If We Were Having Coffee . . . (Facebook Edition)

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I had a fairly punishing week at work, but got through it. It hasn’t been an entirely bad week, though. My grandson made me proud again. The other day, he let it be known that he can tell when I am fibbing “because of the little smile.” It makes me very happy that this six-year-old boy is that observant. He’s riding in his first Christmas parade today. And I finally figured out how to use Facebook to promote bloggers, I think.

Getty stock image.

Getty stock image.

I’d tell you the whole story of how that came about. I would mention that I am allowing “Everyone” to send me friend requests, but it helps if I know you from the blogs, or if we have mutual friends.

I didn’t have a Facebook account until a year ago. I only set one up because I needed some social media to get the blogs rolling. Diana’s Facebook account is the only real social media we started with, and she uses her Facebook like most other people – to keep up with friends and family, share memes and photos, post and comment on newsy stuff, etc. So I set it up and started friending our mutual friends. Lots of family and people who know me but I don’t really talk to also friended me.

I accepted almost every friend request. I didn’t understand Facebook (and didn’t particularly like it), but I didn’t want to offend anyone. And really. Had to get a few blog readers from somewhere to get things rolling. I eventually set up pages for my blogs and invited people to like them because I knew I was in for a year of everyday posting, and I didn’t want to be that guy who’s just sharing his blog posts all the time.

What I ended up with was a bunch of friends who aren’t all that connected, and they’re all sharing what people share on Facebook.

  • Photos of their kids.
  • Funny memes.
  • What’s in the news, often with an opinionated statement.
  • What they did today.
  • Photos of their pets.

fblikeThat’s fine. I am a believer in people doing what they want with their own social media, but I don’t like or share much of that stuff. Aside from REALLY good memes, what a very close friend did today, or things that get me so stirred up I can’t help myself, I just don’t care about that stuff on Facebook.  I realized at some point that 90 percent of my Facebook friends view my blogs the the same way I view the news articles and photos they are sharing. I don’t take that personally.

But here’s the problem. Since very few of the friends I started with care about blogging, and since many of them also have irreconcilable differences on most social issues from me, that means Facebook has been useless to me up to this point. I have nothing to talk about with those people on Facebook, even though they are all lovely people.

In the meantime, I’ve made Facebook friends with about 15 or so WordPress bloggers that I’ve talked to long enough here and on Twitter to feel like they’re just as much my friends as my offline friends. They all care about blogging, and they don’t all agree with me on the social issues, but they’re the sort of people I can at least have productive conversations with when they do decide to chime in. Some of us have been PMing and chatting in secret groups for months, but not a lot of timeline interaction.

So I joined a couple of blogging groups. Then I flagged three quarters of my Facebook friends as acquaintances, restricted most of them from seeing what I like and share, and unfriended some of them. Now I have four levels of communication for my timeline.

Arrr, Mateys!

Arrr, Mateys!

1. Public (because everyone’s welcome to enjoy my original photos, and that is all the public interaction I’m ever doing on Facebook again).

2. Friends (because now and then I like to post something just to let them all know I am alive).

3. Friends Except Restricted and Acquaintances. These are people I can trust to not be annoyed by my constant blog chatter, to maybe even like a blog post if they see it in their feeds, and to observe proper manners if they choose to comment. It includes bloggers I am Facebook friends with but don’t know very well yet. I share blogs I like with this group.

4. Friendly Bloggers. These are people I have known long enough to consider friends in the fullest sense of the word, people who have supported me in some way over the last year, and people who I am sure are following my progress. These people get chances to chat about blogging tips or to discuss things I have questions about, and advance notice when I’m publishing things like yesterday’s Friendly Blogging post.

I have a new rule for Facebook. Any behavior that would get a person banned from one of my blogs will get them unfriended and possibly blocked if they do it on my timeline. I’m easygoing and can tolerate almost any disagreement as long as everyone is nice about it. I don’t trash many comments or ban very many people, but it happens. Usually when it happens, it’s because someone’s being bigoted or mean. I have to enforce that rule on Facebook if I want to keep making progress with this thing I am doing here. Otherwise, bloggers aren’t going to want to be friends with me.

And I am not depriving anyone from the enjoyment of my blog content, even on Facebook. Because I have public pages for my blogs, and I don’t share many of my own links on my timeline, anyway.

coffeeNow, I am in the process of unfollowing the big media and celebrities I followed when I started my account to make room for more bloggers in my news feed.

I am open to being friends with bloggers on Facebook, and trying to make my personal timeline over there a friendly, valuable, interesting, sometimes entertaining stream of content. Because that, my friends, is how you get blog links into Facebook news feeds without paying money to do it. I am interested to see whether it works, or whether I just need to find another network to spend my time on.

And I would apologize for going on and on about my Facebook today, but it’s kind of a big deal to me. I’m closing a circle here.

[Edited on 12/08 to remove a link to my Facebook profile, but I am not that hard to find over there 😉 and I am very approachable. This post got some serious retweet juice from #SundayBlogShare, so the link could bounce around for weeks, and I don’t want post with a direct link bouncing around on Twitter for weeks].

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39 thoughts on “If We Were Having Coffee . . . (Facebook Edition)

  1. You have a really good handle on managing social networking on different platforms. Personally, I quit using Facebook for a myriad of reasons, but one of them was their shifts in their privacy policy and ownership of uploaded media. That, and more people than ever are trying to get access to the data one puts on there.

    Still, it sounds like you’ve got a great handle on things now, certainly better than I ever wanted from that social network.

    Most importantly, I’m happy your grandson has done you proud, and I hope he has a blast in that Christmas parade!

    Like

    • Thanks!

      The data issues give me pause as well, but I’ve got so much private communication tied up on Facebook that I have to make my personal presence viable. Otherwise, I’ve got to spend a lot of time learning a fourth network in order to grow, and still have to spend that time on Facebook, is the way I look at it.

      I don’t upload any media to FB that I am not ok just giving away. Haven’t uploaded any family photos in ages, and I never change my profile pic or upload new images of myself. My photos are good, but they are just snapshots. Not something I am ever going to sell, and always more where those came from.

      Like

    • Short answer: I would be happy to use it for that.

      Complications: Just because of the way I am going about this, I am forced to approve tags before they appear on my timeline. That pains me, because tagging timelines is fun, but it has to be that way for now. So your prompt can’t appear until I see it. Also, I am at such an early stage of rebuilding right now, that at most 3-5 people are going to see any one status update unless it generates a LOT of likes and comments and starts landing in feeds. Because no one sees more than 20 percent of the posts that run through their feeds and I have a very small group of friends who actually see anything at this point. But I would comment in the dicussion, of course, and I am friends with enough bloggers that I could probably think of at least one or two other bloggers to tag on the thread.

      I’d love to give it a try sometime, because for this to work, at some point, I have to start generating timeline comments. If I can’t figure out a way to do that, it’s not going to do much good for me to share peoples’ links.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Intriguing. I’ve done almost the opposite, in that my default post on Facebook is Public. Family photos and family-related posts, especially about my son, are for Family only. Close Friends & Family I use to minimize my chatter intake, that is to keep ME from being overwhelmed. Perhaps I should rethink my strategy. So far, I have no idea if I’ve offended my old friends and family. They definitely know what my passion is: mental health advocacy. Yes, I’m crazy.

    Like

  3. I have the same theory about FB friends and blocking/unfollowing. After a few major news stories over the years, I have managed to ditch quite a few people (mainly schoolmates and family).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve spent some time on Facebook today and will keep at it, but this post helped give me some perspective and I still need to work on my settings. It will be a work in progress! I tend to post automatically to Facebook from wordpress, which can be impersonal. Over the next few weeks I want to have a better ‘presence’ and connect with people using this social media platform 🙂

    Like

    • Fabulous! I think automated posting only is about like just publicizing links on Twitter but not actually Tweeting.

      I’m thinking the key to having a thriving network of bloggers over there is going to come down to the same thing it came down to on twitter: FInd a little group of bloggers to interact with. Chatter about blogging. After a while, bloggers will start to notice, and the group will get bigger.

      All I’ve done with my pages for months is automatically publish blog posts, and they’re not performing at all.

      Liked by 1 person

      • My job for tomorrow – turn off automated posting! My other job – schedule plenty of time to interact 🙂 I’m buzzing with enthusiasm right now, though part of it may have something to do with the fact it’s 1.30 in the morning!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Are you posting automatically to your page, or to your timeline? If to your page, unless you plan to start sharing a lot of stuff to it, you’re just as well off to leave it. I’ve decided it’s hard to build a page. You either have to put money into it, or treat it like a blog and package content specifically for the page.

          But if you’re posting to your personal timeline, I’d say turn that off and share when it makes the most sense. I’m convinced that the way to make headway as a blogger on Facebook is to be friends with lots of bloggers.

          Liked by 1 person

            • YW! If all you can do is publicize to your fanpage, keep doing it. That’s what I do. It’s gotten me almost as many views over the last year as twitter and the wordpress reader. It’s insignificant, day-to-day. But it adds up over time, and maybe you get one regular reader now and then that way. If you stop doing it, that page goes dark and you go from having a small facebook presence to having none.

              I think I know enough bloggers on Facebook now that it is only a matter of time before I post just the right thing, three or four people show up, we have a long conversation, and that conversation lands in lots of bloggers newsfeeds and we all get to know one another. Might take months. But I think it can happen.

              Liked by 1 person

  5. Yay for Facebook. 🙂 I’m with you on any Social Media things, since I’m trying to build my presence on both Facebook and Twitter at the moment as well as produce quality blog content. I like Facebook I’m there to have fun and promote my and other bloggers content. I like sharing, both on Facebook and twitter.

    But don’t unfriend me if you see a status you don’t like. I usually restrict them to close bloggy frienes only, when I’m really feeling down. I tend to use my Blogging and social media for therapeutic purposes from time to time. I’m as real as it gets with my blogging and social media.

    🙂 I hope that don’t bother you……

    I love the bloggy tips and help.

    Like

    • As long as you aren’t mean or bigoted (and I do not think you will be) use your Facebook as you see fit. I am happy to know you 🙂 I only unfriend and restrict people for big reasons. No worries here. And thank you for that share! That helps.

      Liked by 1 person

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  7. I’m intrigued. I really like how you’ve manage to use the different levels of facebook ‘friend’iness to sort out your people. I’ve put most of my people (IRL ones) to ‘acquaintance’ because it’s not the method we converse, and is more a marker to signify that yes, we know one another. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to know how to block my ex-boss without *actually* blocking her. She’s at acquaintance level but still sees things which go public, and she is ALL UP IN THEM EVERY TIME and it drives me nuts. I want to shut her down without appearing rude.

    I’m glad you’re figuring it out. It’s a nightmare and I rarely feel I have the patience to contemplate it.

    Like

    • There’s no way I know of to keep people from seeing a public post without blocking them. That’s why I am only posting photos publicly.

      I’ve never gotten anything but random likes and drama on my threads from public posting, so trying this instead. Just make friends with a lot of bloggers, pay attention to who is actually seeing my posts and interacting, and give them access to the most exclusive level so I can introduce them to one another and keep them up on all the projects I’m a part of.

      Given where I started, I’ve been very successful at finding people to collaborate with, but the amount of private communication it’s taken to keep all the balls in the air isn’t really viable for the long term. What I need is a way to introduce them and talk to them all, other than in a blog post So, I have Friendly Bloggers. When I want specific people to see something, I can post a status update and tag them in a comment.

      I’m really just getting a handle on Facebook, so we’ll just see how it works, but the number of bloggers who have responded positively to this so far is gratifying.

      Liked by 1 person

      • So is that like your own blogging group that you’ve got going on?

        You inspired me to go and check my settings. No – you’re right – there’s no way of preventing her from seeing my photos and things from ‘offsite’ which I ‘like’ or share. So I might have to block her if she annoys me too much, which is frustrating because it’s not something I want to do. *sigh*

        So complicated, sometimes, all this!

        Glad you’re finding ways around it which work for you 🙂

        Like

        • Kind of a group, but I don’t want to run a group. Doing it on the timeline in the hope of eventually having enough bloggers as friends that I can share things for friends, have a conversation erupt spontaneously, and have that share land in my friends’ feed on account of all the likes and comments. Groups are great, but I don’t want to run one, and they require people to check in and share things to do any good.

          Liked by 2 people

            • As one who enjoys a group of yours I just discovered, I agree. But I’d rather hook in with a couple of good ones than try and build one.

              Be active in a big one that I can use to make new friends, and a small one I can support and help build, and hook up on Facebook with my regular readers and blogging buddies, is my plan.

              Liked by 1 person

            • I am about to go and pass out. But before I do, I just started a public list on Twitter. Added you and one of my bestest blogging buddies to it. That is a list for bloppies, as I find them.

              This will take awhile. In the meantime, we can Tweet if you have a mind to!

              Like

    • I caught that friend request, and thanks! You’re seeing the link sharing right now, and I think of you as a Friendly Blogger. You’ll be seeing the high-level stuff as soon as I get my friends on the same page and we get done with some private discussions that have to happen before I can open that level up. Some of us just connected on Facebook this weekend, and there are privacy issues, introductions to be made, etc. Stuff getting hammered out. You’re in as soon as all that is done.

      Like

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