What People Care About

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I post all sorts of things on Facebook. Like my blog posts, obviously, because I want to get them in front of 22,000+ pairs of eyes. I assume that, one day, I’ll get it right. I’ll post something that matters….that people respond to…that gets shared…that, dare I say, goes “viral.” That’s everyone’s hope, right? Going “viral.” But that means figuring out what people care about.

Facebook makes that next to impossible. I’ll post something on my page, thinking to myself, “Oh, this is is what people care about.” And then I wait. And wait. And…wait.

I wait a lot.

Oh, yay! Out of, say, 22,000+ fans, 427 people saw my post! And I got three whole Likes on the post! But no Shares. Fudge.

I keep trying to figure out what people care about. It doesn’t seem to matter what I talk about. I gave away a VTech Video Monitor valued at more than $100 on my blog. On April 2, I posted the link to the giveaway with this picture:

Golden Retriever Kissing Baby What People Care About VIral Facebook Post

I just knew I hit the trifecta on what people care about with this post. I had an adorable baby and a cute Golden Retriever…and he was kissing the baby! Plus I was giving away a great prize.

It was seen by 466 people, got 10 Likes, three Comments (one of which was mine, mind you — so really two Comments), and two Shares. Yippee.

On April 4, I posted a link about the death of Roger Ebert and wrote a short comment about what a huge talent he was and how his death was such a tremendous loss. It was seen by 680 people, got three Likes, and one Comment.

Oh yeah, I’ve got my finger on the pulse of society. I sure know what people care about.

Not.

The next day, I posted a link to my post about air purifiers at Best Buy (as well as a 20% off coupon). Allergy season was upon us. Pollen counts were devastatingly high. This was a relevant post. And it would help lots of people.

333 of them saw it.

On April 7, I posted a link to a flash giveaway for a set of non-toxic Piggy Paint nail polish for kids. 386 people saw it, and I got one whole Comment.

I asked an open-ended question on April 9, asking if people had heard of the Paleo Diet. 3,486 people saw that one. I got 23 Comments and 12 Likes. Apparently, this is what people care about. Woo hoo! The following day, when I posted the link to my in-depth article on the Paleo diet? 488 people saw it. No comments. No Likes. No Shares. Experiment failed.

Hide Food In Tampon Box Viral Facebook Post Facebook Engagement What People Care About

I posted this picture on April 10, just because I thought it was amusing. I thought it might get some engagement. 1,973 people saw it. It also received 39 Likes, 23 Comments, and 27 Shares. Hmmm. So maybe this is what people care about — getting a laugh, escaping from their mundane daily lives.

The next day, I posted the link to a giveaway for a $3,500 mattress. 156 people saw it. No one needs one of those apparently.

And then THIS started.

Antique Buffet Server Viral Facebook Post Paint Or No What People Care About

I posted this, out of nowhere, and asked, “Would you buy this, if the price was right? And if you would…what would you use it for?” That was seen by 2,131 people and got 65 Likes, 93 Comments, and one Share. Hmmm. I was on to something. I just needed to tweak it. The question was probably too wordy. After all, 19 whole words? Who has time for that? But it sure seemed like I was getting closer to finding out what people care about.

The next day I posted about Justin Bieber’s epic fail at the Anne Frank House and asked how people felt about what I found to be a horribly insensitive message that he hoped Anne Frank “would have been a belieber.” That post was seen by 1,033 people and got eight whole Comments. Apparently Justin Bieber being a schmuck wasn’t what people care about.

On April 16, I posted the link to a moving article from the Boston Globe. This was one day after the Boston bombings. I thought for sure that this was what people care about. It was seen by 386 people. Period. Later that day, I posted the link to what I referred to as “[a] heartfelt piece with first-person accounts by the New York Times.” Crickets. Well, 472 crickets. Not a Like, not a Share, not a single Comment. Then I posted this (also on April 16):

Facebook Post Facebook Engagement What People Care About

That “Comment”? It’s mine. 810 people saw it, though. Oh boy, I’m hitting the big time. Fair to say I’m still missing the mark on what people care about. And when I say “missing the mark,” you can take that to mean “cluelessly flailing about.”

What people care about: Heroes?

Then there was a story about Carlos Arredondo, the Boston bombing hero in the cowboy hat. I posted the link, and it was seen by 1,815 people, received five Likes and two Shares. Hmmm. Maybe that’s what people care about — heroes.

The day after the Boston bombings, Patton Oswald posted this and I shared it on my Facebook page (Be warned: This contains profanity, but not gratuitous profanity or profanity in large quantities):

Boston. Fucking horrible. 

I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, “Well, I’ve had it with humanity.”

But I was wrong. I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths. 

But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness. 

But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago. 

So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.”

That’s about heroes and do-gooders and feel-goodness and whatnot. That’s what people care about — heroes and stuff that’s real, authentic, and brutally honest, in a profound and thoughtful way. It garnered three whole Likes and 181 people saw it. Woo hoo! I’m on track. Probably the third rail, but I’m on track, nonetheless.

On April 17, I posted a link to a “feel-good” State Farm campaign — “Neighborhood Assist,” wherein 40 community programs would receive $25,000 grants. Oh, and the important part? State Farm was awarding the grants based on votes from people like you and me — and we could vote 10 times each day. That would basically make you and I…heroes. Heroes! That’s what people care about. Right? Right!?! No. 346 people saw it. No one Commented, Liked, or Shared. Wrong again.

Then I posted a link to “11 Foods You Can’t Buy Anywhere Anymore” and 2,263 people saw it. It garnered seven Comments. So what people care about is stupid crap that doesn’t really matter. Stuff without…substance.

What people care about: Painting wood

On April 23, I posted a picture and asked “To Paint or Not to Paint?”

Antique Armoire WHat People Really Care About Paint or No Facebook Interaction

Well, well, well. 6,764 people saw this baby. It only got three Shares, but it got 84 Likes and…356 Comments. 356 Comments. And whoa, boy. They commented. Like this:

No! Antiques that are painted are not worth as much in the long run…Antiques Road Show had some examples. (Editor’s note: Antiques Roadshow is to the furniture world what CSI is to law enforcement. To put it simply, it makes everyone think they’re an expert.)

Stop asking stupid questions…if you were considering painting, you don’t deserve to own this beautiful piece…

To paint such a nice piece of wood working would be a sin and a unforgiveable act. (Editor’s note: I was raised Catholic and attended 12 years of Catholic school. Pretty sure that painting wood is neither a sin nor an unforgivable act. That’s the Bible and Catechism speaking. Lawyered.)

[L]et me see….you want to PAINT OVER THAT PATINA?????? Are you NUTS? (Editor’s note: You learned “patina” from Antiques Roadshow. Admit it.)

Wow. Seems like I may have found what people care about. Wood. And patina.

Then I posted a huge giveaway with TEN winners, for $50 Gift Cards to Kohl’s and Nordstrom. Three whole Likes. 847 people saw that post in their News Feed. Oh, and let’s not forget my post about GoodNites, to help with a child’s bedwetting! That got in front of a whole 186 people. Yippee! Cause enuresis is totally not an issue that anyone deals with. No sirree!

And then, a blogger friend got this idea (she gets lots of ideas) and encouraged me to post this (which I actually was hesitant to do!) and simply ask “Paint or No?”:

Antique Hoosier Viral Facebook Post What People Really Care About

Sweet. Fancy. Moses.

This was posted late Saturday afternoon, on May 18. That was three weeks ago. People are still commenting. I’m not kidding. Here are the stats as of June 8:

What People Really Care About Wood Viral Facebook Post Paint Or No

And, this is what I consider “viral”…

What People Really Care About Viral Facebook Post Paint Or No

Here’s a sampling of how people feel about this (of course, :

 Are you retarded? it’s so beautiful the way it is. (Editor’s note: That’s sweet. I love it when people ask if I’m “retarded” because I asked a question. Classy.)

Are u insane>? (Editor’s note: That’s a fair question, believe it or not.)

Moron’s paint because they’re to dumb to stain. (Editor’s note: I won’t comment on the grammar and punctuation. Or the irony.)

Hell no…you paint that, and the wood god will put saw dust in everything you eat…

Nnnnnnnooooooooooo! (Dives in front of the cabinet like a secret service agent) (Editor’s note: One of my favorite comments, period.)

If it’s antique & it doesn’t look like it, then no, if not then do what you like & it won’t ruin the value…

And, of course, the old standby — the Antiques Roadshow references — was being flung about as well. Like this one:

If you want it to hold it’s value, no paint. Contact the twins on antique roadshow, and get their advice. They know their furniture.

So, apparently, what people really care about is…wood.

Stop laughing.

Because, a week later, I posted this…

Antique Walnut Italian Cabinet Viral Facebook Post Paint Or No What People Really Care About

And it got — in two weeks’ time, mind you — 3,542 Comments, 993 Likes, and 47 Shares. 88,032 people saw it. 88,032. What in the world?

I received comments like this…

No! Antique road show always says leave it like it is…. old

Not only no but hell no that’s like painting over the Sistine chapel (Editor’s note: So is using “it’s” instead of “its” and not using punctuation or capitalization.)

would you take a hammer to michaelangelo’s ‘Pieta’ ? of course not! 

…..paint ???……are you mad ??? (Editor’s note: Am I mad? As in “angry”? Well, sometimes people think I have an anger problem, but no, not over this…)

Crazy. Yes tye dye colors! (Editor’s note: Pretty sure this is sarcasm.)

NO NO NO NOI FORGOT TO TELL YOU NO NO NO

GET OUT OF THE ANTIQUE BUINESS if you have to ask (no paint ) paint will decrease it’s value . (Editor’s note: Here we go with the “it’s” again. Ugh. And I’m ignoring the missing “s” in “buiness.”)

So, basically, I got a resounding no. Shocker.

I figured I was on a roll. This is what people care about! Wood! Of course! It makes perfect sense that people are that passionate and emotional over…wood. That’s exactly what people care about — and should, damnit!

What People Care About Antique Breakfront Viral Facebook Post Paint Or No

I posted this on June 1. 21,648 people saw the post, and it received 1,003 Comments, 282 Likes and 11 Shares.

I actually got some pro-paint comments on this one, surprisingly:

Depends on whether you want it to look like an antique (which it is) or you want to update it to look right in your home

Absolutely paint! It will be beautiful!

Brown furniture isn’t in fashion, so I say yes, paint it, although it would be quite a chore to strip the varnish first. Also, depends how much it’s worth – don’t want to de-value it. What colour would you paint it? (Editor’s note: Kudos on the “u” in “colour.”)

Strip it and stain a lighter color!! Change is good

Of course, the overwhelming majority was a resounding no or some variation thereof. But alas…people were engaged. Obviously. Because I finally knew what people cared about! Furniture that they had no connection to!

Then, on June 5, I had an idea. I thought, well, let’s see how people react when they see some painted furniture. So, I posted this:

What People Care About Painted Furniture Mardi Gras Credenza Viral Facebook Post What People Care About

I asked, “Was Paint a Mistake?” (Personally, I did not think so — I love these colors — and I considered this piece unique, creative, distinctive, and fascinating. By the way, Poppy Cottage — a business out of Philadelphia! — custom paints furniture to your preference and taste. You should see her work. She’s pretty amazing.) But, since I’d been asking “Paint or No?” I figured that it would be interesting to toss in a painted piece of furniture to see what people had to say, because I knew that wood – be it painted or not — was what people care about. I posted it on June 5 at 5 p.m. EST (statistically, not the best time to post on Facebook…but that’s another post). 7,556 people saw it. It got 159 Comments and 149 Likes, but only 12 Shares (Shares are key, but that’s another issue). And, guess what?

People. Loved. It.

I absolutely LOVE it!!!!!! Looks like a one of a kind expensive piece you would find in a HOME GOODS Store.

That’s gorgeous!

Fun and funky!

it’s fabulous!!!! I’d have this in my home and make a room around it.

Hey I like it. Its unique and very nicely done. Love the colour choices. I am partial to letting wood be wood but this makes an exception to the rule which is rare. Nice job.

Not everyone, of course, was pro-paint, but all in all, it went over pretty well.

So, at 4 p.m. EST evening on June 7, I posted this:

What People Care About Antique Sideboard Paint Or No

And I once again asked the masses…”Paint or No?” In less than 36 hours, 497 Comments, 129 Likes, and 3 Shares later, 12,560 people had seen this post.

I think about three people were pro-paint. The rest were ready to have me committed.

Nooooo, painting that would be a sin, it’s a nice piece. (Editor’s note: When did painting wood become a sin against God? I missed that day in Religion class, apparently.)

Please don’t paint!! A terrible mistake!!

Are you people on drugs? No!!!

I’ll never understand how ppl question whether to paint a priceless treasure like this

NEVER EVER PAINT ANTIQUE FURNITURE. IT TAKES AWAY THE VALUE OF IT. You really don’t know much about antiques or you wouldn’t be wanting to paint them. (Editor’s note: I don’t know if people are knowledgeable about antiques or simply don’t care, because painting wood furniture — antiques or not — is a pretty big business right now. Just sayin’.)

(Wait until they see the “After” pictures…because this DID get painted.)

Keep in mind, I do post plenty of other things among these “Paint” posts…and they get next to no interaction, regardless of what they’re about.

Posts about social injustice? Bullying? Overcoming Adversity? Racial inequality? Death? Heroes? Tragedies? Nope. That’s not what people care about. That’s not the source of moral outrage and indignation. Nope. It’s…

Wood.

It’s all about wood, folks. That’s what people care about.

I was not compensated for writing this post. However, if you are interested in any of these pieces, I can help you find them, and would be happy to.

153 Flares Twitter 67 Facebook 17 Google+ 11 StumbleUpon 0 Pin It Share 58 153 Flares ×

Comments

  1. Doris Calvert says

    I personally love a lot of your posts but prefer to comment here and not Facebook! I like when you do not watch what you say because you shouldn’t have too! I am so sick and tired of people and their “politically correct” views! I am twice their age and if I want to say idiot or Merry Christmas or swear or give my opinion I do! You should just say what you think and see how that works, because you will get those followers who love it and the ones that don’t are not commenting anyway! We like a lot of the same shows and have a lot of the same opinions although yours are worded nicer than I post :)

  2. Catherine says

    That’s crazy! Well, I don’t have any antiques to paint – what a shame! I’ve been trying to crack the Facebook code forever! Who knew?

    I love some of the comments!

  3. says

    I really enjoyed this post–as a blogger I am always trying to figure out what works! Asking a provocative question is always good-some of the pictures were better than others and that also helps. I will be sure to consult your fans about my next decorating project . . .

  4. says

    I don’t think I have actually read all the way through a post this long! I think that supports your claim that people like wood. :)

    But it was a good discussion and really makes you think about what gets noticed.

  5. says

    Freaking hilarious! Glad to see I’m not the only one who can’t get people to comment (or even SEE) my FB posts! Need to ask a controversial wood painting question, it seems. You have unlocked the secret! Well done!

  6. says

    Wow…not sure what to say about that. Loved what YOU wrote, but I cannot figure out readers, followers, commentators, etc. So I guess I am going to have to find a link between wood and something like menopause and midlife issues. How about asking whether the folks out there would like me to repaint a wooden walker or a rocking chair??

    • says

      Thanks, Mindy…and, trust me, I’m with you. I posted a picture of a very unique antique on September 14, and as of this morning, about 6 Million had seen it, and it has about 240,000 comments. I’m STILL getting comments, by the minute. And people range from mild disinterest to suggestions that I should be shot (I’ve had multiple comments like that), comments calling me stupid/a moron/an idiot/a retard (how pleasant!), and one who said that people who mess with antiques should “die of aids.”

      Yeah. That’s a totally normal response to asking about a piece of furniture. I wish I understood…but I don’t. I simply cannot find anything else (and I’ve been trying) that gets this kind of engagement. It’s weird, to say the least.
      Kristin recently posted..Can you afford to grow old?My Profile

  7. says

    What a hilarious post! After seeing what people like and don’t like, it looks like they all want to get away from reality on facebook, which is why your wood is popular. Anything remotely suggesting that they should be emotional was pretty much shot down.

    Maybe other things like weird food recipes, open floor plans (who doesn’t love an open floor plan!?) might get some attention.

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  1. […] blogger friend of mine, Keenly Kristin discussed this trend further in her brilliant article “What People Care About“. Make sure to read it for a good laugh and some thought provoking views on […]

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