Thursday, June 3, 2010

Facebook lists - a useful but seldom used feature for campus ministry

I'm certainly not an expert on Facebook list usage. However, I want to share a few things that I'm starting to do on Facebook that I think can help me (and you) lead, share, and collaborate. As I've said before, I think we in campus ministry have good reasons to be Facebook experts!

First, what do Facebook lists do? And how do you create one? Well, here it is straight from the source:

Friend Lists provide organized groupings of your friends on Facebook. For example, you can create a Friend List for your friends that meet for weekly book club meetings. You can filter your view of each list’s stream of activity separately on the home page. Friend Lists are easy to manage and allow you to send messages and invites to these groups of people all at once. 

To create and customize your own Friend Lists, please follow these steps:
  1. Click the "Create New List" that appears beneath the filters on the left side of your home page or your Friends page. Or, click the "Create New List" button from the "All Friends" tab of the Friends page.
  2. Type the title of your list and hit enter.
  3. Add friends to the list by typing their names into the "Add to List" field or selecting them from the list.
  4. Select "Create List" to store your changes.
In addition, if you have more than two Friend Lists, you can easily add or remove friends from lists by using the drop-down menu that appears next to their names on the "All Friends" tab of the Friends page.

A few things I plan on doing with Facebook lists...

- Create lists for different working groups and teams. I've created the "USCM Operations" - for my fellow operations leaders around the country, "GNW RD's" - for those on our regional director team in the Greater Northwest, "MPD - Supporters" - for our ministry partners that give to our ministry and pray for us.
- Update my status to select groups. Not all my friends care if I'm in the office that day, but my office co-workers might. Not all my friends might care about a certain online article I read, but my fellow Ops leaders might. When you update your status, you can click on the little padlock symbol and customize who sees your update.
- Be available for online chat to select groups. Again, there might be times I'll be fine chatting with anyone, but most of the time when I'm on Facebook, I probably only want to make myself available to no one or just a select group. Lists allow you to do this. After you create lists, they will pop up on your chat menu (lower right of facebook screen) and you can toggle them "online" or "offline" individually.
- Keep tabs on status updates and activity from select groups. While I still have my default for "everyone" in my news feed (for now), I can quickly scan updates from relevant groups by hitting "friends" on the left side of the home page, then selecting the list I want to see. A great way to stay in the loop on the people you care most about.
- Send messages to select groups. I didn't even know I could do this until just now when I was reading about Facebook lists. Nice! This might actually be one of the best features. I think I'm going to spend some time updating my lists tonight. :)

If you're still reading and want to get more ideas about how to use Facebook strategically for ministry, there are some great resources at

Do you actively use Facebook lists? Any additions you would recommend to the above list?

1 comment:

  1. Super helpful. I need to get facebook organized and working for me.