Make Games SA Facebook Group (Should we start one?)

edited in General
There was a fair bit of discussion about MGSA and Facebook over here:

Of the people participating in that discussion, there seemed (to me) to be a consensus that having a Facebook group (as apposed to the Facebook page that currently exists) would be worthwhile, particularly in attracting people to our community that don't use forums, to be able to include these people in our meetups and to offer them some of the advantages that being a part of this community provides (like contact with professional developers and hopefully some seasoned advice and feedback). It seemed (to me) that the cost of splitting the community between two platforms was judged to be worthwhile (as effectively there is a split between developers who use Facebook and developers who use forums currently anyway).

Is this something we should go ahead with? If so, are we waiting for anything?

And are there any other opinions that haven't been expressed with regards to this subject?


  • I get the same impression as you, and don't see any reason to not.
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    (I made a secret one for testing Facebook functionality.

    And then Nick made one too, also secret, not knowing that I'd made one.


    Communication fail. :P

    Third time lucky? XD)
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    Yeah, I suppose I do feel it's a bit weird to be starting another Facebook group after South African Game Developers exists on Facebook. But that group is keeping itself isolated from Make Games (and not sharing posts about our meetups and other community news), so it seems to me we'd have to start our own one to avoid those politics.

    (I mean, I think in an ideal world ALL South African game developers would be under one banner, but it looks like we're going to have different communities, which is a bit of an admin pain, but I guess a lot of people will just participate in both, and there's enough game developers in South Africa now to have multiple communities... which is AWESOME in itself).
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  • @Elyaradine lol :)

    Will we be able to get the "Make Games South Africa" group name?
  • Group names aren't unique, apparently, or Nick and I wouldn't have been able to call our groups the same thing, I think...? The part that's unique is the URL.
    Thanked by 1roguecode
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    @Elyaradine Well can we get "makegamessouthafrica" URL ? (or is "SA" better?)

    Does Nick have "makegamessouthafrica" ?
  • It is possible to make the group "open", right?
    And if so, can we consider making it open?
    When I am on FB and come across a group that I need to request access for, I generally get put off, even if I did intent to ask something.
    It's not like whoever admins the page is going to be able to (or want to) vet each request.
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    @EvanGreenwood: I don't know. I don't think I can change my one now; if we want "southafrica", then we can piggyback Nick's group, or start a new one.

    @roguecode: I'll change that if I can find it. I didn't see that setting before.

    (Also, not trying to be admin or anything. I've made Nick and Dave admins, and would like to remain a temp admin for the sake of being involved in getting the Facebook cross-post stuff working, or tossing that to whoever does the integration, but happy to step down and have fewer responsibilities once it's all set up, in case that's an issue, though I don't imagine it would be.)

    [edit] These are the only settings I see:

    * Any member can add or approve members.
    * Any member can add members, but an admin or a moderator must approve them.

    So I dunno. Maybe the group type needs to not be a "club"? :/ (There aren't any other categories that I saw that fit.)
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    We could just have a single post with a link to the right group on the group we don't pick as the main one.
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    I think a Facebook group will be nice because Facebook groups feel more personal. It is also less daunting to make a quick facebook post to ask a question about something instead of having to start an entire thread about it
  • I've created a new thread that I've pinned to the top that contains all our social media links
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  • I think the FB group is a good idea, although I'm not sure how our existing culture will manifest in a decidedly more real-time environment. I'm not saying we have a unique culture to preserve, I just mean I'm interested to see how active the community will be there in comparison to here.

    A note about the Facebook Page and the Twitter Page too: Neither of these really serve the community itself, these are merely outward facing - for those outside the community to see a curated collection of the best the community has to offer, slowly drawing them in, while also allowing non-developers to celebrate the community's work.

    At it's peak this worked really well - I saw a lot of developers find out about MGSA because content got shared, plus we amassed a significant following of non-developers merely interested in what South African devs created. If the front page is an attempt to showcase the best of the community, then the social media pages should form part of this strategy too.
    Thanked by 1mattbenic
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    @Bensonance Someone was making a point in the previous thread that Facebook pages are being de-emphasized by Facebook.

    I think we can see this, with a lot of the Make Games SA Facebook PAGE's following amassing a couple years back. Though I'm not sure if that's the effect we're seeing... ?

    It's still impressive that 1,400 people have been reached by that Facebook page.

    Does it make sense maintaining both a Facebook page and a Facebook group? Obviously the twitter is still essential. I really just don't know how these things interact (pages and groups, and the costs of having both, if there are any).
  • I think ideally, both Twitter and the MGSA FB page would stay as an "outward facing" curated stream, and then the new FB group would be more for general community discussion, much like this forum but on the FB platform.
    Thanked by 1EvanGreenwood
  • @EvanGreenwood Yup that has indeed happened, making it pretty difficult to build audiences on your pages. If you already have a following it's still a problem, but you can at least still reach people (the organic reach is reduced pretty heavily now, but you can still get a bit of interaction/visibility).

    It's hard to really assess the Facebook page because it's been essentially inactive for a long time. Since we stopped maintaining it and posting content to it. Sure there's a lot of event sharing on it, but that was never the type of stuff that built the page's audience even before the reach of pages was nerfed.

    Twitter has been a bit more active, especially through retweets, because that requires a lot less interaction. It's still grown, slowly, over time.

    Oh I didn't mean to say we should focus on those pages rather than the group, just wanted to make the point about pages, because I hadn't seen it made before.

    I don't think it makes sense to only have one or the other. Although, if there isn't going to be active social media management, then a FB group makes more sense for engaging the community there.

    A group just adds more admin and moderation work really. Plus I guess some culture grooming, and setting the tone. I see making a Facebook group as making a whole entire new community really. I think the idea of keeping the FB group and the forums intertwined is a bit of a stretch. The fundamentally different methods of communications make it hard to keep a consistent culture, and if the culture isn't consistent, is it really an MGSA group, or is it basically just another community?

    I'm interested to see how it plays out. We've been suffering from a lack of feedback on MGSA for quite a while. It's slowly creeping it's way back in, though. I'm intrigued to see what happens on Facebook. It's easier to share articles quickly and stuff, but I think it'll generally result in more surface-level interactions and feedback. Nyamakop uses groups to share posts into to increase visibility, we do that once a week to get a few thousand more impressions and that's it. Facebook group communities seem shallow and fast - which might actually be a good thing to compliment the forums.
  • @Bensonance Yeah, I think I agree with all of your assessments.

    The core argument for a MGSA FB group existing, as I think @Angrymoose originally outlined, is that some think (myself included) that the current SA Game dev Facebook groups don't get much interaction from experienced developers, and so aren't really much of a service to their members (on the axises of feedback and advice). We'll see I guess if we can do better :/
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  • Please start a facebook group. I liked the ZAGD group but that other oke keeps ruining the group because he tries and controls it. Then 5 months later he goes and replies to 1000 year old posts to get people to comment again.

    A lot of us using MGSA are on facebook more than we are here so I am sure that there will be more activity going on at facebook's side.
  • I think we also have to accept that there will be some users that will only ever interact with the Facebook group, and some that will stick to the forums, with a few that are active on both. That's fine IMO. As long as we're available to game devs looking for a home or help regardless of their preference.
  • @Elyaradine @LexAquillia Could one of you remove all the "admin" type posts?
    i.e. "x changed the type of group to y" etc.
  • Deleted the ones that I can delete. Changing privacy and the group creation one can't be deleted I think.
  • I know it's possible to pin posts on facebook groups. I don't know if you should maybe do this to post community rules for the page? Just because people might get a bit more spammy as the page grows. Just general rules like no more than one post per a game per a day or something.

    As @Bensonance says, real time interactions should change things quite a bit. Maybe a culture for things like screenshot Saturday and general indie discussions should be cultivated on the facebook page?
  • I'm an admin for the SA illustrators group and just some tips: You'll need an admin or 2 to run the page. You'll have to manually add people and police spam posts otherwise you'll inundated with rubbish posts. You'll most likely need to add posting rules in both the description and a pinned post.
    You'll also have to think about non SA people joining and posting. Many people spam groups in hopes of views / outreach.
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