Facebook Groups Alternative
March 17, 2020 7:09 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for an online platform that could fill the role of an online club, like a Facebook group, but not tied to Facebook.

My group of friends is looking for an online spot where we could all share creative projects (videos, paintings, etc) and have ongoing discussions (like for a book club meeting), and perhaps even incorporate some video hangs. I'm thinking of something that's a mix between a Facebook group, FaceTime/Zoom, and Reddit. Several people in the group are not on Facebook though so we need an alternative to that piece for sure.

Is this something that exists? Or do you guys have ideas on cobbling together a few platforms to make this work as a cohesive effort? If we can fulfill the group discussion part, we can do the video-hang separately, but thought I'd throw that part in too, in case there is something that incorporates that too. Free would be great, but open to learning about paid alternatives as well.
posted by moogs to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Slack works well for this. Plus Zoom or Doxy me for video.
posted by crunchy potato at 7:39 AM on March 17, 2020

I'm a member of a group that has an online bulletin board built on the free phpBB software. It works fine. I think you need someone pretty tech-savvy to set it up, but it has run for years with no intervention thereafter.

posted by SemiSalt at 7:43 AM on March 17, 2020

posted by Seeking Direction at 8:05 AM on March 17, 2020

Groups.io is great, but does not have video or realtime chat. It's basically a replacement for yahoo groups.
posted by Sophont at 8:15 AM on March 17, 2020

Discord is where all of my online groups are these days. It's not great if you're going to have a bunch of people coming in significantly after other folks and wanting to catch up on a lot of stuff that they've missed, as it's more of a scrolling chat-room situation and history can be hard to catch up on if the volume is high. If that ends up being a problem I can imagine you might e.g. split off a Goodreads group for the bookclub component, or something like that.
posted by Stacey at 8:16 AM on March 17, 2020

Reddit is somewhat problematic ideologically, but you can have a private sub and it does work very well for the bulletin board aspects.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:17 AM on March 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

My friends and I use Telegram. I especially like the near unlimited file upload (2GB) and the platform they provide for bots. It doesn't do video or voice chat, so we use Google Hangouts to supplement that.
posted by bradbane at 10:44 PM on March 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

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