Many collectors in the hobby use Facebook. It can be a very convenient tool to network and stay in touch with friends among the hobby, share photos and engage in conversation. It can be done from your computer or your mobile device and these devices can alert you when any activity happens on anything you put up, but when does this convenience over shadow the value of other services?
Currently, some of the problems I am facing while using Facebook as a tool for the hobby include:
- Organization of information
- Scroll length
- Topic visibility
- Group count
- Group repetition
Now, I am not saying Facebook does not have it’s place in our hobby, but should it really be our go-to medium?
Group User Count
In larger groups, such as any general game worn jersey group, the user count can get pretty high. The higher the user count, the more posts the group receives. When a post is made, a large portion of that post is displayed on the top of the list while others are pushed down the page.
With Facebook’s new implementation of For Sale posts, where one item is listed for sale at a time, what happens when I have 5 things to post for sale, immediately after you post a question about something?
Posts that contain a picture are given far more real estate space on a page than a post that just contains text. If you have a simple question with no pictures to attach, your question/post can easily get lost among the hundreds of posts a day in that group.
When something is posted, there is no topic line. This means, you have to read a pretty good majority of the thread before you find out if it is something you are interested in.
In an attempt at categorization, users have created groups for specific things, such as teams, regions, leagues, specific for sale. There are probably over 150 game worn jersey groups you can join. Some have very similar focuses. Some are the exact same group. There is no centralization.
If you are a broad collector and want to be aware of all the information thats out there, do you want to join and manage all these groups? Sift through content of each of these groups individually?
Maybe I have a jersey I would like to sell. I am a member of 2 groups dedicated to that team, a group representing the league the team plays in, and 3 general game worn jersey groups. Which do I post in? All that apply?
I just logged into Facebook. I see on my feed the same exact post 6 times in a row. Why? Someone posted a for sale listing in 6 groups that I am in that apply to each group by content. This could get tiring.
Do you remember that one thread about nameplates on vintage jerseys? I am trying to remember what that one guy said about them. I wish I could find it. I can’t remember which group its in. I cant remember who posted it. I can’t find it.
Convenience vs Value
Now, I am not saying Facebook doesn’t have its place in our hobby. I believe it plays a very big role for our hobby. I think it helps us reach people that normally wouldn’t know about the hobby, but when it comes to specific content and organization, I find it lacking.
There is no perfect solution as of yet, but some things are getting closer. Our GameWorn.us forum tries to keep content separated by category, but users can ‘tag’ their posts by idea. If a user tags their post as a specific team, you can click on the tag and see all posts with the same tag.
There is one unified place to go for all sale items, team content, collection sharing, etc. Topics are prefaced by a title, so you can determine based on the title if you want to open the topic.
Posts can be easily moved from one category to another if its better fitting.
You can format your posts with bullet points, lists, colors, fonts, sizes and customize the look of your post instead of allowing it to look like everyone else’s.
The forum may not be quite as easy to use as Facebook, but there have been major advancements.
I am not advocating the discontinued use of Facebook, but I would like everyone in the hobby to consider the content they are posting, and if it would be valuable to be referenced again at a later point. If its something that can be better categorized. Is the visibility at the highest level among other non-related posts?
Please, continue to use Facebook. Its a great medium, but also advocate other users to use forums. If not ours, then someones. Information is valuable, lets keep it around, categorized, and easy to find for new people joining us in the hobby. You may even meet some collectors that don’t have Facebook accounts that you never knew collected.