One morning I went to log into Faebook, one of my standard places to check up on friends, family, associates … oh and do a little virtual work in a silly little game I play involving harvesting & building stuff. I am met with this screen:
If it had been Twitter the image would be called fail whale, Google + has a Broken robot. Practically every big communication system now has a default “it’s not you it’s me” message for when something is not working on their end, because it happens.
The key thing is to make sure you are prepared for these instances. Something could happen to Facebook and it go down for days. Hard to believe, they have had pretty rock steady service for years, but it can happen & you should have other methods for connecting with people.
Here are some ideas:
1. Personal Website
JonathanNation.com is my personal website. You can do it for about $10 per year if you want to go super cheap and point it to WordPress.com , or for just $8 per month more you could use either a Self-Hosted WordPress install on a webhost like BlueHost, or even SquareSpace. JonathanNation.com is a Self-Hosted WordPress based site.
No matter if MySpace or FriendFeed is still around or not, people can find me at my personal site.
2. Google +
This is one of the two closest alternatives to Facebook. Being connected with people on both Facebook & Google+ allows you a great backup plan for if Facebook is down, but if you start using it I do have two suggestions:
- really use it – put out information that is unique. The Google+ Android & iOS apps have some great features like backing up your pictures from your phone, making it easy to do posts & G+ makes it easy to post only to the group of people you want to post to.
- understand it takes time to build a unique audience on Google+
Primarily thought of as a network for professionals, that is probably the primary need you will have if Facebook goes down – I need to contact Jim …. what was his current email address? If you’ve linked to him in LinkedIn, you can message him.
Other systems depend on what others use. I chat with many people through Gtalk, Twitter, Skype, and other IM or messaging services … and there is always just having someone’s email address.
The big thing is to diversify the ways you can contact people or be contacted. Two questions to ask yourself:
When Facebook, or your primary communications method was interrupted:
- How would you contact people you need to?
- How would people find you?