Posts Tagged With: guide

How to be good at Facebook – Semester Two

Chapter One


It is not merely a short cut. It is all these things and something more. It is the guarantee of our self-respect; it is the projection upon the world of our own sense or our own value, our own position, and our own rights. They are the fortress of our traditions, and behind its defences we can continue to feel ourselves safe in the position we occupy.” (Lippman, 1922)


The world has changed. When I first spoke of my studies into Facebook last year, a subversive and post-modern stance was adorned in my quest to figure out just how one integrated and re-presented themselves into an online society. I investigated intrinsically into the process of achieving ‘Likes’ and becoming ‘Like Literate’ on the platform of popularity that is Mark’s universe. It was all in jest, perhaps even for humorous effect, but now, gazing out at the past year, it is evident that the tide has changed – the once unblemished shores of reality now breached. We now see people producing babies as commodities to obtain Likes; we now witness people shaping stories in their lives to create an entertaining online discourse to attract Likes; we now bear witness to ‘TIMELINE‘ – the world’s first time travel device where people have the option to regurgitate life events such as statuses into the shining spotlight of the news-feed. Through the culmination of these various factors we have witnessed an economic upturn where avant-garde users have yielded their revolutionary moment to transfer as many Likes as possible into their swelling accounts. It’s a different world from when I last spoke. It’s quicker. Faster. Perhaps even more sinister.

This is not mere theorizing of an arbitrary nature; all it takes is for a student to study the new phenomenon that is the ‘100 Likes Club‘ – a high-roller group of big-city hot shots who have Likes to burn. Here, have a look at this upper class group below:

Yes, on the crusted soil of this rapidly changing playing field, Facebook entrepreneurs have scaled their way to the top of the Like Ladder leaving others to permeate the solemn slums beneath. A once traditional democratic society has been engulfed with tyranny and a sense of Marxism; some unfortunates trudge solemnly through scores of news-feeds and groups trying hopelessly to produce content of a pecuniary nature, whilst many live it up watching the Likes be rapidly transferred into their Facebook accounts. A clear gulf is emerging where users are being either assigned into the upper bourgeoisie class or the much lesser proletariat class. It may not appear fair on an aesthetic scale, but ultimately this juxtaposition illuminates the changing battleground of Facebook where new factors have made users adapt to the neon-wilderness around them. Some have acclimated to the change and are now getting more Likes than they ever could have imagined in the past; and, of course, some haven’t been able to adapt – leaving them malnourished and dying. Many flee to Twitter – a harsh pilgrimage to an inferior, Like-less universe.

However it is not to fear as I, Mr R Millward, have again conducted my research to help steer you through the tempestuous troubles of being accepted on the internet! I have conducted even more extensive and in-depth research than my 2011 study. Through the academic slog of monitoring contemporary Facebook, I have pulled out all the enmeshed, hidden factors that will enable you to rid the slums in place of luxury and Likes. Get your notebook out and prepare for semester two where we will be evaluating some of the exciting new Facebook battlegrounds such as:

  • ‘Mainstream’ Facebook
  • ‘Timeline’
  • The ‘Re-newsfeed’
  • The ‘Bullet’
  • The ‘Rush hour’
  • The ‘Share’
  • The ‘Window’
  • The ‘Baby’
  • Creating ‘Discourse’
All of this will be crucial to your future existence here in the world. Why? The time has come where “we need Likes to justify our existence in space and time; and with this cataclysmic burden weighing down upon us – every now and again, from time to time, one begins to feel the strain of waiting for that notification to come.” (Millward, 2011).

The concept of ‘Mainstream Facebook’ 


Why are nearly all of Rihanna’s songs about love and relations featuring consistent sexual imagery dubbed to a radio-friendly beat? The answer is simple: her producers and song-writers know that the majority of music listeners in the world are casual listeners looking for a ‘nice’ pop song to have on in the background as they drive, dance and browse the internet. Thus this makes her artistic approach, viewed from purely a commodity aspect, the most lucrative one possible. Her and her team aren’t stupid – they know what the mainstream is and this is what has amassed her fortune of 55 million Likes on Facebook.  Oh and $60 million dollars elsewhere.

YOU are operating on a vividly similar scale every time you publish some content into the Facebook news-feed. With your instruments of grammar, syntax, humour and Like cookies, you are producing an artistic product to be consumed by your Facebook friends; you walk onto the stage of the news-feed either to sell millions or to flounder and be ignored whilst you claim to be ‘Indie’ or ‘Alternative’. Make no mistake about it, in Facebook society the only way is Likes – and so the credible ‘Indie’ card doesn’t apply in Mark’s universe. And yes, just like music, there are certain ways for you to adapt and integrate your content so that it is picked up by the Facebook ‘Mainstream’ allowing it to get maximum likes! Have a look at the X-ray of the Facebook news feed endoskeleten above. What you glimpse there is a brief snapshot of the activity of Facebook users. Whilst some areas are bustling with activity and likes, others are derelict and exiled – devoid of any Like activity. Here is each section of the Facebook stream explained:

Section A; This is the mainstream section where the majority of transactions take place; hundreds of Likes a second are being transferred into accounts every time someone discusses a popular Facebook area relevant to your Facebook friends. LEARN THESE AREAS – for me such content to flourish in the mainstream would be: ‘Nandos’, ‘Kittens’, ‘Overdraft’, ‘Uni’, or ‘Colly’ for example.

Section B; – This is the suburban section of the Facebook stream; Likes can be transferred, but most often than not they are hard to come by. Often areas of content from the mainstream fall into the suburban section after becoming ‘dated’ or ‘old’. Again this is highly relevant to the demographic of your Facebook friend list.

Section C; – This is the baron wasteland – a Like-deserted place of drudgery and depression where millions roam hopelessly failing to get Likes as they produce unlike-able, whining content such as ‘What a rubbish day, grrr!”. Generally the users who publish the most content (typically ten statuses a day) are occupants of this desolate wasteland.

All it takes for me to evaluate this point is to journey to the ‘Nandos’ page on Facebook where I have to option to view ‘Friend Activity’. Upon clicking I am greeted with scores of statuses all sporting the word ‘Nandos’ in it. Like Rihanna on Radio 1, it’s clearly evident that Nandos is achieving mass air time throughout my Facebook friends – this has whipped up a hysteria of popularity where many users swimming in the mainstream are seeing Likes being transferred succinctly into their account. Here are a few examples:

The very word ‘Nandos’, whether used positively or negatively, steals stares when it is embedded into the news feed – balance this with solid opinionated text and it is sure to attract the attention of the mainstreamers and their Like guns. As is evident from this visionary research, CONFORM-ation is conformation of Likes in the concept of ‘Mainstream Facebook’. Just remember to always monitor the most-Liked content as “there are certain genres, themes and attributes of comments/statuses that magnet likes off your Facebook audience” (Millward, 2011). If you can conduct a brief ethnography to identify what these mainstream areas of your Facebook friends are, then you will be circumstantially aided in your pursuit of emancipating yourself from the slums and ascending into the upper classes of social networking!

Things to be weary of: The ‘Bullet’

Of course being the place of such intense attention, the mainstream of Facebook, whilst baring host to many potential Likers, also accommodates infidels that look to sabotage your status in any way possible. Unfortunately in a society of proliferate and exponential Likes (most evident in the development of the ‘100 Likes Club‘), this has also evoked a breeding ground of devious users who look to ‘bullet’ your status. The concept of the ‘bullet‘ is a simple one: when a status is newly published into the news-feed, an enemy may try to try to insert a derogative and destructive comment that will thus take the sting out the status; this then continues to drain Likes out the status and, what’s worse, the actual ‘bullet‘ comment may itself begin to accumulate Likes itself! This leads to many users deleting the original well-thought-up status – truly a travesty to the original publisher. It has happened to me before, and I have to admit I have also been inherently guilty of it. I realise this may be a complicated and abstract factor so I, as ever, have illustrated it promptly below.

Luckily for me, through the aggregation of knowledge and quick-thinking, I was able to shield myself sufficiently with a veiled ‘Original Social Commentary Cookie’. This allowed to me to fend off the infidel and achieve extra Likes being transferred into my account. Of course this strong defence is seldom achieved; most often than not a successful infidel will achieve maximum Likes as they watch the complete annihilation of the original status. The best way to protect yourself from infidels is to take note of who your enemies are; from this you can begin to muster together your defence mechanism – this is best done by hiding specific content from potential infidels as seen below.

The imperative thing to remember is that, in an online society of tyranny and Marxism, there will always be sinister and callous enemies out there that will continue to stack their ammunition against you. With the right defence, as made evident here, you should be fully equipped and prepared to step into the news feed without fear, oppression or consternation. Good luck!



i        Lippman, Walter. (1922), Public Opinion. Free Press

ii       Millward, Ryan. (2011).Part 5 How to be good at Facebook. WordPress: Coventry

iii      Millward, Ryan. (2011). Part 2 How to be good at Facebook. WordPress: Coventry

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Part Five – The finale to my guide ‘How to be good at Facebook’

The irony of it all

Ideally, as a committed student looking to learn the tricks of the trade, you have been reading and watching this guide in it’s development over the course of the last week. But I have been staring at something else. Something quite beautiful.

“Facebook user 1 likes your link”. “Facebook user 2 likes your link”. “Facebook user 3 likes your link”. Yes, this is the glorious sight I have had bestowed on my gleaming eyes all week. By now, hopefully after learning what I have sought to teach in this guide, you will be fully familiar with ‘the feeling’. Each time I gained a ‘like’, I felt a small sensation shoot through the nerves of my body – up to my face where a huge smile grew and a tear of happiness flowed down onto my keyboard. For you see, as a good student you would have been learning a lot from my intense research into social networking; after all, in 2011, being compatible and popular on Facebook says a huge amount about you and the quality of you as an empowered and informed member of society. But why listen to me – who am I to say how you retrieve a ‘like’ and become part of this post-modern society? Well for you see, I am very much just like you – in the social networking arena, standing naked before a sea of people with their ‘like guns’ ready to fire. Yes, I too am a student of this confusing change to our relationships with other humans; because do you know what? Things will never be the same again. We need likes to justify our existence in space and time; and with this cataclysmic burden weighing down upon us – every now and again, from time to time, one begins to feel the strain of waiting for that notification to come. I am no different. Having been running low on likes a week ago, I was slipping down that ‘like ladder’. The greyhounds and wolves had deserted me and I was under-nourished; suffice to say, I needed payment of likes to my account quick. Being skint, I took major steps to retain my place on the like ladder. How though? How does one go about turning the tides and gaining a large quantity of likes for himself. Well the solution was simple – and you are looking at it now.

I’m a walking paradox, no I’m not

Whilst you may have been learning about ‘like cookies’, varying values of likes and finding your audience, I have been learning that people love to read and learn about being good at Facebook. It’s the ultimate, quintessential post modern experience that evokes reactions such as ‘lol’ and ‘pmsl’. Each part of this blog I have made viewable in the big arena itself. Part one. Part two. Part three. Part four. And now, the finale – part 5. Each time I have uploaded one, I have immediately had a large quantity of likes transferred into my Facebook account. Here study these images below.

As you can see, the first one received double figures and I began to feel my target audience develop. Veiled in the form of a blog, my original social commentary cookie seen a solid payment of 15 likes.

The second one was my largest transfer of likes; gaining 33 likes off my Facebook audience, I began to no longer feel under-nourished. Instead I had my largest ever total of likes and I was very much full. Going back to the model introduced in part three, this achieved a massive 10% like per friend ratio! Kieran Cullen I am not.

The third one again put me back in that like fountain; arms in the air, smile on face – I was looking to the heavens with delight as those likes fell down upon me! All 29 of them! This wasn’t dinner anymore; this was just being greedy, helping myself to afters.

With my hands full with all these likes, I could afford to post the fourth part in non prime time territory. I stepped into the arena at quarter to 5 and again took a healthy serving of those magic blue buttons. God they were delicious; even narrowing my audience with some controversial facts about the female audience, I still seen the transfer of 17 likes!

The response to this post will reach double figures within 3 hours of the blog going up. Yes, I have also studied time travel (but i’ll blog about that some other time).

As you can see, I was no longer headless, out to rot in the wilderness with no likes to feed upon; the tides had turned and I had very much became what we all seek to achieve – yes, my ‘like balance’ topped up, I had again became like literate on the platform of popularity that is Facebook. Integrated into society, my existence was justified to the point where I had people (real physical people) in the real world actually coming up to me and congratulating me on this very blog itself! Many hands were shook. Many enjoyments were made known. The word ‘Like’ had again transformed; swept back into the air, it had became the literal word it once was where people in the real world genuinely ‘liked’ my blog.

I can’t really explain the feeling, but it felt good. It felt comforting.

The End

And isn’t that what we all really want? To be liked is to be of value to other peoples lives. This is why a facebook ‘Like’ says so much more that what people think. Yes, I have a dream. That one day – we will all be Obamas; empowered, informed and of ‘Like’ness to the rest of the society we live in. Only then can we move forward in this world. Wars will stop, John McCains will vanish, the TLS disease will be wiped out, crimes will fade into memories, enemies will be transformed to friends – through the skills of being good at Facebook, we can begin to incorporate our positivity into the world around us. The next time you click that ‘Like’ button just remember, you are making the world a better place; a place where everyone is happy, everyone is liked and everyone has some value to the other humans who share this world with them. You have seen through intense research and ethnography, not only upon my Facebook clients but also myself, you have seen how users can improve themselves as people – on Facebook and in the real world. So please, learn this ‘Guide To Being Good At Facebook’ and get your friends to learn it aswell. Maybe. Just maybe one day we will all be Obamas.

I have been Ryan Millward (Facebook theorist). God speed.


Special thanks go to Ciaran Hamill, Paul Howkins, Kieran Cullen, Kieran Hartley, Billie Jay-Gurney, Emma Horton, Abdul Almajdub, Lauren Downing, Josh Knight, Bobbie Hall, Katie Singleton, Blake Carr, George Adams and Sam Lucas.

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Part Four of my guide ‘How to be good at Facebook’.

Picture Likes

Likes. As I’ve explained they are a fickle operation; hinging so much on a raging whirlpool of post-modern factors from the society in which you operate in, who knows when the next one will come your way! Whenever you are on Facebook developing your identity you are fighting in the election to be an Obama or a McCain. So then, what happens when one logs off and leaves the wrestling ring? Is that your responsibility for your Facebook identity at rest? You have nothing to worry about walking around in the real world, conversing physically with real people and actually being yourself – right? Wrong I’m afraid. You have learnt a lot so far but prepare to be catapulted deeper into the neon wilderness of the Internet.

The unknown fact is that a ‘Like’ is available anywhere; they are all around the very air you breathe, the space in which you trudge in and the distance is which you gaze. Look behind you now – there are hoards of potential likes floating around you this very second! The reason why you ask? Well this idea, this crucial factor to your Facebook popularity, all comes down to the historic invention of the camera. The camera is a device that was invented way back in the 19th century – before Facebook, even before MySpace! The way in which it operates is that it takes the image viewable through it’s lens and copies it to physical form; in such vast amounts of people, i.e. your Facebook audience, will be able to see this one image that was made viewable through the eyes of the camera. Being students of Facebook, I’m sure you will be well aware that such images are transferrable to your Facebook accounts as well as the whole website in general. And we all know what that means. As soon as someone fires off that camera at you and uploads it’s picture onto Facebook – well, you are very much back in the arena with those hoards of users pointing their ‘like guns’ at you. ‘Picture’ the scene- you’re sitting down with a nice cup of coffee and then boom, someone takes a picture, uploads it and pretty soon you have your whole social networking audience deciding whether or not to hand you a ‘Like’.

You might have asked to go back into the arena; you may have been speared back in with a surprise picture being taken – the fact is once it’s on Facebook, the picture is universal; copyrighted to everyone – especially Mark. Here is an example below of me, your teacher, being unaware of a photo being taken.

As you can very well see, I was none the wiser that this photo, this ground for people to judge my Facebook identity, was being taken and then distributed across a social networking audience. One minute I was in the real world just peacefully about to go to the toilet and then boom, I’m thrown back into the social networking wrestling ring. It just goes to show that one must consider that there are likes all around the air that surrounds them. Luckily for me there was a solid amount of likes in the space the image filled; it retrieved 18 likes in fact! (See below) The reason why? Well, I am about to explain later on.

The first thing to do is to separate the Adams from the Eves; yes it’s time to check what gender god has dropped you in. For you see, a ‘Like’ for a Facebook picture is all highly relative to whether you are female or male. There are different sets of rules, different strategies and game plans – you are in a different election all together! Follow me now where I will begin with the Eves of Facebook and how they become ‘like literate’ on pictures on Facebook.

How Girls Get Picture Likes

The first thing I will ask you to study are these images below.

A rare case of exponential likes (see bottom of page)

As you can see they have all had an extraordinary amount of likes distributed to the profiles of each subject within picture – this is called the page 3 effect. It seems these Obama’s very much had likes all around the space in which they stood. But why? Believe me; I’ve studied long and hard and decided that it’s not down to the quality of the picture; depth of field, composition, colour balance – some of this is relevant to increase the subjects appearance but it comes solidly down to an idea I am introducing called: “Tits or GTFO”. What do I mean by this you ask? Well if these Eves of Facebook are supplying pictures where they connote the notions of being attractive or ‘Fit’ (a derogative post-modern term for being of attraction to the other gender) then they will get large amount of likes which, again, can be cut into two – male likes and female likes.

One might automatically assume that the solid percentage of likes injected into the pictures would be highly representative of the male users throughout their audience. However, if one studies more carefully and monitors the likes, we soon realise that a large percentage of females are also each handing a ‘Like’ to the subject of discussion. This comes back to the last post where we discussed the notion of: you scratch my back I scratch yours. For you see, just like we need to feel comfortable with our Facebook profiles – girls also need to feel comfortable in the physical skin they actually live in. Therefore, for every ‘Like’ they distribute to a fellow Eves picture, they expect the ‘Like’ to be returned later on in their own pictures – thus the cycle begins to turn and operate in which every girl feels more confident and attractive to the world sat watching before them.

Male likes is simple however, the large majority of males liking females pictures want physical relations outside of the Internet to occur. That’s that.

So, I’ve established that if you are a girl and you want picture likes, then do your all mighty best to look as good as possible when that camera flashes and you step out of reality and back into the Facebook arena. But what, I hear a bunch of angry girls say, what can a girl do if she is not talented in the art of actually looking good? Well there are many treatments that can help treat your illness that threatens to steal likes off your account; the first is to hire a good photographer – the camera never lies, right? Wrong again; a skilled photographer will help even the Susan Boyles look a little Cheryl Cole; it’s just all down to those photography effects that I’m told you learn in A level photography. The second solution is to lie. Well, not lie but be skilled on the platform of PhotoShop – a piece of software that allows you to bend curves, brighten skin and increase your art of “Tits of GTFO”. Follow this advice all you Eves out there and you will soon be encumbered with a large payment of likes.

How Males Get Picture Likes

Males. We all love a laugh don’t we. Lets begin to look at the history of comedians; from Richard Pryor and Billy Connelly to Peter Kay and Lee Evans, all the best comedians of the human race have been Adams and not Eves (Miranda? exactly) – in such the male gender is expected to convey this sense of humour in everything they do. And no more so than on Facebook. For you see, a different set of principles guides the Adams of social networking toward gaining a picture ‘Like’. Unlike the Eves, other males can’t give each other likes for pictures in which a subject tries to look good. But alas, surely the girls will be able to distribute likes to their accounts by approving of their photos? Well, no, not really. Female Facebook users don’t distribute likes in the arena so easily when it comes to photos – why should they be chasing boys when the boys are already chasing them? In such, the only option is to draw back to what I just mentioned; we have to sweat hard to earn our likes by being funny in photos. Have a look at these images below.

Perhaps the most famous male example

If you managed to look at those images without so much of a small smirk on your face, then well, lighten up a bit. It’s quite clear they are all humorous images captured by the 19th century device. No one recognises this more than each subjects Facebook audience who in their numbers have made payment of a ‘Like’ to each picture. The first picture, for example, relies heavily on the ‘LAD’ component that subversively mocks the drinking culture. The second image is pure slapstick comedy dating back hundreds of years to when people used to have pies thrown in their face for humour – its similar now, just with more modern replacements such as Rice Krispies. The third is purely shock humour value that a user would not usually expect to see (you may need to zoom in). The fourth is such a bizarre juxaposition of images evoking a lava pool of likes with it’s straight forward laughable content. This therefore goes to show how the Adams of Facebook have to adapt and become comedians in which to hoover up those precious likes from their audience.

The different set of rules between the boys and girls still remain though; just look what happens when a male tries to look attractive in a picture to get likes off those female users.

As you can see, only one ‘Like’ has been retrieved. So therefore males, stick to what you are best at – being humorous in photos. Girls however; stick to what you are best at too – looking and/or trying to be attractive in photos. The rules are simple. I hope you follow them in your pursuit of climbing the ‘like ladder’ and becoming those Obamas you were so very much born to be! Just remember that potential likes, are all around you, in the very space you walk in; its just up to you to take the camera device and transfer them to Facebook!

Please join me next time in the fifth and final part where I will be drawing this guide to it’s end by discussing where exactly we stand as human beings once we have retrieved the likes we set out to conquer. Until then, practice your skills and keep honing your Obama technique!


The exponential effectExtremely rare, the exponential effect is when users keep giving out likes on a particular photo or status just for the aesthetic value of seeing so many likes on one thing. No one wants to miss out, so they like it too – it’s sort of like signing your name on a piece of social networking history. Interesting stuff.

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Part Three of my guide ‘How to be good at Facebook’.

What is the value of an individual like?

Hopefully you’ve had time to practice what you learnt in the last post, all the while honing your skills and ‘Like’ trade. I however have been culminating a series of ideas revolving around the popularity value of a ‘Like’. OK – maybe you are a skilled learner, took what I had to say and distributed the like cookies into a variety of statuses and/or comments; you’ve achieved, say, double figures a couple of times and have been left with an enormous sense of self satisfaction upon your 21st century face. But slow down Obama before you take the next step and get all Martin Luther King on us! I have news – some likes are worth more than others! Yes, you heard it here – Just like a signed photo of a celebrity or a successful job application, some likes have more cause to rejoice over than other likes. Obviously without having to explain that your own ‘Like’ is worth nothing, I will press on to the value of other people’s likes.

It’s not a perfect world I’m afraid. Some people are riddled with diseases such as HIV, Cancer and Malaria: all the while there is an increasing, vast amount of mental problems being reported all across countries throughout the world. New diseases are forming all the god damn time and it bloody brings a tear to my pixelated eye. And next up to come trudging out of this wilderness of sickness is a new beast – TLS. Tourettes Like Syndrome. It has been spreading like wild fire in the past few years as some post-modern users find themselves unable to express themselves in real life; as such they are left shell-shocked, merely tapping that magic blue button in the hope that someone actually starts a conversation with them. It’s a sad sight to see – pretty soon you will learn who they are: my professional advice is to just discard the ‘Like’ and not mention anything as to cause offence. It WILL happen though I’m afraid (see below).

One man infected by TLS

However it’s not all bad news! Just as some likes are worth less than average, others are worth more than the average! Like all things in society, Facebook has a hierarchy of users – hopefully soon following this research you will be heading to the top but for now lets say for scholarly purposes that you are somewhere in mid table. It’s been a good season but it’s never quite looked like taking off. To get up there amongst the big dogs you have to start taking some likes off those greyhounds and wolves. They are like anchors – once someone with a high amount of respect on Facebook hands you a ‘Like’, they are effectively saying come and join me in my like fountain. Trust me – once you’ve perfected your skills enough to gather these high profile likes, take note and carry on with what you’re doing to climb the ladder and join those ‘Like’ kings in their fountains with their hoards of worshippers sat before them.

There is even more to take into account than this however! Yes this Facebook business is complicated unlike that twitter site. You’ve got 20 likes. Some of them from the high flyers. Congratulations. However before you get too carried away cross your eyes to the left hand side of your profile screen; oh – you have 2000 friends. Fundamentally the more friends you have, the more likely you are to get given a ‘Like’; it’s just statistics and odds. So with this very thought reverberating around your information overloaded mind, take time to consider the friend to like ratio proportion of your status or comment. Here I bring forward an anonymous guest speaker and contributor to bring forward the model and theory of this very discussion using the timeless case study of Mr K Cullen.

“Like Per Friend Ratio and The Rise of the Kieran Cullen effect.”

In this social networking world of Facebook there are rules and logistics. Generally, the more agreeable the status update, the more likes it will gather. However, there are cases where this rule does not always apply, usually when a subject has an extraordinary or falsely inflated number of Facebook friends (such as in the case of local club promoters – see below). I am about to explain in the most simplistic way how to distinguish between the Obamas and the McCains, and to make sure you don’t waste your precious likes on false egos.

If we take a look below at the case of a recent post by Kieran Cullen, we can see he has used one of the best methods to draw those likes from the public, a controversial statement. By singling out a group of people and calling them unfortunate, Kieran gains likes from the insecure crowd who do not want to be associated with such unfortunate people. In total he gains 16 likes.

However, to stop the disproportionate representations we experience from the ‘status likes/total friend effect’, the golden rule is to find the number of likes as a percentage of the total friends on Facebook. This is called the like per friend ratio.
Here Kieran got 16 likes, which considering he has 2241 friends means that his like per friend ratio for the status was 0.7%. Not too impressive anymore hey folks.

If we now re-analyse a previous example from the diary, Mr C Hamill shows us that he has what it takes to post a status that gathers almost 40 likes.

What’s even more impressive is that the subject in question has only 596 friends on Facebook, meaning that he has gathered likes from a whopping 6.5% of his total facebook friends. As you can all tell, C Hamill’s like per friend ratio of 6.5% is almost 10 times better than K Cullens 0.7%. (Remember you always compare the like per friend ratio rather than just the likes.) Hopefully you are now skilled in the art of telling the real Obamas from the John Mccains. I bid thee farewell.


This model is obviously very poignant and relevant to us scholars and theorists of Facebook – it is also technically true; no user can argue that the less friends someone has, the more impressive a solid amount of likes is. It comes straight back to the first question – ‘Are some likes worth more than others?’ – well if you and someone with more friends have each retrieved a ‘Like’ – then your ‘Like’ is worth more. Got that? Stick with me now as I press on to how to establish your clients and customers.

Establishing audiences

The first thing to remember is that you can’t keep expecting to be hoovering up those likes from the Facebook floor – to get a little in this life, you have to give a little out. In such the theory is simple – the more people’s statuses you like, the more they will return that scratch on the back and like yours. It acts as a backup if you were. Simples.

After putting in the dirty work from time to time you can then focus on aiming specific statuses at specific audiences; the case study audience I will use here is males. Of course it is helpful to target this audience if you are a girl with a working pair of breasts who has lots of male friends (see below)

(please note all 11 likes were male)

But also it is possible for men to aim their statuses at a target audience of males aswell. Here is the flip side example of a male user calling out for the same established audience of males to hand over them likes to his piece of social commentary (see post 2).

(please note 18 out of 19 likes were male)

The fact that 29 likes out of 30 were males across both statuses show that these Obamas have tried the audience connection card before.

Maintaining audiences

Alas we are finally working our way to the top of the social ladder! Not only have you been following the studies and advice brought forward in this blog, you have also been experimenting and finding your very own Facebook voice. You’ve got likes falling out your pocket! People are actually starting to converse with you in real life following the posts you’ve made on Facebook! However one must remain calm and remember that the key to a successful business is to manage your relationship with your customers; quite simply if you are not supplying them with material and reason to hand out likes, then you just aren’t going to stay at the top of the ‘like ladder’. Did you know that Coca Cola once stopped advertising for a month and their sales dropped 7%? Enough of that anyway.

The users who you have retrieved likes from in the past, are all part of your fan base; sat there waiting and scratching themselves, they are are eager to see what like cookies you are going to feed them next. To stop yourself going all John McCain, you have to keep the supply and demand of those like cookies and give them out consistently. My subject of discussion here has been brought forward from earlier: It is Mr P Howkins again. Every week a club night operates in the local night life called ‘Colly Monday’: well known and enjoyed throughout Paul’s list of friends, he knows that statuses about this event will hoover up likes amongst his target audience. In fact, he goes so often that he finds the same fan base liking a good majority of his posts. Have a look at these examples below:

They are all regarding said event – Colly Monday, and by looking through who has each handed him a ‘Like’, it is apparent that many of his customers are returning week by week to hear about these drunken Colly antics. In such, he has found his target audience and is now regularly reaping the rewards off his loyal customers.

Closing comments

If you can take the time to learn these important issues of Facebook you will soon be finding and maintaining new audiences whilst climbing the holy ground that is the ‘like ladder’. Join those greyhounds and wolves at the top I say! And join me next time in part 4 where I will be evaluating what exactly picture likes mean by analysing the different sets of genders on Facebook! I will now leave you with the answer to the age old question:

“Do Frape likes belong to the Frapee or Fraper?”

The picture above says it all; high number of likes have been distributed to the Facebook account of Mr A Almajdub. Originally believed to be his own work, the status was in actual fact part of the new Frape phenomenon that has been established in Universities around England. When this was found out the question the public wanted answered were who do the likes belong to?! Is it a paradox? If a ‘Like’ represents acceptance into society, who has been accepted? The Frapee or the Fraper? The answer to this is complex. The reason people may have distributed the likes to this account could have been on the past relationships Mr A Almajdub had created with his Facebook customers (as discussed above with Mr P Howkins). However the content of the status, i.e. the words used, are 100% copyright to the Fraper. In such, with these two factors clashing together momentously we are left with the only fair outcome to distribute the likes equally to both parties involved. Therefore the 35 likes must be split into slices of 17 and 18 – then the Frapee and the Fraper must come to agreement of who takes what slice. If a decision can’t be reached the courts will be at the disposal of both clients. I hope a democratic outcome can be reached in tricky situations like this.

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Part Two of my guide of ‘How to be good at Facebook’.

As far as I see it there are two types of Facebookers in this world; those Obamas out there who connect with the masses by yielding an intelligent selection of statuses and comments on supply and demand. Then there are those John McCains out there who post non worthy efforts to the point where people can’t physically lift their arms to press that magic blue button. Facebook is now a fully working shiny mirror on society; the quality of your Facebook identity reflects the quality and value of you as an empowered human being: I’m sorry but that’s just the way things have turned out. Thus it is important to make sure you are an Obama of the social networking age and not someone who is forgotten about straight after the election. Luckily for you there are certain genres, themes and attributes of comments/statuses that magnet likes off your Facebook audience: through intense research and ethnography I have drawn out a series of ‘like cookies’ that you can incorporate into your vital posts. Please take your time to read them carefully below.

Original Social Commentary

Blah blah blah – there she is again: Mrs John McCain distributing another Facebook status about her bus journey or what time she has to stumble to work. We all know one of these people. Quite simply, and to put it bluntly, no one cares! We have heard these types of things hundreds of times before and I’m sure we will have to suffer them a few more times in the future. Don’t become this person – in this world it is recognised that people crave originality and something new; so if you’re going to say something about the world make sure it’s original and witty – hell if you can, try and even achieve some groundbreaking social commentary (although this may require inspiration at the best of times). If you have thought up an original and witty piece of social commentary – post it! Make sure it resonates with that audience sat intrigued before you with their ‘Like’ buttons ready to fire. Here is an example of an original social commentary cookie below. The subject of study is Mr C Hamill – a 19 year old male from the city of Coventry, England.

As you can see, this status has retrieved in excess of 39 likes, all distributed over a period of three or four hours. The reason why? Simply what I put above; it’s not generic and it’s not boring – it’s a original piece of social commentary that combines the witty and relevance of the words with criticizing a popular well known event that is suspect to much ridicule. What would Jesus do indeed. Next up is the ‘major life event cookie’.

The Big Life Event

Despite the amount of rapists, muggers, murderers and John McCains in this world, there still remains a large amount of kind hearted people out there who genuinely do like when someone achieves something in life. This can be either getting into university, getting in a relationship, getting a job, or winning a game or competition. Make no mistake about it though – the big whopper is most definitely passing your driving test; if this ever happens to you make sure you use large capital letters and exclamation marks to convey your happiness and for god sake make sure you don’t ruin your big moment with bad spelling and grammar! Successfully written, you should see your status reach double figures in no more than 20 minutes Facebook time. Here is an example below.

Not Taking Yourself Seriously

The next cookie to be located is the ‘Taking the piss out yourself cookie’. Deployed by many people commonly, it is seen to encode a message of not taking yourself seriously and just having a laugh in life – which, as we all know by watching famous comedians mock themselves, is sure to be of likeable quality to your Facebook audience. My subject of study towards this area of research is Mr P Howkins who was born 2008 in Facebook time. A descendent of Myspace, he has regularly posted statuses since his high profile move to Facebook; the more he has posted, the more he has refined and carved his craft of gaining likes by using the ‘Taking the piss out yourself cookie’. Look at the example below.

As you can see his lexical choice to use words such as ‘Loser’, ‘Drinking’, ‘Poor’ and ‘Retarded’ whilst mocking himself have enabled him to gather and collect 16 easy likes. Child’s play. We will return to Paul later in our research.


The next cookie up is the ‘spectacle cookie’; this derived from the theory of post-modernism where essentially everything in the world has lost it’s meaning as science has caused as much bad as good and cultural boundaries have collapsed meaning people have realised not everyone thinks the same – we are now all interconnected and anything goes for this brief moment of time where the world has no narrative. Because of this, we are able to sit back and write literally anything we want to; hell, this very blog itself is post-modern. What’s useful to us is the fact that shocking and post-modern comments have a tendency to also retrieve a respectable amount of likes. Have a look of the example of me, myself, Mr R Millward below.

I probably should be arrested. The social networking police came round they did: barged through the door shouting, about to slap the cuffs on me when they turned their heads to see what else, but, 14 likes sat neatly on my comment confirming that the Facebook audience found my spectacle text to be of ‘Like’ness to them. They slapped off the cuffs immediately and apologised whilst promising to each hand me a ‘Like’ when they got back to their office computers.

There are others you will learn about as you go through your Facebook Obama journey but this path right here is a great starting point. These are the core cookies you can add to your Facebook identity recipe in your pursuit of becoming an Obama. It is also worth noting that real time media issues such as a status about X factor whilst it is on will help support you on your way to double figures if you deploy it at just the right time. If you manage to have a status that covers multiple of these holy grounds then you may well find yourself sailing through the double figures with a new found sense of satisfaction sat upon your big face-book.

Stick with me until next time when I draw up some audience research! I will be developing my friend to like ratio model and also discussing some of the biggest new questions of society such as: ‘Are some likes worth more than others?’ and ‘If a Frape occurs – who do the likes belong to: the Frapee or the Fraper? (M, Hunt 2011).

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Part One of my guide ‘How to be good at Facebook’.


The word ‘like’ is now a noun. Yeah Mark, you’ve changed the way we communicate and now you are changing the English language. Of course you are probably wondering what I mean by such a bizarre sentence but cast your blurry eyes back to your computer or mobile screen. Facebook. It is the very pioneering force behind our relationships with each other in this post-modern world. So what does a ‘Like’ represent I hear you ask. Once a process or an application, the word was seen as reflecting someone’s apparent acceptance or enjoyment of something. It still means that now but the word ‘Like’ is no longer a literal word floating about in the air – it has now landed; it’s a physical thing, an object, here to have and to hold as a weapon of popularity in our age of mass society.

Denotatively it is just a click of a little blue button on a social networking site. Just some colour pixels on your computer screen. However it connotates so much more than that; that shiny notification in your top left hand corner informing you of an incoming ‘Like’ says that someone, out there, has gone to the physical effort of clicking that button just to let you know they approve and enjoy what you are saying. And what could be more rewarding than that? It’s as real as any form of acceptance in bygone eras; whether being patted on the back, brought a drink or welcomed into a group of people – you are all of these and more when someone hits that magic blue button. So when you see this event occur sing hallelujah and rejoice for you, now, are a likeable person!

Of course one doesn’t automatically retain the right for people to ‘Like’ what you say on Facebook – it has to be earned through blood, sweat and tears. It’s a common sense fact now that to retrieve some likes, what is actually being said has to be of likeable quality – thus a status or a comment on Facebook needs to have a strategy and game plan behind it. Maybe you’re going after likes consciously, maybe you are just putting what floats into your media saturated head; all that matters is that ‘Likes’ are not free – they are earned. Earned just as much as a worker earns his money or a sportsmen earns his trophy. Stick with me now as I evaluate and discuss how to become ‘like literate’ on the platform of popularity that is Facebook.

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