Thanks to Doug Davidoff of MLflash and to the author of Nagoonberry for posting responses to the Best Practices for Unitarian Universalist Blogging survey! Earlier this month, I wrote a brief analysis of recent responses to the survey. To read all of the completed surveys, including those posted in 2008, visit the full list of survey responses.
Congregations often find themselves in the unfortunate position of having started a Group or a user profile for their congregation then deciding that they need to switch to having an organizational Page. Making the switch usually entails asking all of the congregation’s current friends or Group members to “like” the congregation’s new Page, and then eventually deleting the Group or deactivating (or deleting) the user account. (For more information about why a congregation may want to have a Page rather than a Group, please read this earlier post.)
Getting the word out to friends or Group members can be tedious. But Meck Groot, program coordinator for the Clara Barton and Massachusetts Bay District, recently showed how to communicate such a switch with humor and clarity. She sent the following e-mail to constituents earlier this summer (and generously gave permission for it to be shared here):
Subject: We’re looking for Fans, not Friends on Facebook – sorry!!!
We made a Facebook mistake!
Unfortunately, Judy Murray and I have made a mistake about how to set up a page for Clara Barton and for Mass Bay Districts. We accidentally created two accounts as though CBD and MBD were individuals who wanted friends. We have since learned – through the generous help of true friends – that it is better to set up an organization page and to ask people to become Fans.
So, I have deactivated the CBD and MBD “personal” accounts and created two organization pages of which you can become a fan. To become a fan – and thereby receive information about upcoming events and news – please go to Facebook, find “Clara Barton District of UU Congregations” and/or “Mass Bay District of UU Congregations” and click on the “Like” button to become a fan of one or both organizations.
Sorry to all those who already signed up as friends. We do appreciate your friendship, but now the nature of our relationship must change. It happens!
-Meck Groot, Program Coordinator
Clara Barton and Mass Bay District of UU Congregations
I was delighted to return from vacation last week and find that Unitarian Universalist bloggers had posted responses to the UUA’s 2008 survey on Unitarian Universalist blogging!
The goal of the survey is to promote knowledge-sharing among Unitarian Universalist bloggers and to collect advice for Unitarian Universalists who were considering starting blogs. The “Best Practices for Unitarian Universalist Blogging” report was written in 2008 based on the first round of responses to the survey from select bloggers. A list of the bloggers who completed the survey in 2008 is available on UUA.org, and the list of bloggers who completed the survey this summer will be published there soon.
To read the surveys completed this summer, please visit the following blogs:
- “Called” by Masasa
- “Finding My Ground” by Sarah MacLeod
- “Inner Light, Radiant Life” by Paul Oakley
- “The Journey” by Lizard Eater
- “Spirituality and Sunflowers” by Matt Kinsi
- “Storms and Reflections” by Catharine Clarenbach
- “uujeff’s muse kennel and pizzatorium” by Jeff Liebmann
Thanks to all of you on this list for taking the time to write and share your insights on blogging for the benefit of other Unitarian Universalist leaders!
What I notice reading the newest round of responses is how similar they are in some ways to those surveys completed in 2008. The similarities include:
- The rewards of blogging are, as Sarah succinctly put it, “First, blogging often clarifies an issue for me, and this is personally satisfying. Second, comments from folks who find resonance with their own journey from my posts reward me with connection.” The importance of sharing one’s thoughts and being in relationship with others has been reiterated in many of the survey responses over the past two years.
- The bloggers who responded care more about the quality of online conversation in response to their posts than about their blog traffic statistics or RSS subscriber numbers.
- Most of the respondents own their blog (rather than writing on a group blog or a blog owned by a congregation).
- Most of the bloggers allow comments, but actively moderate them.
There are a couple of new trends in the recent surveys:
- Almost all of the bloggers reported using Facebook to promote their blog, whereas in 2008, few reported using any kind of social networking site to draw readers to their blogs.
- Almost all of the respondents in this round volunteered that they are careful not to use the real names of people (such as family members) described in their blog posts.
For those who want to fill out the survey and have not yet done so this summer, please follow the instructions here. Thanks!