The Facebook Swamp


About a year ago I was involved in an exchange on Social Media as to how many accounts were “necessary” to “get the word out” about a particular post – or in my case a new show being released.

I asked the question, “Doesn’t anybody just use websites anymore?”

I felt like a soon to be killed by the giant meteorite dinosaur. There was a time, not that long ago it seemed, that I had a list of websites – it grew every week – that I visited every day or at least weekly. Some were news sites, others opinions about the news, others were informational, such as sports or science, some were even art. I have a passion for the great Impressionists and the Ashcan school painters. Sometimes I just like to sit and look at the paintings.

The next logical step was to have an aggregator that put all my favorite content in one place. I could go to one page, see all the new content and then scroll through it.

Next came Social Media. My Space was okay, but then came Facebook. It looked different, and it took some getting used to, but now you could not only gather your information, but SHARE it as well! How amazing! Now my “friends” (most of whom I still have never actually met) could “like” my shared content or – amazingly enough, call me a dolt because they just knew that it was wrong! I could argue with people I’d never actually met over things that neither of us had actually read beyond the headline! It was wonderful!

Until Facebook figured out that to get rich, it needed to find a way to make us pay – preferably through the nose – for the privilege of using it to share our content and have arguments. And boy, oh howdy, did they figure it out.

After the 2016 Election, for which Facebook has done everything except personally apologize for getting The Donald electing by accepting $155,000 for ads that convinced millions of Americans to vote for him (and no, I don’t actually believe that),  Facebook has decided that for its purposes having YOU or ME share content that we created is “bad.” It would be better if FACEBOOK created and/or decided on the content and forced you and I to share that instead of our own. Oh… we can still share ours, but only if we are willing to pay for it.

Now look, that’s a free market at work. Facebook has an audience and they could – in theory – deliver the goods. The problem is that their system for doing so is badly flawed and tremendously biased. Paying for delivery of content doesn’t guarantee anything – except that Facebook gets paid.

I could go through my own numbers, but what’s the point? Like most content creators I have seen a MASSIVE – more than 85% – drop in the “Seen by” on my own content. With that comes a similar reduction in the page views because, after all, we were all operating on the Facebook-link-to-the-website model that they encouraged. Like heroin junkies, they had us both strung out and hooked.

And now they want us to pay. Pay BIG.

It no longer even matters if listeners and fans share the content. The Facebook algorithm is designed intentionally to deny content that isn’t paid for, and even then to limit its reach in hopes of collecting ever more money.

Look, lots of people believe that it – Facebook – is specifically targeting political Conservatives. I can’t say that is true to the exclusion of all others. Maybe it’s just that Conservatives relied on the organic reach of Facebook more than others do? I do know that my own numbers prove that relying on Facebook is a losing game.

Unless I want to fork over upwards of $100/week for a show that is just a labor of love, not a job. I not only don’t want to do, I can’t afford to do that.

So what does an addict do? Either quit, cold turkey or find a better alternative. There are a couple of alternatives, such as minds.com, but after experimenting for a few months, I found them lacking for one reason or another. Twitter is still there and while facing some of the same accusations over content filtering, it seems to a least show me everything that I have chosen to follow.

But like most things, it’s up to myself to grab the bull by the horns and take action. And it’s up to me to ask for help.

So… how can you help? It’s easy.

In the upper right part of both the Podcast 99 and Plausibly Live web pages there is a button that says “Follow via eMail.” just click on that and enter a valid eMail address.

Each time the page publishes a post which would normally be shared on Facebook, you’ll get an eMail alerting you to the new content. That’s it… presto, you’ll KNOW each and every time there is a new show to be heard or an article to be read. Feel free to share it on your social media, the more the merrier. But if every listener will simply push that button, follow the postings blog, it will go a long way to helping to solve the overall problem.

So go ahead, click on the “Follow via eMail” button and help us – help me – to bypass the Facebook swamp of pay and pay more. And then pay even more.

Thanks for listening and reading.

-Dave Bowman

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Posted on March 31, 2018, in 360 Show and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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