Tag Archives: Blogging

Facebook Advertising Sucks: Avoiding the Echo Chambers

I’ve recently been experimenting with Facebook advertising and this blog. I’ve known consciously for a long time that any endeavour is successful in a large part by how you sell yourself: you can’t just have a really good blog or business or whatever and expect that word of mouth can carry you to success. You could have the best damn widget ever and no one will ever buy it if they don’t know about it. There is a lot of hard work and shamelessly selling yourself on the road to success.  I say I’ve known this consciously because while I’ve known it, I didn’t really believe it at a really deep level. Anyways, while I want this blog to be successful, I don’t really intend for it to be an actual business. I figure if I get a bunch of readers I could sell T-shirts or something, mostly so people can rock my sister’s logo design, but it isn’t a get-rich-quick sort of scheme. It would be cool to get more readers, and see if that whole “selling yourself” idea works, and it would be an interesting experiment if I ever did try to start a business. So that was my motivation behind advertising, to see how effective it really is and to learn from it.

So I advertised (“boosted” in Facebook parlance) a few of my posts. The first one I advertised was the post about writing and typing; it was a fairly tame post that I figured people might find enjoyable. If you clicked the link you can see that it did get quite a bit of shares, more so than most other posts (33! Shit! I didn’t know it did that good!).  Anyways, advertising on Facebook is cheap, easy, and does seem to get your message out to people. It also allows you to pick your audience by selecting interests that you want to target for your audience. Obviously for that post I selected people who liked reading, writing, and blogging. You want to advertise to people who the message will resonate with, obviously. More on that shortly…

For advertising my second post I wanted to go right for that juicy market that is Donald Trump hatred, and selected my scathing but fun post on covfefe. (And got 55 Facebook shares?!) It wasn’t so much trying to get those sort of readers, just that my first advertised post was fairly tame, and I wanted to get in on the mess of politics. When it came time to pick my audience it was obvious to select those who identify as liberal and who possibly lean towards liberal views. Duh. Like I said before, you want to target people who your message will resonate with. But this seems really cheap and easy, so I also targeted those who were very conservative and who leaned conservative. In a recent post about Echo Chambers (which I learned from advertising the covfefe post), I railed against people reading shit that agrees with their views. To me, what’s the point of advertising an obviously liberal point of view to people who lean liberal? I’d just be contributing to the “echo chamber” problem so why not advertise to the conservatives? So that’s what I did…

And it was kind of a mess.

First off, it finally clicked in my head that I had just spent $25 to target conservatives with a very anti-Trump post, and if you care to check this blog’s Facebook page, some people weren’t happy at all about it. Curiously, a bunch of liberals “liked” the post, but few conservatives shit on it, so I’m assuming many of the people angered by it just ignored it. Still, that isn’t as bad as shitting all over the page like some people did and could’ve, but it’s still wasted money by going absolutely nowhere. Advertising on Facebook Sucks because you pay to target an audience, so you’d naturally pick those who agree with you. No one in their right mind would pay to target those who hate their ideas and views. Imagine if Shell or Mobil gas tried to target electric car owners? Or if Tyson Foods advertised towards vegans and vegetarians:iIt’d be a waste of money.

Secondly, I don’t think this would get any sort of conversation going at all. Not a single conservative voter will read my blog posts and go “Hmm. He has a point. Trump is bad, what was I thinking?” The political posts I write are some vulgar, simple, and easy hit pieces on Trump and the Right, mostly because they make such obvious and easy targets on a page called Everything Sucks. While I don’t want my blog to only appeal and to target liberal-minded voters, trying to actually get a conversation going (while simultaneously shitting on Trump) on Facebook seems pretty stupid and futile. I mean if a newspaper as prestigious as the New York Times (“the failing @NYTimes”) can be labeled “Fake News” and shit on by Trump supporters, why would Everything Sucks and Facebook Advertising change anyone’s mind? It won’t…and I’d be dumb as hell to think it would.

So, in short, Facebook advertising is pretty cool if you just want to shamelessly support a page, company, blog, or whatever. It does work and is fantastic at getting your product (or whatever) out in the world for people to notice and perhaps utilize. This puts the success of your whatever on it’s quality and not if people have heard about it or not. My two blog posts got tons of views and shares after I advertised them, but in terms of trying to advertise to those who disagree? Hell no, because no one wants to spend money to reach people who will hate their message. Even if I’m trying to be inclusive and not contribute to creating my very own echo chamber, Facebook advertising sort of encourages advertising to people who will be supportive of your message. Facebook makes it so you can target an audience who will like your message, but this ease in getting positive feedback discourages any willful targeting of a dissenting audience, further contributing to people hearing what they want to hear. Facebook Advertising Sucks in getting a conversation going and further contributes to the problem of people having Echo Chambers where they can hear facts and opinions that already support their own opinions.

Donald Trump Sucks: An Incomprehensible Mess

As you can probably see, this is filed under the category of Politics Suck. This being its own category means something; it means that in my mind I intended for the politics portion to take up a notable spot on this blog. Some other categories like People Suck and Society Sucks are large, but you would expect them to be large because people are that shitty in general — there isn’t much surprise there. But outside of Video Games Suck, Politics Suck seems to be a pretty damn narrow niche category that hasn’t had any posts. What the fuck is going on here?

I have to admit this category is partly inspired by Donald Trump being the Worst Candidate Ever and our wonderfulest 45th President of the United States of America. Go figure. I didn’t think it would actually happen but here we are with a damn reality TV star leading the free world. As you can probably guess, I’m not a fan as the guy stands antithetic to everything I love and hold dear, like facts, logic, not melting down on social media like a teenager, and spelling words correctly. It only makes sense that I would want to channel my loathing for the dude and his stupid policies into a series of posts collectively labeled Politics Suck. Outside of this, Politics Suck was supposed to be a general category driven by world affairs, governance, stupid partisan politics, the economy, and other shit that Sucks in those general categories. But the current situation in the US — with me being a citizen — would naturally take center stage and Trump is just too good (awful) to pass up writing about! He’s a goldmine if you have a blog called Everything Sucks. As you can see, this is only the second post, so what gives? Trump is making headline after headline and yet I’ve been silent except for the failed healthcare act #1 about two months ago. What’s up with that?

Donald Trump Sucks, but he sucks in a way that I’m unable to comprehend and process in a timely fashion.

I’m case you weren’t aware, the guy is a mess. And in case you weren’t aware, my blog posts takes quite awhile to churn out. Trump sucks in a large way by how I simply can’t keep up with his endless bullshit. It’s kind of funny but also really sad in a way. I envisioned post after post about he sucks and how he fucks up in all of his narcissistic Trumpian ways, but holy fuck, I can’t keep up and even begin to comprehend the individual fuck ups enough to write proper posts about them! It never fails: when one new story breaks on how awful he is there is another one that appears quickly on the heels of the first one. His presidency is a lightning round of bullshit that I can’t keep up with.

Dolan

Are we gr9 agen yet?

First there was…see I can’t even recall it! Oh yeah, the executive orders that did a whole bunch of shit but nothing really. I remembered how he whined about Obama’s executive order “abuses” back in the day, but before I could write about that, he was on to getting his immigration thingy repealed. And there was some shit about the inauguration crowd size and “alternative facts” and God stopping the rain. Something about a plan to defeat ISIS? Right? Talking up the economy and keeping jobs in ‘Murika. Magically, I was almost able to make a real post about the first health care bill — the single highlight (so far) of my blogging during the Trump regime — but then, somehow, things got even crazier. There was another blur of whatthefuckhappened and we bombed Syria and the North Koreans did some shit with a parade and bombs and rockets and Trump was mad. And most recently, James Comey was fired, Trump met with some Russians, and he also leaked some important shit that he probably shouldn’t have. And who knows what will transpire before I finally hit the “post” button. (Update: I wrote all of that a few days ago, and in that time there was a special counsel appointed to look into the matter, and Trump has had another meltdown on Twitter about “witch hunts.” See what I mean?)

My point here is clear: I can’t keep up. Out of all that shit I just recalled I did a single post. And it was a shitty one. Each one of these incidents, and the ones I forgot about, could’ve been their own posts where I made some pointed observations about President Drumpf but I fumbled the ball because the passes came way too fast for me to handle. The guy is a pro at churning out headline after headline that you simply can’t keep track of. Seriously. I think back to the campaign and think, “Why was Trump so bad?” and I legitimately can’t think of much, but it’s not so much from lacking bad shit, it’s because there’s so much bad shit that nothing stands out in any clear manner. All shit stinks so you won’t notice anything really unless there is some really bad shit to stink really badly. Think of Bill Clinton’s presidency: boring, NAFTA, MONICA LEWINSKY, boring, boring. What stands out? Think of Nixon: debating JFK on TV, finally won, Vietnam, WATERGATE, RESIGNATION, boring career. What stands out? But with Trump it’s BUILD A WALL, BAD HOMBRES BRINGING DRUGS, BAN MUSLIMS, NUKES ARE COOL RIGHT?, I’VE GOT BIG HANDS, SMARTER THAN GENERALS, TED CRUZ’S DAD KILLED KENNEDY, NASHTY WOMMAN, NATO SUCKS PAY UP, GRAB HER BY THE PUSSY, I DID TRY TO FUCK HER, BIGGEST INAUGURATION CROWD EVAR, NATO IS OKAY, LOCK HER UP, I’M NOT GUNNA LOCK HER UP NEVERMIND, CAN’T REPEAL OBAMACARE, GOLFIN’, NORF KOREA IS BAD GUYS, COMEY “YOU’RE FIRED” BUT ONLY AFTER 110 DAYS, RUSSIANS ARE MY FWEINDS, HEY I KNOW TOP SECRET INTEL TOO GUISE. Okay, phew. Now seriously, what stands out? NOTHING DOES BECAUSE IT’S ALL INTENSE BULLSHIT. So in retrospect he seems really awful but you can’t point out anything specific because it’s all bad.

That’s the best illustration of my problem so far guys. Trump is so awful, and Sucks in such an incomprehensible manner that I don’t have the time to write proper posts to fill my Politics Suck portion of my blog. I really need to get on it and churn shit out because it is my problem, but it’s hard when your primary source for things that Suck is so Goddamn prolific. If you give the guy credit for anything, give him credit for that: he sucks so much no one can keep up with it, let alone me and my quaint little blog.

Writing and Typing Ideas Suck

Most of the post ideas for this blog come from me waking up at 3 in the morning and having to go pee. Seriously. For some reason, sleeping for a few hours and waking up sends my brain into overdrive and I seem to have all sorts of great blog post ideas randomly shoot into my consciousness. Most of these ideas even seem to write themselves as I think about them. As I go up the stairs and head to the toilet, my inner monologue takes control and I narrate an entire post in my head over the course of urinating, washing my hands, and proceeding to eat a bunch of shit I probably shouldn’t be eating at 3:00 a.m. Like Oreos. I walk around, stuff cookies in my face, and make an internal speech to myself about whatever happens to be on my mind and the narrative sounds really good too. Since I don’t want to work on the post at that moment — it being 3 in the damn morning — I promise myself that I’ll work on it the next day…

So, a week later I try my damndest to remember exactly how I intended to word the post as I finally sit down to work on it with little avail. Sometimes I even have to remember what the post topic was even about as I’d forget over the course of a week. I sit down, grab my laptop, and start typing away. I usually lose my train of thought after a few minutes and/or sentences with the introductory paragraph not really giving the type of intro that I wanted. The paragraphs don’t transition properly, and trying to write the post seems like trying to tame a wild horse (my analogies suck: future post). I want the blog post to make a certain point or sound a certain way but it ends up doing something similar but not really in the exact way I’d imagined it. I usually give up (“I’ll give it some time.”) and never return to the post idea again and if I do it never sounds nearly as good as the 3:00 a.m. monologue did.

Why doesn’t the 3:00 a.m. narrative pissing idea not work out? I have an idea that may or may not be true: because typing and writing ideas Suck.

In speech class a few years ago I noticed something. The first few speeches I did, which were also short speeches, I had used the maximum amount of allowable notecards that I could. I wrote down my points, sub-points, and my sub-sub-points. The introduction was even written word for word. Not so surprisingly (since I suck at public speaking), I didn’t do very well with those speeches. Apparently I needed to “talk more towards the audience” because I was reading to them or something like that. So for the last few speeches, which were even longer than the first ones, I only used one side of a single notecard. I didn’t have shit on the notecard other than the main topics, and those were mere guidelines. My classmates thought I was being an idiot by not having hardly anything to rely on but I figured that by being sparse on the notecards I couldn’t crutch my way through the speech by reading. Lacking any real words to read I was forced to bullshit my speech and actually talk about my points to the audience, just like you would in a normal conversation. I got amazing grades on those speeches and remembered that less is more when it comes to making speeches.

I think something like that is going on with writing posts, and for anything creative in your head for that manner. A speech isn’t supposed to be you simply reading shit to an audience — that’s boring — it’s supposed to be you talking to the audience like you’re having a conversation. I think a blog post should probably be that way too, at least one like what I (am trying to) have here. I’m trying to talk to the readers, so sitting down and trying to write never seems to capture the dynamics of a person who is talking directly to you. This is even more important if you’re basing your writings off an inner monologue which is basically like a private speech you are making to yourself. By trying to write my inner monologue, something shitty happens and it doesn’t work.

I think that typing Sucks and is what is killing the technique. At the very least it is slower and clunkier than speaking. What I can say in ten seconds would probably takes me 40 seconds to type. This would be a problem even if you’re a really fast typer. It’s just hard to type, see your stupid word choices, spelling errors, and terrible syntax choices all while trying to have a clear and comfy inner monolouge to carry you the entire way! See, I just misspelled monologue and wanted to mouse up and correct it because the red squiggly line under the word is obnoxious and distracting. I left it though. The point is your concentration is always being jacked with when typing and that it is inefficient. It’s hard to capture the near instantaneous thought process by typing; it’s simply too slow. Try it yourself: walk around the house like you have to pee and it’s 3:00 a.m. (maybe even grab some Oreos) and start explaining something in your head, or tell a story. Then sit down at a computer a few hours later and try to write it with the same fluidity that you had while speaking to yourself. Yeah, it’ll probably Suck.

Typing also involves using a computer or other device. You can’t walk around and be casual if you’re plopped down in front of a keyboard and a screen. That obviously makes a difference because you’re in a fixed sitting position. Good luck typing on a phone or a tablet too. Typing really Sucks.

“But what about writing?” you might wonder. Like pen and paper writing. Nope, that Sucks as well, because of the same damn thing as typing at a computer. You still have to formulate thoughts and ideas into a linear sentence structure and struggle with capturing it in an accurate way quickly. It’s still inefficient. But writing is even worse than typing. You have to deal with hand cramps because you probably don’t write on paper very much. Writing is also slower than typing unless you’re really fucking bad at typing. Your writing might also be so shitty you have to slow down and ensure you can actually read what you’ve written. And with it being 2017, you probably have to take whatever you’ve written and type it up eventually unless you intend to take a picture of your writings and post that up for a blog or a school report or whatever. Nope, that won’t work. So writing Sucks even worse than typing.

As with everything that Sucks, is there a way to make it not suck? Since the problem is that inner monologues are a shitty way to form a written document because typing is shitty, is there a way to fix the problem? There are a few obvious ways. First off, you could just record yourself talking and type it out later. But damn, that sounds really stupid and awkward and would lead to its own Dictating into a Recording Device at 3:00 a.m. Sucks post. I also highly doubt anyone at my house would like me walking around a 3:00 a.m. talking into my phone or whatever. Maybe you could try a text to speech program, but I’m going to guess that those are a glitchy mess that only occasionally works as intended. A third thing which I’ve attempted to do with this post is to inner monologue my ideas into a rough outline on a piece of paper, a sort of reverse-speech technique. I make my inner “speech,” write down the main points on a piece of paper, and then write out what I mean on a computer. I did it for this post, and I used the outline as the banner up top. See what I mean about writing being legible? It’s not.

As for if it worked? Well, I don’t know. It sure was easier to write and I was able to pound out this whole post in a single day instead of weeks like the other posts. It probably also helps if you can really channel your inner spirit into writing easily; maybe I just suck at that. Let me know what you guys do that gets your thoughts into a written form because writing and typing Sucks.

The First Blog Post Sucks

As I’ve said in the “About” page (that you probably haven’t even looked at yet), I’ve been throwing around the idea of Everything Sucks for quite a while now. You know how ideas are. At first an idea might seem good but after a while of serious pondering and talking to other people you slowly realize that your idea fucking sucks. I suppose I was waiting for that to happen with Everything Sucks but it never did. What really happened was I’d get drunk and the idea seemed to get even better, so good that I was kicking myself in the ass for not following through with it. Why not? I’d ask my drunken self before I passed out. After struggling with a total lack of motivation, well, here we are! A real working blog!

And as with all really cool ideas you’re excited about, you start to worry about your execution. You don’t want to have your good idea come out half-assed and sloppy because then you look stupid. You’ve been going on and on internally and to others about your good idea only to possibly drop spaghetti out of your pockets and fuck the whole thing up right from the get-go. I didn’t want to do that so even after getting the blog set up I still sat around and felt terror and dread over what the hell to make my first post about.

One day it hit me like something so obvious it was as obvious as something obvious. (My analogies Suck btw. Future post on that…). If I’m here writing a blog about everything sucking, why the fuck would I make my first post about politics, grilled cheese sandwiches, or creepers in Minecraft? No. Everything Sucks. Especially, especially, especially making the first damn blog post.

Making the first blog post is a big thing! You want it to be perfect! You want it to be amazing! You want the light of the computer screen or tablet to turn anything it shines upon into gold because your first blog post is so damn amazing. So what do you do? Sit there. Brainstorm. You come up with a bunch of topics that sort of work but scream “you’re trying too hard.” You start writing only to stop, erase, start again, get drunk, erase, drink some more, and then you’re a nervous wreck of a blogger who hasn’t even posted anything. Eventually you get that post churned out, and it sucks, but you get it posted and you feel as awkward as a kid who shit their pants in school.

The problem isn’t that your first post sucks, it’s just that you’ve put too much weight into what it actually says. A blog isn’t like a music album where you’d have to suffer through that awful track 1 every time to get to the music that is actually good. Since you’ve just started your blog, few people will read it as it’s expected that your viewerswill go up over time. Most people will see your later posts – the posts where you’ve finally gotten your voice, tone, and purpose of your blog into a well-defined form – and no one will care that your first post is terrible.

So writing the first blog post sucks. You put way too much effort and care to how you first post will appear and basically no one who reads your blog in the future will ever give a fuck about it. So now that that is over, I can breathe a sigh of relief and get down to the real work ahead. Sorry this post sucked.