Facebook Groups – A better guild forum?


When joining any non super casual guild, one of the compulsory things was the requirement to sign up to the guild forums. Most application processes required you do it through their forums, and to do that you had to create an account anyway.

The Guild forums were supposed to be a place where you could talk Strat’s, discuss guild business, get to know your guildies a little better,  post boss kill screen shots, send guildies personal messages,  post availabilities,  keep track of DKP and ask for technical advice,  or write long or short resignation letters. ( yes done that).

Some guilds had strict instructions to check it regularly for announcements, or just to make sure you stayed on top of what was going on   –  eg what strat videos you were required to watch.

But over the years,  at least for me,  the excitement of guild forums waned. Discussions were between only a few people, or it was only checked to see new applications, or post when I wasn’t going to be available. There was limited engagement between the guild on forums.

On our forums I’ve been in my current guild since January and I’ve made 2 posts and spent 1 hour 8 min in total logged into the guild website ( and most of that was likely idle )

But now we have a Facebook Group.

Thanks to one guildie who seemed to have everyone on their Facebook friends list anyway, everyone was added to a closed group on Facebook. ( non public)

We have already have Boss kill shots from our progression, old screen shots with the guild, shared pictures of new Keyboard, and Mouse pics  a share your UI post – and there have been speed test shots for those who have the NBN  ( alas for those like I who aren’t even on a roll out map yet )

I can set alerts for if I want to be notified if there is a new post.  I can check it via mobile or PC easily,  don’t need a separate log in, it’s not blocked by work filters for gaming related stuff and we seem to have more engagement with each other in the group so far then I’ve seen in the forums.

Generally,  I find it to be a  more convenient way for me at least to be connected to the guild.  I don’t need to have everyone on my flist, and I get a better idea of people’s names.   ( because some of them have known each other for a while,  they get referred to by their real names rather than toon name,  and it confuses/ confused me.

However

People want different things out of social media, set their own boundaries,  you really aren’t going to interact with each of your 500  different friends.  Do you need every man and his cat ( yes I know two friends who gave their cats Facebook pages)  that you have ever spoken to on your flist?.  I have my own boundaries. No work people, and limited family. It might be silly to try to keep parts of my life separated now, but I don’t think my mother needs to supervise what I do with my friends anymore, but they are my choices,

Also  Facebook is getting annoying, suggested pages/ads/ their viewing algorithms  – some people have already gotten over social media, and  not everyone has a Facebook,  or some people are using it less. Not everyone wants to be connected in that way.

One of the issues I have, is that we weren’t asked did we want to join a group, and this more a problem with how Facebook handles groups.   Facebook only allows your friends to add you to a group,  but it’s an opt out feature   you have to leave the group. You do not have control over who adds you to a group, nor have to click accept to be added.

From an engagement point though,  I think it’s a success. Most people in guild do have a Facebook.  We aren’t all each others friends, but there is communication, there are people reading it.  ( Facebook tells you how many people from the group see it )

Facebook may not offer the same functionality for say something like tracking DKP  – It doesn’t have a forum thread ability,  nor really a wiki place where people could post links to  sites like strats, The event function is pretty useless because of the in-game Calendar.  It does less than a guild site, yet the convenience factor means more people seem engaged with it.

However,  finally,  how important is the information shared in the Facebook group, or is it just another social media connection for the sake of being social,  rather than actively providing a real service/function to the guild, and I am leaning to it really being more of a social function then a practical purpose.

We have a few people in guild that use Wow Armory App, and log in remotely to provide updates as to their whereabouts  me <— ‘Running late after singing practice’ will be there soon, change their calender acceptance to raid ,or just to stay connected when they are away for long periods.  No one has logged into Facebook yet, and posted in guild group. ‘ Can’t make it to nite’

So what function does it serve?  In conclusion,  just a place to connect our real selves with each other, and maybe this is why it seems to be working in its current capacity. A guild forum,  isn’t necessarily a place to play.  It’s structured, every thread, and section has it’s purpose, a Facebook group is unstructured  – connect rather than inform.

 

 

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5 Responses to “Facebook Groups – A better guild forum?”


  1. 1 Liore May 9, 2013 at 1:31 am

    Our Facebook group never quite got off the ground, but in a similar vein we started an IRC channel a couple of years ago and it became the most popular method of communicating. I’m not sure it serves a real purpose except being a rapid method of sending a message, but it has definitely surpassed the guild forums in popularity and, as you say, unstructured fun.

  2. 2 Neri May 17, 2013 at 12:32 am

    Our Facebook page (I chose a fan page over a group because page updates would appear in people’s newsfeeds at the time) has been a big success. It’s a public page, so it works as a guild advertisement, and we have scored a few recruits through the page itself.

    The issue I have, and it’s why we still have a guild website and forums, is privacy. Those who do not use Facebook (And believe it or not, we have guildies that don’t!) or those who wish to remain anonymous are missing out and I don’t think it’s right to exclude them because they value their privacy. It’s the same reason why I prefer Mumble/Vent over Skype.

    Liore is right, though. The Facebook page sees a lot more action than the forums. However, most of the forum traffic comes from people seeing the link from our Facebook page. So I guess they compliment each other.

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