If you are serious about project management, you are already familiar with tools like Basecamp that provide a robust platform for project management, task assignments, and team collaboration. These tools are great, but they all require your collaborators to extend their digital life to include one more thing to be piled onto an already overflowing plate. Some things deserve this level of commitment, and some don’t.
What if you just need a private corner to work with a few people on a marketing strategy, a place that is easy for everyone to get to, where you can share thoughts, collaborate, and keep track of events? You might consider using a Facebook Group. Yes, I am serious. No, I am not nuts, and please allow me to explain.
Facebook recently changed the way Groups work. The tabs are gone, replaced by a simple “share” bar that includes a new document feature, and a sidebar that lists members, a new group chat feature, an events list, and a documents list. With these features you can form a private, hidden group and invite the people you want to work with.
Only the group creator can edit the group account, but everything else is shared. Every member can edit any document or event. This is great because it means you can work collaboratively, but it’s terrible because there is no version control or way of knowing who changed what, and when. That might be a deal-breaker for most people, but if you use documents as a way of sharing drafts and getting feedback, you can benefit from collaborative editing and commenting while retaining control of the source document. You really shouldn’t use Facebook for document storage, anymore than you would use your locker at the gym as a safety deposit box.
While not robust, Facebook Groups have one advantage over every other collaboration system–you are already there and so are the people you need to collaborate with. It won’t replace project management systems for complex projects, but in a world where people are already spread too thin across the online spectrum, it helps to have a few easy solutions that don’t require remembering another password or learning another user interface. Instead of trying to find a larger plate, try low-cal collaboration with a Facebook group. Make your collaboration efforts more convenient and you will see better participation and a better result at the end.