In order to simplify my life and honor my personal priorities I have shut down the group I started almost 6 years ago, "Metalsmiths Unite". It was a decision that I have considered for the past 2-3 years-
The group that I started for fun become a much larger responsibility
than I had expected. It began with an innocent use of the "new
technology" of Facebook (in 2008)- and it grew in tandem with the
popularity of social media. The small-ish group of metalsmiths that I
had wanted to collect grew and grew until I no longer recognized it..
it began to take on a life of it's own; Facebook changed the way groups
were formatted and with each change I had to find new ways to keep the
group going strong, while trying to be faithful to my original mission.
The numbers kept going up, new people and new personalities were added
to the soup every day. I could really see how too many ingredients were
able to spoil the balance....that with each new group the mission was
being watered down and I was losing control of the focus of the group's
with every new group of "members" who came in there
were usually a few that really really wanted to be heard...so much so
that they would flood the page with their posts until they finally would
settle down...though some never settled down: posting over and over to
feed their egos and puff themselves up in the group.
it works, sometimes it didn't matter what was posted, it mattered how
often. Notoriety can be powerful online, and with the new found platform
some of the most notorious dedicated themselves to being the voice of
I should have deleted it years ago, but was convinced from many members that the group had value and that it would have been hurtful to shut it down. So, I stayed. and started hoping that someone would want to take over the lead. (which thankfully I found James Binnion, who has started the Metalsmiths Coffee House, after helping me delete MU for good. If you are looking for a new group I suggest you search "Metalsmiths Coffee House" on Facebook- it is where the majority of MU members went)
So, goodbye MU, thanks for the fun (while it lasted) and friends (who are many). I will be spending much less time with my computer on Facebook, so I'll hope to be taking bigger steps with my own metalsmithing career. In any case, It was fun while it lasted, and I am very grateful that at last my work here is done!