Are You Seeing This?

Obviously, the only way to answer this is yes! Otherwise, you don’t know that this post exists. Why do I mention it? The basic reason is that one of the ways I seek to publicize the blog is through posting it to my Facebook page (and sometimes to other Facebook groups I am a part of). And the statistics that show up on my dashboard indicate that Facebook is one of the principle routes through which views of my blog occur.

Why is that a big deal? For one simple reason: lots of people post material and Facebook wants to post the material that it thinks its viewers want to see and that will keep them coming back for more. It’s a business thing: more views means they can charge advertisers higher rates based on greater traffic. Also, most people will only scroll so far down on a feed and so it may be the case that if you have 2,000 friends and other pages you have liked and there are 500 posts in the last 12 hours from those pages, you may see 30 to 40 of them at most. This is because Facebook employs algorithms that look at your interest in post creators, how a post is performing among others, performance of past posts by the creator, the type of post (status, meme, photos, article links), and how recent the post was made.  The blog TechCrunch gives a great overview of this process.

Facebook is honest about the fact that it does this, as you can see in News Feed FYI: A Window into NewsfeedIt makes sense in many respects to try to provide its end-users the content that their own habits and other factors suggest that they’d be interested in. Amazon does the same thing with book recommendations and other product recommendations. The critical piece is to be aware that Facebook is doing this for you and that as a result you may not be seeing some of the things you might want to see and that to do so, you may have to take additional steps to ensure you see that content.

It appears that one of the simplest things you can do within the Facebook environment is to “like” and “comment” on the stuff that you really like. But for the things that you really do want to see, you may want to subscribe to or follow them directly, without the Facebook filter. Most provide the ability to subscribe via email and there are also other direct ways to be alerted to new content you like to see. For WordPress blogs, if you have a WordPress account you can follow any other WordPress blog as well as other blogs and have new posts show up on WordPress’s reader. There are also ways to set up RSS feeds to an RSS feed reader. If you do not have a WordPress account, on all my blog pages there is a little blue button that allows you to sign up to receive email versions of new blog posts. You don’t have to read them but it does let you know there is something new on the blog.

I am not presumptuous enough to think that lots of people are waiting with baited breath for the latest “pearl of wisdom” to appear on my blog! Not everything I write about is of wide interest. Some of it may appear pretty nerdy to some. I also follow some blogs where not all the posts are of equal interests but where the blogger writes often enough about things I care about that I want to know about it when they do. So what I would suggest is that when you find sources, whether of news, or whatever else interests you that you want to follow, you may want to consider subscribing or following directly.  Do you really want to limit yourself to the content Facebook’s algorithms decide will keep you coming back for more?

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