Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Chatter Behind the Bikesheds - Blogging V Facebooking

Something I have been mulling over for the last few months or longer has been the relationship between running a blog and posting on open feeds and pages on Facebook. Both have their advantages and draw. However how well do they sit together?

Blogging has been here for quite some time and peeps like me have managed to rack up quite a few posts over the years. However Groups and Pages on Facebook have really taken off in the last couple of years and a good number of quality communities have sprung up making such sites as TMP rather less the place to hang, (ducks and runs for cover).

Buggles
We all know Video Killed the Radio Star but is Facebook standing over the mortally wounded Blogger with a knife dripping blood? Probably not but I do think if you swap the knife for a pool cue and a few hours in A&E and you would be closer to the truth than most would want to admit.

But for all the attractiveness of Facebook Groups I wonder how many will wake up in the morning to see the beaut from the night before actually is a bag of spanners? I mean you can't really argue against the speed of response to a quick post. The likes seem to come faster than light and if you time it right the comments can be thick and fast. 

Set against this Blogging gets very few likes as the images get seen by a lot less people, likewise comments seem to be mostly the same few who regularly comment, it's so often the same crowd. OK lets rewind a bit, you mean it's the same peeps most of the time, these guys must really be into the stuff we write then. Now THAT is cool and it's even cooler when an old post gets a comment, especially when it also is from a new follower. 

That's the biggest weakness of Facebook, one post gets plucked out by Facebook every now and again to point out you have been mates with X for x years and here's a post you shared. other than that your pretty much bolloxed regards looking back in time on posts you have thrown into the wide world. 

What I really find useful is situations like when I was wanting to know which way the flags should go on the colonels battalion for my SYW Prussians. On the excellent Seven Years War Wargaming group a quick question was very well answered. A great resource and shows Facebook at it's best for gamers.

Blogging will always have it's place, at the moment I do think it's at possibly it's lowest ebb and will remain so for some time but as bloggers start to realise they are missing chunks of their own hobby history I believe more will either return to blogging or blog that bit more often. I make no secret my main reason for blogging is self serving. I do it because I enjoy it and enjoy the feedback.

My recent posting rate has dropped way off to one post a week from the heyday of five plus a week and average of three a week. That is despite having plenty to blog about and more to do with the lack of time to keep my blogs fully updated, play the games I do and actually paint up figures. I can live with that, though my aim is to get back to three posts a week. Lets see how I do with that over the coming month LOL.

31 comments:

  1. Good points there Ian. Certainly FB groups can and does prove lively, but I agree it's very much in the here and now. I personally like the history record of blogs , and for me it's a personal record thing too, far more them FB could ever be.

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    1. Me too, it's great to follow good blogs like yours too.

      Ian

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  2. I can totally relate to the drop off in posting, lord knows I haven't posted in nearly a year (despite talking to you the other week about how I have to start posting again!).

    I think that while FaceBook gives you instant recognition and pushes you at a list of people (it's rare that someone subscribes to a blog these days - usually bookmarks which you can't track) blogging allows you to write far more and what you write remains for longer as a reference.

    In short, there's articles and there's updates. Unless it's a substantial update it goes straight to FaceBook e.g. "Here's some pics of my workbench today", more the "behind the scenes" sort of thing. Articles take longer to write, and deserve to be read again and again which is where blogs excel. FaceBook posts are lost in a day, blog posts are for life!

    Maybe aim for 2 blog posts a week and 3-4 facebook "updates"? You can even take it a step further and for even less info than a facebook post, just instagram and learn the art of mercilessly over-hash-tagging :)

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    1. Good points there. I am keeping away from the evil of the hash tag LOL

      Ian

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  3. I write my blog for my own personal benefit. If nobody read it I probably wouldn't bother but enough do and comment to make it worth my while. Facebook is useful for the immediate but I find it generally ethereal. It also has too many cat pictures.

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    1. I agree fully, well except about the cat pics, never get enough of those

      Ian

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. I blog for many reasons, as a record of my projects, as a way to join a community, as a catalyst for getting things done. Facebook just doesn't do that for me.. However I use Facebook as a way to advertise my Blog and lead people to read my posts and it works. Everytime I make a facebook post pointing to my blog the hits go up anything from 50 to a hundred at a time. I see them as complementary rather than in competition. so make a blog post with lots of pictures then post on facebook using one photo as eye candy and point it at your blog. To be honest I use forums and in particular TMP in the same way.

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    1. Again good points and I sometime do advertise my blog that way

      Ian

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  6. Don't disagree with anything here, but get puzzled when bloggers become concerned when reader numbers go down or they don't get any or enough comments. There have got to be easier ways of getting a pat on the head. Although easier for some than others, blogging isn't a five minute job and requires some effort and creativity and therein lies its strength. With remarkably few exceptions bloggers post stuff with a purpose and of more than transitory interest.

    On the other hand, Facebook is often ridiculed by its users for its banality and it's not the place you're going to leave your memoirs. It's the Internet equivalent of opening your front door and grabbing the first passer by for an opinion or to let them into your home.

    Blogging won't remain as we know it for long and will evolve as technology develops, but, as a recording system, I think it's here for a good while yet.

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    1. I do in a way use visits as a mark of progress/success but never get bent out of shape over them. Numbers wise I am in a slow decline overall but that's as much to do with my post rate than anything else.

      I am lucky that Cath pays attention to my hobby but I still like to get more informed views etc. so comments are good. If the comments stopped or became few and far I would probably slow to a stop.

      Ian

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  7. Good thoughts. As others mentioned, I blog primarily for myself. It is kind of like a "dear diary" others can read where I maintain a log of my hobby efforts. I actively follow several other blogs for the same reason.

    One reason for my reticence to join groups on Facebook, is that I prefer not to link my private/public persona in a place where employers look or discretely monitor. My blog provides enough anonymity that I don't have to worry about my students are family watching me "Nerd Out." Historical miniatures are still enough of a niche community in the United States that it can be an issue.

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    1. I know many like to keep the two apart, I am lucky that I no longer have to worry what people see regards this so all is good here

      Ian

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  8. I think Robert de Angelis has it about right - blog for the articles, FB for brief updates and to advertise your blog posts.

    Groups on FB can be very helpful for asking questions and getting (hopefully) helpful responses, but they tend to be very specific which means you might miss out on answers from a wider pool if they aren't in the group. Also, a group with a high posting rate can lead your query to disappear down the page and not be seen

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  9. An interesting observation and something that has not escaped me of late either. I moved into Blogging as a record of my achievements and for some form of feedback from likeminded souls. Interestingly this meant leaving a dying forum, perhaps not unlike the current state of Blogging. I am not against Facebook, but it is not for me at the moment, that said I like the idea of updates and might have to look into Instagram.

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    1. Quality blogs will stay the course, I just find my reading time really cut into these days

      Ian

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    2. Yes forums are the old way of doing things now. Blogging and Facebook the current preferred. I think forums were doomed because they required moderation from a third party and all sorts of issues with security and bandwidth. The blogs and Facebook are all managed by big companies with plenty of resources.

      Of course before forums we had mailing lists... remember those? Believe it or not I actually still use a couple!

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    3. Yes forums are the old way of doing things now. Blogging and Facebook the current preferred. I think forums were doomed because they required moderation from a third party and all sorts of issues with security and bandwidth. The blogs and Facebook are all managed by big companies with plenty of resources.

      Of course before forums we had mailing lists... remember those? Believe it or not I actually still use a couple!

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  10. As others have said...Facebook is great for skimming for news and chat or for quick answers to a question but the advantage of a blog is that it is a much more a personal diary of your hobby.

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    1. It is indeed, sometimes I stroll through mine and brings back some great memories

      Ian

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  11. I came to blogging after using Facebook for a while so a bit of the opposite way around.

    Facebook allowed the instant gratification from likes and comments. But all my posts were lost after a few days. They were all but impossible to link to. On the other hand blogs appear far more resilient and so years after posting a link still works and everyone in the world can access it.

    So these days I generally write things up in my blog and then cross post links to it in the various Facebook groups I think might be interested.

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    1. You have always been different Richard :-)

      Always a good read too

      Ian

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  12. I came to blogging after using Facebook for a while so a bit of the opposite way around.

    Facebook allowed the instant gratification from likes and comments. But all my posts were lost after a few days. They were all but impossible to link to. On the other hand blogs appear far more resilient and so years after posting a link still works and everyone in the world can access it.

    So these days I generally write things up in my blog and then cross post links to it in the various Facebook groups I think might be interested.

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  13. I like my blog for purely selfish reasons it is a record of what I have spent my hobby time doing. I can track back through its history with relative ease. The same applies to those blogs I read as well.

    I think all the main points have been covered above

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    1. I think most but not all of us post mostly for selfish reasons, but selfish in a good way

      Ian

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  14. As people have already said, they are two different things, but used in conjunction can be very effective... if your aim is to drive people to your blog (or product) that is.

    Horses for courses and all that.

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    1. ... however there are some bloggers who should be Facebooking, for example the ones who tend to post for the sake of it and who never take the time to respond to the comments they receive.

      With so many blogs to subscribe to, that someone takes the time to actually comment on your blog, out of the many posts they have read that day, should be acknowledged out of courtesy alone.

      A lot of blogs fall into that category. If you want to post and forget, or just want a pat on the back, then Facebook is more for you.

      Hey! I posted twice, you're doubly blessed. ;-)

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    2. ...and I thank you muchly for it. Good points too, especially about comments, if I somehow manage not to remember to post then I feel quite bad about it

      Ian

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