When teachers, parents, or students want to blog, they typically have to sign up for a service on Tumblr, WordPress, or another content publishing service. This is usually a fairly easy process but once you start writing… will anyone read your blog? It usually takes months of typing, self-promotion, and anxiety before you get a steady following. Chances are good that the blogger will grow weary and resort to posting his or her thoughts on Twitter, Facebook, or another micro-blogging service.
After today’s announcement from Facebook however, you may want to reconsider how you set up your blog. The social media giant just announced a big improvement to its Facebook Notes feature. You may not have heard of Notes and that’s for a good reason: it sucked. Just one day ago, crafting a Facebook Note meant you could type as much as you want and that’s about it. You couldn’t do any HTML formatting, image insertion, or really anything worthwhile. That caused the Notes feature to, well, suck.
Facebook just announced a big improvement to Notes. (See the FB blog post below) The biggest improvement is that you can now use HTML formatting for your Notes post. The second best feature is that you can @ mention someone’s name (just like Twitter and on Facebook status updates) which means that person will be personally notified about your Note. This means instant readership and high share-ability. (Is that a word?) Regardless, leveraging Facebook’s 500 million users can only work to your advantage as a new blogger.
Here’s an example of how the new Facebook Notes feature helps new bloggers:
Johnny really loves talking about science. He has a ton of ideas swimming around in his head about science, astronomy, biology, and other related topics. He has two options:
- Start a blog (either self-hosted or on a service like Tumblr) and hope someone happens across his site on a Google search, tweet, Facebook share, or other typical sharing method.
- Start writing Facebook Notes. All Johnny has to do is type his Note, add pictures, video, and mention a few friends or even Facebook Groups. There’s a pretty big chance Johnny will have instant readership. Once he gets enough of a following, he can move to a self-hosted space where he can sell adspace or do other things not possible on Facebook Notes.
From the Official Facebook blog:
Writing a Facebook note can be a great way to start a discussion with friends about life’s big decisions or moments. What’s not always so great is creating a note or going back to one you already started.
Want to make something bold? You need to know the HTML tag for that. Want to work on an earlier draft? You have to navigate a bunch of links to get to your draft.
We’re changing all of that so it’s quicker and easier to create and find your notes and the notes from the people around you. We’ve rolled out a new layout and features for Facebook Notes. Now you can:
- Format notes more easily with a familiar text editor. Stop looking up HTML for common formatting like bold, italics, bulleted and numbered lists, or indented quotes. Instead just click the formatting icons as you write a note.
- Tag that special non-profit you believe in or that musician you’re raving about in a note. We’ve added tagging of Facebook Pages—such as celebrities, interests and activities. As with tags of friends, tags of Pages will appear in a box on the note’s page. When viewing Notes from a Facebook Page, you can browse notes in which that Page has been tagged by one of your friends or by people who shared their note with “everyone.”
- Find more relevant notes through a cleaner layout. A common left-hand menu includes links to your note, notes about yourself, your drafts and easy ways to find notes about friends and Pages.