To Facebook or Not to Facebook?

Hi there!

 

An idea is forming in my mind to make more of cookies than a mere hobby, and what I am after is giving classes. I studied to be a teacher in my youth and generally enjoy showing stuff to other people, I guess I could manage that. So far, so good. But this approach requests that I get more commonly known to more people here in Germany.

 

The first option to reach that goal would be a blog, but after spending several hours researching this topic I am now sure that I am neither skilled enough in that direction nor feel the slightest inclination of changing that (I am NOT interested in anything to do with computers, I only use them and that’s it. Period!). For the same reason doing videos is at least at the moment out of the question. I am a total dummy with technics, and this goes for all people I know.

 

Facebook would be the second option, that a lot of people seem to use. It also is easy in the handling for dummies. 2 things which clearly point in that direction. BUT (in very capital letters), I had an account there once and deleted it like 4 years ago. That was hard enough as they truly are more than reluctant to let you go again after they have grabbed you tightly in their many tentacles. Especially in the light of the recent new guidelines, which give them almost total control over all your data, making movement profiles, using info from all your other devices (even if not directly added to facebook) to monitor every virtual and non-virtual step you take, I am loath to try that site again. Maybe we Germans are a bit paranoid when it comes to our personal data, but the behavior of that company becomes more and more like Orwell and scares me quite a bit.

 

How do you think about this? Are you still feeling comfy using facebook, is there a way to prevent them collecting too much data about you? Or do you know about a suitable alternative (not Twitter, please, as this is just facebook by a different name)? My researches let me stumble over “Ello”, “Diaspora”, and “Google+”. The first 2 are very small and also seem again to require some technical / PC background. The latter seeming to be facebook only hosted by a different big brother behind it. But maybe there are other ways I am not aware of.

 

Would love to get your opinions on this matter!

 

Thanks in advance

Laegwen

Original Post

Hi,

 

I do use facebook to sell my cookies, but to be honest I've found it quite hard work on there to connect with people even though so many Danes use facebook, but it's still early days. I have found I have been much more successful connecting with people on Instagram (which I know is the same issue for you with privacy etc) but thought I would just share my experiences of each in case it helps. As you say Ello is a much nicer proposition but it's incredibly quiet on there sadly or that's where I personally would prefer to be. 

 

Best of luck deciding where to go with it. 

 

Marie x

I have a website and a facebook site.  I can update my facebook site in an instant but the website is more work. I know that some people I would like to reach are not on facebook, but most of those people probably aren't using a lot of other technology either. The huge plus with facebook (or instagram) is sharing your work and having it pushed out to the public. My website is not set up to promote my work the way  facebook can.  Another factor, when people go to my facebook page my pictures load instantly. (For me this is a huge factor)  On my website, my galleries take time to open, way to much time.  I know this is probably something I could sit down and fix, but I just don't have time to be a website fixer! (nor do I want to!) I am glad that I have my website because I own the domain name. If I had to pick just one, facebook or website I would have to go with facebook.  Good luck with your decision!

~Heidi  

AKA~  FacebookCookieMeThis

Thanks for your replies!

I just cannot help it, I'm highly mistrusting of facebook and the likes (though I might give instagram a second thought...).

For the time being I have chosen a totally different approach. I applied as a teacher with 2 community colleges, maybe at least one of them is interested and I can start from there. Additionally I'm spreading cookie samples around, with the help of my mother. A few people already asked to place orders. Alas, I cannot do that, as the regilations are highly restrictive in Germany and I could get in so much trouble for selling cookies without being an officially acknoledged baker. But the kindergardeners of my nephew already expressed interrest in taking a class.

I know that this is a long process, but I'm positive that something will come of it sooner or later. My mother started her quilting classes exactly the same way and now has 1-2 every week.

And maybe someday I will also find someone to help me with starting a blog

I know I am a little late here, but I can completely relate to your concerns about facebook. Maybe I am just paranoid, but I have gone out of my way to avoid it for years. In fact, I never even used my real name on anything online unless I needed it for a credit card or something. I show my daughter every news story I can find about someone getting into trouble because a friend, college, or employer came across something carelessly posted, sometimes years beforehand. It is hard to teach her to be careful and private, but not paranoid, lol.

That said, I signed up last week. I just got tired of not being able to participate in so many things. I have not really put anything up, and may hold off on that for a while. Also, I have been reading up a bit on it, and at this point Facebook is only a small concern. These days everyone has ways to get their hands on way more information about us than we would like, and Facebook is no longer the worst culprit, just a very visible one. Maybe that's a foolish reason, but considering how much information our doctors, government, insurance, utilities, schools, and banks store online, I no longer think it's the biggest concern.

I think the most important thing is to just be aware and involved. Pay attention to  new laws and regulations, and think about how they apply to you. Use good passwords, be careful how much personal information you post, and learn to fiddle with the privacy and security settings. It seems like instagram and other similar services are becoming even more popular than facebook now, and all of the big companies and services will have similar policies. Don't know if it's useful information, just my personal opinion. Good luck!

@ Wildflower

Seems like we are a bit paranoid, millions / billions of people are using those online platforms and don't think anything about it. And you are absolutely right, facebook is not the worst. It's not even that I mind most of the things these portals use my data for. Heck, it's mainly to personalize ads!

But still, it kind of gives me the creeps to constantly have the feeling someone is breezing down my neck.

 

Maybe it is also a generation thing. When I was born in the mid seventies, things like computers were very rare, internet simply unheard of. It's like old people not being able to get used to cars, because they only knew horses in their childhood *lol*

 

I guess I'll have to work on being careful about the new media but not let it freak me out. So as soon as I can figure out how to get an Instagram account and work it from my tablet, I might actually do it

I can relate, I was born in the early 70's, and I feel like a relic around all the newer technology. Things sure have changed. I bet our parents felt the same way though. My biggest fear about all this new technology that can be used to gather my personal information is knowing that they can use it to try to influence the way I think or feel about something. I have to say that the personalized ads make me insane. Every time I purchase something online, I start seeing ads for that store or item everywhere. Don't they understand that I already placed my order, and would have gotten everything I wanted from them?

I think advertizers are losing out too, because it won't bring them many completely new customers. If I ever start a blog or cookie business I will try to find advertisers for related, but unique products, and write about topics that help people see a completely different point of view on the subject. By coming together as a cookie community, we can use the opportunity to increase knowledge and understanding, and to expand the available supplies and new inventions we have access to.

I also belive bloggers should research a company thoroughly before advertizing for them. I lose respect for a blogger and their opinion when they sell ad space to companies I don't want to support. If a company is not trying to be eco-friendly, has no fair-trade policies, is not careful about fair labor or child labor, expresses prejudice towards certian groups, or invests heavily in immoral or greed-centered financial institutions, I don't want to buy their products or see their ads. If anyone involved is catching our attention by using "train-wreck" stories that capitalize on someone's misfortunes, joke in a way that hurts someone, or teaches our children that it's okay to entertain ourselves at someone else's expense, I am not interested. If their ads are teaching our children that a princess should be skinny, busty, and blond, or that a princess theme cookie is not as good, as artistic, as special or as 'perfect' as a name brand princess cookie, I want to avoid them. I sit in the privacy of my home, on my own computer, in my own bed, and get a little angry that they are trying to sneak in uninvited and tell me what to buy, or how to think or feel.

If all the most popular cookie bloggers vetted advertizers before putting their ads up, it would improve the reputation of the whole industry, and make the world a better place for all of us. The people who wanted to advertise on cookie-related sites would feel pressured to improve their policies in order to compete for the best ad space and our cookie dollars. Since almost every time we click on something it improves someone's site traffic, and somebody makes money by advertising to us, we are essentially voting with our dollars by clicking, even if we purchase nothing.

I believe it is important to be exposed to as many different ideas, viewpoints, news stories, etc. as possible to stay a well-rounded person, and to keep from creating even more polarized attitudes on important issues. I am troubled that more and more of what I see online is being narrowed down into the categories I am already involved in, and that it is tailored to focus on what they think I want to see. When it comes to cookies, for example, I would much rather see new designs, products, and decorating viewpoints, than ads for stores where I already shop and posts about products or techniques I have already tried.

We are artists as much as bakers, and by narrowing our field of exposure we risk stagnating, or even getting bored because of all the repetition. It is hard to come up with new inspiration when we are immersed in the same things as always, and everyone else in our circle is too. I say freedom for new cookie ideas and inspiration! Lol, sometimes I crack myself up.

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