It’s no secret that I deplore Facebook. I use it because I must. Therefore, I am diligent in trying to understand how Facebook works. As a result, I deleted the Facebook mobile app from my iPhone more than a year ago.

If you are still using the Facebook mobile app on your smartphone or other mobile device, you really, REALLY need to read this article by Nick Russo. Drop EVERYTHING you’re doing and READ IT.

I’ll wait.

http://thebull.cbslocal.com/2014/08/07/facebook-crosses-the-line-with-new-facebook-messenger-app/

We may live in a world with no privacy, but Facebook’s coming changes to its Messenger app are an obscene violation of your privacy. If you don’t want Facebook to farm every aspect of your life (record every phone call you make, log every place you go, know everyone you talk with AND WHAT YOU TALK ABOUT), I urge you to consider deleting the Facebook app from your mobile devices before the new Facebook Messenger goes into effect.

Facebook Messenger will be a MANDATORY part of the Facebook phone app, but Russo’s response article is just as poignant: What we load onto our phones invades our lives. Think about that before you click ‘DOWNLOAD’ on the next shiny new app.

http://thebull.cbslocal.com/2014/08/08/response-to-my-facebook-privacy-concerns/ 

Facebook is always on your desktop. Isn’t what you give them there enough?

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Yes. I know that title’s taken. But, the ever-changing landscape of social media ALWAYS makes me feel like a dummy…….AND I KEEP UP WITH IT. I can’t imagine what it must be like for people who don’t, yet still rely on it for everything. I was at an event yesterday morning, and I asked a Facebook connection a question, and her first response was, “Didn’t you see what I posted on Facebook?”

NO. I DID NOT. BECAUSE FACEBOOK’S INDECIPHERABLE ALGORITHMS DIDN’T DEEM IT NEWSWORTHY TO ME.

I don’t get to decide what I care about anymore.

It isn’t that I think Facebook is the Internet Anti-Christ. (Though I do think that.) I’m forced to spend more time there than I used to. Because most of my blog subscribers use and rely on Facebook for everything (to maintain news about friends and relations; to announce big events; to let everyone know you’re having a bad day; or a good day; to relay various important things that are going on in your life), please read this announcement about Facebook:

FACEBOOK IS NOT A SOCIAL MEDIA SITE. IT IS AN ADVERTISING SITE, DRIVEN TO EXTRACT REVENUE FROM EVERY SINGLE CLICK, EVERY CONNECTION, EVERY JOT AND TITTLE YOU LET YOUR MOUSE LINGER OVER FOR TWO SECONDS WITHOUT MOVING ON.

YOU ARE THE PRODUCT.

What does this mean for you as a person?

As a Facebook user, that means you cannot rely on Facebook to keep up with people you care about. In spite of the fact that I’ve created lists of the people I want to see, I never, ever see those people in my newsfeed. Facebook merely knows what ads to show me because I was stupid enough to tell them which people I most care about.

Do not use Facebook to make important announcements or rely on it as your sole means of relaying key information about happenings in your life. (Granddad just died. My sister has cancer. I just lost my job. It’s a girl! Etc.) I know most of you are smart people and will likely go, “Duh. Who does that?” Answer: LOTS OF PEOPLE DO THAT (and get upset when nobody cares, when really, nobody saw it.)

If you care about seeing specific content in your newsfeed, you need to interact with it when Facebook deems to show it to you. Click Like. Click through to read the article. Make a comment. Not every time you see it. But sometimes. Interact somehow, because Facebook just announced that they’re no longer going to show you content YOU’VE SAID YOU WANT TO SEE in your newsfeed UNLESS YOU INTERACT WITH IT.

Along with this ‘we know better than you what you like’ mentality, Facebook also announced that they’re going to start showing you content from sites who are paying for Facebook to continue to exist EVEN IF YOU HAVEN’T LIKED THEM. Maybe that won’t be all bad, because you may see some things you actually like. But, they’re well on the way to censoring your newsfeed to suit them REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOU DO.

And, they can do that, because it’s their platform.

I’d think about that, long and hard, before I made casual posts on Facebook from this point forward.

What does this mean for you as a blogger/business?

You’re going to PAY, or nobody is going to see anything you SAY. Wonder why clicks to your blog from Facebook are dropping when your content hasn’t changed? Because you aren’t paying to promote each post to people who’ve already said they want to see it. (And why the HELL would you do that, unless you’re making money from your blog?????)

Furthermore, Facebook told brands in December (yes, blogger/non-profit/random person who has a page, you are a brand) that if they didn’t buy separate advertising on their platform, eventually no one would see what they posted, regardless of how many people shared, interacted, liked or otherwise took an action on their content.

Do with this information what you will. My hope is that you will be a little less frustrated that your good, engaging content may not be reaching the audience it did 6 – 12 months ago.

I’m connected to people who are way more conversant on this topic than me, and I welcome your additional insights in today’s comments. Please pardon my lengthy (but I hope helpful) post. Kinda all makes me want to tell Facebook…….

facebook fu

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If you’re in the Nashville, Tennessee area, I’m going to be a featured author at Landmark Booksellers’ booth at the Historic Franklin Main Street Festival this Sunday, April 27, from 12 – 2pm. Please come out and support this gem of a bookstore. I’ll sign your copies of To Live Forever. I’ll sell you more copies for your friends and relations. And, if you’re really nice, I’ll show you my feet. MTM may even be there, decked out as Meriwether Lewis in his ‘dandy’ period. Click here to see all the events at this year’s Main Street Festival, April 26 – 27, Franklin, TN: http://www.historicfranklin.com/events/main-street-festival

Here’s today’s Reader Question, straight from the West Ashley Greenway, one of the places I trained for my Natchez Trace walk.

 

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Surely you recall that dreadful dance, Dear Reader? The funky chicken dance had to be devised by someone who was blotto, flapping arms and waddling legs an evidence of too much Everclear. Or Jack Daniels. All I’m saying is that grain alcohol had to be involved.

It is a dance that is beneath me. I have always been too hoity-toity to do it.

Until yesterday. I was slaving away at my desk and happened to look out my window. Behold! My urban back yard contained……live poultry. Squawking poulet. A FREAKING CHICKEN.

I’ve already squealed on my neighbors to all of cyberspace about their possibly illegal city-slicker hens. As long as they give me fresh eggs to keep me quiet, I don’t care WHAT they’re doing in their back yard.

But, that was before I discovered that chicken can fly. Or, they like to climb things, like my fence. I didn’t realize they became curious about their surrounding area and would decide to go exploring.

Once I saw the stupid bird, I couldn’t forget it. I tried to shoo it back to its own domain, flapping my arms and waddling my legs in tune with its ever-thrusting head. It looked at me like I had lost my marbles and tried to peck my foot, sending me screaming around the yard in a high lather of panic. “Who’s the chicken now?” it seemed to taunt me when I ran into the house and slammed and locked the door.

It was still OUT THERE, though, in the yard. Milling around and pecking things and generally harassing me. I had to GET RID OF IT. So, I did the only thing I could think of: I asked my friends on Facebook and Twitter how to catch a chicken. It was less mortifying than calling 911. Scads of ‘helpful’ commentary poured forth from my friends.

Bethany Vozel: Link sneaks up behind them and picks them up and throws them. (Great. Link wasn’t here.)
Brian PJ Cronin: Throw a towel over them. It confuses them for long enough that you can scoop them up. (But, what if it poops on the towel? Or on ME?)
Brett Myers: lol….. (Well, I’m glad SOMEBODY was laughing at my predicament.)
Karen Snyder: Ya’ gotta be quick. (I cannot be quick in a pink silk frock. Ain’t happening.)
Lou Mello: First, you have to cross the road. (Ah, Lou. You know me so well. You knew the only thing I would be capable of was RUNNING AWAY.)
Ginger Crawford Phillips: Where is that, in your backyard? Put out some scratch, or old veggies, oatmeal, something. Drop it out about 10 feet from you, then, a few feet closer to you, until it is right under your feet, then slowly pick her up. (The chicken already tried to EAT MY FOOT. I am not putting food next to any part of myself, thank you very much.)
Jackie Ng: Cuddle it. (Ew. EW. EWWWWWWWWWWW.)

Pretty much all of these comments have a common theme: the assumption that I will touch an actual live chicken. The very thought of having to touch the mangy thing caused me to have nightmares. I was fully awake, so I guess that means I hallucinated the Behemoth Bird Being. My ridiculous phobias left me with no choice. I had to call out the big guns.

Thank God, I slathered paint on my face yesterday.

I went outside and did my best impression of Southern Damsel in Heaps of Distress. My production caught the attention of one of the workers next door. He dropped everything he was doing and rushed over to rescue me from the Hideous Chicken Monster.

I don’t care that he called me a chicken over his shoulder as he walked away.

Too Much is Too Much: Live Chickens in my Back Yard

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