Facebook is getting to be a bit too much. I know, I know, it’s free and I shouldn’t complain, but they need us to keep selling ads on their site, so keeping their subscribers happy is something they probably ought to think about? Then again, with so many subscribers and billions in the bank, Mark Z. and friends probably aren’t all that worried about the little people? Not sure, maybe they are, but that’s not why I’m here writing this right now.
I’m here because somebody put up a second Facebook page on me. It’s a “Ron Olsen – Author” page. It’s in addition to my regular Ron Olsen page. I’m flattered and all, as the page now has six “likes.” Six brave souls who have been generous enough to let the world know they like my writing. And yet, it’s left me a little flummoxed. Somehow, people are moving pieces I write on this blog over to the “Author” site on Facebook. I have no idea how they’re doing it, but occasionally I check the “Author” page, just to see what’s there. Recently, I saw that a guest column written for my blog by a friend had been posted to the FB Author page. I noticed a little “x” to the right of the post. I wanted to see what it was for, but by the time I got my mouse off the “x” I had inadvertently told the FB people that I thought the piece was “inappropriate.” Whoops. Didn’t mean to do that at all.
After I marked it as “inappropriate,” the piece disappeared. I wanted to put it back up but couldn’t figure out how, and this is where the fun started. Thinking you had to join the page by clicking the “like” button, I did that and became a fan of myself which made no difference at all. Couldn’t leave things as they were, me liking myself wouldn’t be right, so I clicked on the “unlike” button to get rid of the “like.” So I now officially “unlike” myself, which I’m not crazy about, either. And I still can’t figure out how anyone is posting articles from my blog to the Facebook page. Or how I can do it. Unless maybe the one person that created the page has total control over it? But if that’s the case, then why was I allowed to tell the Facebook police that I thought an article was inappropriate?
And how did the “Author” page become magically linked to the Wikipedia page containing info on me? Who did that? And why is it, that when I click to “Home” on my personal FB page, I am automatically being told what my Facebook friends “like” and even which articles they’ve been reading over on Yahoo News!? I can only assume Facebook is also telling all my friends about my “likes” and what I’ve been reading? Wonder if it’s occurred to any of the brainiacs at FB, that I don’t want anyone to know what I’ve been reading? With FB all hooked up with Wikipedia and Yahoo News!, can it be long before they have a FB page devoted to everything I’ve been doing on the Web? Well, within limits. But more than I care to have anyone know? Is that where the FB people are headed? Toward making themselves the central clearinghouse for all social media (and some that’s not social, like news stories you’ve read and websites visited)? Is that Mark Z’s, plan, to be the ultimate MCP (Master Control Program) in this real-life game of Tron? Is it time for us all to be just a little paranoid?
I think Facebook’s really cool and all that, but at some point somebody’s gonna have to tell Zuckerberg and company, that they’ve got a hit on their hands and they can stand down. Or at least take a breather. They also need to consider the fact that their success isn’t limited to the young. According to a piece in the Los Angeles Times, over-50’s are one of the fastest growing groups on Facebook. And there are 99-million of us here in the U.S. who spent $2.7 trillion on consumer goods in 2010. Some of us are heading for techno-overload. Others, are already there. Many of us are concerned that anything resembling privacy is rapidly becoming a thing of the past.
Remember the “KISS Principle?” Might be time for you guys to take a deep breath and think it over. Marketing-wise, that is.