Fallacious Celebrations of Facebook Fans

On the O’Reilly Radar blog, Mark Drapeau is talking about US government Facebook pages, but the advice is just as applicable to anyone with a corporate or organisational Facebook page:

The meaningful question is not about who has more fans, but about who can authentically and transparently – and usefully – interact with citizens to provide social and intellectual value and become the pulse of their conversations. Here are some questions I have for governments and agencies running Facebook fan pages: What are the names of the people running the pages? What are their titles? What city is their office in? Where do they blog? Which events are they attending this year? (Can I meet them there?) How are you going to get your fans engaged in your mission? How can I tell you my stories about military service, or foreign travel, or amateur astronomy? Would those stories be helpful to you? How are you using social media like Facebook to get citizens involved in their government?

Indeed, this is applicable to any social media activity. In order for your activity to work – for your community and for you – it’s impossible to automate it or just set something up and leaving it running in the background. The value is in the human interaction.