Changes to the AZ Mushroom Forum’s Facebook presence

Arizona Mushroom Forum on FacebookFor almost a year, the Arizona Mushroom Forum has had a Facebook page where articles from this site were cross-posted. We have had almost 200 people choose to follow the page, and a large number of them have engaged in some interesting commentary and posted photos of their foraging adventures for the rest of us to see.

As of Thursday 9/4/2014, however, I closed the page to further posting. Many of you may have heard me complain about the way Facebook treats even dinky little non-commercial Pages like mine as if they were all owned by prosperous for-profit companies, demanding extortionate fees to “boost” the page so new posts appear in peoples’ news feeds. It was also difficult for page followers to communicate with each other except in wall postings and comments, and impossible to have shared photo albums or documents.

Facebook’s help pages state:

“While Pages were designed to be the official profiles for entities, such as celebrities, brands or businesses, Facebook Groups are the place for small group communication and for people to share their common interests and express their opinion. Groups allow people to come together around a common cause, issue or activity to organize, express objectives, discuss issues, post photos and share related content.

When you create a group, you can decide whether to make it publicly available for anyone to join, require administrator approval for members to join or keep it private and by invitation only. Like with Pages, new posts by a group are included in the News Feeds of its members and members can interact and share with one another from the group.”

Therefore, we have replaced the old Facebook Page with a new Facebook Group. This new format will make communications, sharing, and collaboration among members of the Arizona mushrooming community much easier. It permits private messages to be sent with ease among the participants for trip planning etc., and shared photo albums that everyone can contribute to instead of waiting for your Forum editor to get around to it days or weeks after they are sent in.

I evidently did not have enough experience with social media when I set up the page to realize how troublesome it would be, and how much more suitable the group format is for our intended purposes. But now it’s been put right, and the new group is rapidly filling up with folks I remember from the old page as well as some new faces. If you’re on Facebook, please share this group on your own page, invite your friends who might be interested to join as members, and contribute your comments and photographs.

I have set the group up to be “Open”, which means anyone on Facebook can see what is posted on the group timeline, and may request to join the group as a member. Any member can add new members to the group. Any member can post on the timeline or in the photo albums. Any member can create or modify group documents or events.  Comments and photos are not held for moderation. It’s meant to be as hands-off and self-regulated as possible.

That said, we will see how this goes for the next few weeks, and possibly revisit the permissions if needed. For sure, any abusive, illegal, disgusting, profane, racist, or off-topic posts will be deleted, and repeat offenders will be expelled from the group. In the group introduction, I have asked that we not clutter the site with politics, sports, religion, advertising, or funny cat pictures. I expect everyone to behave as if they were all guests in my home, just as here on the main blog site, and so far I have not been disappointed.

See you over there!

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About Christopher May

Chris is a radiologist in private practice in Scottsdale. He is married to Barbara May, with two grown children, Megan and Nick.
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