Tag Archives: Google

Facebook is a Good Place to Encourage Activism and Share Knowledge but Facebook is NOT a Public Forum

You are probably here because you are a part of, or currently watching some bullshit argument on Facebook about how doing something on Facebook matters, or worse yet, doing something on Twitter instead, does not. Please take the time to understand the very basic facts between Facebook and Twitter. Googlebot and Indexing play a huge part in this process.

Before you can truly understand what indexing means, you need a basic understanding of what it means to even be crawled.

Search Engine Crawling and Indexing

I’m not going to teach this full 101 to anyone, I’d rather give a short breakdown in basic terms most people should be able to understand. If you want to know more, details, reality, statistics, algorithm’s, you are welcome to spend the years it has taken me to learn it myself. Otherwise, here is a very short and crude understanding.

Every time new and publicly accessible content goes up on the net, whether on blogs, websites, or open forums, that information sits, fresh and clean, and undetectable by such things as plagiarism checkers or any search tools, until the web crawlers, also known as spiders, (also now known as GoogleBot) make their rounds around the net. Web crawlers are mainly used to create a copy of all the visited pages for later processing by a search engine that will index the downloaded pages to provide fast searches.

Search engine indexing collects, parses, and stores data to facilitate fast and accurate information retrieval. Index design incorporates interdisciplinary concepts from linguistics, cognitive psychology, mathematics, informatics, physics, and computer science. An alternate name for the process in the context of search engines designed to find web pages on the Internet is web indexing.

Facebook

Want your Facebook updates to stay off of Google?

If that’s a concern, you needn’t worry. Only people who have changed their privacy settings to Public will have their content show up in Google. Facebook would like you to change that setting, but you don’t need to worry about your private content being sold to Google without your opting-in by changing your settings.

If Facebook is able to prod more users into sharing more content publicly, then it could rival Twitter in importance among real-time sources. Facebook has approximately 10 times as many users as Twitter today, but the fact that its default privacy setting is private means far less content is available for indexing. In addition to a potential for greater quantity, Facebook also holds far more personal information about its users, meaning that search tactics like personalization and localization would have more data points to process.

Public pages, like Facebook or when you turn on the search engine friendly option on your WordPress panel will make pages, contents and the links search engine friendly and easy to be crawled. In that case, using a few links from already indexed web resources would be enough to ensure the FB pages would get indexed and crawled constantly.

The private settings on the other hand will make your contents hidden from most search engines and web crawlers. In that case, even the addition of links to the content will not help that much since the content will still only be accessible to authorized people. (Your friends list)

The Proof is STILL Not in Facebook

Ever go looking for images through Google? If so, you will notice that you never find one single Meme, Photo, or Post in Google with a URL from Facebook. That is because of all of the above. Want to test further? Head to any image on your Facebook wall right now.

You there? Good, your URL will still reflect a Facebook or FB in the string.

Now, click on F5. Got it? Good, now you have the post opened up, down to the nitty gritty.

Still have a Facebook URL? Yes, you do. Now, right-click on the image itself and select “Copy Image Location.”

And paste it into another browser window, a word document, text pad, anywhere. Now, what do you have? What you do NOT have is a Facebook URL. You do have Facebook’s secure photo server address, and yet anything on this URL, also, not making it to any search engines. And for the last time, that is because content from Facebook is NOT indexed by search engines. At best, if you make your account a public one, the only thing you will ever find on a search engine is the link to your Facebook profile.

Facebook Activism, Debate & Entertainment

Unfortunately, because of the privacy issues, or walled compound that Facebook is, activities that are limited to Facebook, on Facebook, such as status posting, thread commenting, picture sharing, and note writing will not be shared with a random person who searches for the topic at hand from a search engine. In that sense, this eliminates Facebook as a true source of activism outside of Facebook itself. No one looking for information on a topic is going to locate a Facebook Fan page or Personal Page link because someone mentioned those things. It is singularly restrictive to any outside growth. Unless, you are aggregating all of your Facebook content manually, or with various tools and plug ins.

Behind the Compound Wall

After all, one of the many reasons to be active against a cause is to help build up YOUR side of the story, the cause, and to do that, you have to have content that is competitive with whomever you oppose. This means blogs, Web 2.0 sites, YouTube videos, and even other digital content such as slide-shares, radio shows, or even digital TV. Placed on the web they become immediate competition when used with the combination of good SEO practices + high quality content, regardless of that content’s platform.

Debate

There are some truly great debate sites on Facebook. I enjoy one known as Atheists vs Religion quite often. While technically AvR has no more claim to being an element of ‘online activism’ directly, any good debate site, inside or outside the walled compound of Facebook should be considered a positive attribute, a contribution of information and education. A welcoming debate site that has users and admins who seek answers, learn new questions, share unbiased resources, and encourage free-thinking from all angles might be considered a form of “grouptivism.” Knowledge sharing – a collective breakdown of the topic at hand focused on entertainment as well as encouragement to like-minded users and open to those who want to oppose them.

Unbridled Sharing Power Still Makes Facebook and it’s 1 Billion Users an Impressive Digital Change Maker

Aside from the fact that Facebook doesn’t get indexed, there is literally nothing else to stop it from helping to enact change on just about any topic. Users can and do share important and often up-to-the-minute news and updates in just about any imaginable realm or topic.  That doesn’t even count the endless petition shares, additional blogs or websites attached to Facebook profiles, groups and fan pages, and the general awareness that it provides to any and all of the 1 billion users each day.

Twitter

The usefulness of Twitter is not readily as obvious to some people as Facebook; although it may be more addictive once you get the hang of Tweeting; you get more immediate responses and it seems to live somewhere between the worlds of email, instant messaging and blogging. Twitter encourages constant “linking out” to anywhere and, in that respect, is more analogous to a pure search engine; another way to find people and content all over the Net.

Personally, I hate Twitter. And I have always been hard put find an accurate way to describe it to the masses who also hate it. But in a conversation online recently, (On Facebook), when another user admitted they really were not sure how Twitter worked, another friend made this reference that is actually an apt way to describe in very basic crude terms how Twitter works.

You leave a message on Twitter (the bathroom wall) and then like minded folks (those using the same bathroom) will see the message, remember it, maybe share it. You already share something in common with them, from the choice/type/industry/topic of the establishment that houses the bathroom, down to the gender, if in fact there are separate bathrooms for both genders. This is scraping the bare essence of demographics, but very primitively.

How Does This Differ from Facebook?

Aside from the fact that Facebook is default private, and when public only shows your public profile, Facebook is mostly limited to your family, Facebook friends, friends of Facebook friends, and other acquaintances you may have picked up from around Facebook or other networks. Connections can be limited by your choice of profile and privacy settings in addition to the compound wall constantly surrounding your account.

Twitter is open to the public, except in very specific cases where a user may have blocked their feed to another user, Twitter is an open book. Type in your keywords, #hashtags, famous names, anything and you are given an endless list of 140 character blurbs from all over the globe. Opinions, news, and rumors abound.

Is Twitter a Genuine Tool for Online Activism?

Yes and effectively if used correctly, more powerful when used en mass. There are many instances, statistics, case studies, info-graphics that show that Twitter IS an exceptional tool for its many reasons alone, but also one that has, can and will continue to force changes in some spectrums previously untouched. Political scandal has been one of those instances. Remember when Weiner showed his Weiner on Twitter? Five years ago, Twitter was hardly a blip on the political radar. Now, it’s a social media giant. President Obama recently urged college students to take to Twitter and pressure their representatives on student loan interest rates.

Twitter users can interact with one another in two primary public ways: retweets and mentions. Retweets act as a form of endorsement, allowing individuals to rebroadcast content generated by other users, thereby raising the content’s visibility.

Mentions function differently, allowing someone to address a specific user directly through the public feed, or, to a lesser extent, refer to an individual in the third person. These two means of communication —retweets and mentions— serve distinct and complementary purposes, together acting as the primary mechanisms for explicit, public user-user interaction on Twitter.

In Conclusion

The walled compound of Facebook means that what happens on Facebook tends to stay on Facebook. For the most part, none of the content produced on Facebook is repurposed out amongst the blogsphere, this along with a limited volume of daily updates as compared to Twitter, makes Facebook of lesser value to Google from a fresh content perspective.

Twitter however seems to be built to be one giant piece of Google bait. With a fixed field for communication and a feel like that of an instant messaging service, where each message becomes a linkable page, Twitter has developed a massive user generated content system for whatever the Twitter audience might be discussing.

Resources:

  1. Twitter vs Facebook
  2. How to Get Facebook Comments Indexed
  3. Facebook Will Be Google-able (If Your Profile is Set to Public)
  4. Facebook Wants You to Be Less Private – But Why?
  5. Facebook the Walled Garden, Twitter Anything But
  6. Snopes – Facebook Indexing Myth Revealed
  7. Did Anthony Weiner Tweet a Picture of His Weiner?
  8. Twitter: From Infancy To Political Powerhouse
  9. Political Polarization on Twitter
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FaceBook Offends Me – Report It

 

If you are somehow stuck on Facebook and have found yourself to be offended, read this not-so-quick emergency guide for how to solve this tragic problem.

GTFO

There is only one sure-fire way to guarantee you won’t ever be offended on Facebook.

Log off.

If you are unclear on how to do that, please just walk away.

Yes, that is the only sure-fire way to avoid being offended on the internet. And while you are logged off, how about you go do something about those things on the internet that offended you so much?

Who Gets Offended by Stuff on the Internet?

I could sit here and list certain groups of people who I think usually get offended, at least in my experience, such as religious people, overly sensitive people and people who have experienced ‘bad things’ in life. But I think it goes beyond any of those group labels, and actually is far more related to a person’s individual character. So who are these characters?

Self-Centered People

self-cen·tered  [self-sen-terd]

  • Concerned solely or chiefly with one’s own interests, welfare, etc.; engrossed in self; selfish; egotistical.

“Surely you jest,” the self-centered are now thinking.  “Just because I am willing to protest offensive internet material does not mean I am self-centered, it means the opposite! It means I care too much!”  Bullshit. It only means that somewhere in your narcissistic little head, that you think, hell, sometimes even expect, that something should be altered for the sake of little ole’ you.

The Internet Doesn’t Care What You Think

Try as hard as you can to remember that ‘The Internet” :
  • Is not a ‘person’
  • Does not have a sensitivity filter
  • Is not solely for you to use
  • Is not out to get you
  • Does not have its own conscious thought or free-will

It’s is little more than a giant trashcan at the bottom of a series of tubes and pipes.

Quit Being so Offended by Updates

All of those changes and updates and things you’ve been bitching about have also included a myriad of ways to hide a single post, hide three different levels of post from any given users based on an importance rating, and clicking these options all takes one single click. To report, it takes a minimum of four.

But Someone Posted a Picture of Domestic Abuse / A Sad Puppy / A Cross Eyed Person / A Nipple / An Erroneous Comment on Their Wall Where I Could See It!

Yes, so why is it up to you again to complain about it? To judge a friend, Facebook or Face to Face type? It really isn’t. I have seen this type of crap posted before on some lame ass Facebook status or another so here is my version, and the answer to your question.
While you were busy reporting the picture of a woman being punched in the face on a meme, a woman who has been domestically abused is getting a good laugh at it, it is helping her to cope in her own way, with those terrible memories. It also reminds her how dangerous that situation is. Shedding the terrible, replacing sad memories with laughter, even if only for a moment. Somehow she made it through all that without being as whiny and overly sensitive as you. While you were upset and reporting someone making fun of a cross-eyed kid, you had no idea that the cross-eyed kid himself posted it originally because he handles the bullshit life gives him by facing it head on. While you got upset over a nipple slip on your wall, you didn’t bother to learn shit about that girl who posted a sliver of her nipple on her own Facebook wall and realize that she was posting what her ‘new’ nipples look like now that cancer and a double-mastectomy took both of the original tata’s and now that she has her pride and dignity back, she wants to share with her friends how great of a job the tattoo artist did creating her new nipples.
All true stories from people I have known that have been reported or harassed on Facebook by the offended.
Better Yet! If you don’t mind all that clickin’, click your ass on over to Change.org orCare2.com and whip up a petition protesting some intolerable event of domestic abuse in your city or state. You don’t even have to literally stand up to do that. Or, you could get off your ass and go volunteer some time actually talking to a victim. While you are there, ask that person if they think any of your complaints of offense, or rabid report clicking ever stopped a punch to their face. Ask them if you ‘making a stand’ on a social network ever helped any of them get out of a bad situation. Oh? But your intolerance of a picture or a comment on the internet is, ‘making a stand?’ No it isn’t. Making an actual stand against something, means actually standing up and being pro-active for a cause. Doing something non self-centered about something that offends you could include:
  • Rescue one of those sad dogs you rage about being mistreated
  • Extend yourself, if you see someone genuinely in need, don’t just get offended about it, help them with a solution, or at least make an effort
  • Maybe you have an extra five bucks, why don’t you click on over to your bank account and donate $5 dollars to a foundation that will help women recovering from breast cancer
  • Talk kindly to the kid who is cursing up a storm on Facebook at 4am, instead of just making him more miserable by taking his only obvious babysitter away for a couple of days.
All of the other shit, your questionable judgement, morals, misgivings, obvious ignorance, and ouchy places that leave you in an offended clicking and commenting frenzy, should probably just be stored in your closet full of skeletons before you consider logging on to Facebook anyway.

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