Wednesday 4 December 2013

Pagan Writers Community

(click to enlarge)

I'm going to share a strange little story with you, because I live in a state of constant amazement.

Earlier on this year, I was asked if I'd like to become a moderator on a Facebook page called Pagan Writers Community. Being Pagan (loosely, more of a Humanist nowadays) and a writer, I'd been contributing links on and off.

'Go on then,' I said, and was duly opped.

Shortly after I joined, the site manager who opped me, along with the only other moderator, both decided to leave citing not enough positive interaction from members.

On her way out, she was about to delete the group.

'No!' I said 'Please don't do that.'

It had 14,000 likes, which I thought was an awfully impressive number at the time. I felt perhaps the palpable disappointment of 14,000 people might be enough to alter the structure of relativity in such a way as to cause rivers to flow backwards and birds to fall from the sky.

They agreed, and I was left holding the page. 

In just under three months, the number of likes has risen from 14,000 to just over 45,000!

I repeat: !!!

I'm not entirely sure it's anything to do with me or the way that I've been running the page. Facebook is a complete mystery in its own right. Someone said that if a page received a sudden influx of shares and likes, FB will somehow promote it, so even more people see it - sort of an avalanche effect.

Even so, with 45,000 followers, we're extremely lucky if even 10% of those see any given message. We seem to gather between 1,500-3,500 views per post. Not all that social a network, really. Still, it's interesting stuff.

Because of this issue with most of our fans never seeing anything we post, I decided to set PWC up with a more permanent online home and it now has a website

Along with this more stable presence, I've roped in a team of five volunteers (and growing) who help me keep things ticking over. There's Arietta and Nicole seeing to page content and moderation, and Tammie and Joshua helping me float ideas on how to develop the site. Oh, and Alex, who set up a dedicated NaNoWriMo group for this year's shenanigans.

It's proving to be a lot of fun. Ideally, I'd like to get the whole thing up and running in a sustainable, collaborative way, rather than acting as Commander in Chief - seriously, being an Overlord is time consuming.

But it's a truly fascinating project, especially for something I so randomly fell into. I've never experienced anything quite like it with social media before. I think it's safe to say it went viral throughout November. We may even hit 50,000 by New Year.

I'm wondering if we could amass an army and sail for Middle Earth?

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