Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I Can Help Monetize Your Blog!

The few of you who come back and read old updates looking for the elusive third or fourth joke in them might have noticed that a Facebook "Like" button has been added to the ends of every article. Much like the Twitter, Google Reader, Facebook Fan Page and RSS feed links, this is another feature designed to sate a grubbing lust for attention or small pecuniary compensation for untold hours wasted on making fun of shitty pundits, racists, conservatives (where not already covered by items #1 or #2) and Tim McCarver.

I had heard about the new Facebook blog feature, but I figured it was an inane development-for-development's-sake item until two different people (one a stranger, one not) sincerely campaigned for it. One of these people works in the marketing division of a large online company and told me that I would be "an idiot" for not adding the feature. I figure if a person who makes a gross amount of money learning how to get attention for stuff online tells me to do something, maybe I should just go with it. The Facebook "Like" button is here, probably to stay, until it gets modified with a better version.

Because I thought it would be unfair to use strangers as guinea pigs for privacy issues, I tested it out with some friends — whose trust and kindness deserve to be abused, like guinea pigs. Although clicking on it will show you that you like an article, it will not display your name to strangers if you have any privacy settings up. Only your Facebook friends will be able to see your name listed at the end of the article as having "Liked" it. You won't display your interests to anyone you don't know.

"Liking" any article posts a demure one-line notice on your Facebook wall, e.g., "Bort J. Snrub likes a page on Et tu, Mr. Destructo?" I'd love to say I chose the less "salesy" one-line notification feature out of modesty, but the code that enables the full notice — with a paragraph you can post, a picture and the lede — makes everything else look like dogshit, airing out copy and setting the comment box about 200 pixels down the page. No thanks. Those who like posting full-notice links but don't like going to the effort can get around the hassle by becoming a fan on the Facebook fan page and hitting the "SHARE" button on new posts, which copies the teaser paragraph, the pic and the lede text and then posts it on your wall as "via Et tu, Mr. Destructo?"

Now, I know what you're going to say: "You haven't posted anything new in a week. You went on vacation and didn't even write a goddamn paragraph, and now you expect readers to do more clicky-click to promote your vain and lazy ass to strangers to bring you more life-giving attention. How can you think you can get away with that? How can you do it?" And to that, I have a one-word answer: "Volume."