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  • Accessibility

    Pros

    Free and easy to sign up to with limited steps to access group

    Easy to access once signed in as a member and can be logged in via Facebook account

    Cons

    Can be too easy to access and especially when used on mobile which can be socially unacceptable when in the presence of others

    Have to log in (if cookies have not been set)

    Understanding

    Pros

    Many users already have Facebook so easier to join groups and posting is easy to understand

    Users tend to frequent Forums to search for specific content and sometimes social interaction

    Cons

    Users are confused between a Facebook page (typically large and public) and a Facebook group (typically small and private)

    not all users are versed in posting good and concise content to be fully understood and require prompting for further information

    Notifications

    Pros

    Email and screen alerts with new posts and responses

    Email alerts on new content and specific responses to your posts

    Cons

    Filtered comments which are automatically based on perceived relevance to the user

    Notifications can sometimes be overwhelming when topic is popular

    User Intent

    Pros

    Ideal for specific interest groups

    Community based platform with strong links to specific interests


    Cons

    Can be confusing in naviagtion between the numerous interest groups and pages

    Not intended for short term social interaction

    Privacy & Security

    Pros

    Privacy options have open, closed or secret options for information publicly displayed

    Private data is not sold or analysed and each visit is anonymous via analytics

    Cons

    Data is analysed by Facebook and used for advertising into their feeds. Accounts and profiles can easily be cloned and scamming is prevalent

    Spam posts can appear but generally they are instantly removed by a team of moderators

    Mobile use

    Pros

    Mobile support and enhanced graphical display make it more appealing to users

    Better overall user interface and layout when viewed on PC or tablet


    Cons

    Difficult to enter lengthy textual content with phone virtual keypad

    Not as functional on mobile so not as portable unless using third party software

    Content

    Pros

    Easy to post and share images and information to a specific target audience

    All posts are shared with other like-minded people and tends to be more relevant and engaging content

    Cons

    Group content competes against other content in the user's facebook stream which is often more relevant

    less graphical content and more textual based posts

  • Accessibility

    Pros

    Free and easy to sign up to with limited steps to access group

    Easy to access once signed in as a member and can be logged in via Facebook account

    Cons

    Can be too easy to access and especially when used on mobile which can be socially unacceptable when in the presence of others

    Have to log in (if cookies have not been set)

    Understanding

    Pros

    Many users already have Facebook so easier to join groups and posting is easy to understand

    Users tend to frequent Forums to search for specific content and sometimes social interaction

    Cons

    Users are confused between a Facebook page (typically large and public) and a Facebook group (typically small and private)

    Not all users are versed in posting good and concise content to be fully understood and require prompting for further information

    Notifications

    Pros

    Email and screen alerts with new posts and responses

    Email alerts on new content and specific responses to your posts

    Cons

    Filtered comments which are automatically based on perceived relevance to the user

    Notifications can sometimes be overwhelming when topic is popular

    User Intent

    Pros

    Ideal for specific interest groups

    Community based platform with strong links to specific interests

    Cons

    Can be confusing in naviagtion between the numerous interest groups and pages

    Not intended for short term social interaction

    Privacy & Security

    Pros

    Privacy options have open, closed or secret options for information publicly displayed

    Private data is not sold or analysed and each visit is anonymous via analytics

    Cons

    Data is analysed by Facebook and used for advertising into their feeds. Accounts and profiles can easily be cloned and scamming is prevalent

    Spam posts can appear but generally they are instantly removed by a team of moderators

    Content

    Pros

    Easy to post and share images and information to a specific target audience

    All posts are shared with other like-minded people and tends to be more relevant and engaging content

    Cons

    Group content competes against other content in the user's facebook stream which is often more relevant

    less graphical content and more textual based posts

    Currency

    Pros

    Good for messaging between clubs and friends whilst on the move

    Content disappears after user scrolls past and little long-term content searchability

    Cons

    Content is usually current and older posts can be 'revived' when a user adds a comment

    Sometimes takes longer for responses on posts due to less mobile usage

    Images

    Pros

    Easy to view rich media, live video and other visually displayed content

    More textual content that is searchable via Google and therefore relevant subject content

    Cons

    Sometimes pointless replies using Gifs and other visual responses to posts

    Not so good for graphical content but Galleries can easily accomodate members photos

    Pros

    Easy to share with friends and family or to groups and pages

    Easy to share links to most other sites via social links icons

    Cons

    Not too easy to share outside of Groups platform without linking back to Facebook

    Some social media sites restrict sharing via incoming links

    Posting

    Pros

    Posts on public groups are shared across all friends and family

    While posting through Facebook groups is easier, in the long run its best to use a platform that you can export and store data if necessary

    Cons

    Displayed comments can be confusing or filtered which leads to less beneficial engagement

    More of a text-based platform so requires keyboard (virtual or physical) for input

    Moderation

    Pros

    Some moderation exists in the groups but is not always instantly adressed

    Moderation within the forums is generally very good and thorough by a team of moderators

    Cons

    Facebook posts are largely undermoderated content which can include bad language and bullying of other users

    Moderation can sometimes be based on an individuals' perception of offensive or controversial content

    Searchability

    Pros

    Content is searchable within the groups but is limited by timeframes

    Search engine spider's content, so when a user shares a problem and a remedy then a search engine shares this and helps other owners...like a real community should

    Cons

    Posts can't easily be searched, browsed, or categorised. This leads to large amounts of duplicate content, wasted admin time, and excellent discussions get lost

    Content is completely searchable but can deliver large content of results which can take a time to refine the results

  • Why forums offer much more than Facebook groups

    Although Facebook Groups offer 'on the fly' communication with other like-minded individuals, in the long-term there is no real depth of knowledge to be sourced. Say for example, you post up a question and you patiently await some answers and they more posts come along. Your post will drop down the Facebook page and be forgotten over a short time span.

    Searching is also more difficult to achieve, whereas the answer may be there, but you won't be able to find it. In Forums, although the communication is slower as most users won't respond immediately, your question will be answered and the solution to your problem can easily be searched not matter how long the time frame.

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