Larry BraunerNetworkedBlogs is a Facebook application, which syndicates blog content and networks blogs to help them gain followers and readership on Facebook.

What blogger would not want to tap into Facebook, the networking giant, to grow his or her blog? That was the allure of NetworkedBlogs for me.

NetworkedBlogs Facebook ApplicationNetworkedBlogs has simplified my Facebook syndication to a small extent. However, despite building a large presence on NetworkedBlogs, integrating my blog with Facebook in this manner has resulted in few new readers.

Here are seven reasons for my disappointment with the NetworkedBlogs Facebook application:

  1. Many of my NetworkedBlogs followers are following my blog only because the NetworkedBlogs application asked them to do so at the time they followed another blogger’s blog covering the same topics. They have little interest in reading my blog.
  2. Only a small percentage of users visit the NetworkedBlogs Home Page regularly or at all to see their NetworkedBlogs News Feed. Many users don’t even realize the importance of the NetworkedBlogs Home Page. NetworkedBlogs needs better instruct users, so that users will get more out of this potentially useful Facebook application.
  3. I, like most bloggers, post at most a few articles per week. However, the top blogs on NetworkedBlogs are group blogs with many articles per day, thereby dominating the News Feed on the NetworkedBlogs Home Page. NetworkedBlogs needs to adjust its algorithm to compensate for the disproportionate number of articles generated by group blogs.
  4. Moreover, on the NetworkedBlogs Home Page, the News Feed is not sequential. Instead, it gives the highest-rated blogs priority, just as the Facebook News Feed gives priority to the most relevant posts, based upon each post’s Facebook EdgeRank. Because most people follow top blogs on NetworkedBlogs, they’ll infrequently be shown less popular blogs. Networked blogs needs to modify its algorithm to display a greater number of lower-rated blog posts.
  5. People tend to follow many blogs they have little interest in reading. This too diminishes the usefulness of the NetworkedBlogs News Feed and its perceived importance, as well.
  6. Facebook greatly limits that which the NetworkedBlogs application can do on our behalf. NetworkedBlogs cannot create user notifications as it had been able to in the past. Therefore, NetworkedBlogs needs to be extra creative in order to increase user engagement with the application and its content.
  7. NetworkedBlogs users, including myself, aren’t proactive enough to compensate for the shortcomings of the NetworkedBlogs Facebook application. How we can use NetworkedBlogs more proactively and productively will be the subject of a future article, which I plan to call The NetworkedBlogs Challenge.

Before you comment on this post, please “like” my Facebook page and follow me on NetworkedBlogs. ;-)

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Larry BraunerHave you seen the notice on Facebook yet? Facebook is getting ready to remove all application tabs from your Profile page, including the NetworkedBlogs application Blog tab.

I speculated when Facebook removed applications from the sidebar that they’d use the freed-up space for something else.

FacebookPerhaps, Facebook does want to free up the sidebar and tabs for other uses.

However, I’ve observed a trend recently that’s more far reaching and more fundamental to Facebook’s success.

Facebook Aiming to Increase Member Engagement

Engagement, i.e., member activity and interaction, is the lifeblood of social media sites. Engagement keeps a social media site humming, and it creates revenue from advertising and other fees. The Facebook changes are being orchestrated to increase member engagement on their site.

How so? Could removing applications from Facebook Profile page actually help rather than hurt member engagement?

Yup. It could.

Your Facebook Home Page

Facebook is removing applications from your Profile page but adding them to the sidebar of your Home page. They’re already listed there, right below the list of your new Facebook groups. Facebook is turning your Home page sidebar into your Facebook navigation pane.

Why go to the trouble of rearranging the Facebook interface? I can think of two good reasons:

  1. It’s simpler - From your Facebook Home page you can navigate to many of the other pages you care about.
  2. Greater engagement - More importantly, we’re too focused on our Profile and business pages. Therefore, Facebook is gently shepherding us to our Home pages where we’ll find our News Feeds, and we’ll view content posted by the friends and Facebook pages we follow. That will, in turn, increase our engagement.

Typically, the most important page of a social media site is its home page. The home pages of Facebook and other social sites are designed to engage you with fellow members and their content.

Facebook application tabs are going away, but not the Facebook applications themselves. They’re now on your Home page, and Facebook want you to be there too.

I’m sure you’re in a hurry to comment on my post, but before you do, please “like” my Facebook page and subscribe to my blog. ;-)

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about Building Your Audience and Brand on the Web. See also my Disclosure Policy regarding affiliations and compensation.

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