Facebook vs. MeetUp
This page addresses groups who schedule reads via either Facebook or MeetUp. The major distinction is that Facebook is free; MeetUp charges a monthly subscription fee of $15 ($10 for limited membership).
Facebook groups are for Facebook friends and friends of friends (or anyone on Facebook), most of whom are not at all (yet) interested in reading plays. MeetUp targets Meetup members who like to read plays. It also offers more control over scheduled events.
If money is no object, MeetUp is the way to go. Cold Reads uses Facebook.
Start a Facebook Group
Anyone on Facebook can create a group, invite friends to join, and schedule a read:
- On your Home page, click the arrow at the right end of the blue bookmark bar for a drop-down menu
- Click Create Group for a pop-up form.
Your Group page will appear, on which you may add a banner photo, description, and other information.
- Public groups are visible to all Facebook readers. Anyone can see posts, make comments, and join events; members can post updates and schedule reads.
- Closed groups can be seen by anyone on Facebook, but only members see posts and events.
- Secret groups are invisible to all but members.
By starting the group, you become its Administrator. To share the load, you may designate other members as Administrators. (Click Members; click the gear icon by the member’s name for a drop-down menu; and click Make Admin.)
By default, Facebook allows any member to publish posts, schedule events, and invite new members to join the group. To monitor these privileges, you may subject them to Admin approval. Click *** for a drop-down menu; click Edit Group Settings; and select the appropriate Admin options (“Any member can add members, but an admin must approve them,” “Only admins can post to the group,” and/or “All group posts must be approved by an admin.”
“Just Us” Groups
Both Closed and Secret Groups (Just Us) consist of no one but you and your circle of friends. Only those allowed to join are privy to its posts and events.
A Public Group is open to all Facebook users, any of whom may sign up for a read and, pending Admin approval (see below), join the group, post updates, schedule reads, and add other members. An open group is an excellent way to recruit a large pool of potential readers from all walks of life and connect them with one another.
The proto-typical Public group is Cold Reads/Charlotte.
Create an Event
To schedule a read (pending admin approval), simply click Events, then click Create Event, upload a banner photo (optional), type the name of your event (the play), location, date and time, a blurb about the occasion, and a link to the script. If the reader pool is large, stipulate the maximum number of you can accommodate—first come, first served. (Facebook, unlike MeetUp, has no automatic cutoff.)
The Invitations post addresses blurbs and guest lists. To invite all members automatically, check the “Invite all members of [group name]” box at the bottom of the page. If not checked, you can restrict attendance to specific people.
Click Create. Your Event page appears. Click Invite for a drop-down list, click Choose Friends, check the circle beside the names you’d like to attend, and click Send Invites. You may also (pending admin approval) share this invitation on your Timeline and with other Facebook friends and groups.
Creating a Meetup account automatically invites all other Meetup members in your vicinity who might enjoy reading plays to join your group—pending Organizer approval. A program matches their profiles with topics you define: “Play Reading,” “Theater,” “Drama,” “Literature,””Study Group,” for example.
The scheduling process is much the same as that for Facebook, with options to automatically repeat an event, to charge a fee (and pay on line), to limit the number of attendees and create a waiting list, and to ask a question when members RSVP. Otherwise, the only difference is the money.
If your group can cough up $15.00 a month, by all means go with an unlimited MeetUp account. Facebook’s virtue is it’s free—as all Cold Reads should be.
Here’s a tip: Try a Basic ($10.00) Meetup for a few months that directs targeted invitees to join your Facebook group instead. When the names stop trickling in, bail out.
Posts in Groups & Meetups follow up on social media developments.