Last night, I finally made the decision. I became a public person on facebook. In reality, I’ve been semi-public for a long time, and the days when my fb wall was “just” a personal wall are long gone. Now, I took the next step, and formally declared myself to be a public figure.
I’ll admit that I had some worries about how that would be received. Would anyone care? Would anyone like the new page? Would they just think I was pompous and self-delusional? It’s not like I’m Emma Watson after all.
But, though I’ll never be on Emma Watson’s level (she has 35m followers and has spoken at the UN, just to name a few cool things she’s done that I never will), my spamming of groups and invites to personal friends meant that I now — the day after — have over 700 likes on the page. So the first hurdle (“Does anyone care enough to click?”) has been passed.
So before I get back into my regular stream of content production — there are still several Road Trip blog posts to write! — I’d like to share some thoughts on why I did this. And while most people probably couldn’t care less, there might be some who are curious about this sort of private/public shift.
- I post a lot of content, and it can get spammy. My facebook wall has turned more and more into a platform for me spreading content. Not everyone who is my facebook friend has asked to receive this, so it felt natural to separate the content producer from the person.
- Others want to make use of that platform as well. It’s even gotten to the point where friends will ask me to post things for them just to get more reach. While I gladly do that when I feel it makes sense, it adds to the “spam” nature of my posts, and this way seems better.
- Policing my FB wall ate up energy and time. I don’t mind people discussing what I write/share/post, but due to knowing a lot of people with differing opinions, it would sometimes get out of hand. That meant that I had to step in and moderate, and that gets tiring fast.
- Theoretically, it limits trolls. Usually, when I post a blog post of mine, someone wants to discuss it. That’s of course more than fair, but I prefer it when people discuss with others who are interested in the content, and not just trolling provocateurs.
- Negative comments wear me down. I have incredibly thick skin, but I’m still very human. When I post something, and people rage about it, it’s a lot easier if they do so in a space where I choose to go and check (the page), rather than in one where I naturally check every day (my wall).
- I’m not always interested in debate. It may sound unfair, but I don’t always share things (my own content or otherwise) because I want to discuss them. Sometimes I just share because I find it valuable in some way, and hope it inspires others. Discussion isn’t always the goal.
- It lets me reach beyond my friend list. I am surprised, humbled and overjoyed that I already have more than a hundred non-friend followers on the new page. Hopefully that number will grow with time, just like my Medium follower number has. But it has to start somewhere!
- It makes it easier for me to separate my facets. I’m still Claus, of course, but there IS a difference between Private-Claus, Personal-Claus and Public-Claus. On facebook, that difference has gotten blurry indeed. I am confident that this will help create some clearer lines.
- I can now boost posts and use my blogging strategically. Probably that won’t happen anytime soon, but if I write a post that gets traction on Medium, it’s suddenly very easy to throw some FB ad money at it, and try to hit relevant target demographics there as well.
- I’m a huge fan of opt-in, rather than opt-out. I know that people who are my facebook friends have chosen to be so, but at some point, my mother and sister might get tired of reading about experience design or larp. This way, I can at least tell myself “But they chose it actively!” ;-)
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If you want to get into contact, I’m easy to find online. So if it’s worth your time, search me out. I’ll do my best to answer. ;-)