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Friday, November 16, 2012 - Page updated at 10:06 a.m.

Social Media

In an effort to reach out to a growing online audience, seattletimes.com, the online home of The Seattle Times, has been expanding its presence on the popular social-networking websites Twitter and Facebook.

We want to make it easier for readers to share our content using some of these and other social media tools to get our content in front of readers wherever they are and on whatever device they're using.

The online sharing tools being introduced on our website will allow readers to easily share content via social media networks. Whether it's through a Delicious page, a tweet or a Facebook posting, we hope to make our content available to our growing online audience.

Seattletimes.com will continue to offer tools that make sharing our content easier for the user. Here's a rundown of the newest tools on our site. We'll continue to update this page as we introduce new features and enhancements to the site:

Directory of Seattle Times staff on Twitter

Facebook "Recent Activity"

The new Facebook Recent Activity Feed on our home page displays seattletimes.com stories that are recommended or shared in Facebook.

How it works

If you are logged into your Facebook account when you visit seattletimes.com, the Facebook Activity Feed will be personalized to show stories that have been shared in Facebook by your friends.
— A thumbnail of your Facebook profile picture will also appear next to the headline you or your friends have shared.
— Your Facebook network of friends, or any Facebook user -- depending on your Facebook Privacy Settings -- will be able to see your profile picture on seattletimes.com, if they are logged into Facebook when they visit seattletimes.com.

Adjusting Facebook privacy settings

If you don't want anyone besides your Facebook friends to see what stories you've shared or recommended, check your Facebook privacy settings and adjust them if needed. To do this, log into your Facebook account, click "Account," and then "Privacy Settings." From the area labeled "Connecting on Facebook," click the "View Settings" link. Scroll to the bottom of the page to "See your likes, activities and other connections." The drop-down menu on the right allows you to control who sees content you've shared. Select "Friends Only" to limit the Activity Feed to just your Facebook friends.

Turning off the Activity Feed

When you are logged out of Facebook, the Activity Feed will show general recommendations from across our site and will not identify you or your Facebook friends. Note that if you have "Keep me logged in" selected on the login screen of Facebook, you are still logged in on Facebook even when you close the Facebook site on your computer.

If you don't use Facebook

If you don't have a Facebook account, the Activity Feed will show recommendations of popular content on seattletimes.com.

Facebook "Recommend" button

The Times has a Facebook feature on our website that enhancse a user's social interaction without having to leave seattletimes.com. Using Facebook's directory of social plugins, seattletimes.com readers can recommend and share articles and see what their friends and other users are "Recommending" without having to visit Facebook's website.

How it works

If you are logged into your Facebook account when you visit seattletimes.com, here is what will happen:

• At the end of a story you will see a "Recommend" button. If you click it, the headline of the story will post to your Facebook News Feed.
• A thumbnail of your Facebook profile picture will also appear next to the "Recommend button." Your Facebook network of friends, or any Facebook user – depending on your Facebook Privacy Settings – will be able to see your profile picture on seattletimes.com, so as long as they are logged into Facebook when they visit seattletimes.com.
• The "Recommend" button will also display your Facebook friends who have "Recommended" the article, depending on what your friends' Privacy Settings are set at.

Here is a FAQ on some key privacy issues you should be aware of with the Facebook "Recommend" button:

Q: Does seattletimes.com have access to my Facebook profile page?

Absolutely not. Seattletimes.com has no access to any data from your Facebook account, nor can we see what stories you're reading or websites you're visiting. Data from Facebook's social-media plugins is collected by Facebook, not seattletimes.com.

Q: Can all visitors to seattletimes.com see my Facebook profile picture?

No. Only your Facebook friends who are logged into their Facebook account will see a thumbnail of your profile photo on a story you have recommended. If users who are logged into Facebook visit seattletimes.com, they could see a random selection of recommendations. Those users have their Facebook privacy settings set to "Public".

Q: I don't want anyone besides my Facebook friends to see what I've recommended on seattletimes.com. Can I change that?

Yes. Doing so requires changing your Facebook privacy settings. When you log into your Facebook account, click "Account" then "Privacy Settings." Scroll to the bottom of the page to "See my interests and other Pages." The drop-down menu on the right allows you to control who sees content you've "Recommended".

"Share" button

The "Share" button, an orange-colored icon located directly above headlines on seattletimes.com, offers a variety of social networks that you can use to share our headlines.

One of the most popular tools seattletimes.com uses to distribute headlines online is Twitter.

Here's how to tweet a headline using the "Share" button:

• Hover over "Share" button and click "Twitter."
• Wait for the "Share" application to connect to your Twitter account. You may need to enter your Twitter username and password in order for the programs to connect with each other.
• Once the "Share" feature has communicated with Twitter, the Twitter field will automatically populate with the story headline and a short URL of the story. You'll have the option of customizing the tweet before tweeting it to your followers.

The "Share" button also allows stories to be shared via a Facebook posting. Here's how to do that:

• Hover over the "Share" icon and click Facebook.
• Wait for the "Share" application to connect to your Facebook account.
• Once the "Share" feature has communicated with Facebook, you'll have the option to add a note to your Facebook posting. To post the item to your News Feed, click the Facebook "Share" button on the bottom of the screen.

The steps for sharing a story on your LinkedIn feed are similar to Twitter and Facebook:

• Hover over the "Share" icon and click LinkedIn.
• Wait for the "Share" application to connect to your LinkedIn account. You'll have to enter your credentials if you're not already logged in to your LinkedIn account.
• Once the "Share" application has communicated with LinkedIn, a field will automatically populate with the story headline. LinkedIn gives you the option of customizing the headline and message to your LinkedIn network.

Have more questions about the Facebook social plugin on seattletimes.com or our other sharing tools? E-mail us.

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