Back when Caleb posted his diary A Time For Choosing I was asked in the thread to post a diary with my thoughts and suggestions concerning spreading the conservative moment via Facebook. So…here it is. I’m not going to give step-by-step instructions on how to physically set up things like Groups or Events, because Facebook provides an excellent “Help” section for that sort of thing. Rather, this will be a run down of things that I have done personally to get not only my work out there, but to help improve and make more accessible the conservative “brand”.
Facebook in General
Facebook started out as a social networking tool for college students, and has since branched out to include basically anyone with a functioning e-mail address. You must sign up to use the site with a valid e-mail address, but other that that, there are no restrictions to who can create a profile. This means exactly what you think it means—Facebook is a powerful tool for both the crazy and the sane. As such, you should be careful with privacy, and who you allow to see your stuff. Facebook has great privacy settings, and you should pay strict attention to your personal settings. I ended up with a lot of hate mail (and a few hysterical death threats) during the election season because I forgot to tweak the settings on who could see my profile. Once I took care of that, the hate mail stopped, telling me that the privacy settings do work if you use them right.
Unlike RedState, Facebook puts no limits on profanity or disrespectful yammering. The only thing they take action against is nudity, “profane or obscene material” (I don’t know what that means, either), and content that posts a legitimate, bodily threat to another person. As such, expect the occasional idiot to call you a fascist, ignorant slut. Just do what I do and consider it a compliment.
Sharing Notes and Links
When I started writing, I mainly used Facebook Notes to get my work out there. The Notes application works a lot like a blog. You can type whatever you want, publish your work to your profile, and if you wish, upload accompanying photos. You have the ability to create privacy settings for each individual note, and “tag” other Facebook users you would particularly like to see your Note. Each new Note has its own comment thread, open to anyone you have allowed to see your note.
Similarly, you can share stories etc. from the web via the Links application. This works similarly to the Notes application: it allows you to post a link and provide a short explanation/commentary. The application will post a corresponding picture (from the linked website) and a snippet of the content, and create a thread for comments. This is great for those moments of rage/disbelief/ROTFL when you really don’t have enough brainpower for a full diary.
I was surprised at the response I got to my notes; I discovered that a lot of my friends were more conservative than I believed them to be, and the notes provided a great platform for general debate and exchange of ideas. I’ve gotten a lot of people to read things on RedState (and not just my diary) because of things I’ve posted in notes and links.
Planning an Event
This is honestly the best thing ever. Facebook provides an application that allows you to provide the details for an event (birthday party, Tea Party, anything you want) and “invite” other Facebook users to that event. The application helps you keep track of people who have RSVP’d, provides a message board, and allows for updates.
Laugh all you want, but this really works. As I said in my comment on the aforementioned diary, I have seen this type of “invitation” draw hundreds of people to an event. It’s simple, but effective. Just now in a quick perusal, I found information about Tea Parties, all-out protests, birthday parties, bar crawls, and sorority functions. The key to creating an effective Event is offering solid information (what? when? where?) and composing a solid description of the purpose of the event.
People gathering together with a common purpose. Want Obama to fail? Make a group! Like puppies? Make a group! Hate the Jews? Make EIGHT MILLION groups! (Doubt it? Take a peek someday.) When you make or join a group, you have the power to post links, photos, and other information, and participate on the message board. They’re not very useful for purposes outside of teh interwebs, but they can allow you to amass a core group of people who share your point of view, and will help you promote your work/Notes/Events/etc. by spreading the word to their like-minded friends. (By the way, RedState has a Facebook Group, and you should join it. It’s what all the cool kids are doing.)
That’s about it. The success or failure of any venture via Facebook rests in the execution, and ultimately, the people behind it. Consider this an open thread for any comments/questions/suggestions regarding what I’ve written, or any ideas you might have about improving the Conservative media presence.
P.S. A few more nuggets of knowledge for the particularly enthusiastic: