friendsTwo days ago I posed a question to the nearly 13oo members of my FaceBook Group “Voice-Over Friends”.

I wanted to know how they felt about the frequent pop-up messages promoting this-or-that paid VO event; things like conferences, webinars, coaching sessions, workshops, seminars, etc.  The appeals can be on behalf of an organization or an individual.

The reason I asked?  Well, some people complained about the notices, and when I got to thinking about it, such posts are basically advertisements that take advantage of a ready audience who have come – ostensibly – to feel secure in the environment created and sustained by a “friendly” atmosphere.  The stated purpose of the group:  An intimate atmosphere for working voice actors to share.

RESULTS AND COMMENTS

The results of the poll were as follows:

18 votes:  If they promote VO events, that’s OK…but no personal-product appeals
12 votes:  Leave out the promotional announcements
3 votes :  Live and let live.  Those posts have value too.

But by far the most votes (44) went to an option I hadn’t even offered.  Somebody else wrote it in:  It’s your group.  Set whatever ground rules you want!

Thanks for the vote of confidence.  I feel empowered, but I was just trying to be fair, and it was edifying to hear the responses.  Below are three I picked out:

Greg Downey We don’t have to read said posts. How does one determine and define what should and should not be posted, and the accepted frequency of such posts? That would be a challenge. I’ve seen pros admonish newbies for such acts, and then turn around and commit the same. Sometimes they’re interesting posts; sometimes not.

Dave Wallace Do they annoy me? I mean, a little, sure, but it’s just as easy for me to hit the “delete email” button or ignore the post if I’m not interested in it.

Steve McDaniel I know that its in our blood to self promote… but I honestly skim right over..it seems a lot folks are more into selling webinars and promoting their coaching services than talking about actual voiceover work. I often wonder if they have ever actually booked a gig.

SOME ANALYSIS

This whole experience reminded me of the 80/20 rule, or The Pareto Principle, of which I’ve written often.

So, let’s face it…of the 1300 denizens of the Voice-Over Friends FB group, only about 20% (260) really participate to any significant extent.  That seems about right.

Now, the Pareto principle further defines 20% of those 260 (52) as being the ones that spoil it for the rest.  That number — 52 — seems a little high.  That actually says good things about the active participants.  MOST come to converse, share, be friendly, not worry about being “hit on” or sold to.

The other side of the coin is how would we find out about programs that may benefit us if we don’t see them in a forum where we most frequently visit?  Like Greg (above) said:  “We don’t have to read said posts.”

True, but do those posts really DON’T meet the requirement of an “intimate place to share”.  They somehow cheapen the atmosphere.

SETTING THE BOUNDARIES

OK, so if it’s up to me (and it is), I’m gonna stick by my totally capricious and subjective rule that you may post about your event IF you are also a frequent contributor to the conversation.  I think we can all be tolerant of an occasional gratutious posting as long as we feel the person is one of us in the first place.

I’ll be checking as often as I can to enforce the rule, but feel free to click the drop-down arrow in the upper-right corner of any post, and click on the “Report/Mark as Spam” option, if you think someone is egregiously breaking the rule.  I’ll dutifully act as judge and jury.

I also like what Bob Bergen said in his response to the survey.  Ask.  Just ask me before posting.  Not only is that a courteous thing to do, but it gives me a chance to understand the motive, and maybe even help you solicit support in the group.

OK…?

CourVO

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