Let me say upfront that I have a serious love-hate relationship with Facebook. I know, I know, it’s pathological to spend the energy hating a website.
It’s not just the website, it’s the entire philosophy and operation of the site that annoys, terrifies, worries, bothers me.
On The Love Side
On the positive side, I’m a member of a group that helps fellow islanders – giving away surplus stuff and asking for resources or help. Community notices – the ferry is running late, this group or that group is meeting tonight – are posted. It’s a neighborhood thing and it’s good.
But Then I Have My Author Pages
And that’s another story. Over 5000 people have “liked” the garden-author page but on an average post, the information is only shown to 300-500 people.
If I want more, I have to pay Facebook to distribute it wider.
I have to pay Facebook to show my free content to readers.
So Why Not Answer Questions There?
Why would I?
Think about it for a moment. I can spend hours answering questions and Facebook doesn’t reinforce me for that in any way. I still have to pay Facebook to get the answers in front of readers.
Their stock answer is I’m creating a relationship with readers.
- I do the work, Facebook’s users get their answers.
- Facebook gets to run ads against my answers…
- I get a bunch of “likes”.
(The last time I checked none of our local stores exchanged “likes” for anything I’d want.)
Note to readers. If you can’t tell what a website is selling, it’s you. In the case of Facebook, you are clearly the product it’s selling to advertisers.
Facebook Is A Corporation
As such, it has the soul of a corporation. In other words, the focus of the business is selling advertising and we’re the products it sells.
And both Facebook and my readers want me to be more of a product than I already am to fit into that model.
As you might imagine, I continue to resist both the thought and the practice. All future models of reader-interaction have me doing this on my websites and not on Facebook.
Do I Answer Questions On My Websites?
(Edited Jan 17/19)
I do on DougGreensGarden. But it’s hit and miss. If a reader asks for clarification on a post, I tend to answer. If readers don’t read the post or do a search but post questions on any post, I tend to delete.
Yeah, I know. It sounds rather unfriendly. But the honest truth is garden websites can take a great deal of time and effort and don’t make much money (less than $3/1000 visitors with advertising and you can do the math to see how much time it takes to write an answer and how many visitors it takes to pay for that time.)
So I enjoy helping people but there’s a limit to how much time and energy I can devote to that now I’m retired from full-time garden writing and doing this as a hobby.
There is no formal method of Q&A anymore as of Nov 30/18 when I took the next step in my retirement
And that, my friends, is what I currently think of social media. It makes a great advertising medium for me as a writer, but not much more.
Tell me what you think in the comments below.