I'm continuing to experiment with new media tools and have added a Facebook page in addition to the Twitter account I set up several months back. I encourage those of you who follow this blog to track my work through one or both.
In a sense, Facebook will allow me to open yet another reporting front. First there was print, then the blog, then Twitter. Where it ends, who knows. But I'm aiming to find out.
The Facebook page is going to function in part as a feed of my my stories and blog posts at Outrages & Insights. I also plan to post additional content, value-added news, comment and links, if you will. Stuff from me you won't find elsewhere.
Those who sign up to follow me on Facebook can also post comments and content to the page, which allows readers to go way beyond the simple posting of comments on the blog. I'm hoping this helps me build an online community. I'm intrigued and excited about the possibilities.
I was hoping I could build a community around my blog, but I've been disappointed. In retrospect, my expectations were too high. Anonymous posters do not make for a community. Snarky comments, yes. Verbal food fights, yes. But community, no.
Buffalo News policy requires that I keep almost all knucklehead posts up -- unless they really cross the line -- even though I think they are the equivalent of peeing in the pool and driving away many serious minded people who might otherwise have something intelligent to say.
The Facebook page is mine, however, and I will remove inappropriate comments. So, don't libel, don't flame, don't cuss -- in short, don't be a jerk.
The opportunity for mischief is less simply because people posting to Facebook have their names attached to their words. That tends to have a civilizing effect.
I'm hoping readers jump right in by signing up as a "fan" -- I hate the phrase, but Facebook didn't ask me -- and weighing in. For starters, I'd like to hear from people about what they'd like to see on the Facebook page. I'd prefer that you post your comments on Facebook, rather than the blog.
And if there's some technical wizard out there who has ideas for bells and whistles, I'd love to hear from you. Among other things, I'd like to know if there's a way to feed my Twitter posts directly onto my Facebook page. You can do it on personal pages, but it doesn't appear doable for fan pages.
One word of caution for those who want to "fan" the page. It seems there are two fan pages entitled Outrages & Insights, so make sure you fan the correct one.
How this all plays out, who knows. As I said, this is an experiment. In my business, it's change or die, and, folks, I don''t care how much gray hair I have, I'm stickin' around.
In other words, I ain't singing Pete Townshend's infamous line.
If you're game, and already on Facebook and/or Twitter, you probably know what needs doing to follow me.
Go for it.