[Guest post] The power of Facebook groups

21st August 2013

I remember that date incredibly well. At the time, it didn’t seem much but three years on, it is up there as one of the worthiest days of my life, thus far.

I’ve always fancied myself as a bit of a comedic writer and when Facebook came along, I was in heaven. A proper medium for my inconsequential, but hopefully amusing, bullshit.

I had been having problems with complaints on regular Facebook. I have opinions, mostly tongue in cheek, but opinions that sometimes differ from others. I also like to use profanities in my musings.

It seemed at the time that a lot of people were objecting to what I was saying or how I was saying it without wanting to press the unfollow button.

“Do you have to swear so much? I was reading Facebook with my child and they saw your post”, one of my friends complained.

My best writing comes when it just flows out my mind, and my mind frequently interjects with expletives. I apologised to my friend but told him that I would continue to swear and he could choose to block me if he wished. He did, and apparently made a great fuss of it.

I kept on swearing.

Eventually, I realised that if you had an opinion; regardless of the seriousness, somebody would always take umbrage. I was even confronted for my language on behalf of my Mother-in-Law who has always told me how proud she is that I am funny.

So, on 21 August 2013, I created a private club.

Initially I called it ‘Don’t Tell the Wife’ and invited a few friends to join. They didn’t have to be good friends, I was only interested in people who didn’t take themselves or the opinions of others too seriously.

The strapline was:

‘I’ve created this group to allow likeminded people express their opinions. Bullying, sexism, racism etc. will not be tolerated but there will be humour. If you take yourself too seriously, you’re probably in the wrong group.’

And it grew. Never to huge proportions, our group was much too sensible for that, we knew the type of person the irreverent humour suited and our members usually understood that when inviting their friends. Occasionally someone would slip through the net, prove themselves to be incompatible and then be asked to leave shortly after.

It was fantastic, friendships were made between people who hadn’t know each other, advice was asked and given, an incredible amount of laughter was had and business was conducted between group members. We even managed to set up a comedian with a club promoter. Our finest achievement, however, was an athletic challenge between two of our members that ended up raising £10,000 for charity.

Eventually, given the usage frequency of the worst possible word that you know, we became known as The C Club. Instead of silly handshakes and rolled up trouser legs, we welcomed each other by a hug and a quietly whispered C word.

Three and a half years later, we are still going strong. Differing opinions about Brexit caused a bit of a rift and a few left. We’ve had other fall-outs, usually quickly dealt with and friends again quick-smart.

The group was created for an irreverent purpose and many special things have come of it. The people who gained most are those who regularly contribute. As with all groups, there are those who contribute less and a few who just watch and enjoy.

The power of an active and united Facebook group can be huge, as a co-operative working together and for the individual. The reward will be much higher if you engage. Not just for the sake of it, but by providing a valuable contribution. It might be humour or advice. Just make it relevant, useful and interesting and you will find that you can win friends and influence people.

 

This is a guest post from Dave Hall, writer for hire. For more information about Dave, visit https://www.facebook.com/davehallwriter/