The downsides of leaving Facebook

As I mentioned on Friday, I am taking a break from Facebook. I did a little bit of this in mid 2015, and one of the hard lessons learned was how pervasive Facebook is across the web for the SSO (single sign on) convenience. Sigh.

At that time, I was astounded at how many places that Facebook had wormed their way into for validation and authentication. My Strava, Spotify, and others were all tied to my identity on Facebook.

Fortunately, at that time I bit the bullet and did much of the extrication from reliance on the Facebook identity and authentication, so this break isn't quite as bad.

Then this morning, I sat down to do some light (or heavy blogging), and fired up the Pandora app on my iphone to listen to some soothing classical.

You guessed it, the app, even though I am signed in by email/password, was insistent that I "fix" my facebook connection. Finally, after the third try, it realized that indeed I do not have a valid facebook account right now.

Jesus christ monkeyballs, that was a raft of stupidity.

I am sure that as time goes on, I will find more shenanigans to work through.

One thing is sure though, this pervasiveness is leaning me towards fully deleting my Facebook profile.

Walking Away – A Facebook Group was taking over my life

There is a closed community that I participate in on Facebook that I have been a member of for about 7 months. I was invited to join, and I thought I had found a den of like minded people to share our common goals. It was an amazing and safe place to hang out. Really cool people, sharing really cool things, and very little judgmental attitudes were in the air.

Yes, there were some diversions, and some conflict, heck it is impossible that with > 3,000 members there had to be some differences in opinion.

Yet as the group grew it changed. At about 6,000 members, there was a notable shift in the civility. Some genuine nastiness was creeping in. (for the record, occasionally a true dissenter would get past the selection process, but they usually outed themselves quickly and disappeared)

Now that the membership is well above 9,000, the group has become somewhat toxic. The moderators had to be ever vigilant for banned material being posted. The selfie threads turning into misogyny, and rape references, and a level of nastiness that really appalled me.

All through this process I loved the group. There was an evolving core group of great people, many who have become friends on my profile. We would share amusing pictures, memes and experiences. It was fun. They are great people. I found that about 90% of the time I spent on FB was in that group, and it felt like home.

Almost 100% of my posts and shares were in this group. I am sure my real friends wondered where I had disappeared to.

However, the toxicity of the group (I will admit that the admins were doing an admirable job to try to control the chaos) has made me stop following it, and stop receiving notifications from the group. I just decided to go cold turkey. The straw that broke the camel’s back was a fun meme I posted mocking Justin Bieber generated a shitstorm of hate. If you can’t mock Bieber, then it isn’t worth staying.

Something surprising happened. My news feed became relevant again. I started interacting with my friends, and I feel less like a slave to continue to post to that group.

I am enjoying Facebook more than I had for a while. It is a good thing.

I may not ever go back to that group.

Facebook “Promote” post – Don’t waste your money

The dog who is inspiring the "Jackie's Fund"
The dog who is inspiring the “Jackie’s Fund”

I manage a couple of facebook pages, one for my employer, and one for a non-profit that I work with (Southern Arizona Greyhound Adoption).

I am constantly barraged by Facebook to “promote” a post to extend its reach, and get more responses. We recently took in a hound who had an injury on the racetrack, and we are doing some fundraising to cover the not insignificant vet costs.

Our marketing team wanted to try to promote this post to see what the result would be.

So, I signed up for it, gave them my Paypal information, and put a $15 limit.  They said that the post would reach between 3,000 and 4,000 people.

4,022 people saw this post over the next 24 hours on their wall. Of this 87 people clicked on the post, or 2.1%. 7 people “liked” our page. Our website had 30 extra visitors that day (almost indetectable in the long trend), and not one additional donation.

I posted it on my timeline, with a plea for my friends to cough up a buck or tow if they could afford it. That generated the ONLY donation that we have received that wasn’t in our existing network.

My conclusion is:

  • Facebook promotions are worthless. They game the propagation to try to encourage you to pay money to promote, but when you do, you get no results.
  • You are better off using your own network, and encouraging them to share than to use the facebook tools.
  • Facebook is a lousy vehicle for promotion. You may need to have a presence, but it just doesn’t translate into action from their billion + users.

Oh, and if you want to help us out, and do something for the awesome greyhounds, head over to this link and click the “donate” button.

Oops, I did it again – The Facebook game

Lately I have seen people in my friends list tell me to change some setting to prevent their life events leaking into the facebook social graph. Sigh.

It seems like every few months, there is some new way that Facebook abuses your personal information, making it harder for you to control who sees what that you post.

First, for those who expect me to change some setting to help you, or you are going to have to unfriend me, you better just unfriend me now, because I am not going to continually mess with settings in facebook.

Next, if you post anything to Facebook that you don’t want used to target you for ads, spam your inbox, or to determine how you behave to improve targeting, then you are an idiot. Facebook has consistently shit on your efforts to contain the information you share via Facebook. They are always ignoring their own settings for privacy, and who sees what. That isn’t ever going to change. Now that they are public, Facebook is trying to monetize their service. But the only real value that they offer is what you share, and what they can glean from that.

So, if you don’t want your “life events” (whatever the f*ck they are) spreading to the social graph, DON’T post them. But don’t expect your connections and friends to alter their settings to suit your paranoia. In fact, I have an even better piece of advice. Close and delete your facebook account (you can do it here). Because if you can’t grasp the concept of not sharing anything you aren’t happy for the whole friggin’ world to see, then you have no business messing around with Social Media (of any sort).

For the record.  I don’t post anything super personal, and make a point of being as sarcastic of an asshole as I can be. And I am not going to jump through hoops to help you in your quest to control what you share with Facebook.

Had to get that off my chest.