I know I wrote a while back that I was thinking about simply deleting my Facebook presence, I’ve never done anything about it, mostly because I find very little about it that’s useful. I find the format of Facebook relatively useless for intelligent discussion, which is what I really care about. It’s more built for the short-attention-span crowd, not for holding an ongoing, rational conversation.
Over the weekend, I decided to spend a little time cleaning up my social media presence. I went to Facebook and deleted the page for The Bitchspot Report. I did it because, silly me, I had never published it anyhow, nobody had ever seen it, nobody had ever posted there and now that it’s officially dead, it seems silly to have a Facebook presence for a defunct podcast. I need to do the same thing for the Google+ page. I also fought Tumblr while trying to set up a Tumblr page for my Cephus’ Corner blog, you can’t actually do anything until you verify your e-mail and they simply refused to send out the confirmation e-mail. I’ve read that this is a common problem, I just kept changing e-mail addresses until one of them got that confirmation, then changed it back to the e-mail address I wanted to use. Fuck Tumblr.
So after wrestling with Tumblr, I swung by Facebook for the first time in months and just looked at the mess that is my Bitchspot Blog “community” and was at the point of looking up the instructions for deleting it all, when I ended up talking to a friend who actually advocates Facebook. We talked for a while, he told me that it can be useful if I just take the time to optimize it, but there were some requirements that I have and he had no idea how to do it. I ran over to a Facebook forum to ask some questions and was met by a lot of rude, obnoxious idiots. See, my primary issue here is that I want my Bitchspot activities and my Cephus’ Corner activities to be completely and totally separate from my “real life” activities. Facebook requires that you sign up with your real name. You can create pages for other things, as I’ve done with Bitchspot and Cephus’ Corner and previously the Bitchspot Report, but if I try to friend anyone or follow anyone, it’s my real name that does the friending or following, not “Bitchspot” or “Cephus” or whatever. This is a game breaker. If I have to use my real name for any of this, if my real name is attached to any of this at all, I’m done. There is no discussion here. My way or the highway. The idiots at the forum were unbelievably rude, they said “hey, you use your real name or fuck off”. Yeah, forget that.
So my first question that needs an answer before I go any further, can I actually use Facebook with a pseudonym or not? I can do that with Google+, I can join communities with my various pages, I can jump into Google Hangouts with my page names, my real name never comes into it at all. If I cannot do that with Facebook, then Facebook goes away, no further questions necessary. I tried to do it once, to follow someone from my Bitchspot Blog page and it immediately defaulted to my real name. I can find no instructions online how to do it otherwise.
Secondly, and I suppose I’ve asked this in the past but have never gotten a good answer, does Facebook actually give you anything unique that you can’t get without it? As I’ve said before, the lion’s share of my online effort has been and will continue to be my blogs. I am going to write new content almost exclusively right here on this blog. I have neither the time nor the interest to write new content for Facebook and Google+ and Tumblr and Twitter and all of that, my real purpose is to funnel people from these other forums back here to my blog. Everything I write here gets automatically posted to Facebook and Google+ and Tumblr and Twitter. It just spreads the content outward, I don’t want to make more work for myself with the expectation that I’m going to go to each of these different social media sites and do extra things there. So what is it that I’m getting from having a page of my blog postings on Facebook (or Google+ or Tumblr or Twitter for that matter)? Sorry, I just don’t see it.
I’m sure there are other questions that I’ll come up with, but these two are the most important right now. It feels like I’ve been throwing crap at a fan and seeing where it splatters. I have limited time and want to put my effort into things that are actually useful and so far, I’ve really been half-assing things across the Internet and I’m really tired of that. If it isn’t really useful, I’d rather just get rid of it and focus my attention here.
Thanks for your help!