Thursday, 16 October 2014

Facebook Becomes the Inevitable Spam Book!

Well it had to happen at some point. Judging by my own newsfeed, facebook has finally crossed into being a big source of spam, like your first hotmail account, it has gone over the level. Today i counted well over half the entries served up  in my newsfeed were commercial. Facebook has evolved into Spambook.

The odd thing is It is not Zuckerberg who is actually to blame!! The management of facebook get blamed by the flamers. In fact all they have done is make the environment for a profitable company whose stock value represents better now their ability to earn money and expand. The tweaks a couple of years ago and the opening of mobile devices to advertisements allowed for the worst exposure to commerciality from a body of capitalist minded people - we the users.

First of course we liked too many sources which soon started spamming through their posts. We unlike, hide, report but we keep on Liking new causes, comedy stores, personalities and sports clubs. Worse we keep on joining groups who spam us. Our likes have now become shared in a neat little banner section which does appear frequently but less frequently than the old system of Likes with algorythms that maybe presented you something you may too like. Hmm, I am on ignore by about 95% of my 'book I feel, mostly because of an excessive period of liking a couple of things a day, and being on long threads.

Now we get to the darker places of CGM - consumer generated media - where we actually torture each other. Some groups were started to actually sell stuff to each other. Community markets took off here about two years ago, no doubt they have always been a feature of the 'Book in the USA as much as Craig List and Ebay. Now there are endless beigey brown puffa jackets, cathode tube TVs, cracked iPads and the chip board detritus of divorces and upgrading in useless furniture.

Yet do we clear out this spam? The Like Banner of what freinds are liking is the best thing on FB for ages. Manages spam for us. Gives us something to look at while we wait for a plane. Why then do we not just put everything on ignore? Well the consumer generated community markets we have a kind of fondness for, and the eternal hope of a bargain within easy driving distance, or perhaps helping someone out we know are on hard times, or saving the enviornment by recycling. The Spam rolls on, people still want an iPhone 5 half price, there are all the duller colours of last years utility clothes on sale in the sizes that our kids have just grown out of.

Neither do we bother to vote with our feet when out favourite sports personality starts spamming with over 50% posts being commercial ?  We plug on, it is only the odd ad'. Sites you may like are wildly innaccurate, I have never had anything more than the usual insurance, dating, holidays mass marketing trawl. Never once anything to do with my hobbies. Instead that type of marketing has now gone word-of-keyboard by what my freinds liking likely to be likey by me. Never more true, we flock together, we like consumer referral, it makes us feel empowered. Advertising is seen as a lie all too often..

"Truth Well Told" was McCann Eriksons motto,, and we shyed away from the traditional media and creative, interesting adverts.  Now we expose our selves to the absolute most dangerous types of scam and phishing via that good old consumer generated Face Book. Unfeasably cheap Oakleys and Raybans are just that, it is a scam. Yet we see our friends Likes for these, and these seem to be paid to appear in their own Liked box.  We link out to god knows what with a demand to access our facebook and suddenly we have some dodgey folk trying to freind us or our accounts Fraped.

I find that my pals of my oldie generation are now posting far less often, yet often on more important news. Facebook has become an obsessive compulsive disorder for us as we seek some distraction in our recreational time, and that time therefore gets spread thinner as we waste time in the offiice on social media nano holidays, thus needing to work later at night, thus having social media up in the back ground, complaining about needing to work late, replying to answers, thanking for Likes....... we have a self induced Facebook Fatigue and we seem powerless to do anything about it, finding the pinging sound of alerts more attention grabbing than a child's subtle or obtuse reach for comfort. Little candies of social media, falling from the stars, we feel important and connected. We disconnect and become inconsequent to steadily more people on our facebook list who put us on ignore.

What consumer generated media most of all teaches us is that in fact we generate a lot of crap and the quality content comes from people who are still payed and have a degree of talent and professionalism in their content and channel.   If you have read this far, in what I hope was a high quality amateur blog, then you are in a tiny minority of people who came from the web here, and in a minority of those who read further.

Social Media sites and mechanisms like Twitter, are  now fragmenting again as with the whole thing about the Model T ford, we all want on to begin with and then we all realise we are individuals and one size does not fit all. The current move is off facebook for the younger generation, and although they arent shouting about it, FB are probably struggeling acquire and maintain up time from under 22 year olds. This generation are growing up with mobile internet and wifi 90% uptime, with the SMS fast becoming a thing of the past for social interaction. We like twitter because we have a degree of interaction with our searches and Twitter have taken up on the best of the TweetDecks and evolved a decent GUI. Facebook has become channel 1, it is on because we think the news will maybe have something for us, but its interactivity is reduced to an extent where as I say, we have more commercial spam in our news feed than stories from friends. Just as with terrestrial, analogue TV we grew bored with and migrated away from, a trickle of lead consumers at first, then a torrent of the masses will leave the chewing-gum-for-the-eyes internet 'channels'. 

Facebook was for a very long time too good to be true. Tiny little side banner ads we never ever clicked on, opt outs for all forms of potential spamming, rich content when we all bothered to put good stories up and we then gave a damn about catching up with each other, which I found very cool, but maybe the people I found did not share that side of the experience of linking up with me and my spamming.

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