Back in the Ye Olde Oregon Trail IIe Days, you had to work a little to publish something online. You had to think about it, put effort into learning the platform, and not everybody did it. Online Sharing wasn’t the compulsory course it is now, thanks to Zuck.
And because it’s everywhere, it becomes the default platform. Every vague, half-spelled passing fancy and photo of meal ends up there, every rant and opinion. And unless you’d write the same things in the margins of a phone book broadcast on a JumboTron, it really ain’t the place.
With great ease, comes great abuse.
Novels don’t belong on Post Its, some photos only your mom cares about, and therapy doesn’t happen in the town square. You don’t have to take it offline, but allow me to show you how to tell you might need a little more room for your needs.
The Top 5 Signs You Need a Blog:
You’ve Ever Started a Tweet or Status Update, “Dear Someone Not Reading.” Oy. A cliché that needs to die, but let’s unpack its hideousness. If you use this “Dear Airline, Thanks for losing my luggage,” nonsense in a status update it means either a) You have a story about your day which might actually be interesting if you spent a moment telling it, in narrative form somewhere else; or b) You should be writing that thought to the party you’re directing it to. Facebook does not forward complaints.
You Direct Tweets or Updates at Someone Obliquely. “You’ll never know how much you hurt me. I saw who you’re dating now. You’ve lowered your standards.” If you’re going through something, by all means WRITE. Get it out on paper or post, where you have room for it to actually be of service to you or someone similar. A brief recap in a status update makes that sentiment cringey and desperate. You’re fishing for attention from half your audience and the other half just looked away in horror.
You Have Political/Religious Opinions. We all get worked up about something. Chris Brown. Michael Vick. On a blog, people choose to visit. In a News Feed, all of your controversy goes everywhere. It’s understanding your audience, and your polarizing peculiarities don’t belong in the mixed and literal [work-based] company of Facebook.
You Want to Post 70 Photos of Your Kid Everyday. By all means, go for it. Let grandma see your baby all day everyday, that’s what the web is GREAT for. But if it’s not news to everyone, it shouldn’t go in your News Feed. And more to the point, your kids need more privacy than Zuck thinks. If it’s on the web, it’s there for everyone. Throw the endless photos on a blog and password protect it.
Most of Your Day Warrants an Update. Facebook should get the highlights, only the standout stories that keep people vaguely in tune with the broad picture of your life. If you want to give a play-by-play, your big fans will pay for the premium channel and visit your blog.
Finally, BONUS: You Have a Particular and Peculiar Obsession. By all means, run with it and start a blog. I want, nay NEED, more WillIFit.coms. Way more.