Facebook Groups (Part One)

If you are looking for a community of like minded people, advice, a place to sell things, a place to buy things, or so much more – facebook groups has the place for you!

Some of my favorite groups include:
1. A local coupon group
2. A free speech group ( secret group)
3. A boutique sellers advice group
4. A genealogy group
5. A group for parents of kid’s with autism
6. A blogging group
7. A free books group

And there are SO many more!

There are three types of groups: Open, Closed, and Secret. Open can be found and joined by anyone – and anything you post in them is open for anyone to see. Closed can be found and joined by anyone, but anything you post can only be seen by the members. Secret can’t be found and are only able to be joined by invite by a current member. Anything posted in a secret group stays in the group unless shared by a member of the group.

Anyone can create their own group too. While your group is small you can change the type of group around (and the name), but once your group gets bigger you are limited. You can only make the group more restrictive.

When joining a group, most groups require you to ‘request’ to join and be approved by the admin. The admins try to cut down on spam this way within the groups. Members can also be blocked and banned if rules are broken to ‘protect’ the group.

Groups though allow members to have a more personal conversation. Some groups are even made up of members that already know each other (my son’s school has a group of parents for the PTA). Questions can be posted in the groups and answers come up quickly.

There are groups for just about anything you can imagine, everything from homeschooling to helping a family that lost everything in a fire.

On the side of the screen – you get a list of other groups that migroup2ght be of interest to you.  They usually are in the same interest area as the group you are currently looking at.  I was in a homeschool group at the time of taking the screenshot (The Homeschool for misfits) and got these suggestions….  If you then want to join a group you can click the group name to find out more or just click join to request to be approved for the group.  None of these are secret groups since secret groups require an invite from a current member.

I belong to several groups, but this isn’t one of them.  I can request to join if I would like to pargroup1participate.   I do belong to several groups and most don’t allow screen shots from the groups so that the information is kept confidential.


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Lily – Drone Camera (Sports videos?)

The Lily camera is pretty cool looking…  It reminds me of the Go Pro cameras, but it doesn’t require you to wear it on your head or your bike.  Lily flys around watching you and the action and recording everything.  It always points at you (you wear a GPS tracker in your pocket) and Lily will stay within a safe distance to film. Of course someone asked in the FAQs if you can use it to spy on neighbors.

Lily is always pointing at you and less than 100ft from you (pro tip: best shots are in the 10-30ft range). Also, Lily’s motors make noise. So other people will most likely notice Lily and quickly figure out where you are. You are better off climbing up a tree and using binoculars.

I was surprised to read though that Lily does have sound.  Personally I’m not sure I’d pay the price for Lily but if I wanted to record and make action videos this might be the way to go.  Lily is almost like having your own flying camera man with you at all times and you are in the action.  Most of the other cameras allow you to film the action away from you showing what’s going on around you.  I do know a friend that will be interested in this and I’m sure will be one of the first in line.

Watch preview on Youtube

Lily is on presale for $500 until June 15th and will then increase to $999.  Shipping is in February 2016!  Educationally Lily combines video editing for kids with cool robotics to play with.  Anything that gets kids active too can be a good thing!  This camera takes kids outside for a while and gets them moving before pulling them in to view, edit, and share their action. – Still a hefty a price tag, but for video and sports enthusiast I can see this being a must have.  I can also see future sports events, especially school sports events, with dueling Lily cameras flying around in the game recording the action!  Do you think it will come to that? Will parents (or coaches) start recording players during games with cameras that hover in the game?  I can already see it now for my son’s soccer games!

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Rebrickable – What a cool site!

Do you have a huge collection of LEGO sets at home that are no longer together and are just being used to booby trap rooms? I know as I walk through a room I have a chance of stepping on a LEGO and that really hurts. We have tubs and tubs of LEGOs that came from sets that have long since lost their instructions – or at least no one wants to build the sets anymore.

The website rebrickable you can:

Reuse your parts to build other Sets

Save money on buying LEGO by mixing up your current sets to build others. Rebrickable uses powerful algorithms to calculate what other sets/MOCs you can build from your existing sets and loose parts. If you don’t have exactly the right ones, it will show close matches and can perform some fuzzy color matching logic.

In rebrickable you can create an account and enter all the LEGO sets you own… then get a list of creations you can build! So cool both for kids and adults.

Rebrickable will show you which LEGO sets you can build from the sets and parts you already own. You can choose from official LEGO sets or custom made MOCs (My Own Creations) by many different designers. All MOCs include building instructions, some of which are even better than the official LEGO ones!

I’ve always wondered if there is something that can be built with all the sets we have (and we have a LOT of sets).  The site does also let you look through possible creations.

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Facebook – It’s more than you think

If you are on facebook using it for many purposes you probably already know about all the different ways you can use facebook… but if you just have your newsfeed and friends and drop by once in a while you may not realize all the great tools out there for parents. Kids are slowly swapping off of facebook and it is turning into a meeting place for adults. It is also a GREAT resource!

– I’ll post a tutorial to each of these later.

I belong to groups for homeschool, autism, free books, yardsales, tech help, and so much more. I think I now have enough free kindle books that I couldn’t read them all in my lifetime. Each group is a small community of varying sizes that has an administrator and it’s own set of rules.

Pages are also available to find out more information about your favorite brands, people, or even locations. Pages allow you to interact with the owner but not with all the followers.

Events are tied to the calendar and let you interact with everyone attending a particular activity. Public events can be shared and attendees can invite their friends – events can even take place virtually on facebook under the events.

Facebook also lets you play games, share messages (including group messages), and of course your usual newsfeed with friends.

Facebook has become a meetup place that is used for everything from reunions to business. Friends are made and lost on facebook and it’s especially interesting the level of privacy that is assumed by everyone using facebook. For me it’s my go to location if I want to let a lot of my friends know about something quickly. It’s so much easier than trying to call or email they all!

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Meerkat: Stream Live Video on Twitter

Meerkat is an app for android and iphone that lets you stream video live to twitter. (Until May 11th Meerkat Tshirts are even available for purchase on Teespring)…  There are some TOS on their site that also should probably be looked at, but I’m bad about skipping that sort of thing.  Mainly it does let you keep your own content and say things like don’t use content that you don’t have legal access to use – as well as anything illegal.
Meerkat allows you to live stream video from your phone to all of your Twitter followers at once. Press ‘Stream’, and instantly your live video stream shows up in your follower’s Twitter feeds.
Meerkat has their own twitter account which I had to check out. Right now the most interesting live feed was from the solidarity protest in New York. They also are using the hashtag #stream4Nepal and April 29th there was a live feed of someone flying drones?
So really!  It’s alot like snapchat for twitter and with video.  You can schedule your tweet or stream it live immediately.  Once the video is viewed it’s deleted. Personally I’m not a big fan of snapchat… It allows us to have the impression that a picture will be viewed and then poof it’s gone. For pictures, it’s super easy to take a screen shot and save the picture.  A video, I’m sure it won’t be long until it’s saved.  It is a cool idea for viewing live events around the world.  What event though would you feel that it should only be seen once?  The only things I’ve thought of so far (that are legitimate) are paid videos that the viewers pays to watch… What do you think?    

The Rules of Meerkat

The Rules of Meerkat

Everything that happens on meerkat happens on Twitter.

Streams will be pushed to followers in real time via push notifications.

Everything is live, no reruns.

Watchers can restream any stream to their followers in real time.

Scheduled streams will be distributed in the community by subscribers.

Your own streams can be kept locally on your phone.

Everyone can watch on the web.

Be kind.

Meerkat in Itunes

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