Friday, 2 March 2012

You read it here first!

In the last few months I have noticed a steady decrease in the number of my Facebook friends who post regularly to the site: with a regular poster defined as one who posts at least once a week or four times within any 30 day period. There has also been a sharp increase in the number of posts made by my friends that don’t generate any comments.

I was wondering if these two trends are linked? Are people not posting so often because they get discouraged by the lack of interest shown in what they write? Are the people who only posted updates that generated no reader interest walking away from Facebook in large numbers? It seems to me that it is only a very small step from deciding to stop posting to Facebook to not bothering to visit the site at all.

You only need to look at the number of blogs that have been launched with a wild burst of enthusiasm only to die within a matter of days. Most of these dead blogs are “comment free zones”. Giving an author some feedback is a way of encouraging them to keep writing.

What is happening is starting to remind me of the way that Google Groups went from being a useful resource to a place almost entirely inhabited by Chinese con-artists, peddlers of pornography and get-rich-quick marketing related posts.

If I extrapolate these Facebook trends into the future – even using an optimistic straight line prediction rather than the more probable exponential decay – it means that the current stock-market valuation of Facebook is as insane as past valuations of Friends Reunited. You have been warned!


  1. I've noticed it in blogs over the last six months, too. Blog entries are down (people who used to blog almost every day now blog once or twice a week maybe), and comments on the blogs are down.

    I think the only way I can up my own readership is say something WORTH READING pretty much EVERY DAY. I'm just not sure I want to devote the time to do this... so I'm sporadic. Not good. Must reassess.

  2. I would struggle to post to my blog everyday unless I devoted a disproportionate percentage of my "writing" time to the task. Even then I would be wondering if that was the best use of my time.