Bad News: Facebook is Converting Old Groups to New Format

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Darn those Facebook kids.

As someone who is a member of several Facebook Groups and an administrator of a few, I didn’t like it when Facebook introduced the new format for Facebook Groups several months ago. In particular, I thought it was ridiculous that they dropped the Discussion feature in favor of Docs.

Now they’re making things even worse.

The old/original Facebook Groups are being archived and converted to the new format.

The most absurd casualty of the conversion is that group memberships are not being carried over!

Let me say that again: When old Facebook Groups are converted to the new format, the members of the old groups will not be carried over!

Here’s what Facebook tells us:

When your old group gets archived, it will be converted to the new groups format. Almost everything from your old group will be available in the archived group, with a few exceptions.

Things that will be available in the archived version include:

  1. Group photos and Wall posts
  2. Group discussion threads, which become Wall posts
  3. The group description, which can be found at the top of the page when you click “See All” members in the new group

Things that will NOT be available in the archived version include:

  1. Recent news
  2. Group officer titles
  3. The info box under the old group picture
  4. The group network
  5. The members of your old group. You can still add new members by clicking “Add Friends to Group.”

What to Do?

If you’re an Admin of a Facebook Group facing conversion, send a message to all members advising them of the change and encouraging them to look for and then re-join the group.

Facebook advises Group Admins to take backups of their group content. The only problem with that is THERE’S NO AUTOMATED WAY TO DO THAT!

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

Related: Inside Facebook blog entry about groups migration

Update: (5/9/2011, 7:20 pm ET) Now I’m confused. One of my groups has apparently been migrated, and the old members do show up. I suppose announcing that a bad thing is going to happen and then averting the bad thing is better than the other way around…
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The nSiteful Tech Blog (the official blog of nSiteful Web Builders, Inc. since January of 2013) is where I (Jeff Cohan) and (occasionally) associates will be posting articles of potential interest to like-minded techies, nSiteful clients who are playing active roles in the maintenance of their own Web sites and blogs, and pretty much anyone interested in how Web strategies and tools can help them reach their goals.

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About Jeff Cohan

Jeff and his wife, Margie, are the proud parents of Sarah and Jake. Jeff is the founder, president and chief cook and bottle washer of nSiteful Web Builders, Inc., a Web development and Internet Consulting firm. In his spare time, Jeff builds Web sites and Web applications, plays guitar, putters around in his basement woodworking shop, mercilessly spoils his grandchildren, and creates videos from more than two decades of home movies. His current video project is an extended montage of people (mainly family members) asking him to stop filming them.

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