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March 4, 2013

Social media a tool for area groups

(Continued)

Sustainable Otsego started in 2007 over a concern over environmental issues, moderator Adrian Kuzminski said. When fracking became a point of focus a year later it was a natural issue for the group to oppose.

Through its listserv, it built up a group of 700 subscribers to present news and information important to its members. The organization is tied together by the social network that allows people to share information.

He is not a Facebook user and said it was less useful for this type of organization that is more “word of mouth” and fostered by the listserv.

One of the reasons that a community effort get so big last year to help the Unatego Central School deal with tough budget issues was its Facebook page, co-chairman Florian Reyda said.

The organization had a Facebook page with 550 members. There is 41 this year.

If he had to do it all over again, Reyda said he would have made sure that ground rules were in place so negative language used on the page would have resulted in a person being removed. 

Without that, a small group polarized the discussions, and the page was taken down last spring. When it was restored this year, there were fewer people involved. That may have contributed to reduced participation this year, he said.

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