Forgoing Feminist Friday…for today

I had a post in mind for Feminist Friday, but two things have deterred me from sticking to that plan.

1. The Mary Daly book, mentioned here in Deluge, is so highly critical of every aspect of religion that I literally have not moved past the lengthy introductions and updated preface. This slow, but steady pace has little to do with any discomfort or disagreement about the subject and more about the fact that Daly has a unique style to her writing with a newly invented language base, that she has such a powerful conviction to her beliefs, and that I am enjoying savoring the ability of this woman to voice her opinions with such power, that I find myself reading, then re-reading, then highlighting…then sort of stopping to digest both familiar words and Daly-isms. I’m rather unsure if I will truly be able to give a satisfactory review of the book when I am finished, but that’s for the future.

1a. I had a second idea for FF, centered on a list of some of my favorite feminist authors, then decided that idea is going to take more time than I want to devote to today.

2. I accidentally ran across some statistics on Facebook that I have decided are more important to share at this time.

I talked recently in this post about the creation of a Facebook page devoted to publicizing this blog. I ran a pay-per-day ad, and the results were great. The ad has ended, but Facebook keeps pages of stats on the activity generated by promotions such as this. I see the point to this from a marketing perspective if you are a business trying to build sales and clients. All the stats aren’t important to me as a blogger because my sole purpose in promoting the page for a few days was simply to expand readership and (hopefully) draw in an audience with like-minded or even controversial viewpoints that might engage and comment.

This morning, a new tab showed up under my Newsfeed called Ad Manager. I clicked on it and it has numerous subgroups filled with statistics. I get an initial breakdown of monies spent, plus all sorts of related ways and means to boost my visibility by changing settings, editing and other related gimmicks that I don’t give a damn about. One tab caught my eye: Audience Insights. Once inside this area the reality of having an account on Facebook became quite clear. If you still have the notion that using social media sites like Facebook will give you relative privacy, stop deluding yourself now. While no one is named or attached in any direct way to these statistics, rest assured that Facebook knows you, often quite well.

*To those of you who so graciously stopped by my Facebook page and not only liked the page, but are continuing to read my blog posts there, I want to assure you that there is nothing visible to me that would identify you demographically in any way other than your basic Timeline information that anyone with a public account could present or view. In fact, because my followers do not exceed 1000 in number, I am unable to get specific demographics from this area, so thank-you Facebook for being somewhat smart about this whole marketing thing.

Over and above the smartly hidden information based on size of my followers, Facebook does share demographics about all users in general. If you have a Facebook page that you use on a regular basis, or perhaps even an irregular basis, Facebook knows this about you:

  • Your age and gender
  • Your lifestyle- based upon labels such as: Children First, Hard Chargers, Suburban Seniors, Corporate Clout, Metro Mix, Apple Pie Families, Solid Single Parents, Solo and Stable, and Skyboxes and Suburbans. Those are only a few of the categories…
  • Your relationship status
  • Your education level
  • Your job title
  • The pages that you like the most
  • Your location, by city-state-country
  • Your language preference
  • The number of times you like, share, comment, promote on FB
  • The device you use to access FB
  • Your household income
  • If you rent or own
  • Your household size
  • Your homes market value
  • Your preferred spending methods
  • Your retail versus online spending
  • The things you spend that money on
  • If you have recently looked for/purchased a new vehicle and what type

While none of the above demographics surprise me, I do have to say that I found myself a bit taken aback initially, although I reminded myself that by listing information in your About pages, by liking pages, by commenting on specific pages and people, by doing all the things that most of us routinely do while on Facebook, the door is wide open for statistics to be accumulated and data to be published about the millions who us who use this form of social media. I can assume that other SM sites do the same. I might also assume that I was privy to just some of the stats that can be discovered by using SM, especially if you are among those who utilize a wide variety of sites.

I also find it interesting, lacking a better word at the moment, the way FB labels it’s users and places them into those quaint categories I noted in bullet #1. I think the entire list consisted of 25-30 labels. Again, I assume that the labeling process is used in return to allow FB to determine which ads they run along your site in the hopes to suck you in based on your profile.

I suppose we can get all bothered and indignant by the knowledge that FB, and so many other social media sites (and beyond) have this power, however we are the ones giving them the power and the insight. As individuals we either accept, put up with, ignore, bitch about, or fight over this ability, yet giving up our technology seems to be out of the question.

Think for a moment on what WordPress.com knows about you as a blogger using this site. Would you seriously consider making a change to what you post or share here?

How much privacy should we expect as individuals using social media sites? How many of us are really willing to trade privacy for our technology and the ability to be connected?

Feminist Friday will return in a few weeks as it begins the new rotating schedule with Media Monday…oh, Happy Halloween to you, if you go in for that sort of thing.

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