Farewell, AllFacebook

AllFacebookLogoThere were some big changes in the work situation of your hero, 9, this week, and I hope they were changes for the better.

The blog I have been editing and writing as a full-time job since September 2011, AllFacebook, is now a part of SocialTimes, which is now part of the Adweek Blog Network. Get all that? If you really want the boring details, here’s the press release.

So, I now work for Adweek, albeit sort of indirectly. This is cool. I’m hoping that the Adweek name opens some doors that were previously tough to crack. I loved my experience with AllFacebook, but one of my biggest frustrations was the fact that we always seemed to be in the “second group” of media outlets when it came to receiving important news about Facebook. Having to write a story from scratch when a fully detailed version, complete with interviews, was already posted elsewhere was a part of my job that was tough to swallow.

This is only the second day since the transition, so it’s tough to reach any conclusions, but so far, things are promising. We shall see.


The cats’ litter box contains more useful nuggets than my work email lately


I have been tempted …

I don’t dislike public-relations people. PR on the whole isn’t that different from journalism and blogging, and I understand that trying to get the word out about companies, products and services is their job. For those who don’t know, I work on a blog about Facebook. The percentage of emails I receive that have nothing whatsoever to do with Facebook has been on a steady upswing, despite my efforts to alert senders that they’re barking up the wrong tree, unsubscribe (when applicable) and pound away at the spam button in Gmail.

No matter how much I try to clean up my email box, I can’t even begin to tell you how much of my time this process wastes on a daily basis.

First off, as I have said in the past, 99.99% of emails with “STORY IDEA” in the subject line are completely mistargeted and useless.

Second, when your email begins with a greeting to my former boss (who has not been a part of my blog since April 2012), the blog’s founder (whose byline last appeared that same month, after very limited involvement over the year prior to that), or a person I’ve never heard of (common mistake when sending mass emails, but still a mistake), you are already starting off down one strike. One strike becomes two strikes when you claim to be a regular reader of the blog, yet you address your email to someone who has not been a part of it for almost three years.

Third and most important, if you are emailing the editor of a blog that writes about Facebook, how about, oh, I don’t know, actually pitching a story that is related to Facebook? When I skim through an entire pitch or press release and don’t see the word “Facebook” once, smoke comes out of my ears.

Finally, in the cases when I take the time to reply to flaks and remind them that I am interested in Facebook and only Facebook, writing back to try to push a completely unrelated story is beyond foolhardy. I actually had one person who pitched a story with no Facebook angle whatsoever write back to try to sell me on the story with this gem: “Well, the company does have a Facebook page.” Really? So does my softball league. You don’t see me writing about that, do you?

Oh, yes, and one more pet peeve of mine is the misuse and abuse of the word “expert.” I have been writing about Facebook since 2011, yet I don’t consider myself an expert. Working for a company that runs Facebook ad campaigns or helps businesses create pages on Facebook doesn’t really make you an expert, either. So the fact that you are available for comment tells me you are just trying to get your name out there, which is fine, but I’m not biting.

If I want to waste time during the work day (and who doesn’t?), I will waste time pondering fantasy sports moves, playing Words with Friends or checking Facebook, like just about everyone else does. I should not be wasting so much time on emails that are as useful as tits on a bull.

Ladies and gentlemen … we have a winner!

I often post stupid messages left on the Facebook page of the blog that actually pays me to write for it, and many of them are royally stupid, but this one has no competition. It’s in a league of its own.

The look on my face when I first read this …

Obviously unedited (this may make your skull ache):

to whomever is working at Facebook I’m not asking you to like this just try to here me out is it really considered harassment adding people that we already know that are family relatives no is it ever considered harassment to be adding people that are famous could that be considered harassment I say again no what I am saying is this there is no need to keep suspending people for 30 days this here is the United States of America all of us Americans have the freedom to choose who they want to have to be adding and sending requests out to people that they want to be friends with I don’t consider that harassment right there at all that anyone notice the differences between of what is harassment and what is not harassment in this case I’m right I also know whom your boss really is and that happens to be the president of the United States of America and that would be your new boss in which he runs everything around in the United States of America and that would be Mr. Obama so I say to all of you I and speaking only on behalf of the millions and millions plus the millions of people live in this country in this world is going to have to learn the answer to they are the ones that want their answers answered there are the people including the millions and millions plus the millions of people that are so angered and infuriated at all of you for doing this to them suspending them for 30 days I know what a 30 day suspension is on a calendar and it’s not the kind of suspension that the millions and the millions plus the millions people so I say to all of you ease up on your terms of policies on Facebook we have our American rights to fight back it we had to do when you get this please read very carefully and remember this message that I’m sending to you is not considered spam thank you for your time

Oh my GOD, where do I start?

Dude, take a breath. And while you’re refilling your lungs with oxygen, there’s this thing called punctuation you might want to consider. You went 351 words (Microsoft Word counted, I couldn’t be bothered) without a single comma or period. This has to be some sort of world record.

Now that I am done being a grammar Nazi, what in the blue hell are you talking about? And why should people who write a blog that covers Facebook give the slightest crap?

I hope you get suspended from Facebook for 30 days and are not allowed to return until you produce a comma.


Email subject lines that make me cringe

I absolutely love working full-time on an established blog, but every job comes with things that make you just shake your head, no matter how content you are overall, and mine is no exception. And the thing that makes me shake my head on a regular basis, often several times daily, is my email inbox.

Me, several times a day, minus the suit and tie

I have posted repeatedly about the emails I get that are in unrecognizable languages, or that come from people who think that a blog that covers Facebook is Facebook, but plenty of contributions in perfect English and (allegedly) targeted specifically toward our blog make me wonder what people are thinking.

When I see the following subject lines, I know a migraine is sure to follow, and I’ll tell you why.

Article, article idea, story, story idea: I have pretty much stopped reading emails that come in with these subject lines. For every 1,000 I get, 999 are completely useless, and I will gladly run the risk of missing the one that isn’t. The vast majority contain stories about topics not even remotely covered by our blog. And the miniscule percentage of emails that do involve Facebook are either stories that state the obvious (This Just In: People Use Facebook To Communicate With Each Other!), ancient news (how to use Facebook’s new timeline, which debuted months ago), or babbling by someone claiming to be a “Facebook expert.” I have been working full-time on a blog about Facebook for nine months, and I still don’t consider myself a Facebook expert, so you are not a Facebook expert, either, just because you helped the flower shop down the block create their page.

Bylined article: These are even better. Instead of writing an article that nobody asked for, how about bringing me a steak and a bottle of wine that nobody asked for? It would be a lot more useful, and tasty, too. Do we run guest posts? Sure, but it makes much more sense to have some communication beforehand. Besides, most of the ones that come in have many of the same issues as the ones described in the last topic, and most have already been published elsewhere.

Is available for comment: Whenever a big Facebook story breaks, we get bombarded with “experts” who are “available for comment” on the news. And in 99.9% of the cases, I have never heard of the person or the company. I would be better off walking around the streets of Hoboken and stopping random strangers to ask their opinion. In some cases, I would be better off interviewing my cats.

These aren’t email subject lines, but since I’m on a roll, here are a couple of tactics that annoy the living hell out of me:

Trying to bullshit a bullshitter: While I already admitted that I don’t consider myself to be a Facebook expert, I do have somewhat of a clue after covering the social network for nine months. When people try tricks like tying together two things that have nothing to do with each other, it gets annoying, and I’m not falling for it. You may have updated your marginal Facebook applications, and it may have coincidentally happened the week before the company’s IPO, but the two have nothing to do with each other, so don’t even try this approach: “In conjunction with Facebook’s IPO, we added the following features to our app.” In conjunction with the Yankees losing to the Braves this afternoon, go fuck yourself.

English as a fourth language: I realize Facebook is a global company, and I am not one of those snobs who thinks every inhabitant of planet Earth should speak English or go drown themselves, but our blog is written in English, by people who speak English, so if you want us to write about your application, you need to find someone to help you describe its features in English. If I don’t understand it, I’m not going to write about it. I don’t expect a press release to read like John Steinbeck, but if it reads like Latka from “Taxi,” I will give up and move on to the next story.

The only bright spot about all of these annoying emails is that when I click open and find something useful, I appreciate it that much more. So the next time you want to send a “story idea” to a blog that covers Facebook, and your story is “How The Brady Bunch Would Have Used Twitter,” walk away from your PC, drive to the nearest store, and buy yourself a clue.

Email stupidity is back wit a bang

Apparently not …

I have been very negligent about posting, for one obvious reason and one not-so-obvious reason that I don’t feel like getting into right now, but what better way to make my monumental return than with another edition of email stupidity?

This gem came into my work blog’s tips email account:

Day before yester i got a notification to upgrade my fb since den i cant access my account except wit browser the passwords dat m usin say invalid cant i get new ones to reset

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

First of all, you use a BlackBerry, so you are clearly a moron.

Second: What the hell is yester? Are you too lazy to finish typing a word when you’re two-thirds of the way through it?

Third: Den? What sort of den? A den in a house? A fox’s den in the woods?

Fourth: Wit? I have wit, and I am using it to make fun of you, because you are a moron.

Fifth: Dat m usin? What in the fuck language is that?

Sixth, and most important: A blog that covers Facebook IS NOT FACEBOOK. You want a new password? I have one for you: Type “I am a jerkoff” 100 times and see what happens.

Blame Canada for the latest installment of email stupidity

And the email stupidity continues: This gem comes from New Brunswick, where, the last time I checked, they spoke English, but apparently not well enough to determine the difference between Facebook and a blog that covers Facebook. As always, the nonsense below is completely unedited.

IM BLOCKED AGAIN????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  WTF IS GOING ON????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For re-arranging my GD WALL?!?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   this is the THIRD OR FORTH time in the last month!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I went a GD YEAR without a problem!!!!!!!!!!!??????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Send me a GD LAND-LINE option NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  


Where do I start?

First off, if you can’t tell the difference between Facebook and a blog, you’re an idiot who doesn’t deserve to be on Facebook.

Second, despite the fact that I cover Facebook for a living, I am not a Facebook apologist, and I recognize the company’s faults, of which there are many, along with its accomplishments. That being said, who does this tool think he is making demands of Facebook?

Facebook is free, and if people don’t like it, they are free to leave. With 1 billion users on the not-too-distant horizon, you won’t be missed. Plus, being on Facebook is not a God-given right or a legal right. Settle the fuck down.

I’ll send you a “GD LAND-LINE option NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Just go to your mailbox, stick your head inside it, and wait. Moron.