UPDATE, 11:15am: If you have this problem, click here to read the fix.
This is strange, and if it isn't exactly about virtual worlds or games, it's definitely about the importance of online identity: Since July 12, my Facebook account seems to have been put in a strange social network limbo. I can still access my account, and if people tag me in their posts (or I them), I can see their updates (and they mine). But anything I add to my Facebook wall seems to be seen by no one in my network. As an experiment, yesterday I posted an "Can anyone see this?" update on my wall (at left), and I received not a single Like or comment reply. This is extremely odd, because I have 2,269 people in my network and 41 subscribers, and I consistently get a few replies to nearly every update I make, even if it's some exquisitely banal crap about what I just ate or somesuch. So I have to think Facebook itself is somehow throttling my account.
Last weekend, I ran into a writer with TechCrunch, and I told him about this activity (or lack thereof), and he said Facebook seems to be doing some system-wide A/B testing with user accounts, so it's possible that my account has been tossed in the B bucket. (B for "We B ignoring Wagner James Au", I guess.) Adding to my paranoia is the post I wrote on July 12, in which I blogged the post "Facebook Investigating Accounts With Short Names Like Au?", reporting that a fellow blogger told me Facebook sent him a message, asking him if I was real. (Yes, really.) But surely that has nothing to do with what's happening now. (Right?) In any case, my account still exists, but it's raising an important philosophical question: If you make a post to your Facebook wall, and no one can see it, does your Facebook account really exist?
By the way, if you like this post, please share it on Facebook! Because Lord (or Zuckerberg) knows I sure can't right now.Tweet
UPDATE, 11:15AM: OK, this is pretty embarassing, but in Comments, Callum Prentice suggested a solution that fixed things immediately:
"When you post a status message, there is a drop down to the left of the blue Post button. At one point, I set that to something else - Custom I think - so only a few people saw my posts. It's sticky though and a bit hard to spot so it's easy to send everything else you post there too. Maybe you changed it recently and it's stuck there?" I don't recall changing this, but yes, that was the problem. (Screencap above.) And now my trivial Updates are seen by all, as well they should.