The Facebook gods smile upon me again

So a week or so ago the Charley Project’s Facebook page inexplicably tanked and all the sudden no one was seeing the posts, no one was liking or sharing or commenting on any of my posts. Now, equally inexplicably, the page’s reach has returned to normal. Shrug. I am glad of it, anyway.

I have no idea how online algorithms and analytics and whatnot work. Sometimes I wish I did. I was reading about the guy behind the hugely popular Twitter account that rates dogs, and he makes a six-figure annual income just from that account, like from selling ad space and merch. Which isn’t to say he isn’t doing anything. He pays very close attention to the analytics and, out of hundreds of dog pictures submitted for consideration every day, he selects the one he thinks will get the most likes and shares, and then after posting a tweet he keeps an eye on it for like fifteen minutes and if it’s not getting an acceptable number of likes and shares, he deletes it and tries again with another dog, another tweet.

So anyway. The most popular story on Charley’s Facebook at present is this one about Shawn Hornbeck’s family. Sadly, Shawn’s stepfather has passed away from cancer at only 57. He had help raise Shawn from infancy and Shawn and his siblings thought of him as their father. Another really popular story is this one, about a Chinese man who was found alive and well, eighteen years after his abduction at the age of three.

The story I would recommend, which hasn’t gotten much attention since I posted it during the time Facebook was ignoring me: this one. The headline basically says it all: “A Girl, 15, Reported a Sexual Assault, Then the Detective Abused Her, Too.”

I’m sure he had other victims as well.

I’m still here

I’m assuming y’all have noticed I haven’t been updating more than a few times a week in the past couple of months. This is in large part because of Michael. Long story short, he lost his full-time job. Before he lost it he was working the one full-time job plus a part-time one and he worked insane hours, getting up at 6:00 a.m., out of the house by seven, sometimes not home till ten in the evening. Now he has a lot more time and we’re spending a lot of it together. He is, of course, looking for another job. He has two interviews lined up.

I am still working on Charley, it’s just that a lot of that work is invisible. If I post an updated age-progression or a new photo of an MP, for example, but no other updates for that particular casefile, I don’t put it on the updates page. (MPs with new age-progressions do get on the updates page, though.) Purged cases are just quietly removed without a mention — and that means tracking down and deleting them off all the lists as well as deleting the cases themselves. And the aforementioned work with purges and APs is all so stupefyingly boring that I can’t do it for more than half an hour or an hour at a time.

Maintaining Charley’s Facebook page (which surpassed 4,000 “likes” this week, woo!) is more fun but it takes more time than you’d think —  tracking down articles to post, reading all the comments, sometimes engaging in conversations. Ditto the Twitter feed. Yes, it’s two tweets a day. But I have to FIND new cases to tweet, check to make sure they haven’t been tweeted before, and come up with some neat little 140-character summary for each one. These days I’ve been searching for a random word, say, “Naugahyde,” and tweeting all cases that mention that word.

I hope I don’t sound defensive or anything. No one has been jumping all over me for not updating more often; I just want you guys to know I’m not giving up or anything like that.

Seeing them on Facebook

I was doing what I call “fishing” today — just Googling the names of MPs to see what comes up — and came across a Facebook post by the mother of a missing baby. She wrote that she was feeling sad, recounted her son’s disappearance and asked people to look for him.

It’s kind of funny, because she herself is the prime suspect in that child’s disappearance and got in trouble later on for trying to sell one of her other kids. The charge was later dropped, not because she hadn’t done it but because the prosecution wasn’t sure whether this was illegal.

I see that kind of thing from time to time.


Several people have already asked me if Charley has, or will have, a Facebook page. The answer, unless I change my mind, is no: I have quite enough work to do, thanks. But it just occurs to me: would anyone be interested in Charley Project tweets? It would be much simpler and quicker than running a Facebook page. It would include stuff that catches my eye but that I don’t feel like writing a whole blog entry about.

On the other hand, according to Cracked, my favorite font of information, no one actually reads other people’s tweets.

So…you guys decide. Would setting up a Twitter account for Charley (I don’t have one of my own) be worth it?