how not to crowdsource with Facebook [Sat, 02 Apr 2011 15:00:23 +0000]
A few days ago I was included in a group email on Facebook concerning someone's desire to get some ideas regarding an upcoming interview for a librarianship position. That's fine, I don't mind. But I had no interest nor anything to add. So after a few replies kept coming in to my phone I replied to the group suggesting they move the conversation to an actual FB group or to the originator's wall.
The response I got was, well, pretty telling.
Basically, I was told that since the group discussion was going there wasn't a way to move the discussion to a group or a wall post and that I could remove myself from the thread with a vague reference to "message options" - options I didn't have. So I requested instructions (i.e. more information) specifically for mobile and was given a link [https://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=14463] which of course referenced options unavailable to me. So I just marked the thread as Spam and maybe that's why I haven't seen any more messages in the thread. Also, I told the person they simply had to copy/paste the replies and paste them into a FB "Note" on their wall. That way all the replies wold be preserved and people could continue to reply and be notified of updates if they participated. In other words, the claim that moving the conversation would be impossible or at least troublesome was incorrect.
One should never force people into a conversation. Of course, sometimes we don't know if people do or don't want to participate. But we should always be prepared for the chance that some people won't want to participate and we should be prepared to make it possible for them to leave with minimal effort. Not doing so seems un-librarian like to me. Nor does it seem to convey an understanding of how to use some of the social media tools out there and the various methods and devices others might use to access social networking sites.
Invite people in, don't show up at their door and expect them to give their time.
The latter's not exactly a way of doing things I'd want in a new hire.