Author Archive

5 underutilized Facebook features

Posted by on Thursday, 2 February, 2017

I’ve noticed a few people posting articles with comments such as “Posting to save for later..” or “Breadcrumbs…” etc. I’ve also seen a few people complaining about particular types of content on their feed. What it seems many people don’t know about are a few features Facebook has implemented to aid you in how you curate your own news feed. This post is intended to call out a few of those features to help you better utilize Facebook in the way you desire.

First, you’ll need to know how to get to these features. On every post, you should see an upside down caret character (Similar to a “v”, and highlighted in the red circle in the image) at the top right just inside the border of the post. Clicking this icon opens a drop list of contextual features per post.

  • Feature One: Hide post. Clicking hide post will remove this particular post from showing on your news feed. Choosing this selection will also result in additional options to “See less from…” the particular friend who shared it as well as any friend who may have liked or comments upon it causing it to be seen in your feed. Note that “See less from…” doesn’t unfollow the friend, but places their posts lower in priority in Facebook’s algorithm that determines what you see in your news feed.
  • Feature Two: Unfollow <friend’s name=””>. This, of course, allows you to unfollow your friend in such a way that the content they share will not show in your news feed, but maintains the Facebook friend connection. This is a very useful selection if you wish to remain friends but desire to avoid political confrontations or for friends who are posting too often. You can still see their content by navigating to the friends page specifically.
  • Feature 3: Hide all from <source name>. This has got to be one of the single best features I’ve found. Are friends sharing too much from “Occupy Democrats”? From “Breitbart”? Want to remain friends and see their other posts but avoid some of the fake news, satire sites (like “The Daily Mash” as seen here, check their about page)? This feature allows you to effectively block these sources from showing up in your news feed. Powerful, and shows an immediate and dramatic impact. Use this feature with wild abandon to really curate your news feed the way you desire.
  • Feature 4: Report post. This allows you to report spam or other issues surrounding a particular post that isn’t appropriate for Facebook. There’s a multitude of potential choices when you select this option, intended to guide you to the right method of reporting the right content. I’ve found that this feature is hit and miss in its usefulness, as some posts I’d consider highly inappropriate for Facebook, when reported, have been determined to not conflict with Facebook’s community policies. So, use this feature with the awareness that it may not work as you expect or hope.
  • Feature 5: Save link. Aside from feature 3, this is the BEST and most useful feature that I have found I select on nearly a daily basis. Choosing this option will allow you to save the post, link, video, etc. to a specific section in Facebook accessible from the left side nav menu (on the desktop/web version), also directly accessible at This is THE way to save articles for reading later without reposting it. This can save some embarrassment of reposting an article before reading, only to find later that it is incorrect, misleading, or otherwise problematic for you. The key to this feature is remembering to go back to the Saved section of Facebook to review those saved items. Take it from me, this is a seriously useful feature.
  • BONUS Feature 6: Turn on notifications for this post. Like the saved feature, this can help you keep tabs on a post that interests you but for which you have no real contribution. I’ve used this often when a friend posts a question that I have as well, and I want to see what answers others provide. This saves the original post from a flurry of comments like “commenting to follow thread… ” or “watching”. Using this feature allows you to turn on those notifications without having to add a comment. Solidly useful.

There are, of course other features and selections not noted here, as many of the items are based on the specific context of the post and how it was presented on your news feed. The items above are meant to raise your awareness to some of these useful features provided by Facebook to improve your news feed experience and give you deeper control of how you can manage or curate the content presented to you in your news feed. So, go, explore, use these tools and features and begin enjoying Facebook a lot more than you already do!

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Change is the only constant

Posted by on Monday, 10 August, 2015


It is somewhat of a bitter-sweet day for me:


Yup, today I officially resigned my ownership of the Notes from Rational Support blog, and all other associated social accounts. I had actually transferred duties to a new team of colleagues over the past month, in part to help cover for me while I vacationed last week, but in a larger part to take the space and bring it to even higher levels of value. But today it all comes to a pivotal point where I’m letting go of my ownership access to the blog as part of my continued transition in to the IBM Internet of Things support organization where I am working on social business strategy and logistics like I did for Rational Support since 2008.

As you may have already noted from prior posts on that blog, I am leaving it in the very capable hands of Denise McKinnon and Naomi Guerrero. I couldn’t be more pleased to leave this institution in their hands, much like Kelly Smith did for me a few years back. Kelly started the blog in 2009, and drove it to great heights in the beginning, so much so that when I took the lead in 2012 (and then the reins when she transferred to newer opportunities in 2013) I was quite daunted and unsure if I could keep the blog as valuable and relevant as Kelly had. Thankfully, I saw the value climb as I pulled in other authors to aid in content creation and to provide deeper technical topics for our clients. This helped us continue the climb in value and finally saw the blog hit and maintain the #2 most viewed blog on developerWorks for the past two years running with over 17 million views to date!


My pride in what we’ve achieved with that particular blog space is hard to miss, and of course makes it even harder to step away. Even harder still is the fact that it has been part of my daily life since I began helping Kelly in 2010. But, as I noted in my farewell post on Notes from Rational Support and in the title here, change really IS the only constant, and with that I have to acknowledge my time to move on…. Thankfully, I’m not moving far!

While I no longer run the IBM Rational Support social accounts, I AM still involved in social at IBM. More specifically with the IBM Internet of Things support teams. Now I hear you asking… What IS IBM IoT Support? And THAT, my friends, is a great question!

IBM IoT Support is a team of IBMers who are now part of the new IBM Internet of Things organization supporting the tools makers like our clients need to build components and connected devices. IBM IoT Support is focused on helping our audience, the makers, with their product questions by providing content relating to the various products covered by our new division.

Through our focused support of asset management and continuous engineering tools, we are here to provide our clients with the best support in the industry; to help them be successful with the applications and components to ensure your work on the connected devices in the Internet of Things brings you the right value.

To that end I’ve been working the past few months to create a few new social channels like our Notes from IoT Support  blog, our new Twitter account, and our new Youtube channel So you can see, I’m still doing the same job just in a different division of IBM. Of course I still have my hands deep into social support strategy as well as the day-to-day administration and content curation of our social channels and often act as a consultant helping colleagues in similar spaces navigate some of the speed bumps we all encounter in social business. Turns out, that is one of my favourite parts of this job: helping others be successful in their own areas of focus, which I guess is a trait that helps me be successful in my own areas as well.