This article by Ray Spitzenberger first appeared in IMAGES for June 4, 2020, East Bernard Express, East Bernard, Texas.
When I retired from my second career as pastor, and began working full-time as a free lance writer, a friend suggested that I create a “Page” on Facebook. Not having the foggiest idea of what that meant, I ignored the suggestion until another friend on Facebook asked me to “like” his “Page.” It was at that point I began exploring what it meant to create a “Page,” maintain a “Page,” and “like” a “Page.”
To make a long story short, I can attest to the fact that I now maintain two “Pages” on Facebook and have “liked” 84 “pages.” My discovery of the Facebook “Page” coincided with the publication of my first book, It Must Be the Noodles, and helped enormously in promoting the book. Creating a “Page” per se doesn’t cost you anything, but you do have to pay to have your “Page” sent out to possible “likers.”
Those of you who are savvy about social media already know this, but for those of you who don’t, Facebook offers six types of “Pages,” enabling you to find at least one type that will fit your service, product, brand, or business. The six types are: one, local business or place; two, company, organization, or institution; three, brand or product; four, artist, band, or public figure; five, entertainment; and six, cause or community. It’s a little tricky to figure out which of these types your “Page” fits, but Facebook will help you.
The first “Page” I created is titled, “Ray Spitzenberger, Author and Artist.” Perhaps I should have left off the “artist” part, because writing has consumed so much of my time, I am no longer doing art except for our church auctions. When I began working on a second book, Open Prairies, I created a second “Page,” entitled “Spitzen-Noodle Books,” – “Books” indicating there will be more than one, and “Spitzen-Noodle” being my Blog Name for the Wendish Research Exchange. Three years ago, I not only didn’t know what a Facebook “Page” was, I didn’t even know what the word “Blog” meant, lol.
Having now retired from two careers and having reached the wintry age of 85, I am a living refutation of the ancient adage, “You can’t teach a [very] old dog new tricks!”
By the time I got on the Facebook “Page” bandwagon, it was almost passé. But then, along came the Coronavirus quarantine, and “Pages” became all the rage. In some cases, it was a means of survival and deserved its kudos. If you were a writer who could no longer sign copies of your books in libraries or promote it at book fairs, you could do a great promotional on your “Page.” A poet could even live-stream reading his poetry, — not a new trick I am willing to learn since I haven’t yet learned all the tricks to maintaining a “Page.” If you were a band that could no longer play at concerts or dances, because none were being held, you could live-stream your performance on a Facebook “Page,” and at least keep your fans satisfied.
“Liking” a “Page” gives you access to see what that writer, sculptor, musician, barbecue chef, quilter, etc., has to offer. Of the 84 “Pages” I have liked, seven are Texas polka bands, and I get to listen to a lot of free polka music by “liking” them, though I am also persuaded to buy their CD’s. Anyone can “like” a “Page,” but it’s a little more difficult to “join” a Facebook “Group,” – which is another story.
The popularity of the “Page” has led to the proliferation of diverse “Pages,” so that you not only can find one “Page” to your liking, you can find many. My favorite “Page,” which was probably the first one I “liked” is “Lone Star Back Roads,” and its creator, Jeremy Clifton, and I have become good friends since we “liked” each other’s “Pages.” Jeremy, like me, has two Pages, the other one being “Church Historian.” He is a great photographer and much admired church historian, and we promote each other’s literary and visual art. You never know whom you will meet on a “Page.”
We all hope that the Coronavirus will end and all restrictions will be lifted, even if returning to the usual pursuits of life diminishes the popularity of the “Page.” No matter what, I will always remain a “Page” maintainer and liker.
Ray Spitzenberger is a retired teacher and pastor, and the author of two books, Open Prairies and It Must Be the Noodles.