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Running a Facebook Group is No Different than Running a Shop

Quick summary: To the haters of group admins, give peace a chance. Cut them some slack as they tackle their difficult job,

After reading the latest anonymous article on physician communities such as those that are run on Facebook, I felt I had to respond. Differing perspectives are needed, when assessing the good or evil of today’s efforts, after all, and the other side deserves a chance.

My friend runs a Facebook group. She’s been doing it for a few years.

I met her online, as the admin of her group. I reached out to her with a question, and she answered kindly, giving her perspective. Throughout that initial conversation, I felt a genuine concern for physicians, and the apprehension she felt about leading them. There would be bad seeds among them, she knew, and in her space, she needed to weed those out.

Over the years, I’ve watched as the group has grown. I’ve seen innocent posts asking for help, and I’ve seen posts that hit a nerve erupt into an all-out virtual war, with behind the scenes demands and accusations that most of us will thankfully never been privy to.

Running a group is hard. It’s a full-time job.

 

I've seen posts that hit a nerve erupt into an all-out virtual war, w/behind- scenes demands/accusations that most of us will thankfully never been privy to. Running a group is hard. It's a full-time job. Click To Tweet

 

 

Running a group properly requires that rules be set in place. Although they’re there, they are often difficult to enforce.

One cannot, for example, ensure that a colleague who is offering their “free” services is truly doing this for altruistic purposes. In fact, most of the times, they’re not! I can openly say that here, because I’m cloaked by the veil of anonymity. But it’s absolutely true.

Behind every “come to my webinar” claim that’s posted on a wall lies email collection, or sales funnel scheme. Your colleague will come to your webinar, where they’ll be convinced to pay for your services.

 

Behind every 'come to my webinar' claim that's posted on a wall lies email collection, or sales funnel scheme. Your colleague will come to your webinar, where they'll be convinced to pay for your services. Click To Tweet

 

 

I’m sorry if I sound jaded, but I’ve quite honestly had enough.

These attempts to convert us into clients reminds me of those timeshare pitches you have to sit through, to earn a free vacation. Have you ever been through them? A company will promise you the getaway of your dreams, in exchange for your having to sit through a sales pitch that convinces you to invest in a timeshare. Pressure is applied during that time, in nonstop fashion, making it tough to say no.

So sure, it’s easy to blame the organizer of a group, but at the end of the day, he or she are making some tough decisions on their own, and they’re not including you on those backstories, messenger exchanges, and aggressive push by the entrepreneurial docs they deal with. They’re keeping you safe from what can be predatory behavior of fellow physicians, out to make a buck on the backs of their pals.

 

Organizers are not including you backstories, messenger exchanges, and aggressive push by entrepreneurial docs. They're keeping u safe from what can be predatory behavior of fellow physicians, out to make a buck on the backs of their pals. Click To Tweet

 

 

Regarding affiliates, it’s really no different than any other organization that welcomes you in. They’re building the space, they’re expending energy to run it, and make it inviting and safe, but they also need to take in sponsors to help them run. Keep them alive. What’s so wrong with that?

Before you do away with your next group admin, think long and hard through how other businesses do things, and why someone’s personal group tactics bother you so much. Maybe each of us should focus on the goal at hand, to change medicine, rather than on which affiliates our hard-working group admin decides to work with.

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