We have a facebook group called the WeSewRetro Sew & Tell for sharing our vintage makes and want to offer a few tips for getting the most out of the sewing communities on facebook.
Tip 1: Search the group before asking a question
If I had a penny for every time someone had joined the Sew & Tell and waded straight in with “Has anyone made any patterns by Gertie?” then I would have enough to get Starbucks to serve me a literal bathtub of cappuccino.
Any group that has been around for a while is going to have a ton of information in it, so you’re really shortchanging yourself by not digging around to see what already exists before hoping the person who can answer your question is online and looking at the same moment you are.
It’s not always obvious how to search in facebook group, so read on to see some examples.
On a desktop, you can scroll up to the top of the group and look for a box marked ‘Search this group’, like so:
If you’re on facebook on mobile, it might look more like this:
And, super confusingly, if you use the Facebook Groups app on mobile, you’ve got to hunt for the search magnifying glass symbol up at the top of the group banner. Thanks, Facebook… 😐
How to search is as important as where to search. It usually makes sense to start off using a fairly vague search term and then get more specific if there are too many results. For example, I might search the Sew & Tell for “gertie” rather than the more specific “patterns by gertie”. If you’re looking for a particular modern pattern, say Butterick 5813, consider the different ways people might refer to it. For example, they might say “5813” or “B5813” so try both if you’re not finding what you’re looking for.
Tip 2: Know how to follow a discussion without “Following!!”
If you spend any time at all on a reasonably sized facebook group, you’ll see someone comment on a post with “Following!” or something similar. What’s the point of this? Well, when you comment on a post, facebook notifies you of any subsequent comments on that post, so the person typing “Following!” is trying to keep an eye on the discussion despite not having anything they want to add to it at the moment.
You might not realize there’s actually a better way to achieve the same end. On whatever post you want to keep an eye on, look at the top right hand corner of the post for a little arrow pointing down. Click/tap it and select ‘turn on notifications for this post’
Voila! Now anytime someone comments on it, you’ll get a notification. When you’re done following or if the notifications are becoming intensely annoying, go back to the same place but this time select ‘Turn off notifications for this post’.
Another occasion when this is useful: maybe you commented on a post but the ensuing discussion is now massive and very active and so you’re constantly getting pinged with ‘So and so commented on a post you’re following’ notifications. Just go to the post, hit the little arrow and ‘turn off notifications for this post’
Tip 3: Save stuff you want to find again
Don’t want to get pinged every time someone comments but want to be able to find the post again? Save it! You can find saved posts in the sidebar and facebook will periodically remind you about them in your feed.
To save a post, click/tap the arrow at the top right of the post and select ‘Save post’
So there it is. Three tips for getting the most out of facebook sewing groups. Do you have any tips to add to the list?