Quizbowl on social media

Anything that's on topic but doesn't fit elsewhere, including related events that might be of interest to quizbowl players.
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Deckard Cain
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Quizbowl on social media

Post by Deckard Cain » Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:15 am

It occurred to me recently that it seems like good quizbowl has a very weak presence on social media. NAQT and PACE have Facebook and Twitter pages, but they have so little information and are updated so infrequently that they aren't nearly as useful as I think they could be. Many of the other quizbowl organizations have no social media presence at all, as far as I can tell. As popular as the various social media sites are these days, we haven't done much to engage people on those fronts, and I think that's a huge opportunity that we should be taking advantage of. In particular, this could be a great way to reach out to some of the players/teams/coaches who currently aren't very active. Not everyone has the time or interest to browse all of our different websites and forums on a regular basis, but nearly everyone has a Facebook account, and most people view it daily, if not more often than that. Why not do more to spread information on good quizbowl to that sort of person?

To get the ball rolling, I have recently started a Missouri Quizbowl Alliance Facebook page. It's still new and pretty bare-bones, since it's still the offseason, but I have already posted plenty of info about various quizbowl things, such as Matt's Buzzers, the packet archives, NAQT's You Gotta Know lists, MOQBA's sponsorship of Team Missouri at NASAT, links to already-scheduled tournaments, and dates and locations for the various nationals. As the season gets underway I plan to post things like tournament announcements and stats, links to important discussions and polls, and things of that nature. The rough idea is to post basic ideas and summaries on Facebook, a busier site where more people can see them, and then direct people to the various quizbowl websites for more detail if they're interested. This is not particularly time-consuming; I set up our Facebook page almost a month ago and have spent maybe an hour working on it so far, at most. What's more, I know for a fact that I have already been able to reach a handful of people who aren't tuned into the quizbowl websites, like this one and the Missouri forum; in other words, people who may not have learned about any of these things otherwise. Take a look at what I've done so far, and "like" our page if you're interested.

I've also set up a Twitter page, but haven't done much with it yet. That seems like it will be more useful for things like liveblogging tournaments and posting live results once the season starts.

Anyway, thoughts and ideas? Does this seem like a good idea and would other people be interested in doing more to engage people through social media?
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Re: Quizbowl on social media

Post by Potatoes » Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:27 am

The IHSSBCA runs a frequently updated page here
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Re: Quizbowl on social media

Post by Great Bustard » Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:35 am

I agree with Matt that the community needs to be more open to the use of social media, particularly Facebook group pages. Northern California and Southern California have active pages that are very helpful for organizing, scheduling, outreach and more. I think that part of the reason that quizbowl has not moved more in this direction has been at times a desire among certain people to have greater control over qb matters, particularly on these forums. But I think that as long as the group pages / twitter accounts / etc. are maintained and overseen by regional community leaders with good intentions, then social media can and should complement the forums and not stand in opposition to them. For what it's worth, especially in terms of outreach to new people and those who are reluctant to post on the forums, it takes less effort to be a part of a Facebook group then to follow the forums regularly. Within NHBB/IHBB/IHO, there's been considerable growth in the use of our Facebook pages over the past year, which both we as organizers, along with our community of players/coaches/parents have found to be useful on any number of occasions.
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Re: Quizbowl on social media

Post by cchiego » Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:53 am

Great Bustard wrote:I think that part of the reason that quizbowl has not moved more in this direction has been at times a desire among certain people to have greater control over qb matters, particularly on these forums. But I think that as long as the group pages / twitter accounts / etc. are maintained and overseen by regional community leaders with good intentions, then social media can and should complement the forums and not stand in opposition to them.
Are there any specific examples of this? I've helped* set up multiple regional organizations (and there's yet another in the works right now) and never had any intimation from people in quizbowl or on this forum that doing so was "in opposition to them." There was some justified concern about regional organizations being little more than "paper tigers" with no substantive outreach or resources behind them (see a number of well-intentioned but aborted attempts in places like Louisiana, Iowa, Oklahoma, etc.) a few years ago, but there was certainly no negative feedback about the very idea of doing them.

Social media needs to be part and parcel with other forms of outreach too. You don't get Twitter followers without providing something useful for them like new rankings, new how-to guides, schedules, etc. which should be found on various regional alliance websites. Facebook groups need a critical mass of people and discussion topics if they don't want to just kind of die out. I've also always pushed for not just tweeting scores and such from tournaments (random game scores are usually not that interesting), but pictures and links to live stats. Parents and coaches seemed to get a kick out of the live stats in particular.

[Edit: corrected grammar]
Last edited by cchiego on Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Quizbowl on social media

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:03 pm

I have little opposition to more official quizbowl presence on social media; however, folks have to be extremely alert about not revealing any uncleared question content on any social media platform, which induces some constraints on what can be said or done with it.
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Re: Quizbowl on social media

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:07 pm

I've always been a big fan of social media presence for college teams, and I think this can extend to other organizations as well. At the very least I've found a Facebook group to be a very beneficial organizing tool, and my experience with Facebook pages and Twitter accounts really likes the potential if somebody is willing and dedicated to updating them.

Having a dead social media page is probably not a good option though. People will think your organization is dead.
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Re: Quizbowl on social media

Post by Great Bustard » Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:16 pm

cchiego wrote: Are there any specific examples of this? I've helped* set up multiple regional organizations (and there's yet another in the works right now) and never had any intimation from people in quizbowl or on this forum that doing so was "in opposition to them." There was some justified concern about regional organizations being little more than "paper tigers" with no substantive outreach or resources behind them (see a number of well-intentioned but aborted attempts in places like Louisiana, Iowa, Oklahoma, etc.) a few years ago, but there was certainly no negative feedback about the very idea of doing them.
[Edit: corrected grammar]
Several years ago, I tried to put together a Facebook page along the lines of what Northern California was doing for the DC area, and Weiner and several others basically shouted the idea down. I don't think that they were opposed to the idea of regional organizing groups / quizbowl alliances (though in this instance, that's not what I was trying to do - although it's probably a very good idea) but rather the idea of unmoderated qb discussion that they would be less able to steer the direction of. Weiner in particular said something along the lines of "quizbowl discussion belongs on the forums."
For what it's worth, I certainly wasn't trying to undercut the forums - more just to provide an analogue for the DC area of what has become a very useful tool in California. Anyway, I echo the point that facebook/social media presences need to complement and not be a substitute for other methods of organizing. And I second Nick's point that a dead Facebook page is worse than none at all. That said, it doesn't take all that much effort to have a worthwhile page going - several posts a week and having at least ~50 followers is probably sufficient for creating some value added, and it's easy enough to expand beyond that, especially if a number of people oversee the group.
As an aside, the primary value of Facebook for me/NHBB/IHBB is not so much the group page itself, but rather the ability to contact people quickly regarding upcoming events. That function has been of enormous benefit, both in terms of communicating with participants and with staffers.
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Re: Quizbowl on social media

Post by AKKOLADE » Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:20 pm

Great Bustard wrote:
cchiego wrote: Are there any specific examples of this? I've helped* set up multiple regional organizations (and there's yet another in the works right now) and never had any intimation from people in quizbowl or on this forum that doing so was "in opposition to them." There was some justified concern about regional organizations being little more than "paper tigers" with no substantive outreach or resources behind them (see a number of well-intentioned but aborted attempts in places like Louisiana, Iowa, Oklahoma, etc.) a few years ago, but there was certainly no negative feedback about the very idea of doing them.
[Edit: corrected grammar]
Several years ago, I tried to put together a Facebook page along the lines of what Northern California was doing for the DC area, and Weiner and several others basically shouted the idea down. I don't think that they were opposed to the idea of regional organizing groups / quizbowl alliances (though in this instance, that's not what I was trying to do - although it's probably a very good idea) but rather the idea of unmoderated qb discussion that they would be less able to steer the direction of. Weiner in particular said something along the lines of "quizbowl discussion belongs on the forums."
For what it's worth, I certainly wasn't trying to undercut the forums - more just to provide an analogue for the DC area of what has become a very useful tool in California. Anyway, I echo the point that facebook/social media presences need to complement and not be a substitute for other methods of organizing. And I second Nick's point that a dead Facebook page is worse than none at all. That said, it doesn't take all that much effort to have a worthwhile page going - several posts a week and having at least ~50 followers is probably sufficient for creating some value added, and it's easy enough to expand beyond that, especially if a number of people oversee the group.
As an aside, the primary value of Facebook for me/NHBB/IHBB is not so much the group page itself, but rather the ability to contact people quickly regarding upcoming events. That function has been of enormous benefit, both in terms of communicating with participants and with staffers.
[citation needed]

As a recall, the problem with the Facebook group, in particular your starting one, was that you had zero connection to the DC-area. It'd make about as much sense as me creating a Facebook group for quiz bowl in Nevada, or Georgia, or New York.
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Re: Quizbowl on social media

Post by Great Bustard » Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:13 pm

Stefan HSQBRankovich wrote:
Great Bustard wrote:
cchiego wrote: Are there any specific examples of this? I've helped* set up multiple regional organizations (and there's yet another in the works right now) and never had any intimation from people in quizbowl or on this forum that doing so was "in opposition to them." There was some justified concern about regional organizations being little more than "paper tigers" with no substantive outreach or resources behind them (see a number of well-intentioned but aborted attempts in places like Louisiana, Iowa, Oklahoma, etc.) a few years ago, but there was certainly no negative feedback about the very idea of doing them.
[Edit: corrected grammar]
Several years ago, I tried to put together a Facebook page along the lines of what Northern California was doing for the DC area, and Weiner and several others basically shouted the idea down. I don't think that they were opposed to the idea of regional organizing groups / quizbowl alliances (though in this instance, that's not what I was trying to do - although it's probably a very good idea) but rather the idea of unmoderated qb discussion that they would be less able to steer the direction of. Weiner in particular said something along the lines of "quizbowl discussion belongs on the forums."
For what it's worth, I certainly wasn't trying to undercut the forums - more just to provide an analogue for the DC area of what has become a very useful tool in California. Anyway, I echo the point that facebook/social media presences need to complement and not be a substitute for other methods of organizing. And I second Nick's point that a dead Facebook page is worse than none at all. That said, it doesn't take all that much effort to have a worthwhile page going - several posts a week and having at least ~50 followers is probably sufficient for creating some value added, and it's easy enough to expand beyond that, especially if a number of people oversee the group.
As an aside, the primary value of Facebook for me/NHBB/IHBB is not so much the group page itself, but rather the ability to contact people quickly regarding upcoming events. That function has been of enormous benefit, both in terms of communicating with participants and with staffers.
[citation needed]

As a recall, the problem with the Facebook group, in particular your starting one, was that you had zero connection to the DC-area. It'd make about as much sense as me creating a Facebook group for quiz bowl in Nevada, or Georgia, or New York.
The group was created on March 14, 2013. I moved to DC on January 1, 2013. So, uh, no.
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Re: Quizbowl on social media

Post by Cody » Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:20 pm

"living in DC" != "having even the most tenuous connection to DC quizbowl"
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Re: Quizbowl on social media

Post by RexSueciae » Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:43 pm

Public Facebook pages for quizbowl organizations are a good thing. They provide visibility and quick publicity--also, when one's team does well at some competition, there's something about sharing [congratulatory post from impressive-sounding organization] that appeals to that grandmother who finally figured out how to Facebook.

Facebook groups, on the other hand, have little to no use whatsoever for discussion at the regional level or above. Yes, some regions (e.g. Northern California) have them, but not every region needs one, since specific regional boards already exist. A closed or secret quizbowl-related Facebook group is really only useful on the individual club level, so that people are able to securely discuss things like who's going to write what parts of that ACF Fall submission, or for arranging transport to [tournament location]. Can anybody tell me what benefit Facebook has over these forums?

Oh, and I'd like to ask a few things of Dave Madden, especially about his unofficial DC quizbowl Facebook group.
Great Bustard wrote: For what it's worth, I certainly wasn't trying to undercut the forums - more just to provide an analogue for the DC area of what has become a very useful tool in California.
What, precisely, did you intend for your group to be used for that could not be done on the forums / would be more convenient on Facebook?
Great Bustard wrote: I second Nick's point that a dead Facebook page is worse than none at all.
Your DC quizbowl Facebook group has four posts in it: two from you pontificating on the grand purpose of the group (2013), and two from Paul Kirk-Davidoff a year later asking if anybody intended to go to the last chance history bee / VCU Open. Given that "a dead Facebook page is worse than none at all," and that until I was added an hour ago there hadn't been any new members for a year, what purpose does this group currently serve?
Great Bustard wrote:The group was created on March 14, 2013. I moved to DC on January 1, 2013.
In what activities or organizations do three months of local residency qualify persons to lead regional organizations? For that matter, how many DC-area quizbowl events (not related to NHBB) have you ever attended, Dave Madden?


As a bonus question--can anyone tell me who Tokushi Fujita might be? They were recently added to the Greater DC Metro Quizbowl Group by Dave Madden; I have no mutual friends with them, they have never appeared at any DC Metro quizbowl event (nor any modern quizbowl event with public records, according to Harry White's search engine), and their Facebook page indicates that they are members of such diverse groups as "Narcolepsy support for parents with children who have narcolepsy," "Bennington Home Furnishings And Decor," and "Things For Sale And Looking To Buy ( Grand Bahama )."
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Re: Quizbowl on social media

Post by Corry » Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:07 pm

For those wondering about the point of regional quiz bowl Facebook groups, let me just say that the SoCal Facebook group is really great.

For SoCal, the Facebook group has effectively supplanted the regional forum here on hsquizbowl because there are lower barriers to entry. Most quiz bowl players (especially in high school) don't post on hsquizbowl, or even have an account here. Meanwhile, almost everybody has a Facebook. When I wanted to raise a team of California players for Geo Monstrosity this year, I posted on the facebook group because I knew everybody in the SoCal circuit would see it instantly, instead of waiting a week for people to possibly crawl their way into hsquizbowl. When a guy wants to liveblog Team California's performance at NASAT, he does it on the Facebook group. When people want to host inter-school Skype practices, they post on Facebook. And so forth.
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Re: Quizbowl on social media

Post by 1.82 » Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:58 pm

On the subject of regional Facebook groups, I'm not sure why a regional Facebook group would ever have any reason to be private or closed, as I know the Northern California group is. What exactly is there to hide? Making group content not visible to outsiders merely presents another barrier to entry, whether because people don't feel comfortable joining or because they don't know anyone or because they just don't have Facebook accounts.
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Re: Quizbowl on social media

Post by i never see pigeons in wheeling » Wed Jul 22, 2015 7:41 pm

Governor General's Foot Guards wrote:On the subject of regional Facebook groups, I'm not sure why a regional Facebook group would ever have any reason to be private or closed, as I know the Northern California group is. What exactly is there to hide? Making group content not visible to outsiders merely presents another barrier to entry, whether because people don't feel comfortable joining or because they don't know anyone or because they just don't have Facebook accounts.
I decided to close it due to a combination of spam Facebook accounts signing up and because uncleared questions were at one point accidentally posted on it, so that was a measure to basically prevent people outside NorCal seeing it if the admins failed to get there fast enough (though this point is largely mooted by the fact that we have several people outside NorCal). It was not my intention to present a barrier to entry, and if that was the net effect, I'll open it up again.
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Re: Quizbowl on social media

Post by Jason Cheng » Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:31 pm

Being the person who created the SoCal Quiz Bowl Facebook group that has (unintentionally) supplanted the forums as the primary vehicle of Southern California high school quiz bowl discussion, I think I can answer a few questions:

Firstly, Corry is basically right about the original intent of the group: when I created it in the summer of 2012, the only other admin (the president of Irvine High quiz bowl at the time who's moved on from quiz bowl now) and I were two incoming high school seniors who'd both just become the heads of our respective clubs and had also only very recently become a part of quiz bowl--the first time I'd picked up a buzzer was something like October, 8 months before, and he was in a similar situation. At the time, we'd started a kind of trend where a bunch of students from the high schools in the area would message each other and all hop on Skype for a game of quiz bowl, sort of like a pickup game. The two of us were talking on Facebook (!!!) about how we had no idea how to reach other students from other schools in a way that was both quicker and less formal than posting on the forums, but also with more mass action than individually texting or Facebooking or whatever. Therefore, we'd arrived at a Facebook group, and thought it was perfect because we were also planning early fall tournaments that we'd agreed to host and wanted one more mode of communicating with the people who'd be attending. I created the group and the other admin added the captains/presidents of all the clubs in the region, and we also created an email list file on the group to make sending out emails as tournament invitations easier.

So at its heart, the three year old SoCal Quiz Bowl Facebook group (that gave NorCal the idea :cool: ) was originally intended to be an informal place where people could just hop on and talk to other members about whatever quiz bowl related stuff they wanted to talk about in a manner along the lines of hitting up some friends to go shoot around. I think it's developed for the most part towards that goal, and surprisingly organically and easily--I've only used my admin powers twice in three years: one time to delete uncleared question content and one time to delete a wildly inappropriate comment about someone who was at the center of a regional cheating scandal (in fact, I don't really do much to control the direction of that group at all besides those two occasions). I think that particular niche is absolutely one that exists, and could stand to be filled. Quiz bowl greater fills that niche with the IRC channels; high schoolers (and the less active college circuit) in the isolated region of Southern California who might have never heard of IRC before and certainly don't know that #quizbowl on slashnet is a thing have elected to use Facebook, their primary online social network.

I never exactly intended the group to become the primary mode of conducting business in Southern California high school quiz bowl, since there are obvious disadvantages to conducting all your business through Facebook, and I've tried to remedy that particular problem in the past, but I don't think that downside really outweighs the benefits the group has generated in the last three years: more effective communication, and a greater degree of camaraderie and socializing between members of different clubs throughout the region than what existed before the summer of 2012. As such, I don't think there's anything wrong with the Facebook group, which as far as I can tell is the earliest one of its kind and also along with its sister Northern California group is the largest and most active one, and I would defend its right to exist despite the fact that it overlaps with these forums on the grounds that more people are likely to visit Facebook on a regular basis and posting in Facebook groups is better for informal purposes and infinitely faster than using the forums for the vast majority of people, even people who play quiz bowl.

As I've never really stated a grand purpose for the Facebook group, or actively tried to instill a sense of direction in it and it's still filling a large communicative (and very much outreach-friendly) niche, I think it's safe to say that the niche does exist.

Re: Facebook groups of this type being closed privacy: the SoCal group was originally on the closed privacy setting because we didn't really feel like blasting the newsfeeds of all our non-qb friends every single time we posted "Hey, does anyone want to play a couple of games on Skype right now?" or with our 18th consecutive "Reminder to sign up for our tournament next weekend!" post. It's also served the dual purpose of keeping random spammers out, I guess--I don't think I've ever actually personally approved any new members to the group, but it's grown by about 400 members from its original size with no problems, so I'm pretty sure nothing needs to change there.

Lastly,
RexSueciae wrote: can anyone tell me who Tokushi Fujita might be? "
I'm not Dave Madden, nor have I ever heard of the DC Facebook group, nor have I ever seen it in my life, but I'm guessing that's a dummy account and/or a spam account that just made its way into the group. Those exist everywhere, and aren't a big deal.
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Re: Quizbowl on social media

Post by Great Bustard » Mon Jul 27, 2015 2:57 pm

Cody wrote:"living in DC" != "having even the most tenuous connection to DC quizbowl"
So let's see:
1. I've directed five years running in DC / Arlington one of the largest quizbowl events of the year (and yes, for this purpose, NHBB is totally quizbowl - the use of buzzers & pyramidal questions combined with the overlap between teams, coaches, buzzer systems used, community involvement from writers and volunteers, etc. is testament to that) anywhere, along with the 2013 National History Bowl MS Nationals.
2. I have lived there since 2013, and have been one of the most active people in the national community since 2010 which more than gives me standing to help start something like this. Prior to living in the area, I took (and still take) a role in support of quiz bowl in New Jersey (where I used to live), and had already more than tangential connections to DC quiz bowl, so why should there have been a supposition that I shouldn't have
3. I have volunteered at numerous area events (including Centennial tournaments, and various events at Maryland, Charter, Maggie Walker, Georgetown Day, and PACE NSC). Granted, this was more common for me back when I wasn't constantly traveling in support of NHBB/IHBB but am still eager to volunteer at area events as time permits.
4. DC area events borrow buzzers I own all the time free of charge.
5. I have personal working relationships with well over a dozen area coaches, and have had so since before I moved there.
6. Even for areas I don't live in (like Northern and Southern California), I actively use the Facebook pages there to everyone's benefit to help coordinate on matters of scheduling, buzzer loans, recruiting, and general advice giving.
7. NHBB has run, and I have often attended, 3-6 area regional tournaments for each of the past 3 years, combined with regionals in the area dating back to 2011. And yes, just as these are germane to discussion on these forums, they're also germane to discussion on a Facebook group page.
8. Everyone agrees the DC circuit is in need of greater outreach efforts, and Facebook can be a good organizing tool for such. Is shouting down someone who tries to encourage this process really helping matters?

I'm getting tired of needing to make posts like this...
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Re: Quizbowl on social media

Post by Great Bustard » Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:21 pm

RexSueciae wrote:Public Facebook pages for quizbowl organizations are a good thing. They provide visibility and quick publicity--also, when one's team does well at some competition, there's something about sharing [congratulatory post from impressive-sounding organization] that appeals to that grandmother who finally figured out how to Facebook.

Facebook groups, on the other hand, have little to no use whatsoever for discussion at the regional level or above. Yes, some regions (e.g. Northern California) have them, but not every region needs one, since specific regional boards already exist. A closed or secret quizbowl-related Facebook group is really only useful on the individual club level, so that people are able to securely discuss things like who's going to write what parts of that ACF Fall submission, or for arranging transport to [tournament location]. Can anybody tell me what benefit Facebook has over these forums?
Beyond what people have already mentioned, I can guarantee you that the number of people who have connections to a community who actively are on Facebook in any given day (and are thus in a position better to access the Facebook group page) is higher than those who check the forums every day. Also, the ability to send out last minute reminders, tag people, chat with people online, and have a free form discussion is better suited for Facebook than the forums. That's not to say that the forums shouldn't be used for area discussions, but rather that Facebook can complement them. The California Facebook groups are testament to this. There's no reason that if they work there they can't also work for DC (especially since the growth and development of quiz bowl in both Northern and Southern California in the past 3-5 years stands in marked contrast to the stagnation in the DC area) although of course, if there's pressure from certain quarters to avoid doing so, that's a pretty surefire way to ensure this won't happen.
RexSueciae wrote:Oh, and I'd like to ask a few things of Dave Madden, especially about his unofficial DC quizbowl Facebook group.
Great Bustard wrote: For what it's worth, I certainly wasn't trying to undercut the forums - more just to provide an analogue for the DC area of what has become a very useful tool in California.
What, precisely, did you intend for your group to be used for that could not be done on the forums / would be more convenient on Facebook?
See above.
RexSueciae wrote:
Great Bustard wrote: I second Nick's point that a dead Facebook page is worse than none at all.
Your DC quizbowl Facebook group has four posts in it: two from you pontificating on the grand purpose of the group (2013), and two from Paul Kirk-Davidoff a year later asking if anybody intended to go to the last chance history bee / VCU Open. Given that "a dead Facebook page is worse than none at all," and that until I was added an hour ago there hadn't been any new members for a year, what purpose does this group currently serve?
Right now, you're absolutely correct that it serves no purpose - also, calling this "my" DC group is misleading - it's no more my group than saying that for whoever started the NorCal or SoCal FB pages, those groups are "theirs". If someone wants to delete the DC group page, fine with me, though I'd prefer people (won't be me this time) run with the idea and put it to good use. I haven't tried to use it since I tried to launch it since obviously if no one's going to gravitate to it, there's no value in it. But as long as efforts to explain the value of a Facebook group (which many in this thread are agreeing with me on, and the California groups stand as evidence in support of) are considered "pontificating", then I'm going to put my organizing efforts in elsewhere.
RexSueciae wrote: In what activities or organizations do three months of local residency qualify persons to lead regional organizations? For that matter, how many DC-area quizbowl events (not related to NHBB) have you ever attended, Dave Madden?
See my response to Cody. And if you really want an answer here, it's about 8 in my active playing career, and off the top of my head, 13 since 2010 which are non-NHBB related. Nor do I see the point in disambiguating NHBB from quizbowl here either. Why should it matter if it were 0? NHBB is sufficient in and of itself.
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Re: Quizbowl on social media

Post by RexSueciae » Mon Jul 27, 2015 4:08 pm

In the interest of clarifying things, I've made a few comments on most of the points made above.
Great Bustard wrote:Beyond what people have already mentioned, I can guarantee you that the number of people who have connections to a community who actively are on Facebook in any given day (and are thus in a position better to access the Facebook group page) is higher than those who check the forums every day. Also, the ability to send out last minute reminders, tag people, chat with people online, and have a free form discussion is better suited for Facebook than the forums. That's not to say that the forums shouldn't be used for area discussions, but rather that Facebook can complement them. The California Facebook groups are testament to this. There's no reason that if they work there they can't also work for DC (especially since the growth and development of quiz bowl in both Northern and Southern California in the past 3-5 years stands in marked contrast to the stagnation in the DC area) although of course, if there's pressure from certain quarters to avoid doing so, that's a pretty surefire way to ensure this won't happen.
Okay, sure, Facebook has some features that the forums don't have. On the other hand, making a forums account requires arguably less effort (and personal information) than making a Facebook account, and the forums already have competent moderators who know how to keep productive discussion going. That being said--you keep mentioning being "shouted down" and, now, receiving "pressure from certain quarters" to give up this idea--can you be specific on what, exactly, people said, and how they said it? Was it just "I think this is unnecessary and also why are you doing this" or was it "[vituperative personal attack]"?
Great Bustard wrote:See my response to Cody. And if you really want an answer here, it's about 8 in my active playing career, and off the top of my head, 13 since 2010 which are non-NHBB related. Nor do I see the point in disambiguating NHBB from quizbowl here either. Why should it matter if it were 0? NHBB is sufficient in and of itself.
I'm not sure what your response is, since you directed me to another response of yours above, so let me direct your point regarding NHBB and quizbowl to my response to the quote immediately following the next one.
Great Bustard wrote:Right now, you're absolutely correct that it serves no purpose - also, calling this "my" DC group is misleading - it's no more my group than saying that for whoever started the NorCal or SoCal FB pages, those groups are "theirs". If someone wants to delete the DC group page, fine with me, though I'd prefer people (won't be me this time) run with the idea and put it to good use. I haven't tried to use it since I tried to launch it since obviously if no one's going to gravitate to it, there's no value in it. But as long as efforts to explain the value of a Facebook group (which many in this thread are agreeing with me on, and the California groups stand as evidence in support of) are considered "pontificating", then I'm going to put my organizing efforts in elsewhere.
Of course it's "your" DC group! You're the one who created it (unilaterally, without asking anybody if this was a good idea), you're the current and only admin, you've made fully one half of the posts in the group--it's hard to say whom the group could belong to otherwise. Possibly, quite possibly, the reason why people aren't gravitating to that group isn't that you're being repressed or shouted down, it's because you had a failure in advertising (the number of people who even knew about this group's existence up until a few days ago was barely more than the group's rather small membership) or perhaps this region simply does not need a Facebook group at this time.
Great Bustard wrote:1. I've directed five years running in DC / Arlington one of the largest quizbowl events of the year (and yes, for this purpose, NHBB is totally quizbowl - the use of buzzers & pyramidal questions combined with the overlap between teams, coaches, buzzer systems used, community involvement from writers and volunteers, etc. is testament to that) anywhere, along with the 2013 National History Bowl MS Nationals.
Nobody in this thread has questioned whether or not NHBB is quizbowl. NHBB is an event very similar to quizbowl if not already within that description, but it doesn't really do to tout the expansion of an event that you personally are drawing income from as an example of your outreach / expansion credentials. When you show up to a History Bowl event, you are doing your job and drawing a certain amount of revenue for doing so. 13 non-NHBB events since 2010 (events at which you were presumably volunteering without expectation of pay, and promoting the expansion of an event not affiliated with one of your moneymaking enterprises) is a number that a lot of other people who are actually from the region could easily surpass, including probably myself.

If we're going to be discussing NHBB's relevance to quizbowl in this thread, then: NHBB hasn't strengthened regional circuits so much as it created new ones.
Great Bustard wrote:2. I have lived there since 2013, and have been one of the most active people in the national community since 2010 which more than gives me standing to help start something like this. Prior to living in the area, I took (and still take) a role in support of quiz bowl in New Jersey (where I used to live), and had already more than tangential connections to DC quiz bowl, so why should there have been a supposition that I shouldn't have
Repeating what I said in my earlier post in this thread: you've lived in DC since 2013, the same year that you started the Facebook group and tried to assert your authority as a regional leader. Citing your move-in date might be helpful today, if you were starting something right now, but for this specific occasion I remain unconvinced. Once again: how does a few months of living in DC give you the "standing to help start something like this"?

Being active in the national community doesn't necessarily qualify oneself to do these things in any particular region, too--think how odd it would be if Eric Mukherjee were to suddenly declare his grand idea for supporting DC-area quizbowl despite spending most of his recent quizbowl career in Pennsylvania.
Great Bustard wrote:3. I have volunteered at numerous area events (including Centennial tournaments, and various events at Maryland, Charter, Maggie Walker, Georgetown Day, and PACE NSC). Granted, this was more common for me back when I wasn't constantly traveling in support of NHBB/IHBB but am still eager to volunteer at area events as time permits.
NHBB started off in 2010, and I have it on good authority that you have not volunteered at a Maggie Walker event since at least that year. I cannot speak to the other locations / events. That being said: you've allegedly volunteered at local events, and are willing to appear at more when you can take time off of your busy schedule? Why, with the justifications you've cited, someone as inexperienced as I could easily have done what you did.
Great Bustard wrote:4. DC area events borrow buzzers I own all the time free of charge.
I am sure that those events which you have aided in this manner are grateful.
Great Bustard wrote:5. I have personal working relationships with well over a dozen area coaches, and have had so since before I moved there.
I, too, know various local coaches, and can contact others through e-mail.
Great Bustard wrote:6. Even for areas I don't live in (like Northern and Southern California), I actively use the Facebook pages there to everyone's benefit to help coordinate on matters of scheduling, buzzer loans, recruiting, and general advice giving.
That's great?
Great Bustard wrote:7. NHBB has run, and I have often attended, 3-6 area regional tournaments for each of the past 3 years, combined with regionals in the area dating back to 2011. And yes, just as these are germane to discussion on these forums, they're also germane to discussion on a Facebook group page.
You're bringing up another argument that nobody here was making. Nobody questions whether or not NHBB events are "germane to discussion anywhere," and I believe I made my point above on citing history events as part of one's quizbowl community credentials.
Great Bustard wrote:8. Everyone agrees the DC circuit is in need of greater outreach efforts, and Facebook can be a good organizing tool for such. Is shouting down someone who tries to encourage this process really helping matters?
For a final time--I see no "shouting down," I see multiple allegations that people have been doing this and a number of posts discussing whether or not quizbowl on social media is a good thing (and, if so, what forms are best).
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Re: Quizbowl on social media

Post by Great Bustard » Tue Jul 28, 2015 4:53 pm

RexSueciae wrote:In the interest of clarifying things, I've made a few comments on most of the points made above.
Great Bustard wrote:Beyond what people have already mentioned, I can guarantee you that the number of people who have connections to a community who actively are on Facebook in any given day (and are thus in a position better to access the Facebook group page) is higher than those who check the forums every day. Also, the ability to send out last minute reminders, tag people, chat with people online, and have a free form discussion is better suited for Facebook than the forums. That's not to say that the forums shouldn't be used for area discussions, but rather that Facebook can complement them. The California Facebook groups are testament to this. There's no reason that if they work there they can't also work for DC (especially since the growth and development of quiz bowl in both Northern and Southern California in the past 3-5 years stands in marked contrast to the stagnation in the DC area) although of course, if there's pressure from certain quarters to avoid doing so, that's a pretty surefire way to ensure this won't happen.
Okay, sure, Facebook has some features that the forums don't have. On the other hand, making a forums account requires arguably less effort (and personal information) than making a Facebook account, and the forums already have competent moderators who know how to keep productive discussion going. That being said--you keep mentioning being "shouted down" and, now, receiving "pressure from certain quarters" to give up this idea--can you be specific on what, exactly, people said, and how they said it? Was it just "I think this is unnecessary and also why are you doing this" or was it "[vituperative personal attack]"?
Matt Weiner and a few other people (though I don't recall who exactly) were very critical about this in a way that went beyond disagreeing with the concept. Calling it a vituperative personal attack would be too far, but they didn't exactly point it out in a polite way either. Their comments aren't findable now, since either they posted in the group solely to say that, and their comments were deleted when they left, or something comparable. Also, almost every high schooler these days has a FB account and most visit the site daily or close to it. So it stands to reason that it's going to be more accessible at some level (even if obviously, it doesn't take more than 10 seconds or so to go on the forums - it's more an out of sight / out of mind thing).
RexSueciae wrote:
Great Bustard wrote:Right now, you're absolutely correct that it serves no purpose - also, calling this "my" DC group is misleading - it's no more my group than saying that for whoever started the NorCal or SoCal FB pages, those groups are "theirs". If someone wants to delete the DC group page, fine with me, though I'd prefer people (won't be me this time) run with the idea and put it to good use. I haven't tried to use it since I tried to launch it since obviously if no one's going to gravitate to it, there's no value in it. But as long as efforts to explain the value of a Facebook group (which many in this thread are agreeing with me on, and the California groups stand as evidence in support of) are considered "pontificating", then I'm going to put my organizing efforts in elsewhere.
Of course it's "your" DC group! You're the one who created it (unilaterally, without asking anybody if this was a good idea), you're the current and only admin, you've made fully one half of the posts in the group--it's hard to say whom the group could belong to otherwise. Possibly, quite possibly, the reason why people aren't gravitating to that group isn't that you're being repressed or shouted down, it's because you had a failure in advertising (the number of people who even knew about this group's existence up until a few days ago was barely more than the group's rather small membership) or perhaps this region simply does not need a Facebook group at this time.
Fine, if you want to argue semantics about possession of Facebook groups, I concede the point. But the more salient point is that for the California forums, even if one person set those up and is sole owner, no one acts like they're the owner of it, and nor did I ever have any intention of not sharing those responsibilities for the DC forums too. I've created many things unilaterally without asking permission from anyone else over the past 5 years that tens of thousands of people have now taken part in, so creating a Facebook group for the area I live in was hardly a huge leap. As far as lack of advertising goes, again, I stopped trying since there was no point in pushing for this if people were arguing for it not to be used. Whatever, really. I've just made this group an open one (so if anything good comes out of this thread, let it be known that the DC area Facebook group is now ready for discussion, should anyone be interested in it.) As I've mentioned, though, I was more looking just to take the initiative in putting this out there and not looking to spend hours each week moderating it (most quizbowl FB groups don't need this anyway)
RexSueciae wrote:
Great Bustard wrote:1. I've directed five years running in DC / Arlington one of the largest quizbowl events of the year (and yes, for this purpose, NHBB is totally quizbowl - the use of buzzers & pyramidal questions combined with the overlap between teams, coaches, buzzer systems used, community involvement from writers and volunteers, etc. is testament to that) anywhere, along with the 2013 National History Bowl MS Nationals.
Nobody in this thread has questioned whether or not NHBB is quizbowl. NHBB is an event very similar to quizbowl if not already within that description, but it doesn't really do to tout the expansion of an event that you personally are drawing income from as an example of your outreach / expansion credentials. When you show up to a History Bowl event, you are doing your job and drawing a certain amount of revenue for doing so. 13 non-NHBB events since 2010 (events at which you were presumably volunteering without expectation of pay, and promoting the expansion of an event not affiliated with one of your moneymaking enterprises) is a number that a lot of other people who are actually from the region could easily surpass, including probably myself.

If we're going to be discussing NHBB's relevance to quizbowl in this thread, then: NHBB hasn't strengthened regional circuits so much as it created new ones.
This is an altogether different point worthy of its own thread if you want an extended discussion on the matter, but there are plenty of places where it has strengthened regional circuits too (S FL, Greater NYC, New England, Northern and Southern California, etc.). Also, I don't doubt that (especially as players) that there are people out there who have been to far more DC area events in the past 5 years than me (starting with Raynell Cooper even within NHBB). But I don't see why this, nor whether I'm at these events to some extent to promote NHBB (which I don't deny, but I also genuinely enjoy working events the same as any volunteer, and help is help all the same) is germane to the subject at hand. Sure, I benefit if DC area NHBB grows, but so do scores of other people either through having more chances to compete or by bringing NHBB teams into greater touch with the circuit (something that some people have said we don't do enough of, and something that a Facebook group could particularly help with if NHBB and quiz bowl events were discussed and the non-overlapping parts of those communities came together in the same place.)
RexSueciae wrote:
Great Bustard wrote:2. I have lived there since 2013, and have been one of the most active people in the national community since 2010 which more than gives me standing to help start something like this. Prior to living in the area, I took (and still take) a role in support of quiz bowl in New Jersey (where I used to live), and had already more than tangential connections to DC quiz bowl, so why should there have been a supposition that I shouldn't have
Repeating what I said in my earlier post in this thread: you've lived in DC since 2013, the same year that you started the Facebook group and tried to assert your authority as a regional leader. Citing your move-in date might be helpful today, if you were starting something right now, but for this specific occasion I remain unconvinced. Once again: how does a few months of living in DC give you the "standing to help start something like this"?

Being active in the national community doesn't necessarily qualify oneself to do these things in any particular region, too--think how odd it would be if Eric Mukherjee were to suddenly declare his grand idea for supporting DC-area quizbowl despite spending most of his recent quizbowl career in Pennsylvania.
Yes, but Eric (or anyone else) hadn't been already directly responsible for numerous events in DC prior to moving there (and the analogy doesn't hold, since I had moved there two months before creating the page...). For a more more apt comparison, is this really different than Chris Chiego moving to Pennsylvania and then taking the initiative to create this page immediately upon arrival? See https://gpqb.wordpress.com/ and I totally commend Chris for launching this site and leaping in to help organize in Greater Philly as soon as he moved there. It's great to see Philly-area quizbowl grow, as it has lagged until recently compared to other northeast circuits.
RexSueciae wrote:
Great Bustard wrote:3. I have volunteered at numerous area events (including Centennial tournaments, and various events at Maryland, Charter, Maggie Walker, Georgetown Day, and PACE NSC). Granted, this was more common for me back when I wasn't constantly traveling in support of NHBB/IHBB but am still eager to volunteer at area events as time permits.
NHBB started off in 2010, and I have it on good authority that you have not volunteered at a Maggie Walker event since at least that year. I cannot speak to the other locations / events. That being said: you've allegedly volunteered at local events, and are willing to appear at more when you can take time off of your busy schedule? Why, with the justifications you've cited, someone as inexperienced as I could easily have done what you did.
Really, Vasa? Where are you going with this? Yes, the last event I personally moderated at Maggie Walker was GSAC in 2010, so my point was in no way inaccurate. Though I also made a personal visit to your school's team in 2011, and then came back in 2011 and 2013 after Maggie Walker students (including yourself) had won National NHBB titles to present the awards before the Richmond area school board in an attempt to bring you and your team some well-deserved kudos and public recognition. And, yes, had you (or any other comparably experienced person) created an area Facebook group, I think that would have been a good thing too!
RexSueciae wrote:
Great Bustard wrote:6. Even for areas I don't live in (like Northern and Southern California), I actively use the Facebook pages there to everyone's benefit to help coordinate on matters of scheduling, buzzer loans, recruiting, and general advice giving.
That's great?
Yes, it's helpful for everyone in those circuits, including everyone who plays NHBB, that I have access to the Facebook pages to help on matters of scheduling, buzzer loans, recruiting, and advice. No question mark needed. Especially for Northern California, I have now permanently stationed 4 buzzer systems with Ankit Aggarwal out there that any quizbowl event can borrow as long as they're not needed for NHBB events on a given day. Expect a lot more efforts like this around the country beginning with the coming year.
RexSueciae wrote:
Great Bustard wrote:7. NHBB has run, and I have often attended, 3-6 area regional tournaments for each of the past 3 years, combined with regionals in the area dating back to 2011. And yes, just as these are germane to discussion on these forums, they're also germane to discussion on a Facebook group page.
You're bringing up another argument that nobody here was making. Nobody questions whether or not NHBB events are "germane to discussion anywhere," and I believe I made my point above on citing history events as part of one's quizbowl community credentials.
Well, if I'm ultimately responsible for all NHBB events and NHBB is germane to quizbowl discussion, whether on the forums, Facebook, or elsewhere, then why is it an issue if I created a Facebook group in almost any region, as long as some NHBB events are running there (let alone something that widely draws on the region-wide community like Nationals for the DC area)?
RexSueciae wrote:
Great Bustard wrote:8. Everyone agrees the DC circuit is in need of greater outreach efforts, and Facebook can be a good organizing tool for such. Is shouting down someone who tries to encourage this process really helping matters?
For a final time--I see no "shouting down," I see multiple allegations that people have been doing this and a number of posts discussing whether or not quizbowl on social media is a good thing (and, if so, what forms are best).
You don't see it because those posts were deleted / those sentiments were conveyed to me in private messages that I have since deleted. Tldr; Facebook groups can be helpful, but they're only helpful if people gravitate to them. It would be nice if DC had this, but I'll leave it to Raynell (who will take the lead in organizing for Greater DC next year for NHBB) and others at this point to really revive the DC area FB page if interested. I'd personally prefer to make other people admins and only use this page intermittently as needed.
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Re: Quizbowl on social media

Post by AKKOLADE » Tue Jul 28, 2015 6:23 pm

Great Bustard wrote:Matt Weiner and a few other people (though I don't recall who exactly) were very critical about this in a way that went beyond disagreeing with the concept. Calling it a vituperative personal attack would be too far, but they didn't exactly point it out in a polite way either. Their comments aren't findable now, since either they posted in the group solely to say that, and their comments were deleted when they left, or something comparable. Also, almost every high schooler these days has a FB account and most visit the site daily or close to it. So it stands to reason that it's going to be more accessible at some level (even if obviously, it doesn't take more than 10 seconds or so to go on the forums - it's more an out of sight / out of mind thing).
Assuming Facebook hasn't changed, comments aren't deleted when someone leaves a group. Their comments remain present.

Continually claiming you were the victim of vicious slams from people and never presenting this evidence is pretty shady.
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Re: Quizbowl on social media

Post by heterodyne » Tue Jul 28, 2015 7:03 pm

"My uncle at Nintendo told me I couldn't make a Facebook group, but I can't tell you the reason or he'd get fired."
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Re: Quizbowl on social media

Post by Great Bustard » Wed Jul 29, 2015 12:03 pm

Stefan HSQBRankovich wrote:
Great Bustard wrote:Matt Weiner and a few other people (though I don't recall who exactly) were very critical about this in a way that went beyond disagreeing with the concept. Calling it a vituperative personal attack would be too far, but they didn't exactly point it out in a polite way either. Their comments aren't findable now, since either they posted in the group solely to say that, and their comments were deleted when they left, or something comparable. Also, almost every high schooler these days has a FB account and most visit the site daily or close to it. So it stands to reason that it's going to be more accessible at some level (even if obviously, it doesn't take more than 10 seconds or so to go on the forums - it's more an out of sight / out of mind thing).
Assuming Facebook hasn't changed, comments aren't deleted when someone leaves a group. Their comments remain present.

Continually claiming you were the victim of vicious slams from people and never presenting this evidence is pretty shady.
Then in that case, they just deleted the posts, and there's nothing more that I can do to bring them back. If you look at the thread, I made a second post on the day I created it in response to their arguments, so that's still there. But I'm not about to deny that this happened, because it did, and that whole episode was at the root of this whole inane discussion, so I needed to reference it.
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