Stop Me from Deleting My Facebook Account!

I have a problem, and I need your help. Facebook is driving my crazy. I know there are lots and lots of people who love it. But for me, it has become more work than I think it’s worth. I am seriously considering deleting my account.

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/EricHood, Image #7206932

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/EricHood

Julian Smith has a brilliant and funny video that summarizes “25 Things I Hate About Facebook.” But here are my top four:

  1. I don’t like having an additional inbox. People send me private Facebook messages, and they languish, because I don’t check my inbox often.
  2. Rarely, are these messages from family or friends. Instead, these messages tend to be sales pitches or messages from people who don’t bother to use my email address, even though it is clearly displayed on my profile.
  3. I don’t like all the myriad invitations to pages, groups, games, etc. Yes, I know about managing notifications and have turned off as many as I can. But I still get too many. Call it what you will, but these “invitations” are just a euphemism for spam.
  4. I don’t like having to confirm people who want to friend me. The truth is that I accept everyone. So, this just becomes another little time suck in my daily routine.

My friend Anne Jackson deleted her account for similar reasons. (I SO admire her courage.) I was about to follow suit when I decided to check Google Analytics.

As it turns out, Facebook accounts for about 5% of my blog traffic. That’s not a huge amount, I admit. But I hate to kiss any traffic source goodbye. I wondered if there might be another alternative.

That’s when I discovered Facebook “fan pages.” Though I am uncomfortable with that term, I think it would solve most of the problems I outlined above:

  • I wouldn’t have a Facebook inbox.
  • I wouldn’t get any more sales pitches—at least on Facebook.
  • I wouldn’t receive invitations to stuff I don’t care about.
  • I wouldn’t have to confirm fans.

So here is my plan. I intend to create the fan page and then “unfriend” everyone on my regular profile account except my family and real friends—you know, humans I actually know and interact with outside of Facebook.

Before I do this, I still have a few problems I need to solve. This is where you come in. Do you know the answer to these questions? (I will number these for easy reference in your comments.)

  1. Is there a way to convert my “friends” into “fans”?
  2. If not, how do I send a message to all my friends that I am unfriending them and they will have to become a fan to continue to see my updates?
  3. Can I redirect my Twitter feed onto my fan page rather than my profile page?
  4. Can my current Facebook URL (facebook.com/michaelhyatt) point to my fan page rather than my profile page?

So, before I do any of the things I am proposing and then regret doing it, I thought I would ask for your feedback. Thanks in advance for stopping me from deleting my Facebook account.

Questions: What am I missing? What else should I consider? Can you answer any of my specific questions?
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  • Stephenie

    I've seen others announce that they are switching over to a fan page, so just do it. Make an announcement. Give us a time and a date. Announce it a couple of times. Then, switch over.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      This does sound like a great strategy.

  • http://www.notebookco.com.au/ Rich

    Hi Michael,

    I apologise for not having the answers to your technical information but thought I would share that I deleted my Facebook account a few weeks ago and have not looked back. I think there are bigger social media platform on the horizon (without naming any) that will take what has been started and build on it.

    All the best and thanks for your transparent posts.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Don't tempt me. It would be so easy to go there!

  • http://baylormum.blogspot.com Shellie (baylormum)

    I don't think you can convert people from one to the other. I know Jon & Sherri Rivers and JD Chandler all had similar problems. They were overwhelmed with fans & even the fan page with 5000 capacity wasn't big enough. They had to go to a page even bigger. But, you had to follow them to the new page. Just wall post a notice.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      So far, that seems to be the consensus. Facebook should make this a feature. From Googling the problem, I am not alone.

  • http://mickeyhodges.com Mickey Hodges

    Not sure if this would solve your problem, but all my FB messages, friend requests, group invites, etc. are forwarded to my regular email inbox. So I can deal with most everything there.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I tried that for a while but that's actually worse. It doubled my workload. I got notified then had to visit the Facebook page to do anything about it.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/fmckinnon fmckinnon

    Michael – first, on a non-related note, we thoroughly enjoyed Ron Hall at our church yesterday, and after hearing his story and seeing his book, I can see why "Same Kind of Different As Me" has been a best-seller of Thomas Nelson. WOW. I got your dm and told him you said "hello" and he smiled real big.

    I've seen the "trend" of folks ditching their facebook account. For me, I can't imagine. When I send a "tweet" and opt to have it post on my Facebook status (either via Tweetdeck or the Selective Twitter facebook app), I almost ALWAYS get more responses on Facebook than I do @replies on Twitter. that alone makes it worth it to me. Secondly – so many people in my church or area of influence "get" facebook … but they get lost in "twitter" and "rss". My blog imports automatically to Facebook, and again – I get just as many comments there as on the blog. Some would say I should simply 'redirect' them to my blog. I've tried that, and they don't comment. They feel "more at home" on facebook for some reason. That's my argument for keeping it … at least … for me, thought I *TOTALLY GET* your objections.

    1. Is there a way to convert my “friends” into “fans”?

    Not that I've found … I've asked this and seen multiple answers that you can't have that happen automatically.

    2. If not, how do I send a message to all my friends that I am unfriending them and they will have to become a fan to continue to see my updates?

    As far as I know, there is no way to message all of your friends. Update your FB status on your profile page repeatedly with the same update – I've moved to a fan Page … post a "note", etc … repeatedly.

    3. Can I redirect my Twitter feed onto my fan page rather than my profile page?

    This is possible with the Selective Twitter App, so I hear. I just setup this for a band, but instead i used the note import tool, and imported their twitter feed's RSS. You could use any of the many RSS-mixers that aggregrate multiple RSS feeds into one, and put your blog's RSS and your Twitter Feed's RSS into one RSS, and import it into your fan page as a "note".

    4. Can my current Facebook URL (facebook.com/michaelhyatt) point to my fan page rather than my profile page?

    Unfortunately, I don't think so.

    *****
    You're well-known and the CEO of one of the biggest, most well-known publishing companies in America. I would try contacting Facebook – they may recognize your influence and work with you directly to make all of these things happen. I'm sure they've done it before with companies and celebrities. Problem is … figuring out the best way to "contact them" – their support seems limited to user-based discussion boards and I've found them pretty useless.

    Good luck – I'm subscribing to this thread for sure, want to see the different answers, and hopefully, find out I'm wrong!

    God bless,
    Fred

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Fred. I appreciate such a thorough response. I have contacted Facebook directly, though, as you mentioned, it's not easy. They really bury their contact information. Regardless, I am awaiting their response now.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/fmckinnon fmckinnon

        Good luck … and extra favor from God!

  • Joel Widmer

    Sadly, there is no way to convert your friends into fans. But this could be a good thing… What if you create a fan page, put a link to it for a couple days in your current facebook page and your "real" friends will connect with you on the fan page. The only way to send a message to all of your friends is manually:(. BUT you can use redirect your tweets to a fan page. I use involver, which syncs up twitter and fb. It works great. Hope this helps!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Yes, that is helpful. Thank you.

  • http://www.ArtofEloquence.com JoJo Tabares

    Twitter has DMs too. Both Twitter and FB DMs can be sent to your email so you don't have to check them online. Twitter is great because you can connect with so many more people much easier, but your posts get lost so it is harder to really build a relationship. FB is much harder to connect because you have to be "accepted" but it is so much easier to get to know people and for them to get to know you. I love the fan clubs. I don't have a fan club for me, but I have a few for my events: my podcast, my business. You don't have to participate in the silly FB gifts and applications. You can even block them. I also love the fact that you can write more than 140 characters. FB notes are wonderful to help you get your ideas out. I actually get a larger percentage of customers from FB than I do Twitter. FB folks who friend me are more intersted in me and what I do, I find. I have many Twitter followers who just follow me to try to get me to follow them back to build their numbers. It's a numbers game; we have nothing in common and they have no plans to really connect with me. FB friends tend to be more contemplative in who they "friend". Many more of them are truly there to connect. In short, both have their merits, you just have to learn to communicate with them using their own unique language. Hope that helps.

  • http://www.twitter.com/danieldecker Daniel Decker

    Very interested to see the feedback you receive on your action items, 1-4. For # 3 I have found a solution to making Twitter updates show as FAN page updates but it's a paid subscription solution.

    Chris Brogan had an interesting post on why he actually deleted his FAN page but kept his regular profile. Guess it's all about the individual and their intended use as to what make the most sense.

    For me, I primarily use Facebook for more personal contacts. On my "Info" tab I note:

    Let me start out by saying that my Facebook profile is a place for me to interact on a more personal level. I don't use Facebook as a business tool. More so a "third place" to have fun, be silly and share with people I know, or who want to know me as a human being, dad, and regular guy.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Yea, I read Chris's comments on his strategy. I don't disagree. I think it does indeed depend on your strategy. I am getting mixed responses to feeding Twitter to a fan page. Don Miller, for example, is updating his fan page via Twitter. (I think someone in my own company set that up, so I need to check that out.) I am hoping I don't need a paid subscription solution. Thanks.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/fmckinnon fmckinnon

        you can DEF feed your twitter to your fan page w/o a paid subscription – DM me if you need assistance on it.

  • Rick Johnson

    FYI, Mary Rotman (PR Specialist at O'Reilly Media) just finished moving everyone over to a fan page (http://www.facebook.com/OReilly). She might have some insights. Her public contact information is:

    email: maryr@oreilly.com
    phone: (707) 827-7119

  • http://www.blogconsultingllc.com David Porter

    Michael,

    For me, the key to Facebook is to keep my Facebook personal (real friends & family only), and keep the business persona to my Facebook "page".

    I don't have nearly the numbers that I imagine you do, but this approach keeps the sanity in Facebook. If you were going to have a family & friends picnic, you wouldn't invite me. Therefore, don't invite me, or accept my request to join your facebook "account".

    Keep the relationship with folks like me, to your Facebook "page".

    Finally, if it were me, I would go through and clean out your Facebook account (different than your page) to just your friends, family.

  • http://www.creationinspirations.com Cheryl Pickett

    Hi Michael,
    Well, I'll jump in with what little I know from experience. I have gotten several messages from people who've converted to fan pages asking me to become a fan, so yes it is possible. I don't know the tech part, and I've never seen anyone "convert" without asking me to do it myself/making the choice. And yes, when asked, I've migrated over to become a fan instead of a friend.

    Also, I totally understand not liking the games and gifts and all that, I ignore most of that as well. From the Twitter side though, I can't stand the "adult" followers that show up and need to be deleted, and those occasional people who tweet as often as they breath and completely fill my feed by themselves. I also really prefer the connected conversations on FB. You can comment, someone else can comment and it's all in one place/a continuous flow instead of separated by dozens if not hundreds of posts in between. Also, in my opinion, it's easier to see updates/posts on FB but that's because I don't use Tweetdeck etc. (afraid I don't have enough memory right now). I'd miss most of your updates if you weren't on FB. Though I do subscribe to your blog, I enjoy what's on FB too.

    Well, hope that helps in some way. Have a blessed day!
    Cheryl

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Right now, I like Twitter better, though I am certainly aware of the limitations. Facebook could totally replace Twitter for me if it had a public status page. I often lose the context in Twitter, so the threaded comments alone would be killer.

  • Ralene

    While there is no automatic way to transfer all your friends, here's a suggestion. Create your fan page first. There should be a link for you to suggest the page to your friends. So you can send everyone the link to your fan page and then post a message saying when you are going to "unfriend" everyone.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      That's the exact strategy I intend to use unless someone here chimes in with a better approach.

  • http://budurl.com/SRivera SRivera

    I completely understand your situation the reason is that Facebook is about friends – REAL FRIENDS. There are different social sites because they serve a different purpose. In reality the design is for people that you actually know. If we use it incorrectly it becomes a time consuming social site. Responding to your question about the twitter feed going to your fan page, yes! there is a way to do that, using Posterous.

  • Aaron

    Mike,

    I have 1600 friends on Facebook and about 33% of them are folks who I don't know. So I can sympathize with that.

    Honestly, I'm not sure this is the right solution for you, which I'll explain in a second. Here are the answers to your questions:

    1. No
    2. You can't message all your friends…just keep posting a status message of "I'm over here!" on your old account and hoping people see it. Emphasis on hoping.
    3. Yes
    4. No, Facebook has said repeatedly they won't allow this.

    Personally, I think Facebook fan pages are so much less personal. I don't think it fits your level of openness to switch to that.

    So here's my suggestions on solving your problems.

    1 and 2 – I totally agree, another inbox is bad. That's why I turned on e-mail notification for Facebook messages. When someone sends me a Facebook message, I get an e-mail in my regular inbox. If it's not something I'm going to respond to, I just delete and ignore it. If I want to respond, click the link and Facebook pops open. I never check my Facebook inbox as a result…my e-mail is the proxy for it.

    3 – Completely agree, but you can control this in Facebook. You can aggressively block each app, or block people from sending you apps. While there isn't one master switch for this (there should be), clicking the Block button on all of them every couple of days for a few weeks will DRAMATICALLY cut these down.

    4. If you solve the other two problems, this probably won't bug you that much. I have a fan page too but I dislike never knowing when people I know friend me. So going down the list and clicking confirm, confirm, confirm is less of a big deal with the other annoyances gone.

    Maybe that's not the answer you were looking for, but those are my two cents. :)

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for such a thorough response. I have considered this approach, but I still not convinced I want to invest this much energy in it. Again, I think it's an ROI issue for me. I want to invest where I get the biggest return.

    • http://twitter.com/cleothecool @cleothecool

      I love your idea of how to handle the inbox. I'm going to switch to this method. Thanks!

  • finiteattentionspan

    Michael,

    I applaud this move, because I think it will free up a lot of your time and attention, both of which are scarce resources these days. I'm actually not on FB at all (been on social networking sites since before they were called that) and nearly every time I hear someone talking about FB, it just sounds like such a drain on their attentional resources and I am relieved all over again not to have to bother with it! Twitter is more than enough for me.

    Anyway, good luck, whatever you decide.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Yes, indeed these are scarce. The biggest return for me is via my blog and Twitter—in that order. Facebook is way down on the list, though I know it is very important for some people.

  • Colleen Coble

    I'm not a big fan of the fan pages so I have only joined fellow Nelson authors' pages. Every post you make on a fan page goes to the fans' inboxes. For you it might make sense to have a fan page but I started my Facebook in the first place to interact with readers. Readers like to feel they know you and are personal friends, and I have to admit I like that connection with them myself. When I tweet, I get a lot of responses on Facebook from my readers and I love that.

    I've heard a groups page might work better than a fan page. Have you looked at that option?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Actually, I haven't looked at the groups page. Hmm.

      If every post I make goes to my fan's inbox, that's a problem. Yikes! I know how much I hate getting those messages.

  • http://www.jodyfransch.com Jody Fransch

    I concur with every one of your four top reasons why you hate Facebook.
    Unfortunately I can’t answer any of your questions, but look forward to seeing how this process works for you.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/fmckinnon fmckinnon

    Another Thing to Consider … feel free to reply directly to this comment, or correct if I'm wrong …

    The only way to mass-communicate with your Fans on facebook pages (fan) is the "updates" feature. While I taught on Social Media at the National Worship Leader Conference last month … I did a survey in the classroom of each class I taught and said "how many of you read the "updates" from fan pages" … almost EVERY PERSON admitted they never read them.

    Also – how do actions on a Fan Page (ie. notes imported or posted, pictures, added, discussions, etc) show up on the actual pages of a "fan" .. meaning, let's say I'm a fan of Michael Hyatt … and Michael Hyatt posts a new "something" on his fan page – how will I know about it?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      These are exactly the kinds of questions I need to get answered before I flip the switch. I assumed that fan page status updates would appear in fan's stream just like those form their friends.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/fmckinnon fmckinnon

        I just did a test from my own "fan" page … I wrote "wall test" on the wall of my personal "fan page" … and then immediately clicked "Home" (logged in as my regular user/profile) and my update was in the main news feed under Home. I guess my issue is … I seldom load the home page and view all of that info – but I suppose that's no different than a profile page … so if you post on your fan page … it shows up in the news feed for your "fans" just as if you'd posted on your profile.

    • http://www.aussiejoyslife.com Joy Argow

      I agree with this too. Even bands that are 'friends' I have trouble reading their 'fan mail' emails. For some reason it takes so much more effort to read something that's been pushed on you like junk mail. Its almost like its intrusive… even though by becoming a 'fan' you know to expect it.

      Also I work for a band and sometimes post fan notes and get very limited responses. It would seem they are rarely read. However, posting directly on the bands 'fan' wall directly always instigates a conversation.

      I think Michael though, you have such a position of influence because of the topics you write about – that people will go wherever you tell them and continue to listen to what you have to say. I am amazed at how many comments even on this blog that you've found time to respond too. I commend you on this.

  • Laura Ann Grymes

    Possible add something on to Michaelhyatt as your FB id for the fan page such as michaelhyattTN or MichaelHyattofficialpage, or MichaelHyattoffical

    I agree that I like someone else said I enjoy the interaction of FB with comments being right under the status post so its all together.
    Its more personable and you don't miss things as easily as Twitter but I would keep both.
    Just migrate to a fan page and keep your personal friends and family and people that are close to you on FB original page.

    I hope this helps.
    I also agree about when making the fan page send the link to all your friends then when its easy and then post on your wall and in your satus when your moving over, the address and request they migrate to your fan page.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      So far, that sounds like the best strategy.

  • http://twitter.com/christywedge @christywedge

    #2. If your friends are in groups you can send a message to that group. I have about three group set up: real friends, professional contacts and people I don't know well. When I accept/request a friend I will put them in one of these groups. Now I can send a private message to any one of these groups.

    However if the groups are not already set up it might be better just to update your status a few times.

    I have had various contacts switch to using the fan pages. However if when I received the message, I did not have immediate access to the new fan page, I usually forgot to make the switch. What you can do is invite your friends to join the group, but this could become tedious when you have to click on each person individually.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/jaledwith jaledwith

    1. There's no way to convert your friends into fans automatically.

    2. You cannot message all your friends at once. The max per message is 20 friends.

    3. Involver will let you publish your Twitter status on your Facebook page. http://involver.com/pages/gallery.html There are probably a number of ways to do it, but this is the one I'm familiar with.

    4. Yes, though not immediately. Before a fan page can have a vanity URL that page must have at least 100 fans. Once you reach that mark, you'll need to "free up" your profile username so it can be used on your page. Recently Facebook began allowing users to change their username (http://www.allfacebook.com/2009/07/change-faceboo… Go to Account Settings and under username click change. Once that username isn't in use you should be able to apply it to your page.

    Hope this helps!

    -Andrew (@jaledwith)

  • http://twitter.com/cleothecool @cleothecool

    Although I cannot provide answers to your technical questions (or at least helpful answers… other than 'no'), I would like to point two things out:

    1. If you maintain any sort of facebook page people can still message you despite not being your friend. Unless there's a preference/security setting to prevent that.

    2. As a fan, I don't like fan pages. I view fan pages more of a way of letting folks who peruse my profile know who I'm a fan of. I rarely visit the pages of those of whom I'm a fan. I don't generally see anything in my news feed from them, and I don't interact with them.

    My guess is if you switch to a fan page it A) won't solve ALL of those issues, and B) will provide substantially less connection / interaction / redirection to your blog…

    • http://twitter.com/cleothecool @cleothecool

      I guess I just learned how to make a B) emoticon. That was supposed to be a 'B' followed by a ')'

  • http://www.windridgeconsulting.com Lindsay Colitses

    “Can I redirect my Twitter feed onto my fan page rather than my profile page?” You possibly can, but have you ever considered letting Twitter be Twitter and letting Facebook be Facebook?

    Possibly if you didn’t link the two you would get less input into your FB account…. because you would simply be less visible.

    My thoughts are that FB and Twitter should be two entirely different forms of communication…

    Twitter is set up for constant, quick bursts of information… It’s fun and it’s fast and can, without annoyance, be extremely constant; in other words multiple Tweets during the day.

    FB users usually post one, possibly two thoughts during the day…. Even Fan pages usually only post every couple of days or once a day, max – at least the ones that I'm a fan of :-)

    Have you ever considered linking your blog to your FB page and making occasional entries in FB, and then Twittering to your hearts content?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I have. Every time I do that, though, I get lots of complaints from Facebook friends who want to see my Twitter updates. When I explain that they could just follow me on Twitter, they object. For whatever reason, they don't want to get involved in another service.

      <sigh> It's hard to please everyone!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

    This is GREAT, specific feedback. Exactly what I needed. Thanks so much!

  • http://sandraking-beholding-god.blogspot.com/ Sandra King

    1. Your title seems to say you really want to keep the account.
    2. What was your purpose in opening it in the first place? Why would you want to keep it? Would a fan page serve that purpose?
    3. If you close your account to only friends you already know, you lose the opportunity to make new friends or connect with old ones.
    4. "Connect" is the key word. That may not be a priority for you. At least on FB.
    5. Many people use the facebook inbox to save time to privately message friends. It's not that they "can't bother" to check your personal email." We are all into saving time. Direct it to your email and delete as necessary.
    6. Hide all the clutter.
    7. I note that you have slightly about 2300 friends. Patsy Clairmont has dealt with (is dealing with) this dilemma as she hit 5000 friends, and FB cut her off. Now she is hovering just under 5000, so she has either deleted some or is not accepting everyone. Maintaining a presence and personal interaction is important for authors–lots of grist in the FB mill.
    8. I tend not to interact as much with FB people who have their status automatically updated with Twitter. It says to me they don't really want to be bothered…
    9. Not everyone can be bothered with Twitter. Also, I tend to shut off alerts from FB fan pages and figure I'll go there in my own time. But I most often don't, so I know I miss good stuff.

  • http://twitter.com/RichDailey @RichDailey

    I created a facebook account, but really just a placeholder while I watch the social arena flesh itself out. I have a family member or two who have checked it out, but other than that, just sagebrush and dust.

    I have been looking hard at http://www.thismoment.com, which offers features that I really like. I created an account and threw a post up there, and it meshes well with the other social outposts.

    Rich

  • http://www.laurindaonleadership.com Laurinda

    I'm new to facebook and wondered why you didn't have a Fan Page. I think most people have already answered your questions. I am a Fan of John Maxwell and I notice on Twitter he uses Selective Twitter Feed but his updates never show up in Facebook. So it must be going to a personal account, not the fan page.

    I would think you could change the settings for your personal account so that nobody could search for your personal account, but would only find your Fan Page.

    Please write about the conversion process. I'd like to see how that goes. Let us know on Twitter when you change so I know to go in and become a Fan.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ToddMichaelGreene Todd Michael Greene

    I hate all the games and stuff on Facebook as well. You can block all apps so that you're not bothered by them. There are solutions. Here's some I've found:

    http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/12393

    http://echeng.com/journal/2008/01/26/how-to-block

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Very interesting. I will have to check these out. Thanks.

  • Joshua Sandefur

    Hey, Ted Dekker just did exactly what you are talking about! So, I commend you on being a better steward with your time and resources.

  • Mark Russell

    You should definitely do a fan page considering your goals with facebook. It might involve sending all of your "friends" an annoying message telling them to transfer over to your "fan" page. However, I would not delete facebook. It is a quickly growing platform and even though it only accounts for 5% of your traffic, the potential is huge. It will grow your platform for sure! :-)

  • http://www.benarment.com Ben Arment

    I say delete away.

    But just read The Accidental Billionaires about the founding of Facebook – fascinating read on a plane.

  • http://grace4rae.com Rachel

    Is there a way to convert my “friends” into “fans”? Yes there is. I work in the music industry and we had to convert our artist’s facebook pages to fan pages when they first started fan pages. You just need to contact the people at facebook and they can help you with this. :)

    Can I redirect my Twitter feed onto my fan page rather than my profile page? Yes you can!

    Can my current Facebook URL (facebook.com/michaelhyatt) point to my fan page rather than my profile page? You’ll need to set that up with the people at facebook. I’m not 100% sure about that. It might end up being something like facebook.com/pages/michaelhyatt – and you’re actually facebook page (personal) be the same.

    The people at facebook are super helpful. And they normally reply within 1-2 business days.

    Hope this helps!!! Good luck! :)

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Thanks. I sent them a message about 24 hours ago and still haven't heard from them.

  • http://evaulian-thebestoftheworst.blogspot.com/ Eva Ulian

    Some days ago I asked about setting up a fan page for myself but I have not yet sorted it out how it's done so I am only at an elementary stage on the matter of fan pages. Must say though, I don't make much use of them: my interaction comes from the friends page which I do enjoy. However, I think being a CEO of a publishing firm you can't possibly end up commenting on this and that, that's something I should be good at, not you. So when you have discovered how to set up your fan page so as to replace your present activity on facebook, you will of course blog about it and let us know how it's done, even though I shall keep both the friend and the fan page. Looking forward to it.

  • Helen Kidd

    John Piper has a fan page but he also states that this is not his personal page and will not be responding to anything. He keeps a private FB page. He (or one of his staff) will probably be able to tell you how to do it.

    John MacArthur does the same thing. Although with John, Phil Johnson is the man to go to. Phil is all-things technical–and you probably know him already. Phil keeps Spurgeon's page as well.

  • http://www.allthingsworkplace.com Steve Roesler

    Michael,

    There are clearly no shortage of interested respondents.

    I deleted my Facebook account in March for the reasons you listed as well as the fact that it has become easier for people to actually spam and add unbelievable profanity in an instant. I got tired of monitoring that and, after doing less agonizing than you (as a result of the profanity), I nuked the account.

    a. It has done nothing to harm our business.

    b. It has freed up time to be more interactive than usual on Twitter.

    c. When I explained to those who emailed re: my absence, no one blinked an eye. Those who were genuinely in it for the relationship/business relationship are still connected via Twitter, Blog, Website, email, etc.

    Facebook had too much going on to personally manage and be discerning about my time and content.

    All the best with your decision. . .

  • Dorothy Ray

    For 1,2 & 3, simply write a note on fb to all your "so called" friends explaining what you're doing. Drop them and point them to the fan page. I'd go if I were your fb friend. Your everyday blog is more than enough communication to suit me.

  • http://passionsforthesoul.typepad.com/vicki Vicki Small

    Michael, I sure do understand your frustrations.

    I don't have to check my FB Inbox, because I get an e-mail telling who has sent me a message. Those are always personal, in my case.

    I was too liberal in accepting FB "friends" and tire of seeing status posts from people who don't even look at me, let alone respond if I dare to comment on their post. I've thought about removing some of them as friends, and I may do that.

    Oh, yes, those invitations to groups, Causes, games, quizzes, etc., ad nauseum are disgusting. I got rid of one Cause, but unfortunately wiped out the two or three that I had joined and can't get back to Causes.

    You could delete your account and leave it to us to Share your posts, as we are moved to do so…as I've done, several times.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/chownage Chownage

    Delete all your friends, unfollow all your followers. Yeah, your numbers will drop, but you'll have a whole lot more fun because the conversation you're participating in is one that you're interested in, not one that you're forced to be a part of.

    If we take "niche" seriously, it's not about the numbers, it's about the listeners.

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  • http://true-small-caps.blogspot.com/ Derek

    I also deleted my Facebook account. Sounds like I'm not the only one.

  • Harrison Farr

    I don't have the answers to your questions, but you might want to know that I'll become your fan if you make the switch. I'm not your friend now because I use my personal FB account for friends and family that I actually know and see regularly. But I'm fans of lots of people and their updates are unobtrusive and easy to read or ignore as needed.

  • http://www.faithbarista.com FaithBarista Bonnie

    I'm glad I read this post, Michael! Right now, I used Facebook for personal family and friends, and I've been on the fence about opening it up as another place to connect with my readers.

    Your post and your reference to what Anne had to do was enough to keep me happy with where things are at right now.

    So sorry you have to go through this. I'm sure it's stressful! ;p !

  • http://twitter.com/matt_mccomas @matt_mccomas

    You can send your specified tweets to post on your facebook fan page with the selective Twitter Facebook application. You can watch my friends screenr on the process…it's kind of raw, but it does the trick. http://screenr.com/14s.

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  • http://bookpage.com Trisha

    I just created a fan page for BookPage under my personal profile. When you create a fan page, you can invite your current personal profile friends to become fans. Once they've done that you can delete them from your personal account. If not everyone accepts the invitation, the note/status update option should clean up the stragglers. Good luck!

  • http://www.graceisforsinners.com Serena Woods

    I had to do this, too. Mine was more pro-active than re-active. I have made my personal page completely private. If you search for me, you'll find my fan page. If I know you, then I can ask you to be my friend. Otherwise, my personal page is invisible.

    You can direct traffic to your fan page. You can't convert existing friends. (If they're fans, they'll click) I would recommend making your profile unsearchable and uncheck the box that says you can receive messages and friend requests.

    Just change the url connected to that 'f-Connect' button you have down at the bottom of your posts.

    If you maxed out your friend invites, you can do it again about two days later.

    Smart choice. :)

    Serena

  • Andy Depuy

    Michael

    Ran a test last night on facebook under friends. All y friends and even my fan pages are under different titles and I what I did was bring your name up and the only thing that came up was your orginial facebook and not your fan page,can't even find your fan page unless . Let me know if I can help in any way you and your family are very importment to me. God bless

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I just tested it. I logged into a dummy account that I have. I searched for "Michael Hyatt." I only got the fan page, which is exactly how I want it. You can see the page here:

      http://screencast.com/t/aBYXQv1lQlb

      Thanks for your help, Andy!

  • http://rcd.typepad.com/ Robin Capper

    Thanks! I was debating “to Facebook or not to Facebook” and you helped me decide “not”.

  • http://www.shortthoughts.com Jeff Short

    However you do it, I would hope you continue your presence on FB. I find your input valuable and helpful. I would understand if you left it altogether but would miss your contribution. FB is very annoying for many reasons, but I am trying to use it for ministry.

    The FB experience is kind of like email when you have that friend who finally just got online. They start by reading the urban legend emails and forwarding them (without blind carbon copy) to everyone they know. We have seen those bunk stories repeatedly since 1992 but they just discovered them.

    Your web presence is a true service and I am grateful to you for it. It has changed the way I look at Thomas Nelson now. As far as your questions, I cannot help anymore than what has already been answered.

    Jeff

  • http://www.silentmornings.blogspot.com Lizaroonie

    Mike – seems you are addressing two issues.
    1. Friends/Family
    2. ROI

    If you're looking at ROI, then I would not recommend Fan Page (I too hate the term) b/c I don't believe most people read the updates and there is no notification. The "fan" must instigate the communication. There is a site Involver.com that has a way to tweak your fan page, but I still don't think it's like the interaction you get via Twitter updating your FB.

    How about using a different eMail address and adding another FB account that is exclusive to your "real" friends/associates and family and keeping your current FB. You can disable the "write something" box translating to people only being able to leave comments in your status updates.

    On your Wall, state that you don't respond to FB Mail, ergo any invites to reply to an eMessage or an invitation to join this that, will be ignored. Turn off alerts from FB and then you have no idea what is stacking up in the FB eMail. Every week, do a global delete all.

    I think for those not on Twitter, or who do not follow your updates on Twitter, that they are more likely to see you on FB.

    Social networking does need to be tamed, but if your primary intention is sending people to your Blog, etc., then it really isn't "social" networking, but "business" networking. With that lens, I do believe that you will loose having a "personal" connection – or developing a "sense" of intimacy with your friends list if you go exclusively to the Fan page.

    You could do a "GROUP" but again, there is no intimate connection or two-way communication. Messaging all members is very much a monologue. You don't know if anyone read your message. Unless people are truly engaged on a "discussion board" you will not have the type of connection that currently makes you approachable on FB and your blog (via comments). Plus, the discussions must be instigated and monitored which is what you're trying to avoid.

    My two cents. Or, maybe it was four.

  • Rachel

    I can't answer your questions Mike, but I have the same issues. Inbox that I have to go to in order to respond. Can't respond from the notification in my regular email account.

    How to convert friends to fans.

    Getting promotional stuff I don't like.

    Otherwise, I'm a big Facebook Fan. The benefits outweigh the hassles.

    Rachel

  • http://www.kimmirich.wordpress.com Kimmi

    I, too, am not all that big on the FB. I do not like the flowers, the this, the that, which is sent to me and fear a virus if I click on to them. I realize I'm a little late here, but others set up a fan club for me, although I forget it was there.

    Aside, I thought of you today. I was enjoying some beautiful weather traveln' the back roads of my state, and I happened upon a sign in front a small-town church. It said, " Get off of Facebook and get into God's Book."

    It was one of those WOW moments for me. I was out enjoyn' His creations, instead of man's creations. It put a lot into perspective for me, my values and where my values should be placed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/thejeffbrown Jeff Brown

    1. & 2. No way to directly convert friends into fans.

    However, have you considered creating an Event on your fan page surrounding, say, the switch to this new page? Upon creating this event, you'll be allowed to update all of your Profile Friends as part of the 4 or 5 step process. There's no Select All when viewing all of your friends, but assuming you don't have them broken down into too many sub categories, it shouldn't take too long.

    Start by selecting one of your Friend filters. As soon as you do that, you're given the "Select All" option. Then, select your next Friend filter and repeat the process. By they way, these "Updates" don't land in the Inboxes of your friends, but appear in the upper right hand corner of their home pages along with Friend Requests.

    3. As Joel mentioned previously, Involver.com might be a good (free) solution to direct your tweets to your new Fan Page. Let us know if and when you find out about how Don Miller's were set up.

    4. This step will require Facebook support help.

    To reiterate, as fmckinnon states, "Updates" are not pushed through to the Facebook e-mail inboxes of your fans and therefore may not get viewed as often. But to clarify, "Updates" are generally created from an event your wanting to get the word out about to your Fans. These have nothing to do with your status updates. Status updates DO indeed show up in the news feeds of fans.

    I oversee Fan Pages for five of our middle Tennessee radio stations. The only thing I don't like about Fan Pages, is the inability to send information to Facebook e-mail inboxes (as a Group Page DOES allow you to do). However, as you said, you don't like receiving Facebook e-mail anyway and it's probably safe to say your fans don't either. This may make the "Update" feature (again, related to updates of events) more attractive to you as it's a softer sell.

    Whether you update your Status manually or via Twitter, your fans will see it in their news feeds. Hope this helps.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for such detailed input, Jeff. I have certainly learned a lot in the last few days.

      As it turns out, Facebook tech support migrated all of my friends to my fan page. Also, I can post to my fan page by using PeopleBrowser, which seems like a great solution.

      Thanks.

      • http://www.facebook.com/thejeffbrown Jeff Brown

        Great news about the migration. That's huge. So glad they made it easy for you.

        How do you like PeopleBrowsr overall? The two or three times I've tried it, it just overwhelmed me.

        Sidenote: Looking forward to partnering to bring Donald Miller to Nashville.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Peter_P Peter_P

    I wouldn't worry about blog traffic from Facebook so much. Most of it is probably from people who would visit anyway, they just use Facebook as a convenient jumping spot.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Beaconhillnw Jim

    i'll manage your fb account for you for free

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Thanks. But I think it is important to manage it personally—just to keep it real.

  • http://reneethebookangel.com Renee

    Aloha, I found this article helpful — and I have yet to create either a page or a group. :) http://mashable.com/2009/05/27/facebook-page-vs-g

    Trust you'll find an easy peasy solution.

  • maxi8

    The fact that you had to ask the question … is your answer.

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  • Annonymous

    I agree with everything you have said here!
    Some of my friends send invitations to gatherings by posting on each other's Facebook walls, and I get so many friend requests from people I know of – not people I actually know and I can't deny them because I don't want to be rude!
    Then there's the group invitations, page suggestions, application requests, quizzes and tagged photos/notes.
    Also, Facebook chat is very annoying, it always logs in whenever I just innocently want to check my page for new messages and next thing you know I've got a bunch of people talking me and 30mins of my time is chewed up!
    and I can't delete it because my friends are pro-Facebook, they won't use any other social networks or e-mail for that matter.
    Anyway, you should look at this site by the way: http://asocial.ws/

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  • Clent

    My issue is a little different. I went to secure a URL for my bus 'page' and it attached to my personal account. I want to switch URL /SanDiegoFlash from personal to bus 'page' Any suggestions? Thanks.

  • http://nathangilmer.com Nathan GIlmer

    Have you tried http://www.lite.facebook.com? That is my solution. Its Facebook without all the crap. Wall, Pictures, Videos, and Inbox. Thats it. I love it.

  • Lisa

    I created a profile for the company I work for, and then created a Fan Page. We would now like to get rid of the profile….and just keep the Fan Page. I went in to my account (Profile) to deactivate…but once I did that, it deactivated my fan page…because they are tied to one another.

    What should I do? We want to keep a company page…not a profile. Is there a way?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      You need to have both. You can make the profile private, so that no one can find it except people you specifically friend. Your fan page will, of course, be private. Use your company name or brand on the fan page.

      If you had a lot of fans or friends, Facebook may be able to help you get them back; I don't know. Thanks.

  • http://ronstroope.com Ron

    If you have a fan page don't you distance yourself from being social and reacting with those who follow you? I mean, it is called "social networking" for a reason. Not trying to be snarky, just wondering.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Ron, have you been to my fan page? I interact with people there ALL the time. The beauty of it—and the reason why I switched to a fan page—is that it is public. I don't have to approve people to be my friends. In that sense, it is more like Twitter. Thanks.

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  • Nicole

    How did you get facebook support to transfer your friends to fans?

  • She1whitewolf

    Then how will we contact you???? You have brought alot of families and lost friends together! The only thing that I do not like is having to give all ur info to play the games! I won’t play them because of that reason. I have 43 pending game requests, I will not play, don’t feel the need to disclose info to play!!! Please keep up the good work! What would you be doing if it weren’t for working on facebook????? Thanks, you have helped me more than u know! I am physically disabled and facebook is my link to the world!! LM-Georgia

  • Hellopreeti

    i think some one is hakking my facebook account…unwanted comments and pictures are coming in my profile……and in on my name my frends got some pictures….someone help me….

  • Hemantstar1988

    my facebook profile friend request block for 2 months & not be start so plz help me hemantstar1988@gmail.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000312149157 Cathy Pullins

    How did you resolve this?  Did you actually follow through and delete your friends?  

    I feel too open and exposed but I see the merit in that too?  I have learned first hand that people want the 2 way interaction.  For instance our client Erica P has 5,000 friends and 2,000 followers on her profile page and 996 likes.  They want the give and take of interaction but we can’t do EVERYTHING!  I just discovered groups.  Can that be the answer?  I am having the same issue — I just started with FB personally but people want to come to my personal page not my Fan Page.I think problem may flow from the original intention to be a real friends thing then it became a common interest thing.  There needs to be a fresh new from of facebook.  (I will call my software engineering son.  ;-)