Profile picture
Derek Powazek @fraying
, 17 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Facebook had bad numbers, okay. But any media company that took those numbers as gospel and made product decisions based on them was a stupid, bad media company before Facebook lied to them.
So how are media companies supposed to make decisions, then? Talk to your fucking audience, that’s how. Talk to your real live users and not some cancerous third party with a strong incentive to lie.
Facebook didn’t kill your website, you killed it when you stopped paying attention to it and got distracted by shiny things with fake numbers.
The web is STILL THERE. Your audience is STILL THERE. Facebook was never your audience. Facebook is a vampire you invited in. Rescind the invitation. Go forge a direct relationship with your audience again.
If you’re confused, this is what I’m talking about:…
All this blaming of Facebook reminds me of the 90s when newspapers blamed Craigslist for their decline. Nevermind that newspapers were failing way before Craig made a list. Nevermind that they could have put their classifieds online themselves.
Facebook royally screwed the pooch and should not be let off the hook for it. But if your company “pivoted to video” because Facebook told them to, that’s on your company. If they had talked to even a single user, they would have known better. Nobody wanted it.
Is it hard to start a new website in 2018? Yuuup. But you know what? It was never easy. It’s always hard to rise above the noise, and there’s more noise than ever. But there are also more people online than ever. Anyone offering a cheat code is a liar. You have to do the work.
Doing the work means: make something good, tell people about it, do it again. Don’t buy snake oil. Forge a relationship with each user, one by one, treating them with the respect they deserve. Don’t let anything get in the middle of that relationship. Protect it at all costs.
Don’t call them a community until they call themselves that. Give them opportunities to participate and show them that participation is valued by you. Make sure they’re treating each other well and demonstrate your appreciation by booting anyone who treats others poorly.
In this way, community management is the same thing as valuing privacy and protecting from abusive advertising: it’s all about demonstrating how much you value your members’ time and attention. Showing respect creates trust. And trust is what it’s all about in a community.
Whenever I start talking about media companies I always end up talking about communities. Because here’s the secret: THEY’RE THE SAME THING.
A successful media company is successful when it fosters and nurtures a specific community. And successful communities always wind up creating media. It’s how they mark time.
That’s why Facebook is so corrosive to media companies. They take the output (the media) and use it for their own community. The users wind up associating it with Facebook instead of the community it came out of. Facebook breaks the virtuous community/media cycle.
So, media companies, the only way you’re gonna pull out of this tailspin is to forget about Facebook (and Twitter) and invest your time and money into building something you own: your own site, with a direct relationship with your people.
It doesn’t happen fast. It’s really really hard. It takes money to build things that work and pay people to create stuff worth talking about. But it works. And it’s the only thing that does.
And since this thread is getting a bit of attention, I should also mention: I am available for community consulting, and I cuss less around actual clients.
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Derek Powazek
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member and get exclusive features!

Premium member ($30.00/year)

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!