About Me

Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Photo Ops

w/ Beautiful Bodies ('15)

w/ Michael Imperioli ('14)

w/ Millionaires ('12)

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w/ Kevin Pereira on the old set of
Attack of the Show ('09)

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Rocko The Intern

July 2010 - January 2013
Using Facebook vs. Facebook Using Me
Monday, March 05, 2012

As many of you know, I was hacked the other week. Thankfully, I caught the hack within an hour and managed to get back into my email with the help of a fantastic person at AOL (yes, I still use AOL as my main email. Laugh all you want, I got a human on the phone). The damage to my Facebook page, however, had been done.

Initially I was very upset. I had a ton of friends I only had contact with through the site (and in-person, obviously), a lot of work contacts that I was connected to through the site, and even though I had everything backed up, the 100+ photo albums of concerts were a cool retrospective of the past couple years.

A day passed and I came to a realization - I wasn’t using Facebook so much as Facebook was using me. This is why I decided to change a few things when it comes to how I use the site after I rejoined.

* When Flash and I finally decided to start posting our concert photos on RapReviews.com we were still posting them on Facebook, as well. Not anymore. When you look at a picture on Facebook there are two advertisements next to it. If I post a picture and 100 friends look at it (a very conservative number considering they’re usually pictures that get passed around), that’s 200 ad impressions for Facebook. If I post a gallery of 20 pictures and 100 friends look at each picture, that’s 4,000 ad impressions for Facebook off of my work. When I really thought about that, it didn’t make a lot of sense to me. I was getting someone else paid for my work and what I received in return were comments and “likes” that only work to encourage people to post more content and make Facebook even more money.

Ironically, I turned to a Google product, Picasa, which I’ve been using to post pictures since July of last year, when I signed up for Google+. I know it sounds like I’m trading in one devil for another, but Picasa lets me embed my galleries on my own site, and RapReviews, so we get the hits and, in the case of RapReviews, the ad impressions. I’ve already added a Concert Photos section to Adam’s World and posted galleries dating back to when I started using Picasa.

If you want to see individual pictures of me I threw two dozen on Facebook, but have over 150 in a nice Photo Ops section of this site on the left hand sidebar.

The one album I re-uploaded to Facebook is of Rocko The Intern Cat, but that’s because he’s famous there.

* I’m not “liking” any artists, products, places, movies, books, or TV shows this time around. Yeah, I know, the vast majority of my friends are artists, but I have a few problems with the “liking” process. Facebook makes it very easy to just click a button and not think of the repercussions. If you’re liking a product this is especially relevant since Facebook does data mining and turns those “likes” into advertisements on your profile, and your friends’ profiles. So if you “like” Starbucks your face could appear right above their logo with a big thumbs up on any of your friends’ pages. Again, you won’t get paid for this, you’ll just be advertising for a company because you clicked “like.” According to reports, once everyone has Timeline this will only get worse.

My second issue with the “liking” process stems from the “Mystery vs. History” episode of How I Met Your Mother. In the episode Ted goes out with a woman, but after looking her up online becomes too in awe of her accomplishments to speak. I’ll take this one step further - I don’t want to go out on a first date where I already know all of your favorite musical artists, TV shows, movies, books, and all the other things we should be talking about. That takes away the joy of discovering what a person is all about, and also takes away some of our most basic conversation starters ("What's your favorite TV show?" "What's your favorite movie?" "What artists are you listening to right now?"). When I’m doing an artist interview, yes, I want a great bio in front of me beforehand, but that’s a completely different situation. When I’m hanging out with someone, let’s actually have a conversation.

What I have done on my new Facebook page is post a quick and dirty bio in the "About" section. I also created one job under "Employers" that shows I’m a freelance writer and gives a two sentence synopsis of what I’ve done and for whom. If an employer wants to know more I have a LinkedIn page and this fancy thing called a resume. Last, but not least, I listed my high school, college, and grad school in case anyone wants to find me from any of those places.

I will, of course, continue to post my work as links, continue to post status updates for people to laugh at, and engage with people by leaving comments and sending emails, but that’s what Facebook is for me now, it’s a mode of communication. I am no longer allowing it to be a way for advertisers to target me, or use me in their ads, and I am no longer letting it be a one stop shop where anyone can find out everything about me.

In the long run, although it temporarily dropped my Klout score considerably (from a 62 to a 47. It’s now at 57 and making a fast rise back up), perhaps getting my Facebook hacked and destroyed wasn’t the worst thing in the world. It reminded me that we should actually be talking to each other about what we enjoy, rather than looking a list of those things, and it led to me to make some major changes that could end up generating a lot more hits for my own website, and possibly put some money into my pocket instead of Facebook’s.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:28 AM  
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