This post is probably an exaggerated stretch at attempt
to post something of more of a cultural significance.


Facebook has slowly crept its way into the caving community.

Even Ole Charlie Loving, has a Facebook page now.

In the early days of Facebook, I preached to cavers that I knew about how
Facebook could be used in the way it is currently being used, but in most
cases that discussion fell on deaf ears.   In the beginning, cavers did not
like Facebook.   Many despised it, even as far back as 2011.    I no longer
have such an interest in social media.

However, I can't help but notice that a faithful attempt was made by
someone to
assist in the planning of TCR using various Facebook resources.

First, there was the official page.     Then there was a link on that
page to an event.    Then there was the interaction on those 2 sites,
along with private discussion among individual cavers and there was
also post from grotto Facebook pages about TCR.

I did not look at any of that except the event page and not until I was
within a few miles of the site, because I had not been paying attention
to the CaveTex post, and wanted to make sure I had up-to-date info.

But now with time on my hands to reminisce, I have gone back and looked
at some of that info, from the perspective of a speleo-historian.

So please "bear" with me here, as the rest of this is sort-of
quasi-statistics.


It seems that at least 25% of the TCR participants were listed as "going"
to TCR
 on the official event page.     However, a wild guess based on a little
Facebook surfing/research suggest that 75% or more of the participants
had looked at some form of TCR info on Facebook.

Of the 369 that were sent official Facebook event invitations, only about
163
that I know of where present ( because I think I saw them ), however, at
least 30
of those 163 did not respond back to the Facebook event invitation.   This
data is based on my own mental calculations, so it could be off by 80%, but
I feel it is actually accurate within +5 % to - 0 % margin.   Meaning the
number
ranges from 163 to 180.   ( I will let a speleo-mathematician fix that ).
The problem
a few of those listed on the Event page in the "went" or attended category,
might
not have been there, as I do not recall seeing them.    Also, some
attendees were
there for just a few hours on Saturday evening, but they still count.

I have no idea what impact Twitter, or Tumblr, or Instagram or Google+ or
Whatsup or
Snapchat, etc. had on the event, but I would guess it is negligible.     I
did not see many people taking
selfies, but I did see some people snapping photos.    But not like you
would see
at an event attended by the general public.

I suspect Facebook will have a similar impact on the 2017 TCR.    I would
propose
that people be aware of the difference between a Facebook organization
page, and a
Facebook event page.     I think the event page is an awesome tool, partly
because
it is so simple and free, but that it works good with smartphones and
tablets.

I would also like to point out that many of the people invited via Facebook
probably would not have
attended as the either live out of state or haven't been to TCR ever or at
least not
recently.    And there were dozens of potential attendees that did not get
a formal
Facebook invitation.   It is my opinion, that it would be great if a young
enthusiastic
person could work on that event page sooner and get the message out.

I have already sent Facebook messages to everybody I know that TCR 2016 was
awesome fun, and for them not to miss TCR 2017
and to plan on spending 4 days, but I doubt a single one of them will come.

I am going to try harder to make it next year, but I tell myself that every
Monday
after TCR.

David Locklear
NSS # 27639
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