Catching up on unread mail, I found this message from O’Reilly user group maven Marsee Henon:
Mary Rotman and I have started an O’Reilly Media Facebook group
and wanted to let you know. We’re also looking for more content
to add such as photos, videos, or other things you’d like
to share with our fans.
If you have a facebook account, the link above should take
you straight there. If you don’t, now’s a great time to join.
Now, we sell a couple of million books a year, and have millions of unique visitors to our online sites, yet in the nearly a month and a half since Marsee and Mary started the Facebook group, I see only 229 members, including me. (I just joined.) You’d think that with all our millions of customers, more than 229 would have discovered and joined this group. Even leaving all our anonymous readers out of it, Marsee has a database of more than 2500 user groups who interact with O’Reilly, with collective membership of perhaps 250,000, assuming an average user group membership of 100. (The largest user group in our file, the Brasilia Java Users Group, has 20,972 members, so this number may be low.)
As Dave McClure keeps telling us, Facebook virality doesn’t happen naturally. You have to work at it, particularly through News Feed Optimization. But I’m mindful of the fact, noted in our report on the Facebook Application Platform, that there doesn’t appear to be much of a long-tail of Facebook applications. There’s a very short head. Contrast this with the web, where there is a huge amount of activity out in the tail.
What are your thoughts? How many of you (Radar readers) are on Facebook? How many of you join groups? How useful are those groups to you?