Friday, March 09, 2012

Requiem for an aborted fan page

For the past couple of months, I've been working on a Facebook fan page for this blog. I thought it would be a good way to get my stuff out there to people who might otherwise not know about it. It's been a pretty fun project.

However, I'm hesitant to publish the page now, because according to Facebook policy, this banner image is not allowed:

They request that the primary banner be a photograph or anything else that isn't majority text. They also specifically ban promotions and coupons, which makes me glad I didn't go with the idea of a joke coupon you'd have to cut out of your monitor. You won't get five cents off your next visit, I'm afraid.

It's not hard to imagine why Facebook opposes such things — because they want you to stay on Facebook rather than redirect you anywhere. When they prohibit banner text that they say "belongs in About Me section," what they're saying is they want readers to have to dig to find it. 

Facebook wants to promote your blog the same way Sam's wants to help your small business — by getting its cut (even if there is no "cut" to speak of). Micromanaging your fan page is just one way they do it.

The thing is, I planned on having unique material there. Polls. Quizzes. Conversations. Other things I hadn't yet thought of. The page would have had a purpose in and of itself.

It's really a shame. I was looking forward to the exposure that would have benefited both of us. But since Facebook is a free service and a private company, and I'm powerless, there's nothing I can do about it but (try to) delete the page. I'm not risking them laying claim to my material (as some allege) if I can't even display it the way I want to. No dice.

It works both ways, though. Sort of. I've taken my Facebook sidebar icon off of this page. Not that it matters, because I'm a speck and it's not like you don't know how to get to Facebook. But I do what I can, even if it's not much.

That's one less thing I'll have to occupy my time, at least. It was really cutting into my post frequency here.

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