I can't argue with Mark Zuckerberg's instincts, since the valuation on Facebook is 10,000 times that of Science 2.0, but it doesn't always seem like the changes are good. I used to have a Home feed that gave me a cross section of new things from people on my friend list but now I can't figure out how it works - I get meaningless stuff from people I don't really know so I rarely use it these days.
More recently they introduced a picture toolbar across the top of the profile, arguably because their audience metrics show that people like to look at pictures. I do. If someone leaves an interesting comment I click on their picture because, rapidly approaching middle age, I am used to putting faces to names the way we did it when I was young.
Now it seems Facebook has added another hidden nuance; a Science Cheerleader feature. By that, I mean Science 2.0 fave Darlene Cavalier. When they first introduced this new picture toolbar, I noticed they were in some order I could not deduce; they weren't chronological, such as which ones I uploaded most recently, or by tags, since they were not all me in the toolbar. Two of the five were Darlene, from a conference where she took Bloggy and then a COPUS group picture, which seemed odd. But they have a little X on there where you can remove them from the toolbar and so I made a best effort to have these pics actually be me and not 40% Science Cheerleader.
It was fine for a week or two but today I logged on to see who is yelling at me on Facebook for daring to ask if there is still sexual discrimination in science and...she is back.
I have two pictures tagged with Darlene and Facebook determined both of them are in the 5 most important you should see when visiting my Facebook page.
Now, I am not a progressive or in academia so I am allowed plain language even if it doesn't involve Republicans or religious people and so I can safely speak for all of you in saying you'd rather look at her than me; I get that. And Facebook is smart - really smart - so it likely knows you are more likely to click on a picture of her than me and drive up their pageviews. Good thing I didn't have 5 pictures of Bloggy with Taylor Swift or they'd probably all be up there.
But come on, Mark Z., this is my profile page. Which of my children did you boot off that toolbar? Well, I know that answer but I won't say. I'll have it fixed in a few minutes. Again.