Through monitoring RSS and Twitter, I’ve noticed several groups shifting away from open information websites and moving social operations to within Facebook pages.
Let’s get one thing straight: Facebook is not social. It is an UNsocial network based on cliques. Not a single page of Facebook is visible to the ‘outsider’ without setting up a Facebook account. If adopted as the hub for ‘meatspace’ social meetup groups, this migration of communication will certainly hurt attendance. The simple act of stumbling onto information is lost if one must log in to a secure network to see it. Seems like a frightening revival of secret handshakes to me.
Ian Forrester announced via his Twitter account that he had set up a London Geek Dinners Facebook group. I did a search for it within Facebook- I could not find it. I broadened the search to just geek dinner. Nothing relevant. Not even the London Girl Geek Dinner Facebook group shows up with those search terms.* I certainly hope those events (and others like it) don’t drop their non-Facebook public announcements and site updates in favour of Facebook ‘friend’ interaction. After not finding the above groups using simple search terms, I fear that even active Facebook members will have difficulties in knowing what’s happening or available.
I’m not anti-Facebook – I’m sure it’s useful to someone out there – but I am concerned about the migration of groups adopting it for organising and/or discussing events as well as the closed-door casual interaction of the group’s supporters. My RSS is full of people moving this way and it seems as though if you don’t join the ‘hot-social-trend-of-the-moment’ herd, you’re left in the cold. I cannot see how this is social, inviting, or inclusive.
Note: I did set up a Facebook account a week or so ago but I’m actually considering deleting the profile because I find the clubhouse tactics are irritating me more than I should allow.
* I did find the Girl Geek group with the terms london geek, but still not London Geek Dinners. If it’s a matter of waiting for the indexing to occur, fair enough, but the basic problem of information accessibility remains.