Harry’s Ramblings Facebook Forum
by Harry Pope
I like Facebook, find it chatty and accessible, Twitter tends to be a little bit silly, and Linkedin is for professionals wanting to keep in contact. Facebook is easy to use, and used in the main by people who have left school. So it was natural that I would think of this medium when I wanted to create a site for sharing knowledge and information from the funeral profession, which I have been involved in for 43 years.
UK Funeral Forum was registered, with a generic cover photo of a crematorium. There are a couple of similar sites in the USA, but I wanted something for UK based professionals. I joined both USA sites, then after a week or so posted a request for anyone in the UK to join mine as well. About a dozen replied, and it started to grow. The trouble with any internet site is that it attracts the undesirables as well as those who are welcome, and with a membership after three months of 250 I had my first dilemma.
There is an idiot wannabee funeral director who is unconnected with any firm, but who loves to ring up and chat away for a couple of hours until the funeral firm get tired of answering inane questions, such as how emotional do you feel, and what do you wear. He had joined by subterfuge, but was creating unrest with the membership. I was left with no alternative than to bar him, while appreciating that the site’s administration was too much for one person. I asked for admin volunteers, with an amazingly positive response. There is now a team of admin and moderators, I am just an ordinary member, they are doing a superb job, administering to the requirements of well over 3,200 selected funeral professionals.
The point I am making in this article is the ease of creating a new site. I decided to create another, this time Cruise Forum. Pam and I love to go on cruises, I am a lecturer with P&O, so it seemed natural for me to share these experiences with a world-wide audience. Since I started the Forum in January 2019 I have only ever posted two articles about my cruise ship lecturing. This site is accessed daily by many people, my words read avidly, and without any promotion on my part there are, as I write, 2,602 people who actually follow the site, waiting for more words of erudition. These are people who want to know more about cruising, passengers who love the industry, and can’t get enough. I find it astounding that there should be so many people who say they like a site that does so little to promote itself. I have been in touch with a couple of cruise industry sites, asking if they would like to have some input as well, so their members can have their own forum.
The next one I created is called Funeral Celebrant Eastbourne. This is a perfect description for my service, and quite a few Families have found me in this way so I can assist them when they are at their most sensitive time. I don’t go looking for any members, it’s more of a site for people to find my service.
The next one was Golf Forum. A pal owned a hotel, at the same time was a keen golfer, and to keep winter trade active had purchased one of those golf machines that cost thousands. It has a huge backdrop, with the golf course projected so the golfer can hit the ball realistically. There are side nets, you use your own clubs, playing courses around the world that would not normally let an amateur anywhere near. I still have Golf Forum registered, but have done nothing with it, suspecting it will go nowhere. The details still include his hotel, contact details, and that the machine is available, so apologies if you ring the Marine Parade Hotel in Eastbourne expecting a round of winter golf in their bar.
I wrote a book a couple of years ago called Hotel Secrets. For a while it wasn’t selling particularly well, so started the page Hotel Forum. At present it has three followers, and two likes, so hasn’t been the roaring success it could have been, but the page name has a lot of potential.
For many years I shopped at Tesco, with varying degrees of happy shopping. One experience left me particularly annoyed, so I went onto Facebook and created TescoBlog. I soon got over my hissy fit, did nothing about it, but still have three likes and the same number of followers. That is the surprise, people find a page out of the blue.
So purely for research purposes, this morning while writing this article went onto Facebook, and tried to register the name Facebook Forum. No dice, it is a name they won’t allow to be used. So I then tried Twitter Forum. Jackpot! It is there now on Facebook, just enter Twitter Forum, and you will be able to share your Twitter thoughts. That’s the power of social media, being able to create something from nothing. I have no idea where this new one will take me, so will let you know in time with a follow-up article.