The ACVS has Joined Facebook
Facebook 101 - Creating Your Profile and Joining the ACVS Page and Group
What is Facebook? Why did the ACVS join?
In short, Facebook is a social networking service. From the time of its inception in 2004 until now, Facebook has attracted more than 845 million active users. It is estimated that nearly half of the U.S. population has a Facebook account, and it is the 2nd most visited website in the U.S. What is it that makes this website so appealing that people, both young and old, find themselves drawn to the computer to “check their Facebook”? There are two main reasons why this has happened. Facebook has done a better job of connecting people with friends, relatives and colleagues than any other current form of communication. In addition to this strong social networking tool, Facebook has created a powerful method of business networking. Facebook allows businesses and artists to promote their service or product and allows non-profit organizations, such as the American Red Cross or the American Cancer Society, to share information about their cause and promote fundraising. The ACVS joined Facebook in order to serve both of these purposes:
- Social Networking: Facebook will allow interaction and communication of ACVS Diplomates with each other on a social level. Members can post conversations, photos and links to ACVS–related social activities. Discussions can be created specifically for social interactions, including social events related to the ACVS Symposium.
- Professional advancement: Facebook allows ACVS and its members or supporters to post upcoming events and news items relevant to the ACVS and/or veterinary surgery as a whole. It helps keep members of the college up to date on current ACVS related events, and also increases the visibility of the ACVS to the general public and general practice veterinarian. In addition, within the member-limited groups, Facebook allows specific discussions to be created in which Diplomates (or residents) can post questions and their experiences related to clinical cases and research. Members can discuss current techniques and post links (confidentially) to videos and photos of unique cases and treatments. It also allows a method by which Diplomates can discuss Symposium presentations, Board of Regents actions, new surgical equipment, etc.
ACVS created both a “Page” (open to the public) and two “Groups” (limited to either Diplomates or residents). What does this mean?
- Facebook “Page”: This terminology is slightly confusing at first. A Facebook page is not the same as your personal profile. Pages are profiles for non-profit organizations, businesses, bands, etc. They can be used to post events, fundraisers or news pertinent to that organization. “Liking” of a Facebook page allows people to show support and interact with these various businesses and organizations. The organization that creates the page gains the added benefit of using “word of mouth” marketing to increase the visibility of the organization. When a person “likes” (follows) a page, everyone in their social circle can see what groups or organizations are important to that individual. Anybody can become a fan of a page and can see what is posted on that page. News and events that are not confidential can be posted here for all of the fans to see.
- Facebook “Groups”: This terminology is more intuitive. A group is a collection of people who share something in common (i.e., Diplomates or residents of the ACVS). A group is more selective than a page in that the creator of the group decides who can join. By making it a “closed group,” potential members can find the group in a search, but they cannot join it until they are given permission. In our circumstance, only ACVS Diplomates will be able to join the Diplomates of the ACVS group and information relevant to Diplomates only (including discussion of cases, research and ACVS membership) will be posted here. The ACVS has also created an ACVS residents group, where ACVS residents have the opportunity to connect and interact. These interactions might include discussion of cases, residency training, research proposals or preparation for the certification examination.
Getting Started – Setting up a personal profile
Go to www.facebook.com, where you will see the initial Facebook login page. Fill out the form on the right-hand side and click the “sign up” button. You will get a confirmation email that will allow you to finish the sign-up process. At this point, you can upload a photograph of yourself and begin to fill in information about yourself, personal and/or professional. You can view and edit your profile at any time, and you may choose how much information about yourself you would like to post. You may want to keep this simple in the beginning until you feel more comfortable using your profile.
Finding the ACVS “Page” and joining the ACVS Diplomates/ Residents Group:
Once you have created your profile, use the search engine at the top of your profile and type “American College of Veterinary Surgeons.” For the ACVS page, click “Like.” You can now freely interact with the page.
Next, join the ACVS Diplomates or Residents group by typing “Diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons” or “American College of Veterinary Surgeons Residents” respectively. For the group, click “Ask to Join Group.” After the administrators have received your request, you will be granted access to the group.
Is the information posted on Facebook secure?
- Personal Profile: No personal information can be shared with other people unless you choose to do so. When you first set up your profile, you should go to the “Privacy Settings” at the top of your page. Make sure that you click “Friends” under “Control Your Default Privacy” to ensure that anything you post on your page is only visible to your friends and family. If you will be using Facebook to communicate with friends and family as well as for business networking, you may sort your “friends” into different lists to control who can access your personal information and photographs. You may create one list entitled “friends” that you allow access to your photo albums, etc. and another list entitled “business” that you can block from seeing your personal information and photos. It is advised that until you feel comfortable navigating through Facebook and using the security settings, that you make your page simple and use it for business networking only.
- The ACVS “Page”: Anyone who has a Facebook account can follow the ACVS page after they have clicked “like” as described above. You are then able to see anything that has been posted by other members. This is beneficial because it allows the ACVS to promote itself both to the public and to other veterinarians and veterinary organizations. There are currently five administrators of the page that monitor the site regularly. If anything inappropriate is posted on the site, the posting is removed immediately. Anything posted should be information that is not confidential. The administrators will monitor the site regularly to ensure that all information posted supports the mission of ACVS.
- The ACVS “Groups”: The groups are limited to Diplomates or residents only. The administrators only approve requests from Diplomates and residents in good standing. The administrators also monitor these sites regularly to ensure that the posted information is appropriate.
If you have any questions regarding Facebook, including setting up your personal profile and/or accessing the ACVS Facebook page and Diplomate/residents’ groups, please contact Dr. Sara Colopy, ACVS Foundation Trustee and the new Diplomate representative, at firstname.lastname@example.org or email email@example.com.
We look forward to seeing you on Facebook!
Awl D. Facebook Me! A Guide to Having Fun with Your Friends and Promoting Your Projects on Facebook. Peachpit Press, Berkeley CA, 2009.
Vander Veer E.A. Facebook, the Missing Manual. The book that should have been in the box. O’Reilly Media, Inc., Sebastopol CA, 2009.