Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) have become the default way for people to ‘follow’ each other online.
This used to work just fine, but in recent years social media in general, and Facebook in particular, have introduced automatic rules (algorithms) to filter what you see. They promote these algorithms as helping to combat ‘information overload’—by showing you only the stuff you actually need to see. You have little or no say in this: they decide for you. What they’re really doing is preventing you from seeing a large percentage of the stuff you’ve specifically asked to see.
Why would they do this? Well, in Facebook’s case, it’s so they can make money by charging people who have Facebook pages for the privilege of posting stuff that everyone who follows that page will actually see. That would be people like me. I’m not prepared to pay a ransom in order to share stuff online with people who have been kind and interested enough to follow me.
Here’s an example of just how big a problem this has become… On 7th July 2022, I did a quick calculation based on the statistics of my ten most recent Facebook posts. On average, they only reached 13.6% of my Facebook page’s followers. Admittedly, this will be partly because some unknown percentage of my page’s followers hadn’t checked in on Facebook recently. But I refuse to accept my stuff is so awful that it’s forced 86.4% of my followers to abandon Facebook altogether! Clearly, there’s a sizeable chunk of people who have asked to see my Facebook posts who are having many of them withheld by the algorithms.
This isn’t how the Internet was supposed to be. It was supposed to be a place where we could share stuff and communicate freely, without any control-freaky middlemen. Find my stuff entertaining or enlightening? Follow me! Find my stuff less entertaining or enlightening than it used to be? Tell me I’ve lost my mojo, or feel free to unfollow. No hard feelings. I would do the same for you.
Which is why I’m making a concerted effort to post all my best stuff on my website and in the associated newsletter, and to use social media mainly to encourage nice people like you to cut out the middlemen and access my stuff directly.
Which is why, if you enjoy my stuff, I’d very much appreciate it if you’d subscribe to my newsletter:
While you’re at it, it would also be a good idea to tell your email system that you actually want to receive my newsletters and not have them accidentally blocked as spam. To do this, you’ll need to tell your email system to allow through any emails from this address: . (Here’s a useful page explaining how to do this on various popular email systems.)
And finally, if you’re a nerd like me, please also subscribe to my RSS feed, which contains all my latest posts and newsletters. Your RSS reader will require the following URL: http://richardcarter.com/metafeed.xml
Obviously, you can unsubscribe from my newsletter or RSS feed at any time. As I said, absolutely no hard feelings.
Thanks as always for your time and attention.
Any thoughts or questions on this piece? Please feel free to get in touch.