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  1. #21
    V.I.P. Ariadne's Avatar
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    I used to belong to many different BD forums. This is the only one left I know of where you can actually still have a conversation. While there may be new forums on other subjects going strong pretty much every forum I'm familiar with is dead or dying, everyone went to facebook. But you know what? Here I still feel like there is a community, even if it's tiny it's still here.

  2. #22
    Member Roshanna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ariadne View Post
    I used to belong to many different BD forums. This is the only one left I know of where you can actually still have a conversation. While there may be new forums on other subjects going strong pretty much every forum I'm familiar with is dead or dying, everyone went to facebook. But you know what? Here I still feel like there is a community, even if it's tiny it's still here.
    Yes - there can't be more than 20-30 or so of us on here regularly now, based on the posts I see... Out of a bellydance community with hundreds of thousands of people... But at least there still *are* posts here

  3. #23
    Member Bellydance Oz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aniseteph View Post

    I blame Facebook...

    IRL I don't think it is getting any worse here just at the moment; people go to classes and I see new groups at haflas. Beginners classes still happen. I just hope that there is enough community activity to keep a few of the new beginners interested enough to join in.
    This is what worries me too. Last week I was chatting with the guy who used to run the excellent UK belly dance directory - he gave up when most of the teachers moved on to Facebook and couldn't be bothered keeping their entries updated. The same thing happened to my Australian directory.

    The thing is, on Facebook, dancers are only talking to each other and teachers are only talking to their students. It can feel like a nice cosy community but the thing is, IT'S A CLOSED COMMUNITY. Some bd teachers even have their pages and groups marked private. It makes m wonder, where is the public profile of belly dance to attract the next generation of belly dancers?

  4. #24
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Getting all insular with your students and running in small closed groups is just dumb, IMHO. A lively local community where interested students can go to workshops and haflas and get involved in a slightly bigger pond is only going to be good for recruitment and retention in the long run, so why not support it and network openly so it's easy for people to find? And just maybe there are people out there who don't <3 FB and would prefer you to have a website with some current info on where you are teaching, any events etc etc. Or has someone done the analysis and found that FB is the only way to go nowadays? (Where's that puking smiley...?)

    But you know what? Here I still feel like there is a community, even if it's tiny it's still here.
    Me too. That's why I can't be bothered interacting with a random bunch of people I never heard of on FB. Although I suppose I could click through and find out all about them if I gave a hoot. Buuuuuut, I don't.

  5. #25
    Moderator Zorba's Avatar
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    FB isn't designed for "group conversations" - it never has been. I won't bore everyone with my dislike of that site - everyone here knows how I feel already. Its my belief that if I want to be taken seriously as a dancer, I need a web domain and page of my own. That seems to NOT be the case with many nowadays - they use so-called "free services" to accomplish something vaguely similar.

    I've been opposed to the "walled garden" model that FB and its antecedents promote since day one. As BellyDance Oz says, its a CLOSED community. Who can FIND you? I'm probably one of the best known male Belly Dancers in the world - certainly not for my less than stellar dance abilities - but rather for being "out there" and find-able!

  6. #26
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    In what way are FB closed communities any more of a walled garden than subforums on Bhuz? You have to be a member to post and a lot of that stuff was NOT available to be read by any non-member.

    I have to disagree strongly that FB encourages closed communication. FB is designed first and forward for networking. That's why it's always trying to hook you up with friends of friends and random people you don't know. Only in comparatively recent times have people started to create things like closed or private groups, and that is a REACTION to the way that FB tries to force "transparent" public interactions on every member. FB is not designed as a discussion site. It's a get-together site. Its origins as a college network, where students would want to know a) whether or not someone was single/available b) where the parties are c) how to meet more people, are still quite clear.

    Bhuz, this site and other message boards have long been all about talking to random strangers. The use of pseudonymous screen names is absolutely key to making that OK. On FB it is quite hard to hide who you are. If you comment on a news story, or an open-viewing bellydance group, that's public. With your name, your workplace, your location attached to it, unless you take great pains to hide the latter two. A LOT of users don't seem to understand just how public it is, because I think FB attracted a lot of people who were not previously users of the internet for discussion, networking etc.

    As for FB pages, they have massive limitations. They used to come up high in Google searches but not so much any more; if someone follows your page the chances of them seeing your posts are lower and lower unless you pay to "boost". I like my FB page for updates, but overall most people who are actually performing would still have a site of some kind, at least they do where I come from. That's if they don't just do everything in person, which does still happen in the world. Everybody who has a FB fanpage knows about the limitations now. Anybody who still relies on FB only as a web presence is a bit foolish.

  7. #27
    Member BigJim's Avatar
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    It's early morning and by the stats record at the bottom of the page I'm the only member on the site...but there are also 80 guests visiting. I hope they are not all playing word games.... My thoughts are that the site is being used for reference because of the huge amount of info available... I still see visitors daily to something I posted a couple of years ago. Members should just make an effort to post something somewhere to show your still alive.

  8. #28
    Member Bellydance Oz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aniseteph View Post
    Getting all insular with your students and running in small closed groups is just dumb, IMHO. A lively local community where interested students can go to workshops and haflas and get involved in a slightly bigger pond is only going to be good for recruitment and retention in the long run... And just maybe there are people out there who don't <3 FB and would prefer you to have a website with some current info on where you are teaching, any events etc etc.
    Spot on! I have had teachers say they dropped their website because they said they "never got any enquiries through it". What they're not thinking is - how many people who phoned them, phoned because they were impressed by their website? Did they ever ask? No.

  9. #29
    Member Bellydance Oz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zumarrad View Post
    As for FB pages, they have massive limitations. They used to come up high in Google searches but not so much any more; if someone follows your page the chances of them seeing your posts are lower and lower unless you pay to "boost". .
    This is part of what I mean by "closed communities". I see belly dance schools with lively communities, but new students are never going to find them because they can't find them in Google search.

  10. #30
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    I'm one of those teachers who is letting their website go to pasture. Over the last 3 years I've had exactly four enquiries from it and exactly one potential client. Since that was recent I'm thinking about maybe changing my mind about the website thing, but if I do I won't be using the same website. I chose poorly with the domain name, my website looks outdated and my photos look unprofessional. I'm having much greater success from facebook, but there I think I go about things differently to other teachers.

    While I was in Nhill I learned the value of word-of-mouth. Facebook takes that style of advertising and dials it up to 11. All of my flyer/ad-based advertising has been expensive in terms of bums on seats.

    I think where people may fail with using social networking is that they aren't thinking in terms of word-of-mouth, which only works if someone knows & loves your product.

    Anyway, I've had much greater success in using facebook as a marketing tool than I have with my website or printed advertising.
    Bellydance in Kyabram!
    Skype classes a specialty.
    Email kyabrambellydance@gmail.com for more information.

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