Thursday, July 28, 2016

STAND BACK, I'm About To Say Something *Nice* About Facebook

This pains me, you guys. PAINS ME.

After all, we all know Facebook is the devil. It censors our posts' reach to nothing, hides all our friends' updates, and yet still manages to barf up all our crazy relatives' political memes.

But.

Recently something beautiful has happened... on Facebook. Something that's changed my interactions and overall happiness possibly even more than my Facebook Fix from a year ago. And it's going to seem blatantly self-serving when I say this, which is a bit embarrassing and why I hesitate to mention it, but it's the truth - and not why you'd think.

The Fans of Epbot page is my new happy place.

Again, but not why you'd think.

You know how I do meetups a few times a month with you readers? (No? Um. I do meetups a few times a month with you readers.) The reason I do them - even as an agoraphobic, introverted, hermit blogger - is because I already KNOW I'm going to like you. If you like the things I like enough to follow Epbot, then we're already friends. We just haven't met yet.

But something's been missing, and Fans of Epbot has shown me what it was: you guys didn't get the chance to be friends with each other. When you post your photos and questions and links on the regular Epbot FB page, I'm pretty much the only one who can see them. But on Fans of Epbot, you get a whole community commenting and liking and saying "me, too!" and it is just the best, BEST thing happening online right now.


 
I'm so grateful to Julie for starting this page, and for being gracious enough to get the ball rolling and then stand back and let the rest of you have at it. And I'm TRYING to follow suit, I am, but I'll admit to being a constant lurker and frequent commenter. Because dangit, you guys are way too interesting.

Seriously. I'm having a hard time getting work done. I keep seeing something new pop up in my feed, and now I have to go see that costume or project or geeky collection photo, and before I can even answer a craft question 6 other people have shared solutions way better than mine, and folks are swapping book recommendations and pet photos and introducing themselves and commiserating over anxiety struggles and geeking out over toys and I know I'm rambling, but I'm just so happy I could pop.





Here's what it is in a nutshell - though I don't have the screencap since it's from a few weeks ago: early on a reader introduced herself on the page and mentioned she felt a little lonely, because she lives all the way over in France. The next 3 or 4 comments were in French. And I sat here in my office and bawled, you guys. This is the community you've built. This is the love and welcome I've been spoiled with for years, and now I get to see my friends becoming friends with each other - some even meeting in real life! - and I just want to have a giant slumber party with you all where we watch superhero movies and paint our toenails green and put on My Little Pony fashion shows, but 'til then, this is a pretty darn good substitute.




THIS. This times a million. Thank you. I love you. Let's go make some friends.



37 comments:

  1. I didn't even know about this! I've signed up and tagged myself on the map. So excited about this group! Thank you Jen (& John) for doing all of this. You guys are the best!

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  2. Giant slumber party? I'm so in!

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    1. Posted too fast! I was so excited. Got myself added on the FB page and the map on day one, so thrilled to find out where everyone is and share the love <3

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  3. I love seeing the crafty things people are making (I'm so not crafty myself).

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    1. I understand not crafty but stand in awe of those who are

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  4. I joined early on, but my social anxiety is too bad to even make an introductory post or anything. I saw everyone else's posts and it sort of short-circuited my Asperger brain, like, "Look at all those people TALKING to each other. I can't do that." *sigh* At least it's there if I ever feel ready.

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    1. Gah! Same here! Well we'll just have ourselves a friendship of inaction and lurking ^_^

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  5. I'm so glad Sarah got this going! I was a little afraid you wouldn't like it. Like maybe you'd feel it was going to make your original LESS and you'd be waving your arms around going, "Hey! Guys? Remember me?".

    I'm so, so glad you are part of the Fans of Epbot! While I will always love you and John, I love having that community you mentioned.

    I still need to pin myself on the map. I also need to do your FB fix and un-join some groups I no longer 'feel' so my feed is all about the Epbot. And maybe family. Maybe. ; )

    Seriously, y'all saved me from shutting down my FB page altogether. Now, I can't wait to get on and see what's happening! Which isn't always a good thing. :D

    -Just Andrea

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  6. OH MY GOD I ALMOST FAINTED. I"M KATY JONES. I SHARED THAT MEEPING ANGELS TODAY. OH MY GOD MY ENTIRE LIFE MEANS SOMETHING NOW.
    I'm only slightly kidding and wayyyyy humbled you chose my funny post to share. I LOVE that group too and I have to literally force myself to not look at it or I will get sucked into a Fans of Epbot vortex where I lose all track of space and that big ball of wibbly wobbly timey whimey stuff.
    Much love. And thank you for bringing us together.

    Http://www.playswellwithcoffee.com is my little place on the webs ;)

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    1. I'm the person with the nerdy office and I am with you in that I just nearly died seeing my post here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      I have really and truly enjoyed this Facebook group so very much. It's one of my favorite things about the internet right now.

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    2. Totally and completely agree!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *squeeeeee*

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  8. Epbot has taken over my feed and I couldn't be more happy or less productive ;-)

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  9. Whee!! What a great idea, and just from the peek into the feed, I think I may feel comfortable there. Thanks for this!

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  10. BLARGH. I really don't want to join Facebook, but I want to be on the Fans of Epbot page SOOOOO much. For years and years, I've been hoping someone would figure out how Epbot/CakeWrecks fans could find each other and connect. BUT, I was also always really hoping it wouldn't happen on Facebook. Unfortunately, I guess it's the best way.

    I don't know what to do. I think I'm going to have to give up my lifelong ban on social media (patooie!) and just join Facebook already. If anyone else reading this is an anti-Facebook fan of Epbot like I am, please let me know what you're doing. Are you caving and getting a Facebook account just so you can have access to this new group? I'm going nuts with indecisiveness! I don't want Facebook to be part of my life, but I would really dig having some cool new friends and penpals!

    Wait, what? Just looked up Facebook's policy on using aliases. Do they seriously check your ID to prove that you're using your real name? Is this new? I don't think my husband had to prove who he was when he opened his account years ago. Or do they only make you prove who you are if you use a name that doesn't seem "legit"? Any guidance anyone can give would be helpful, because I'm definitely not opening a Facebook account if I have to use my real name.

    KW

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    1. NO, you *do not* have to use your real name! I have one account using my real name with my nickname shown [the one I actually use], a second account using my nickname [just as a placeholder], and a third account with a completely made-up alphabet soup [which I use to sign up for freebies and such]. The 'use your real name' thing is seriously controversial, but in my experience hasn't had any impact whatsoever.

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    2. I'm with you KW. I have resisted the Facebook army until now, but having an Fans of Epbot page is sorely testing my resolve. I can read what people are saying, but I can't answer!

      Does anyone have an alternate venue to suggest for us Facebook holdouts?

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    3. Good to hear that there are more non Facebookers out there. And also to hear that your struggling too with almost caving due to Fans of Epbot :).

      What to do?

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    4. Storm the KlingonJuly 29, 2016 at 4:11 AM

      @KW: Girl, like usual, I feel you. I haven't been on FB in 5 years, and I like it that way. But I really really REALLY want to get out more and make new friends, now that my zaniness is (mostly) under control again, so I'm tempted, but yet... not.

      I also really like the idea of a place where I can post my costuming pics where I'm sure Jen will see them; I've had The Vulcan post a few on the EPBOT FB page recently (pics of me as DoctorsDonna in a TARDIS, and one from my Trek wedding), but I don't think he did it right, because he/I never received any sort of reply.

      Zaaahhhh! This whole thing is giving me shpilkis in my ganekdigazoink.

      Cheers, thanks a lot,

      Storm the Klingon

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    5. I don't know anything about this sort of thing, but is there a way to do a Fans of Epbot blog? I guess it would be a full time job because someone would (I assume) have to be in charge of receiving all the posts and pics and adding them...? Unless it was some kind of co-op with several people in charge of running it?

      Sorry, that's the only thing I could think of. I'm not too savvy when it comes to the interwebs.

      -Just Andrea

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    6. STORM! Holy flurking schnit!! I have been missing your comments here! I'm so happy to see your reply, and I'm glad you're doing well!

      Thanks to all of you for your replies! We should try to figure something out for the people not interested in getting sucked into the Facebook vortex. I guess we'd have probably only 5 percent (or less) of the traffic though. I'm still on the fence over the whole thing. Yes, definitely got schpilkes in my genechtagazoink, too, Storm!! Haha!

      A blog would be good, but my dream is to find a way to create a friend-matching service, like a dating website, but for Epbot/CakeWrecks fans. People could post their profiles, and they'd be searchable. Users could select a set of interests and have it match them to people in their area with those same interests. Or, if they were mostly just looking for penpals (like me), and not go-out-and-be-social friends, it could match them with other people only looking for penpals. I think the Facebook group can do all that, but in a roundabout way.

      Anyway, if anyone wants a penpal, email me, and we'll see if we have anything in common: pacific40s at yahoo dot com

      I'm really glad I'm not the only one who is Facebookphobic.

      KW

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    7. Storm the KlingonJuly 29, 2016 at 11:58 PM

      Uh, I was using the Klingon spelling, of course. Yeah, that's the ticket! ;) Kisskiss, sweetiedarling!

      What about Reddit? I've been lurking around all over the place there for months now, and I keep meaning to join. This would be just the excuse-- then I'd just have to sort out their posting protocols, and I'd be all over it like a Denebian slimedevil.

      Work, Mamas!

      Storm the Klingon

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    8. Storm, I know almost nothing about Reddit, other than having read several of the AMAs they have hosted, but if you think that Reddit would be a good forum for the Epbot fans who want to avoid Facebook, then, by all means, set something up, and I will open an account there. Maybe we can convince Jen and John to do a Reddit AMA someday. I would really enjoy reading that.

      (How 'bout it, Jen and John?)

      KW

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    9. Just a caution: I've had several friends with made up names get in trouble by Facebook. So yes come up with a fake name if you're more comfortable with that, but make it look like a real name so you don't get caught by the algorithm.

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  11. I'll have you know "Visitor Posts" on the EPBOT (and CakeWrecks) FB pages has always been one of my regular visiting places online... But now Fans of EPBOT is kinda like that on overload. :) Between that group and two others that I'd recently joined that's about all I ever see in my news feed. (And that's a GOOD thing except when you need to get stuff done.) :)

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  12. Such fun! I have been lurking a bit and am amazed at all the wonderfulness!

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    1. Just so you're aware, lurking will no longer be possible. They've just closed the group. John's supposed to post as to why, but I imagine it's so members feel safer posting their stories. Might want to join up now. :) -TAL

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    2. I can't join until I get home... (away from work) can we request to join? :(

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  13. Jen - I absolutely needed this today. Thank you. I'm super grateful for this group too!

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  14. "I just want to have a giant slumber party with you all where we watch superhero movies and paint our toenails green and put on My Little Pony fashion shows..."

    I swear to god, if I ever win the lottery, I'm totally renting out an entire hotel or cruise ship and all the FOEs are invited to said slumber party.

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  15. So I joined after reading this post, and then posted my "introduction" this morning. So many comments! And I can talk about what I LOVE to talk about, and it's amazing. And a huge time-suck. I've got so much to do today, but I have 12 notifications to check and reply to!

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  16. OMG This is such a cool page. I joined after I read your post and like Mindy got sucked in!! So many interesting and fun people!!! Diana-

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  17. I love the Facebook group - I was worried at first it would all be people organising actual real life stuff because I think I'm fairly alone in my little part of rural Australia but I've loved the sharing of ideas and photos so much! such a great community! And one day maybe I'll make it to a part of the world where I can meet people IRL and hopefully meet Jen and John!

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  18. Let's have an Epbot Convention!! <3

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  19. Darn it. I'm guilty of just lurking in the group, but now I wanna play too. (Plus there's the whole Quebec/French-speaking bonus) lol

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  20. Loooong ago... there was a website called thespot.com it was maybe the first serial webisodic about some people sharing a house; all blogging about their events from their POV. It's long defunct now; but the community that was born in their fan BBS page are still some of my favorite people today, almost 20 years later. When people were all up in arms having realized that people can LIE about themselves on the interwebs, I had my group of peeps to restore my faith in the basic niceness of the average person. We've had meet-ups; celebrated weddings and mourned divorces together. Fan pages can be AWESOME. But stay away from newspaper comic web-page comments sections, y'all. *Them* trolls iz MEAN.

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