When it comes to Facebook I have never really understood the attraction. Some people are addicted and practically live their lives more online than offline. I always just viewed it as a convenient way to stay in touch with friends. I have no desire to inform people of what movie I watched, check in with my location, share recipes, or complain about people or groups I do not like. When it was still new and a novelty I used to post more often but that wore off fairly quickly for me. Every so often and if the mood strikes, I will update my personal page with something solely to assure anyone that might care I am still alive.
I am also afraid to read my Facebook news feed any longer as many of my “friends” post some really disgusting opinions that I would have preferred not to have known about them. It amazes me that people feel very comfortable sharing such personal details and often hateful opinions so brazenly.
Everyone has secrets and controversial views but now it seems like many are substituting Facebook for a therapist or priest and want everyone to know every detail about their lives. Hint: We don’t. They also reveal far more about themselves than they probably should and many have been fired from their jobs or had marriages or friendships dissolve as a result of feeling overly confident that the people reading these “true confessions” would share their views.
My advice to everyone on Facebook is to avoid religion, politics, bigoted views, and overly sensitive confessions. Imagine it more like a party with strangers and try and avoid offending people or posting things that will bite you in the ass. Instead use the private messaging feature for your hatred of XY and Z to someone that shares your views.
Having said that, I also understand why Facebook is now challenging Google for internet supremacy. I receive around as many visitors to my site from Facebook as I receive from organic searches performed on Google. Younger people have begun leaving Facebook in large numbers for Instagram, Yik Yak, Whisper, Pinterest, Twitter, Snapchat, Vine, Tumblr, and many more. It lost it’s cool as soon as your Grandma and boss sent you a friend request. But it still remains a force to be reckoned with among older demographics.
In the spirit of “If you can’t beat them join them” I have decided to try and capture some of that Facebook appeal and create a safe refuge for other news addicts or even casual observers who just want to skim what is important around the world today and do the hard work for you. Think of this group as your own personal news butler. Unlike Facebook personal pages I do see a lot of value in group pages.
I am a news junkie. This fascination started when I was around 15 years old and discovered the Economist magazine in my school library. It is a love affair that lasts to this day. That love affair with the news is also the reason I started this website. Instead of using my Facebook page associated with Georgia Watch only for articles published here I decided to open the floodgates and see if I can’t recruit some other news hounds like me by sharing from sources all the web by open sourcing the news.
I actually looked around Facebook first to see if anything like the vision I had already existed.There are millions of groups for everything under the sun. I couldn’t find one that came close to what I had in mind. But then again one major complaint about Facebook is how bad searches are on the site. If you do not know the exact term and spelling you will often get a mixed bag of search results unless you are searching for celebrities or companies with a well-known name. That applies to searching for people, pages, or community groups.
Facebook will not make traditional websites disappear anytime soon because it’s dependent on the greater web for all content. Certainly people still continue to share selfies and comment on the minutiae of their daily lives, but by far most popular form of posts are links to a Youtube video, webpage, or picts they found online.
The strength of Facebook is the massive number of members now over 2 billion and the easy ability to share content quickly without having any programming expertise. It is in simplest terms a new way to find content which is why Google is worried because they are now adversaries for finding content. My first website was created entirely with HTML that I manually typed. Times have certainly changed and believe me I am thankful for the advances. Trying to identify errors in the code back then was a complete nightmare.
Facebook For News Junkies
I have already received positive feedback and many new members with this change to my Facebook page. I hope anyone reading this article will consider joining by liking the page here. I think there was a need for a group like this and none of the other sites I found on Facebook really fulfilled my vision for this type of group. Most were extremely partisan or far too focused on one particular niche or geographic area. I also wanted to recapture the sense of community in the early days of the internet with newsgroups found on Usenet, local chat rooms, and message boards that are now beginning to disappear as people abandon them for Facebook and other social media.
My vision and goal for this group is to avoid extremes from the left or right. Since I am based in Georgia and gwmac.com means Georgia Watchdog Macon, I do not want to abandon covering important news from the peach state or investigative watchdog issues. I will try and select around a third of the content from news important to people in Georgia with the remainder from national and international news and an eclectic group of subject matter from high quality and trusted sources.
The beauty of Facebook is the speed and simplicity of sharing. I was already scouring numerous websites every day for news articles but now I can create my own version of what I consider to be the perfect online newspaper. The concept of a news aggregator is not new, but none really came close to what I have in mind for this group. Most are automated and do not screen or vet the sources and this is an area where humans can’t be easily outsourced to an algorithm.
My goal is to strike a good balance of local content with national and international news as well. I also want to cover pretty much any and all content from science and technology, education, elections, environment, politics, wars, natural disasters, crime, entertainment, humor, and pretty much everything in between not unlike a traditional online news source like CNN. But unlike CNN I am able to use any and all sources from the BBC, Economist, TV Stations, Blogs, and the millions of other sites that are popping up almost every day. But I will also try and be selective and only share what I have personally read and meets a high standard.
Yes you will still need to click off of Facebook to read the content, but by putting it all in one place it makes it far easier to skim the news in one place and find content you otherwise might not have known from reading your local paper.
Essentially our page is known as a news aggregator site not unlike Reddit but hopefully with a lot less snarky trolls and bullies as we will have a zero tolerance policy on those types in the comments. Also unlike Google News which is also a news aggregator, it will hopefully evolve into a community where people can get to know each other by discussing articles with the safety and assurance that trolls will get booted very quickly.
I hope as the page grows we can start having a thriving discussion section in the comments under articles. I hope to recruit some fellow news junkies that share this vision and will join and help moderate the group and share intriguing content. I do not want to be the sole judge of what deserves to be shared and would greatly appreciate other news junkies who could contribute simply by bringing their unique perspectives on what they consider newsworthy content.
If this concept appeals to you I hope you will join our little group of fellow news addicts and start sharing articles and commenting. It will likely take a while to grow to a large enough community before comments get lively, but the real value of this group is compiling content to save people time from clicking all over the web to read what is important that day. If active comments happen in the future that is just icing on the cake.
I also welcome your input to help improve the page. I am not quite sure about the current name of Headline News Central but it will do for the time being. If you have some suggestions for a better name or a better profile photo I welcome that as well.
I hope you decide to like our page and visit often to get your news fix each day. We will do our best to pick the cream of the crop of content daily with something that will appeal to everyone. If this concept appeals to please share the link to our page with your friends on your personal Facebook page and try and recruit them to join as well.