I just wanted to take a minute to clarify a few things about our Upper Peninsula Travel Facebook Group.
As the group has grown, I’ve chosen to implement a few rules to keep it growing in the direction I want it to go, and I’m going to explain my thinking here as well as provide what I feel are lots of other helpful resources.
A Brief History of the U.P. Travel Group
Before I tell you where we’re going, let me tell you where we’ve been.
– As you either know or are just now learning, the people behind the U.P. Travel group are the same people who publish this blog and the Things to do in the U.P. Facebook page. Until recently, it’s pretty much been me (Jesse Land). And it’s done mostly as a hobby and in my spare time.
– So, when Things to do in the U.P. started to get a little bit popular, I found myself overwhelmed with questions. People sent me messages by the dozens. Through this website. Through my Facebook page. On Twitter. And I answered as many as I could, but soon found that it was cutting into the time I spent with my family.
– “There must be a better way,” I thought.
– Thus, the Upper Peninsula Travel Group was born. I offered the group up to the Facebook audience I had worked so hard to build and they joined by the hundreds. “Perfect,” I thought, “Now everyone can answer each others questions and I can chime in with my advice when I have time.” I should also add that I am not all knowing and that I was (and still am) excited to have the benefit of so many different perspectives in the group. It’s huge plus to have such diversity in there.
– The first year or so went really well. The group was mainly used as a discussion group (which is what I originally intended) with a few people posting really high quality photos here and there.
– But, once it got up to a few thousand members, more spammers tried to join the group to spam us with their crappy shoe sales and foreign vacation offers, and more people started to post photos. Which leads me to…
What the Heck? What Can’t You Post Photos in the Group?
This is somewhat complex, but I’ll try to keep this as short as possible.
– Let me just state, I am not some sort of photo hating fanatic. I actually created a sort of popular Facebook page specifically by posting photos of cool things to do in the U.P. And would’t you know, I still do. And you and everyone else is MORE THAN WELCOME to post your Upper Peninsula travel related photos to the Things to do in the U.P. Facebook page.
– Over time, as more and more people posted their vacation photos to the group, the group (overall) saw less engagement. And the photos definitely received much less engagement (likes, comments, etc.) than the Q&A type posts. And because the content of the group was receiving less engagement, fewer people were seeing the activity in the group (Facebook’s rules, not mine) so the whole group became less effective.
– So, because I want this group to continue to grow and be effective to all it’s members, and so we can continue to direct questions received through the website and Facebook page to the group, I felt like we needed to make the choice for it to be either a discussion group or, for lack of a better term, a “photo group.” What I feel the Things to do in the U.P. audience needs is a place to get their specific questions answered, so I decided to make it a discussion group only.
– There are LOTS of other places for you to share your Upper Peninsula travel related photos. There are (to my knowledge) no other discussion only Upper Peninsula travel groups.
– Pretty photos are great, but with 5,000 plus members, if even small percentage of the group posts photos on a regular basis, the photos “take over” the group.
– We realize there are ways to allow the occasional photo in the group, but we do not wish to pursue it.
– Also, you may not realize it but we (myself and now my new partner in crime, Carrie) spend a good amount of time just maintaining the group. It takes a couple hours each week to approve requests, remove spam, decide which “requests” are real people and which are spam bots, and to scan the group to make sure it’s staying on tract. Having a simple “no photo” rule makes it an order of magnitude easier to do this. If we were to loosen the photo rule to allow some but not others, etc., it’d take much more time. And you, my friend, do not pay us to manage this group. God knows Facebook doesn’t pay us to mange this group. We do it because we feel it ads value to the world. And again, we do it in our spare time.
So What Can You Do in the Group?
What the U.P. Travel group is great for is asking specific questions and getting answers to those questions from a wide variety of people. Or conversely, you can help someone make great memories during their time up here by offering some helpful advice.
And here’s where you CAN post photos in the group! If someone asks about a certain place or thing in the U.P. and you have a photo that you feel will help them, feel free to post it as a comment to their question. Not in the main group feed, but as a comment to their question. That is okay. However, please take a look at the other replies before you do so to make sure someone else hasn’t posted a similar photo. Typically one will do it.
Upper Peninsula Related Groups and Pages that Allow Photos
Of course, this group isn’t the only show in town. There are many other groups on Facebook (and elsewhere) about the Upper Peninsula that allow you to post photos to the group. If you really, really don’t like the “no photo” rule in this group, then we suggest you leave the group. We’d like to have you in the group! But we realize by making it a “discussion only” group, it’s not for everyone. And we’re okay with that.
Here are just a few other Upper Peninsula related groups and pages that (as far as I know) allow photos. To find more, just use Facebook’s search function (try things like “Upper Peninsula” or “Yooper” or post in the groups below and ask other people for ideas of other groups to join.
Facebook Groups about the Upper Peninsula
You’re not “Up North” Until You Cross the Mackinac Bridge
Yooper Adventures with Nancy and Friends
Upper Peninsula Travel (With Photos)
Facebook Pages about the Upper Peninsula
There are many, but here are a few of the main pages that come to mind…
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
Things to do in the U.P.
Upper Peninsula Second Wave
Thanks for reading this somewhat long winded post! I hope you’ve found it helpful, and I hope you enjoy your time in the Upper Peninsula Travel Facebook group.