Summer, 2017

Back in 2006, Al Gore issued a dire warning. There was a great peril afoot, one which threatened the very existence of humanity. That peril was, of course, Manbearpig.

More than a decade later, a similar scourge has been set loose upon the Earth. Ok, so it’s not even remotely similar, and some might even call it trivial. But, for me, it’s certainly a very fucking inconvenient truth.

Someone called Al Gorithm, who I can only assume is Mr Gore’s evil twin, has wreaked havoc upon your Facebook Newsfeed. Pages and Groups on the world’s primary social media outlet have had their organic reach significantly decreased. This analysis by Buzzsumo, a leading content marketer, has shown that post engagement has been in sharp decline in 2017.

So… what does this mean? In layman’s terms, it means you’re seeing less content from pages you follow.

Facebook is tweaking the algorithm to reduce the reach of pages. This means that many followers of any given page simply never see the content these pages share. Facebook officially states that this is simply a matter of supply and demand – that there is too much content to be shown.

But at the same time, this decrease in organic reach has coincided with a dramatic increase in aggressive solicitation by Facebook to increase advertising revenue. Emails and notifications are regularly sent to page admins, urging them to boost posts or pump money into advertisements. It’s hardly a conspiracy theory to link the two occurrences, and one can hardly blame Facebook for leveraging the power at their command to increase profits… that is, after all, what businesses do.

This is all well and good if you manage a page that promotes a medium to large business. In all likelihood, these types of pages already have a social media advertising budget and an employee or consultant dedicated to marketing. But if you run a small business, non-profit, or (let’s go out on a limb here) a humble old climbing blog page, you’re a hostage.

Our organic reach has recently taken a dramatic plunge, somewhere in the order of more than a 50% decrease. Some of my close friends, people who’ve been reading my blog for years, were very surprised to discover they hadn’t seen many of the posts I’d recently shared. Facebook intentionally limits their viewing because I can’t/won’t pay money to increase my post visibility.

My product is my writing, and with the notable exception of certain (but not all) magazine articles, I’m giving it away for free. With the limited return I receive for this product, I can hardly be expected to throw cash into advertising. I want you to read it, but I don’t think I should have to go into the red for that to occur.

Now there are two possibilities here:

  1. You give a shit
  2. You don’t give a shit

If it’s the second option, and you couldn’t care less about how much content you see from Zen and the Art of Climbing, then don’t adjust your set.

If it’s the first option, there are a few things you can do to make Zen and the Art of Climbing pop up a little more often in your world.

The first is you can bypass Facebook entirely by subscribing to our page. We’ll send you every article direct to your email inbox. You can do that here, or by using the banner that pops up along the top of the page.

The second is that you can adjust your newsfeed preferences on Facebook. To do this:

  1. Go to the Settings menu – Three horizontal lines on the bottom right for iOS or top right for Android, or a little down arrow on the top right for Desktop
  2. Find “Newsfeed Preferences”
  3. Find “Prioritize who to see first”`
  4. Select Zen and the Art of Climbing and any other page you want to see more content from

Last, if you were directed here by a Facebook post, you can give that post a like to increase the organic reach of that post and make sure others see it as well.

Sorry for being needy, folks. I enjoy writing, and if you enjoy reading it, these are just a few easy steps you can take to make sure Al Gorithm isn’t fucking the both of us.

Thanks in advance for your support. I’m super-cereal.

Ryan Siacci, Esq