Don Power

How to use Facebook to Conduct a Blogger Interview

by Don Power on January 18, 2010

in How To

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Last week, I used Facebook to conduct an interview with Ben Lumley from 6 Aliens.

I chose Facebook to conduct the interview because of its live chat feature. And I chose a live chat format over sending prefab questions via Email because live chat gives you the spontaneity factor – both for the interviewer and the interviewee when answering questions. This makes for a much more interesting, authentic and interactive interview.

Facebook Live Chat Feature

Facebook Live Chat Feature

Now, you may be thinking – why didn’t you just call the guy or use Skype? Well, because I wanted to use a transcript of the conversation to create a blog post interview, a text based option was best.

So, if you’re going to do an interview where you would like to use the transcript of your conversation, here’s how to use Facebook to conduct the interview:

Step 1 – Arrange a Time to Connect on Facebook

You can use whatever method you like to arrange a mutually agreeable time for your interview. Interestingly enough, I used Twitter to schedule a time for me and Ben to meet up for a chat on Facebook (Twitter is useless for threaded conversations but good to get in touch with someone if you use the @reply or Direct Message options).

Step 2 – Initiate live chat

Once you and your interviewee are on Facebook at the same time, Facebook’s default option is to list you as online in the live chat area. Click your friend’s name on the list of folks who are online and BAM – you’re live chatting.

Step 3 – Select the text/transcript

Doubleclick any text to begin the selection

Doubleclick any text to begin the selection

Once you have concluded your interview, you can select the text in the chat window by positioning your cursor where you want to begin copying and double clicking your mouse. Next, scroll down to the end of the transcript. Press your shift key and then give one left click of your mouse. You should have the entire conversation now selected in blue.

Step 4 – Copy and Paste the Transcript in a text editor

With your transcript text still selected from Step 3, right click and choose copy. Open your favorite text editor and choose – Paste – BUT BE SURE TO CHOOSE unformatted TEXT – otherwise your pasted transcript may be pasted in table form. Every text editor is different but the screenshot below is how to paste unformatted text in WORD.

Pasting unformatted text in WORD

Pasting unformatted text in WORD

Step 5 – Edit your text and create your Blog Post

So, once you have your text in an editor, it is very easy to edit it however you wish. You can move quotes around if a standard timeline doesn’t work with your post. Or you can delete sections and highlight buzzworthy quotes , etc. NOTE: be sure to get permission from your interviewee to use direct quotes and direct copies of the transcript.

Once you’re happy with your edited transcript, you can copy and paste it into your Blog’s post editor for further HTML editing, if necessary.

So, that’s How to Use Facebook to Conduct a Blogger Interview…Any questions?

What method do you use?

VOTE for this article at blogengage.com

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{ 65 comments }

ibiza weekends June 2, 2011 at 10:32 pm

i went to high school and college in United States. I need Equivalent Certificate from AIU for that I have to have my transcript evaluated.So, please tell me how long will it take. I am planning to apply for Pilot license conversion with DGCA.

chat May 23, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Very nice facebook is great social network

johnnile May 6, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Talking about interview I usually use skype. But you opened up my find to use facebook chat. A million thanks for sharing this.

Christine Foster Photography April 30, 2011 at 8:08 am

That is an awesome and unique method of conducting an interview. Wonder if someone has written a list post about all the different ways you could interview someone in the blogosphere. Thank you for the information.

Per H. Jørgensen March 11, 2011 at 2:48 am

From chat to interview – neat idea!

Jorgen February 14, 2011 at 7:27 am

What a neat idea, Don – thumbs up! :-)

Classic Tuxedo January 17, 2011 at 8:35 pm

I figured I’d try the chat to see how it would go. We never ran out of characters in Ben’s replies, no hiccups, all went very smoothly. I need a better internet connection for this, because sometimes I got some problems with my internet connection.

Classic Tuxedo December 6, 2010 at 5:38 pm

I was a bit worried about it to be honest but in the end it worked out really well. But was not quite sure how I would go about it. This was really helpful.

video production Jacksonville August 9, 2010 at 7:54 am

This is a good idea, doing a real time chat is smart to test the grammar, quick thinking an writing skills of a potential candidate.

diocelin@SEO München July 8, 2010 at 7:17 am

Next time I’ll be seeing job interviews on facebook LOL…

Joy@Medical Uniforms June 24, 2010 at 1:47 am

This is cool. Thank you for sharing this unique article. Now I got some idea that I can also use facebook to conduct interview. should I need a better internet conection for this??? because sometimes I got some problems with my internet conection.

Chris January 25, 2010 at 11:11 am

Hey, thanks so much for the instructional blog! I have been thinking about maybe doing some interviews via facebook, but was not quite sure how I would go about it. This was really helpful, I am gonna try it out! Thanks. :)
.-= Chris´s last blog ..Bridgestone Motorcycle Tires =-.

JR @ Internet Marketing January 22, 2010 at 11:28 am

Thanks Don, I did not that Facebook has that feature, definitely useful.
.-= JR @ Internet Marketing´s last blog ..List of 128 Comment Luv Blogs by Niche =-.

Don Power February 2, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Cool!

I’m glad I could introduce you to something new!

Cheers!

- Don
.-= Don Power´s last blog ..The Secret to a Successful Blog? Write and Promote. Repeat. [Guest Post] =-.

Patty Mooney January 21, 2010 at 4:06 pm

What a great idea. Thanks, Don!
.-= Patty Mooney´s last blog ..Why I Am Proud of Our Mayor – by Patty Mooney =-.

Don Power February 3, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Hey Patty!

Thanks for your comment!

I checked out your blog and got a charge out of your post Lessons from the 8th grade will last forever. I tried to leave a comment but Blogger kind of makes that really difficult unfortunately…

Are you on Twitter? I’m @donpower

Also – you might like this post :
Everything you need to know about Twitter you’ve already learned in highschool

Cheers!

- Don

Patty Mooney February 3, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Hi Don,
I enjoyed the article you suggested, and a few more, including the one about David Risley. Gave me a good chuckle. I like your style, Don! Of course, I felt myself plummetting down the wormhole of your blogs and blogs connected to your blogs, and twitter feeds off those blogs and then Facebook fan pages and blogs on Facebook connected to Twitter feeds and…. well, I think you see where I’m going. (or do you?) ha ha As Arnold said in “The Terminator,” “I’ll be baaaack.”
.-= Patty Mooney´s last blog ..My Summer of Poetry =-.

Don Power February 6, 2010 at 6:01 pm

Hey Patty!

I hear ya! Some much great information out there – should be 48 hours in a day so we can view just a fraction of it!

Thanks for spending some of your precious time here with me and the community of folks a lot smarter than me.

Cheers!

- Don

Lee January 21, 2010 at 2:28 pm

thank you for sharing that. I have lately wondered about how to go about this with real time questions and results w/o phoning. I haven’t used my FB chat in a while but I can see where this is the perfect fit for an interview. As for yahoomess…yeh I said mess! and some of the others mentioned, I think for ME facebook would be ideal. Thanks for reminding us of such a simple way to Git-R-Done! or Maybe I’m just a forgetful fool….. and …oh what was I going to say….
See what I mean..
Seriously thanks

Lee January 25, 2010 at 11:31 am

I just completed an interview from FB and it worked great. Turned out great Don thanks again
.-= Lee´s last blog ..What Men Want for Valentines Day =-.

Ben January 25, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Glad you had some success with this Lee
.-= Ben´s last blog ..Free ebook! Law of Attraction for Conscious People by Henri Junttila =-.

Don Power February 2, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Well done Lee! Glad to hear it!

Do you have a link to the interview? Feel free to add a hyperlink with your anchor text in a comment (or you can use commntluv, of course!).

Thanks!

- Don
.-= Don Power´s last blog ..David Risley Disappoints =-.

Justin Fiores January 20, 2010 at 4:11 pm

I’ve used MSN before, but I’ve never thought about using Facebook to conduct interviews. It seems like it might work well – thanks for the tip!

Don Power January 20, 2010 at 11:32 pm

Cheers Justin!

Glad you got something from it!

- Don

Don Power January 20, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Thanks Krish!

Hey I liked your latest post – Tools to Track your Social Network, Brand or Product

Thanks for your comment!

- Don

Jimi Jones January 20, 2010 at 7:13 am

Great idea, Don!
As much as some of chat, why not just make an interview out of it? :-)
Pretty cool stuff!
.-= Jimi Jones´s last blog ..Handy Google Alerts Tips =-.

Don Power January 20, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Thanks Jimi! That’s exactly what I was going for in this post. Since you’re chatting anyway, let’s capture it next time and make a blog post out of it.

In fact, I just discovered a guest poster for TheInfoPreneur – Jared Kessler.

He used recorded voice mail messages over the course of 2 years to publish a book! Interesting use of “found content”.

Thanks for your comment!

- Don

Ching Ya January 20, 2010 at 7:06 am

I only heard about using Twitter for interview, guess I’m really outdated in this one. :-) Simple yet innovative ideas, impressed! I guess it gives us all more options and can be a good way to make the user feel comfortable since it’s the usual place he/she used to hang out online. Thank you Don, I’ll be sure to have this shared on fan page too if you don’t mind. :-)

@wchingya
Social/Blogging Tracker
.-= Ching Ya´s last blog ..How Blog Review Can Help to Improve Blog Traffic =-.

Don Power January 20, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Hey Ching ya – yes the Facebook option in this case was all about using tools I knew that both Ben and I were already familiar with.

Of course, having a great, intelligent interview subject like Ben made it all the easier too!

Thanks for your comment!

- Don

Mick Morris January 20, 2010 at 4:48 am

I would never have considered a) doing an interview this way or b) thought of copy the transcript of a conversation to use for other purposes like my blog… so thanks for the great tip
.-= Mick Morris´s last blog ..Win part of your ultimate reading list. =-.

Don Power January 20, 2010 at 1:17 pm

Thanks Mick!

Just took a boo at your blog and left a recommendation for my top pick for an informed person’s reading list.!

Cheers!

- Don

Heather January 20, 2010 at 1:25 am

Never thought of using Facebook chat for that… I think if it was up to me I’d rather talk through Skype or MSN personally, just because it gives you a larger window for viewing longer responses.

The way I’d work it would be to email them a general overview of the questions, arrange a time to chat, then sit with the questions myself and just go through them (taking tangents as needed). Best of both worlds; it leaves both parties prepared for the interview, while also bringing that ‘live’ feeling to it. :)

Ben January 20, 2010 at 1:27 am

Hey Heather

You can pop out the chat in to a seperate window so its got more of an MSN or Skype feel. That’s how I had the chat running during the interview.
.-= Ben´s last blog ..Taking the red pill – lessons for life from the Matrix =-.

Heather January 20, 2010 at 1:48 am

Ah ok, for some reason I keep forgetting you can do that with Facebook (and Gmail incedentally). Thanks for the reminder :)
.-= Heather´s last blog ..End Of Semester Scramble: Are You A Victim? =-.

Don Power January 20, 2010 at 1:04 pm

See my reply to Steve above. Like or not – instant trumps overprep in this new world we live in!

Cheers!

- Don

Steve Youngs January 20, 2010 at 12:55 am

Hey Don!

Sure IM is a nifty way to conduct an interview. Easy for the interviewer because you are prepared, but horrible for the interviewee. If I was the interviewee, I’d want to see a list of the questions well before the scheduled interview time. If I were the interviewer I’d want to make sure the person I was interviewing had a copy of my questions.

Call me old-fashioned if you like, but if you ask me, email is an infinitely better tool for this job.

Kind regards,
Steve.
.-= Steve Youngs´s last blog ..The Life & Times Of A Financial Wizard =-.

Ben January 20, 2010 at 1:10 am

Hey Steve,

I think Wave could make a good interview platform.

To be honest I didn’t mind at all with not know what Don was going to ask. There weren’t any questions that came as a massive surprise (well maybe the Roswell one!) If was more like an informal chat than an interview
.-= Ben´s last blog ..Taking the red pill – lessons for life from the Matrix =-.

Steve Youngs January 20, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Ben! Dude! Don’t let the blinking lights and perdy colours bury your common sense. Wave would be god-awful as an interviewing platform. It’s god-awful as an IM, but an interview situation would be horrendous.

Suppose you are interviewing me and you ask me something that I believe would make me look bad no matter how I answer (even if my answer is to refuse to answer)… Steve’s solution to this problem: I change your question. :-) (for those that don’t know, in a Wave you can edit anything, even what someone else has written. You can even edit what someone else is writing as they are writing it)

On the other hand, if you treated the Wave interview like an email exchange. It would probably work fairly well. You’d create the wave with yourself as the only member. Add all of your questions. And then you add me to the wave. I can then replay your edits if I wanted to have a chuckle at all your typo’s :-P and then at my leisure I can give you the answers interspersed between all the questions.

So maybe it could work. But “instant interviewing” is a crock. If you want a good quality interview you have to prepare. And you have to let your subject prepare too. Unless of course you’re into peddling crap and sensationalism.

Now how do I get off this damn horse? Seems to be a loooooong way to the ground. :-)

All the best,
Steve

Ben January 21, 2010 at 12:02 am

I think the idea of the preped interview is over to be honest man. It doesn’t fit with the instant idea of the current web.

We didn’t prep at all for this (did it show?) it was just a chat that we decided would be used (in part) as Don’s interview.

Anyway I must go back to my trailer – I’m shooting a hair product commercial later

Don Power January 21, 2010 at 12:26 am

LOL, Ben! Hair commercial…. LOL!

Don Power January 20, 2010 at 1:03 pm

OK – you’re old fashioned ;)

Actually I started of the interview with Ben (off the record) by apologizing for not having some questions prepared for him in advance…

But I guess we need to get hip to the new reality:

The interview is now the instaview.

Cheers mate! Thanks for your comment!

- Don

Ben January 19, 2010 at 11:36 pm

Yeah it is surprising how man people don’t realise the chat feature is in Facebook. I prefer to have it as a pop out rather than in my main window as it’s easy to work while chatting to people at work
.-= Ben´s last blog ..Taking the red pill – lessons for life from the Matrix =-.

Jared P Little January 19, 2010 at 7:57 pm

Wow, I really like this what a great method for doing a interview. I use chat a lot at work and save transcripts cause it is a great way to document questions and answers.

I think turn them in to FAQ for some of the systems I run. Chat can be a powerful tool if used correctly I going to have to give this a try. Thanks!
.-= Jared P Little´s last blog ..David Risley Pre Launch Freebie’s =-.

Ben January 19, 2010 at 11:38 pm

Hey Jared

Nice use of chat for FAQs at work.

I think more and more people will start utilising chat for lots of different things.
.-= Ben´s last blog ..Taking the red pill – lessons for life from the Matrix =-.

Ralph January 19, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Wow. I had no idea that Facebook can do this. Timely too since I am getting ready to do my first interview. Thanks
.-= Ralph´s last blog ..Who am I? =-.

Don Power February 2, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Hey Ralph!

Sorry it has taken me so long to reply.

Feel free to come back and add a comment with a hyperlink to your interview. Include whatever anchor text you like.

Cheers and thanks!

- Don
.-= Don Power´s last blog ..Keep X in Christmas =-.

Krish - ptcearner55.blogspot.com January 19, 2010 at 6:42 pm

This is one of the good features in facebook.Most of them r not using it bcoz they aren’t completely aware of hw to do that.Hope this is one of the best tutorials exploring a good feature of face book..
.-= Krish – ptcearner55.blogspot.com´s last blog ..Tools to Track Your Social Network /Brand / Product/ Website Popularity =-.

Tycoon Blogger January 19, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Great idea Don and I am sure many people will follow. This definitely adds some spice to the typical blogger interviews.
.-= Tycoon Blogger ´s last blog ..Driving Traffic to your blog by using your Google Analytics =-.

Ben January 19, 2010 at 11:35 pm

I think Facebook is a suitable tool to use for this kind of thing. Seems to make sense to me to use something that anyone with a facebook account has and that you don’t need to download
.-= Ben´s last blog ..Taking the red pill – lessons for life from the Matrix =-.

Don Power January 20, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Thanks Tycoon. I figured I’d sprinkle a few fun things throughout. But Ben was such a pro – the answers were in real time – I hard ly had tro rewite them at all ;) !

- Don

Don Power February 2, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Thanks Tycoon!

For good or for bad, I’m always looking for new ways of doing things – including a non traditional interview post.

Really glad you liked it!

Cheers!

- Don
.-= Don Power´s last blog ..Where were you on Y2K? =-.

TheInfoPreneur January 19, 2010 at 10:08 am

Very good way of doing it, suppose you could also use MSN hey?
.-= TheInfoPreneur´s last blog ..In 18 Days I have ….. =-.

Ben January 19, 2010 at 10:11 am

Yeah I suppose any IM would work, MSN, Skype or Google Chat. They all do the same thing.

We just wanted to be hip and happening and use Facebook James! lol
.-= Ben´s last blog ..Taking the red pill – lessons for life from the Matrix =-.

Eleanor Edwards January 19, 2010 at 9:57 am

Hi,
I’ve just read your interview and it was great. Whilst I understand the benefits of Skype, I personally think that seeing it in Facebook gave it that fun, quirky edge. Great idea.

And of course, much cheaper than regular land-line calls. Yes, I know Skype to Skype is free but I hate head sets. Give me hat hair ;)
.-= Eleanor Edwards´s last blog ..How To Write A Title That Really Clicks =-.

Ben January 19, 2010 at 10:02 am

Hey Eleanor

I’m glad I didn’t have the worry of hat hair during the interview!
.-= Ben´s last blog ..Taking the red pill – lessons for life from the Matrix =-.

Don Power January 19, 2010 at 4:05 am

Hey Anne!

Most times I finf FB to be cluttered and bulging but I figured I’d try the chat to see how it would go. We never ran out of characters in Ben’s replies, no hiccups, all went very smoothly. So way to go on this one, Facebook!

Cheers – thanks for your comment!

- Don

Anne Moss January 19, 2010 at 3:55 am

I find FB chat to be unreliable at times. Messages take time to get delivered and the whole thing hiccups. I would rather use Google chat (via Gmail), MSN or Skype chat. If the person interviewed doesn’t have any of these three, is he really worth interviewing? ;)
.-= Anne Moss´s last blog ..Web News & Views #5 =-.

Ben January 19, 2010 at 4:12 am

Hi Anne

We considered the use of other IM apps to do the interview but we wanted to give it try over Facebook instead.

Facebook chat can be unreliable at times and I was a bit worried about it to be honest but in the end it worked out really well.
.-= Ben´s last blog ..Taking the red pill – lessons for life from the Matrix =-.

Gordie January 18, 2010 at 11:39 pm

This sounds like a cool idea. I would probably use another IM chat program such as Skype or MSN, but your idea is solid. Now, who shall I interview? :)
.-= Gordie´s last blog ..Personal Development Through Song: “You’re The Best”. =-.

Don Power January 19, 2010 at 3:32 am

Yeah – I wrote this post because it seems like EVERYONE has a Facebook acocunt so it seemed like a good app to pick.

So how’s it going at http://lifestyledesignforyou.com Gordie?

- Don

Ben January 18, 2010 at 11:04 pm

Hey Ben

This being my first ever interview – I’d have to say the using facebook chat was a really novel way to go.

Worked well, no problems and easy to use.

What more do you want?

Don Power January 19, 2010 at 3:31 am

Thanks Ben.

I was actually surprised how eveytrhing went by the numbers. Quality in, Quality out, eh?

Cheers!

- Don

Sarge | BeginnerBlogger.com January 18, 2010 at 10:56 pm

Don that is an awesome and unique method of conducting an interview. Wonder if someone has written a list post about all the different ways you could interview someone in the blogosphere (or anyone for that matter)

For the interviews that are on my blog they have been conducted through interview but would love to try a live chat feature through skype or maybe I will try facebook chat. With skype text chat you have to fiddle around with the text/formatting a bit to get rid of the author/date/time segments.

Nice jeorb Don!
.-= Sarge | BeginnerBlogger.com´s last blog ..Blogging Made Simple =-.

Don Power January 19, 2010 at 3:46 am

Hey Cool Sarge!

Like I mentioned to Gordie, I chose facebook because it seems like EVERYONE has an account (I don’t have a Skype account, for example) and it actually turned out really well.

Funny thing was – right at the end of the interview with Ben, I picked up my coffee for a swig and I accidentally hit the hibernate button! I thouight everything was lost. Fortunately, it was not!

Cheers mate!

BTW – Jeorb is HILARIOUS!

- Don

Ben January 19, 2010 at 3:48 am

Yeah the coffee moment was quiet funny
.-= Ben´s last blog ..Taking the red pill – lessons for life from the Matrix =-.

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