Well here’s a little thing that’s just cropped up in my real life.
On Facebook, one of my activities is as founder, lead editor and owner/Administrator of a page called ‘Proper Gander News and Views’. The page aspires to be the ‘Newspaper for the Global Village’ and falls far short of its aim due to lack of resources, but I do like to think that we offer alternative news and views on most of the really important issues of what’s really going on in the UK and in the wider world. The page is staffed by a team of about 20 friends and volunteers, though currently there are only 5 or 6 people actively posting links to alternative news articles or writing their own original articles. We also have a sister page, ‘Proper Gander Green’ which just concentrates on green issues and items of interest.
I couple of days ago, I posted a link to an article about Monsanto Corporation’s bright ideas on how to address its increasingly negative image worldwide. The main plan, it seems, is apparently fiendishly simple. They propose changing the Company name.
My friend and fellow PG-editor (PG-Peter) runs an FB group called ‘Seeds of Resistance’ which is primarily a home gardening page advocating use of Heritage seeds and organic practises, but also addresses holticulture and the wider green issues. So I posted the link there, too, as well as the PG Green Page.
Peter is a High School Teacher in Canada and has a very quick, dry wit. Shortly after I posted to the ‘Seeds’ group, he commented on the post:
Well, let’s offer some suggestions then:
Dr Mengele’s Travelling GMO Show
And I offered:
and The Swinging Blue Genes – a reference to a well loved 60s Britpop group.
Which got me thinking. The readership of the PG Pages has remained about 230 for some time now. This is mainly because of Facebook’s relatively recent policy of limiting postal traffic and making the unfettered service a paid-for subscription service. As a page owner you also have the opportunity to boost individual post’s circulation by
paying through the nose oops I mean by paying an equitable sum of money into to the ‘Zuckerberg Holiday and Retirement Fund’.
So I decided to repackage our little bit of banter and turn it into a fun competition for our readers, and just to make it interesting I threw in a hint of cash prizes, though we’ll have see about that one.
Anyway I came up with this:
And then I thought, let’s push the boat out and clicked on the Boost button.
It came up with a screen asking you to nominate your budget and had conveniently preset it to £3 or 3 pounds sterling. ‘Well that sounds pretty reasonable, thinks I, lets run with seeing what 3 quid will get me. And I hit the agree button, and up comes another screen asking you to add tags to the post, picking out those tags that are most relevant to the post. So being as it was about Monsanto, I found quite a few tags that seemed relevant to me. All sorts of humanitarian issues, the threat to wildlife and the food supply, it all added up and soon there weren’t very many tags left to choose from.
I have to say I was getting kinda nervous as I fully expected such a wide and possibly enormous target audience might cost me a rather high extra tariff but the £3 stood there irresolute. And so I clicked OK again and came to the payments screen where it cheerfully told me that the generated audience was in excess of 26 Billion and yet there it was again, confirming the cost to me at £3. Amazingly good value for money, I think, and happily clicked to pay via my Paypal account. So clicketty-click and I get returned to Facebook, where a little popup is showing saying that the FB daemons were busy scanning the contents of the post to make sure it conformed to FB’s Terms and Conditions, and giving me the option to Pause the boost if I wished. It was at this point that I noticed a minute little window which seemed to contain a very long number and appeared to be associated with Paypal. Suddenly realising that I might be dangerously close to commiting myself to paying Mr Zuckerberg several umpteen squillion pounds I gratefully pressed pause.
So my dilemna is this:
Should I continue, and possibly bring Paypal and Facebook to its knees when my bank tells them I have insufficient funds, or do I risk the vultures coming after me for the money irregardless, even as I’m heralded in public as the Guy with the New World Record for advertising budgets?