Am I Blocked?

In my hometown of Germantown, being blocked on Facebook has become a topic of interest. A certain alderman has blocked large numbers of users he considers connected to unnamed “bad people.” He claims the move was to protect his family although he continues to use the platform to share his political ideas, not on his personal page, but on forums designed to foster discussion like community bulletin boards and discussion groups.

This move removes any possibility of a challenge to his comments making it appear that everyone on the board agrees with him. Since I am one of the blocked citizens and somewhat of a social media expert, I thought I would share a quick tutorial for you to understand how the blocking feature works and how to tell if you are blocked by someone.

Facebook lists blocking under Privacy Basics. Facebook assumes you are blocking someone because you are being bothered by that person. When a person is blocked, all communication between the two users on Facebook, present and future are eliminated. By blocking a user, a person can block a user from viewing their profile, sending friend requests, messages, comments or even reading other posts written on photos, links, pages, or groups. It’s as if you never existed. The block is the most powerful weapon at the disposal of a user to exclude one or more people on Facebook.

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The first step to see if someone has blocked you is to look for their name on Facebook. If you cannot find the profile, you may or may not be blocked. Try also to find the name by visiting the friends list of mutual friends on Facebook. If you still do not find them there could be 3 reasons:

1) You have been blocked.

2) The profile has been deleted.

3) The profile has been disabled (by the user directly or by Facebook following a violation of Facebook Terms).

If the name of the profile is black and in bold and you cannot click to visit the profile, you are almost certainly blocked by that profile on Facebook.

A user with the account disabled would have the text bold “Facebook User” and not the real name. This gives us a first confirmation that the user has blocked us on Facebook.

The simplest and most obvious way to determine if you are blocked is to ask a mutual friend if he can see the profile of the person you think has blocked you. If the profile is visible to the friend in common then you are blocked.

If after trying the mentioned methods above and found out that you are indeed blocked, try not worry or feel irritated about it. If, like in Germantown, it is a political figure who has blocked you, be sure to contact the person via email and ask for an explanation as to why you were blocked. It could have been a simple misunderstanding. Or you really are a political operative associated with “bad people.” If so, join the club!

 

 

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Social Media and Elected Officials

FB logoSocial media is an excellent tool for politicians to use to get their message out. These tools are used to get one’s message out without the filter of mainstream media. How does one use these tools?

Let’s start with Facebook since it is the dominant player. First of all, I’d recommend making sure your own personal profile’s privacy settings are set to the levels that you’re comfortable with.

For example, let’s say you are newly married with a young child and your wife likes to post pictures of your child on Facebook for your family to see. I would highly recommend that you be very selective with the people that you accept as friends and check Facebook’s privacy settings to be certain that the photos are set to only share with friends.

Here’s a link to the tutorials Facebook provides that will help you determine the levels of privacy you want for your personal posts.

Screenshot 2017-05-31 20.41.32Facebook Privacy Basics

Now you’re ready to start your campaign profile page. Ideally, you will have started your page as a candidate. Under Pages, choose Create Page and choose the Artist, Band or Public Figure icon. There is a dropdown menu where you can choose the correct category.

This will be where you share your campaign’s message. It’s a good idea to have a second person as an administrator on your page in order to answer constituents questions in a timely manner.

Facebook allows you to not only share posts like you do a regular profile but you can also upload articles as well as create polls. This is also an excellent way to show your constituency the ways you are working in your community to make it a better place.

People love pictures so post as many pictures as you can of yourself with your constituency as you go about the business of governing. You can even go Live with your campaign page. A Facebook page allows you to be in contact with your constituency yet still maintain your privacy on your personal profile page.

In conclusion, social media can be a very cost-effective method to reach your constituency with your campaigns thoughts and ideas. Facebook is great place to start.

Spotting a scam

I just got this email. It’s a scam and I’ll share with you why you should not click on it.   

First off, it’s unlikely Amazon would use “X-Mas.” They are more likely to call it “Holiday” reward. 

Next, the urgency. I received this email late on December 21.  They want a response the very next day. Most legitimate promotions last much longer. 

Finally, check the email address. This is not legit. 

 

Stay alert and don’t fall for these scams during the holidays. 

A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

If you work in media and live in Memphis, last week was a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad week. On Tuesday, we learned the Commercial Appeal let go 17 more employees, perhaps in a cleanse before they sell to Milwaukee’s Journal Media next year. Included in this purge were longtime reporter Lela Garlington and more recent hires Timberly Moore and William DeShazer. Award winning photographer Karen Focht was also cut.

Thursday brought the latest revamp of the printed-paper complete with a “We’ve Changed” headline. Yes, you changed but it’s a case of too little and too late.

On Friday, Entercom abruptly changed formats on 94.1 from Classic Hits to Country and in the process let go on air talents Willie B and long time Memphis favorite Steve Conley. Just over two years ago, this same station removed another fan favorite, Karen Perrin, saying the station was taking a new direction. As a “power listener” of the station, the only change I noticed was a tag line, “Your Life, Your Music.”

Both broadcast radio and print media have had a hard time adjusting to the new digital world. Print hasn’t figured out how to compete online and still make any money. Radio has a similar issue in that almost any music can be heard online without advertisement at little or no cost. Getting that coveted 18-34 demographic is harder and harder to do when that age group has grown up streaming music.

Unfortunately, some really great journalists and broadcast talents are suffering because the corporations running their businesses haven’t caught up with the changing landscapes.

Instead, the paper will continue to cut good people only to find that investigative journalism suffers and Entercom’s 94.1 will become the fourth country music station in a market that can really only handle one. Don’t forget, Memphis is the capital of the Delta, where Elvis and rhythm and blues rule. Leave country to middle and east Tennessee.

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How do you feel safe?

safeinmemphisThis week, I was asked to speak with David Waters, an award winning journalist and my friend for nearly 20 years. He writes the Faith in Memphis blog for the Commercial Appeal and has recently started a Safe in Memphis group following the death of Heather Palambo-Jones, a kindergarten teacher who worked with David’s wife at the Frayser Achievement District.

He focuses on what makes one feel safe in our hometown and he attempts to challenge the traditional thoughts about safety in Memphis as well as giving readers tools to feel safe.

Here is the article he wrote after we spoke:

Safe In Memphis: An App For That?

If you can’t read that link, click here.

Let me know what you think and what apps you use to feel safe.

No prayers for business and media

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Tonight, my church was a host site for a National Day of Prayer service. I was asked to participate by leading the congregation in prayer for business and media.

If you’ve never been to a service like this, the format has someone lead prayers for five areas, education, business and media, military and government, families and the church. After the initial prayer is said, anyone from the congregation is welcome to pray aloud as they felt led.

Each area had many people chime in their prayers except business and media. And I’m pretty sure it’s not because my prayer was so good that I covered it all.

Why?

Without a thriving business community our families are without the means to support themselves. Taxes cannot be paid to provide a quality education for our children, or support the government and military. Without a free and impartial media we cannot know the truth about our elected officials and military. Or know when a business has cheated it’s customers or employees.

I’m honored to be able to pray for businesses and for my many friends in the media. They face a tough economy and changing landscape to disseminate the new and yet they keep going.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

I Am A Runner

My post from my fitness blog posted last night. Fits here on my business blog as well.

Fitness, Fun and Food

by Alys Drake

I am a really bad runner, but a runner, nonetheless. I can barely finish a 5K in under 40 minutes so the idea of running a marathon is a fantasy for me.

When I first heard about today’s bombing at the Boston Marathon, I was shocked, then frightened for people I knew from Memphis who were running. I quickly checked my Twitter feed for information and sent private messages on Facebook to people I knew would know how certain people were doing. Thankfully, no one I knew was injured.

I will never look at running in the same way again.

What gives me hope in the face of such evil is that my Twitter feed and my Facebook wall were filled with messages of hope and love.

My denomination was quick to post this:

UMC Boston

And this Facebook update encouraging a positive statement we can all take:

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So many people posted these wise…

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