A Facebook Page for the Blog of Burgher Jon

A Facebook Page for the Blog of Burgher Jon

When I make substantial changes to the blog, I like to make a post to keep readers informed.  While this post only effects those readers who use Facebook, I have to think that’s a large enough percentage to make a post worthwhile.  After toying with the idea for a bit, I’ve finally set up a Facebook page for this blog.  Doing this solved three of my Facebook related problems:

  1. I generally have a “let’s do lunch” policy for Facebook.  If I wouldn’t have lunch with you in real life, we’re probably not “friends”.  A few people who follow the blog but I otherwise hadn’t met, have asked to be friends. I do post some of my thoughts to facebook and I post every time I write a new story, so on some level it makes sense to be friends with blog readers.  I also post personal information on Facebook, information that could be used against me if one of my friends, wasn’t so friendly.  Allowing people to like the blog, and consequently get all the blog related news (but none of my personal news) was a solid compromise.  So if you follow the blog but we’re not on a first name basis, hit the “like” button in the upper right hand corner.  If you want to get on a first name basis, drop me an email.
  2. Many of my friends on Facebook are technologists and/or Pittsburghers who do actively read my posts.  I get (according to Google Analytics) four or five referrals from Facebook each day.  These are virtually all (probably) my friends on Facebook who click through to see a story they like.  I don’t want to discourage this, but I’ve had a couple other friends who don’t care for either Pittsburgh or technology who complain that I pollute their feed.  Again having a page for the blog is a happy medium.  People who want to see it in their feed can follow it and people who don’t can avoid following it.
  3. Facebook through my personal account didn’t have the capacity to be “viral”.  If you liked one of the posts I made to my own wall discussing the blog, that “like” was only visible in our mutual friends’ feeds.  If you have friends that we don’t share who might like to read it, they lose out.  Since the posts are now on a public page rather then my wall, the news that you like a particular post can be spread without privacy concerns.

Like most technologists, I have my issues with Facebook.  However, they build a popular product and continuing to ignore them seemed like an unnecessary alienation of part of my audience.  I’ve made this concession to the Facebook gods, but look for me to remain more active on Twitter then on Facebook.