The Meetings Community, or MeCo, an online forum for meetings professionals, just expanded to include a closed Facebook group dedicated to political discussions. While relevant to the industry, commentary about politics is banned from its Google group, Facebook page, LinkedIn group, and listserv discussions.
The new group, called the Meetings Community PoliticsHQ, was formed to give MeCo members a place where “political junkies may post away [about their] concerns,” according to an announcement from MeCo moderator Lisa McNorton. Because it is a closed group, interested meeting and hospitality professionals must request to join.
MeCo moderators explained that the “no politics” policy upset members who wanted to share their views and information on public issues. “We wanted to accommodate these discussions instead of squashing them,” they said. After establishing that there wasn’t another chatroom discussing the intersection of meetings and politics, a brainstorming session led to the establishment of the new Facebook group. They decided to keep it closed so members can post without having to worry about what they post being made available the general public.
The group’s policies are similar to those of the other MeCo groups: no marketing, self-promotion, or solicitation of members, and the discussion must focus on matters that affect the meetings industry. And given that that political discussions can be heated, members are asked not to “bait people into overreacting” or be too quick to take offense. It includes an “enter at your own risk” caveat, meaning that the moderators are not responsible for the views expressed, and that the views expressed are not necessarily those of the moderators.
An additional rule is that group members are not allowed to use the forum to campaign for their political picks, though they can inform the group if they are running for a local office.
“Let’s help our list navigate through some of [the political spin], realizing there is room for commentary, editorial observations, and a bit of cognitive dissonance,” said McNorton in the announcement. “All are welcomed: Left, Right, Center, Democrat, Republican, Independent, Libertarian, Green, Progressive, Conservative, Constitutionalists, and Tinfoil Hats.”
MeCo also runs another subsidiary group, the Meetings Community Social MediaHQ, where there often is lively conversation about and other emerging technologies.