First Byte: It's just a fun experiment. First Bytes are 1-2 minute summaries and suggestions that tie directly to a specific blog post. I'm hoping they're helpful in expanding the topic of the post itself.
One of the most thankless jobs on planet earth is being a forum administrator on Facebook. For those of us who do it, I know you understand. We start out with great intentions, simply wanting to help photographers raise the bar on their images and business. Sadly, being an admin turns you into the equivalent of a psychotic patrol officer on playground duty. Seriously, I've never seen anything like some of the people who call themselves professional photographers, but couldn't be more unprofessional as communicators.
So, here I go again with a few suggestions...
Read the complete thread before you comment. By the time there are 20-30 comments, more than likely whatever you're going to add has already been said.
Don't respond to the most recent comment, but to the request from the person who did the original post. Here's where we get off track the most. Somebody says something that's less than politically correct and all hell breaks loose as one blowhard after another decides to show he/she can enter the battle of wits to see whose sarcasm can take the trophy...the truth is, most of you are terrible at this game anyway. In the end you just make a fool of yourself.
"Act as if your grandmother's watching!" It's from my buddy Levi Sim and I've used the quote at least a dozen times over the last couple years. You don't need to shred people when you don't like an image. You also don't need to sugar coat your criticism, just be honest, but do it under the umbrella of being helpful.
Get a thicker skin! The problems on Facebook go both ways. A few of you love to play the bully and crush people because they're just not as smart as you. On the other side of the coin, some of you get offended over somebody's "tone" when they've told you your image is bad. Seriously, everyone knows when they post an image whether it's a "wow" print or simply sucks! Let's get a thicker skin and just accept that nobody matters except your clients.
Learn to communicate! The hardest vehicle for communicating is the printed word. It shows no emotion. You can't hear the inflection in anybody's voice. It's just what you wrote and a lot of you are simply incompetent writers - you don't express yourself the same way you would if you were face to face with somebody. You write what you feel and what's in your heart never makes it to the printed words.
Stop reporting posts just because the topic offended you. Look, not everybody likes the same things you do. It's important to report posts that truly are offensive and they range from the porn mongers to sunglasses ads. However, there's nothing worse for an administrator than when one of you decides a comment about a bride's ugly dress was off topic and you decide to defend her "say yes to the dress" choice. It doesn't mean the thread wasn't appropriate.
Here's the point...Facebook has given us a communication and educational tool our parents never had, but it's only as good as we make it. Don't waste your time and everybody else's fighting battles over moot points...or as Joey from Friends once said, "Moo Points". (Is there nothing that can't be found on YouTube?)