Authenticity on Facebook

Understanding FB advertising has challeneged the authenticity of FB’s environment, especially the suggestions for me. Sometimes I just stop and think about what pieces of my life am I putting out there. There are people in my friends list I once knew, but don’t really know anymore who can see real moments in my life (that might just be meaningful). Neato! For the most part I do see the sharing of information as a good thing.

The benefit of all the “connecting” we spend time doing? Many new and old friends have come back into my life. However, my issue is that the line of what is authentic interaction and conversation started getting blurred; some would call this situation the big myspace mistake. If authenticity erodes in our interactions on FB and it continues to happen over time, people will feel violated they will leave. Twitter is certainly not drowning, but they seem to have leveled off in growth. Although I don’t see the facebook or twitter-fleeing types of people migrating over to foursquare or plancast, which provides their exact location coordinates to any number of strangers. Where will the flee-ers flee? Back to email? Texting? This may come off as a little Andy Rooney-ish, but I am genuinely sick of texting!

Anyway, what level of information is used to generate and then market these FB suggestions to you? Do we really know? Simply put, I don’t like what I do know. For example, although my location is listed as being in California, the ads that have been served up to me are often from places I just visited. When I tell my friends I am going to be in TX or NY there is a mechanism to tell me about events and local restaurants in those places. This feels like shades of adsense and some days I wake up and don’t wanna feed that monster. Does this make sense? I guess machine is a better term than monster. My suggestions were once seemingly based on groups or things I was a fan of, but now it is anybody’s guess how keyword-y it will get.

FB recently surpassed google as the most visited site. They also seem to have me talking about them right now! How crafty they are at getting you to notice them for letting you promote yourself. We are feeding them content and they are marketing back to us with every bit and byte. SEO is fun and I like it more than any industry I have been involved with. The biggest element in SEO, the money making one, is to do the work and get content and/or pay for play. The real magic trick now seems to be getting others to give you their content. Well done chaps.

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