Sunday, May 15, 2016

Facebook: news trending controversy, and questions about advisability of adding pages

Various media outlets, such as the Guardian, report that Facebook has been using editors, rather than algorithms, to select “trending topics” to show in member news feeds.    Gizmodo has an even more “incriminating” story here.

However Facebook denies this, and advises members that they can mediate their feeds with their use like buttons (from love to hate), and can exclude content from specified “publishers” (that is, pages as opposed to friends’ profiles).

My own experience is that “liking” an item on a page generally causes news from that page to appear.

I do see stories that are “intellectually” conservative (and free-market oriented) but not bigoted.

Right now, I still feed Twitter posts to Facebook.  Most of these appear in my Facebook Timeline. I think the ones that don’t fail when an embedded link does not resolve.  About two-thirds of these show up on my own “news” page.  It does seem that the more sensitive pages with a harder tone sometimes do not.

I would like to add a Page to my Facebook account, while keeping the Profile as it is.  I would then stop the feed from Twitter and enter news items only on the page, and more personal items (like photos from trips) on the Profile.  Some people say they do not like getting or “need to get” their (bad) news (“I told you so”) from “Friends”.

Facebook’s guidelines are here.  Facebook says a Profile can have multiple pages, but implies that a page should represent an organization, business, or brand, or entity larger than the person.  I would like to create a page called “public figure” or “writer” but cannot determine yet from the Help which subcategories I could use.  (I do not want to just “convert” the profile to a page because this apparently can lead to loss of posts and contacts.)  Profiles have to be converted to pages to have more than 5000 "friends" or followers, or if Facebook determines the Profiles are commercial.

I’m still looking into this.  I appears that an add-on page would be allowable once I do commerce myself (that is, sell books myself rather than depending only on third party sites like Amazon or Author Solutions or Bandcamp – if I sell music later – to sell it, and take Paypal and credit cards; I’m not set up for credit cards myself but am looking into it – ecommerce domain, https, and the like). I could set up a page as an "Author" but present the business of selling my books -- not just set up another soapbox.
The Facebook page would be part of the effort to migrate most of my blogging to Wordpress and to reconfigure my “presence” in order to facilitate collaboration with others on future projects, as described here May 9.

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