I began using Facebook over 9 years ago now when they took over the reigns from MySpace as the go-to hub for online community-building and marketing. They quickly began to feel like the mothership, a huge, vast, global sponge that absorbed everything in it's path. Aside from their lack of music player implementation, what appealed as a user was their sleek and easy-to-use interface and the under-one roof nature of their site. I also loved (and continue to love) the Messenger feature, and still spend large chunks of each day talking to friends, working up leads for possible work opportunities and forming new connections with people I've never met, and perhaps never will.
It's been an awesome tool during this time and I've given as much as I've taken from it in consistently being one of the 1% of the population who are actual content-creators (9% are interactors and 90% are passive consumers). During this time I have worked hard at building a sense of community around my Simon Shackleton Artist Page (previously the Elite Force page), continuing to reach out with content, conversation & community at the heart of my efforts.
In the past two or three years, the goalposts have changed pretty markedly. Facebook has abandoned its community-spiritedness and its own goals have shifted radically to a much more hostile, corporate model, with it's primary raison d'etre becoming monetization. With all of the additional content that comes from over 1 & a half BILLION users, the fight to appear on people's precious Newsfeeds has become a brutal one, and has resulted in a race to the bottom when it comes to tactical posting. I have lost count of the number of musicians changing tack and re-appropriating tabloid TV Video snippets and the crassest of images to leverage more likes, to massage their egos and inflate their sense of popularity. However in the venn diagram there's a huge subset of followers that love 'TV's Funniest Bloopers', but virtually none of them are relevant to their music, and will never hear it or engage with it.
It. All. Means. Nothing.
The sad thing is that these posts lower the bar. They encourage lowest common denominator interactions and they reduce the chances of their music being heard in the future, not to mention that of other artists who perhaps don't play those gutter games.
Facebook Page posts are now verging on *completely* pointless unless you have bottomless cash reserves to pay to gain reach. I have seen brand new musical and visual content of mine not just fall below the radar recently, but disappear from it completely. When you get to the point where less than 1% of your fanbase (who have chosen to Like your page after all) see your posts without Facebook extorting money from you from boosting them, it has truly become an empty vessel. Outside of personal pages, Facebook is now a hugely expensive, un-engaging, non-community based red herring. It has spawned a massive industry dedicated only to marketing tweaks and tips, and it's easy to get drawn into that world in the desperation to be heard by your own friends and fans.
I'm. Not. Playing.
I'm done with playing that game. I have a beautiful hub right here that I am investing more of my time and energy in these days. It looks better, sounds better, has more integrity, is more personal, completely customisable ... and you know what? It may not have the reach or functionality of Facebook, but I don't care. It's where I live.
It has soul, honesty and passion. And that is enough for me.
Tell your friends, and bookmark for regular visits : http://www.simonshackleton.org