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Help! Facebook-share counter zeroes out, re-starts -- WHY?

  1. imissyouwheniblink
    Member

    Hi,
    I've brought this issue up before, and wasn't able to find an answer. What's happening is the Facebook ticker at the bottom of some of our posts is starting over randomly. So, we'll have a post get several hundred or thousand shares, then all of a sudden, it goes back to zero.

    The first time this happened, it was with this interview with David Sedaris (http://parnassusmusing.net/2014/06/12/david-sedaris-id-rather-go-to-an-actual-shop-i-want-beauty-in-my-life-i-want-charm/), which had been shared 8k+ times before the FB counter suddenly started over. (It's now back at 2K+). The most recent time was with this article, which was somewhere around 250 or 300 when it suddenly started over:

    http://parnassusmusing.net/2014/07/07/learning-the-ropes-a-shop-pups-training-day/

    While it may sound silly to be concerned with social media share counts, it's actually a big issue for us. We rely on those numbers to make our case when appealing to big publishers/authors for interviews. We can't have them dropping like that -- it's inaccurate, and it hurts our ability to book future articles.

    We have NOT changed the URL of those posts after making them public and publishing them -- so we know it's not that.

    HELP?? We love WordPress.com and want to keep using it for our site, but this is a critical issue.

    The blog I need help with is parnassusmusing.net.

  2. You seem to be referring to http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/facebook-share-count-suddenly-droppeddisappeared-yikes?replies=8#post-1900188

    Please post there to continue communicating with Staff on this issue.

  3. imissyouwheniblink
    Member

    OK -- will do. And yep, that's it. Thanks!

  4. You're welcome.

  5. We rely on those numbers to make our case when appealing to big publishers/authors for interviews. We can't have them dropping like that -- it's inaccurate, and it hurts our ability to book future articles.

    [opinion]
    That publisher's requirement is exactly why I hate what has happened to the blogosphere. Clicking share buttons takes zero effort and adds nothing to the value of the content in any site. Actually composing a relevant and meaningful comment an/or backlinking properly to a post in a post of one's own takes some effort and IQ. Instead we now have people collecting thousands of followers who never comment and only a tiny minority will ven click share buttons. So now we have a minority of lazy clickers and their shares replacing comments and backlinks.

    In a nutshell, the blogosphere has become the bullshitossphere and that's why I'm one the verge of either packing it in totally. Or closing down my blogs, registering a new one with a domain, monetizing it with the sole purpose of blogging to exposing the both the bull and the bullshitters. lol :D [/opinion]

  6. imissyouwheniblink
    Member

    @timethief -
    I hear you. I do.

    And I have many of the same concerns about the bullshitosphere. (Also: great word)

    I should clarify for this instance, though: It's by no means a *requirement* by any publisher that we furnish FB share-counts. In fact, I can't even imagine any of them requiring that info.

    The FB-count is part of an overall package of metrics we furnish to publishers when explaining what our site is and who it reaches. We do that, because we realize that publicists often have to make tough decisions on behalf of their authors, who may not have time to meet every press request they get.

    In that way, social media metrics (when you're talking about an online vehicle) aren't that different from circulation metrics (when you're talking about a print magazine). Even before the Internet ever existed, it was (and still is) common to provide circulation data to someone you wish to entice to be part of your publication -- be that an advertiser, an interview subject's agent, whatever. Go to any print magazine's website, look up their "media kit," and that's what you'll find.

    And there's a good reason for that. Let's say I'm a publicist, and I work on behalf of an author who, in addition to being a novelist, is also a parent of two kids, maybe even a single parent, and perhaps has other professional and life obligations too. That author cannot possibly say yes to every interview request they get -- it's impossible. So my job, as the publicist, is to strategically choose opportunities that will get word of the book out to as large and diverse a group of potential readers as possible, without running my author ragged. One piece of the puzzle I'd need to make that decision is circulation metrics: how many people would see this thing.

    So, back to the situation at hand: In my job, when I give metrics to someone who's weighing whether they can give their last available interview slot to our publication or to another that's vying for that time, I'd like those metrics to be complete. That is, I'd like to be able to say, "We have X# subscribers by email; X# who subscribe via WordPress directly; and an additional X# who see it on Twitter, X# on FB, etc." As it is now, I have to say, "but disregard those FB numbers, because they seem to be broken."

    Not the biggest deal in the world. But it'd be nice if it all worked correctly.

    All that said, I echo your frustration with the emphasis these days on quantity over quality. There are indeed a bunch of godawful sites out there that have a bajillion shares/followers/et. -- most of which are just robots or garbage -- and it's all meaningless.

    I hope, if you have something to say and you know there are people who want to read it, that you won't close up shop. Keep going, for all those who DO value quality over quantity.

    And if you're ever in Nashville, stop by our store. There's nothing we love more than a quality read, and that's why we carefully choose a mix of big names and new authors, mega-tomes and little independently published books, new releases and oldies -- all books we personally stand behind. Come say hello sometime!

  7. It's up to you to track the FB and other shares using whatever methods you have, even if that's writing the count down by hand before it resets.

    There's no point telling a volunteer in the forum how WordPress.com should be run. She doesn't run it. And there's also no point raising the issue at WordPress.com if the fault is actually Facebook's anyway, as proofs from outside WP.com would seem to indicate.

  8. Don't know where my comment from earlier went, but I can attest that this zero reset behaviour is not simply a WP.com problem but also occurs on Django and other sites.

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