Lately, though, it's been a bit of a chore. Why? The economy, of course.
People are tightening their belts. They're getting more creative with their marketing, and trying to do more while spending less. Social media, whether its the evil FB, I really hate that site, almost as much as I despise MySpace, Twitter, online groups, whatever, is mostly about investing your time and your personality.
So let me be straight up: MY MAMAS ARE NOT A CAPTIVE AUDIENCE FOR YOUR CRAP.
We are a small group, under 40 members. Biggest we've ever been was around 90 and that was primarily due to a lazy (guilty as charged!) moderator.
We're small so that people feel safe and comfortable talking about their families, their kids, their nursing problems, sex after babies, whatever the topic du jour is. People who stick around like our rigorous moderation.
When a woman joins -- Yes, it is a MOMS-only group -- we send her a note asking her to tell us more about herself and her family and how she heard about our little group before her membership is approved.
Don't answer the survey, don't get to join.
When she joins she's moderated for a while, either until she:
- Unsubs after deciding we are not what she was looking for. This sometimes happens immediately, sometimes not til inflammatory topics (the mingling of religion and public education is good for weeding out the wimps) come round.
- Posts enough that we feel comfortable letting her post without a babysitter.
- Posts so damn much (that is ok) that it floods my inbox with crap to approve and I unmoderate her just to make it STOP.
I say all this because the last week or so has seen a rash of service-oriented spam join requests. People with brilliant things to say for themselves (in the initial Yahoo groups form---I'm pretty sure they all gave up hope when they got the follow-up member survey) like:
- I teach your children music. -- Really? No name? No indication of gender or whether or not you have a family or are just a perve who wants to eyeball our kids in the group photo albums? REJECTED
- home work -- Are you offering to do it for my kids? Are you a maid service? A tutor? A work-from-home scammer? REJECTED
- A dental hygienist for a local pediatric dentistry practice. -- This one was nice, but still a solicitation and therefore unwelcome. I'm still debating forwarding her spam to the practice to find out if they stand behind it or she was trying to drum up biz on her own...
Maybe it's time to re-write our splash page? I haven't looked at it in years, but if it will make the spam stop...