Changing Your Facebook Gender Settings

Your body. Your definition. Now on Facebook.

Facebook added the ability to set your gender outside the binary male/female choices just in time for Valentine’s Day. Now you can define yourself with a choice more reflective of who you really are if the binary choices don’t cover it.

Here’s how to update your gender settings.

1. Choose Edit Profile. If you’re on the page with your News Feed, it’s under your name at the upper left.

choose edit profile
Choose edit profile

2. Scroll down to the Basic Information Section and click Edit.

Edit Basic Information
Edit Basic Information

3. You’ll see a gender option. Use the pull down menu to select “Custom.”

Select Custom
Select Custom

4. Start typing in the input field. After you type the first letter, Facebook populates the list with options based on your first letter. I typed a “c” thinking that I would like to identify as “crone.”

The "C" options
The “C” options

As you can see, crone isn’t an option. I tried typing it in and saving, but got an error message. It will only let you choose one of the options offered. (There are about 65 choices in all.)

I typed a “f” in the box. Here are the options offered. As you can see, choices included options with “f” in many places, not just as the first letter.

the "f" options
The “f” options

5. Pick a pronoun. If you choose a custom gender definition, you have a chance to choose your pronoun.

Choose a pronoun
Choose a pronoun

The pronoun choices are limited and don’t offer some common choices that people who don’t fit the binary prefer. Maybe Facebook will add to the pronoun options later. They need to do that.

6. Save

Related post from 2010 (or this has been a long time coming) Have You Thought About the Gender Choices on Web Forms?

Note: This post was syndicated on

You’ve got messages

On Monday Facebook announced a new system of messaging that will be integrated within Facebook. Facebook calls it seamless messaging because it will dump your email, IMs, text messages, and Facebook messages into one Message inbox. The new Messages folder will be organized by Friends.

I wrote about Facebook Messages at BlogHer, explaining how it works, what the potential privacy issues are, and whether I think it will be a Gmail killer. Read the full article.

Klout – what’s it to ya?, a service that has measured a person’s influence and reach on Twitter, just added Facebook to its Klout calculations.

The alliance with Facebook was announced in Do You Have Facebook Klout? Here’s a bit of their explanation about how it will work.

On Facebook, like Twitter, we assess how conversations and content generate interest and engagement. Facebook allows users to post many different types of content, view multiple streams and interact with their friends in more complex ways than we’ve previously seen. We’ve made sure each action and reaction is individually assessed to ensure we give you the most accurate picture of your Klout.

At Pureconent, Catherine explained

To determine level of influence, Klout uses various data points which they then compile into what they call a ‘Klout Score’, which is intended to represent the user’s online influence and ability to compel others to action. On Twitter, Klout uses things such as retweets, number of followers, list memberships, and unique mentions to calculate a user’s ‘true reach’. Now it is applying the same methodology to Facebook.

Apparently, it is more complex to add in a consideration of Facebook influence than simply scoring for Twitter influence – it takes 72 hours to get a score with your Facebook klout. Twitter scores are returned instantly. Connecting your Facebook account to your Klout account will not lower your Klout score, according to the announcement.

Who Needs Klout?

While it’s clean ego-tickling fun to look at your own Klout, the service is not really meant for individuals who simply want to know how they’re doing. Its core reason for being is to help businesses find influencers who can drive action. In other words, you can see other peoples Klout without their permission. (The better to look for those influencers you’re seeking, my dear.) According to Klout Adds Facebook Data to Its Influence Graph

Measuring influence isn’t just something that Klout wants to do in order to make users feel good about themselves, or so it can give them badges for passing certain milestones (although it does that as well). The reality is that as social media and social networks have become a larger and larger phenomenon, marketing agencies and companies have become increasingly interested in using these networks and services to target specific demographics, and to target “influencers” within specific topic areas who can help spread their message.

Not just business, but other seeking to influence events (such as nonprofits or social justice groups) can also make use of Klout.

Nonprofit maven Beth Kanter has written about social influence several times. In Can Social Network Analysis Improve Your Social Media Strategy? she mentions a number of tools other than Klout that can be used to map and measure influence. Beth does include Klout in her post about finding and cultivating the movers and shakers in your area of interest, Twitter Tip for Networked Nonprofits: Follow the Few To Get To the Many. Beth said on The Huffington Post that its about more than just the numbers.

It also helps to understand how networks work and apply that understanding to analyzing the relationships in your network, using social network analysis tools. Then you know who the influencers are and you can formulate and executive an effective strategy based on finding and cultivating them.

Numbers don’t matter as much building relationships one person at a time. The bottom line is to focus on the results of your social media strategy, don’t get distracted by meaningless metrics like the number of followers.

My Klout Before Facebook

I’ll use myself as an example, although I’m not an influencer with much Klout.
However, I’m willing to reveal my data as your guinea pig. I signed up with Klout and looked at my score from my Twitter account. My score was 21. That’s on a scale of 1-100. Along with that raw number, I was given all sorts of charts, like the following one, that explain various aspects of what that number means. This chart shows something called “true reach.”


Like several other charts at Klout, the true reach chart is a dynamic chart. Different results are displayed for True Reach depending on what I click from the bar across the bottom where it says TrueReach, Followers, Friends, Mentions %, and Retweet %.

I also see a list of who I’m influenced by.


Knowing who I’m influenced by isn’t so important to me as an individual – I already know who I’m influenced by. But – and this is a big but – you can look at other people’s Klout scores. All you need is their Twitter username. if you were looking at someone else’s klout results for potential influencers to add to your social network or community, this list of influencers could be very valuable to you.

Klout also wants to help you find influential people. It shows me where it thinks I’m missing a bet with some followers I should follow back.


My Klout After Facebook

I linked my Klout account to my Facebook account and sat back to wait for 72 hours for some results. Facebook isn’t my big thing – I use it because I have to for work. I’m not very connected on Facebook and don’t friend people unless I actually know them, so I was counting on Klout’s promise that my score would not suffer an embarrassing drop after adding in the Facebook data.

It didn’t drop, but it didn’t go up either.

klout achievements

New badges appeared that seem to reflect action on Facebook. The badges for Total Likes, Total Comments, and Unique Commenters were the only thing I could find that was different in my results after the addition of Facebook.

Are you helped by Klout?

Knowing my Klout score isn’t much use to me or anyone else, but I’m not trying to start a movement, raise awareness about an issue, collect money for natural distaster relief or find the people who might convince someone that my product is the best thing to buy. If I was doing any of those things, it would be smart to go looking for influencers on Klout so I could build a relationship with them.

Do you use Klout? Does the addition of Facebook to the scoring process make it even more valuable to you?

Cross posted at BlogHer.

Facebook vs. Privacy

How are you feeling about the new Facebook moves to capture and share your private information by making it almost impossible to find and set every relevant privacy setting in your account? I’m seeing posts like Top Ten Reasons You Should Quit Facebook and tutorials helping you find and set various privacy settings within the Facebook menus. has taken up the privacy invasion banner vs. Facebook.

What’s your position? Express yourself.

Thanks for sharing your opinion.

Useful Links: CSS3 dropdown, Facebook metrics, Manage Twitter

CSS3 Dropdown Menu from Web Designer Wall is a beautiful menu and a well written and illustrated tutorial. Great piece of work.

How are you using metrics, benchmarks, and experiments to improve your Facebook presence? is posted on Facebook by Beth Kanter. ) She’s focused on nonprofits, but mentions some tools that would work on the metrics for any Facebook fan page.

Manage Twitter appManage Twitter is a new app that examines the people you follow on Twitter to see who’s active, who’s relevant to you, who doesn’t follow you back. All in the name of helping you pare down the list of who you’re following by finding the right people to unfollow.

It gives you a list of all the people who aren’t following you back. You can hover over each Twitter account and see how active they are and how long they’ve been tweeting. Leave the checkbox selected next to the account name to delete all the folks you no longer want to follow. I found a lot of people I follow, such as the still Twitter-clueless ABC Public Libraries, that I want to follow, even though they don’t follow me. But I did eliminate some people who were no longer relevant.

Useful links: Hide that app, SXSWi, ChatRoulette

Sandia Mountains

Since I stopped posting the monthly summaries of what I have published at eHow, I’ve stopped showing you my occasional photo. Here’s a photo, apropos of nothing, that shows the mystical Sandia Mountains on a cloudy February morning.

How to Hide Farmville (and such) on Facebook. OMG, this is the best thing I’ve learned in ages!

sxsw interactiveOnly a couple of weeks until South by Southwest Interactive. I’ll be there. I don’t think I’ll live blog as much as I have in the past, but I’ll be taking lots of photos. I didn’t take near enough pictures last year. I intend to make up for it this year. If you see me there, say hello. I’m looking forward to seeing friends, the keynotes, a New Riders author gathering, and I have a whole list of panels I want to see. How many times have I been to this event? Ten, Twelve, Fourteen? I’ve lost count. All those wild nights at SXSWi must be the reason my hair turned gray.

Here’s something new for educators (and parents) to think about: ChatRoulette. apophenia has a description of what it is and her early response to it.

Useful links: beautiful HTML, unfriend, e-expectations, Facebook gods

What beautiful HTML looks like from CSS Tricks is a PNG image. It’s a little hard to read at browser size, but I can imagine it at poster size on a classroom wall, where it would be very useful and instructive.

Oxford Word of the Year is “unfriend.”

“It has both currency and potential longevity,” notes Christine Lindberg, Senior Lexicographer for Oxford’s US dictionary program. “In the online social networking context, its meaning is understood, so its adoption as a modern verb form makes this an interesting choice for Word of the Year. Most “un-” prefixed words are adjectives (unacceptable, unpleasant), and there are certainly some familiar “un-” verbs (uncap, unpack), but “unfriend” is different from the norm. It assumes a verb sense of “friend” that is really not used (at least not since maybe the 17th century!). Unfriend has real lex-appeal.”

Other technology related words that Oxford considered this year include hashtag, intexticated, netbook, paywall, and sexting.

Scrolling Toward Enrollment: Web Site Content and the E-Expectations of College-Bound Seniors (pdf) uncovers the online expectations and behavior of college-bound seniors.

The Facebook Gods is a romp. You need a little Facebook humor today, don’t you?