I moderate a writing discussion group on Facebook where we’ve banned any kind of promotion. The point is to develop a sense of camaraderie among members, and to share writing tips, techniques, friendship. It’s supposed to be a destination, a fun place to hang out, rather than a bulletin board with links to other sites. It’s almost impossible to get people to understand the benefits of such a group. The following correspondence I had with a Facebook Friend (now a former Facebook friend) is a graphic example. FBF joined the group on December 18, participated in a few discussions, and then sent me an interview for my interview blog.
December 20 — FBF: Did you receive my interview? I felt really good about my answers. What did you think?
December 23 — PB: Yes, I received it. Haven’t read it yet, but I did see it. I’ll read it when I format it for the site. It will be perhaps in a week.
December 23 — FBF: Yeah. You answered me on a post in the group so I already knew. I’m very excited. Thank you for doing this for me. You are amazing. Don’t let those promo people bug you. They obviously lack the social skills necessary to make friends and understand what professional respect means.
December 23 — PB: Actually, the one that bothered me the most was the guy who posted on the wall that what he hated was my whining about no promo. Before you joined, all anyone posted was promo, and some of the members rebelled. I was pleased because I’d just about decided to dismantle the whole thing. I think we’re developing a great group. Thank you for joining and for participating in our discussions.
December 23 — FBF: Your welcome. I’ve already gotten my book on two websites. An interview and two reviews in progress. And I never promoted my book once! So thank you.
December 23 — PB: See, that’s the whole point. Get to know people, and let them promote your book! And you’re welcome. I am glad to do what I can.
December 31 — PB: Hi. I posted your interview. Thank you! Sorry it took so long. Let me know if you need me to make any changes.
January 1 — FBF: It’s great. Thank you.
January 10 — FBF (in response to the question what three words describe your writing?): Comical, dialogue, needs-improvement. But that’s why I’m here.
February 8 — FBF: I posted a promo (a book trailer) on the group wall yesterday for a good writer, and it was removed. I’ve had enough. I’m outa here. [And then he used a lot of not-so-nice words.]