Closing the CHT Facebook group?

Here are further thoughts. As a FB user (but one who is hoping to leave soon) and former member of the TWS group, I want to comment on the extensiveness of the FB network.

On Sunday, I participated in a panel at the Hawaii Book and Music Festival. Three panelists have posted images and written about their experiences on FB, thus potentially reaching over a thousand friends. The sharing, commenting, and loving (yes, there is lots of love) that goes on can’t be replicated at the forum, in my opinion.

FB is sort of like high school. You belong to a high school connected to hundreds across the country. You get introduced to new friends through old friends, and through sharing and commenting you bond.

The forum is sort of like university. You leave your high school and neighborhood to go somewhere where most people cannot follow you. Your fellow participants are strangers to whom you have to introduce yourself. Everything takes place through conversation, discourse, and everyone has a university attitude. What binds us is a kind of idealism, a mission.

All of this is to say that the two experiences are very different, and I think we have to let those who prefer one over the other have their preference. So, for now anyway, I am reversing my position on this question.


I’m on both but use Facebook for business only (booking ads). I love the CHT email updates each month. It’s a good model.

If the actual goal is to educate people then we must go to where they are - FB, twitter, snap, IG, etc. They won’t come here if they don’t know where we are.

People can still be an advocate for CHT even though not in this forum. The quality of their advocacy may be poor but it is something. When an scale point is reached, (eg X amount of users) we can shut down external pages on FB, iG whatever (after notification period)

If we shut down on external forums/spaces to early we go into the realm of radical fundamentalists. we need a big group to implement cognitive social change.

On Facebook some people are getting stoked on the greyscale home-screen concept. That is a win.

This forum is home base, everything else are satellite groups. I believe the heart of the movement stays here.

Can we mak a request to improve the typography in the forum? Line spacing, line widhts, scaling, vertical rhythm. i would suggest focussing on design of the forum if its possible.

is there a git we can make suggestions to?


I agree with you on this, but a good social media strategy is needed to make this work. You already name 4 major networks and an etcetera, to which I would add LinkedIn (what I use instead of FB). If we have high value discussion and ideas arising in all these media it will be a huge PITA to bring it all together to this forum and/or the tools we use to follow them up (e.g. github, wiki, etc.).

The problem is that then we have N networks over which the CHT community is spread, we get people missing out, and duplicate discussions and content.

Not impossible to overcome, but requires much community effort to bring it all together again. Would work if all social media channels conducted traffic efficiently to this forum and follow-up tools.

Yes! I previously described this forum as a first-stage body of raw information to be followed-up with more appropriate tools, but maybe it should be considered 2nd-stage and the social media channels be the first-stage, targeted to community outsiders, and these channels be conductors of information to this forum, attractors of new community members.

Yes, this should be part of the solution. Maybe close the thread in that channel, if it was picked up and continued on the forum.

Yes, @ferj, @anon22019695, @patm and @Mamie , I strongly agree with you that we can only make significant changes to the other channels (or even closing them) can only occur once this forum is improved.

Like @Mamie said we are working on a plan to improve the Discourse forum, and this includes visual changes. Discourse has a feature that allows custom themes (using CSS files). We’ll provide a means for any member to participate in this, and we are thinking to provide Github issue lists to cooperate efficiently.

More info will follow. Until that time you can add suggestions to Suggestions for improvement to the community forum


A post was merged into an existing topic: Suggestions for improvement to the community forum

I do not believe there is any great value of having a Facebook group as well as this forum, so yes my vote would be to close the Facebook group and invite them to sign-up to this forum instead. This forum allows for focussed discussion, no opportunity for distraction and no opportunity to disappear into the rabbit hole called Facebook. If there was a way to vote for suggestions inside this forum that would be useful. Thanks for asking the question @aschrijver, you are doing a great job for us all and we appreciate you.


Thank you @john! I was thinking of extending an earlier idea I posted to allow it to become a powerful activism and social media tool. Just didn’t take the time yet to do it, but it involves adapting this for use with CHT: Idea - Turning the weapon around, raising awareness!

I propose we create a bridge between the forum and the FB group and that communication and access be made as easy as possible. For example, the contest to create T-shirts and other products can be advertised on the FB page, creating interest in the forum, showing that it has action plans, and enlarging the number of possible participants.

The discourse app allows you to post to FB, but while I can do this to my own FB page, I can’t seem to do it to the Friends of TWS page. Let’s try to fix this and break down the wall between us.


Sorry to be a party crashes but I get that feeling I don’t want my posts on FB though-,it gives me that creepy privacy invasive feeling…


Yes, of course. Sorry to suggest that people’s posts and comments would be shared on FB without their permisson.

I know that @aschrijver et al. are working on alternative social media. My aim in saying what I did was to focus on a way to reach people on FB without closing down the group.

If the people there wanted to close down the forum, we would be upset, right? But suppose they said, “We want to communicate with those of you on the forum”? Wouldn’t that be a good thing? Wouldn’t we want a bridge?

I agree with those commenters it is not yet the right time to close the FB forum. There are 2 billions of souls out there. Just think if you were able to attract just 5% of that number it is equavalent to 100 millions souls. Potential recruits have so many friends too. I mean the opportunity to mine and weaponized( pardon the word by I am talking about positive weaponization ) FB for our cause are so great to miss. What we need is the best ways to market CHT on FB forum. So far our message to attract this forum on FB is to plain and neutral. It lacks in my view life. We need to market this forum more effectively. And one of the important ways to easily get the interest of millions of users or perhaps billions we make sure that our product being offered to them are appealing, welcoming, inclusive, user friendly, easy to understand to lay people ( majority of fb users ) generate excitement and the will to participate, vitality, full of life etc. A good and user friendly product is an effective marketing by itself. To broaden our appeal we need to have an effective marketing tool on FB. Words of mouth from satisfied users aside from being a good marketing tool is a sort of validation that there is something useful out there that aligned with their interest. ( CHT forum I mean ) We need to seize the present opportunity we have in FB. Spread and disseminate the good news!

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Make it a dead end page- and don’t post screenshots of things from this or any other forum there. Whomever wants to join here can. I dint post on Facebook at all anymore- posting here is so different- it is focused on a cause.

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What is wrong with posting or bridging CHT to FB. and vice versa? If it helps our forum then go for it. We need to revitalize and energize this forum. Any useful ideas are welcome.

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If there is both a FB (plus other social media channels) and a CHT forum, then the latter one should be the high value information source, the place-to-be.

The FB group in that case should offer strong incentives to move to CHT forum. If someone has something of real value to add to the humane tech conversation, then it should be added to CHT forum to be elaborated.

I don’t know what moderation features FB offers, but I think the moderation should be very permissive on what is posted, but must kick in as soon as the discussion gets interesting. The moderator should then jump in with a message, like “Wow, this is great stuff. We will promote it to CHT forum level”, create a topic on the CHT forum and post a link to it in the FB thread, and then close the FB thread for further discussion (if this is possible, and the FB group is not a long timeline of posts. I dunno :slight_smile: ) .

This way you don’t get parallel, fragmented communities where active members need to have an account on all CHT social media channels and parse them to get the union of the subject matter.


To the moderator yes very important and I am just replying to@aschrijver. anyway no one is commenting, It is like a ghost town in here. :smile: Back to the topic. It is up to you how to do it more effectively as long as we will increase our members and they are moving here for real.

There’s no way to publish read-only content on FB, but we could definitely start promoting this group more via FB, especially as a hopeful eventual migration off FB.

There are definitely other/better private community platforms that offer the functionality that this one (Discourse?) doesn’t.

The bottom line is that communities don’t succeed or fail because of platform–as much as Facebook would like people to believe that their Groups are essential to thriving communities. They are definitely not; however, community management is.

I think this is a great idea; however, it would require a ton of work to have someone basically managing this community and the FB community. FB definitely doesn’t make it easy to do stuff like this because obviously they don’t want to drive people off FB. There aren’t any moderation tools in FB groups (that I know of).

I’ll just chime in again that having a community live on Facebook isn’t what’s going to make it a successful, thriving community, and I do think that housing this particular community on FB is counter to CHT’s mission/values.

There are moderation tools for groups on FB.

The Friends of TWS group is thriving: three times as large as the forum community and several months older. Note that people like @tristanh and @Max are moderators for the group and that Max started the FB group.

@aschrijver’s suggestion that moderators step in and redirect conversations to the forum is very good. Randima Fernando and Aza Raskin are moderators of both the forum and the FB page.

Have we communicated with these folks that we want to move FB participants here? Aza R is CHT’s chief strategy officer, but do we have his thoughts? Cross-communication would increase chances of success.

Speaking of that, how many members of the CHT team are active on the forum? Very few it appears.

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I just spoke to @Mamie who is in close contact with the team and discussed a number of actions and planning. Parts of these is determining the social media strategy. Improvements to the forum will now start very soon, and the media strategy will be on the core team’s agenda as well :slight_smile:

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For those of you not in the FB group, I wanted to share this.

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