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Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN!

Neighborhoods, Creating Positive Online Community Using Secret Groups on Facebook

Neighborhoods, Creating Positive Online Community Using Secret Groups on Facebook | The Social Media Learning Lab |

Creating your own Facebook group is an effective way to discuss a particular subject and share content with friends and other like-minded Facebook users.  
The default setting for Facebook groups is "Closed," which means that all Facebook users can access and read the group but only members can post to the group. As an alternative, Facebook offers a "Secret" option that hides the group and its contents from everyone except group members.


Click on the title or photo to read more about how to set up such a group. To find out more about WHY it is helpful to use a secret group on Facebook for a neighborhood group, read my comments below.

Related social media posts by Deb:




Photo:  Signs at Lavender Hill Farm, Boye City, Michigan - by Deb Nystrom

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Creating a closed, secret group on Facebook can be a wonderful option for neighborhood groups. I created one, when the interest emerged in the neighborhood where I used to live, and now I've started with an interested neighbor, and within ONE day of launch, 20+ neighbors joined.  It turns out, many of us DO have Facebook accounts, even if we just use them once in awhile.

Some of the features that help a neighborhood Facebook page work including confidentiality, ease of administration, no need to "friend" someone, and a good looking page structure. Here are a few more details of how it works in 2015, vs. the date of the article I've Scooped here.

How it works:

  • 1) A secret Facebook group is an invitation only type of group. This has some advantages when putting together a neighborhood group. NextDoor is another option, but it requires 100+ members and a bit more work to organize. A secret Facebook page allows the neighborhood to grow organically through neighbor to neighbor invitations and communication.
  • 2) Yes, members do have to be on Facebook with at least a basic profile, to join the group. That helps it be more manageable to run by volunteers.
  • 3) There's a helpful "welcome" function in the page's members section, as new members join.
  • 4) A key feature is that you do not need to "friend" anyone to follow the neighborhood news in the group. No one needs to "friend" you either. You also do not have to participate - you can just observe if you like. However, the hope is that the group will encourage positive, friendly neighborhood networking and community sharing in real life - assisted by Facebook conversation.
  • 5) You can request to join and leave the group at any time.
  • 6) Many groups will have some posting guidelines about being friendly and respectful, honoring the purpose of the group, sharing relevant news and information, and the like.
  • 7) You can have more than one administrator for the group, which helps the group adapt to change and stay flexible.
  • 8) You can invite people by email. (I think that is more work, but it can be done.)
  • 9) It is easy to share photos and links, which adds interest and fun to the page.
Problems?  Yes, sometimes.  See the Wikipedia page on NextDoor which covers some of the downsides of neighborhood groups.  Problems can happen, as with any group IRL, "in real life" which is what online community is.  It is helpful to have one or more administrators with knowledge of group dynamics.  And that is why I'm the one writing this post and encouraging use of social media.  Social media enables engagement and conversation.  Even when there is conflict, keep the conversations going to help resolve the conflict, develop and use good group guidelines, and encourage members to communicate and act in good faith to build a positive, high functioning online community.
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Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN!

Flaming & Trolls: Can We Be Emotionally Intelligent Online?

Flaming & Trolls:  Can We Be Emotionally Intelligent Online? | The Social Media Learning Lab |

[Communication on-line and] ....flaming is a combination of social and technological pressures that are suppressing a lot of emotional awareness."


“Flaming is ...more severe in groups than it is in two person exchanges."


“Flaming is one of the most social effects and one of the earliest ones to be commented on because it's much more severe in groups than it is in two person exchanges.   One of the antidotes to flaming – especially in work situations – is to contact the instigator personally by email or phone, if possible." ~ Clay Shirky, professor in NYU's graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program

"... texting has showed us is that presence, awareness of someone else in real time, creates a different sense than if we're emailing or commenting on a post, simply because of the acceleration of time.  

Presence can start to convey things more than just “I am here and breathing” and attending to the computer but “I am here and I agree or disagree.”

Related posts by Deb on REVELN:

  • Open Space on Speed: Social Business with the Coaches, Results! Video

  • Networked or Just Worked? LinkedIn’s Endorsements Buttons
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Communication is altered when immediacy is no longer there.  Dan Goleman's post gets to the social and emotional intelligence aspects of why this happens, useful for anyone spending time managing responses in social media.  ~  Deb

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Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN!

The Real-Time Human Handiwork Improving Twitter Search

The Real-Time Human Handiwork Improving Twitter Search | The Social Media Learning Lab |

One of the magical things about Twitter is that it opens a window to the world in real-time. An event happens, and just seconds later, it’s shared for people across the planet to see.

...when Flight 1549 crashed in the Hudson, @jkrums on twitter shared, " - There's a plane in the Hudson. I'm on the ferry going to pick up the people. Crazy.  3:36 PM - 15 Jan 2009

When [other]  major events happened, such as when Osama bin Laden was killed, and when Mitt Romney mentioned binders during the presidential debates, people instantly came to Twitter – and, in particular, Twitter search – to discover what was happening.

...[there's a] real-time human computation engine we built that allows us to find search queries as soon as they’re trending, ...[these are sent to] real humans to be judged... the system works.

(1) ...we monitor for which search queries are currently popular.

Behind the scenes: we run a Storm topology that tracks statistics on search queries.


For example: the query “Big Bird” may be averaging zero searches a day, but at 6pm on October 3, we suddenly see a spike in searches from the US.

(2) Next, as soon as we discover a new popular search query, we send it to our human evaluation systems, where judges are asked a variety of questions about the query.

Behind the scenes: when [we detect] that a query has reached sufficient popularity, it ...dispatches the query to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service, and then polls Mechanical Turk for a response.

For example: as soon as we notice “Big Bird” spiking, we may ask judges on Mechanical Turk to categorize the query, or provide other information (e.g., whether there are likely to be interesting pictures of the query, or whether the query is about a person or an event) that helps us serve relevant tweets and ads.

Photo by Dixon Tam, Flickr CC

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

I'm writing a digital chapter for a professional book for Wiley that includes crowdsourcing.  I was delighted to hear of this example of the human interaction in twitter and wanted to share it with you.  ~ D

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