Posted on 12 Comments

I Am Wondering if Facebook Staff Actually Use The Site

So today I was reading my news feed and there were several times friends of mine posted on various groups they belong to. These groups hold no interest for me, so I selected to hide the group’s notifications.

And Facebook wanted to know why. So I clicked on the link to be asked if I wanted to stop seeing my friends feed altogether, you know, if I didn’t want to see every group they belong to.

No. I don’t.

You see I have lots of friends. And, guess what? Some of them don’t have all of the same interests as me! Shocking, I know. Completely.

Or, you know, only to Facebook.

I mean, you probably know lots of people, right? And you know them from different places. Some are from your child’s school or your work or maybe another web site you belong to. So you have that one point of connection.

That doesn’t mean you don’t want to see them talk about themselves, or their child or what have you. But it might mean you have no interest in their underwater basket weaving group. I’m sure it’s something that is totally thrilling to them. But that doesn’t mean it’s thrilling to me.

And I can’t believe it’s thrilling to Facebook staff, either. Surely, if they use Facebook, they’ll know how incredibly frustrating it is to have someone say ‘Hey, I was hoping you’d comment on my question about X Y Z on Facebook, since it’s your area.’ and you have to respond ‘I never saw it. Probably because Facebook thought it was more important that I saw B’s comment on her underwater basket weaving group.’

Yes yes, I don’t pay for Facebook. They get money through advertising, they don’t have to keep anyone happy but their advertisers.

But how happy will those advertisers be when more and more people go to Twitter or G+ because they get to see what they actually want to see?

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Yes, Okay, I’m Going On About This A Bit

But the more I use the new Facebook, the worse the design becomes.

I thought I was growing used to the badly chosen colours, and then I opened it this morning and it was like having a bucket of water thrown over my head. GOOD MORNING TEE, LOOK AT HOW BRIGHT AND UNFORGIVING YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE IS NOW is what it said to me.

And then I realized something else. I said yesterday that moving the notifications etc to the right served no purpose but I could live with it.

I lied.

Moving the notifications etc to the right did something that only occurred to me this morning: it breaks the first rule of page layout: Upper Left To Lower Right.

Like it or not, Facebook and others who think they are being ‘radical’, but the English language reads from left to right. And that means that, by training from the first moment we are taught to read or the first time we open a book even before we can read, if we learn in a left to right written language, we automatically look to the upper left corner of anything we look at to find the beginning or the most interesting information.

Facebook has apparently convinced themselves that the most interesting information on their page is…their logo and the search box. Really?

So, in fine Facebook form, they have continued to not think about their users and continue to think only about themselves.

Yes, okay, we don’t pay for Facebook. They have advertisers who do. I get that, I really do.

But why alienate people? Because if people stop using Facebook?

Advertisers will go away.

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The Design Trend That Gives Me A Headache

First it was Google Reader: glaring white with a bit of grey. So I moved to NetVibes.

Guess what? Then it was NetVibes: glaring grey with a bit of white and some black. Although not quite as bad as Google Reader. I can still use NetVibes.

Now? It’s Facebook. Grey boxes on a light grey background and, let’s not forget, the Facebook Blue upper menu bar.

Why?

Has the internet run out of colours? Did I miss a memo that said ‘Sorry, only grey, black and white will be allowed from now on’?

It, seriously, gives me a headache. It glares. It doesn’t flow. The eye gets stuck trying to figure out where on post ends and the next begins, never mind the columns.

It is bad design.

I can live with Facebook moving the various alert, notification and message icons to the right. I don’t really get the point, but I can live with it.

I’m not sure I can live with the grey on grey.

It really is giving me a headache.

UPDATE: Just after I posted this I updated to WP 3.8.1. And look at that! Black! Lots of black! The posting box is grey on grey, true. But the edges? A nice soothing black. Well done WP.

Posted on 4 Comments

So…How’s Your Facebook?

Mines pretty annoying, thanks.

My friends, most of whom are also Social Media and web type people, and I have recently noticed an odd thing.

If we post something to our business pages, in my case Designed To A Tee, it doesn’t always show up in our own feeds.

That’s right. It’s our page. We post something. We never see it.

So we started to wonder what our fans/clients/others were seeing then.

Apparently, not much.

If you don’t like or comment or, apparently, click a link that’s posted by a page you like, you will not see that pages updates. Even if you’ve liked the page.

You have to do some hanky panky with also following and other things which my friend who runs Fazenda Rodizio Bar and Grill put on their blog. I won’t rewrite it all here, go read that one!

Why has Facebook done this? Because they want us, the business page user, to pay. The tell us constantly to ‘boost’ our posts. Boost is their fancy way of saying ‘give us money and we’ll let more people see what you have to say’. Which, where I come from, is blackmail.

Now I have a problem with this. My marketing budget is very small. I spend a bit on business cards and of course I own my domain. But to give Facebook any percentage of that small part of my yearly budget, especially since they don’t guarantee reach even if you do ‘boost’ a post, is just not going to happen.

So high cost, low Return on Investment…yeah, think I’ll skip it.

So what to do?

Well, we’ve started a movement, some of these friends of mine and I. A movement towards, believe it or not, Google+.

Now I was the first person to scoff at G+, at the idea that we needed yet *another* social media outlet.

But if Facebook is going to decide for my users and me who gets to see what I say?

Then I say: G+? Here I come.

I don’t have a company page on G+, even though I could. I am trying to consoldate all my social media anyway, so I’m just using Robyn Fraser. It’s still a work in progress, as when isn’t my own stuff, but come take a look. See what I’m talking about.

You’ll actually get to, you know, see it!

By the way, it’s my professional opinion that this attempt at blackmail by Facebook will end Facebook as a marketing tool for small business.

So good luck to them.

I guess.