Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

“Publish on social media? No sir, that’s for them fancy lads.”

You are NOT reading this on Facebook.

Or Instagram.

Or Twitter.

Or any of a million other social media platforms sprouting up, dying, then sprouting back up, like poisonous mushrooms clinging to life.

If you don’t like something I wrote here, on my blog, to dismiss it with an arch, tossed-off “Well, I don’t have social media” proves only one thing.

You have a fundamental misunderstanding of what I have been doing for the past 11 years on Coupeville Sports.

Because none of the 10,176 articles I have written have ever been published on “social media.”


Zuckerberg, and Musk, and their buddies don’t make any money off me.

After I publish a story HERE, I post a LINK to said story on Facebook and Twitter, to drive readers to my actual site.

So, yes, it’s there on social media where readers often then share the LINK, or comment on the LINK.

But a huge chunk of my readership doesn’t have social media, even the snarky ones, and it doesn’t matter, because they come directly to my blog.

You know, that place where all my articles are actually printed.

But I get it.

While Coupeville Sports is overwhelmingly positive in its coverage, there are articles which people don’t like.

When something provokes, that discussion often plays out on social media, which is the 2023 replacement for people meeting and talking in person at Videoville and Miriam’s Espresso.

Social media is the frickin’ Wild West, with people shooting off opinions like they’re gunslingers. Sometimes things get pretty dang funky.

If I was a school administrator, I’m sure I’d also want to avoid the whole mess if possible.

So, it’s a good thing I don’t publish stories on social media sites.

Makes it easy for the big bosses to monitor my written output without having to sink into the swamp.

But, as they do so, it’s always good for them to remember something else.

As it very clearly states in my “Who’s responsible for this?” section, I am NOT an employee of the Coupeville School District.

Never have been.

You ain’t never paid me a cent, and I am NOT your PR flack.

Probably should have gone that route. Might have my indoor/outdoor swimming pool by now.

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Bow your head as the “double exclamation point headline” dies a brutal death at the hands of Facebook. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Somewhere, an English teacher smiles, as the double exclamation point headlines die.

Six years, four months, and two weeks after the birth of Coupeville Sports, in the moment right before I hit 6,600 articles, Facebook has done me dirty.

Three times in the past four days, Zuckerberg’s computer algorithms have momentarily paused in their work of stealing all of our info and dispersing it willy-nilly for profit, to inform me I don’t meet “community standards.”

When this happens, Facebook, which never, ever responds to my queries, blocks the story link I’m trying to publish and makes it so I, and I alone, can see it on their website.

Which is a major pain in the tushie. And not the first time this has happened.

I’ve logged 7,579 tweets, many of them featuring links to my stories, and never once been blocked by Twitter.

But, the reality is Facebook overwhelmingly dwarfs Twitter in an ability to drive an audience to my blog.

Which is the whole point of this. Not to collect retweets or likes or shares, but to have people read what I wrote.

Facebook is where the most parents are camped out, the most grandmas and uncles, the most next door neighbors from your old hood, and where I can tag 150 people on a story if I choose.

As much as I scream and rage at my computer when Facebook refuses to work and show a photo with the story link, or any of a thousand other irritants, I need it to drive people to my work.

And I can’t do that when the links to my stories keep on getting blocked.

So I went through and looked at Facebook’s “community standards,” and laughed and laughed and laughed some more at the company’s rules, a load of sanctimonious drivel it definitely, positively does not uphold in any kind of consistent manner.

Trying to find where I was bothering their monitoring system took some work, especially, since as I mentioned, Facebook has no intention of every actually interacting with me.

And this is what I came up with.

The only one of their “community standards” I come remotely close to bumping up against is their “crackdown” on fake news.

And it’s because a computer system is flagging my links, and not an actual human.

Instead of looking at my articles, instead of reading six years worth of reporting, the system is tripping on the most basic of things – the double exclamation points in my headlines.

Facebook’s faceless cops see those eye-catchers, and immediately equate my words with the misleading headlines you see tacked on so many “stories” which are designed to, well, fool and inflame people.

Now I know why I use the exclamation daggers, and most of my readers know why as well.

And it’s not to fool or inflame people.

From day one, it was a way to interject an added layer of excitement, to set myself apart from the newspapers for which I previously wrote.

I’ve positioned myself as an alternative, with a more impassioned, more pro-Coupeville writing style than I used in my previous editorial life.

But I hold fast to many of the rules I learned from my newspaper mentors.

I don’t make stuff up, I get confirmation, I publish news.

A human being who reads my articles knows that. They might not like every story I write, but they can see I’m not some rabid nut screaming at the world from his mom’s basement, or a faceless bot trying to collect “likes.”

Sure enough, when I tested this out, simply removing the exclamation points and leaving my headlines exactly, word-for-word, the same as before, presto, no problem posting links whatsoever.

So, I face a quandary.

I can continue to be the same obstinate curmudgeon I am with most things relating to my writing, or I can, on this one small thing, be smart and accept you have to sometimes go with the flow.

Ultimately, the double exclamation point headlines are part of what makes Coupeville Sports what it is, but they don’t define it.

I can live without them, if I have to, but I can’t live without what is, regretfully, the biggest tool in driving readers to my work.

There’s a good chance you’re reading this article right now because you clicked on a Facebook link.

So fine, Zuckerberg, if it’ll get your soul-sucking bots off my case (and give them time to get back to stealing all my personal info), I can adapt.

The double exclamation points go on hiatus, at least for now.

Give a little, to get a lot.

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Nick Etzell gets ready to mash a return. (John Fisken photos)

Nick Etzell gets ready to mash a return. (John Fisken photos)

Etzell comes up gunning during summer ball.

Etzell comes up gunning during summer ball.

In my defense, Nick Etzell is not on Facebook.

Without the social media monster alerting me every 13 seconds that it’s someone’s cake day, the birthday beat gets a lot harder to properly run.

But, having been relentlessly prodded by Wolf fans who noticed me “slipping,” let’s take a few moments (a day late) to commemorate another trip around the sun by the youngest Etzell.

The Coupeville High School junior is the kind of easy-breezy dude who probably couldn’t care less I missed his actual birthday.

Nick has never seemed all that preoccupied with tooting his own horn, letting his play on the courts and field speak for itself.

And the kid’s got talent, just like all of his older siblings.

The lanky one may not be as willing to rip chunks of flesh from his knees as older brother Ben, but he’s still a deadly racket-wielder on the tennis court.

The top returning singles player from a year ago, after the graduation of Sebastian Davis and Connor McCormick, Etzell has the kingdom lying at his feet as he enters his third campaign under Ken Stange.

Toss in basketball, where the Wolf fan base hopes he returns after taking a year off, and baseball, where he’s a strikeout-hurling mound ace, and Nick is a star on the rise.

And one who just happens to be relentlessly smart and a great guy who lights up every room he enters.

So, a day late, happy birthday, Mr. Etzell!

PS — If you want to pretend I wrote this all yesterday, that would be sweet.

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