hal tweets ·11:28 AM

Ghostbuster zines from the Canzine Hollywood Piracy Zine Challenge are now online! http://t.co/RoAMEQTU

Facebook Obsession and Indie Writers Deathmatch :comments

Posted by Hal
Tags: production, Video sharing, Voyeurism

Okay it’s time to admit that I’m currently obsessed with Facebook. I’m spending way too much time on good old FB. What am I doing on there? Nothing of consequence whatsoever. Adding then deleting applications. Looking at random people’s pictures. Answering my FB messages. (A young woman today sent me a message through FB saying that she just wrote a 2 hour exam based on my article about my failed FB party.) I’m also chatting using that annoying pop up chat thing. I’ll chat with anyone! I’m a chat slut! It’s got to stop, but will it?

In order to justify my obsession with FB, I decided to try out their advertising feature so I could pretend I was doing business. I created an ad for Broken Pencil Magazine’s short story contest Indie Writers Deathmatch. It was actually quite interesting. You can target by age, country, education and interests. The ad is currently aimed at Canadians ages 16-45 who indicate writing and creative writing as interests or hobbies on their profile. I created the ad last night and so far today there’s been 12,029 impressions, and 11 clicks. I’ve spent $3.77 of BP’s money for those 11 clicks, an average of 31 cents a click. (I’ve capped it at $10 a day.)

As a advertiser, I like how targeted I can get. And as a consumer I think it’s also valuable – you’re a creative writer, so you get an ad for a creative writing contest. At the same time, there are drawbacks both practical and philisophical. On the practical side, clicking the ad takes you to the Facebook group. You then have to go from there to the actual contest page in order to find out all the details and enter your short story. So that’s one extra step which is a drawback (unlike, say, a Google Ad which would take you directly to the page you want people to go to). I have no way of knowing, ultimately, how many people actually go from the FB group to the Broken Pencil Death Match page.

More abstractly, this kind of advertising simply enhances what we already know but often chose to ignore: that the stuff we put up there to tell our FB friends about our lives can be used by just about anyone as marketing fodder. Even your social decisions – for instance if you say you are “attending” the Deathmatch – could be incorporated into the ad. (The ad is designed to have a headline above it that says “Hal Niedzviecki is attending the Indie Deathmatch”.) So all this integrates your social life into commercial life and makes me slightly queasy, slightly fascinated, and, as someone who’s trying to reach a very particular cohort of potential creative writers, slightly fascinated. If anything else comes to mind about this, I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, I really need to write a blog post about something other than FB. Get out of the house. Do something with my life.


ps – and do consider entering the Deathmatch. It’s a really fun contest and a great opportunity for an emerging writer. I’ll be one of the initial judges to see what stories go on to get voted on. If you’re not a short story writer, please pass the link on to someone who is! 


Comments: -6-, Add yours…

hal, you <span class=“caps”>CAN</span> find out how many people went from FB to the deathmatch page. any kind of analytics/stats software in use at the deathmatch site will show your referers (who is sending traffic to your site). a more precise way of doing this is sending people to a page on the deathmatch site that instantly redirects to the main page; you’d only have to see how many hits the redirect page got. msg me if you need help setting that up.

and yes, crackbook needs a 12 step program!

By Eddie B on 2008 11 11

This <span class=“caps”>NYT</span> article was interesting.  I’m assuming you’ve seen it though:


By Michael Daum on 2008 11 11

Your blog is very useful information for me.Thanks…

By cam balkon on 2009 09 06

I have searched the internet inside and out looking for good writing competitions and so far these are the only two that I would be comfortable sending my money and my work to. Beware of contests with entry fees because most of them are down-right shady or they are just not very professional or reputable. Be sure to do your research on any other competitions you may learn about. Some companies will cancel their competitions AND keep your entry fee - so beware.
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By cindy jada on 2009 11 25

You know a lot of people don’t post any pics on facebook for privacy reasons.The original idea behind facebook was to share photos with friends, but now it has become so much more (now people share text, videos, music, interests) anything you can think of really.
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By marisalexia on 2009 12 04

You know social media networking sites are creating ripples on internet.Lot of young people spend their most of time on social media sites like facebook,orkut etc.
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By rena on 2010 06 25



The Bloggist

Hey, I’m Hal Niedzviecki. I’m a writer/thinker who lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with my wife and daughter. Up till now I’ve always considered myself a private person. But at the same time I’m fascinated by people who effortlessly open themselves up to the whole world. So I’ve… more...



Ghostbuster zines from the Canzine Hollywood Piracy Zine Challenge are now online! http://t.co/RoAMEQTU

Hal Niedzviecki :: ·11:28AM

EXPOZINE 2011, Montreal’s 10th Annual Small Press, Comic and Zine Fair—http://t.co/3ISW3Ovx http://t.co/FlLfB6hk

Hal Niedzviecki :: ·20:02PM


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