Another dot in the blogosphere?

A serendipitous experiment

Posted on: March 13, 2013

I have decided to conduct an experiment with my blog feeds. The simple research question is: What happens to the readership of this blog when I stop the feed to my Facebook profile?

The experiment is not entirely my design because the automatic feed stopped on its own some weeks ago. I cannot say whether this was due to a technical change in Facebook or whether the feed tool stopped working.

I suspect that it is the former since the same feed tool that updates my Twitter stream keeps sending automated tweets whenever I blog.

I have already noticed a drop in readership by almost half when the Facebook feed was inactive. This is surprising considering how I carefully cultivate my Twitter followers and am practically anti-social on Facebook.

Perhaps the Twitter stream of consciousness flows by too swiftly for folks to catch. Maybe I am taken more seriously on Facebook. Horrors!

2 Responses to "A serendipitous experiment"

Hi Ashley, that’s an surprising discovery all right!

But yes, I do think that Twitter is more suitable for a real-time bird’s-eye (pardon the pun) view of things going on. Great for knowing the overall trends, but not so good for more introspective thoughts and reflection.

Personally, I think you could try posting your blog posts directly to Facebook (nowadays it’s considered quite socially acceptable to post a long status post on your Facebook, especially if it’s a thoughtful article.)

Perhaps it’s because a lot of people tend to be in a more relaxed and sociable mood when using Facebook, and therefore, more open to thinking deeper – and more seriously – about things they find meaningful, but when they use Twitter, their minds are generally in “quip” mode.

So in a way, I think the medium that we use to communicate does influence the particular mode of thinking, reasoning and inquiry that we choose to use at a given time.

Just a thought!

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Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts, Yeu Ann.

While I appreciate the clear and nuanced differences between the two platforms, I treat them the same. I use them merely as billboards to place hyperlinks back to this blog. This is where the reading and reacting happens.

I also describe this blog as a personal one that I leave open for anyone curious or “kaypoh” enough to want to read. It is for my own learning and thinking, and if anyone picks something up from my rants or reflections, thank serendipity.

Blogs have a diary-like feel; FB does not. I am cautious about using FB for reflection because it is not as flexible or “well afforded” as a blog.

I also beg to differ on the mood people are in when they are on FB. What you say might be true some of the time, but not always. The way I manage my Twitter followers is like a TV channel. Only those who want to watch it follow me, so I produce programmes they want to watch.

FB on the other hand is a free for all. Birthdays, major events, car accidents, good food, bad service, and more are all game. The people in FB are friends and “friends”. The writing and sharing that happens there is different.

I might think and act differently about FB in the future. But for now, I use different tools for different purposes to reach different ends.

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