Facebook and the Website Community Posted Jan 20, 2010 - 9:25:31
Sunday night I posted a blog entry which was, for better or worse, slightly controversial. As I expected, it generated quite a bit of discussion, and I think an interesting insight into the minds of my friends.
A discussion that visitors to TRHOnline have never seen.
You see, these entries, besides appearing on my website, are also syndicated out to my Facebook page. Combined with my Twitter feed being linked to my status there, you can assume that while everything I do online appears on TRHOnline it also appears on my Facebook page. Because my friends are almost all (with a few notable exceptions) heavy users of that popular social networking site, they chose to respond there instead of here (assuming "here" is TRHOnline, because it's actually entirely possible you're reading this on Facebook... and then my statement makes absolutely no sense...)
...I've been confused by my own parenthetical comment.
I'm more than happy for the feedback for my ideas, and I'll take readership and comments any way I can get them. And if the majority of discussion had been on the "Note" (the fully syndicated, full text of the entry) I wouldn't have thought twice about it... but they weren't.
As mentioned previously, my Twitter feed is linked to my Facebook status, and most of the comments were on the status update announcing the blog entry. This means that people went to the blog entry, then went back to Facebook to discuss it rather than using the comment system on my site.
This is, to me at least, quite interesting.
Facebook it seems has become the center point for my generation's online communication. Where years ago people would go to individual forums and blog to talk about things, now people just use that one, pivotal site. What it does mean though is that the individual, self managed website community is shrinking.
Now, I'm not going to complain about the size of TRHOnline's community. The fact that it's the size that it is on a site which is ostensibly just to talk about crap that I've done is amazing unto itself. I am, despite my own occasional demands to the contrary, a fairly unimportant and unimpressive person in the grande scheme of things.
But it makes me wonder about where this is all going. What happens if we centralize too much. We've already seen the havoc that can occur when Facebook or Twitter have problems now. What happens in a decade if all of the small community sites have died out?
Well to be fair, I kept my mouth shut. I was kind of upset that your used the picture of Mike Tyson's Punch Out so I wanted to make the joke but I figure you can be very serious about some issues and it worried me that this was one of those issues. But still I will kick Mike Tyson's ass as many times as you want since I can do it. But I will still discuss here on the commenting system. I actually had fun when you let me be annonymous while using funny names.