Alexia coined the phrase and I like it so much I bought the company, er, no I mean I liked it so much I stole the term too. I have a few groups I created on Facebook, one of which is the Dear L Drivers group. I didn’t look at it for a whole while and next thing there’s 600 people in the group. I’d love to see 1000 or 2000 people in the group and getting them to engage with each other. But. The evil side of my mostly evil brain was thinking “Couldn’t these groups be used by spammers or sneaky sellers to make money?”.
For example, imagine if a car parts company offered me money to to send a message to all members with some special deal they were offering? Does Facebook say no to this? Imagine if some insurance company offered to buy into the group and take it over and offer cheap insurance to the most young members of the group? What could Facebook do about it besides close the group? Not worth suing the insurance company. There’s probably something in the terms and conditions to prevent this, maybe a law nerd can check it out? I can just see the Pay for Post opportunists coming along and doing something like this. Build something up and then flip it. Isn’t this the business model of so many web apps these days? Build up a massive audience and make money by selling it to Google and the like?
Just look at all the groups that instantly pop up in Facebook surrounding a news event. Within minutes/hours there was a group for Benazir Bhuto and her murder. It currently has 800+ members. I wonder will we see spam groups or “sgroups” start popping up more and more just to get the attention of people in Facebook who love nothing better than to join a group on something that’s in the news? Big event, get people signed up and then sell them out. Or how about creating a “silly” or “fun” group on Facebook such as the I Use my Cell Phone to See in the Dark Group which has over 400,000 members. Imagine flipping that? How much would people pay for access to those people? I wonder are Facebook going to start offering some revenue share deal with these groups actually? That’s one way of stopping potential abuse. Many of these groups have been created by bored college students. But college students are idealists and would never sell out for beer and pizza money so we’re safe there…
“Who owns the group?”. The administrator? The initiator? I would have thought “its members”
Your group or community won’t last long if you sell them off:
as Julius Henry said all those years ago, I wouldn’t want to belong to a group who sold me as a member.
But he also points out that buying or hiring a creator is about their potential:
Ah but. “a salesman is only as good as his NEXT sale”. So when I buy a creator, it is for what she WILL DO, not what she DID.
And that there is a positive way to make money from a group/community you brought together. Get yourself noticed and get experience in looking after a group like that and don’t sell out, don’t do sneaky ads, instead use your skills to gather a community for a company or other interested party. It’s harder to do than just selling out though but I hope it becomes the norm. They’re now refering to people that do this as “community managers” which is a term that bothers me a bit and it’s not just me!
So, being an evil and making money is still a choice. With pay per post tanking, I really do wonder will their people start ruining Facebook too?