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 500-700 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?
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.