Create an Online Community

With all the digital tools in use, it's a big temptation to want to create an online community for our committee or anybody who is supporting our campaign to form a union. Creating an online community through Facebook, Google or a simple website can give people a place to connect online where they are free to talk and share resources.  

questions to ask

Like everything else, think about what you are really trying to accomplish, who's your audience and the pros and cons of different platforms or taking it online at all.  A few things to think about:

  • Is this public or private? Even private platforms can be hard to manage with large groups.
  • What do you want people to share? Ideas, opinions, reports, lists? Don't share anything that you wouldn't otherwise put in writing and be wary of sharing anything that you would not want public.
  • Be honest about limits of the online platform. Don't expect it to be a substitute for what can be accomplished face to face.  

FACEBOOK GROUP

If you want to create an online community where workers from different locations can speak to each other in a private setting, you may want to set up a closed Facebook group or a Google group.  Access is by invitation only.  Your group is likely to fail if people are not already on Facebook or using Google apps.  Remember that larger undefined groups increase the likelihood that you accidentally approve someone to join who you may not want included.

Read more on Facebook groups here.
Read more about Google Groups.
Best Practices for Facebook Live and Periscope.

GOOGLE DRIVE

If people are comfortable with Google, you also can correspond with people through email and share resources through Google sites on Google drive. Google drive is a shared location to use all of the Google apps, including Google Groups and Google sites.  Learn more here:  

Google Drive 
Google Sites 

WEB MICROSITES

A website is your home base, and you should never use a social media platform in lieu of a public-facing website if there is capacity to set up a basic page with information about your organization as well as contact information. Microsites can be used in ongoing organizing campaigns and are simplified websites with templates. Here's an example: Momentive example.

Some places to find free or low-cost websites are Wordpress, Wix, Weebly and Google sites. Contact [email protected] if you want more info on free or low-cost websites.