Facebook Simplifies Posting, Liking & Commenting as Page

Facebook has recently rolled out a new set of tools that make it much easier for users who manage pages to control how they post, like, and comment.

Although the Facebook Business Manager was a step in the right direction, keeping track of your identity as you tooled around the usual Facebook site was still complicated. The new tools put the controls right where you need them.

No matter where you are on Facebook—even if you’re not looking at or using a post from one of the pages you manage—you are now able to interact with content as yourself or as any of your pages.

Here’s a quick look at the new tools

Which User is Creating a Post?

Facebook: New tool to select who is Posting

Facebook: New tool to select who is Posting

When creating a new post, you’ll see a new drop-down menu in the upper right-hand corner of the new post box—opposite the selections for “Status,” “Photo / Video,” and so on. When you drop it down, you’ll not only be notified as to which identity will be the creator of the post (as seen with the black “Posting as Nourish The Dream” box in the example here), but you can also select any of your pages on the fly.

Previously, posting on a page as any other page first required a painful multi-step process that involved first changing the global “Use Facebook as” setting to the page of choice, and then navigating back to the place you wanted to post (unless you’d had the foresight to copy the URL) and then remembering to change back.

Which User “Likes” or Comments on this Post?

If you want to “Like” or “Comment” on a piece of content as a page, you now no longer have a series of hoops to jump through. A new drop-down menu is similarly now available below the content on the right-hand side, in line with the “Like,” “Comment,” and “Share” links.

Facebook: New tool to select who will Like, Comment or Share

Facebook: New tool to select who will Like, Comment or Share

Here again, this saves a number of steps for every function except the “Share” function, which already had a pop-up dialogue that was slightly more complicated than this, but still simpler than all the method for the “Like” and “Comment” functions. Those required the same ordeal we mentioned earlier (copy the URL to the content, change the global “Use Facebook As” setting, then paste the URL in your browser to interact with the content, then switch back to “Use Facebook As” the user or page you prefer).

While we still like the Business Manager for planning content and responding to users and so forth, when you need to do something quickly without losing your place, these new tools are very handy.

Questions? Hit me up in the comments below!

Grateful

Recently, I was thinking about a photo I once saw of Zig Ziglar. In it, he was seated in front of his “Wall of Gratitude,” a collection of twenty-seven photographs of people who significantly impacted his life in some way.

I can’t find the photo this morning—I don’t even recall where I saw it now. But it was a powerful lesson for me. There sat one of the most renowned and arguably most influential people in the 20th Century, and he had a habit of sitting down and reflecting on the people that got him to where he was at the time.

Let’s face it, running a business can be really hard sometimes. You have seasons where you feel like you can do no wrong, and other times where you’re digging your way out of a major mistake that you made… or maybe a series of mistakes.

We’re preparing to announce some really big changes around here, and in the process of thinking about the impact of those changes on our business, I’ve taken some time to reflect on some of the people I’m grateful for in our business.

Tom Ziglar & David G. Johnson

Tom Ziglar bravely posing for a pic with Yours Truly
Photo: Mavella

One of those people is Tom Ziglar. It was my privilege to be connected to Tom 6 or 7 years ago through a mutual business relationship. He did me the great honor of allowing me to have the opportunity to work with his team in late 2008 to think through some marketing strategy with them. What’s more, he has honored me on more than one occasion since then to speak to their audience via webinars and a webcast.

Tom has taught me more lessons than I can count. Every time I speak with him, he teaches me more—often without realizing it, much less trying. My team will tell you that when I hang up from a call with Tom, my first remark is usually something like, “When I grow up, I want to be Tom Ziglar.”

I’m grateful to Tom most of all for his friendship. But the lessons he has taught me continue to impact me. He’s brought so much value to our Nourish The Dream events, with his quick wit, unique insights, and his genuine heart for people.

These are elements of who Tom is that have directly impacted (and benefited) me. But Tom has my gratitude and my respect for something far bigger: his commitment to stewarding the legacy of his late father. As CEO of Ziglar, Inc., Tom is accustomed to carrying the responsibility for the Ziglar name. But as I’ve witnessed him handle the passing (or “promotion,” as Zig would’ve thought of it) of his Dad and the steps Tom has taken since then to ensure that the life work of his Dad is carried on, my appreciation has grown.

Tom… you’ll never know how much I appreciate you. It is an honor to know you, and even more of an honor to call you friend.

There are plenty of others who deserve acknowledgment, and while I’m not prepared to take the time to do it justice at the moment, I’d like to at least mention a few of our clients and friends who are actively teaching me something and supporting what we do. (I plan to take the time to do this “right” in the days and weeks ahead.)

Dean Burnside chatting me up at his company's 25th Anniversary Celebration

Dean Burnside chatting me up at his company’s 25th Anniversary Celebration

One of our clients who I’d like to mention has also become a good friend. That man is Dean Burnside, owner of Good News Pest Solutions in Sarasota. I met Dean just over 2 years ago, and right away he took the opportunity—and the risk—of speaking into my life about some things related to our business and our mission.

I have to respect Dean’s willingness to do that.

Dean is also a great example of Godly leadership within Good News Pest Solutions. Years ago, he made the commitment that God owned the business. His story of how God spoke to his heart about the impact he would have for the Kingdom of God outside the 4 walls of the church is inspiring and moving.

He’s also given generously of his time as c0-host of the Nourish The Dream podcast, where he offers unique insights and colorful commentary to the topics we discuss. He’s made no small investment in me personally, and it’s been an honor to me and to my team to be able to serve him by providing services to his company.

Dean… I’m grateful for your friendship, for your input in my life, and for the opportunity to work alongside you. Congratulations on the 25th Anniversary of Good News Pest Solutions!

As I mentioned before, this is going to have to turn into a series. But I want to take a moment and congratulate Steve Rinehart on launching his new luxury home brand: Rinehart Elite Homes.

Big kudos as well to my friend, Tom Oechslin (and thank you to Dean Burnside for making that introduction!) on winning the Tube of the Year award in the Consumer Packaged Goods industry for his company’s tongue cleaning gel. Tom’s entrepreneurial spirit and friendship has created one of those “iron sharpening iron” situations that has stretched, challenged, and encouraged me. Thank you, Tom.

Another long-time client and friend that I want to say “thank you” to is Becki Creighton. She’s one of the hardest working, most creative people I know. Her clients adore her and her work. If you need Mother’s Day Flowers, or wedding flowers, or a nice gift or acknowledgment for virtually anyone, you know who to call!

I’ll pick this up another day. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t wrap up with the most important piece of gratitude I could ever express… and that is the One we celebrate this week on Good Friday and, most significantly, Resurrection Day. He gave His life for me. How could I begin to say “thank you” for that?

Here’s Zig Ziglar sharing better than I ever could.

WordPress Automatic Updates: Pros and Cons

Yesterday the WordPress dev team announced the 3.8.2 Security Release.

Previously, when a WordPress update became available, I’d see the notification when I visited the dashboard of one of our websites. Sometimes, I might spot the announcement post (like the one I linked to above) in the RSS feed.

But all that has changed. For the first time, I found out about the availability of release because one of our sites automatically upgraded itself and emailed me a notice like this:

WordPress Automatic Upgrade Notification Email

WordPress Automatic Upgrade Notification Email

WordPress Automatically Upgraded Itself: Good News or Bad News?

I’ll admit, I’m somewhat on the fence about this. I love the fact that the WordPress devs have created this feature. Ultimately, the entire WordPress ecosystem will benefit from it in the long run. But for now, we’re probably going to have some hiccups.

The “Pros” for automatic upgrades are fairly obvious:

  • outdated, unpatched websites are a security risk… and sometimes, even the most diligent site owners neglect updates (or even forget about a site. Sheesh.)
  • even thoroughly updated sites can be attacked if an insecure site on the same server is exploited (the attack I linked to above affected 40-ish sites, most of which were completely up to date)
  • sometimes a WordPress security release is fast-tracked to fix to a particularly nasty vulnerability, and if you don’t get to the update quickly enough, you can end up with a problem on your hands

…and so on.

Having WordPress update itself so that any vulnerabilities that exist in the core software are removed rectifies some (if not most) of the above situations.

But there can be a downside. Here are some “cons”:

  • Often, the most serious vulnerabilities aren’t even in the WordPress core (TimThumb comes to mind… and actually, the attack I mentioned earlier came through an old, abandoned, plugin—although the WordPress core was badly out of date as well)
  • In “live” (“production”) environments, updates to the WordPress core may break you site’s design or functionality because themes or plugins may not have been updated in preparation for the changes. (This is a little like pulling the foundation out from underneath your house and then setting the house back on a new one. Might work. Might not. Depends on how different the new foundation is.)
  • Some site owners may not take action to update themes and plugins in which vulnerabilities and security risks are discovered, because they think the updates are happening automatically. The vast majority of plugins and themes currently do not automatically update themselves.

The Biggest Issue: Backups

By far, the most significant concern I have involves the availability of current backups.

In other words: what happens when something critical breaks as the result of an automatic upgrade? Do you, as the site owner, have a current backup to restore?

If it’s a simple cosmetic issue related to design, perhaps it’s no big deal. But if it’s a mission-critical function that affects your business, then a loss of functionality could have serious consequences.

Perhaps the worst-case scenario here is if something goes awry with the upgrade script itself. It hasn’t happened often, but once in a while something happens with upgrade scripts (yes, even with WordPress) where an anomaly will cause the upgrade to fail. This could leave your site completely down—perhaps non-responsive, stuck in “maintenance mode” or otherwise inaccessible.

Our Current Approach: Backup to Dropbox

There are multiple solutions to automated backups. Most reputable web hosting providers offer some sort of paid solution. Even Automattic (the parent company of the for-profit side of WordPress) offers VaultPress.

Depending upon your specific situation (the number of sites you’re maintaining, budget, hosting setup, etc.) one or more of those solutions may be a good fit.

But for many small businesses, a more cost-effective solution may be a better fit. That’s where the WordPress Backup to Dropbox plugin comes in.

It’s pretty simple. Once you install & activate the plugin, you connect it to your Dropbox account (on a one-time basis), and configure it. You can set it to backup your site automatically on a routine basis. It will get both the database and the files for your site—everything you need to restore, in other words.

Since it stores the backup in your Dropbox account, the backups are completely separate from the hosting account. That way, if your hosting provider has a massive failure, you don’t have to worry about your backup dying with it. And if you already have a paid Dropbox account (or if you don’t use much of the storage on your free account), chances are you’ll have plenty of room so that this doesn’t create any additional cost.

Right now, most of our sites are backing up on a weekly basis. If you update your site on a daily basis, you might consider something more frequent than that.

If there’s enough interest in it, we’ll put together a comprehensive set of instructions about how to implement the backup solution.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, automated WordPress updates are a positive new feature for the world’s best content management system. However, we recommend that you put automated backups in place in order to protect your site against any of the potential pitfalls.