Almanac Music – Stereo Stories: Facebook on my mind

In the Almanac newsletter this week from the gospel according to St John, our long-time leader and visionary John Harms ranged over various issues, including the Facebook fracas.


He noted: ‘Facebook’s actions last week caused much grief – including to some in our own community.’


Les Everett, for example, was unable to post the very good news about his interview on Radio National with Amanda Smith about his terrific project Abandoned Cricket Pitches. Stereo Stories, a partner site of the Almanac, an outpost so to speak, was caught in the crossfire between Zuckerberg and Frydenberg too.


No doubt other members of the Almanac community were hit hard. (Especially if they work for charities, health organisations or emergency services.)


For three days the Stereo Stories FB page was an empty shell. Zilch. Nothing. One moment everything was tickety-boo, with links to recent stories by Arnold Zable and Paul Bateman, the next it was as if an office block had been abandoned in the middle of, well, a pandemic. All that was left behind was a coffee cup: the image of a Stereo Stories coffee mug (Available from Red Bubble folks!).


John Harms pointed out: ‘But while the Almanac has made use of Facebook and Twitter, we have never become reliant on it. Social media assists with making our regular readers, and the general public, aware of our pieces as they are published. But we have never done well with Facebook and Twitter. We are not great retweeters or sharers.’


Stereo Stories is in the same boat. Or, a much smaller boat, given our boutique readership and my social media reluctance. When I started the original site in early 2013 (before it became a partner site of the Almanac in late 2014) my colleague at the time said “We need a Facebook page.”


I said “I’d rather people subscribe via email.”

He said “That’s old hat, Facebook is all the go.”

I said “But how does it work? Is it like the reception area to an ever-growing hotel?”

He said “Something like that.”


So, I’ve never quite cottoned onto the liking and sharing and friending. Maybe I’m too self-centred for all of that. I guess I’ll keep using the FB page now that it’s up and running again, but with more caution and reluctance than ever.


One of Stereo Stories’ most prolific contributors has never had a Facebook page. And never will.  Nor Twitter, Instagram, etc. More power to you, Stephen Andrew. Here’s one of his stories, in which he argues that the David Bowie version of Friday on My Mind is superior to the original. Stephen kicks off by quoting Voltaire: It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong. (A sentiment the Almanac’s long-time leader and visionary would no doubt approve.)


Thanks for listening.



To read more from Vin, click HERE


To read some great music yarns on Stereo Stories, click HERE



To return to the  home page click HERE


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


Do you enjoy the Almanac concept?
And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help keep things ticking over please consider making your own contribution.

Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE
One-off financial contribution – CLICK HERE
Regular financial contribution (monthly EFT) – CLICK HERE


About Vin Maskell

Founder and editor of Stereo Stories, a partner site of The Footy Almanac. Likes a gentle kick of the footy on a Sunday morning, when his back's not playing up. Been known to take a more than keen interest in scoreboards - the older the better.


  1. Interesting piece Vin.

    Many issues raised. Many discussions to be had.

    As Daff will tell you, from the outset, we were thinking small. A community of writers and readers. We thought about ‘now’ and being in the moment, whether it be publishing and reading, or gathering for lunches or launches.

    We thought people might join in.

    People joined our email list. That list grew and we started to send newsletters.

    We called it the inkspot approach. Ink poured onto blotting paper which spread slowly. FB and Twitter helped get the word out there. The site became busy and we needed editorial support which we thought we could pay for with advertising and book sales and so on. That was tough going. Always trying to build audience out of necessity.

    To sustain that would have pushed us further and further into the realm of commercial media, and that put pressure on us to produce mainstream content.

    Given we had a strong audience, we were occasionally approached by entrepreneurial types. One venture capitalist said we’d get ten times the audience with some short gossippy pieces and some girly images. He was keen to get involved. I said that was not who we are.

    In an attempt to retain our integrity we have thought of ourselves as a club/community in recent years. People get involved – if they wish to, at a level they enjoy.

    This gives us a fair amount of independence.

    If Facebook and Twitter etc can help, we’ll utilise their services.

    We are rarely mentioned in mainstream media but we do see some of our ideas taken up – which may be coincidence. But I suspect we are being read by some in the so-called industry.

    Like your Stereo Stories Vin, I hope we can stick around for a while yet. For as long as writers and other contributors wish to publish and readers wish to engage.

    Apart from your website, you have your gigs. Which are highlights. There is huge affection for them, and they will continue to attract performers and audience whether FB etc exist or not. Because they have substance. Your Willy Lit Fest gig is legendary. It is an affirmation of an idea in its unaffected state.

    The Almanac is proud to be a sister site of Stereo Stories.

  2. There is a lesson here for everyone: do not put all your eggs in one basket, in this case the Facebook basket.

    By the way, as much as I admire and respect Stephen Andrew, I cannot agree with that assertion re Bowie v Easybeats.

  3. ‘Evening John,

    Thank you for your considered response, amongst your busy life.

    I well recall the early days of the Almanac (pre its website). The number of contributors to the first few Almanac books expanded so quickly that there was soon jostling for space. A good thing. Writers can’t afford (literally and creatively) to become complacent.

    The website started and the contributions flowed in. Flooded in. I got my WordPress dashboard bearings by being an early editor.

    The Almanac has done well to resist the lures and temptations of some entrepeneurs. The hard road is often the more satisfying. (Easier said than done, of course.)

    My involvement, as a reader and contributor, has waxed and waned over the years, partly because I’m not a big footy reader, and partly because of Stereo Stories. But the community/club nature of the Almanac means that I know I can walk into the Almanac bar, so to speak, order a lemon squash, and be welcomed.

    Your newsletter also raised the issue of a name change. I reckon this is well worth exploring.

    Thanks for your kind words about the Stereo Stories concerts. We’re currently rehearsing for a mid-year show at a regional writers festival. ‘Will keep the Almanac community posted.

    ‘Evening Smokie,
    Yep, all eggs in one basket not a good strategy.
    Stephen Andrew always knew he was somewhat in the minority with his Bowie vs Easybeats argument but as you said a few weeks ago, about people who are not Paul Kelly fans, it would be a boring vanilla world if we all had the same taste. Cheers.

Leave a Comment