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 Social Media vs Forum - An Objective View

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Social Media vs Forum - An Objective View
« on: Jul 19, 2019, 07:40 PM »
Social Media vs. Forums - An Objective View
Lead Author: Hik'aari

This guide is a general look at some points as to why Social Media Groups are not a replacement for the forum, and why they can cause more problems than they currently solve. There are positives to Social Media in the advertisement of your presence, your clans, and the overall mission we carry out to achieve our Vision; but it should be viewed as a tool to achieve a specific job, not as a replacement for tools that are built and designed to perform a specific job already.

Framework/Platform Control
Social Media Companies will change their platform and framework (at will) to suit themselves; there is no control for the group operating on them to prevent this. Facebook announced at their most recent conference that the Facebook platform will move to concentrate on content from groups and events based in your local area (and less on friends); for a worldwide group this could be potentially troublesome. Messenger will be refocused to be more content from your friends, and actively hide/block content from contacts you do not know.

Content displayed in your timeline is based on their algorithms which operate (in part) on what they think you are interested in; this means you will miss posts. Content that is popular will be kept "high up" the page, but posts receiving little interaction will sink very quick. That sinking post getting no traffic or responses would be a pretty demotivational thing for any prospective UM. Forum threads allow for all the content to be kept equally and easily browsed.

This is why your Ver'alor should have an onus on posting regularly getting likes, interactions, comments, & shares on your clan posts. These all contribute to posts being seen as "more popular" by the platform so it will be shown to more viewers more regularly.

The way that linear timelines are used means "threads" cannot be consistent, all posts must be considered as singular and throwaway. There are no long (or even medium/short) term considerations for the preservation of data. Everyone's posts are quickly buried, which means no member is ever likely to go hunt for their old post to provide an update to it. Even if they did it is unlikely to "bump" it back to the top of the group like a forum thread would, further causing a lack of feedback. It is fracturing the progress and information available on a UM, so the Clan Ruus'alor has no history to go look back on when there are queries.

Conflicting and Supremacy of Information
Conflicting information is given all too often to posts on social media, and no one has any recognition/significance because it is your personal account in use there. As a Clan Officer/Approval Team/Brigade Team there is a recognition of being an elected to that role on the forum, and recruits can see that distinction between Team Member/Officer, OM, or UM to know how much weight that answer then holds. On social media it can be observed that some members take the approach "I like that feedback, I will listen to that singular comment and ignore the other 95% telling me it is incorrect".

More so in recent times UMs are increasingly not taking the advice of the club officials, because they decide that they do not like the feedback they are being given. They think this because they will post the same pictures to existing Social Media Groups and get a million generic responses of "Oh it looks great. That's awesome. Oh but its your kit so do what you want with it". The majority of these responses are from members who do not have the training, experience, or authority to help build toward our CRLs, making an awesome Mando in the process. It makes it very hard to get a UM back on track when they have an echo chamber to decide what feedback they want to hear, and then pick and choose the feedback they receive that matches it and ignore the rest. This is what should scare you most and make you want to drive members to the official platform.

Personal Accounts and Data Breaches
It requires the use of a personal social media account. This blurs that line between your personal life, and your Mercs Persona; some members do not want that. Also, look at how many times Facebook has been in the news in the past few years for data breaches/leaks (The Cambridge Analytica leak/aquisition of 87 million user profiles is the first example that comes to mind). Some members choose to not be present on any social media platform, and that is exclusionary from what we are trying to build and achieve. The forum is explicit should they sign up, and there is no obligation for any public facing personal information.

Chain of Command
Group members are at the direction/mercy of the (few) Admins and Moderators. Their desire for how controlling the group should be is what will be implemented. There is no clear "Chain of Command" for when things go wrong. Other considerations:
  • What checks and measures are in place on group members? Very few as the tools to moderate, check, and follow up do not match that of a dedicated tool (in this case the Forum).
  • What procedures for the restriction or distribution of information? Very few, as the tools to selectively show/hide information from subsets of members is not possible.
Very little to none of it can be ultimately controlled as you do not control the framework the group is built upon.

These are just a number of points in the matter of why Social Media Groups can be a dissuasive and demotivational tool, but not an exhaustive list. As highlighted at the start this tool has a purpose, and should be used as such, and not forced into something it was not designed for.

« Last Edit: Dec 16, 2019, 12:04 PM by Havelock » Logged
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