On their Rework podcast, the Basecamp team expressed their desire to become a Facebook-Free Company. (DHH wrote an article about this on their Medium publication, as well.) They don’t depend on Facebook for new business, nor do they rely on it to reach their audience, and that’s 100% the right decision for them.
That said, I have wrestled with my own relationship to Facebook during 2018. For many years, I avoided posting anything personal to Facebook, mainly because of some personal issues. (I’ll likely write more about those sometime soon.)
And yet, I’m noticing more of the people I care about in my private network using Facebook more and more to check in with each other, to inspire each other, and to remain present in each others’ lives. Like me, they all share concerns about the net impact Facebook’s had on the world.
While I feel pretty strongly about not wanting to support Facebook’s business practices, I’m also not going to pretend that many folks are going to all rush back to posting on their personal blogs. If I want to spend more time reconnecting with people who are important to me, and that’s likely going to happen on Facebook.
I’m a sucker for a redemption story, and I’m not counting out the people at Facebook who I’m sure are going to fight for better outcomes than what we saw them deliver over the past few years. However, I’m not going to spend a dime with them in 2019.* They need to earn back the trust that they can deliver the results they promise, and that they won’t divert my company’s advertising spend in ways that don’t align with our values.
So I’m getting ready for two things in 2019:
First, I’m going to be “louder” on Facebook. If you’ve thought I was a ghost for a while, you’ll probably be sick of me interjecting more thoughts and plugging my business. It won’t hurt my feelings if you mute me or unfriend me because of that.
Second, I’m going to invest much more time in my personal site as a home base for admittedly half-baked ideas. It might even feel like an early-aughts blog around here sometimes. But when folks eventually start asking me questions on Facebook about “what are you doing?” or “why are you so extra right now,” I’ll usually point back to pages over here. I might even turn comments back on, in an attempt to move some conversation back here from Facebook.
Will this stick? I don’t know, this is only like the 22nd time I have rebooted my personal domain. I could get used to this system and post once a day like I did back in the AOL Journals days, or I could end up spending a whole year between posts. Truth be told, I’m writing more on this site for me to remember things in my head on certain days, so this might not ultimately be for you.
But this is what feels right to me right now.
Happy 2019, friend. I hope we’ll talk more soon.
* “However, I’m not going to spend a dime with them in 2019.” Okay, my pledge lasted through the first quarter. On April 3, I booted up a new Facebook campaign. There’s no denying it—for small businesses, it’s currently the most effective tool we have for generating new leads. I’ll write more on this disappointing turn of events soon.