When worlds collide: What are Scouts seeing on your Facebook page?

Your boss views your tailgating photos on Instagram, your Facebook friends see you complaining about your job or your Scouts read your tweets in favor of a politician.

You’ve just encountered context collapse. That’s the phrase for something intended for a specific audience that becomes seen by a much wider, unintended audience.

It happens in the real world, like if you run into a coworker, Scout or Scouter at church or a political rally. But it happens even more frequently online, where we can instantly share sometimes-controversial views with a few simple taps on the keyboard.

Eagle Scout Mark Ray, skilled author and regular contributor to both Scouting and Eagles’ Call magazines, writes on his blog about this phenomenon:

Thanks to context collapse, your boss can see your vacation photos, your friends can see what you’re saying about work, and — most importantly for our purposes — your Scouts can see what you’re liking on Facebook, whether that’s Lolcats, a political cause or your favorite microbrewery.

We know that more than two-thirds (71 percent, to be exact) of online adults use Facebook, meaning chances are good you’re dealing with context collapse even if you don’t know it. So it’s a good idea to take a second to think about your online existence and who in your life sees what. That’s especially relevant when Scouts are involved.

Mark shares three strategies for dealing with context collapse and making sure you don’t reveal more about yourself than you’re comfortable sharing. Ranging from the most extreme to the simplest, they are: Continue reading

Ten strategies for using Facebook in your recruiting efforts

Facebook-logoMore than 500 million people now know that Facebook is a great way to reconnect with old friends, but it's becoming more and more popular as a recruiting tool for packs, troops, and crews.

Does your unit have a Facebook page? If not, now's a great time to start one. Just head to Facebook and sign up for a free account to get started.

Once your page is up and running, converting followers of your page into members of your unit is the next challenge. To help with that problem, here are the Greater St. Louis Area Council's Top 10 tips for using Facebook in recruiting:

  1. Show your friends you're involved in Scouting.
  2. Share the fun you've had during Scouting activities.
  3. Promote planned Scouting activities.
  4. Post photographs of fun Scouting activities.
  5. Talk about your satisfaction with Scouting in your unit, training courses, camps or other programs.
  6. Join Facebook groups in your community and spread the word about Scouting. For example, join your elementary school's Facebook page and promote School Night to Join Scouting and other events.
  7. Promote your School Night to Join Scouting date.
  8. Share your School Night to Join Scouting success stories and how youth and adults can still sign up if they missed the event.
  9. Shine the spotlight on your new Tiger Cub dens, parents who will lead the dens and how they're getting started.
  10. Educate and encourage new parents and leaders to visit Scouting websites and subscribe to e-newsletters.

Now that you're a Facebook pro, be sure to connect with fellow Scouting magazine readers on our Facebook page.

Chime In: What works and doesn't work on your unit's Facebook page?