Facebook does not have mechanisms for comment moderation, which is a severe drawback for promoting a cause. At the end of this post there is a list of commercial products available for comment moderation. Unlike Facebook, they are not free!.
(I researched this post before Facebook put out its New Groups feature on October 7, 2010. See PCMagazine and Yahoo News for initial reactions.)
Here is a list of pluses, minuses, and recommendations for Profiles, Old Groups, and Pages.
Items CAPITALIZED in Red are really hard to overcome if you are promoting a cause!
Profile (+) Pluses
- Blog Feeds - Yes.
- However, if you use Facebook's built-in Import Blog to Notes feature, as in Everything TypePad, you may end up with a feed that stops functioning and cannot be fixed, as testified to by more than 400 posts in this discussion.
- Also, you may have to wait 3 days for new blog posts to feed through to your Facebook Wall. The trick to manually force Facebook to re-feed given by Kevin Donahue is no longer available.
- Before October 2010, when the blog post finally appeared on your Wall, you had to manually click "Share" to have it published to your Friends' News Feeds, and the resulting News Feed item did not show any picture. In October 2010, when the blog post finally appeared on your wall, it automatically publishes to your Friends' News Feeds, with the first picture in the post appearing as well, but you have no control over the timing of the publish.
- If you don't want to suffer the pain of this built-in Facebook feed, support, feed alternatives are SocialRSS, RSS Graffiti, and my favorite, NetworkedBlogs. But these applications post back-links to the original blogspot article, instead of creating a copy to a separate Facebook posting. In NetworkedBlogs, this means that people have to go back to the original blog post to create a comment, and the resulting comment is not a true Facebook comment. This is awkward.
- Messaging - No. If you want to mass message friends from a Facebook Profile, create an event.
- EVENTS - No, according to Bluegrass, but I'm not sure this is true.
- Multiple Admins - No.
- Comment Moderation - No. "Facebook itself could badly use a comment moderating service; I've given up reading comment streams for any news or company feed, as they usually attract hateful, vile comments, often having nothing to do with the post subject." "You can delete other people's comments on your pages. However, I've never heard of comment moderation on FB."
- FRIENDS - 5,000 FRIEND LIMIT. When I reach the 5,000 friend limit, how hard is it to cull friends by identifying those who have not created comments recently? This is difficult, for some clues, see "How to retrieve the number of comments on a blog post?", "Comments Box FAQ", "fql.query. Evaluates an FQL (Facebook Query Language) query. For more complex queries where you want to use the results of one query in another query without making another API call, consider using fql.multiquery"
- DISCUSSIONS - NO. I could not find any Discussion application that works with a profile. See SearchEngineJournal, SocialReflections. Without discussions, you will have to draw peoples attention to your Profile Wall for individual postings and the comments on each of them
- Messaging - Yes, as a Facebook message with email alert.
- Events - Yes, with mass-invitation ability.
- Multiple Admins - Yes, post under their own names. Groups are directly connected to the people who administer them, so that activities that go on there reflect on each admin personally.
- Blog Feeds - possible with RSSGraffiti app (per Thomas Boelskifte), or the similar Facebook applications NetworkedBlogs, SocialRSS. But these applications post back-links to the original blogspot article, instead of creating a copy to a separate Facebook posting. In NetworkedBlogs, this means that people have to go back to the original blog post to create a comment, and the resulting comment is not a true Facebook comment. This is awkward.
- Member Approval (Closed Groups only) - Yes. You can remove and ban a member (per April 27, 2010 at 9:39 am post). Permissions settings make it possible for group admins to restrict access to a Closed group, so that new members have to be approved. Access to a Page, however, can only be restricted by certain ages and locations. Again, this makes groups more like a private club.
- Discussions - Yes. See wchingya for How To Create A Private Discussion Board On Facebook.
- Monetizing - "I would encourage you to create fans pages for every group you create".
- How to Create a Group - see here.
- 5 Tips to Revive a Fading Facebook Group: Make your messages interesting, relevant, brief… and rare. “Too many messages” is the Number One reason for people leaving a Facebook Group. Once or twice a month is usually plenty for Group mass-messaging. Throw a party by creating an event. Give a reward - adding your most active Group members as “Officers” can help to make them feel more actively involved.
(Closed Groups are not viewable to non-Group members)
(Open Groups have no member approval mechanism)
- EVENTS - You will NOT be able to invite the members of a host Group to an Event if the group has over 5,000 members.
- MIGRATE TO A PAGE - No (as of October 11, 2009 at 10:18 pm).
- MESSAGING - NO, for Groups with more than 5,000 members (per June 4, 2008 at 10:30 am post), also here.
- Internet Search - No, only the public profile is available to external search engines such as Google.
- Comment Moderation - Neither Groups nor Pages have great moderation features. They can both be a little granular as to how things get posted, who can post, and what kind of media can be posted, but that’s about it. If someone posts spam on your Group or your Page, you have to remove it manually, and you can also remove specific members.
- VIEWABLE BY NON-GROUP MEMBERS? NO FOR CLOSED GROUPS - no one can see the activity inside the group, unless they become a member, which defeats the purpose of disseminating information openly. Yes for Open Groups, however everyone on Facebook can view the group and join. If the group is exclusive to a specific network, only the people on that network can become a member.
- Blog Feeds - NetworkedBlogs, SocialRSS, RSS Graffiti Facebook applications post back-links to the original blogspot article, instead of creating a copy to a separate Facebook posting. In NetworkedBlogs, this means that people have to go back to the original blog post to create a comment, and the resulting comment is not a true Facebook comment. This is awkward.
- MEMBER APPROVAL - NO FOR OPEN GROUPS. Anyone can join at anytime, so opponents of your group can all join up and force you to the 5,000 member limit.
- Messaging - Yes, comes as an update. Page admins can send updates to fans through the Page, and these updates will appear in the “Updates” section of fans’ inboxes.
- Fans - Can exceed 5,000 fans. There is no limit on how many fans a Page can have.
- Internet Searches - Yes, pages are indexed by external search engines such as Google.
- Discussions - Yes.
(Fan Approval is the Problem here)
- Events - Yes, but no way to invite all your fans.
- Multiple Admins - Yes, post under a single business name. Pages don’t list the names of administrators, and are thought of as a person, almost like a corporate entity is considered a ‘person’ under the law.
- FAN APPROVAL - NO - No approval mechanism for new fans. Pages are a free-for-all (per April 14, 2010at 3:49 pm post).
- COMMENT MODERATION - Neither Groups nor Pages have great moderation features. They can both be a little granular as to how things get posted, who can post, and what kind of media can be posted, but that’s about it. If someone posts spam on your Group or your Page, you have to remove it manually, and you can also remove specific members. Unfortunately for Facebook pages you don’t receive email updates when a new comment is posted or something you posted gets commented on… and that stinks.
- Context Optional Social Marketing Suite, with Moderation, Applications, Publishing, Analytics modules. The Social Monitoring Console normally run $500 to $2000 per month. Click here for a review.
- Vitrue Publisher.
- Articles on content moderation - at RyanShell.