I guess you’d call this a meta post.
Whenever I write something here on The Accidental Theologist, I click the Facebook button at the bottom and — voilà! — it appears as a linked post on my Facebook page. And thus on the walls of Facebook friends.
This is kind of magical, but here’s what’s puzzling me: Over the past year or two, the Facebook link has been getting far more comments than the blog itself. Often, the conversation I’m hoping for happens ‘there’ rather than where I’m writing right now, which is ‘here’ (all use of ‘here’ and ‘there’ being absurd, of course, in cyberspace).
This is fine by me. Any way it happens is good. But in my tech-dumb kind of way, I’m trying to figure out the why of it — the dynamics of it, both tech and human. Here’s six possibilities, which may or may not make sense. But I’m sure there’s lots that haven’t occurred to me, and would love your input (on whichever platform):
1. — Could it be that Facebook encourages off-the-cuff responses more than a blog? That it’s a more spontaneous platform?
2. — Or could it be a feeling that the blog is “Lesley’s space” rather than a shared one? (Of course the Facebook page is also “mine,” yet somehow more open.)
3. — Could it be that there’s a Facebook app for mobile devices but not an Accidental Theologist one, so that checking in on Facebook is easy and fast, while checking in here takes more deliberation? (Please, no, don’t ask me to develop an app!!!)
4. — Or could it be that the clear identification of the commenter on Facebook is preferable to the relative anonymity of commenting directly on the blog? (On the one hand, relative anonymity would seem to encourage comment, but since we are two-handed creatures, the other hand is the ability to claim what one thinks.)
5. — Could the Facebook use of tagging, by which further comments get copied to your email if your name is tagged, form a stronger invitation to carry on the conversation? (I haven’t checked if there’s a way to do that on WordPress. I suspect not. But even if there is, is that desirable? The last thing I want is to snow your inboxes.)
6. — Or could all this puzzling be nothing more than an unintended tribute to the power of Mark Zuckerberg?
None of this means that I have any intention of stopping this blog. The AT is coming up on its fourth birthday, and it feels like I’ve barely begun — like I’m just beginning to grow into it. What started as an experiment quickly became something I love doing, even if I’m doing it somewhat less often right now (sign of a new book in the making, preoccupying my mind). But even a newbie’s fourth birthday is time to assess, so whether on The AT or on Facebook or on any other platform, feel free to fire away with feedback and suggestions. Thanks — Lesley