Facebook – Resistance is Futile

Facebook group for the BorgWhen I started this podcast it was all for the love of tech, but over the years it has become something much more than that. Steve and I have developed life long friendships with people across the globe because of the NosillaCast community. I don’t take for granted all the friends we’ve made, many of whom we’ve never met in real life.

Several things make the NosillaCast community strong. If I just had an email address or blog comments where you could contribute, all conversations would be many to one; e.g. from you to me. When I started the live show, I had no idea that it would create friendships between NosillaCastaways that had nothing to do with me. I was a little bit jealous at first but then I realized that this thing is much bigger than me.

A while ago I read an article in Wired about how in the old days people got together to play bridge (they probably still do) and that it wasn’t about bridge, it was about getting together on Friday night and having cocktails and singing and maybe playing a bit of bridge. The live show is kind of like that – it’s a gathering place for friends. My contribution has reduced in importance, in fact I’m often referred to as “that annoying woman talking in the corner” by the folks in the chatroom during the live show, but I’m cool with that.

Then we expanded to have the Google Plus community (podfeet.com/googleplus). That’s more of a technical conversation over there, but I have loved watching the NosillaCastaways helping each other every day. Google Plus really is designed with communities in mind so it works really well for us. There are things I would improve, and their recent user interface overhaul made it harder to use, but the NosillaCastaways community is still a really great place to get help, ask questions and maybe even show off a little bit.

But then there’s Facebook. I really don’t like Facebook but I feel like resistance is futile. I feel like it has so much gravity now that I can’t stay out of it. I also fear that if we opened a community in Facebook, we would ADD to that gravitational force! I also worry that it’s hard enough to participate in one community in G+, having to pay attention to two communities would be even harder. But on the other hand, if the global population is any indicator of our population, expanding to include Facebook would encourage more people to play.

On the other other hand, there are a fair number of NosillaCastaways who wouldn’t join Facebook if you held a gun to their heads: Bart, Dorothy, and George from Tulsa to name a few. I couldn’t and wouldn’t kill off the G+ community because it’s already so much fun that wouldn’t make sense. It’s growing every day so I know people like it.

On the 12th hand, every time I post an article or a podcast, I already post it to what I think is a Facebook fan page so I could kill that off and replace it with a Facebook Group. The current Facebook fan page is really not designed for interaction so it’s not very fun. I want you guys to be able to talk to each other, not just to me!

As you’ve probably figured out, I’ve been having this argument with myself for quite some time and I really really don’t want to create a Facebook group but I bet if I did it would be super fun and people could help each other and it would be awesome.

What do you think? If you’ve never joined the NosillaCast G+ group, was it because you don’t “do” G+ but you would participate in a Facebook group? Would you think less of me if I created a Facebook group? Should we give it a try and see what happens?

19 thoughts on “Facebook – Resistance is Futile

  1. Kevin Allder - January 3, 2016

    I fall square tin the don’t like and won’t use Facebook for several reasons not the least of which is the ever changing security model. I view Facebook much like AOL back in the mid to late 90’s most people there don’t understand the entirety of the Internet and think Facebook is the Internet. A sad commentary which keeps me away from it.

  2. Sandy - January 3, 2016

    I have a Facebook account, but only because I was cajoled into it by my children so I could see the photos they post of my grandchildren. I don’t participate in groups and don’t really like Facebook. Why? Even security — or other — issues aside, I find it a confusing interface; you have to read everything in order to find the specific thing you’re looking for; if there’s any organization to how things are done, I haven’t yet discovered it, though I may not have spent enough time looking. I’m just not a fan.

  3. Laura McClellan - January 3, 2016

    For what it’s worth, I am subscribed to the G+ group but I often forget to check it, because although I’m in G+, I really don’t like it. I just don’t like the way it looks or works. On the 15th hand, I’m in Facebook all the time; for better or worse, that’s where I do the bulk of my social media-ing. So Facebook groups are easier for me to participate in than G+ groups. (But I’d guess I’m in the minority among NosillaCastaways on that point. Among others.)

    Whatever you do is fine with me. I just really like what you do on the podcast and the posts you write.


  4. Doug Ingram - January 3, 2016

    Hi Allison. Thanks for asking us all for our views on this. I only joined G+ because you started the NosillaCastaways community. I don’t use it for anything other than that. I was already a Facebook and Twitter user then along came the need to use G+, but Facebook already had primary momentum for me. In my world G+ is the also-ran at the end of the line. I find it confusing to use and my bottom line is that it’s yet another thing I have to look at.

    There seems to be an elitist thing for G+ users who don’t use Facebook (e.g. some of the people you’ve cited above). I’m a member of around ten various Facebook groups, six of those being photography groups because photography is my hobby of passion. I find that all of those groups have lots of interaction, help and banter. It’s a regular thing for me to draw from and contribute to most of the groups on a daily basis. A lot of the people in the photography groups are geeky types and they don’t seem to have a problem being on Facebook.

    Sometimes in business, community membership (real and virtual communities) and lots of other spheres of life one has to appeal to the lowest common denominator. My experience is that in the world of social media, Facebook is that lowest common denominator. On Facebook I have relatives, friends from high school and other places, some of whom I haven’t seen in person for decades. Most of them struggle to use FB, let alone get onto a more geeky service like G+, so FB is where I spend most of my social media time. Once again, FB is the lowest common denominator. Having to use G+ is another thing I don’t have much time for.

    For what it’s worth, that’s my two-cents worth, as we say in Australia. Whichever way you choose to continue or augment the NosillaCastaways social media pages, I’ll still be a loyal and supportive fan.


  5. Joe Hecht - January 3, 2016

    *I “do-no” Allison, Who knows… if I told ya I only do g+, and hardly ever get on FaceBook or Twitter, you might have the good sense to close down the google side of things and never look back 😛

    Facebook is very gravitational (a bluehole perhaps?). I would be cautious about feeding any sort of gravitational hole anything more than it demands to be fed. Once over the event horizon, there is no return, you get stretched into spaghetti, and perhaps even get spit out in a parallel universe. You might want to consult Michio Kaku before making a final decision, as I for one would miss you over at google (shoudl something like that happen).

    I do think you should promote “the live show” more. I know it exists, but I need a lot of nagging, and somehow, I don’t see all the annoying popups for “are you going to attend? Are You Going To Attend?? ARE YOU GOING TO ATTEND????”, followed by the “Did you attend?” popups that I seem to get from everyone else.

    Good luck on the Facebook Group. Who knows, if I said that might even give it a go, might that be a discouragement? I sure hope not 🙂


  6. barry - January 3, 2016

    No Facebook for me. You do realize if you have a Facebook group everything you post no longer belongs to you, and you have no control how your posts are used. And there are more outrageous parts of the user agreement. No thanks. I am already a member of way to many groups.


  7. podfeet - January 3, 2016

    Joe wins for best comment ever.

    During the show tonite many of the live audience expressed concern that we would abandon G+. Steve and I made a PLEDGE to stay just as engaged in G+ as we are today for the next year…as long as YOU GUYS do the same. If people are still there and playing and helping each other, we’re there 100%. This is not a MOVEMENT of the community to the dark side, it’s an addition.

    Keep these comments coming, this is awesome information from you guys!

  8. Bart Busschots - January 4, 2016

    I can see how this is a dilemma – there is a lot of Facebooking going on, so not being there is a bit like not going to the biggest party in town. On the other hand, if you divide a community in two, I think you may find you’re left with less than half of a community.

    The real ideal would be some kind of self-hosted community with support for both FaceBook and Google auth (and perhaps others too). One single place to have a conversation, where everyone can get in with the IDs they already have elsewhere.

    I did a bit of digging, and something to consider is that you can add forums right to WordPress with BBPress: https://bbpress.org

    There are also plugins to allow Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc… accounts be used to sign in to WordPress.

    Just a thought.

  9. Allison Sheridan - January 4, 2016

    Thanks for the thoughts, Bart. I used bbpress years ago and it was a lot of work to maintain, easy spam magnet too. Ideally in my opinion. We let people talk and participate where they already are.

    If someone is already on G+ as I am, then it’s great they can talk there. If they’re already on FB, then it would be great if they didn’t have to leave to participate. I think there’s more friction than we realize to remembering to go somewhere, and people are fatigued with adding new things to remember to do online.

    I don’t think we’d have less than half a community, I expect the number of participants to go up dramatically. What could happen though is that someone who was remembering to go over go G+ stops doing so because they’re already in FB and there’s a conversation there to be had.

  10. George Conant - January 4, 2016

    I have avoided Facebook until now probably for many of the same reasons that others have avoided it. For family connection reasons, though, I’m about to open an account there. I’ll follow the Nosillacast wherever it is. Google+ has been fine for me.

  11. The other Barry - January 4, 2016

    Ideally it would be wonderful to have both communities (G+ & FB), but I understand the time/resource constraints can be considerable to support just one site (e.g., podfeet.com) and then add on additional communities. My preference would be FB as I have some gravitational pull to it (which fits in with the comment from BA that I “suck at FB”). When I do go into FB, I often bounce into the communities I am part of there. I don’t go into G+ anymore. I concur you’ll get a lot more participation with FB. If I recall correctly, that’s what happened when Dave and John started their Mac Geek Gab community on FB.

  12. Arthur - January 4, 2016

    Man, am I am old fashioned!
    I like getting emails and action on them.
    Social network thingies are not made for me.
    I look through my inbox for interesting G+-posts, check the posts on the G+website, and sign in to Google only to reply to a posting (what I do too seldom). When I am done browsing, I sign out of my Google account and delete the cookies upon closure of the browser. And I am totally happy with that.
    I would never surf to the Nosillacast-G+-site just to check if there is something new and interesting. Because this is now MY workflow.
    I have no idea how facebook works – and I am one of the few who will not join facebook with the gun against my head. For me, G+ is enough.
    Perfect solution for me would be a thing that sends an email about every new threat (like G+ does), does not try to collect all my data (as a private website without ads and third party scripts) and lets me write posts as well (like G+).
    Alternatively, an (automated) cross-posting-service would be great, so that I can also read what is on the mind of the FB-Nosillacastaways. Is there a plugin that replicates G+ and FB discussions into a selfhosted forum?

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  13. podfeet - January 4, 2016

    I WILL keep doing both as long as people get value out of it. Stevens in FB a lot and will monitor things and make sure the community is as happy and well behaved as the G+ community. If I get rid of the FB Page and do the Group then it won’t be extra work for me. In some way shaving more people participate means more people helping so I won’t have to do as much (in theory).

  14. Allister - January 4, 2016

    As of tomorrow, I will have been absent from Facebook for 3 years. And that was a “second coming” where I gave it another go after previously quitting. I find it interesting that the general narrative here follows what I have observed elsewhere. People justify being on Facebook, if they are, but no-one claims it’s amazing or the best or even a good experience. It’s because reasons – those reasons being the connections it enables. Google Plus, on the other hand, people justify why they’re NOT there, and it is almost universally because “nothing happens there” or “it’s a wasteland” or similar. I find the latter amusing as that’s exactly what will happen if everyone thinks that way.

    Personally, I quit Facebook (twice) because it annoys me AND because their interface and their security model are more changeable than the weather (here, not in LA!) I *also* want to abandon Google for pretty much the same reasons but the Communities (and in particular the NosillaCast one) are the (only) reason I stay.

    I agree with Bart that an agnostic community built on/around the podfeet site *is* the best solution – if you want to be a part of it, you join. The exact same reason many people claim for being on Facebook. As for not making people sign up to “yet another” thing, what’s one more if you get value out of it? I have over 600 passwords in 1Password. One more is barely going to be noticed, especially when 1P will remember the login for me anyway (or the browser will). I belong to a photography forum where I hang out with like-minded locals. It’s not a chore at all.

    But, it is also the *worst* solution because of the reason Allison gave. Maintaining a forum these days is a pain in the neck because a few people have to do a LOT of work to keep undesirables out, plus you have patching to do, version upgrades, etc.

    Aside from running “multiple camps” I think the only reasonable “single” solution would be an independent, managed, gated community. Imagine if WordPress.com had a BuddyPress.com (do they?)

  15. Lynda Gousha - January 4, 2016

    I’ll add another to the ‘I won’t be there if it’s FaceBook’ crowd. Just can’t bring myself to use it, after all the security & privacy issues, complaints, etc. Twitter & G+ are enough.

  16. Dorothy R - January 5, 2016

    I refuse to feed the Facebook data machine. So I will not be part of anything happening there.

    I agree with Bart: Splitting the community leaves us with less than half. People will use what’s most convenient. If they are already in Facebook, they will join the FB Nosillacast community. Same with G+. But I don’t think people will keep up with both. Which means members will be missing out on discussions/info on the other site. There is an inherent inefficiency in doing something in more than one place. Making this an uphill task at best.

    I think you need to figure out what you want to accomplish with this: Get more participants & grow the Nosillacast community? Make participation easier? FB might accomplish that. Though at the cost of excluding us FB avoiders. Make a more-inclusive community? Keep the current community going? Go G+ then. I like Bart’s (and Allister’s) idea of an independent managed gated community. But with the downside of more work for Allison & Steve. Unless we can get a moderator from the community to do the admin.

    Finally resistance is never futile. I really hate that expression. How else can we keep alternatives available if we don’t resist?

  17. podfeet - January 5, 2016

    Great question, Dorothy, on what am I trying to accomplish? My thought was that more people would get to join together to share ideas and help each other solve tech problems and make new friends. As the G+ community did for G+ users, let FB users have the same kind of fun.

    Making both FB and G+ users leave where they like to hang out and go to a 3rd place is not something that will get traction. People mean to do it but they forget, it’s not part of their daily routine.

    On the point of “less than half”, I am pretty confident that the number of NosillaCastaways on FB outnumbers those on G+ by a lot, so less than half is pretty much guaranteed. That doesn’t mean that people will LEAVE G+, but some might. Some might also hate the FB interface and move over to G+.

    FB has 1.4B active monthly users, G+ has 25M active monthly users. So…less than half? yes. Less than we have now? I hope not.

  18. Peter - January 7, 2016

    Stay strong Allison, stay strong! Resistance is not futile.
    I might not be able to fully judge because I never was on Facebook before.
    But what I see from public pages, I am very happy with my decision.
    And with Facebooks policies and behavior, I can’t see me to join anytime soon.
    So far I think quality beets quantity.
    I can fully understand you, but I would miss even parts of the discussions to move away from G+
    Let’s keep this a strong alternative to the mainstream.
    All the best from Germany..

  19. Steve Davidson - January 16, 2016

    I’m late to the discussion, but here goes:

    Resistance is NOT futile — just ask Locutus and friends.

    I am not going to use Facebook (and all that it entails), and the only reason I use G+ is because of this community — and I am very happy with the arrangement.

    You have established a very cohesive community in G+ (though I must admit, I have not joined in much lately, but I’ll be back), and if you get active on Facebook, you run a very real risk of bifurcating/diluting/splitting it.

    So my recommendation: Just say, “No” (another fun phrase) to Facebook

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