Sunday, August 23, 2009

So you want to make a Facebook group?

There is one major thing that bothers me about Facebook groups, when they are abandoned. Time and time again, I do a search for a group and see that it hasn't been updated or posted on in the last 3+months. It is because no one thought about goals and conversations.

Over the past few weeks, several people have approached me wanting advise on starting a Facebook group. It's great to see everyone finally acknowledging students and alumni are on Facebook, but my response is always "Don't!....yet."

A few of you are thinking I'm crazy, but let me explain. 99% of the time they haven't thought through what it will take in making and maintaining a group.

I ask them a few questions before I let them run out and create a group:

  • What are your goals for it?
  • Is there a conversation you can create?
  • Do you have time?
  • Are you going to keep it up?
After I ask about goals, the conversation usually ends, but isn't this where the conversation should begin? Even if your goal is to bring people together, it's still a goal.

The conversation you plan on creating is the most important part. Working towards the same goal, creating a place where everyone can grow as a community and help each other out. It's like having a meeting without an agenda. No one wants to meet to talk about nothing or have every person talking about different random things that are not connected.

This brings us to time and keeping it up. They go hand in hand. Maintaining the group or page means taking the time to answer questions and build relationships.

Next time you are approached with someone wanting to create a Facebook group, make sure they at least have a goal and understand there is a time commitment to what they create. To me there is no bigger let down than joining a group or a page to find out in a few weeks there really was no reason to join.

Facebook groups with created and used correctly will build a community for everyone to gain from.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

8 Months in Review

In January I took my new position within the University as the Digital Strategist, as some would say a fancy way of saying I get paid to be on Facebook. But it's much more.

It wasn't long until I ran into my first hurdle and needed some direction and help. I came across a blog post by Rachel Reuben that intrigued me. A few emails later and I was on the phone with her talking about Social Media and the problems I was having. We exchanged Twitter names and within the next hour my network expanded by more than 75 people. Little did I know where this new network would take me.

As a newbie to the community I sat back for a while learning more than I could have ever thought.

A couple months into everything, a breakfast of pancakes turned into so much more. My friend Tim, @timnekritz, asked if he could join my breakfast virtually. Next thing we know it's a #pancaketweetup. March was our first event, and we had between 5-8 people attend in one way or another.

We are now six months into our #pancaketweetups and have grown to 25-30 people with more adding each month. Not only are #pancaketweetups growing virtually, #pancaketweetups in real life are growing as well!

Besides just enjoying pancakes, I have been lucky enough to have a friend overnight me one of the most delicious Jimmy John's sandwiches.

I know, I know there is more to life than food. Which brings me to #lanesintown.

I've never been to New York until last week. Thank goodness I've found some Twitter friends there. I have promised my friends I would come to visit at some point, but never thought it would be so soon. After starting #pancaketweetup with Tim from NY, and getting myself and Jimmy John's from Mark in NY as well, it was time to pay them a visit.

A friendly visit turned into a weekend event of tweetups, #pancaketweetupirl and meeting of wonderful friends outside of the twitter realm.

So what can you do with Twitter? A lot!!! Thank you everyone who has helped and/or participated in #pancaketweetup, #lanesintown and my Jimmy John's sandwich.

Rock On!!