Despite my initial issues with the Groups roll out on Facebook, I do see some great reasons to use the tool. Here is a list of important things to keep in mind as you interact with the Groups tool.
1. Groups can be set up with 3 levels of privacy:
- Open-member list and content is public
- Private-member list is public, content is private
- Secret-member list AND content is private
Make sure you know what kind of group you are in. This will help with reputation management as you post content.
2. Your friends can add you to any group without your permission. Facebook does allow you to remove yourself once you discover this, but depending on how often you use Facebook or what your notification settings are, this could be an issue.
3. Members of a group can add their friends and so on and so on. Your small, intimate group could become large and unwieldy if not managed.
4. If you add friends to as group and they unsubscribe, they will not have the ability to ever rejoin the group. This seems a little Draconian to me and is generating a lot of negative buzz, so I would look for changes in the future.
5. Know that your personal profile settings remain with you in a Group. If your profile content is set to “Friends Only” access, then you can be assured that Group members who are not Friends will be unable to see your full profile. (Remember there are key pieces of a profile that Facebook doesn’t allow to be hidden: Name, gender, profile photo, network, Groups & Pages you belong to.)
6. Adjust your group settings to insure that your smart phone isn’t bombarded with a billion email notifications of group action and posting. Can make you run from groups forever if you belong to a large one and don’t make the settings changes.
7. Find a Group that you are interested in? You can’t add yourself like to a Facebook (Fan) Page, but you can send a request to the Group owner to add you or find a friend who is already a member and save a step.
8. Intimacy- Groups allow you to create private havens to share information with a select group of people in a closed setting. Perfect for friends, families, organization boards, committee, etc. that have a finite group of members.
9. You can post Updates, Links, Photos, Videos, Events and Documents to a Group Wall. There is a wiki feature that allows the group to edit documents on the site similar to Google Docs.
10. Be prepared to receive many Friend Requests as people in the group will notice your postings and may want to connect further.