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    Re: please consider a donation to 38Talk operations
    From: UNK
    Date: 2014 Jul 21, 16:55 -0600

    And to add one more bit, there already is a Facebook group for the
    38th Voyagers set up, I believe, by someone at Mystic Seaport.
    Matthew Bullard
    On Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 4:21 PM, Frank Reed  wrote:
    > Hello Bex,
    > You suggested: "why don't we create an invite-only Facebook group where we
    > can continue these discussions for free in perpetuity?"
    > Uh-oh! I did not mean to create the impression that 38Talk was in any danger
    > of vanishing. That is not even remotely the case. I've been managing online
    > communities since the mid-1990s. Most recently, I have been managing the
    > NavList community under the same conditions and systems as the present
    > 38Talk for the past nine years. There are very few communities on the
    > Internet that have been around for nine years. Even Facebook (astronomically
    > larger, of course) has been open to the public for a bit less time than
    > that.
    > Facebook groups are great for what they are. But they tend to be light, or
    > rather lite. Serious discussions never work on Facebook. I've watched this
    > for many years. It's a great place to "like" a photo of a sunset or to
    > "like" a video of sails in the wind, but that's where it usually ends. It's
    > no place for discussions beyond one or two sentence replies. In addition,
    > Facebook discussions are not quite free since FB drops advertising on every
    > page, and the algorithms used to populate those ad blocks are driven by
    > content you post in your group. As for Facebook being around for
    > "perpetuity", yes, the company and its basic social media operations will
    > undoubtedly be around for years and probably decades. But any single
    > feature, including any group you may imagine, can be removed, re-arranged,
    > re-targeted in any fashion that Facebook management sees fit, and you as
    > group members have no recourse whatsoever. I use Facebook myself (friend me
    > up!), but it is a commercial operation with a voracious appetite for growth
    > and little regard for its members personal needs or desires, apart from the
    > generation of advertising revenues.
    > Finally, why "invite-only"? I say, invite everyone who may be interested.
    > That's one small way to guarantee lasting value for the 38th Voyage. Don't
    > shut the public out; invite them in! And incidentally, Google is already
    > indexing these 38Talk messages.
    > The huge advantage of a community like 38Talk compared to a Facebook group
    > is that you have someone to complain to. If it's offline or if you're not
    > receiving messages the way you want to, you contact me. And I fix it right
    > away. Good luck finding anyone, anywhere on the staff of Facebook who will
    > pay attention to individual concerns.
    > You also wrote:
    > "Plus, your inbox won't be flooded with emails (unless you really want it
    > to) but you can check the group homepage whenever you need a dose of
    > maritime nerdiness."
    > Just to clarify, 38Talk offers the option of receiving messages by email,
    > but it is by no means the only way to follow the group. If your inbox is
    > "flooded", then you may have missed some previous messages. You can check
    > the homepage for 38Talk anytime you want, right here. And you can turn off
    > emails or adjust your settings, perhaps switching to daily digests easily
    > (instructions here).
    > And you concluded:
    > "And Frank won't be out more money."
    > Asking for donations is always risky. But that's all it was... Wikipedia
    > regularly asks for donations, thus saving us from more advertisements. And
    > that's the model for 38Talk. Donations help, but they're not essential. If
    > you can't make a donation or simply don't feel like it, that's no problem at
    > all. NavList donations generally support 38Talk, too. A quick thanks to
    > those 38Talk members who have already contributed!! It really helps.
    > Frank Reed
    > Conanicut Island USA
    > View and reply to this message

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