7 Ways To Engage In A Large Facebook Group

A few months ago I was asked how it’s possible to stay relevant in large online groups.

My knee-jerk reaction was, “Do you need to be relevant?”

Then I thought some more about the question. Was it coming from a place of need? A need for friendship, or a need for community?

Real Relevance

We all like to feel relevant. Whether it be in real life (IRL) or online (2D). As I thought about the question, I realized didn’t have an answer for this person.

They seemed to think my small presence in the big pond was relevant, but I wasn’t doing anything in particular. Then another person asked the same question.

There must be something to this. I need to answer.

But first I had to answer the hidden question: What is relevance anyway?

Relevance is connection. Connection to the question or issue at hand. Relevance is understanding the importance of the matter. In other words, being knowledgeable about the topic of discussion. In an online discussion, relevance is being able to communicate your knowledge within the discussion.

Here are some important points.

Ways to Remain Relevant

  • Interact
    Seems simple, right? Not necessarily. How and when to interact with others in a group can be tricky if you don’t pay attention to what others in the community are doing. Sincere interaction and sincere posting is important. Ask questions and make statements relevant to the topic/reason the group exists.
  • Be Selective
    Don’t comment on every post. This also seems obvious to some people, but when you feel that Facebook fever, it can be tempting to comment on everything. The more selective I am with comments, I find I have better 2D conversations.
  • Be Prudent
    Be prudent with your advice. (Unless you’re writing a blog about offering advice!) Here’s a complex algorithm for when you’re stuck: Only offer advice when the person posting is actually asking for advice. Did I mention, opinions should be kept to yourself unless the poster is asking for your opinion?
  • Kindness
    Everyone likes kindness. Yes. Everyone. Rude comments can turn a thread nasty very quickly. You may certainly disagree with the original post, or with a comment posted by another group member, but your brash argument is not going to sway anyone to your view. But beware unintentional rudeness. You think you’re being funny, but remember the humor can quickly get lost in high-speed internet communication. Civil discourse seems to be a lost art in this age of social media, but it is possible to have a civil and beneficial discussion online. And when it happens, it is a beautiful thing.
  • Think
    Think BEFORE you post. This goes for all communication. In 2D and IRL. Don’t open your mouth without thinking through your comments, and don’t hit “enter” before reviewing your post or comment. Once you put it out there, you can’t take it back. Ever. And if you are at all hesitant, don’t post!
  • Community Rules
    Above all else, remember you are part of a community. Whether there are a couple dozen people in the community, or a couple thousand, you’re all there for a purpose. Try to stick to the main reason you joined the group.
  • Newbies, Lurkers, and Cool Kids
    Look for the new voices, and the shy posters. Encourage them. New member always like to feel welcome, especially in a well established community. Some of the new voices may be people who have always been lurking in the group, but finally feel comfortable enough to post and comment. And as far as the “cool kids” are concerned? There aren’t any. There isn’t a cool kids table. Don’t create one.

Is it important to be relevant? I’ll let you decide for yourself. But if you want to be an integral part of a large Facebook community, these steps will certainly help you.

Did I miss anything? Keep interacting, and have fun with your online friends!

Hedging My Bet

What exactly does the phrase, “hedging my bet” mean? The phrase is an idiom. It means to protect yourself against a loss or making the wrong choice. It gives one a path to keep from making a solid commitment.

Here’s an example with which you will all be familiar:

Forecasters were hedging their bets about the storm, saying that it could bring lots of snow, or it could head away from us.”

Yep. Every weather forecast.

How does this idiom apply to me? I’ve spent the past year hedging my bet. But, what bet?

At the start of 2016 I bet on myself.

For a couple of years I knew God was calling me to leave my sales job. During 2015 I finally figured out what it would look like. I understood God wanted me to write and speak. He wanted me to share my story, and the stories of others.

At the end of 2015 the decision was made. On Monday, January 4, 2016 I would leave my 18 year career in automotive sales and management. I would become a full-time writer and speaker. Plans were made in order to make a go of it. The bank account was properly funded.

And then I hedged my bet. I took the leap into self-employment with one foot in the wrong place.

God called me to write. God called me to speak.

I felt I needed something else. I put one foot solidly in the world of voice over/acting. For a good chunk of the year both feet were there at the same time. This is how I disobeyed God and hedged my bet.

Please don’t get me wrong. The world of voice over and voice acting is a very viable way to make a living. I have some great friends doing it daily. But I wasn’t supposed to be there.

If I had spent the hours upon hours and days upon days practicing the crafts of writing and speaking instead of voice over, I probably wouldn’t have needed to take a sales job in August.

I hedged my bet. I hedged the bet God placed on me.

I didn’t fully grasp the belief and confidence he had (has) in me.

A very good friend of mine told me there is one thing keeping me from succeeding in the space I wish to be. There’s one thing other people have, and it allows them to be successful. The great news is I can have that one thing too.

That one thing is belief.

I need to simply believe in myself. I need to believe in full the call God has placed on me.

My “Word of the Year” this year is, “BELIEVE.”

I’ll let nothing stand in my way this year. I won’t hedge my bet. I will believe.

Have you ever “hedged your bet?” 
Do you struggle to believe in the calling God has placed on you?

I Was Listening This Time

I Was Listening This Time!

This time, when God spoke to me about my job, I was listening.

This is something different for me.

It didn’t take a shocking dismissal, and a boot to my rear, to understand what God wanted for me this time.

In 2013 when I was fired from my job, it was God firmly placing his boot on my rear and moving me swiftly out the door. I like this new approach much better.

I’m still a bit in shock at the speed this new opportunity arrived, but I’m not shocked that I was ready to hear him telling me what to do.

Why? This time I was praying.

I was in conversation with God about his plans for me. I had heeded my own words of encouragement. I had been listening for his words.

He spoke to me. He directed me to this opportunity.

-Do not despisethese small beginnings,for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin.-

I’m thankful my relationship with God is a bit more conversational now than it has been in the past. I can’t say I listen to him as intently as I’d like, but improvement is certainly happening. It’s a day-to-day, week-to-week, kind of growth.

The closer relationship I have with God is evident to me through my prayer life. It is a more frequent conversation I’m having with him.

I had been talking with him for a few weeks about my income. The discussion was mostly along the lines of me asking for a big breakthrough with the voice acting I’ve been doing. Something was right around the corner. I could feel it. I also felt my writing was about to provide fruit through the freelance jobs I had been seeking. But he had a different plan.

Isn’t that like him? We ask for something, thinking about how it will come about, and he answers it in a different manner.

That’s what I get for listening.

And I’m grateful for it.

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A CHALLENGE FROM ME TO YOU

Do you want to learn more about listening to God? Do you want to have a better, more frequent, conversation with him?

Starting September 1, 2016, I’ll be leading a group through an online reading/discussion/study of Mark Batterson’s book “Draw The Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge”. This 40 day study is based on Mark’s incredible book, “The Circle Maker”.

I previously led this study during Lent in 2015. It was transforming for many people, including me. The group is forming on Facebook. This is your invite to join us. Here’s a link to the group: 40 Day Prayer Challenge Facebook Group

If you have ANY questions about it, please don’t hesitate to contact me by email, phone, Facebook Messenger, etc.

I’m excited to begin!

Email: rick@ricktheule.com

Draw the Circle