I’ve been working on the internet since the days it was an experimental program funded by the Department of Defense grouped called DARPA, and was called ARPANET. In those days, the “internet” consisted of less than a thousand computers connected together by this new-fangled thing called a network. Consumers struggled with services such as CompuServe and AOL and slow communications over dial-up modems.
One fact that I learned in those long-ago days was the power of the internet group. Communicating, creating and enjoying the company of people literally all over the United States and, later, the planet itself. It was a liberating experience to get together with friends in other states and countries on a regular basis.
As the internet grew, the power of the group has also increased exponentially. There is nothing like having a pleasant conversation with a dozen people scattered all over the United States, and beyond, at the same time. Well, not exactly a conversation, since every word is typed, not spoken, but the effect is the same.
However, to be useful a group must have a good, assertive yet not overly aggressive moderator who maintains control and keeps conversations going in a positive direction. A good moderator understands it is important to allow people to talk yet knows when to step in to break up conflicts before they get out of hand. Additionally, the moderator should begin conversations by dropping questions and topics into the forum; this keeps people engaged and enjoying each other’s company.
You can usually tell if the moderator is weak (or non-existent). In those instances, the group will have wild, angry conversations and spammy, off-topic messages will be normal. These groups tend to fall apart, often with heated words thrown out regardless of anyone’s feelings or emotions.
Smat moderators will, once the group has a good-sized membership, appoint a few members as assistants to help with keeping things under control and working smoothly.
Since I’ve gotten into the world of adult coloring books, I’ve found hundreds of groups on Facebook consisting of dozens, hundreds and even thousands of colorists, artists, and publishers. I’ve met some incredible people who are talented and creative.
I am enjoying the interaction with everyone and look forward to seeing how these online relationships grow. I’ve already made quite a few friends, and I expect this trend will continue.
My recommendation for all who partake in adult coloring books is to find groups where they feel at home and can contribute their talents, knowledge and skills.