It looks like we are going along with the moms around 35-40 theme this week with our groups! Our most friends featured group is Shelia's Shack! This group is for moms who are 35 and older and who want to share in lifes up's and downs. The group owner crystees_mom took some time to share her tips on growing a group filled with friendships.
Share with us a little about you-- how long have you been a CafeMom member, and what does your screen name mean?
I have been a CM member now for 19 months. It took a little getting used to, but I love it. My screen name means I am Crystee's mom, LOL. I chose it because, due to the spelling of her name (pronounced Christy) I didn't have to put any numbers behind it.
Now, tell us a little about your group- how long have you owned it, and what made you start it?
I started my group in early January. I have left more groups than I belong to, mainly due to drama or lack of activity. I crave activity, as I bore easily. My group was designed as a place for laughs, support, and friendship. I wanted to combine all of the elements that drew me to CM in the first place, taking the good ones, and combining them into a great place to hang out, for women over 35.
Is your groups primary focous friendships?
We certainly do focus on and encourage friendship, but we also realize that not everyone will become friends. It is unrealistic to think everyone will like everyone else. As long as the girls are friendly, and respectful of each other, that is the main thing. If you can make a new friend, all the better!
What do you do in your group to encourage friendships to be made?
We have a place where you can introduce yourself, give some background, share your hobbies and experiences. The majority of friendships are based on common ground. We also have scheduled chats, although anyone is welcome to open chat at any time, and all are welcome to join in. Chat, to me, is the best way of getting to know someone.
We also have a support forum, where the ladies can go to ask for prayers, give or lend an ear, vent, cry, etc. My girls are all very good at lending support when needed, and frankly, don't we all need encouragement from time to time?
Are there any other tips you would like to give a group that might just be starting out?
Yes. Think out your guidelines in advance...and enforce them. Rules are made for a reason. Decide what you want your group to be before you form it. Be selective in who you allow to be in your group.
Owners: be a part of your group. Do things to keep the group active. Let your members know you are there. Also, let your members know their opinions count. Encourage their suggestions on what they are looking for in a group.
Above all that: Pick a GOOD admin team. Your admins are an extension of yourself, and should share the same goals that you do. They should be dependable. They are your back up. Let them know what their duties are, and aren't. Keep communication open. If there is an issue, keep it PRIVATE. Work it out.
I don't think my group would be near as successful as it is without my awesome admin team.