These are notes from Jim Campbell’s 12/22 Live Facebook event on the Facebook group Citizens for Inclusion and Progress.
Because this is a secret group, always respect the privacy of our members.
State of the group
Current membership and level of participation
The principal purpose of this group has been to discuss, promote, and coordinate activism in opposition to policies that will likely be implemented under the government of President Donald J. Trump. We are fulling this purpose *every day*. Our group was founded on 11/21/16, and one month later, we have 225 members!
The chart below shows our rate of membership increase since beginning. Facebook does not track information on members leaving groups, and it therefore shows 41 more members than we actually had on 12/23. I observed that most of the decline came in the beginning when people were not certain about the nature of the group. Overall, only 15.4% have left the group since joining.
We are sharing reading material, news reports, advice, and encouragement, and this was exactly what we had hoped. Our discussions have been positive and driven by facts, and, as we enter the last month before Donald Trump assumes office, passion within this group is powerful and getting more so. Our activity statistics show how interested and committed we all are to putting ourselves out there and inspiring each other to participate.
According to a graph of the group’s activity I made via the website sociograph.io, we have had a steady increase in group activity since after the group’s first week — in which we had the expected burst of activity that came when the group was formed and the holiday lull of Thanksgiving week.
As one might expect, our highest activity is on weekends, and our lowest activity so far has been at the beginning of the work weeks. We have so far had 309 posts — that is more than 10 per day!
We still need participation!
Do not be afraid to speak out. We have only 39 distinct authors of posts, 63 commenters, and 103 likers —and that’s still a minority from among the 225 of us. If you are shy to participate, here are some suggestions.
How to Participate #1: Posts and comments
Here are some suggestions:
- Introduce yourself. Tell us a little about yourself, and why you have joined this group. Is there something in your background that explains why you oppose Trump, or are troubled by today’s times?
- Tell about your three biggest fears. Is it national security? Social instability? Medical care for citizens? The economy, hate crimes, loss of Constitutional rights? The environment, climate change? The policies of the Trump administration will drastically affect these key areas and more, and much of what he promises will be hostile and destructive to our societal health. Read about it, think about it, and tell us what you believe.
- Recommend a book, movie, magazine, or website that has inspired you. There is a lot out there for reference — and we can add your suggestions to the pinned post and to resources we provide online.
How to Participate (#2): Write a piece!
If you want to write an essay or an opinion that is longer than your typical post, there are two sites you can use:
medium.com: This is a good site for informal blogging and essay writing. I use that and have had good success. The formatting tools are simple, and your work is auto-saved as you go. Documents are not visible to others until you publish or share them.
Articles you write are in three states of availability:
- Draft (visible only to you)
- Unlisted (visible to anyone with a link, but not publicly listed on the main site)
- Public (visible to anyone, publicly listed)
It is also possible to share the document with a select audience. For our site, I recommend using the Unlisted status. When you are ready to share it with the group, post a link to it.
Google Drive (drive.google.com): This is Google’s free cloud storage site, which you can use to store any files, in which you get 5GB of free storage. From this site, you may create and develop formatted text or spreadsheet documents using Google’s Doc and Sheet formats, and share them at any level of privacy. You can use docs.google.com and sheets.google.com to access specialized templates for text and spreadsheets, respectively, which you then can store in your Google Drive site.
When you are ready to share, just post a link to your article in the group, and encourage people to click there and give feedback.
How to Participate (#3): Live Video
On Facebook, a Live Video is easy to do, especially with a smartphone that has a front-facing camera. Steps are:
- Open Facebook app
- Press the upper right menu bar that appears as three horizontal lines (circled in red)
- Select the “Citizens for Inclusion and Progress” group (circled in red)
Group page appears.
- Just for clarity, scroll the page up a bit.
The upper right menu bar that appears as three dots in a row moves up to the middle.
- Press the upper right menu bar (circled in red).
Drop down menu appears.
- Press “Start Live Video”
Your camera will start with a countdown which you can stop if you’re not ready. If you let the countdown go to 0, your live video feed to the group will start.
Again, the feed will be available only to group members — not your whole friend list or to the public.
Feel free to contact me directly if you would like to do a live feed and have any questions (http://facebook.com/james.campbell).
Just FYI: the live feed I did on 12/22 was the first time I ever used Facebook Live.
How to Participate (#4): Bring your friends
You can add any Facebook friend who you think would enjoy this group, without any administrative approvals. Just go to the top of the group page, and click “Add Member”. Facebook will recognize any name that in your Friends list. It is best to get the person’s permission in advance, of course, but I’ve added people without doing so and have had no complaints. Anyone can leave the group at any time. If you type a friend’s name, and it is not matched, it is possible that that person is already in the group, or that person’s privacy settings prohibits the operation.
Requests for future business
Conduct on the group has been very positive — no attacks, insults, or flame wars. The only disagreements I have seen have been constructive — generally about terminology or finer points. This is by far the longest series of discussions I have seen about the 2016 election or politics in general that has not resulted in mud-slinging and anger.
However, as we go forward, the large size of this group means we should take some administrative actions to avoid problems.
- Request for moderators. Because I want members to be able to add other members freely, unfriendly people may accidentally join. Also, abusive behavior can come up suddenly. These events increase in likelihood as we go along and get bigger. Let’s have at least one moderator, since things can come up. A moderator has the right to remove posts or comments, or to block or remove members. If you are available to do that, please friend me on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/james.campbell).
- Connect to other groups. There are groups all over with our sort of mission coming up all over Facebook, and there are local activist groups that come with them. One such group is the Stronger United Movement group, founded by Trish Gilbert in California, which now has over 52,000 members. Please feel free to join and recommend other groups, and encourage exchange of ideas among them. I believe a national effort is emerging, one that is energized by a network of Facebook and social media groups. If we want to oppose and stop some horrible policies, we need to come together. There is no time to reinvent the wheel.
- Begin building a closed, not secret group? In order to get ourselves better networked, we could make this group into a closed group, or alternatively migrate members (with permission) to a closed version of this group. Note: the group will remain secret and its status will not change without approval of all the members.
For the summary of the op-ed portion of the presentation, go here: