Monday, February 28, 2011

Facebook Ads, I'd Buy That for a Dollar....To Wipe My Ass With

Ugh...Facebook. I'm not shy about my disdain for the site. It's the biggest social engineering feat ever; congrats to Mark Z. and crew for that anyway. But as far as functionality and usability go, Facebook is like eBay in the dark days or Twitter during an Iran Green Day.

While flipping through the latest edition of Entrepreneur Magazine, I found a full page double-sided ad for Facebook, offering $50 worth of free ads. Being bored while updating one of my Facebook accounts, I decided (unwisely) to try the ads and redeem the coupon. What could it hurt?

I applied the coupon to an account that was linked to a page that was linked to a site that sells a certain type of nostalgic item. The "suggested" bid per click was a mere $2.51 cents. Yeah, two and a half bucks to have an ad on Facebook, that links back to my Facebook page where my "fans" have the opportunity to click the F*ing thumbs-up button when I post something about my site. If they are really smart and advanced, they can find the link to my website and click through to it, where they can browse and maybe find something they like, and possibly purchase something.

Only $2.51 per click? What a deal!

I saw Frosted Mini Wheat ads today on Facebook. Who cares? Really, when I'm out of cereal, I go to the store and buy the kind that I like, bring it home and eat it. Do I really ever need to, or even feel a desire to click on an ad for cereal that takes me to that cereal's official Facebook page....where I can read comments about the cereal and become a fan of a staple with some type of white sugar-like coating?

Anyway, I could rant for, well, several more minutes about how stupid that is, but...

So I signed up for my $50 worth of free ads on Facebook.  Since starting the process, I've encountered no less than 10 freakin' errors along the way. Sure, I made it through, my ads were approved (I bid 2¢ opposed to the $2.51 suggested - we'll see how that turns out), and they seem to be working, but I'm still getting errors every other thing that I click. Perhaps I need to clear my cookies and cache (a classic old eBay CS rep suggestion). Or perhaps Facebook just sucks.

Now I realize that nothing is completely foolproof, but when your company is valued at $8 billion, you'd think that at least they could get the revenue producing portions of the site to function with less than 5 or 6 errors. When my brother-in-law wants to complain about his shitty job, everything seems to work fine - I get his status updates. When my cousin posts that she ate a cheese sandwich and took a big dump - I get her status updates just fine...

Like the existence of God or the Hicks boson, you could argue all day about the benefits of Facebook, but as long as it keeps lobbing errors at my browser, I'm still going to rant about it.

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