Antisocial

Last month I got a notice from WordPress saying that Facebook was going to stop allowing automatic posting of WP posts to FB profiles.  I’ve been using that feature for seven years now and at first was a little disappoint that it was going away.  WP say that I could switch to an FB page (yes, there’s a difference) and still do the auto post thing.

So I did a little thinking.

When I first setup my WP blog I also connected it to my Facebook account (now called a profile) and setup a Twitter account.  I also setup a Google Plus account.  The thinking then was that by reflecting my content to many different social media channels that I’d gain a bigger following on WordPress.

Turns out it doesn’t work that way.  People tend not to cross into different social silos.  If they follow you on Facebook, they follow you on Facebook and rarely click-through to the blog website.  Same with Twitter and Google Plus has always been a place were content goes to die.

I’ve gained the most following on WP by liking, following and commenting directly on other people’s WP blogs.

It was never my intent to create a wildly popular blog, but it’s nice to have a few followers and people who seem to enjoy what I post here.  As to the other channels – well I never understood G+ so I let that die, FB is where I communicate with family, and a few friends so I’ll manually cross-post the few things I know FB friends like and generally not worry about it.

I have never really liked Twitter and found that it’s mostly just noise of a thousand birds.  It says little to me and most times it just gives a platform to people I don’t want to hear from (note that freedom of speech works both ways – I have the right to not listen to you).  I’ve become more aware that the platform is being used by people and messages I don’t support.  In fact there is a lot of content there that violates the Twitter user guidelines and Twitter refuses to remove that content.  Remember that Twitter makes more money when more people use it, so it’s in Twitter’s interest to start and support fights, inappropriate and harmful content and other bad behavior just to keep people on the channel seeing the ads.

I’ve deleted my Twitter account.  I don’t support the company or the method of dialog it encourages.

The result is that I’ve lost about 300 WordPress followers (FB and Twitter connections added to my follower count).  I wouldn’t be surprised to find that this post loses me more followers.

But this blog is selfish – it’s about how I see the world and as an outlet for my art.  If you follow me here, like my posts and take the time to comment, I deeply appreciate the time you give me and my writings.

Thank you,

Andrew

About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I work in the high tech world doing software release engineering Then I got prostate cancer Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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87 Responses to Antisocial

  1. Baydreamer says:

    This is great, Andrew! After blogging for so long now, I’m not into the number of followers as they’re not equal to the number of loyal visitors I get on my blog. I feel the way you do. I’m so grateful for those loyal friends who pop in to like, comment, do both, and even re-blog sometimes. I do follow new blogs, too, but only if I’m truly interested, not just to get someone to follow me. That’s the game in the beginning. But the whole experience becomes more sincere once established in the WP world.
    I used to have a fb page tied into my blog, but I’ve become frustrated with fb, so I deleted that page. I now only have my personal account for family and friends, but even there, I’m not on as much as I used to be for the same reason. I’ve never been on Twitter or Instagram simply because time won’t allow it. It’s hard enough to keep up with reading blogs, let alone add another platform to visit. Oh, and Google+ is a joke in my opinion. 🙂 Right now, blogging is my venue for sharing my poetry and thoughts, and again, as you said, I’m just thankful for the loyal friends who do stop by on a regular basis. It’s a whole new little family. 🙂 I’m also happy to have met you and always enjoy your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lately I’ve been thinking that I need to cut back on the number of blogs I read as that gets time consuming. But your blog will always be on my to read list. Love reading you poems.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Baydreamer says:

        I’m in the same boat. When I first started blogging 7 years ago, I was baffled as to how it’s possible to keep up. Now I know it’s impossible to read all. And thank you so much, Andrew; that’s nice to hear. The same for yours, too.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Okay, so I’m a bit like the lady on the commercial who didn’t understand how any of this stuff works! I don’t ever cross social media platforms. It’s my attempt to remain ananomous to the creepers out there. So my blog only appears on WP (a “selfish” blog like yours!). FB is used for my scathing political posts and keeping up with family and friends (many of whom have defriended me because of aforementioned scathing posts!). I use twitter in a very practical manner – I use it for customer service complaints or kudos (companies hate when you complain on social media and will generally get you a response quicker!) and for getting the most up to date information on information around my travels and local news that might impact me. I was able to rebook a flight to LA a day earlier with no penalty because of storms predicted in Altanta on my original flight day because of the airline’s tweet saying they would permit rebooking (the customer no service rep had no clue and when they checked with their supervisor’s supervisor they gave me the okay). The next day there were no flight left because of everybody trying to rebook. Score one for AGMA!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow – you used them a lot. Mostly I just use FB to post pictures of my latest injury or cute cat pictures. I do fly sometimes, sometimes as often as once a year – I know regular jet setter. Maybe Twitter would be useful for that.

      Like

  3. I appreciate you writing this, I’ve been puzzled by google+, twitter and the various forms of face book as well. We’re on the same page. I really never understood twitter or google+ though I have accounts. I occasionally used the auto post to fb but not often and will live without it. I haven’t many followers but I don’t post much as I like to enter my poems in contests and anthologies which often won’t accept a piece if it has been published anywhere including a personal blog page. So sad.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have been limiting the number of poems I post to the blog because I am putting them in a poetry collection or hope to submit them. There’s a lot of discussion around this in the trade.

      Like

  4. Debra says:

    I have manually connected my posts to FB for a long time and I have a few friends who always read from that source, but not all that many. And the same for Twitter. I have enjoyed Twitter for the most part, but I’ve never really thought that anyone reads my blog from that source. At this point in time I think that all social media platforms are complicated for me. I “give them up” for weeks at a time and then reappear. It’s interesting to read how you’re evaluating the complex web of social communication. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Mukhamani says:

    I have connected my WP page to Google+ and that is mainly because I want to save my posts elsewhere too. To Facebook I share only the posts I want to. It is not automatically shared. Somehow Twitter did not appeal to me. I enjoy WP and I enjoy reading the post of other blogger friends. It brings the world to my home. My posts bring great satisfaction to me and it is nice when it is appreciated by others too. Regards

    Liked by 1 person

  6. bg says:

    I don’t like fb, twitter or g+ at 1 point in time or another i’ve tried them and have hurried on back to wp where i feel at home. thanks for staying with wp Andrew, for me your part of that homely feel i mentioned and wp wouldn’t feel the same without you here. kindest regards bg 🙂😎🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’m with you too! I deleted my Twitter a long time ago. I found it useless. And have deleted other social media as well. I do have a FB “fan page” but I don’t see where it has brought tremendous traffic to my posts. Mostly, it’s still my friends and family who have liked that page. So…I’m at the point in my life where I’m not really trying to promote myself or my blog. Like you, I appreciate those who are faithful readers, who comment, and who like my posts.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. dorannrule says:

    I am with you! However I do use Twitter. I see it as an advertising tool to promote friends’ businesses, or places to go and things to do in Virginia (which is in keeping with my blog, Virginia Views). Sorry to lose the automatic FB option though.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Facebook, twitter, google related stuff is banned at my house for the exact reason you stated…. noise. I had always wondered how some bloggers had such a large following. And with the simplicity of blogging, it is disappointing for me that I dont have a google account so I can make a comment about a wonderfully written blog, crossing over to a different blogland, for example, which is a frustrating because it is no longer simple. Social network owners have made millions by us worker bees building their hives, and most of that content is just buzz, not noteworthy. I am glad you are here, and look forward to your posts.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. olganm says:

    I agree with your comments about WordPress, Andrew. That’s where my most meaningful interactions take place. I have a fair amount of followers on Twitter but I spend little time there, although I find it useful to share book reviews (I write plenty of those and it’s easy to tag publishers and authors), and a group of reviewers I belong to is quite active there, so I engage with them (and with some writers, but through direct messaging). I’ve never found Twitter useful to sell my books and I used to send some automated Tweets about them but now I no longer do, although it’s not a bad place to catch news (and rumours as well, I’m afraid). I also mostly use Facebook to message some people I have no easy contact with and some family members). Google + who knows? Have you ever tried Triberr? It is useful to share blog posts, although again, we get to your point about crossover followers…
    Thanks very much and good luck.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Never tried Triberr, but my goal has never been to collect lots of followers. I’m not trying to sell anything. I just want a place to share my art. However, I’d have a different plan if I was building a business.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. kritsayvonne says:

    Seems like I use social media in a similar way to you. Twitter has never made sense to me. I dip into your blog now and then and always enjoy it when I do. x

    Liked by 3 people

  12. I do agree that the different social medias frequently don’t cross. I don’t really pick up new WP followers from sharing on Facebook or Twitter other than when it is to a page that is specific to other bloggers. I try to share to those places and that is quite social and successful.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve seen companies I work for starting to have different content feeds for the various media outlets. The content for FB is tailored for FB while their Twitter feed. I don’t have the time or interest to do that.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. jennypellett says:

    Excellent thoughts Andrew. When I started my blog in 2012 I didn’t connect to any other social media platforms – because I didn’t use any of them – and still don’t, apart from a Twitter feed for the art galleries I now follow. I managed to gain a modest following of folk who were interested in my posts and I was interested in theirs. We created a WP community which I truly value. My take on blogging is not for self promotion, it’s for the sharing of ideas and I’ve remained faithful to that.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Carol says:

    Social media at one time I tried dancing to evrty tune and that is impossible so have limited it to just 3 …Pinterest works well for me as my site is visual FB again works for me…not so much the others …I find like many others have commented that reading and commenting on WP is much preferable more personal ….An intersting post and comments 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  15. HL Carpenter says:

    We just started on Twitter this year and so far have no real complaints. It’s fast and simple and we enjoy learning about other authors and their books. We don’t have an FB account and we limit our time on social media overall.

    We’re experimenting to see what and how much interaction on various platforms works for us. Like you, we’ll dump whatever doesn’t fit, or what makes us unhappy.

    Keep on decluttering, simplifying, and moving forward with new experiences! And best of success with your writing and blogging!

    Liked by 3 people

    • It’s just not the way I write or interact. I write long stuff so the blog fits my art better. It’s a question of balance. Trying to be all things to all platforms doesn’t work. You just have to go with what works for you.

      Liked by 2 people

  16. Twitter is terrible. I have one friend I talk to on Twitter out of 400 followers. Completely useless.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. pommepal says:

    Used to link to FB in the early days, 2009, then it all changed so I don’t bother any more.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Hi Andrew, I have not received notice from Facebook concerning WordPress. If you put up a page they always prompt you to purchase to get more visibility so maybe that is the way they are going. You can copy and paste your WordPress post on facebook. Not much work. I am not an avid social media person having done twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Ning sites etc. Time consuming they are. I have changed in the last two years and am becoming disenchanted with WordPress as well. Hope it is only a phase.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. willedare says:

    What a useful and inspiring blog post! These sentences in particular jumped out at me: “People tend not to cross into different social silos. If they follow you on Facebook, they follow you on Facebook and rarely click-through to the blog website. Same with Twitter and Google Plus has always been a place were content goes to die.” I also had not considered the obvious (once you point it out) that Twitter has a financial incentive to stir up controversy and user activity so they get more eyeballs for their ads. Hmmm… I admire your decision to prune your online connections and look forward to reading more posts in the future.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks for reading. I don’t always do a post like this, but from time to time I get out here. The big thing to remember for any advertising supported media is that the more people who view the content, the more money is made. More people will stop to watch a train wreck than will stop to look at a rose.

      Liked by 1 person

      • willedare says:

        This line — “More people will stop to watch a train wreck than will stop to look at a rose” — may end up in a song some day. Sad (as an accurate commentary on human beings) and well put!

        Like

  20. CJ Hartwell says:

    And here I was thinking my Facebook friends were just not that into me. The best I could hope for was that they’d click the link, read the post, then return to FB to click like. No follow and rarely any comment. Now I find out that’s not unusual? What a relief!

    Liked by 3 people

    • It’s not unusual at all. I have maybe 100 or so FB “friends” and any give WP post will get one or two hits from FB – rarely more. If the post has a picture, like my woodworking, I’ll get 5-10 likes on FB, but few clicks through to the blog. When I announced on FB that I was going to stop auto posting WP to FB, just one person asked who to follow me on WP. I’ve also noticed this on other platforms, like YouTube. I follow a few woodworking channels there. 4 or 5 years ago all channels would have Twitter, FB, websites, etc. Now, more and more YouTube channels are just YouTube or YT + instagram + patreon and have dropped all other social media. I suspect that Twitter and FB will start to see declines in usage and people posting across social media channels. Likely just commercial, or political users will be doing the bulk of the postings.

      Liked by 2 people

  21. I shut down my Facebook account last year for the reasons you cite about twitter. I’m tempted to shut down my twitter account but I find it useful for keeping up with the news. I think you’re correct; the best way to attract and keep followers is to read and comment on their blogs.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. jfwknifton says:

    Well, I will still be following you although I think you should have finished this post with a song, possibly “Stand by me”

    Liked by 2 people

  23. floridaborne says:

    I read this and was nodding my head, “Yes!”

    I, too, have the FB account where I connect with friends, and one for my book, but don’t use any other the others very often, either.

    Liked by 3 people

  24. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Friday 17th August 2018 – De-Cluttering, Antisocial Media and Aretha Franklin | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  25. Jeff Branch says:

    I agree on twitter; don’t use twitter, but this week I cleaned up the list of people I follow and tried to turn twitter into something I find interesting with sports, there is a dog twitter account my daughter told me about which is cute, etc. But, overall, I find twitter to be mostly a waste of time. I’m a big fan of Instagram for woodworking.

    Liked by 3 people

  26. I agree with you, Andrew. I’ve never had a Twitter account and probably never will. When I started my blog, I allowed Word Press to automatically feed to my Facebook account, but I found that people on FB tend to just scroll through the pictures and not read the words. So, as not to bore all my FB friends with twice a week posts, I stopped that feature. My FB friends know (or can look-up) my blog address, so if they really want to read me, they know where to find me!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I only had a Twitter account because I was working for a game company years ago and one of the games was going to be on Twitter so I needed to be able to test it. Then when I started on WP, just used it for that. I never found it useful and won’t miss it.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. I dropped out of all social media outlets last year, Andrew, and I don’t miss it. I also took a look at my WP followers by clicking on their sites. Surprise, surprise, 60% of them were bogus and had never been updated or had posted to their blogs in the last 2—3 years. I deleted them and went from 3,000+ followers to just over 800. My junk mail and spam in my personal email account has also declined significantly.

    It seems weird to me that the very news outlets that are so worked up over the Facebook security fiasco are quick to add, “Follow us in Facebook and Instagram” at the end of their broadcasts.

    Happy Friday. I look forward to seeing your next shop project.
    Ω

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, many of my WP followers are bogus – people who signed up and never used it, spammers, or one time bloggers who didn’t delete their accounts. I also get a number of businesses following me. What I personally count as a “real” follower is one who visits often, likes posts, and/or comments. Likely there are 30 or so regular commenters and maybe 75-100 who regularly like posts. On average I get maybe 200-400 views on any post.

      My woodworking posts are the most popular. Which I find odd since I’m not really that good at it (soft focus and bad lighting can do wonders to make things look better than they are).

      I’ve noticed that about some news outlets and have stopped reading a few big main stream news outlets because of their ability to on hand decry biased reporting while doing biased reporting on the other.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Pied Type says:

    I don’t recall getting a notice about Facebook, and my posts are still going there automatically. I don’t really understand or want to understand how it works. As far as I can tell, I only get one or two readers coming from Facebook and Twitter. But I don’t follow either platform. Personally I take a very dim view of social media and what they seem to be emboldening in our society. (I’ve never thought of WordPress as being part of that.)

    Liked by 3 people

  29. I agree with much of what you say Andrew and I have now contracted by social media considerably after five years. Many have changed beyond recognition and are not effective for my purpose, which I think is the key. I promote a lot of authors and most are on FB and Twitter and these two are the largest referrers to my blog, followed by specific bloggers who really work at supporting others. So as you say word of mouth. LinkedIn which I joined when I was still in paid employment has become a far different interface that apparently no longer supports my browser ( I don’t use mobile devices). Google + is unwieldy and tracks your every move. I do post to Pinterest but my blog is not image driven so it is more of a collection point for various topics I cover. At the end of the day I will persevere with Twitter and FB as they are useful for my blogging activities, but not sure how long that will last. I have put the post in my Blogger Daily and hope others will come across to view their opinions.

    Liked by 3 people

  30. Hi, Andrew, I was a bit bewildered by WordPress’s notice that Facebook wouldn’t be allowing easy links from WP blogs, but you’re right: there’s not a lot of crossover among the various social media platforms. There was a convoluted description of how to link the two using alternate methods, but it was over my head. I know I can always just paste the WP url into a FB post if I want to share on FB, and that seems as easy as anything. I post sporadically on Twitter and have to confess that I enjoy it (more than FB). I mostly follow other writers, kindness exemplars, and a few funny people (Paula Poundstone, George Takei…). Yes, I do see a few of the extremist or nasty posts if someone I follow comments or retweets, but I can quickly scroll by them. Still, I would happily go back to the days when there were no social media outlets to suck up time. Except WordPress . . . blogging provides access to a valuable community of people and ideas.

    Liked by 3 people

    • The WP message was really aimed to get us to complain to FB and wasn’t well written. It was FB’s decision to do the cutoff as part of their effort to clean up FB’s reputation. It’s all marketing and not a real change. In general I’ve not found social media to be a big add to my life. It does make communicating with some groups of friends and family easier.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Flo jo says:

    I only follow word press. I have never twittered, I think face book is an invasion of privacy (plus creepy when it asks if you want to re-post a pix or article you posted 2 years previously), and if I could do without Google I would.

    So good for you, Andrew. Keep the wisdom coming.

    Liked by 3 people

  32. Good post, Andrew. I followed the same path as you when I started with the same results. Twitter lately has been a huge problem–as you indicate. I spend an hour a day deleting comments that don’t reflect me (much as you say). If people visit my Twitter account, I want to reflect my love of writing or my tech teacher hat–not politics or stuff like that.

    Haven’t yet decided what to do.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I realized this week that I’d forgotten my Twitter password and hadn’t even looked at the account in over a year. After reading some of the mainstream news media reports, I decided I was done and it was time to just remove it.

      Liked by 1 person

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