First off, let me put a disclaimer that this column has very little to do with search marketing. If you make it to number 10, you'll find a small payoff but you're best off classifying this under "diversion from search marketing" and continue reading at your own peril.
With the recent Jewish holiday of Passover (as told via social media in this genius video) in mind, I'd like to share the 10 plagues of Facebook status updates. If someone you know has been afflicted, please post this column to their wall and (in the spirit of #3 below) let them figure out which one they, or rather, YOU are suffering from.
1. Complaining. We've all got a Debbie Downer in our feeds -- the person whose every status update conveys the unbelievably tragic series of events that have befallen him or her. And they seem to get increasingly worse and worse. "Flight delayed." "Seated next to screaming baby." "Ran out of peanuts." "Turbulence." "Gate not ready." "Lost my rental car reservation." "Tiny hotel room." "No internet connection and phone about to die" -- Thank god!
2. Bragging. The only thing worse than a complainer is a bragger. Too bad there's not (that I know of) a Facebook version of Tweeting Too Hard. People that post "I'm on a boat" thinking they're being witty riffing on the SNL short (oy vey, that's back-to-back SNL references... there's got to be a plague for that!) really just need to get over themselves. Or, better yet, get overboard!
3. Passive-Aggressiveness. Don't you just hate when people use their status updates in a thinly veiled attempt to say something to someone specific that they don't have the guts to say directly? And don't you just hate when you're not sure if you're the person they're calling out?
4. Cryptic. Almost as bad as the passive-aggressive post is the cryptic one. The one practically begging you to comment, "What happened?"
5. Partying. How many people must be fired before we realize that we might not want those pics of us chugging beer on them thar interwebs?
6. Working. I can handle a little self-promotion for one's company every now and then. I even appreciate the occasional link to an article or video related to one's business or industry. But I can't stand the people who are all work and no play on Facebook. If I wanted to know everything about your company, I'd become a fan of your company. I'd rather hear about your kid's every move (see #10) than your company's. Unless you work at Facebook or Google. In which case, tell me everything!
7. Insomnia. As I write this at 1:45 a.m. after one 5 Hour Energy too many (prompting an insomniac upodate of my own), I'm reminded how many people out there toil away on Facebook in lieu of sleep. And then admonish themselves via status updates. "Why am I awake?!?!" Why are you on Facebook?!?!
8. Checking In. OK, I don't hate check-ins, especially from a marketer's perspective. But I can't stand people who use multiple check-in apps so that each stop on their bar crawl triggers five status updates. And all you working folk might want to remember that these things have timestamps.
10. Parenting. If the 10th plague in Egypt was death of the firstborn then the 10th plague of Facebook status updates is birth of the firstborn...and the endless stream of pics that follow. Baby's first this. Baby's first that. I get it. I have three of my own. That's a lot of firsts. At least set up a profile and let the kids post "themselves." At least it's (kinda) funny that way. And it can also help you build up critical social signals for your kids in the hopes that they can one day claim their rightful spot atop the search results pages for vanity queries. After all, by the time they're grown, likes will be a higher ranking factor than links.
11. Misspelling. Gotta love these responses!
13. Linking. Save it for Twitter.
14. Self-motivating. Run from RunKeeper.
15. Politicking. No, I won't sign your petition.
16. Quoting. Say something original!
17. Projecting. "Hey, smelly guy at the bus stop..."
18. Syncing. Do I really need to be informed by 10 different social networks that you're on a flight from LGA to SFO?
19. Ville-ans. Where do people find the time for all these Villes?
20. All of the Above. Ahh, Failbook.