Facebook Kills Discussions So Start a Blog

Facebook will be delivering another roundhouse punch to members when it eliminates the Discussions app on October 31st.  The behemoth wants you to have these discussions on your Wall.

So what happens to all those juicy discussions you’ve had over the years? Poof. Gone. So if you want to save them, better make plans to copy and store them someplace else.

Why a Blog is Essential

Facebook’s latest announcement – and fans are still reeling from all the recent changes (for the better?) – reinforces my oft-stated case that a business needs to have its own forum for discussions with customers and other stakeholders. And that forum is your blog. (Even Facebook has its own blog).

You own your blog and its content. Imagine someone coming to your website and arbitrarily taking down a couple of your pages and all its valuable content. Well, that’s just what’s happening. Facebook owns its site and, remember, you’re just a guest and another pair of eyeballs for Facebook advertisers.

Facebook’s Explanation

Facebook explains in its Help section What happened to the Reviews and Discussions tabs on my Facebook Page?

ZDNet has a detailed story about this new change if you want to learn more about it.

Help With Your Blog

Write Speak Sell is built on a WordPress content management system. It is my website. When people refer to blogs they’re usually talking about a blog post. A post is an article like the one you’re reading now. So my website hosts content about me and my company as well as my blog posts.

I’m a fan of the WordPress platform because it is easy to go “under the hood” to make changes and add content and search engines love to reward new content. I recently became an affiliate for Bea Fields’ Become a Blogging Maniac program (Bea Fields was my blogging coach and she’s terrific). So if you’re interested in setting up a self-hosted blog, or become more proficient if you already have a blog, click on one of the two images at the bottom of the right column.

Take Control

Take control of your own content and don’t be at the mercy of Facebook and other social networks that can make your discussions disappear without your permission. Start a website on a blog platform or link a WordPress blog to your existing website. You’ll be happy that you did.

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Comments

    • Mike, I sometimes wonder about the decisions FB makes. I think LinkedIn, by expanding its business pages to include updates, has the potential to capture a lot of the B2B companies.

  1. Well there always was a benefit of a blog but this is really going to affect the communication of a lot of non-business people. And depending on how this works, could spoil dating and friendships.

    • Yes, losing precious discussions will cause a lot of anguish if a Facebook member doesn’t know about the change.

  2. I don’t use FB and I do agree about having a blog Jeannette.The other thing is whenever they make changes people have to spend time working out how to handle them. This means it take time and focus away from growing your business, for example.

    • I haven’t given up on Facebook, but I’m certainly not as active on FB as on LinkedIn, for example, which seems to introduce changes incrementally. With the new ability to post updates on business pages, I think a lot of B2B companies will be using LinkedIn to reach out to their stakeholders.

  3. Agree with you Jeannette. Don’t understand why Facebook takes away the discussions app? Personally don’t use Facebook much because it’s a strange mix of business & private. So you have to be really careful.

    A blog is much better and what Facebook just did proves your point Jeannette. We own our blogs and decide what to do with them.

    Roberta is right about an abundance of people having problems privately now thanks to what Facebook is about to do. Maybe they will move to Google+ 🙂

    • Catarina — it is a mystery why they took away the discussions app. I didn’t see anything about them surveying their members for their opinion. Steve Jobs was a genius at predicting what would excite his customers. I don’t think Facebook is there yet when they decide what’s good for us.

  4. Great point about self-hosting your own blog Jeannette. The thing that some people don’t realize is that by hosting your blog on sites like Blogger.com and WordPress.com is that they could decide at any time that they’re not going to host you any longer and shut your site down. That is a rarity but it has happened. By self-hosting, you’re in control. Provided you’ve done your due diligence and have complete backups of your site, you can move to a different hosting vendor at any time.

    • Sherryl — I don’t think a lot of people understand that they don’t own the content on social networks. I hope my post opens their eyes to controlling their content in a blog.

  5. Curiously, I posted a blog post to my FB page last week. It got a fraction of the views that a funny cartoon got. I’ve never really believed that FB is viable for the depth of discussions that blogs can have. I’m with you. Blogging is better. Like you I also appreciate that I can “get under the hood” of wordpress without changes every other minute that take more time to learn.

    • I do get traffic from Facebook but I’m not sure if it’s my blog or my other posts that are building my numbers. I personally find LinkedIn more helpful and productive for starting conversations.