Ghosts of North Dakota is Vanishing

Ghosts of North Dakota is Vanishing

If you’re one of the 114-thousand people who follow Ghosts of North Dakota on Facebook, you may have noticed that you’re not seeing us in your news feed much any more. There’s a reason for that, and it is prompting changes we’d like you to know about.

Over the last two years, Facebook has implemented a new algorithm that “squelches” posts from Facebook Pages (not personal profiles) so that most followers don’t see them. The effect has been dramatic on “organic reach.” Our posts used to regularly get 500 shares or more, but now we’re lucky if we break 100. Our posts used to reach 25 to 50 percent of our followers at any given time. Now, we reach one to two percent.

It’s important to note, this “squelching” of our organic reach affects more than just GND. We have seen dramatic impacts on posts that were meant to promote others’ endeavors. We once plugged another Facebook page about ghost towns and abandoned places, similar to ours, and their fan count multiplied ten-fold in three days. They went from 300 to 3,000 fans. Just recently, we tried to plug another gentleman’s website, a blog where he has posted hundreds of fascinating stories about North Dakota, and Facebook’s algorithm made sure that only a thousand people saw it, and he only got 75 new likes out of the plug, which is a shame, because his website is awesome, and we’re sure you would enjoy it.

Why would Facebook do this? Because they want us to pay to reach you. We’re not really comfortable with extortion, so changes are coming.

Here’s what you can do to stay connected to Ghosts of North Dakota.

  • Subscribe to Ghosts of North Dakota email updates. We’ll email you when we update the website with more abandoned places. Subscribe.
  • Follow us on Twitter. When we go on photo shoots in the future, our live updates from the road will be posted on Twitter, not Facebook. So if you want to follow along live, you’ll have to follow us on Twitter.
  • Check the Ghosts of North Dakota Facebook page. Although Facebook is preventing our messages from reaching your newsfeed, you’ll always see our most recent posts by just checking our page every day.
  • Share, comment, and like. Facebook’s new algorithm is sensitive to posts you interact with. In other words, if you don’t share it, comment on it, or like it, Facebook assumes you don’t want to see it.

Update: Several people have asked us to point this out. If you want to make sure you always see our posts on Facebook, visit our Facebook page from a computer, and under the button that says “Liked” select “Get Notifications” and/or “See First,” as indicated by the red arrows in the photo.


27 thoughts on “Ghosts of North Dakota is Vanishing

  1. One more thing they can do is under the ‘Like’ button they should hit the arrow down button, then click the ‘get notifications’ button. Anytime you post something new. They will get a notification or a little red spot on their little ‘World’ button.

    1. Another way to make sure you keep seeing the posts is to keep liking, commenting and sharing posts. I do that with a few other pages and I see all the posts that they post. I always check the get notifications buttons on every page I like but I still don’t always get notified. The only thing I found that works best is what I said about liking, sharing and commenting.

    2. I tried the facebook icon it says not found —– sigh love your sight — things are changing — some times for the good and sometimes ::::::::: It is sad that all the modern makes us forget our roots and what our grandparents had — thanks for the pics —

  2. I don’t like facebook, even ‘though I use it to track my multiple siblings and kids. As a self-employed computer programmer part of a community of “old cyber-workers”, I’ve seen many instances of large providers making it difficult for the smaller providers. You can depend on me to keep track of what you’re doing. T’Hell with facebook!

  3. Have you thought about using Google+ ? I use both it and fazebuch and am beginning to prefer it, So far the feeds seem to be reliable. FB is moving more and more towards an exploitive and commercial format of late. Too bad.

  4. Experienced a similar problem with a another FB page which I have followed. I discovered that as a reader I needed to hit “like” on most posts, and comment regularly, even if my comment was just one word. After I started doing that I began receiving their feed regularly.

  5. Gee what does Facebook think, that they own the thing? How dare they make money off of the efforts of other people using their free service to make money. It’s called business.

    1. Awww, look at that. A guy who thinks himself very important, fancies himself a photographer, and probably envious of the attention Ghosts of North Dakota has received, so he shows up on this post and sides with a corporation that has 6 billion users over the little guys who just want to highlight North Dakota’s lost places. Your jealousy is quite apparent, Mike. If you don’t like Troy and Terry, or you’re jealous (you haven’t worked as hard) of the attention they’ve received, how about you shuffle the fuck out of here and find some other site to practice one of the seven deadly sins?

      1. I think you might be right, Sal. All I see here is a blog trying to keep people informed on how to stay connected, and inform people on why they’re not seeing Ghosts of North Dakota on Facebook much anymore, but Mike seems jealous or angry or both. I’m sure Terry and Troy would mention your website, Mike, if you would ask. They did it for my blog.

        1. Oh, Mike’s angry alright. I visited his FB profile and it’s covered with Confederate flags, anti-Obama rhetoric, birth certificate conspiracies, and the list goes on. Typical.

    2. Ha! 🙂

      Yes, they’re in it to make an income, as they should be!!!

      But glad that GOND is seeing that building their *own* traffic is a good thing.

  6. I am not on Facebook however, I am so glad that you are keeping all updated in the spirit of graciouse service to your readers. I check your webpage and find myself reading for hours with delight.

  7. Question. Are there more people following Ghosts of ND (108 thousand) or people still residing, full time, in ND? LOL I don’t think we should count the “snow birds” of which I hear there are many! I remember when I was growing up in Kalifornia the annual winter visit from the old folks seeking refuge from the ND winter. Can’t say that I blame them. My cousins tell me there are only two good seasons, Fall and Spring. It really is a tough place to live. Beautiful, but tough. Oh, and yes, FB is a privately owned entity, but they make a ton of money off all that advertising to which our eyeballs are bombarded with every visit. Just seems like they’ve been getting greedier and more manipulative of late. I find myself spending less and less time there.

    1. I love this site. I grew up on a farm south of Turtle Lake, N.D. Have lived in Alaska since 1971.
      I’m still waiting for photos of New Home #4 Township School and the Schlaffman museum.
      (both in Turtle Lake area) Hint! Hint, Troy.

      1. Do you have coordinates for either of the places, Tim? We’d be happy to check into it. Google Earth coordinates or lat/long would work well, or whatever you can tell us to help us get close.

        1. Coming from the east on 200, 6 miles west of Mercer. From the West, two miles east of the Turtle Lake cutoff. The Schlaffman museum is on their farm which is at the Northeast quadrant of the intersection of McClean County 29 and 200. The New Home School is 3 miles south of 200 on 29. I can try over the next couple of days to get some phone numbers for the Museum. You can email me. As a the owner of this site, you should have access to my email address. If, for some reason you don’t have access to it, I can publish a temporary email address through which we can link up. I can also figure out lats and longs, but time won’t permit ’til at least tomorrow. thanks

  8. Good for you guys and your decision to leave Facebook. I have an account there but go less and less as I don’t see the value in it. Should take your lead and cancel too. We Ghost Lovers will continue to look forward to your emails. Carry on! s.

  9. I just discovered these pages while researching some of the old ghosts in McKenzie County, as well as several surrounding areas in which I’ve been shooting images. I’m amongst the “imported” year-round residents but loved the region right from the beginning (just don’t ask me in mid-winter {chuckle}). Charbonneau was my first “discovery” and that simply set the hook. Thanks for sharing the background, for it’s nice to see a few more pieces of the historical puzzle fit into place. I tend to agree regarding Facebook, as well, though I use it as a necessary evil… Sure, they own it but the overly commercial side and algorithm “tweaking” becomes rather annoying in the long run.

    Anyone curious about my take on these now-silent buildings may feel free to view mostly lower-resolution copies of my images here: Just remember that all images are protected by copyright, whether watermarked or not.

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