Random Thoughts About Facebook

I originally wrote this post in March of 2011, over 4½ years later, a life time in WWW years, I decided to revisit this article.  My November 2015 updates are in blue

Facebook became available to the general public on September 26, 2006.  Other than Google I would argue Facebook has had the most significant impact on how we use the Internet than any other website. Yep, still true.

I created my Facebook account on October 21st 2007.   The 4th post on my wall came almost a year later, in September of 2008.   The message was my from my friend and business associate Ron Kavanaugh who wrote: “post something!”  I post something on my AALBC.com page almost everyday.  Everything I post on my personal page is related to my business.  I suspect my “Facebook friends” who are paying attention, must find me very boring. 

In response, I commented on a photo he tagged me on.  However it took another 6 months before I began to actively use Facebook.  That was two years ago and I’ve been an active user ever since.  Today I spend about an hour a day on Facebook; it is part of my daily routine and an integral part of my business.  Today I try to keep all social media activity down to less than 10 minutes a day.

As a result, of this experience I decided to share some random thoughts about Facebook.  Hopefully you’ll find a few interesting.  Please share your own insights in the comments.

  • My aunt calls Facebook, “Myfacespace”
    She knows it is Facebook now, but she also does not use it; all of her posts, over the last few years, promote games–I’m sure that resulted from clicking the wrong link years ago.
  • MySpace has actually gotten a lot better, but no one has noticed.
    It is astonishing how little MySpace is mentioned, outside of conversations about what could happen to Facebook.
  • More than 50% of Americans over 12 years of age are users of Facebook.  However, most of my family and friends don’t have Facebook accounts.
    Increasing numbers of my family and friends, that are on Facebook, don’t use it very much.
  • I never believed Facebook user counts.  There are Facebook profiles for pets, characters from novels, people with multiple profiles even Big Foot has one.
    Big Foot still has an account, but the Yeti is not very active.
  • I have almost 4,900 “friends”.  I’m now suspicious of friend request from someone with whom I share no friends.
    Still have almost 4,900 “friends.”  Many of my friend requests come from hot looking young women with no friends. 
  • I’m surprised when I get a friend request from someone I actually know.
    I still rarely get friend requests from actual friends.
  • My teenage children and I are not Facebook friends, and we love each other.
    One of my kids friended me, but we never engage each other on Facebook, that would feel kinda weird 🙂  
  • I hate the Facebook feature where a “friend” can add you to a group without your permission.  Your only notice is the rash of emails from the group.
    I guess I could figure out how to change my permissions to stop this, but then Facebook will change the rules and I have to figure it out all over again.
  • I spent about an hour a day on Facebook.  If I were not running a web based business I suspect it would be about an hour a week.
    I’ve essentially stopped using Facebook for personal reasons and got my business usage down to 10 minutes a day (for all social media).  
  • I love to play games, but I never play games on Facebook  – In fact I block all game applications.
    I still block or ignore all games.
  • When removing that spam post for the “free iPad” on my wall, I accidentally clicked it.  The associated application proceeded to spam by friends with the same message.  It took an hour to remove those spam messages from my friend’s walls.
    I rarely clicks on Facebook, which is odd, because my sole purpose on Facebook today is to get others to click links leading back to my website. 
  • It is astonishing how many people use their websites to drive traffic to Facebook rather than the other way around.
    This is a remarkable trend, which hurts websites more than it helps.  But Facebook can be a useful tool if we, collectively, choose to use it that way.
  • Too many people take the activities of others, on Facebook, way too seriously.
    Too many of us take ourselves way too seriously on Facebook.
  • I can’t reply to all of my Facebook messages — especially if I don’t log in for a day or two.  If I don’t reply, don’t assume I hate you, just try again.
    Facebook allows to you save canned replies, so I reply to everyone–it take about 1 or 2 seconds to reply to each person.
  • The best thing about a Facebook Fan Page is the visitor statistics they provide.
    The worst thing about Facebook Fan Page is the visitor statistics they provide–some of the visitors stats are very misleading, generated by fake accounts. Lean more about Facebook fraud.
  • Through Facebook I’ve reconnected with people I have not seen in over 30 years.
    While it is cools to see images of people you have not seen in 30 years.  None of these reconnections on Facebook have translated into reconnections in the real world.  I guess people become disconnected for a reason, reasons that Facebook is not about to change.
  • I thoroughly enjoyed the film Social Network
  • Facebook is great.  Some think it will “become the Internet”.  I think that would be a disaster.
    Facebook is great for Facebook, but not it is not so hot for the rest of the web, because Facebook is indeed becoming the internet.  Many businesses no longer have websites; their facebook page is now their main web presence.  While it is not quite a “disaster,” at this point, the Internet is a less rich place today, than it was before Facebook. 

Troy Johnson’s Facebook Profile Page: http://www.facebook.com/aalbc
Facebook began to beat my website in search results, so I ripped out all of my personal content on Facebook.  If you want to learn more about me please visit my website

Please like AALBC.com’s Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/aalbcfanpage
Liking my Facebook page does not help me very much.  I spent a lot of time building my Facebook fan base to over 20,000 people, but Facebook will simply not show my posts to these fans without me paying for it. Others on the Web have called this unfortunately policy, by Facebook, Facebook Zero.

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Troy D. Johnson is the President, founder and webmaster of AALBC.com, LLC (The African American Literature Book Club). Launched in March of 1998, AALBC.com has grown to become the largest and most frequently visited website dedicated to books and films by and about people of African descent.

  • Trish O’Sullivan

    I bet with 4,900 friends, your newsfeed must be like a ticker tape.

    • Trish, actually the Newsfeed is not a problem. By default Facebook sets the Newsfeed option to “Show posts from Friends and pages you interact with most”, as a result the Newsfeed is not overwhelming at all, the problem is that I seem to see stories from the same people.

      Now that you mention it I’m going to change my setting to or “Show posts from All of your friends and pages.” I’ll let you know what that is like.

      • I’m going to keep the setting at “Show posts from All of your friends and pages” for now. I’m now seeing stuff from folks I forgot I was friends with. Sure, I can’t possibly read everything, but there is much more variety now. Before it I was seeing stuff from the same few people all the time.

  • Dee

    Its a good thing you block the game application, its very addicting. Thanks for that suggestion it might drastically decrease my time spent there. Great article by the way funny too.

  • Wow reading this 5 years later I can see the seeds of my current sentiment regarding Facebook. Sadly, and astonishingly, Facebook IS indeed becoming the internet. Many entities use a facebook page as their main and only web presence; the web is less rich as a result.

    • Crazy that you shared this from so long ago. Migrating those pages is bringing back a lot of good content. On a different note one of the writers on CBP wrote a post and it had more visits than I’ve had on any post on the site. It has been liked 769 times which is astonishing and the pages yesterday had 1400 visits and today it had 2000. The topic is a hot button topic police shooting and preachers, but what is interesting is that the majority of the traffic has come from Facebook. What is also interesting is that the majority of the visits stay less than 5 seconds which means there is no way they are reading the article. They are also entering and exiting the same page. This actually verifies my position that you can get a bump in traffic, but Facebook traffic will not lead to conversions of any sort it seems.

      • Earlier in the week. I got more than 1,000 referrals to my website from Facebook as well. My page on African American Book Clubs ganered a great deal of attention, in my case this happened because others shared it. Please share a link to the article @archceo:disqus thanks. We should compare notes on this.

        • I have shared a link to it. You can add anything to my page Troy, I trust your judgement and work 100%! Oh look at this chart from the heavy traffic on the site. It’s crazy, but it only proves my point that Facebook is a temporary bump that only provides impressions but not necessarily any conversions.

          • So these 96 referrals were from Facebook? How did this compare to the referrals from other sources? I don;t see the link to the original article. I’ll follow up with the domain name.

          • My bad Troy, I didn’t write an article about it because the wave is still going with traffic to the site from this one article. I’m trying to wait until it subsides a bit and I have real numbers for a few days to analyze. But here are the referrals from other places chart:

          • Hi Chris I mean send me a link to article than generated all this traffic–it must be worth reading 🙂

          • Oh, and it isn’t 96 referrals, that’s 96% of all traffic that visited and how long they stayed on the site. Which is less than 5 seconds. This means they didn’t even read the page. It takes at least 3-5 minutes to read the article. This basically proves my point that Facebook visits, unless it’s music related or sex related, doesn’t translate to a lengthy stay and the people enter and leave on the same page. They don’t visit anything else on the site and they don’t come back.

        • he is the information on the Facebook sharing I was talking about:http://aalbc.com/tc/index.php?/topic/3407-use-facebook-dont-let-facebook-use-you-with-data/

      • Oh yeah I’m just going to copy the Blog over as is, migrating the authors profiles, articles and reviews is the bulk of the work. @archceo:disqus did you notice the tab image (ico file) I created for your page: http://aalbc.it/burnsbooks one of the value ads for clients that and domain name mapping, you be surprised how many authors don’t have websites. I can do a better job at creating a web presence for someone than Facebook. Would you like a domain name mapped to your page?

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