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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

Social website as a coordination center

Facebook EuroMaydan moderator on the secrets of a popular resource
13 January, 2014 - 16:37

The EuroMaydan page in Facebook has already gathered about 163,000 users. It has managed to achieve this result in less than a month. This is an unprecedented indicator for the worldwide web’s Ukrainian segment. Besides, the EuroMaydan community won the following positions from November 21 until December 21: first place for popularity among the Ukrainian Facebook pages, first place among the Ukrainian pages in terms of monthly user growth, and sixth place in the world for the number of Ukrainian users. But the most astonishing result is audience involvement. Within seven days, over 141,000 users interacted with the page (i.e. they sent “like” messages, commented, and spread content). There are about ten pages in Ukraine, which have had this indicator higher than 20,000 at least once, and it took them much more time to “hype up.” In a month, 73.37 percent of EuroMaydan users communicated with the page. It is one of the best indicators in the world. Admittedly, the resource is popular owing, above all, to powerful public interest in the topic it spotlights. Nevertheless, what also played a major role is the content and rapidity of the messages that come up every 10 to 15 minutes on the community’s page.

Inna, one of the resource’s moderators, has told The Day about the secrets of EuroMaydan’s success and the webmasters’ further plans. The girl refused to reveal her last name. “We are all ordinary people and run risks – you know which ones,” she explained.

What was the purpose of establishing this page? Does the current result fit in with the original concept?

“We have started this page to inform people about the mass protests caused by failure to sign the EU Association Agreement. As the events unfolded, the page in fact turned into a full-fledged media that reports the news, mobilizes people, etc. Besides, we have become a coordination center of sorts – we began to monitor the Maidan’s needs and the aid that our readers offered. Just in a month, the page has reached an unheard-of level of popularity.”

What helped you do so?

“It is an integrated approach. The breakup of Euromaidan by police became the No.1 topic for all the international media. Our editors in turn promptly furnished all kinds of reliable information about these events. Why do I say ‘editors’? Because, when the news and questions rose dramatically in number (this happened several days before the police resorted to violence), we decided to make the work of moderators more effective on a 24/7 basis. It takes eight people now to make the page (including a back office that monitors the media and a field photo correspondent).”

Is feedback with users important to you? How do you carry it out?

“Undoubtedly. I must admit it is one of the most difficult moments – from both the technical and the emotional point of view. We receive hundreds of reports daily, and when there were clashes with riot police, their number reached several thousand. People from various countries offer help, express their ideas, ask questions, and share their troubles. This activity can perhaps be put down to the absence of full-fledged bilateral communication with politicians – those who write to us have given up on hearing from them. We are trying to answer, making maximum use of the information and contacts that we have. We furnish assistance to those who need it: we repost photographs and video addresses, post the most interesting ideas, and make contacts available to the people who ask for them. But, unfortunately, it is physically impossible to give a meaningful and timely response to all the queries. The most frequent asked questions are ‘How can we help?’ and ‘What is to be done next?’”

Will the page remain active after the protest actions end?

“The page will undoubtedly continue to exist in spite of everything. We failed to make changes in the system in an instant, so it is difficult to say how long these processes will last. We are determined to work because people will never cease to demand speedy and authentic information.”

By Roman HRYVINSKY, The Day