📝 Notes for the Curious: Edition #73


Before we begin, I want to say a quick thank you for all the lovely emails and messages I received after the last Notes, there were so many! I am trying to work my way through them but it may take a little while. It was incredibly uplifting to read your stories and messages of support. Particular thanks to my local Notes readers for offers of coffees and walks in the park, I will be taking you up on those.

The last Notes really seemed to strike a chord with many of you. The links were some of the most clicked since I started the Notes and it is wonderful to know that so many of you enjoy the same things I do. I’m looking forward to bringing you more in 2019.

Now, let’s get on with the Notes…

1) The Life of a Facebook Moderator

There has been a lot written recently about what it is like to be a Facebook Moderator, meaning the people behind the scenes at Facebook who assess the reported content on the platform. Where there is a gap, though, is in understanding the other type of Facebook moderator. The people who have started, or become part of a team running Facebook Groups. I am quietly confident at this point that there is a Facebook group for everything. Any topic you want to know more about, almost certainly has one or more groups dedicated to it on Facebook. For the most part these groups are started by individuals who are looking for connection with other people around the same topic. Some of them are professionally run by businesses or brands, most of them are not, they are run by people who give up their personal time and energy so that others can feel connected.

You would think that this is an easy role, I can assure you it is not. Running a healthy, relatively* safe space on the internet is often a soul-sucking activity which, on occasion, truly makes you question humanity as a species. The paradox of online communities is that if you create a space which is valuable to the members and where they feel that they belong, anything which disrupts the experience they want to have is amplified and that heightened emotion can often cause them to act in ways that they would never (you hope) behave if they met you offline.

In this piece, the moderator of a Facebook group explains an experience I am all too familiar with, what happens when a group requires moderation and the effect that can have both on the group and on the moderator.

* There are no safe spaces on the internet, relative safety is the most we can hope for as online moderators.

2) Who runs the world?

“Women are the single largest productive economic force, and drive almost every economic indicator for businesses. But that’s not the impression we get when we read economic data or view advertising.” And at some point we’re really going to have to start asking ourselves why. This is your Long Read for this edition of the Notes, it’s time to find out more about the silent rise of the female economy.

3) Technology doesn’t create community, people do

If you’ve been following our work over on Redefining Communities you will know that community is the heartbeat of the work I do in the world. Having built communities in Europe on and offline since the year 2000 there is no doubt that the advances in technology and the impact of social media has made connecting people much easier than it used to be. But technology cannot create community, only people can. Technology can facilitate the community experience and I believe that understanding how to harness that is only going to become more important, but it cannot create it. If you are wondering how communities start this piece will give you the basics. Over the festive season, we also published a Community Builder’s Reading List.

4) Tell me a story

I’ve mentioned before in the Notes that Facebook and Instagram are going all in on the Stories feature in 2019. If you’re not sure where to start with Stories, Buffer has created a great tool to help you create great looking Stories in just a few clicks, and it’s free! Welcome to the Stories Creator.

5) Get good at small talk

One of the reasons (other than being an extreme introvert) that I don’t enjoy networking events is because of the small talk. I really can’t get interested in the surface level stuff, and that means that I am reluctant to engage in conversations where I know I will walk away feeling frustrated that I didn’t really get to know anything about the other person. But, small talk, it seems, is important. Here’s why, and how you can get better at it.

Until the next Notes,


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Who am I and who do I help? I’m Emmy McCarthy and I make small businesses better and help people create leadership in their communities.

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