The Facebook Debate – Artist vs Business

To start off, let me say it’s been a very difficult decision that I’ve been weighing over the last several months.  In short, it’s a smart business move but my artistic identity suffers.

Before making this choice, I read through Facebook’s entire Terms of Usage and Privacy Policy, and noticed a few things:

  • 1. They have amended their text talking about content ownership, and it doesn’t seem to have such a tight grip on it.  It now states “You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook”.  That statement nicely says what you own there to make you feel safer… however you’ll  notice how it doesn’t say anything about what Facebook owns and can do.
  • 2. An amusing line under paragraph 4 states “You will keep your contact information accurate and up-to-date”.  So what – they’ll delete my account if I don’t?

There’s an interesting documentary, Inside Job,  that talks about the corrupt banking system in the states that caused the economic crash of this decade.  It details how the bank execs kept getting richer by building a complicated system and telling everybody it was okay, while they completely knew it wasn’t sustainable.  When the crash occurred, they got to keep all the millions they accumulated, and were never caught – but instead many got promotions even into the presidential administration!  It sort of resembles how I feel about their updated Terms of Use.

On that note – here’s an informative flash video that details how deep the rabbit hole might go: http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/facebook

Not trying to be a conspiracy theorist, but just some interesting links to provoke thought or discussion.

Facebook is a really good concept of connecting people through an online social network.  There’s many great alternatives too – but the problem is that Facebook already has such a large following.  There are more than 500 millions active users – that’s about 1/6th of the entire planet.

This brings me to my main reasoning.  It’s about my business, and the business networking opportunities I’m missing out from not being on Facebook.  Sure, we have a Facebook page, but having a personal account that people can connect with (and stalk) is much more effective as a marketing tool.

From another perspective, my media production business can be broken down into three aspects: the business, the technical, and the art.  Not being on Facebook is really good in one light because it compliments the art aspect – it’s something that defines one as an artist to have things that they stand for and against.   As a company, we have our technical knowledge of our profession down, and our work is really high quality and that allows our inner artist to show through. One area we’ve been growing in, and need to focus more on is the business. Many media companies fail because they never get this part down and they simply think their technical knowledge and artistic work will make them profitable.  There’s no denying that it’s a good business idea to use the world’s largest social networking site to advertise my company. It will help market us to a larger audience, and will increase business.

Other things that have defined me as an artists are things sort of like always wearing red socks, or not having a cellphone.  Well – both of those have fallen by the way side.  It took years, but I finally gave in to getting a cellphone because it was also obviously a really smart business idea.  Sure, I didn’t like being tied down, and didn’t like giving ‘the man’ tonnes of money, but eventually I gave up that part of my artistic identity to strengthen my business.  Some even say getting a cellphone was the best business decision I ever made.

So do I join the masses on Facebook?  I still stand against it in principal and that will not change, but it’s a stupid business move to NOT put myself in the middle of the world’s largest social networking website.

Well here it goes nothing.  Add me as a friend: www.facebook.com/paul.romein

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One Response to “The Facebook Debate – Artist vs Business”

  1. Adrika Says:

    You caved. ;( I can’t believe you caved. sigh. I am now alone. :(

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