Michael Cox wrote:I use facebook extensively to participate in some highly active discussion groups (beekeeping). One has 11,000 members, which I am a moderator/admin of. While I don't use it for organising events, I think I can articulate why it is so popular and successful at drawing people together. And why it is worth engaging with if you have an agenda that you want to draw people into.
First; everything is under one metaphorical roof. There are probably hundreds of beekeeping groups operating in isolation around the world. They may have their own websites, and their may be overlap of members, but the flow of idea across groups is quite restricted. On facebook each sub-identity can have its own presence, and built its own community while still being part of the bigger picture. If I want to keep up with what is going on in these groups I can find them all through facebook, and I can make links between them and share the ideas incredibly freely. The alternative is trawling maybe 100+ different community websites - which might or might not have been updated recently. Facebook brings that stuff to me.
Facebook communities grow and can build a presence beyond that of any physical organisation. Our group is gaining 200+ members per week at the moment, and our group mission is reaching more and more people. No single event could have as much impact on the world as regular participation in a group like this. Face to face I can mentor maybe a handful of beekeepers per year. In groups I can teach classes of 10 or so. On facebook I can help steer the direction of, literally, thousands - all working towards a common goal.