First, this post isn't about loving the groups or hating them. I merely want to describe and show my personal opinions about how I view the facebook, reddit, and G+ podcasting community groups. I have been participating and lurking since December 2013. Prior to that I simply just did what I did in my own studio. I figured I would jump in so I could meet people and see what else was out there. I meet a lot of awesome people by doing it as well. I personally think the best part in being a member is the access to great people that join these groups.
I am going to try to talk about the 3 main social networks that have groups that I utilize. Some of you might not know about all of these, but they exist at different levels. Some have different goals, and different people. The all talk about the same topic though which is podcasting.
Facebook Podcasting Groups
Facebook has several groups but I only use one of them. It's run by Megan Enloe and she works hard to make sure it's moderated correctly. Unfortunately, she is up against some of the most persistent individuals that insist using the group as their own pool of wallets they can use to make a living from. She also has to fight those that believe other podcast creators are dying to listen to new episodes from other podcast creators. For the most part this is a stellar group and most people use it correctly. They exchange news, thoughts, and help others when they can. I personally admin 20+ facebook groups and I can say that Megan is top tier in this capacity and she moderates along the same lines that I do in my groups. She might actually be a bit nicer than me though.
It's a shame that there is about 10% of the group that only joined for self-promotion of their shows or the blog posts. They truly take away from the rest of the group. I have come close several times to leaving the group, but I have decided instead to stay and call out all of the members who intend to use the group for their own private business.
I have made it my mission to make sure their multiple websites are disclosed, their blatant self-promotion is highlighted, and correct any attempts in manipulating any member for the sake or selling them something or earning a profit from someone who is new. You will find these folks in Zone D below in my image.
Google Plus Podcasting Community
There are two main groups on G+ that are about podcasting. One group is run by Jeffery Powers and he does a really good job running this group. He does this for a living so he is more empathetic to those that leverage his group for their own businesses. In fact, you will find all his moderators make money off of the podcasters that are in the group if given the opportunity. I am not turned off by this as I accept the group for what it is, the benefit of a few from the group as a whole. Actually compared to the other one, this is the better of the two. There is a lot of good information in that community as well so my point is that you should know upfront what the group is about.
The other group is ran by Mike Phillips. I left this group just because it was too narrow for me. It's much more restrictive and didn't really offer anything I couldn't get from Jeffery's group. The topics are focused on the equipment aspect of podcasting and I don't feel like there is enough to engage my attention to continue feeling obligated to check it out. Unfortunately, most topics are just duplicated between these two groups and hurt the overall community. Mike Phillips is a great guy from what I have seen of him so this is about the group and not his management styles. Well, I guess he guides the overall group and what it is about. So it's about the group and his management styles, but not him as a person. Hopefully that's better.
I generally don't use the G+ communities for podcasting discussion. They are just very slow and unexciting. I don't particularly engage with anyone from those groups, which is probably my fault, and my fault alone. I have however, met some really good people there. I highly recommend joining Jeffery's group if you are a podcaster and use Google Plus. Hopefully Mike won't want to beat me up too badly after reading this (assuming he cares enough to read this).
Reddit has a couple groups, but I only use one of them. It's super slow there and it's mostly a circlejerk for asking for feedback on the latest episode or buying a service. I personally check the reddit group once a week to see if there is anything interesting, and normally there isn't. I don't recommend the reddit group at all.
I created this graphic to show what I think about my first 6 months in podcasting communities. My overall thought is, meh. I think Megan and Jeffery do it right. This doesn't mean I don't like the other people, but rather what they are offering really doesn't fit me as well.
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