You may have noticed that I might have unfriended you on Facebook. I was unfriending a lot of people, because I was trying to create more privacy for my personal account. Do you know that it takes FOREVER to unfriend over 1,000 people? And I was looking to unfriend more than 1,000. Not that I don’t want to be friends with them, it’s just that I wanted my wall to be a small intimate group that I could chat with, like sitting in my living room together. Well, my living room would never hold over 1,000 people. I tried utilizing the lists, but there was always someone I’d forget to get on a list and then my privacy wasn’t as tight as I wanted it to be.
There’s just some things you can say to one audience that you shouldn’t say in another. I’ve been in plenty of ‘trouble’ with both political party followers, church folk, family, and friends over expressing my opinions. I also got tired of uneducated, impatient, controlling narcissistic so called friends harassing me for having a different opinion on a matter. It got to the point where I was stalked on Facebook. These people would show up in mutual friends’ walls and public pages where I frequented. Oh I get all kinds of hateful comments. Mean spirited words of death for not believing EXACTLY like them. It got even worse when their meanness poured out into the ‘in real life’ community at the local market and even at my doorstep. Blocking them wasn’t good enough, because some of them opened new accounts and would eventually pop back up again.
I’ve even had to change blog URLs, design elements, and take a blog break for over 3 months to lose them. I shouldn’t have to deal with all this awfulness.
I’ve tolerated Facebook’s lack of privacy settings for far too long. I’ve tried to be understanding about an ongoing work of building an online community, especially since I work with Pix-O-Sphere. However, I just can’t keep up with the ongoing changes of Facebook’s settings that make me have to re-do things like adding my favorite pages to an Interest List, after I spent HOURS putting individual people in LISTS and organizing my ‘page likes’ just the way I liked them. So time consuming!
Then after all that hard work of generating likes to my own pages, they cut our throats by halting our updates from showing in the news feeds of our readers who WANTED the updates to begin with. Unless, of course, you PAY Facebook to send your updates back into the news feed (bites tongue from saying a profane word about Facebook).
What makes Facebook think they can control MY interests? Just because I don’t comment or hit the like button on someone’s status doesn’t mean I no longer want to KNOW what they’re doing. Sometimes it’s just better if I don’t comment at the time. Hey, it might be controversial stuff and I might not want my family members to know how I feel about the Republican National Convention and I might not want my church friends to see me comment on how I feel about Billy Graham’s recent decisions.
So just because I don’t ‘like’ a comment, comment on a status, or share a photo with my friends, doesn’t mean I’m not interested in SEEING the information.
Although I kept my pages active, for now, I’m not entirely opposed to closing them down. Oh you might be wondering how I deleted my account while keeping my pages open. So here’s a side note before I continue this rant. Open a new account>go like those pages and befriend your original account (be sure you accept the friend request too)> make the new account name an admin. Now your pages won’t delete.
As I was saying, I’m not opposed to closing them down. I figured out an affordable way to get my page updates back in my fans’ news feeds, but there’s no guarantee since it all depends on them choosing to interact with the page by liking, commenting, and sharing.
Now here’s where the rubber meets the road. Facebook wants to KEEP you there, because THEY get paid advertising dollars for YOUR activity on their site. Now think about how much you interact over there to keep your pages going and how that may have taken away from your blog’s comment section. Every time they update their system it looks more and more like a blog. They even let you customize the page to resemble your blog and readers tend to become creatures of habit and it becomes difficult to bring them back to the blog to comment. So they comment over there instead.
While people give us all kinds of neat tips and tricks about using Facebook, how is it really benefiting your blog? I’m not saying you should delete your pages, that’s your decision. So we ask ourselves the question, “Is Facebook serving ME and my efforts to build my blog community?” It’s beginning to feel like a government all it’s own and I find my freedom being scaled back immensely. Imagine if you choose to drive a certain way home so you can see a friend’s house, hoping to see them and give a little wave. Well, what if you get stuck in traffic a few times and they go out to dinner during the times you drive by. Next, the government hides their house from your view, because they think you aren’t interacting enough to merit you seeing their house anymore. That government thinks you’re no longer interested. What makes them think you want them to do your thinking for you? The fact that I’m STILL driving the same road to SEE their house is my interest!
Last night I went to bed remembering the good ol days of blogging, before Twitter and Facebook were created.
How did I ever come to find a blog? The first blog I ever encountered was from someone on a message board on iVillage.com. Then I scrolled down that woman’s side bar and found a tiny badge.. a blog directory! Many blog directories have closed down, fizzled out, and not many new ones have been created. I’ve had a hard time finding ones that I signed up for before. Do you remember the community rings that we all signed up for and put on our blogs? You could click “Next blog” and you’d be taken to another blog in the community. I don’t see those very much anymore either.
I remember the first person who ever commented on my first blog. It was Amy from Milk and Cookies. She’s one of the co-founders of Heart of the Matter. She shared a link to one of my posts about my personal story and I got a FLOOD of comments from people she knew. They were warmly welcoming me to the blogosphere. Then there’s the good ol email option to send your link to your friends and personally invite them to check it out.
You might have even made bloggy cards, like a business card, that you pinned to the cork boards in coffee shops and handed out at the park when your kids were playing.
- Where did all that go?
- What happened to our communities?
I’ll be getting back to the basics in the blog community. I want to comment on blogs more and interact with people within the blog communities of my friends. I do hope you’ll have a coffee with me, break bread with me, and converse about life.
I don’t want Facebook to be my online living room, I want that to be right here on my blog. <<you can join me for conversation via that link
Want to migrate your Facebook community back to your blog where it belongs? Check out how you can do that through The Blog Frog. It’s free!
Here are some resources to explain what Facebook is doing that affects what you see in your news feed and how it affects your page’s influence:
- EdgeRank.net Written by Jeff, from PageLever, a company that marketers use to get detailed Facebook Insights on their fan page.
- How Can Pages Respond to Facebook’s EdgeRank changes? by Justin Lafferty of the UNofficial Facebook blog AllFacebook.
- Facebook Accused of Changing a Key Algorithm to Hurt Advertisers an editorial by Jim Edwards at Business Insider.