Facebook for Book Groups
Posted by: Neil Hollands
Is your book group using Facebook? I stubbornly kept away due to privacy concerns, and because I didn’t need one more drain on my time. But as it became apparent that most of my acquaintances, groups, and organizations are conducting business on Facebook, I decided it was time to put aside my reservations. I started about three months ago. Yes, Facebook can be a black hole of time; yes, I still have privacy concerns; but no, I haven’t regretted getting involved.
One organization that drew me to Facebook was my science fiction & fantasy book group. We had been using Yahoo Groups for online notices, and while it worked to some degree, it required an extra login that most of our members were no longer making. Most were, however, already using Facebook, so adding a page for our group was not a difficult step. One of our members created a page, and the quick stampede from Yahoo to Facebook made it clear which service our readers preferred.
Our Facebooking isn’t elaborate, but we make an event invitation once a month to remind people of the upcoming meeting. Because of the RSVP option, I now have a general idea of how many are coming, and I’ve been surprised by how many RSVP about their attendance.
Facebook has led to increased participation by friends of friends, people on the group’s fringes who have become more regular attendees. For others, who live too far away or have a conflict with our meeting time, the event invitations keep us in their awareness for occasional attendance or facilitate return to active membership when their schedule changes. Facebook also advertises events to Internet searchers, one of the first places online that many will look.
This particular group already had plenty of social contact beyond the scope of meetings, but Facebook has enhanced that interaction. For the long-term success of our endeavor, that’s a critical benefit.
Also, don’t forget that Booklist is now on Facebook. If you like the blogs here, you can also follow them through your Facebook account.
Is your book group using Facebook? Do you use it any particular way that I haven’t mentioned? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below.