Dear Facebook Friends,
I’ve been wondering when and how to do this for a while now but the time has come for me to bite the bullet and clean up what I’m doing on Facebook.
For 99% of you – this means that I’m about to de-friend you from my personal account on Facebook.
It is nothing personal – in fact…. that is what this is all about…. my personal account on Facebook does need to be personal and its not.
To use a phrase Ed Dale used in doing this same thing – It’s not You It’s Me.
I hope you’ll allow me to explain why I’m doing this and and provide those of you who wish to remain connected with some alternatives.
What I’m Doing
In the next 48 hours I’m returning my Facebook account to a personal account (in fact the process has already begun). This means a number of things:
- I’ll be pulling my all talk about my blogs out of my Facebook account
- There will be no more auto Tweets pulled into my status updates
- My videos about blogging, updates from my blogs etc will all be removed from my Facebook account
- I’ll be de-friending almost everyone – all that will remain will be real life family and friends who I regular catch up with (or those who I want to keep in touch with).
Why Am I Doing This?
When I started using Facebook it was largely something that I used for real friends to share updates of what I was doing.
However in time, as Facebook grew, I began to see how it connected as an opportunity with the work that I do with my blogs. I saw the opportunity to use Facebook to create secondary points of connection with my readers, build a brand and even drive some traffic to my blogs.
As a result my Facebook account became more and more focused around my blogging. As it did so it became less and less relevant to my real life friends and family.
I began to promote this account on my blogs and it quickly got to the point where I had 5000 friends (99% of whom I don’t actually know in real life).
5000 is the limit Facebook allows so I was then at a point where I was rejecting peoples friendship on Facebook – it suddenly became quite exclusive. In the last few months alone I’ve rejected thousands of friend requests – it’s even started to become a little nasty with a number of people thinking I’ve snubbed them.
A while back Facebook started to offer the opportunity for its users to create pages. I started a couple up – one for each of my two main blogs – one for ProBlogger and one for Digital Photography School.
Pages don’t have a limit of how many people can follow them yet they have many of the same features as a personal profile.
Now that I have pages set up and working my personal account on Facebook has become a little redundant for talking about those topics – in fact much of what happens is duplicated and it means my attention is split between updating three accounts.
Since setting up the pages I’ve just felt plain weird about using my personal Facebook page. I’m updating friends on my blogging stuff which doesn’t have any relevance to them (in fact last week I told my parents who are new to Facebook that I didn’t want to friend them because I didn’t want them to have to wade through all my blogging related updates) and I feel like I’m just sending out the same stuff multiple times to others who do want my blogging related stuff. I don’t feel like I’m really achieving anything for anyone with the account.
As a Result – I’ve decided to move all my blogging related updates purely over to my Facebook pages and return my personal account to being a purely personal one – a place where I connect with real life friends and family.
So I’m going to remove all people that are not either friends and family who I see regularly and want to stay in touch with.
My hope in doing this is:
- anyone who want to keep connecting with me on the topics of my blogs will still have a place to do so (not limited by the 5000 number)
- friends and family will have a more relevant place to connect with me
- I will feel slightly less torn each day about what to post (and what not to post) on my personal page
I’m also looking forward to have a private place to just be me – living so openly on the web for so long has been great but a guy needs a place to let what little hair he has down.
If You Do Want to Stay Connected
If you’d like to connect with me around one or both of the topics I blog about I would encourage you to become a fan (I wish they didn’t use that term) of one of my Facebook pages:
Alternatively – much of the Facebook updates that have previously been here on this Facebook account have been pulled in from Twitter. You can get those updates directly from twitter at http://www.twitter.com/problogger – my Twitter stream at @problogger will continue to pull in both blogging related stuff as well as some more personal stuff from time to time also.
I hope this sheds some light on what is about to happen on this Facebook Account.
In terms of WHEN it’ll happen – I’ve already started to pull out some of the blogging stuff from my Facebook page – but I’ll be starting to de-friend people later today. It will take me a while though to de-friend close to 5000 people!
If you’re a real life friend and I do de-friend you – my apologies. I’m sure I’ll mistakenly do that with a few as I go through everyone – I’m certain that going through 5000 people is going to be a process with a few mistakes! Please friend me again if this is you so I can fix it up!