The Three ThingsWelcome to the 58th edition of The Three Things, the weekly update of three links, podcasts, videos, or books you can’t miss – from Howie Goldfarb (Blue Star Strategic Marketing), Joe Cardillo (, and yours truly.

For those of you new to this series, The Three Things arrives in your inbox on Sunday mornings (unless you don’t subscribe, but that can easily be fixed if you hurry over and enter your email address or add to your RSS feed) so you have some extra time to spend perusing the obscure content we’ve curated for you (and one another) before your week begins and deadlines, meetings, and work takes over.

Today we explore social media, specifically Facebook: From its admitted failures on the organic reach front, to whether social technology is destined to make humans better. Oh, and books. Glorious books.

Facebook Admits Organic Reach Is Falling Short, Urges Marketers to Buy Ads

Howie on always being right about Facebook. In 2011 I guest posted on Spin Sucks that the platform of Facebook is not geared towards push marketing, and that Facebook needs Brand Pages to fail without page owners advertising. And now they admit it. Unsure of the ramifications. I have a client with 2000 fans and from 15 to 40 will see a post. Another with 3500 fans will get between 150-500 views a post – because they get more Likes easier. But with 9 out of 10 brand engagements coming via posted content vs people coming to your page, getting Likes is so much more important now if you don’t have an ad budget. I know many small-medium sized businesses that have given up on using Facebook for much more than customer service. You just need a page. You do not have to post anything and you don’t need fans. People can find you via search and complain or praise as needed. And big brands like Starbucks have stopped investing in tricking out their fan page. I make no predictions other than one day we will be using other platforms and not Facebook. Want to chat more? Hit me up on MySpace where I actually spent 30 minutes yesterday versus only 5 on Facebook.

The Desire Network

Joe on Social Utopia. Full honesty: There are some big words in this paper and I had to look many of them up. But it raises some really interesting points, among them the mostly unspoken assumption that technology (and social networks specifically) by their very nature are destined to make humans better. I noticed this assumption a while back with, which Mark Zuckerberg has been adamant about positioning as a kind of utopian ideal.

Whether you believe this or not (and there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical) it does explain why Facebook users often whip between “it’s ruining my life” and “it helps me feel good and connect to people.”

The 10 Best Books of 2013

Lindsay on Books. Glorious Books. I love books. Love love love. I would marry books if I could {equal rights!}. It took me years to finally break down and buy a Kobo (Canada’s Kindle). I love the feels of books. The smell of them. Everything. Last week, I stumbled upon this New York Times list of the 10 best books of 2013. Needless to say, I was excited. These are pretty heady selections (whaddaya want? It’s the NYTs!) – and broken down between fiction and non-fiction – yay! I love a good yarn, but I’m probably more drawn to non-fiction if I’m being honest. I’ve picked one from each category that I immediately want to dig into: From the fiction side, George Saunders’ “Tenth of December” has tickled my fancy – I adore short stories, and these ones sound deliciously kooky. From the non-fiction side? Definitely “Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital”, By Sheri Fink. I’ve watched Spike Lee’s “When the Levees Broke” twice now, and still am haunted by the devastation of New Orleans and its people. What those doctors and other medical staff went through? How haunted *they* are? I can’t even begin to fathom.

Now it’s your turn. Is there a book, podcast, article, TV show, blog post, or story we should read?

Lindsay Bell

Lindsay Bell is the content director at V3 Marketing, and works in Toronto. A former TV producer, she’s a strong advocate of three minutes or less of video content. She has a cool kid, a patient husband, two annoying cats, and Hank Dawge, a Vizsla/Foxhound/moose hybrid. Ok, maybe not moose.

View all posts by Lindsay Bell