Facebook groups: The good, the bad and the lots of e-mails
The great Facebook redesign yesterday seemed at first to have pleased most fans with the snazzy new updates. People seemed especially excited by the new download features that let you archive all your information and the more robust groups features.
The group glee, though, has quickly turned into annoyance and anger.
(Note: you'll only enjoy these annoyances if you've joined a group set up with the newly added invitation list. There's a bit of confusion over the old-style groups and the new group changes. CNN has started calling the old groups "vestigial limbs." )
First, people are annoyed that friends can add you to groups without your consent and the new additions wind up in your Newsfeed. It came as somewhat of a surprise to the CEO of Mahalo Jason McCabe Calacanis to discover he had been added to NAMBLA. Don't know what NAMBLA is? Good. Just trust us that it would be somewhat disconcerting for your family members to see you join the group.
Not quite as potentially reputation-shattering, but perhaps more annoying is the opt-out factor of group e-mails. Every single post to a group winds up with an e-mail notification sent to all the members of the group. Inboxes started flooding this morning as people started playing with the new groups. "This is so cool!" E-mail notification. "Look how many more people are in the group!" Bing in the inbox.
While some people simply dropped the groups as quickly as they added them (guilty!), there is a pretty easy process to get out of those e-mail notifications.
Go to Account in the top right tool bar and select Account Settings.
Scroll down to Groups and select "Change email settings for individual groups."
Remove the checkmark from the box and save settings.
It takes only about 30 seconds to complete the steps, but as Mike Melanson points out at ReadWriteWeb, you have to repeat this process for every group you join.
It takes some of the sheen off the group fun. Let us know what you think of the new groups!
(Note that Post Co. chairman and chief executive Donald E. Graham sits on Facebook's board of directors.)