Some of you might remember a slight, er, issue I had with selling some furniture on Gumtree a few weeks back. Well, after reading my article, a pal contacted me with some very interesting advice indeed.
I was to join a ‘closed’ Facebook group, she said, one that was specific to my area of Sydney, where people buy and sell used furniture. My friend, who was about to make the move overseas, had actually put a whole house full of furniture onto this Facebook group. It was gone within hours.
Huh, I thought. In the space of just a few weeks, this was the third ‘closed’ Facebook group I had been invited to join. Was this the new thing? Had the world wide web suddenly taken become…local?
It’s a catch 22 to write about this: after all, the first rule of fight club, is that you don’t talk about fight club. So whilst I cannot link you to the groups, or even mention their names – I can spill a few select beans.
Just a few weeks ago, a writer friend added me to a 9,000-strong Facebook group, comprised of young, entrepreneurial women. From all over Australia, they run events, meet-ups, and share their business ideas on the page. The discussion is smart, and fun, and inclusive; and whilst I wasn’t quite sure what to do, I was just flattered to be asked.
In the time since, I’ve realised that this is a veritable gold mine. These women are a sounding board, focus group, mentors, creative team, and story sources all rolled into one glorious location. It was genius.
The second group I was added to was a luxury 'Buy-Sell-Swap' group, specific to the cluster of suburbs I live in here in Sydney. I'm talking once-worn Louboutins, season-old Sass & Bide, and second-hand Miu Miu handbags for a steal. It's a 684-person treasure trove of discarded wardrobe items, and let me tell you sistergirl: it's addictive.
Yup, these closed Facebook groups are prolific: scratch the surface, and they are everywhere.
But how many people knew about them?
I threw out the question to the Mamamia office, and it seems almost every woman here bears the secret handshake of an even more secret Facebook group.
There are pages to organise your group university assignments, pages between girlfriends to arrange weekend party plans; there are the mummy groups for advice on all things 'baby', and there's even pages to form local car pools. No stone is left unturned. Once upon a time your community was gathered in the local park, or on a town hall notice board - but in 2016, it's all about the secret Facebook group.