The fascinating dynamics of a Facebook study group
Facebook can be a scary place. And that's because people can be scary. And that's just the way it is. I created a Facebook study group about a year ago for my Phoenix historical images collection and it performs many functions in my life; firstly it keeps me engaged with my favorite hobby (collecting photos of old Phoenix): it helps me to refine the information about those photos (I just love to "step into them" - which is what this blog is all about); and I get to see other people's point of view.
As a teacher, I learned a long time ago that it's nice to get help. I prided myself on always knowing my subject well (which is Graphic Design), but I often got mixed up about what day it is, and when something was due. I rely heavily on my computer for that kind of stuff, and I learned to ask for help in the class, by simply saying "This is due next Thursday, which is the 23rd, right?" and then someone would say, "No, the school is closed on Thanksgiving, so it would be due on the 30th." I loved that kind of help, and I still do.
So my Facebook group runs along similar dynamics. I encourage help, but I'm still in charge. That's something I learned a long time ago, that most people really want to have someone who is in charge, gently steering, and keeping things under control. There are, of course, people who don't want anyone to be in charge, ever, but personally I'm OK, for example, not flying the plane when I go to California. I can leave things to the experts, and follow when I shouldn't be the leader.
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History Adventuring blog posts are shared there daily, also there's "then and now" photos, billboards, aerials, and super high-resolution photos of historic Phoenix, Arizona
And there are a LOT of experts in my Facebook group. Many of these people are surprised to find how much I appreciate their corrections, and it's a reminder that in many other places, including Facebook, people who correct can get slammed. Maybe it's a question of etiquette, but really, just hearing that everything is perfect and I get "first place" doesn't really help me. Tell me when I'm wrong. Experts can do that. No, don't say "WRONGGGGG!" but do correct, and show why. If, for example, I post a photo that's labeled "1960s" and you see your 1974 car in it, please speak up. Some people comment on the page, some people send me private messages. There's a lot that goes on in the background, and I love my experts.
This is what I do that works for the Facebook dynamic: I post confidently. I write "Looking south on Central at Washington in the 1960s". If it's actually looking north, I really appreciate a polite correction, and I correct both the caption and my file name here on my computer. Most of my superstars respond with corrections like that within minutes of a post, so if you see a bunch of comments that don't seem to make sense, you're seeing the post after the correction. Where were you?
Anyway, I hope this helps if you see my group. This is too much fun, and I make it even more fun by writing in this blog. If you like what I'm doing, go ahead and join the group, maybe "like" or "heart" a post, make a correction, read this blog, and support me on Patreon by becoming a patron.
This is just too much fun! Thank you for coming along with me!
Posted by Brad Hall