We are reaching the point when our two pages will have 20,000 members between them, even allowing for the overlap in membership, which isn't very great. Currently, OAC Facebook has 11,300 members and this main page 8,400. The first number is based on a much briefer period of existence and is growing rapidly, the second is coming on seven years old and recruitment, as well as participation, is slow.
I doubt if there are many of us who pay attention to both -- John Mc is pretty even-handed in his loyalties, but looking after OAC Facebook has drawn me away from here. The point of this thread is to invite comparison between the two and to discuss ways of bringing them closer together. The constituencies are markedly different. By my estimate at least a third of Facebook members are from South Asia. The use made of each page varies too. Contributions to OAC Facebook are snappier and involve less discussion, but the rate of participation is much higher.
This offers us a chance to consider the perennial question besetting such operations -- what induces and deters contributors? Beyond that, what are the propects for synergy in this case?
Incidentally, Fran Barone and I contributed a chapter on the OAC to a book which came out before Christmas: Sarah Pink and Simone Abram Media, Anthropology and Public Engagement. A link to that chapter may be found here 09%20chap%20Pink.indd.pdf.
I am not suggesting a soul-baring debate or even the need for urgent action, just the possibility of coming up with one or two ideas.
The discussion can stand on two legs. Here is a link to OAC Facebook.
Keith writes: "Most of us have not met in person and we are scattered around the world. Imo we need to play down the debating society aspect of our internal discussion."
I agree with this. A google group might be a good way to have some of these conversations on a back channel.
Ryan: eloquent, to the point of moving.
John: realistic, practical. I like the idea of “guerilla marketing.”
Keith: All aboard! Let’s googlegroup! (I have no idea what that is, but I’ll bet the word is well on its way to becoming a verb, if it isn’t already.)
I would only add the somber note that all our forum discussions and our planning for a future OAC unfold against a very scary global background. If Leach were around today, he’d have plenty of material for a sequel to A Runaway World. Anthropology, as a quest for truth, is serious business.
Just I would like to add that through many comments I could identify enough "MORE" but not "BETTER" so I claim to consider these details because in the new step... does not inmediatly means MORE a change, could be LESS, DIFFERENT, etc. etc....So this is a place that aloud to grow very quiclky, as a banana republic in the plantations, but ...you know all the meanings that it has...to grow for what? It is need to keep an eye in order not to do a tripilcation in name of change, quality, particpation, innovation..and with this last term , sometime I have alergy with the alienating fascination..maybe it is no new , we are watching like this...SINGLARITY it is another profile, so...just to see these terma and I consider interesting to see the intentions and realities.
Keith et al,
Please feel free to ping me if specific assistance is required (especially technical assistance). I don't feel free comfortable playing a central role atm due to trying to learn two languages and other things, but I'm happy to help with targeted issues if I can.
John McCreery said:
Who is creating the Google group? How does one become a member?
I will write to those who have signed up for the present initiative using the email address each of you has given to the OAC unless advised otherwise. The first item of business will be to agree on a method for communication between us. I suggested a Google group as one possibility, but others may have better suggestions. In my view this should not be public, in order to encourage free discussion. We will then pick one of us to run this mini-network, preferably not me. Believe it or not, I have a life which includes a family in Paris, jobs in London and South Africa, runnning the OAC, and many publishing projects. I also have what the Americans call health issues. So it is not my aim to control all this stuff personally.