A very disturbing discovery — or I made a mistake

A notice that I received on Facebook last week was incredibly disturbing to me. It made me stop and think about how the latest and greatest social media and marketing technologies are contributing to the destruction of the information sharing, networking, and all-around personal connections that we once had when the industry was young.

This may just be my opinion, (read all and see what you think) but I feel that as a result, social media is taking over the control of what we should be in control of and it is destroying the industry for those of us who are small business owners.

A bit of history for those of you who are relatively new:
Way back when I started my gift basket business (almost 25 years ago), I and others like me discovered AOL and Prodigy bulletin boards as a means of communicating with others across the country who were venturing into an industry that was still new and exciting. There was one magazine (Gift Basket Review) and two conventions each year (holiday and summer) all operated by Debra Paulk, who was also a gift basket company owner. Gradually, forums were introduced and we all flocked to them. We each grew our own business in our own unique way but we shared what we learned and learned more from each other. It was an exciting time and the industry was greeting the world with a united front.

Fast forward to today. . . We have facebook, twitter linkedin, pinterest, youtube, podcasts, webinars with more ways to supposedly market our business being introduced each day. People join Facebook groups just because they see a paid ad for the group or because they see something on a friend’s page and have no idea what the group is about and have no plans to be more than just a number. I’ve had people ask to join our group who are members of almost a thousand groups. There is no way on Facebook for me to tell if they have any involvement at all with the industry. What does this tell you about Facebook groups?

My own email box is jampacked with emails every day from eager marketeers trying to sell me some new way to get the word out — something new to learn how to use — and something more to distract me from what my business is really all about — selling gifts and gift baskets and providing information to others in the industry.

This information overload is taking up more and more time and creating more and more confusion that isn’t accomplishing much of anything. Am I the only one feeling this? I don’t think so.

I don’t often say, “I made a mistake,” but today I’m going to say it. When we closed down the forum and moved our communication over to a Facebook group, I fell for the reasoning that more people would participate because they are on Facebook daily and would see the posts on their homepage threads. Tain’t true! It isn’t true because more people aren’t really seeing those posts.

What most people don’t realize is that unless you actively participate in a Facebook group on a regular basis (and that means posting and sharing) as well as specifying in your favorites that a group is a favorite, you aren’t likely to see any or few of the posts that are made. This is even worse than forgetting to log into a forum and missing what is posted there. At least you made that decision not to remember instead of Facebook making it for you. This was confirmed to me today by a lady who joined the Facebook group seven months ago and sent me a private message asking what the group was all about because a post I made today was the first one that she had seen in her facebook thread since she joined.

So I decided to run a test. I asked everyone who actually saw a post to simply respond “I read it.” Out of 457 members of the group, only 72 actually saw the post in their homepage thread. The results were a little better for our VIP group. Even though we currently have almost 100 VIP members, only 37 actually joined the Facebook group. Out of that 37, 26 saw the post. Others may see it later but the response has almost immediately stopped just a few hours after that post was made. If it was ever shown on the other member’s threads, it has most likely scrolled off already.

Did I make a mistake? You tell me. What is the answer? I’m asking you. Personally, I feel that it is going back to the basics, looking at all the latest and greatest sales pitches for new technology with more skepticism than just jumping in and adding things like Periscope, Snapchat, etc to our overloaded marketing programs. Heck, they are coming so fast that I can’t even access most of these things and don’t have the time to learn how to use them so I doubt if my customers can.

Maybe I’m an old fogey — too ingrained in the past to learn something new. But I suspect there are many of you out there who feel the same.

I’m not going to suddenly make the decision to go back to the basics — emails, newsletters, forums, etc without some feedback from those of you who are serious about the industry.

Whether you are a startup who is confused by what you should do or you are an established business owner with some time in the industry under your belt, this should be important to you. Whether you are loyal to a competing group (and there shouldn’t be competition among the information providers in our industry) and are just reading this to see what is going on, you should be concerned as well and this invitation is extended to you as well. Feel free to forward this to anyone and everyone that you know whom you think may be interested — even if it’s just to throw back their head laughing at this ridiculous old woman.

I am writing this as a blog post because it gives you the opportunity to respond with your comments. I am inviting all of you, who are serious and perhaps feel the same way that I do, to become a loose committee with me to brainstorm what we can and should do. Brainstorming is exactly that — don’t hesitate to say something even if it sounds ridiculous at the time. It may not be as ridiculous as you think.

I’ve had my say. Now it’s your turn if you really care.

Joyce Reid

31 thoughts on “A very disturbing discovery — or I made a mistake”

  1. I’m putting together some ideas based on some of your comments and my own research which confirmed what I had discovered about Facebook. I’ll be announcing them as soon as I have them fleshed out as a total plan and would love to have help and input from any of you who have an interest. This will be a little slower process than what I normally do simply because of the time of year.

    For those of you who like Facebook groups, they will remain. In addition to providing a quick and easy place to communicate with your peers, they can also provide an easy way for me to notify you of some of the things I am doing.

    As a beginning, I have implemented a simple forum. You’ll find the link to it in the navigation above. This is only the beginning. There will be more to come as I research and plan. I added it first because that seemed to be what many of you wanted. In the meanwhile, use the forum and I will try to notify you regularly (perhaps weekly) when new posts are made.

    Thank you to those of you who took the time to comment. Feel free to continue making comments here as well as continuing the discussion in the forum. I am trying to help all of us but I am only one person and have a business to run as well so need as much help as you are willing to give. Thank you!! You are appreciated!!

  2. So I am slow to reply because all this happened while I was out of town – and without my computer. That never happens in my world.

    I love the forum for being able to search and reference older information and for knowing there were strong controls on membership and access. I also think folks were more open about sharing there. However, the forum we were using did not notify me of new posts and if I didn’t remember to go everyday, I would fall far enough behind that it felt like too much of a chore to catch up. I really want to be notified via email when something is posted.

    I love FB for the immediacy of the interactions – I have my FB open on my desktop all day (primarily so my college son can communicate with me) but also because I have several clients who use it to ask quick questions. I also have set FB up to notify me whenever anyone posts to our page. So I can not only give replies quickly – I can get them quickly. Sometimes I need help on something NOW and FB is great for that.
    Also I was able to read FB via my phone and easily access and reply to several different postings.

    For me, FB is part of my marketing plan and does seem to work – albeit slowly. I also aggressively use it to communicate with my networking partners as well as friends and family around the globe.

  3. I can admit that I do belong to some groups in FaceBook and don’t always go into them. I do a lot better with an email.

  4. mmm! Don’t think I really got the point of the above, of course I did just scan it thur. My business is posted on facebook etc and from time to time I will go on and post a picture, but I see it as a MESS of nothing~, I get nothing back from posting my business, when I do go on facebook etc I see nothing to do or nothing that benefits my type of business. maybe there are rules to having your business on there, but I don’t get it.

  5. Thank you. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy days to provide your opinions and guidance. I love all of you and am reading everything each one of you is saying.

    Sandee Overstreet, who helped me start and grow the magazine before she retired, used to remind me that I am someone who makes quick decisions which can sometimes be a mistake. That is not going to happen this time around.

    I want to hear more from you and from others who haven’t joined in the conversations. Many have read this post but haven’t said anything yet. I see this as a unique opportunity for us to come together and make some decisions and plans that can hopefully keep our industry from dying as Diane mentioned.

    I am reading that many of you prefer the forum format while others remind me that this is a step backward. This time around I want to make sure that a step backward is not another mistake. I do like the idea that Kim made about having a forum but sending out regular emails (perhaps weekly) listing the new discussions on the forum.

    There is much to think about and many more of you to join in the conversation. This is important to all of us and to our industry. Let’s keep the ideas and discussion moving. As I’ve said before: Each of us is one person. But together we can build a powerful industry.

  6. Joyce,

    I had to sleep on this one. In almost every industry there are conventions. People go to these to meet others in the same industry and learn about what’s trending. Why not the Gift Basket industry? In all the seven years I’ve been doing this I have not attended one gift baskets convention. Is this industry dying or are we letting it die? When we go to the Fancy Food Show or the Candy and Snack expo, I’m eager to meet other people in our industry. Sometimes it feels like you’re out there alone. I would welcome a return to a convention wrapped around a market, food show, or expo where we can come together to share.


  7. Hate to say, I told you so. You know we are old friends and share just about everything. I have so much respect for all you provide for the industry and most of it free. I had a successful business for many years before I recently retired. It always amazed me how much time and energy folks could devote to all the social media. We were busy from the time we opened until we closed and it was never an option after hours. This was called billing, proposals etc. We discussed these changes for months before it was changed. And this was always my concern. How do you know who is truly involved in the industry? I personally could give so much more on a forum. I love to share my successes and failures whenever I can. I am now consulting with 3 companies free of charge and enjoying it so much. The industry has changed drastically in the last 2 years. If we do not remain small, unique and specialize, we will all be looking for another profession.
    Sometimes you do not need to re-invent the wheel. I think the successes from the leaders and conventions you mentioned is a good road to follow. Being unique is the reason Taylor Made was successful and I if you think about your business successes, you may agree. I look forward to this conversation moving forward to meet everyone’s needs. And I encourage everyone to support Joyce with whatever decision she makes.

  8. We used to have a Facebook and Twitter account for our business, but ended up cancelling both. We just did not have the time to read or post anything on these forums. We get plenty of business through our website, word-of-mouth, and corporate clients. Every year, our business increases, and don’t feel we are “out of the loop” because we aren’t wasting time on trying to keep up with social media. That might be important for a gift basket business just starting out, or if your target buyers are young people who live their lives through social media. We are doing just fine without it.

  9. …now that I re-read your post….it kind of looks like it’s about 2 things?

    1. How to proceed with respect to us as an industry group/providing & sharing information?
    2. What all do we focus on as business owners, with respect to all of the different social media platforms that are out there?

    I addressed the 1st one, but not really the 2nd one. I think how the different generations have become comfortable with how they communicate, has made things time consuming and complicated for business owners. Many of our customers don’t “get” the other generations or care to know. They are only interested in themselves. Communication in so many different platforms, takes us away from the most important part of our businesses…and that is “taking care of business!” Providing a quality product/service on a timely basis at a reasonable price that people need, want, and desire. As soon as we master one platform, a new one will come along. It is always going to be changing and more generations will mean even more different forms of communications.

    Whew! Just tired thinking about it! No other business owners in history have had to deal with what we are dealing with now. We are in uncharted territory.

  10. I can’t say anything about Facebook since I’ve only glimpsed other people’s pages. From what has been said here, even if I was on it, I would likely only get a small bit of the available information b/c when I have a lot going on, I have to restrict my time to only the things that are required to get done. That can be days, weeks, or months. When things slow down a bit, I go back and catch up in small chunks of time that are available. I even have my email set up in folders so that when time is tight, I only glimpse at a handful of folders/emails (customers, family, anything from a vendor that I’m looking for news from, etc. – only critical info). That is what I used to do with the forum. Also, there would be topics discussed on the forum that I had not had to deal with. Months and years later, the situation would come up for me, so I searched back on the forum to see how other people handled the situation. It was easy to do. It doesn’t sound like this would happen with Facebook? I can’t always keep up with much of anything on a regular basis, so if that is required to stay up with everything that is said in a group on Facebook, I’m never going to get all of the information.

    Joyce, you are way on top of technology and the internet. I am so NOT. My husband used to keep me in the somewhat average zone, but I’m on my own now. I read and hear about all of the different platforms I’m supposed to be on for my business and it makes my head spin. I do know that people like to communicate in different ways and now there are so many different ways to do it. There are obviously people that have a ton of time, but I guess when you’re young and don’t have that many responsibilities you can do that? I do know that I’m going to have to get on some of these platforms. I don’t want to become one of those zombie smartphone people though that are constantly looking at it every minute of the day. They slow down everything for everyone else. I was trying to get groceries last night, but the lady in front of me in the aisle was trying to walk and talk at the same time. Most people can’t do it well, and that includes the roadways. It’s like their time is more important than anyone else’s, but they will never know that b/c they are glued to their smartphones. It’s actually very dangerous for themselves and others. I see people together out in public and all of them are on their smartphones so they aren’t all really “there” together.

    I often think of what Drew Barrymore’s character said about a guy she was interested in, in the movie, “He’s Not That Into You”:
    “I had this guy leave me a voice mail at work, and so I called him at home, and he emailed me to my BlackBerry, and so I texted to his cell, and now you just have to go around checking all these different portals just to get rejected by seven different technologies. It’s exhausting.”

    AOL/Prodigy – I printed off and/or saved good ideas. I still have them and still go back from time to time when I need ideas. Our weekly Wednesday night chats were logged. There was a design idea that someone mentioned in one of those chats that didn’t sound that great to me, but I presented it to a customer as one of many options. I’ve done that design for that customer and several others many times since 1999. I’ve made thousands of dollars from that one single little idea. Yes, there was a lot of useless info on there too, but there were good solid nuggets of ideas and they were available 24/7 to go back and easily get, not just in moments that they were said and you had to be checking in several times a day to get it or it was lost.

  11. i do FB when I have something to upload. I don’t have the time to see what everyone else is talking about o r wants attention. I do go see what my daughter & granddaughter are up to. I have wordpress and twitter. But just got tired of posting. I don’t see any sales coming from any of these. I have followers but no buys. So I am just dropping out. Plus it is to time consuming and at times stressful. I feel I am just spinning my wheels and getting no where & using valuable time that I could use else where.

  12. While I do have mixed feelings about social media in general, I admit to using FB more than any of the others. That said, I have lots of problems with FB – and I feel that their unresponsiveness to small business owners is actually a huge problem. I’ve seen SO MANY threads posted by other small business owners experiencing problems managing multiple pages, owners whose page got ‘flagged’ because of the whole ‘gray page’ thing…..it’s a monumental pain. I try to keep relatively active on my gift page, but truth be told – I use my personal page much more. On a side note, I have a part-time job as an editor for a newsletter specific to the fashion industry. That newsletter is published three times a week, to thousands of people all over the world. That company does not have a FB page, and ONLY publishes their material in PDF form by email to its subscribers, who pay (or whose companies pay) for their membership. It uses FB, Twitter and Instagram to retrieve some information on what’s new/happening, but that’s it. SO…..my vote would be to ‘go back to basics’ with an emailed newsletter and site-based forum.

  13. I’m an old foggy too. When we started there were about 100 gift basket companies on line. Today if you Google (it’s a verb now) gift baskets you get 42,500,000 choices. I have a personal Facebook page, two for Laurel Mountain Gift Baskets and manage two others for friend’s companies. I love Facebook, Pintrest, LinkedIn, etc. They keep me in touch with people and ideas. With Facebook, however, I’m still trying to figure out how come, as you say, out of hundreds of followers, only a couple dozen are reached. That doesn’t mean that they even saw the post. It’s really frustrating when you spend time and energy putting together a plan and executing it and then seeing such little results.

    And this new thing Facebook is doing with those annoying pop up things. I want to SCREAM. None of the suggestions about how to stop them seems to work. Yes, I do want to know what my friends are up to but not when I am typing my own blog or trying to read an article. Please let it be my choice when I want to see things, not Facebooks.

    Your point about getting bombarded with emails also resonates. This seems to be the way to contact potential customers and I try to respect my clients by only contacting them once a month because I get overwhelmed with emails from every corner of the globe and don’t want to annoy them. Even companies and blogs I want to stay in contact with seem to over do.

    Whoever comes up with the answer will be the next Internet gazillionaire because I’m sure we re not the only ones searching.


  14. Two thoughts. For business ecommerce and local are truly two different entities. If you want to be successful at ecommerce you’ve got to look at social as a way to drive traffic. It’s just part of the ecommerce game. For local business you really don’t need to do that. It’s about building relationships and those face to face meetings. So figure out where your sales come from and focus on doing more of what is working that brings in the money. For purposes of this group I agree I liked the organization of the forum. You could see topic headings and follow threads that were of interest to you. However I always wished there was some type of daily email that came with all the forum conversation threads listed so I would remember to go to the forum. What facebook offers for those that use it is that daily reminder that conversations are happening and information is being shared. I think the forum format with a way to stay top of mind would be the best way to share all this gift basket knowledge. Could you have moderators for various categories so you don’t have to do all the work alone????

  15. Joyce I feel the same the posts I put on facebook only get comments likes by very few so many do not see. I use it regularly but on the hope that it is flying off to Twitter to be see as I attached to it, just makes life easy. I loved the old forum before you made changes and did log on regularly. Would prefer you to bring it back to be honest……

  16. Joyce,

    I really don’t know the answer either it’s pretty much like to each it’s own! I like some social media sites like FB, IG and Pinterest because they interest me and I’m trying to decide how to use them successfully. I agree there is just way too many “new” social sites and I’m just not loving every one of them. I did in the beginning, but it just got to be too much to handle. I had to start turning off the option to add me to a group I looked up and was apart of way too many groups on FB! I just decided to leave a lot of the groups for my sanity and because I didn’t know what they were about and didn’t participate actively in the forums. I didn’t use the private forum too much when it was available I just never used it. I’d check in from time to time but never really got into the groove of being active on the forum. I do agree that we need to go back to the basics, I am on serious information and social media overload. Whatever you decide you have my support!

  17. At first glance Joyce, this looks like resisting progress and stubbornly embracing the old days. yet I know it is not. I was hot on the Facebook discussion group concept and I know I was one of a few that talked you into it.

    I too am second guessing the whole Facebook phenomena. I am beginning to think that it has become the greatest escape vehicle since bank robbers saddled their horses in the wild west in the 1800’s. It is a device that lures intelligent people and dominates our time. It slows down our creativity processes and wastes our valuable time.

    We have moved into a cultural situation where we have a real world and a Facebook world. We have a compulsion not to miss anything that may flow through our individual newsfeeds. And the news we are missing is what people we do not really know are eating, drinking, visiting and all their very personal problems. We see countless cute babies and a lot of humor that used to be distributed by copying and passing around in the office.

    We see enough political BS touting one idiot or another and we keep getting told to do this or that to accomplish that or this. We find zealous religious agendas telling us that this religion saves our souls and that one, or a lack of one condemns us to hell.

    I picture Alice wandering around Wonderland, absolutely wide eyed about what she sees. I envision Dorothy arriving in Oz and being overwhelmed by the dazzling transition from black and white to color. We are mesmerized. We become addicted.

    We have electronic devices that we rely on from the time we awaken in the morning until we go to bed at night. Go into a doctor’s office waiting room. 90% of the people there from 3-80 years old will be going full speed with their thumbs manipulating a hand held device to text.

    Why see or talk with anyone when you can express your warmest personal feelings on a smart phone. There is nothing more erotic than an “I love u” on a tiny little screen. Joyce is right. 25 years ago we had none of this. We were still doing corny things like actually interacting with people, both face to face and even by phone. We read books. we played card games and board games with our families and friends.

    Now wee have so many electronic diversions that we want for little. Push a few buttons and a bank transaction is done. Press a few more and a pizza shows up 30 minuted later. Tell your child to read something by Mark Twain or Ernest Hemingway and they look back at you with a whimsical why look.

    When we belong to discussion groups there is an assumption made that we have a legitimate reason for being there. We have found that a large number of people in our group, as well as others, are what I will call hangers on. They are people who have an interest in our industry, but no real intention to get involved by owning their own business.

    They tend to move discussions away from relevant business subjects to what I would call discussions about what to them is a hobby, not a profession.

    They enjoy a low key situation where they provide a gifting service to friends and family. Many of them basically scrounge ideas and share nothing. They clutter the newsfeed with crappy looking renditions of gift baskets, leaded with junky items. They oftentimes look like something off the dollar store clearance shelf shoveled into a container.

    After a few months of that, we developed an upper tier discussion group to give serious people a place to hang out. The problem with it all is that there are limited numbers using either group.

    Part of me responds by saying, ditch all the Facebook groups and go back to forums. Yet, that is the nostalgic me talking. Once the tube is emptied you cannot refill it it with toothpaste so to speak.

    I too long for days gone by, yet I know you cannot stop progress. In the 1800’s the western US changed forever when trains were able to go coast to coast, carrying both people and products.

    Facebook is today’s communication vehicle and who knows what it will be next year, or five years from now. We can kid ourselves and go backwards, stalling the need to come back to where we are today, or to whatever the probably fright successor to Facebook will be. Remember MySpace?.

    I recommend that we do a mailing and post on both discussion groups that we are cleaning up out lists. Outline some general requirements for participation and tell people that everyone that meets those requirements check in by say January 1 and provide you Joyce with basic information:

    City State Zip
    Busibess Name
    Business Website
    Business Facebook Page
    Reseller’s Tax Number

    Those without an actual business would have a probationary status of six months at a time that can be renewed at Joyce’s discretion. This allows people who want to actually join the industry an opportunity to get started.

    At the same time it discourages the wannabe folks from just hanging around. We could also consider giving members descriptive ranking depending on industry experience, thus giving advice they offer a bit of a credibility level.

  18. Joyce

    I can understand your concerns. There are times I would love to go back to the days before socialedia. However I am a huge fan of it now. Just starting out woth my busoness and not even launched my website yet. I have a corporate/hospitity background and realize how important social media is in today’s world. I personally have had success with my FB page. Getting the word out is so easy with FB, Instagram. and Twitter. I just picked up a big hotel client and several orders because of Facebook. Now keep in mind that social media is much more a common practice with tweens and adults that work in the corporate world. So if your target market is in one of those groups you have to have a presence. There is tons of helpful information out there to make sure you are benefitting from your choice of platform. Ex FB, Instagram, Linkedin etc.

  19. Thanks
    Definitely, something to think about

  20. I’m listening. I’m not going to say much here as I need to hear from all of you and to be perfectly honest, I don’t know what the answer is either. One possibility might be to keep the facebook groups for those who like them but to add a private forum back into the mix for those who prefer the intimacy of it. Keep talking. I’m going to just sit back and continue to listen.

  21. Hi Joyce,
    I just find that with Facebook I’m always trying to “find” something. I’ll see an idea or a comment and then it gets lost and I’m wasting time scrolling through to see where it is, who said it and when. I don’t know if I don’t know what I’m doing LOL or what. I did like forums and groups, there is a lot of encouragement on Facebook, but I know I miss a lot too- because there is no way to go BACK for reference – I hope I’m making sense.

  22. Not sure what the answer is. I saw in my email this title about something being disturbing, but I could not get it to open. I moved it to junk. I used to get a lot of posts from the gift basket forum, but not so much. I guess I did not see your post.

  23. Yes there are certainly downfalls to social media; however, for me it makes a whole lot more sense than to waste my time blogging. As far as I can tell, almost the only visitors to my blog over the past few years have been spambots. I do realize that part of this is my own doing as I just never managed to blog regularly. I also don’t read anyone else’s blog on a regular basis; however, I was invited to join a Facebook group consisting of other local small business owners and local consumers. I do post there a lot more regularly (though not as much as they recommend) because I know that actual local people see my posts and often respond. I have also met several of the other business owners face to face and we all try to support each other. So, I guess my answer is “it depends” — not very helpful, I know, but this has been my experience.

  24. Hi Joyce
    As you know I’ve been in the business for over 20 years and many times feel overwhelmed and “behind the times” with all the constant “new and improved” social platforms that I “should be” on. The path of what to do next is constantly changing and there is no set path to continued success.

    I have been a less than active participant in the past forums and Facebook, not because I don’t want to share, but I truly have very little free time when I’m not working on the businesses, taking care of my family, etc. Also, being Canadian, there are a numerous differences doing business here as opposed to the USA , even though we share the same industry.

    I do have Facebook pages for my businesses, so I do like having access to the group from there, as it is easier than logging in to the forum. Just my two cents. Even though I don’t always comment or participate, it is uplifting to read about others successes and accomplishments.

  25. I am so glad that I am not the only one who feels this way about social media. I’m an old fogey too I guess. I’ve never been a fan of Facebook and I’m still not to be honest. It’s always changing and there’s more trash on it than is really necessary. It can be good for exposure I guess, but I still get more leads with word-of-mouth and face-to-face marketing than I do on Facebook. I don’t know if going back to the old ways will work for everybody but I know I would prefer it on the business end. I don’t know, just saying…?. I love making gift baskets and I want to learn how to do it for a living but its tough weeding through all the social media mumbo jumbo to know who really wants to help versus who’s just trying to sell you something. I hope there’s a solution out there for all our sakes! God willing! ?

  26. I agree wholeheartedly. If I were still in business, I’d probably still rely heavily on my website and networking groups. I don’t think Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc, are the right venues for selling gift baskets. I would also continue with a weekly blog on my site. I think the old tried and true methods are still relevant today.

  27. Joyce ,

    First of all I did like the forum better. It felt more like a group and l got to know other basket people who were just beginning and the others from the past. When you switched to Facebook I found so many posts were from basket people sharing all of their personal Facebook pictures that I really had to scroll to find any posts from my family and friends.
    Keep basket pictures and related basket business in one forum. I belong to the other 2 or 3 other competitors but when l scroll through l really don’t,know which group they are coming from. Facebook has definitely changed over the last 6 months. I really don’t like it anymore since it’s all videos and sharing it with everyone. Go back to the forum so we can share and talk gift baskets. I really miss the old days when we had one big forum and one great gift basket convention runned by Cheri Reagor.

  28. Joyce, that is why I had my reservations about changing from a forum to strictly Facebook. There’s no way to keep information to refer to later much less in a category search. Facebook is for the “moment “. If you miss it you just miss it.

  29. I totally understand the frustrations with attempting to participate in too many social networking groups. There are SO many. My preference has always been fb because it’s user-friendly and I have my ‘favorites’ (your groups included) listed in a sidebar and I refer to them regularly to keep informed. I’m ok with whatever the majority feel is the most efficient way to get the word out and stay connected. We really do need each other.

  30. Hi, Joyce. I agree with you. I recently started a Facebook page because I kept reading it was a “necessity” in today’s modern business climate. As you know, we wholesale our products to gift basket makers and gift shops. We never advertise to retail customers and don’t sell retail. But on Facebook, there seems to be no way to target your particular group. Posts shows up, a few people see them and then they die away. As a result, I just don’t use it much. I far, far preferred the old forums. I learned so much of what the basket makers wanted and we tailored our business to suit them, just from being part of the forum groups. I don’t know what the answer is, but I am not a big Facebook fan.

  31. Joyce,

    You are not an “Old Fogey”. Social Networking has many downfalls. I agree with everything you have pointed out. I want to add the following “bad experience” with social networking. I have had to disable the “comment” section and “post” section for the public including my videos on YouTube. First someone had the “nerve” to post on my Facebook page a basket of her own with her phone number and business info, and to top it off it was someone local. Plus the ridiculous remarks which are not positive from those who want to harm your business or just someone with no conscience and has nothing else to do but cause havoc on others.
    So yes I do think we need to go back to basics and less “social” just to keep the integrity of the members participating.

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