Public -VS- Private
The debate continues which is superior? Private or public Facebook groups? To put in loose terms why not both? There are so many different types of communities that could have a population of 50 or 50 million. Just depends on what essentially the community wants. There is not a specific mold to create a community it all depends on the individuals in it. Referring to Lake (2009) “Give the people what they want by letting them make their own network.” At the end of the day, it all boils down to what the people want. People are the reason why we even have communities. Why not let them be in control of their community?
Let’s first talk about public groups on Facebook. There are many benefits when it comes to the utilization of public groups. Public groups can set up a good foundation when it comes to starting out on getting involved in more specific communities. Even creating a community, itself, going public can be a major asset. Public groups can also be a great way to network and get one’s name out there due to the wide ranged community. Going public gives ample opportunity for individuals to join and get involved with all having a common interest. Once the community starts to grow and advance. It then can lead into more private groups where it can get more specific. Overall public groups are a great starting point when it comes to getting involved in a community.
Private groups are impeccable when it comes to already established communities. Private groups give the opportunity to really strengthen the relationships between the individuals within the community due to the smaller number of people making it that more intimate. Private groups in general are a lot more calm and not as overwhelming to the user. Thus, making the online community less chaotic and more organized. Private groups also help filter out individuals who no longer are a part of that community or do not share the common interest. This helps keep the group up to date and relevant.
The two different types of groups can bounce off one another to create even more foot traffic for each group. For example, an individual was looking for a Beyoncé fan group. They go online and find a few public groups. However, the group’s members exceed over thousands of individuals who all have the common love for Beyoncé but are scattered across the globe. This individual is looking for something a bit more local and intimate. They proceed to post on one of the public groups asking if there are any Beyoncé groups in their area to please refer them to the group. One of the members reaches out and then refers the individual to a private group that love Beyoncé and has around 50 members that are in the same area. This is a perfect example of how public and private groups can work together to help the individual find their specific community. So why not both?
Lake, M. (2009, July 15). Timeline: The evolution of online communities. Retrieved from https://www.computerworld.com/article/2526581/timeline--the-evolution-of-online-communities.html