Community posts on facebook

An A4 ‘landscape’ page of this data (posts from 10th May through 10th June, 2019) and its graphic representation is available by request to the editor. Or you could simply zoom in on your browser with the (+) key.

As I’ve mentioned before, we ignore the contemporary communications going on online, at our social peril, because there are so many announcements of events, happenings, notes and queries and photographs and really, a lot of communications busily filtering through various noticeboards that have immediate relevance to Allendale and the Allen Valleys.

So this particular entry is an attempt, for the historical purposes of the diary, to document, in a kind of verbal snapshot, the things about this patch that are posted, shared, liked and loved, online.

I’ve been trawling through just the one facebook group for this exercise: Allendale area notices. I know that the Tynedale bulletin board is also seen by folks in this area, but the ‘Aan’ is effectively our ‘local’ notice board. No doubt there are other groups I should be considering (and which I hope might be revealed in further Comments below, by kind readers), but especially for the purposes of this particular diary entry, ‘Aan’ should suffice for the moment, anyway. Let’s just consider the posts for the past month, shall we? Readers are invited to zoom in on the data above, which describes the posts I’ve categorised, and graphically presented.

No doubt there have been posts deleted, not accessible, missing for one reason or another just today, but in my trawl through the past month I’ve identified 316 separate individual postings. Of these, by far the most popular posts are those which promote one-off events in the community (22% of total posts), including this past month a variety of individual events within the May Fair umbrella, together with those that present photographs (and videos) of a variety of scenes and animals in the Allen Valleys (19% of total posts), or nearly half of all posts just between these two categories. So far, no surprise really. That would be what you’d expect, I think, just casually scrolling through the posts, and I do think that the photographs and event notices help to enliven this online noticeboard and reflect the delights of a vibrant village.

The surprise to me comes in the repeat promotions of continuing events, which comes up next, in third most popular place, at 10% of the total posts. It must be worthwhile to keep repeating these things, else folks wouldn’t do it, would they?

Hard on the heels of ‘repetitive promotions of ongoing events’ comes a category I’ve called ‘Event Comments’. This category, sharing honours with ‘Requests for help’ and ‘Queries for information’ is mostly filled with congratulations and thanks from the event organisers for all the support received at an event just past. A lovely gesture, of course.

And bringing up the lower echelons of frequency are those categories, somewhat forlorn, less frequent than we might suppose, which include ‘Business Announcements’, ‘Animal Notices’, and frank ‘Information’. Still, I was surprised at how many Business Announcements (16 out of 316 posts) had been posted, considering the rules of the group; only 1 of those business posts elicited an ‘admin admonition’ with a direction please to post business notices in ‘Allendale Local Business Directory‘. But the other 15 passed un-cautioned — I can’t quite figure out the criteria for when a business promoting their enterprise might get their wrists slapped in this facebook group, as this process seems quite arbitrary. As might be expected in a rural village, there were, though relatively few, a significant number of animal notices (16), ranging from sheep worrying, lost pets, wandering livestock, and sadly, road kills. Information snippets must also be very well appreciated — sometimes they come in out of the blue, and other times, of course, they’re offered as a comment response to an original ‘Query for Information’, but the comments and responses to individual posts are beyond the remit of this particular diary entry.

Quite a few other categories were represented by a handful of posts each, one was about my surgery (!), and I found one that apparently nobody could quite decipher.

And that’s a beginning picture of community posts online; it seems that timely, and attractive, notices of events, often reinforced with new information, and bolstered by ‘likes’, ‘loves’ and ‘shares’, can be very well received, much like the photographs of rural scenes and cavorting red squirrels. By the same token, however, notices that are over-heavy with tiny text, and that are rather hard to understand (I found a fair few of these, particularly concerned with one event), are probably unlikely to elicit much interest, and it doesn’t help to keep beating the same obscure drum.

In any event, I’ll be well primed now, on the back of my investigation into community posts, to create a better notice of a new event a friend of mine is putting on at the end of the month in Allendale Village Hall, won’t I?

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