Over the course of the last few months, I started crocheting again. And while I did find inspiration for new projects on Pinterest, I wanted a bit more, so I joined several Facebook groups dedicated to the art of crochet. These groups range in number from a few hundred to more than 35,000.
Some of the groups I’ve remained active in; others I’ve left. Whether to stay or go is often impacted by the actions of the other members and how those actions are handled by the group’s admins.
— Barbara B. Nixon (@BarbaraNixon) October 31, 2014
Based on my experiences, here’s a list of eight tips for getting the most from a Facebook group.
- Lurk for a day or two, reading back into previous conversation threads (and their associated comments) and look at photos people have posted. Get a feel for the ambiance before becoming vocal yourself.
- Read the group’s rules before posting or commenting. This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s amazing to me how many people don’t. And just like rules in schools, most of the rules are in place for a reason: someone did something, and the admins don’t want it to happen again.
- Have a question or a gripe about how the group is run? Send a message directly to one of the group administrators, rather than in the group itself. Gripes quickly spiral out of control in some of the larger groups. You can find out who the admins are by clicking on the Members link in the group, then choosing Admins from the drop-down.
- Don’t enjoy the group, or disagree with how it is administered? Find a different group to join instead. I’ve seen some people say, “It’s a free world. I can say/do what I want in here.” Nope. It’s a Facebook group. The admins make and enforce the rules.
- If you see someone has asked a question in a post, read some of the comments before answering it yourself. You may find that the answer has already been provided. (And if it hasn’t, or you have another idea to share, by all means, chime in.)
- For the crochet groups I’m a part of, one of the most frequent requests people have when they see a photo of a project is “can you share a link to the pattern?” Make it easier on yourself and others in your group by sharing a link to a pattern (if there is one) at the same time you post the photo — or if you forget, it’s easy to go back into your photo/post and edit the text to include the link.
- To keep from getting overwhelmed after adding a comment to a post in a group, turn off notifications for the post.
- Sometimes I’ll want to find something that I remember another group member posting a while ago. There’s a Search This Group box just under the banner for the group. It works fairly well, if you can recall a few key words or the name of the group member who wrote it.
What other tips would you add?