Facebook is many things to different people. Whether you use it to share information about your life on a daily basis, or simply sit back and scroll through everyone else’s problems. It can be used to follow interests such as AFL, a favourite author or even keep tabs on your favourite restaurants and cafes. You can check-in and review the places you go, because literally almost everyone and everything has a Facebook link to their name. However, I became involved in a particular community just a few months ago. Facebook groups were introduced in 2010 and revolve around communication, sharing and interaction with people you have commonalities with. The Dingley Village Community Noticeboard (DVCN), is a Facebook group designed for residents of Dingley Village. Some outsiders can be included if they have connection to the village i.e attend school, or own a local business.
Like most online communities, the DVNC have rules and regulations and are run by a group of stay at home mothers, who are very involved within the community. The group is ‘closed,’ meaning others can see it but must request to join, it has nearly 4,000 members. Based on my experience to date within the community I’ve found it very difficult to contribute information without the risk of being criticised or humiliated. I personally haven’t experienced this, however I have seen it happen to many other people. Unfortunately I was unable to screenshot any examples of this behaviour for my blog as admins are quite quick to delete them. They also threaten to remove those involved from the group altogether.
I’ve learnt a lot about writing to an audience within my community. Oatway’s reading highlighted the important factors about reaching your audience. For example, when I first joined the group, I sat back and watched the page to see how others posted and responded to certain people. And when I finally made my first post I made sure it was relevant to those within the community and sure enough I sparked genuine responses from my neighbours. (Ignore the first sarcastic comment, that was my sister).
In terms of NOT reaching your audience, i’ve also witnessed other uses post ridiculous questions, often seeking attention or trying to be funny. Unsuccessful in their attempt, the post is removed by admin. I haven’t made a large amount of posts to the page, however I still involve myself in other people’s feeds. For example, a lady once posted a very negative comment regarding my place of work. I stood up for myself and my colleges and thus a spark of replies were created, once again, the post was unfortunately removed. Most of those involved within my community use it correctly, with the exception to those few who abuse the page. So far I have found the page very rewarding when it comes to passing on messages that will affect parts or all of the village. On the other hand, I had to turn off notifications for the group, as there are way too many posts that clog my newsfeed. Although, the DVCN allows me to share messages with my neighbours, I still question myself with every post I make in fear it will be ridiculed and abused.
- Oatway, Jay, Apr 26, 2012, Mastering Story, Community and Influence : How to Use Social Media to Become a Socialeader Wiley, Hoboken. 97-109. ISBN: 9781119943457.
- Petronzio, M. (2013). Everything You Wanted to Know About Facebook Groups. Mashable. Retrieved 1 May 2016, from http://mashable.com/2013/01/28/facebook-groups-101/#HzUK8XHX0qqf