Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Join the #ThisIsNormalLife campaign

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 | News

Social media paints an unrealistic portrait of life. It’s full of pictures of people with perfect make-up who spend the whole lives drinking champagne and flossing in front of the Effiel Tower. Many of us do get the chance to do these things, of course, but most of the time we’re going to work, cleaning the kitchen or just passed out exhausted on the sofa.

The problem is that being bombarded with these images is bad for our mental health.

So, this September, Worfolk Anxiety is launching a campaign called 30 Days of Normal Life. We’re encouraging everyone to post boring pictures of their life with the hashtag #ThisIsNormalLife.

Won’t you join us in a month of making the internet a lot more dull and a little less depressing?

Does social media damage your mental health?

Friday, July 28th, 2017 | Health & Wellbeing

In May, Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) and Young Health Movement published a report on the impact of social media on mental health. We wrote about it extensively on Worfolk Anxiety and you can read the full write-up over there.

The infographic was too good not to re-post, though. The TL;DR is that yes, social media can be harmful. But it also has its uses, so when used in moderation, like most things in life, can be a useful tool.


Social sharing buttons

Monday, August 22nd, 2016 | News

I hope you enjoy reading the things I publish on my blog. Chances are it is a mixed bag: some stuff you do enjoy, other stuff maybe less so. For those posts that you do enjoy, feel free to share them on your social media accounts.

To make this easier, I’ve added share buttons to the bottom of each post:


They only appear on the post page (if you click the title and go through to the individual page) so they’re not cluttering up the place. They offer loads of different services including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, email and many more.

Speaking of Twitter, I tweet all of my blog posts. So if you want to keep up-to-date with new posts, follow me on Twitter. It’s not heavy traffic: I tweet once or twice per day.

Syndicating your blog to Facebook

Friday, January 22nd, 2016 | Tech

Back in the day, Facebook supported RSS feeds. You could put your RSS feed into the site and it could automatically crawl it and post your new blog posts into the Notes app. Facebook later discontinued this as they wanted people to post in content rather than use Notes. RSS Graffiti arrived in it’s place, automatically posting blog posts onto your Newsfeed. This perished too as it was unable to make any money.

Here are some alternatives.


IFTTT has been around for a while and I have been using it since RSS Graffiti disappeared. It is free but has some limitations. For example, you seem to have to include a title, so I have the title in the link and a comment above it saying the same thing. Also, there is no description.



HootSuite is a social media manager that also supports RSS feeds. It does not check as often as IFTTT does, but it can be set down to once per hour. This is fine for a personal blog. You have no control over how the RSS post is displayed, though it does a pretty good job by default.



Zapier is a recipe site, like IFTTT. They have a free tier that gives you a few recipes. This is enough for my personal blog, though you might need a paid tier if you were running a lot of social media. Like IFTTT it checks every 15 minutes and gives you control over how the post appears.



I have settled on using Zapier for now. It is free and allows me to customise how the posts will display. However, any of the solutions gets the job done.

Making use of the Open Graph Protocol

Monday, April 6th, 2015 | Programming

When you paste a link into Facebook or other social networks (which in theory you could use) it generates a preview of the website including a title, image and description.

Webmasters actually have the power to suggest content for these items. This is something I recently implemented on the Leeds Restaurant Guide.

For example, the page is structured with the site name in the title and various images on the pages. However, when you post it into Facebook, it is pretty obvious to a human what information you actually want in there. You want the name of the restaurant and the image of the restaurant itself.

To suggest to the client what information I think would be best in there, I added some meta tags based on the Open Graph Protocol. For example, here is an example from Bibis.

<meta property="og:type" content="article" />
<meta property="og:article:author" conent="Leeds Restaurant Guide" />
<meta property="og:title" content="Bibis Italianissimo review" />
<meta property="og:image" content="" />

This provides helpful information to the client, usually Facebook, as to what information it should display where, making your site more sharable. Sites like BuzzFeed are all other these sorts of tags – just view their source code to see. This is why they are always so well presented and perhaps one of the reasons why they are so successful.


Social Media: For Good or Ill

Thursday, January 19th, 2012 | Events, Humanism, Tech, Thoughts

This month at the Humanist Society of West Yorkshire, Simon Duncan presented a talk on social media – what it is and whether it is a good thing or not. Of course, the answer is yes.

Social media brings us huge benefits, at relatively little cost – and indeed almost no monetary cost, as sites like Facebook are all free. Unfortunately, it tends to take a bad wrap because of people not really thinking their arguments through. You can blame the media a little for this, but I don’t think they shoulder that much responsibility.

Take cyber bullying for example. It’s ace. Kids are going to bully other kids anyway, that is just part of society, at least at the moment. But with cyber bullying – you have a full paper trail of everything that has gone on! If social media has made the bullying situation worse for anyone, it’s the bullies! You can now just take your text messages straight to the school, or even the police. None of this complicated business of having to prove what they said with witnesses.

According to Simon, studies have also shown that using social media actually increases real world interaction. That’s certainly true of me – the main reason I use Facebook is to organise real world events with my friends. As well as plenty of other uses of course, such as keeping in touch with friends I otherwise couldn’t keep in touch with affectively because they’re in a different timezone in a different part of the world.

Other fears include issues like privacy and targetted advertising. Perhaps this has been a problem in the past, but with increased awareness of the situation, companies are now putting in place the tools to effectively manage your privacy and you can quickly and instantly lock down your profile, most of which is restricted to approved friends only anyway. This is arguably far more secure than the records the government has for example, which will probably end up on a USB stick left on a public train.

Targeting advertising is actually a massive benefit to us – because more effective advertising means less advertising. If companies can reach their target audience more effectively, they need to reach less people, so they spend less on blanket advertising. This is evident from the reduction of advertising – remember all the big flashing banners and pop-ups that plagued the internet – most of those have now given way to these small text links on Google and Facebook, and the web is much the better for it.