It's kind of a coincidence that I start this thread at the same time as the nearby thread about the hazards of social media use, but:
If anyone who reads this is a Facebook user who is able to keep that bad habit under control, and you'd be interested in helping to keep the Epicurean Philosophy group going, please let us know.
We need to constantly be on the lookout for new potential members here, and despite all their pitfalls, participating to a limited degree on places like Facebook, Reddit, etc, can be useful for making new contacts.
Several of us spend a lot of time "moderating" the facebook group to keep it in line with core Epicurean views, and if you're interested in doing something like that we'd be glad for the help. Looking for new people, bringing them along, and converting them into potential new moderators themselves is an ongoing process that will always be needed, and we need to systematize the process. For example, when someone on Facebook starts regularly making promising posts, we try to invite them to closer conversation to find out about them, and then steer them into closer levels of participation, including here.
That's a fun but time-consuming process, and we need all the help we can get. We do that now on facebook, but it would be ideal to do something similar in other places too.
For example on Facebook, long ago we set up a separate "closed" group where we could talk more freely with new potential members. We invited them to the closed group with a private message like this:
**Goals and terms of the 2019 Epicurean Friends Facebook Group**
Due to your past active participation in the Epicurean Philosophy Facebook Group, you have been asked to join this confidential "Friends" Group, which was formed for the purpose of promoting Epicurean Philosophy. The main discussion group is "open," and just like other groups on Facebook there are hundreds of profiles in it which are probably "fake" and which we know nothing about. That means everyone has to be careful about the level of personal information and the depth of personal commentary that we post there. In order that the core regulars of the group can get to know each other better, exchange ideas more freely and confidently, and work together more closely to promote the study of Epicurus, we have set up this "closed/secret" group.
We don't have many ground rules or obligations other than (1) new people will only be added by consensus of the existing members, (2) members agree to keep the information posted there private and not to repost it outside the group without permission of the original poster, and (3) members must introduce themselves within 30 days of being added to the group, and participate actively at least once every thirty days thereafter. If you lose interest in the group and don't post at least once every 30 days, the admins will check on you and ultimately remove you from the group until you ask to be readmitted and are again approved by the group. Also, of course, if you join and then decide later to pull out for any reason, of course you can do that - we just ask that you pledge to keep the conversations private.
Upon suggestion of a new member to the group we will post a thread and receive comments for at least three days, and we'll consider that we have a consensus if no one states affirmative opposition to the suggestion. We will then provide new suggested members with a copy of this post, and let them know that if they'd like to be added we will add them on these ground rules.
Thank you for being a part of the Epicurean Friends Facebook Group.
We've found that a system like that works pretty well to allow us to get to know people over time. By now I think most of us who have been around a while will agree that "time" - in terms of continued quality posting over a period of time - is the best and possibly only method of really getting an idea of the direction someone will go in the future. A few post over a couple of days, or even a couple of weeks, just isn't a reliable indicator. A few posts are enough to judge whether we want to get to know someone better, but there's an essential next step in finding out a little more about them that their stated views, and seeing them sustain that interest and friendliness over a period of time.
So - the bottom line is -- if you'd like to assist at Facebook, or a similar project anywhere else, please post here and we'll go forward from there.