Sunday, October 18, 2015

When social media worlds collide.

Crab Nebula | NASA
Starting tonight, and for the next few weeks, I'm going to try an experiment. Instead of posting at my blog and sharing the post via links on Facebook and Google Plus, I'm also going to try posting a copy of the blog post itself to Facebook's new and improved Notes feature.

You guys remember Notes, right? Back in 2009 or so, it was a place on Facebook where you could post lengthier things: screeds, diatribes, and "how many of these 100 speculative fiction books have you read?" lists. Then Facebook quietly extended its number of characters per regular post to 60,000, and Notes became kind of redundant.

This summer, Facebook resurrected Notes, and turned it into a sort of blogging platform right inside Facebook. It even looks like a Wordpress blog. It's not as robust, obviously, as a regular website -- you can't add tabs and "buy my books" buttons and all that jazz. So why would somebody want to blog on Facebook instead of, say, Wordpress or Blogger?

In a word: eyeballs. Marketers advise that you limit the number of clicks someone has to perform before you get them where you want them to go. Wherever your blog is hosted, you need to attract people to the site before they can read what you wrote. Usually that means posting a link on social media. But unless you're a blogging superstar, not many people will click through. My blog gets a little more attention since I linked the comments function with Google Plus (which you can only do with a Blogger blog), but it's still not widely read, shall we say. So I'm wondering whether cross-posting to Facebook will encourage any more interaction.

I got the idea from Mitch Joel, who wrote in a Facebook Notes post this week that he sees value in putting your posts where the readers are. People have so many choices these days in where they spend their time on social media. If they're comfortable on one platform, they may not feel comfortable clicking a link to go somewhere else. They may even be leery of external links, when so many websites annoy you with autoplay video ads and popups -- to say nothing of viruses. But a lot of people are already on Facebook; if you post a blog there, your readers don't have to leave Facebook to read it.

So I figured it's worth a try. Tonight, I'm going to post this at hearth-myth.com as usual, and also as a Facebook Note on both my author page and my timeline. Let me know if you see it, would you? Thanks!

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