How Social is your Social Network

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How Social is your Social Network

I simply need to write something about this as I am completely baffled about what happened the other day. My social network of choice, Facebook, seems to have some really strange policies. Of course you will say ‘what else is new Fred??’ and I know all that CIA and FBI stuff.

So the Growing Green Cities Greenhouse is both an ideological as a for-profit endevor. I want to make a difference in the world, be all that I can be, stuff like that. But I also don’t think that I should be doing that for free OR that I shouldn’t spend any money on trying to get the word out. That’s after all how the world works, so naturally you also make an attempt on a social network.

Stedelijke Kas

At first I considered that it would be a good idea to give my project a Dutch name. I live in the Netherlands and I believed that I can help Dutch people first and foremost. I made a Facebook page which I named ‘Stedelijke Kas’, Dutch for ‘Urban Greenhouse’.

Focus Change

As anybody who read the page has noticed, I kinda ran into a mentality where neighbors don’t think the greenhouse is pretty enough for their neighborhood so they deemed it fit to go complain to the authorities about it. That’s fine, I made the huge mistake to never finish the permit application so basically through a rather organic process I found myself in the situation of having an ‘illegal structure’ in my backyard (a structure without permit). Of course the City Authorites of Almere seemed eager to jump on top of that, despite acknowledging my good intentions. After all, Befehl ist Befehl.

So in a cranky mood I decided to change my focus from people in my hometown to ‘the rest of the world’. And what language to use best when your focus becomes the whole world? Right, English. So with a little bit of a smirk on my face I decided to set up this Growing Green Cities website for the greenhouse as well as make it serve as a repository pointing to all sorts of such initiatives world wide.

Enter Facebook

White Bunny
White Bunny

As my page had more than 200 ‘Likes’ a ‘Change Request’ has to be sent to Facebook to rename a page. Hmm, that’s intriguing. Well okay I can imagine if a page is first named ‘I love bunnies!’ and 10 million people like that page, and then later on someone renames the page to ‘kill all bunnies!’ I could imagine it could really ‘confuse people’.

But here goes… Facebook in their infinite wisdom about languages decided that ‘Stedelijke Kas’ means something entirely different than ‘Growing Green Cities Greenhouse’! They furthermore decided that they… will not do it. Despite having paid them for ads to get those ‘Likes’ from local people, they would simply not budge.

“It looks like your request doesn’t meet our guidelines. The name you requested suggests that the subject of your Page has changed, which can be confusing for people who like your Page. You can create a new Page with a different name or update your Page’s About section. ”

Desperate, I have now asked people to actually UN-like my page so the Like-counter drops below 200 again. With my luck lately it will probably not work that way!

Help me Back Up

I have to tell you honestly, I’m really starting to wonder if there’s any additional value to having a Social Network page. I do know a thing or two about algorithms and they’re not very difficult to reverse-engineer. Facebook is a for-profit company and if you don’t pay them they won’t help you. I guess it’s even so that if you don’t pay them ENOUGH, they also won’t help you.

For me this social network has always been more about fun and entertainment than it is for business but one tries what you can to get the word out. It could well be that the subject of Growing Green Cities does not really tickle people’s imagination somehow. I’ve found it extremely difficult so far to get anybody even remotely interested.

Either way, if  you happen to want to have a look at my page, feel free and if it’s still called ‘Stedelijke Kas’ you will know my effort to get people to UN-like the page has failed. If it has been renamed to Growing Green Cities Greenhouse, by all means humor me and LIKE the page 🙂