Those are stats on viewers of this blog coming from facebook. I’ve already addressed what a worthless pain in the ass FB has become due to continually changing algorithm (most recent blog on that here). An algorythm meant to increase their value to advertisers/value to stockholders, which serves to thwart people like me and take all the fun out of it for people like you. What gets priority on your newsfeed gets there by meeting requirements that will tell advertisers more about you and, depending on what independent watchdog you want to believe, sway your political opinion. The results have been traffic on FB continuing to drop. Millennials are all but gone, and other demographics are not far behind them in the exodus.
I accepted that and had been focusing getting traffic from other sources, and that is going even better than I hoped. I’d explain them, but hey…why help anyone else?
The point is that I used to view FB as a necessary evil, but these days view it as “found money”. If I get some stragglers from FB…great, but it’s an after thought.
That bar graph up there ,up until the end, pretty much tells the tale. A couple hundred here or there, once in awhile it’ll spike up to five hundred…whatever. I’d go on FB and clown around, post info about upcoming projects, if I get a little traffic to my actual site, great, but it’s not really worth my time to worry about. For a while I’d research their algorithm changes and modify what, when, and how I’d post, trying to fill my bucket from a stream that is rapidly drying up. It hasn’t turned into a ghost town overnight like Myspace did…but make no mistake, any independent publisher, musician, comedian ect who is still relying on FB to promote what they do, is fighting a losing battle.
Traffic on FB is way down overall, not just by my anecdotal evidence, more than a few research firms have specific data. If you dig around you can find articles and data on which demographics are leaving faster and who is left. But the tail end of that graph up there tells me everything I…and probably you, have already suspected.
That average traffic from FB last month…those were posts with links to blogs about my upcoming appearance at Comic-Con International. It’d post a book cover, or a comic strip, or a nutty comment, with a link to a blog about the show. Blog with sneak previews. About exclusives. About getting ready for the big event. About …fun stuff. Entertaining stuff. Got some stragglers from it.
That spike there…that GIANT flow of traffic from FB at the end, was to the blog about the printing error and what a disaster it was. The post leading people to that blog wasn’t posted at any time or day that was uncommon for me to post. It wasn’t posted in any different fashion, I used the same M.O. when I posted that as when I post everything else. The only difference is that was bad news, and had a picture of me looking vexed.
The obvious conclusion in my mind, is that the people still on FB are by and large people who like to see a car wreck. We don’t need the graph really. Look at your own newsfeed. It is no doubt full of political arguements, links to bad news, angry memes, ect. I never thought I’d live to see the day when a picture of a someones lunch would be a breath of fresh air…but that day has come. It’s a chicken or the egg thing. Is FB no fun anymore because there is no one fun left on it. Or is no one fun left on it because it’s not any fun. The bottom line is, It’s not as fun anymore and when a place is not fun, fun people do not go there, and/or people who go there are not in the mindset to have fun.
That wasn’t a little spike. That’s four or five times more traffic to a blog presented as bad news than traffic to blogs about fun stuff. It’s not just that people who aren’t going to CCI aren’t interested in blogs about it (in previous years those blogs got quite a lot of traffic as even people not going are interested in see how the sausage is made), that was four or five times more traffic from FB to any blog since I shifted my focus away from it about a year ago. Furthermore, this spike didn’t occur in traffic from other places or direct links. Traffic from other sources in fact went up before Comic-Con and settled back down once the show was over.
I’ll be honest with you, when I saw that spike…I got a little pissed off at the people on FB. I post about what I’m working on and get a couple hundred…I post about a disaster I went through and all the lookie loos slow down their car to see the wreck.
But…it is more likely FB’s marketing/image and not the nature of FBers specifically.
The term “branding” comes to mind. “branding” is basically how you present your product to the public. What is it, why should they use it. Cadillac presents it’s “brand” as luxury, as top of the line quality. Taco Bell presents itself as inexpensive. And so it follows that people looking for a cheap lunch go to Taco Bell and people looking for the best car go to Cadillac. Now, look at what your average FB newsfeed has become and see that as it’s “branding”. Arguments, Bad News, seeing the same handful of people every time you look, even though you have hundreds of friends. That is it’s “brand” and so when you go there…that is what you expect and what some part of you is looking for.
To that end, there is another explanation. One that goes hand in hand with the unfortunate “branding” of FB. That of all the Arsenic Lullaby “characters”, the one that translates best to Fb is the “Douglas” character. The ornery, ranting, surely facet of myself that I let take center stage when I am on FB for the sake of being entertaining. Given the cantankerous, argumentative, morose, unpleasant place that FB is now, it’s no mystery that this is what appeals most to people when they are on there.
That is all well and good except for two things. 1-It accomplishes very little, given that I make a living writing and illustrating comic books. 2-A large percentage of people on there don’t get the bit. They don’t get that I am an entertainer, being entertaining for the sake of keep people going to that page, for the sake of promoting my work. They seem to only have a 4 year old’s understanding of the world… where a magician wheres a suit and top hat all day everyday. People react to me on FB and when meeting me in real life as though I am a 2 dimensional character. Understand…I am not talking about people bringing up stuff I ranted about for a laugh or for the sake of conversation. I mean people reacting as though there is nothing more to me than what they see posted once a day, and that I spend my life pissed off at the world.
Really…no.1 is the more important aspect. I can deal with numbskulls who don’t understand that a two sentence rant on a Wednesday is nothing more than a passing moment exposed for the sake of entertainment. But…if all anyone on FB is looking for is a car accident, it doesn’t make me a dime.
Fortunately for me, I saw this coming…maybe I hadn’t seen the emotional Pavlovian cause, but I knew FB was becoming a waste of time.
That spike still does irritate me though, on a personal level. It’s not just me right? I mean….that’s f*cked up. An increase in traffic like that to read about my misfortune, Not cool. Could be also, the many people who don’t get the bit and think I am a jackass 24/7 where stoked to read something bad happening to me. If that’s the case, all the more reason FB is a dreadful place. That’d be like being excited to read about the Undertaker getting a disease because you really think he actually hits people with folding chairs out of anger.
Really the thing to do now is just give FB the finger, maybe see what it takes to get the profile deleted by the FB police…It hasn’t been doing much for me in a long time. But how best to do this? As long as I don’t need FB anymore, I might as well have some fun on my way out right?
A few months ago I had a notion of just blocking people for the slightest infraction until had had NO friends on there at all, then delete the account. That….I quickly figured out, was going to take a hell of a long time, and take a whole lot of effort. I’d have to block like ten people a day to get that over with in a year. I think I’m going to do this from now on- just post the most boring crap I can until the page is just a ghost town and I don’t show up on anyone’s newsfeed. I dunno, even that’s more effort than I can to spend.
Anyways…that’s what was in my craw this week.
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