Holy Facebook Groups, Batman!

Linkedin Google+ Facebook Twitter StumbleUpon Email

facebook-group-icon1-300x300.jpeg

Boy, did I get it wrong on Facebook Groups. What I first thought would be a great source of spam has turned into the most addictive form of conversation I have experienced online since Twitter in 2007.

PVSM.jpg

A combination of Groups have provided thought-provoking dynamic insights and exposure to other thought leaders, locally, nationally and by industry. From DC’s Tech (started by Justin Thorpe) and Social Media (Lisa Byrne) groups to this band of misfits called Punk Views on SM, conversations are alive and well!

What a relief! Seriously, in the old days vigorous debate, open conjecture, disagreement, resolution and evolution occurred. Kind sharing of information reigned instead of today’s domination of the communications interwebs for thought leadership. And I feel like those things have been restored to me through Facebook Groups. It’s been really, really cool.

PVSM2.jpg

Apparently, this phenomena with Groups is not isolated. At this week’s Web 2.0 conference, Zuckerberg said that Facebook Groups “has been one of our fastest growing products ever.”

Other professional types are beginning to experiment with Groups, too, and are achieving fantastic communities in short periods of time. An informal group of U.K. librarians formed on November 6, and in less than two weeks >membership is well over 300 people.

Already communicators are trying to figure out ways to use groups to build communities and raise money. I hope they don’t miss the point, the conversation is truly the point of a group. Outcomes should be the by-product of facilitating fantastic dialog, and not the only intent. I think the medium is so conversation robust that it will be hard to manipulate brand and sales outcomes beyond the natural earned points achieved through moderation and facilitation, similar to a great blog conversation.

What’s your experience with Facebook Groups? Are you enjoying them, too? Any thoughts on dynamic use?

Linkedin Google+ Facebook Twitter StumbleUpon Email
  • http://www.bojandjordjevic.com Bojan

    I am going to give groups way closer look! If you’ve got any groups with ongoing conversation about social media, be sure to invite me :-)

    Best regards Bojan

  • Deanna McNeil

    I have enjoyed the conversations on DC Tech too. It’s funny, I sent a note to Justin Thorpe just yesterday thanking him for moderating the group. I would really enjoy being part of a local social media group too; please invite me :)

  • http://www.theharteofmarketing.com Beth Harte

    Geoff,

    I think part of the success of your group though is…

    1. Topic
    2. People Selected (originally)
    3. Humor
    4. Fun
    5. Snark

    There have been about 10 groups I have been made a member of without my permission that I have opted out of immediately because it was obvious they served the purpose of the organizer, not the members. Or, the topic just didn’t interest me.

    I do feel however that Facebook Groups have the ability to go down hill fast if they aren’t managed properly. I s’pose the question there is who determines how they are best managed… The admins or the members.

    Just like anything social, these things ebb and flow.

    • http://geofflivingston.com Geoff Livingston

      What? You won’t sing kumbaya? I’m going to cry. Kleenex, please!

      • http://www.theharteofmarketing.com Beth Harte

        Will a generic brand work for you? ;-)

  • http://www.clickwisdom.com/blog deborah

    Deanna–Search FB for DC Social Media. It looks like Shonali Burke, Lisa Byrne and others take turns approving people to join.

    Thanks for this post. I did not like Groups at all, yet my mind is starting to change based on the DC Social Media group.

    Cheers,
    Deborah

    • Lisa Byrne

      Anyone who is already a member can add any f their friends to a group. As creator of the group if someone requests to join then I approve it. I don’t see a way in new groups to add other “admins” to a group so it’s just the creator for now.

      • Lisa Byrne

        Correction, I found a way to add admins too if needed.

  • http://www.wtflungcancer.com Jennifer Windrum

    The groups are simply punk! Love it!

  • http://v3im.com Shelly Kramer

    Geoff,

    Like you, I had been largely ignoring FB groups and sighing every time someone included me. Until my experience with PVSM. You’re right – the conversation has been addictive, but as Beth points out, it’s largely because of the group itself. I now compare all other groups to my experience with PVSM and find them sorely lacking. And now I’m starting to think about how I can help my clients form other groups, around particular areas of interest, and see if we can generate the same kind of experience that we are having with PVSM.

    But bottom line, these groups are only as good – and as strong – as the community within them and its administration. If that factor gets away from folks, it can quickly become yet another place for big egos to post their crap. That would not be good.

    A great post and I’m sure it will inspire others to take a harder look at Facebook groups.

    Your friend in Punk,

    Shelly
    @shellykramer

  • http://www.radcampaign.cm Allyson Kapin

    Still not sold on groups. I agree with Beth and Shelly. I find very little value in most of the groups that I’m in though I do like our PVSM and it’s led to a cool idea. I find the threading funky and not very user-friendly. It’s time consuming to weed through the threads though I appreciate the embedding issue. Also, why is Facebooks group better then listservs? What about the ownership issues? Who owns the content shared in these groups? Us or FB?

    • http://geofflivingston.com Geoff Livingston

      Listservs are hard to read. For example, I find the Facebook format superior to the Progressive Exchange you and I are both on…

  • http://megfowler.com Meg

    I think what makes you love your facebook group is a “curated” stream (as much as I loathe that term being used that way!) You basically hand-select the people you want to participate, and, even if there happens to be disagreement or dissenting opinion, you get it from people you likely respect more than not.

    Twitter is wide open, and unless you make your stream private or block specific individuals, you don’t control who responds or reacts to you. And if you’re of the mind to follow back everyone who follows you, you end up with a busy stream that might not appeal to you as often as if you were exceptionally picky about who you added to it. And fair enough — that’s open and community-minded and all that jazz, but it means that you eventually end up retreating a bit from it, because it doesn’t engage you the same way.

    This group is people you want and the people they want, sharing ideas that you have specific interest in. It’s a club / backchannel / select forum / focused discussion that can’t help but appeal to you, because no one’s there to dilute it (a couple hundred people on related topics likely ends up being a little more engaging than 1000 random people saying whatever.)

    I’ve noticed that more and more people are becoming more and more obvious about creating backchannels and specific following lists and private Twitter following accounts for themselves because they’ve allowed their public Twitter streams and Facebook feeds to become fiercely busy. It’s an interesting evolution, and one I predicted ages ago, before all the unfriending jazz became a popular reaction.

    I haven’t felt the need to retreat to a smaller conversation space, however, because I kept my “following” and “friending” pretty tight from the beginning. Yep, I get bashed for the awkward ratio on my Twitter account, but I don’t regret it.

    • http://geofflivingston.com Geoff Livingston

      Meg: I find your remarks to be off for the second time this week. I’ve been corrected several times in just a week within the Punk Views group. And have been chastised in the DC Tech group twice. Both of these groups hold some of the most contentious brilliant conversations. Best wishes.

  • http://occamsrazr.com Ike

    I think there is a valid criticism here.

    I tend to think of “Facebook Groups” as the architecture.

    The architecture is quite open and accessible, and can facilitate some great conversations.

    But to say “Facebook Groups are teh AWESUMS!” based on a couple of good examples would be equivalent to raving about the Holiday Inn private banquet room where you attended the bachelor party.

    In the end, it’s not about the room… it’s all about the quality of the boobs in the room.

    • http://www.theharteofmarketing.com Beth Harte

      Even though I should be offended by your analogy, I am laughing. Is that wrong?

      • http://v3im.com Shelly Kramer

        My boobs are spectacular. And real. Thank you, Ike, for noticing.

        • http://geofflivingston.com Geoff Livingston

          ROFL!

        • http://www.theharteofmarketing.com Beth Harte

          Oh, my… Seinfeld flashback. AWESUMS!

    • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

      “In the end, it’s not about the room… it’s all about the quality of the boobs in the room.”

      PRICELESS!

  • http://www.twitter.com/deannie Deanna McNeil

    Yes, it is really wrong and as soon as I stop laughing, we can get back to calling Facebook Groups teh AWESUMS

  • http://acleanlife.org steven mandzik

    I have been loving DC Tech but I wonder how to apply it to my own non-profit. I have several thousand likes and a similar group like discussion. I wonder what is the point of a group for me?

    Is it just for regional groups?

  • http://whitmoyer.com/ Nick Whitmoyer

    I’m a big fan of the new Facebook groups too! In the past, websites like Facebook and LinkedIn have made groups available to us but it was always an interaction similar to the old discussion boards approach. Naturally they didn’t work well — until now.

    P.S. There’s no “e” on the end of “Thorp”

A New Novel from Geoff Livingston

Want news and an advanced copy of the book?
Your info is never shared

Work with My Company

Tenacity5 Media Logo

Buy Exodus for Just $0.99

You can buy the book from these vendors, including $0.99 on the Kindle store.

101 Things, a Bucket List

Pacific Sunset

Posts on Other Blogs

Vocus Marketing Blog
(2012-present)

Inspiring Generosity
(2011-2012)

Mashable
(2009-2011)

The Buzz Bin
(2006-2010)

Archives

Categories

My Photos

Lollipop Princess by Geoff Livingston
George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate by Geoff Livingston
Devonshire Cow by Geoff Livingston
Devonshire Cow Painted by Geoff Livingston
Tonight's Moon by Geoff Livingston
Tonight's Moon by Geoff Livingston
Massive Cherry Blossom Tree by Geoff Livingston
Jason Jue at the Tidal Basin by Geoff Livingston
Diana Rodriguez at the Tidal Basin by Geoff Livingston
Put Your Hands in the Air by Geoff Livingston
Jump Through the Air by Geoff Livingston