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An Honest Video Summarizing of Facebook and Why it Matters


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The video above was done in jest, but it is funny and somewhat sad because it is so true.


I was talking to someone the other day and was trying to explain that anyone who thinks they know me based upon my Facebook profile is a fool. 


I have actually stopped using Facebook for personal reasons because what originally started out as an ego stroke no longer works.  I now recognize that Facebook is literally pimping me to make money with a complete using a complete false version of who I am. 


I'm also tired of reading everyone else false images of themselves.  I prefer the flawed, imperfect and occasionally inspired people you encounter in the real world.


Sherry Turkle authored a book called Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology And Less From Each Other. which explores how Twitter and Facebook and constant connectivity impact us.




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I've also begun to transition away from Facebook. I'm not interacting with as many people as before and it is for the same reason that you are moving away I'm sure... It's not benefiting me business wise. I have not seen any increase in interaction from using any form of social media for any of my businesses. As a writer, I was able to get 300 plus likes on my author's page, but it resulted in maybe 2 purchases of my books. Maybe 2. It also doesn't increase the amount of traffic to my website where at least I could generate ad revenue in some way.


Interestingly enough, it did give me a strong baseline for knowing who actually supports my endeavors since i recently started a project and sent over 300 Facebook messages and only 1 person responded from that.


Unfortunately, those who are beginning to realize the problems with facebook are not going anywhere which means that I'm not going anywhere either. I simply won't spend a lot of my time promoting anything there. I will become a like button, brief response member. I will continue to click the social share buttons when I post a blog or a new pair of kicks on my sneaker store. I won't however offer paragraph long responses to various statements made on Facebook. I also will not create giant dialogue blocks that contribute to Facebook's bottom line, but do little to promote things that I need to survive.


I will be able to see your posts and respond here, giving you a pageview though so Facebook can be useful, but it will take more people to actively comment on posts ON OUR SITES instead of commenting solely on social media platforms.

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Chris, the same holds true for lack of engagement on Facebook.  Just because one does not engage another does not mean they do not support you.  Similarly just because someone clicks a "like" button does not mean the are a true supporter.


Just this morning someone who contracts for me asked if I'd been on their FB wall and noticed that they make an important accomplishment.  I had not seen it.  I only see what Facebook presents to me.  Which, like search, is a problem, because they increasingly get it wrong, because the algorithm factors in revenue generation, and is driven by commerce.


And even if Facebook were righteous and sincerely trying to present to us what we really want to see, they can't get it right because people never put their true selves online.  The best Facebook reflect a fake you.


I have also noticed that if you include a link to an external site, your engagement goes down. This was not always the case on Facebook, but it is true today.  I have been able to get around this by paying for promotion on Facebook, but this does not usually make sense for me.  As the Facebook ads cost more than the any commission on Book sales generated by an advertisement.


One also buys an ad for branding, but my budget way too small to buy enough ads on Facebook to have any impact on branding. Large corporation might benefit, but the ads on the site are easily ignored and the ads embedded in the feed, photos,comments are irritating.


I also have the ability to directly compare ads on AALBC.com versus ads on Facebook.  AALBC.com out perform Facebook on engagement, consistently, by two order of magnitude. on the click through rates.  The only difference is Facebook can deliver far more impressions than AALBC.com but if no one is clicking the advertisement, or merely liking it, where is the value?


"Likes" have no value.  They stroke your ego until you know better.


There are solutions


But they require a willingness of website owners to be truly independent of social and supportive of each other.  The solutions  require website owners to stop sending people to their social platform before their own websites.  I've stopped telling people to go like me on Facebook, because once I send them their it is a wrap, because is really good at keeping people on their site--Not unlike a junkie in a crack house or opium den.


I like the social share buttons, because they are up votes for a website and they also tend to send people from social rather than the other way around.


We also have to go back to supporting each other, they way we did before their was search or social. 


Check out my article to find out what social media is doing for Zane

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"...it will take more people to actively comment on posts ON OUR SITES instead of commenting solely on social media platforms."


This is true, but more importantly we have to STOP contributing to social media.  And this will not require many to do it.  The VAST majority of contributions, made on social media, are made by a small percentage of people,  and we would not even need all of those folks to stop.


Imagine if every Black author decided to post here on AALBC.com instead of Facebook for a week.  I'd have to upgrade my servers hire developers to optimize the website, and I could use the extra revenue to review more books, shoot more videos, improve the site--imagine!


Imagine if authors wrote on their own Blogs and we shared links and comments using our own virtual social network.  Applications from companies like Disqus help make this easy


If you want to share selfies, play Zinga games and mess around with your friends fine, but independent business owners, authors and entrepreneurs can not benefit from social over the longer term.  Our participation only benefits the social media platform, not the other way around.

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The problem for me, Troy, is that it's  much easier for me to upload pictures and supply links on FaceBook than it is here where I always have a problem posting pictures, with all kind of prompts telling me what I'm not allowed to do on this site or informing me that one picture is a file too large to upload. Deleting a post also involve restrictions, and "copying and pasting" is a process.  You also told me that I am not supplying links correctly for YouTube and I have to come up with a URL for articles I want to share.  So as a person who isn't particularly computer savvy, this inhibits me.    :huh:


And here's some input from me as a visitor to the social media. I, for one, never pay any attention to the ads that appear there.  I don't go to FaceBook to be pestered and bombarded with commericals so I ignore them.  By the same token, I gloss over the personal plugs people include in their posts.  I find all unsolicted advertising intrusive and annoying which iis why I rarely pay any attention to it. I am obviously not a member of the audience targeted by advertisers.  But, that's because older people are not a priority when it comes to selling things.  <_<


Unfortunately, my enthusiasm for the Internet is waning, especially since PCs and mouses are becoming obsolete, giving way to the iPhones and tablets and apps which tend to intimidate me,  and I am also daily subjected to the vexation of computer "freeze".   Suddenly it's much easier for this senior citizen to watch TV or read a newspaper.    And so it goes...  :(

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Sorry for all the typos in my original messages.


Of course Cynique, Facebook is simply a better website and easier to use; it really is a technical marvel.  Ivy League schools are "better" than HBCUs.  When given a choice our best and brightest will typically choose teach at and attend an Ivy league school.  Meanwhile, the HBCU's languish with a lower quality student body and faculty.  As result they are least able to delivery an education as well as in the past.  We have to invest in those that will support us.


You see Goodreads benefits from Amazons deep pockets and a very high ranking on search thanks to Google.  They also benefit MOST from countless people who contribute free content to their website. 


The fact that AALBC.com's content on Zane is far superior to Goodreads makes no difference, I simply do not get nearly the same support.  In reality, I and everyone else trying to do what I'm doing is operating in a hostile environment, and have been for a few years.  We survive despite Google. 


I hear you regarding Facebook and technology in general.  The pace of change has been frenetic over the past 20 years.  The implication on us culturally are profound as Turkle describes in the video.


Mobile is a big deal right now. 


Eventually you have to get off I never liked being accessible 24 x 7.  I virtually never answer my cell phone. I figure if the message is not important enough to leave a voice mail then I don't need to talk to you.  It is not uncommon for me to walk with it turned off, only turning it on when I need it.  I consume social media the same way. 


I have still not become accustomed to people who are engaged with their cell phones in the company of other people--I pray that I never do.


Marketers are driving us to be attached to technology 100% of the time, not to make our lives better, but sell us things.  This is so sad, because it is working too well.

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I found my audience on facebook and i'm actually selling my book! A few people who i have known since high school and reconnected with on facebook have actually bought and liked my novel- thanks to facebook i remembered the importance of creating and maintaining relationships that lead to sales, vendors and other viable components of a strong network. In fact, i even reconnected with Troy and enjoy watching not only his personal brand grow but aalbc.com - i don't read books by black authors unless those books are sci-fi/supernatural/fantasy/horror - therefore i had no reason to peruse the aalbc website - but when i reconnected with Troy, he was my reason. His posts on facebook cause me to visit the website - a few of my dedicated followers visit Troy - when i do. One more thing facebook allows for is to act as a test-market. People respond to content that interest them. That is one thing we can't fake. As a writer this is incredibly important. The adage is to write what you know but when you write what you know and the public responds - not only have you identified your market - you also have the much coveted mental real estate. Yes facebook is a juggernaut for a reason!

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Troy what you are proposing is attainable and actually a very easy fix and it will also help Cynique to simplify the process of uploading pics, etc.You have already made the major adjustment needed to enhance engagement on your site. You have Disqus and people can comment quickly. The problem is the sense of community is stifled because the message board is independent of the site and you know like I do that an extra click can remove people from engaging.


If you decided to rebuild the website inside of a Wordpress based site, you can keep the blog format and install buddy press which will allow you to host your own social network that can be monetized with whatever format you choose. Buddy Press builds independent social sites and Cynique could build a similar profile to something on Facebook and literally this would function in the same way. Now the fact still stands that this would be a plug in and could be damaged or removed at any time since it is not original coding, but it does minimize the need for you to write a completely new code like you did with Huria.


If it helps I will take the time to install a buddy press section under CB Publishing and we can kind of play around with it for a while to see how it works. This does take a bit of time on my part and I can't committ to how soon I could do this, but it would be a great test for us to continue trying to figure out this whole thing.


I hate the fact that I posted the other day here and forgot to come back and check on the thread because I was going to Facebook and Twitter and Tumblr. But that is the reality.

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Mel consider the following thought experiment:  I believe the success you are enjoying on Facebook is not as great as it would have been before social media, utilizing you own platform.  Of course I can't prove this but I suspect it very strongly.  If I knew how much time you spent on Facebook and how many book sales were generated as a result I would be better able to make an assessment. 


Many authors I find greatly underestimate the time and over estimate the resulting sales.


One thing I know for certain is that your activity on Facebook enriches Facebook and that comes at your expense.  See you don't own or control Facebook.  Imagine if you controlled all of the information, conversations you created for Facebook.  You could even use that information to generate advertising revenue.


See Mel, you are attractive, vivacious, smart, passionate, personable, talented and articulate.  There was a time you could more easily capitalize off of these gifts with your own platform.  But those days are over.  Today people feel compeled to use social media-- but that is because there are no other options.


When they generate sales they are happy, but they don't they would have been much better off before social media took control. 


But my main thesis is that not only are the individual authors losing out, collectively, we are all losing.  

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Chris, I agree taking the best characteristics of a discussion forum and better integrating it with the site's content be a good idea.  But I have yet to see any website execute this.


I think the strength of AALBC.com is the fact that it is not Wordpress based.  I can maintain the website myself.  I am free to implement any technology I want. The site is modular and standards based I'm not locked into a template, a design, or even a company.  Now I like WordPress and have built a few sites using it (my blog is wordpress based, using the default template, but hosted on my website and heavily customized).


You should be able to get email alerts from this fourm, but that is a feature don't use.  I basically check on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and here using a new posts link


Again, if the real content providers, the 5% who generate 75% of the content (a Twitter statistic), had their own websites and could integrate them.  Then all we would need to do is check out own platforms.  Readers however would still go primarily to social, but they would HAVE to come to our platforms to actually see the content we provide, which would be most of the content that is generated!


I'm not familiar with Buddy Press but I will look into it.

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Go to the cbpublish.com site and check out how I just integrated it today based on our conversation. I was able to implement a photo album and link share so the wall is very similar to Facebook and creates a true social media platform. I think you should possibly consider it.

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I've been compiling articles for a while, so that when people get to the site there is a wealth of info to keep them there. I'm only using Amazon Associates but I've gotten 100 dollar checks (minus that 15 dollar fee... gotta get my direct deposit game right, lol). Writing the reviews and placing the Amazon Ad on the review has led to a lot of people getting the film through the link. It's a great idea. I deleted my author's page this morning. It takes 14 days for it to expire, but I'm not turning back on that. I may consider taking my sneaker site down and using Google to drive traffic and create something to guide traffic there. God knows it hasn't resulted in any Kickstarter pledges and therefore is worthless. This company Three over Seven didn't even have a Facebook page or website and sold 1000 pair of shoes in 5 days due to good old fashion networking and media coverage. Unfortunately my running shoe company can't even get an article locally, go figure; but Facebook isn't helping at all. As far as keeping up with friends it's okay, but even that is lacking somewhat. I've known this for a while and I have statistics to support it on my sneaker blog. You should read those marketing reports: www.arch-usa.com/blog


Branded is a corny movie, but the message is in line with everything we are discussing here. EVERYTHING

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  • 3 weeks later...

Do these books offer solutions? Or simply define the problem?  What do they predict will be the ultimate outcome of these corporate shredding machines.  Will life as we know it change?  Will that be bad - or good?  Glad I'm old, and won't be around to witness the social media apocalypse.  As central as Facebook is to the exstence of so many black folks, as usual, po ol niggas will be the losers. Or will Jesus save them?    :(

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LOL! that is a good question. 


Jaron's book, the only one I completed so far, offers solutions.  He suggests that the Facebook's of the world pay people for their participation and their data.  How much is my home address worth?  How much is whereabouts during the day worth?  How much is what I spend at a restaurant worth?  All of this information has value shouldn't we share in some of it? 


Black folk tweet like crazy.  If there were no tweets Twitter would have no value, there would be no one to target ads.  Why shouldn't Twitter pay the people who supply that labor that gives the site so much value? 


Bing actually pays folks to use their search engine  I got a $5 gift card the other day from Bing, for looking at a couple of ads and using their search and I don't even use it that much.  Amazon pays you for sending people to their website.  It is all about sharing....something.


As much money as Google make off us they should being paying us.  Why people use Gmail and allow Google to mine their emails for data boggles my mind!  You email your buddy writing that your friend Dick is softening up in his old age, then you start seeing VIagra ads all over the place.  And your wife starts seeing ads for Match.com

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