Monday, July 27, 2009

The Duh Moment in Blog Participation (The FB Fan Page)

Ok, so some of us are a bit slower when it comes to those cathartic moments. You know, the simple revelations that are more "duh" than "aha". This one came in the form of a really simple truth: that the Facebook Fan Page IS your following and commentary base for your blog or blogs (as well as microblogs).

Think about it: even the most popular blogs - at least those that are specific to social media thought leaders - are lucky to have a following of say 50 or more people. And unless you are bookmarking like a fiend, it's really not that easy to elicit commentary. That is, unless you are actively posting to your FB page. 

This is where the FB genius begins to reveal itself. First off, the utility aggregates from all the major (as well as niche) blog and microblog platforms. Aside from the usual suspects like Blogger RSS feeds and Twitter/FriendFeed APIs, a great example of this is Posterous. Posterous is a new blog 'network' of sorts, so unless you are highly visible within social media and were an early adopter of the utility, subscribers and new comments will be few and far between. It also requires that you are heavily active on Posterous itself, since most influencers there are vigilant about generating and reading each other's subscriber posts.

But who has that kind of time? Further, how do we distill the content that we want to engage with?

Truth is, with 80M+ blogs on offer, it is really tough if not impossible. The other thing to consider is that we shouldn't abandon our blogs, but we should look at them differently: they are really content repositories that essentially feed spots of hyperactivity or hypersociability

It's funny because I didn't think that my 188 fans was all that much - and maybe it isn't - but when you consider most blog followings, it's actually not so bad. About 10% of my followers interact with the content I generate, and all of this is easily measurable. 

So, the bigger lesson here is go where your social graphs are interacting the most. These are sort of like social junctions where people can read, evaluate and interact with the content of their choosing. If you tend to write about stuff that is fairly esoteric and theoretical - like I do - this is especially important. 

For me, the FB fan page is a saving grace because I can not only create engagement with certain posts, but I can also better understand what types of content people are reacting to.


Charlie Quirk said...

Nice post Gunther - I haven't given the old FB fan page the thought that I should have.

I think the nature of FB is a little different to say Linkedin or Twitter. I think both of those sites (at least for me anyway) are rooted more in a professional rather than personal dimension. For example, you and I were connected on Twitter and Linkedin before we were FB.

My point being that often we are connected to people on FB that we don't necessarily share any professional interests with. Hardly any of my high school or college friends are on Twitter or Linkedin, but they're all on FB.

That reminds me, I'll shoot you an invite now!

Gunther Sonnenfeld said...

Charlie - you raise an excellent point about our reasons for use on these various platforms or utilities. That said, I think FB is gradually making a case for being the primary 'gateway' for content generation and commentary - if nothing else, simply due to its ease-of-use. I also think that common interest in a social context is starting to really blend in with business intentions, so there is some nice overlap there as well.

Just got the FB invite - thx!