What's the point of a Facebook group?
I couldn't help noticing one or two of my Facebook 'friends' joining the Scalable Semantic Web Architectures Fb group. How ironic is that - locking away semantic Web discussions in an almost entirely non-semantic, non-open forum like Fb? Good grief.
I've yet to see a Fb group that did anything other than fragment discussion away from other, better forums - though in most cases even that doesn't happen, since in most of the groups I've joined there isn't much discussion full-stop.
Don't get me wrong - I like Fb... I just don't understand what useful purpose groups serve in anything other than a purely trivial context, which is after all what Fb is best at.
So what are Fb groups good for?
- They make a point, either in the creating of them or the joining of them. They say something about who you are, what your interests are and what you believe in.
- They offer a reasonably useful place to share photos of people in the group, particularly for smaller groups of real friends. The photo-tagging feature is quite nice, provided one is willing to ignore the 'locked-in content' type issues.
- In some cases they might put you in touch with other people that share your interests and that you don't know already - but I'd be interested to know whether this ever happens much. My suspicion is that it doesn't.
- Group names can sometimes be quite humorous (in the short-term).
I've yet to see any other benefits. What am I missing? How could this situation be improved?