Richmond DevJam: hello world.


as a developer, i’ve typed those words a lot.

‘hello world’.

we devs use those words like designers use lorem ipsum to add copy to a comp. we don’t even think about it. we’re less inclined to take the time to write something meaningful like ‘Testing application’ or ‘This is a trace statement to…

Facebook Fan Pages

I’ve been seeing countless businesses and organizations creating personal pages on Facebook instead of fan pages. Besides the business not knowing how to set up a fan page, I just don’t understand why they are creating personal pages.

Fan pages aren’t that hard to set up. Yes, there are a few more steps in the setup, but Facebook does a great job walking you thru it. And those steps help to taylor your page to your needs. A fan page is no harder to update it than a personal page. And it’s free to use, just like the personal pages are.

A few advantages of fan pages in no particular order-

  • Fan pages don’t have a 3,000 person cap. On a personal page, when you hit 3,000 friends that’s it. No more friends until you unfriend someone. By that point, getting everyone to switch over to a fan page is a lot of work. (Also - if you want all of your old comments on the new page, you’ll have to copy and paste or re-enter them. And you won’t have all of the comments made by others on the new fan page). 
  • Post discussion topics (separate tab from your wall) and send notice of the new topic to your fans.
  • Fan pages are indexed by search engines. (So your fan page will show up on Google and other search engines)
  • Have tracking metrics (Such as post quality, activity levels on your fan page, gender and age group breakout charts, signup rates, etc.)
  • No having to accept friend requests, like you do with personal pages. As soon as a person clicks “Become a fan” they’re in. So less work for you.
  • No privacy issues for your fans. (if facebook changes privacy settings, a friend’s private info could be exposed to everyone that is a friend of you, so complete strangers could see someone’s personal info) 
  • You can have your business info (hours, types of payments, contact info, etc.) on your main page.
  • If you want to, you can promote your business with ads on Facebook (just pay for the click-thrus)
  • Most of the facebook applications that work on personal pages also work on fan pages. (and yes, the Twitter app does work with fan pages)
  • Share the love with other local business by being able to display other fan pages in a favorites window, which is separate from the people who are fans. (shows up on your main page)
  • When someone becomes a fan, it still shows up in their feed like a new friend does, and they can still suggest you to their friends.
  • Fans can post video and photos to your fan page (if you allow this)
  • If you have a blog, you can your blog posts automatically show up on your fan page.

I’ve stopped adding and have unfriended business that are set up as friends. Not for privacy concerns, but because my “People you may know” list gets flooded with people I don’t know. Why does this happen? If a person has more than one mutual friend in common with you, then they show up in this list. Most of the time that’s fine, but if you have friended a couple of popular businesses, then anyone that has friended both of those will show up in your list! For a short time, I had a couple hundred people showing up in the list on a regular basis. It kept me from finding the people that I might really know. Clicking thru to delete them from that list would sometimes take 15-20 minutes.

If there’s a legit reason for a business or organization to have a personal page and not a fan page, then I’d love to hear it. 

If you are a business, please do everyone a favor and ditch the friend page and set up a fan page. You’ll be happy you did. Here is the direct link at Facebook’s fan page setup: >

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