Hey look I’m on Facebook now! And for most of my friends this is best to be described with the famous quote that Jeremy Clarkson used to end every episode of Top Gear
After nearly a week I just want to comment on my first experiences with this social network in comparison to others networks I use or have used.
So what is this all about?
So why am I on Facebook now, when everyone else is saying that it is dead already, you ask? Well different reasons.
Several times I’ve been asked by different people how to use Facebook and especially how the “Fanpage Feature” works. I was asked because people assumed the “IT guy” should now about this and well I didn’t. This kind of always bothered me a bit.
Second I was interested if the Fanpage/Community feature thing of Facebook could be nice to generate some more views for my blog. Not that I really want to start a real blogging career and make a living out of it, but it would be kinda nice to be able to spread the word a bit further.
Lesson learned: It’s not about creating content
I’ve never been a ‘social network hardcore user’ like many other people are. For a while I’ve been using Twitter, most of the time G+, I had a look at the business networks Xing and LinkedIn. And I even have a Pinterest, a Ello and a Minds account…well for reasons. But I was never really that active on all of them.
Back in the early days G+ seemed just to be about right for me. Because it was not like ‘all the others’ where nearly everything seemed to be about sharing cat pictures. It was about people creating or sharing interesting articles and the community started interesting discussions. This lead to the impression that G+ was a ‘ghost town’ because a single post could be enough to be discussed on one day and it was not about mindless sharing of stuff and clicking on the ‘like’ Button or in G+ terms the ‘+1’ button. It was an active community with interesting and creative things being posted . Sadly that changed.
Of course not every post on the other networks is a cat picture and people also do create and share other content. But a vast majority has an attention span like a goldfish it seems. If there was anything posted that contained more than 140 characters, no matter if on Twitter, Facebook or other networks, the people stop reading it.
What annoyed me the most was that even if someone posted a link to an article, most people did not even read it. They just liked/plussed or whatsoevered it or maybe commented with a few words and asked questions showing that they had never read the article itself. Other people who actually read it started explaining what was written. Example from G+:
And yes even the first comment on this post was about the pricing. The article itself was just a few lines long and could be read in a minute. Obviously too much time for several people.
Or take Pinterest as an example. I’ve never made any of my collections public but I have followers that are no bots. Crazy? Yes!
Another thing that is kinda crazy for me is how buggy Facebook is. Very often I do get the following message :
My girlfriends comment on that ‘you are just trying to use to many functions’. Really? We have a good internet connection, I’ve tried several browsers and this one is suppsoed to be the leading network. And I’m not able to use some basic functions like adjusting the ‘Preferred Page Audience’?
Don’t get me wrong
Let’s get back to sharing stuff. Of course it is great to share important, amazing or funny things with friends or even a larger audience. I’m not saying that everybody should just contribute to a social network if the contend was created by her or himself. I’m just saying to take more time, think before sharing and liking. Be creative in a way with creating own content. Because I think everybody can do this and find an audience. Youtube is teaching us that there seems to be an audience for everything in a great way. And to everyone saying ‘I don’t have the time to do so…’. Just look how much time you spend on consuming and sharing cat pictures and you’ll find that you just got distracted by all the other people ‘spamming’ on your timeline by doing the same thing.
So don’t get me wrong here. I’m the one thinking different and I’m the one having problems here. But it’s kinda funny to me to talk about ‘active users’ when most of the activities consist of more or less mindless clicking and sharing.
Like I mentioned before I had a look at several networks so what about those besides Facebook? The business networks like Xing or LinkedIn serve a different purpose and are mainly full of job hunters spamming on your profile.
And all the ‘new Facebook killers‘? Ello is, apart from the ‘noble’ aspiration to keep the network add-free, even worse to me. Because it is just about people posting pictures and more like Instagram I would say. There is nothing really ‘social’ about that. And despite that they try to keep everything very clean and simple the usability is pretty bad.
The latest candidate Minds has even ‘nobler’ goals than Ello. It is encrypted and seems to be a nice platform for open-minded people, political discussions with no reasons to be afraid of becoming a target on the governments ‘people to keep an eye on’ lists. A reason why the network is pushed and promoted by Anonymous. And they really want to be different from Facebook or G+, not relying on algorithms to promote posts but to really let the people decide. Well and people can buy points to promote stuff. A pay-to-win model? Sounds nice in a way and even the payment option is okay if it is working like they say it is. But the effect is pretty much the same as on every network.
Minds is very new, still in Alpha, and just recently became free to join for everyone. And already it is full of Memes, all so ‘cuuuteee’ cat pictures and so on. There are some activists sharing their ideas but even the founders of the networks like Bill Ottman sometimes just do the same as everyone else does on Facebook. Or this example from the german E-Zine Golem: ‘Rob postet das Video eines Fallschirmspringers, der auf den Fallschirm verzichtet und stattdessen auf einem Trampolin landet.’ (Rob posts a video of a skydiver who passes on using a parachute and lands on a trampoline instead)
I guess I’m just to old for this
Conclusion? Maybe it’s because I’ve been using forums to long or maybe I’m really to old for all this. But I really don’t get it why most of the people have no intention on creating something on their own and especially why most of the people are just re-sharing and liking everything despite having really thought about what they are doing. The possibilities and opportunities have never been better to create something and share it with the world.
If there is someone out there who has read this article so far and even has an answer for me I’m glad to read it. For now I just have to accept that this part of the ‘internet world’ is working in a different way.
But this doesn’t keep me from blogging, discussing and producing content (that no one lese reads *g*). And I’m glad that there are still many people out there doing the same. And I will still only click on ‘like’ or ‘+1 ‘ if I have really read an article.