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Facebook Group > Facebook Page

April 20, 2008

In case you are likely to read only one or two sentences of this post, here’s the moral: I’m asking all Facebook users to join the Uncontrolled Vocabulary Facebook Page, which, for all current members of the Facebook group, means migrating over. Thanks. (For the thirty or so people I just invited to the Facebook group this past week, irony noted.)

Now for the rest of the story:

As many readers of this blog (and listeners to the podcast) already know, I’ve had a Facebook group for this show almost as long as the show has been extant. I’ve sent weekly messages to the members of that group at the same time that I post my weekly reminders of upcoming shows on this blog.

Last week, I was compelled to try a newer option, known as a Facebook Page. These didn’t exist when I launched the group. It’s a little different in structure and has a bit more flexibility compared to a group page. For example, it was quite simple to add the MP3 app and the TalkShoe app right to the page, so that you can listen to the show or join the call right from there. That wasn’t possible (at least not obvious to me) with the group page.

The page been up for a few days now and, as of the time of this post, there are 38 fans of the show. Thanks to the early adopters. The “problem” is that there are currently 266 members of the Facebook group. And I just plain don’t want to maintain two presences for the show on Facebook. So, to be blunt, I’m asking and encouraging group members to switch over and become a fan via the Uncontrolled Vocabulary Facebook page.

For those of you who get annoyed with my weekly reminders showing up in your inbox, this is a no-brainer. Instead of an email, the show notices appear up as an unobtrusive update at the top right corner of your Facebook home page. A number of people have already expressed a preference for this.

For those of you who really like getting email reminders of the show, I encourage to sign up for email notifications from this blog using the form at the bottom of this post. [If you read this via RSS and yet for some reason would like email notices too, you may need to click through to the post itself to see the sign up form.] This will give you not only the reminders, but the actual episode posts as well (along with notices like this one).

I will continue to send out show reminders to the Facebook group for the next few weeks, while encouraging people to make the transition. I don’t expect to do that for long, unless a bunch of people tell me they like getting the Facebook email reminders.

I thank you in advance for your willingness to embrace change. If you have any thoughts, leave a comment on the blog or use the contact form.

Update 4/21/08 6:30 AM: It has come to my attention that it’s possible to ask Facebook to migrate members and content from a Facebook group to a Facebook page. At present, I do not plan on doing that, as I’d prefer to let you take whatever action you are comfortable with. Some people will stay part of both the group and the page, which is great. I’d never discourage that.

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5 Comments
  1. Hey Greg,

    Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier. Since you’re having both a facebook group and a facebook page, I was just curious if you had any problems with keeping both sites running.

    Thanks again!

    Bryan

  2. Well, I guess I haven’t had them both long enough to know what the long term strain will be. My goal is still to get as many people over to the Page as possible. Tomorrow, I’ll send out my first message to the entire Group since I set up the Page and I’ll be asking them to join the Page, whether they remain part of the Group or not.

    My goal is to do all my updating and notices through the Page, but I can’t imagine that I’ll totally ignore the group, since there are almost four times as many people there at present. The Page has twice as many members as when I posted here though, so it’s growing nicely.

    Let me get back to you in a few weeks and see how I’m feeling about it.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    -Greg

  3. One question I have in general about creating content/discussion over in Facebook is what happens to the discussion in this sort of space that is more open to the web. What advantages are there to the Facebook space? One would be that you can actually see who specifically is “signed up” and you can therefore tailor messaging to those people specifically. Also you might be able to create more interaction between people since they can also add their own content–photos, videos, wall posts.

    It will be interesting to see for this community if they take any better to providing you feedback for the show through Facebook than they do here on the blog. (feed back…face book… FB…. coincidence?)

    The one disadvantage is that, for anyone not participating in Facebook, the conversation has now shifted away from this open space to a “walled garden”. Also, when discussion or other content is created over in Facebook, who now owns that content? Has FB changed its terms of service so that you/your community owns the content, or does it belong to Facebook (guess I should go over and read the current user license agreement).

    Anyway, just a few random thoughts, no judgment. I am just interested to see how this plays out for Uncontrolled Vocabulary and for others.

    Cheers,
    Connie

  4. Remember that the UV Facebook presence is not new, just that I’ve switched from a Group to a Page.

    The main advantage of Facebook presence is that people are there and willing to openly show their support of the show. 270 people are in the group and 120 are on the page. Lots of overlap there, but it’s the strongest indicator of a community surrounding the show that I have. MyBlogLog would do similar things, but few use it. It’s a one-trick pony in comparison.

    Given the limited amount of actual feedback that the show gets, I’m not concerned that a lot of content is going to be created on Facebook that one would wish was somewhere else. But the question of ownership you raise is a good one and is precisely what the whole Data Portability effort is about.

    I’m happy to see conversations here. I’m happy to see them there. I’m just happy to see them at all.

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