I wanted to let you know about an important broader strategy I’m engaged on with regard to the Inner Circle Writers’ Group (ICWG for short).
The ICWG was first started in 2008 as a group largely for students and friends, and didn’t really begin to expand until it appeared on social media in July last year. In the space of a few months, it grew to several hundred people on Facebook and as I write this has reached almost 2,500 members. But I think that it now needs some clarification.
When you ‘join’ the group on Facebook, you automatically become a member of the ICWG inside and outside Facebook. Don’t worry, there are no rules particularly or anything to worry about: what I mean is that the ICWG doesn’t just exist on Facebook. As a matter of fact, I have just started it up on another social media network, MeWe, and a few of you have joined there too. I will be posting the things I post on Facebook in the MeWe group too, and I encourage other members to do so.
Plus there are some ICWG members who aren’t on social media at all, and are never likely to be. Each and every member is entitled to the exclusive services offered on my website, and is treated like every other member.
One reason for developing ICWG on other social media is that it makes the point clearer that the group doesn’t belong to any one social media network: Facebook, MeWe, other social networks, my website, and even other connections through email or real-life meetings are all part of it. The Inner Circle Writers’ Group uses all these various media to communicate with itself, to grow and to help its members. Thus, if one social network closes down, or decides for some arbitrary reason to shut down a group page, the ICWG is not shut down: it lives on through its members and through other channels.
My advice to you would be to connect up to ICWG in these multiple ways:
You don’t have to pay attention to everything. As I say, what gets posted on the Facebook page will also tend to get posted on MeWe too and so on. There’ll be a lot of overlap. But the idea is that the ICWG is bigger than, and stands apart from, the social networks that host its appearances.
As far as those social networks go, many of you will know my thoughts about large, faceless organisations. The fact is that an organisation tends to become more faceless as it gets bigger, through a natural progression. You would find the same thing happening to you if your friend network kept growing and growing - you would struggle to ‘be there’ for each friend in the same way if you had thousands and thousands of them. To replace that individual contact, systems and procedures are set up - these days, these are as synthetic as ‘face recognition software’ and algorithms that respond like a real person (almost). But the larger an entity is, the more remote it will become in human terms, pretty much inevitably.
I tend to prefer those organisations which are still close enough to their people to respond with live communication. Thus I prefer Lulu over Amazon, for example (as many of you know). In social media terms, Facebook seems to have gradually lost its human responsiveness, and this has become a problem to a degree. ICWG will stay on Facebook because that’s where most of you are at present - but I encourage you to also be elsewhere so that you don’t suffer from the ‘remoteness factor’ which is part and parcel of using a giant organisation’s tools.
Think of a giant meeting place and market place in a huge city square: thousands of people pour in to talk, to share their lives, to buy and sell from each other. But the city square is owned by someone, and what takes place within it must follow rules and procedures set by that owner, who could at any time eject any of its visitors, rightly or wrongly. To keep in touch with the people you meet in that square, it would be wise to have a rendezvous point outside the control of that owner, I would suggest.
Hence this strategy and this article to inform you of it.
The MeWe group is here:
The Facebook group is here:
I am here:
Please contact me if you have any questions.