blur is the best if you want to read your feeds on a device as well as on a desktop, however, there is a subscription if you exceed a certain number.


I haven’t found an alternative for Instagram either although there are quite a few tools out there.

I was on Flickr for a while but no one else I knew was and they have a subscription model if you go over a limit.

I am still on Ello, I joined in its infancy but it seems to have died a death with exception to some artists. It’s certainly not for the every day person in the street kind of tool.

What I could do is start to increase the number of photos on this website which I have been thinking about for some time.

2020-06-21T05:02:45+00:0021 June 2020|Social Media|

What Not To Say on Social Media

What you say on social media can lead to ruining your privacy, reputation and brand. It’s always best to engage brain before hitting “Post” on your device, in other words, “planning”.

Most organizations will have a strategy in planning their social media in advance to coincide with their projects, goals and timelines. Most likely they will go into review by other members of staff including those on the senior leadership team and marketing. It’s helpful to keep this in mind for your own individual posts. If you aren’t careful what you say you could either lose followers or the worst case scenario be your own risk to reputation.

We’ll just dive into what I think people should not post.

  1. You dislike your job
  2. You dislike your boss or work colleagues
  3. You dislike your customers or complain about their looks/ethnicity etc
  4. You dislike your life partner or shame him/her over social media
  5. You dislike your family or shame them over social media, even in conversations they are not a party to
  6. Constantly shame other people over social media (being a troll)
  7. Don’t be an emotional vampire
  8. Don’t provide details of when and where you are going on vacation (tells the world that your property will be empty)
  9. Don’t provide details of your daily schedule (again tells the world that your property will be empty)
  10. Don’t say that you are having an affair
  11. Don’t reveal your financial status, whether you are poor or rich, need or have loans, in serious debt
  12. Don’t reveal or give any clues as to what your usernames and passwords are
  13. Scams about how many followers people can make if they listen to you
  14. Photos of you being too familiar with other people than your partner
  15. If you are going through some legal investigation don’t say anything that might jeopardise that for yourself (friends could let slip about something you have mentioned on Facebook)
  16. Your toilet habits
  17. Medical records or photos of your condition
  18. Extreme views about politics or people ie racism, homophobia.
  19. Photos with documents that users can zoom in to in order to find confidential information about yourself or loved ones
  20. Photos of strangers in embarrassing situations, obtain people’s permission before posting
  21. Post too much on yourself, show you are considerate of others too
  22. Death and other threats
  23. Lies
  24. Steel someones work/data and say it’s your own (always cite your source)
  25. Repeat the same message day after day or constantly retweeting yourself. Always come up with new and exciting stories to keep your visitors engaged.
2019-10-01T00:52:09+00:001 October 2019|Social Media, Technology|