My Facebook as a public thing

“Work in public. Reveal nothing.” —Robin Sloan

I recently started cross-posting on Twitter and Facebook. I figured if I was posting links and things on my public Twitter account, I could also post said links and things on my Facebook as public items. Some friends don’t do this because their followers on Twitter (formed presumably through similar interests) differ from their connections on Facebook (presumably personal friends and family). However, I realized that the majority of the things I post aren’t personal in nature and I would therefore not require some expectation of privacy.

That realization brought me back to that entry on public thinking and blogs as a public good I posted awhile back — not that I would even call half of the content I post useful and for the public good. But, it did remind me that these ideas and musings I toy with in my head (now, this kind of runs counter to the article in question that led me to even write this post) could only benefit from the transition between nonpublic and public because writing for a public, whether for two people — Hi Machiko & Mickael! — or two million people, forces a clarity in thought or at least thoughtful curation. Isn’t this a nice balance of private and public? To sit down and write privately, to think in solitude, then to share, exchange, discover and refine ideas with a public?

“When you let people inside your head, they come away smarter. When you work in public, you create an emissary (media cyborg style) that then walks the earth, teaching others to do your kind of work as well. And that is transcendently cool.”

Anyway, I was compelled to write this because today after I posted a link to a story I had just read about groupthink and creativity, I had two complete strangers comment on the post, which was kind of one of those paradigm-shifting moments where I started thinking about my Facebook as a public thing and wasn’t bothered by it. I still have privacy settings and most of my “private” things such as personal photos are only shared with friends and family. Twitter is much easier — everything is public.

I think this shift of thinking about my Facebook as a public thing to share ideas and just interesting things is the reasoning behind Google+ (which I am very slowly migrating to) — or at least what all of the Google+ enthusiasts praise about it.

Speaking of Google/+, I absolutely hate the personal search results.

7 thoughts on “My Facebook as a public thing”

  1. You’re true I’m on of your loyal reader ;)

    I also cross-post but for slight different motivation: because I think’s it’s a sort of personal duty to spread info (IMPOV) useful and important even if my “Facebook audience” is not really “in demand” and… I was surprised to have nice feedback from Facebook friends thanking me to post interesting things !
    So vive le cross-posting.

    By the way, why don’t you share your Fittingly blog posts on Facebook ?

  2. I get similar feedback from my FB friends too, which is why I’m compelled to just share openly and cross networks too. Vive le cross-posting! ;-)

    I’m not sure why I don’t share my blog on FB yet — perhaps because it feels like my nice (albeit public, if you can find it) little secret spot on the internet. I don’t need a lot of people to read; I just need the selfish act of writing. Readers will come as the content gets better, I think/hope.

  3. Quote From Seth Godin: “Ideas in secret die. They need light and air or they starve to death.”
    Seth agree with us so let’s give your ideas fresh air on Facebook ;)

  4. The salience of this post is off the charts- I’ve been struggling with internet identity so much lately!

    In your case, I have to say, put more out in the ether. At worst- it’ll be a point of view/trivia for Jeopardy, and at best- who can say?! It’s kinetic energy, just harness it for it’s unknowable potential.

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