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224UVAPG Communications

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  • joseph_blake_everett
    Dec 14, 2011
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      Hello Utah Valley APGers!

      I need your input on communications for our Chapter. We have created a UVAPG Facebook page, Facebook group, and Twitter account (linked to the Facebook page) as a means of reaching out to more genealogy professionals in and around Utah Valley. Initially I had considered phasing out this UVAPG Yahoo! group and email in favor of using Facebook. However, I am finding some limitations with the Facebook format. For one thing, it does not support the uploading of files (other than photos and videos), which makes it kind of hard for us to share such things as a speaker's PowerPoint presentation (with permission), or to post our bylaws, etc.

      Another issue is that not everyone has joined the Facebook group yet (http://www.facebook.com/groups/uvapg). Several of you have, but not everyone in this Yahoo! email list. I wonder if not everyone is aware of it, or if some of you prefer not to use the Facebook format.

      The upside of Facebook is that it is very accessible and well known. An immediate benefit to adding the pages is that we have been able to make contact with more than a dozen people (so far) who are not already members of this Yahoo! group, but who found us on Facebook.

      This Yahoo! group has its own limitations. For one thing, for anyone to join, they have to create a Yahoo! account, something not everyone wants to do. Also, Yahoo! Groups are not as easy to find or to add people to as in Facebook. And it is harder to maintain a public facing aspect of the group to draw people in than it is on Facebook. Yahoo! Groups just aren't that visible. A more serious potential concern is that Yahoo! has not supported any upgrades to their groups feature for some time. The interface has remained the same for years. And if you go to Yahoo! homepage, groups is not even among the main links. One wonders how long Yahoo! will continue to maintain this feature. The decision of whether to keep using it could be made for us if they phase it out.

      I'm interested to hear your ideas for how best to communicate. I want to continue to use a variety of social media to spread the word and draw interest in the Chapter, but we need to have one main place to call home. Should it continue to be this Yahoo! Group? Should it be Facebook, (possibly in conjunction with some kind of linked file-sharing tool)? Or are there other even better alternatives we should consider?

      Whatever we choose, we need to have a mix of private and public communication options. We need to be able to have private conversations within our group, and be able to privately share photos, files, etc. We also need a public facing side that gets information out to those who have not yet joined and helps them find us and easily join us. Finally, we need something that everyone in the Chapter can feel comfortable with and access readily so you don't miss important information and so that you can easily respond and share.

      With so many social media options available today, I'm afraid that we may not be able to find one thing that is ideal for everyone, but hopefully we can accommodate most the vast majority.

      Please send me your thoughts on this by replying to this post/email.

      Thank you!

      Joe Everett
      President UVAPG
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