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Website, Facebook Page or Morris Federation Team Profile?

About This Document

This document aims to answer the question “Should my team have a website, a Facebook page, a Morris Federation profile – or something else?

Background 

A dancer recently asked on the “How many Morris Dancers are on Facebook?” Facebook group “Teams… do you have a website? Does it a/ get much traffic, b/ generate members, orc/ generate bookings?and went on to add “put off by the cost (of a domain name plus hosting) and trying to establish the potential benefit or whether to stick to the FB page.

What Does The Evidence Tell Us?

Information on Morris Federation team’s online servicers is held on the Teamfinder service. Based on a recent analysis we find of the 453 side which have renewed their Federation membership by 20 March 2023:

  • 319 sides have a website
  • 372 have a Facebook account
  • 229 sides have both a website and a Facebook account
  • 44 sides have neither a website nor a Facebook account 

We can see that having a digital presence is the norm, with Facebook accounts being slightly more popular than websites.

A Website for Your Team

Many morris sides have a website which may be used for various purposes with the most obvious purpose being to provide a marketing tool for helping with recruiting new members or for those who wish to book a dance side for an event. A website can also be used for other purposes such as listing forthcoming events, documenting the side’s history, providing access to photographs and videos and proving a closed area for use by members of the side.

Issues to consider

A small number of sides have closed their website in recent years due to the cost of hosting a website, the technical expertise which may be need to run a website, the effort needed to manage the content of the website or a failure to pay for the hosting of the website or the domain name.

Depending on the technology you choose you may find that a fair amount of IT expertise is needed to manage and maintain the website. And even if such IT expertise is currently available you will need to consider longer-term management issues_ who will manage the website after the current maintainer leaves the side?  

A Facebook Page for Your Team

A Facebook account for your side is easier to manage and should not require the technical expertise needed to manage a website.  However a Facebook account will not provide the rich functionality which websites can provide.

Issues to consider

It needs to be remembered that some people, including potential new members, are not prepared to access Facebook due to legitimate concerns regarding privacy.

You will also need to decide whether to create a Facebook page (typically used for marketing purposes) or a Facebook group (typically used by communities with shared interests).

Making the Most of a Morris Federation Teamfinder Profile

Until about 2 years ago the Morris Federation Teamfinder service provided a simple location and text-based search for member sides based on the sides’ location, dance styles and team gender.

However Morris Federation sides can now add a rich description of their side and include photographs and videos.

Since the Morris Federation’s website is large, with many more links to the website than individual sides’ websites, information held on a Teamfinder profile is ‘Google-friendly’ with search results often found on the first page for searches based on the side’s name, location and hashtag. 

Issues to consider

Team profiles held on the Morris Federation websites have long URLs which are not memorable.  Also it is not possible to provide the rich functionality which can be provided by a dedicated website

Conclusions

The decision on whether to have a website, a Facebook page, both or, indeed, neither, is one which sides will have to make for themselves.

However all members of the Morris Federation will have a profile which is created automatically – and this profile is normally easily found in Google searches.

It is therefore advantageous for sides if they provide a rich description for their side and include photos and videos of the side.

The profile can also provide links to the side’s website and Facebook page – and as links to websites from popular websites (such as the Morris Federation) will enhance the websites Google ranking, having a profile should be regarded as working to support a website or Facebook profile and not in competition with such digital resources.

You can see how sides are using their profiles be searching the profiles using https://bit.ly/mf-teamfinder-2022 or  https://bit.ly/mf-teamfinder-videos-2022 (to search for videos and images). 

 


 Figure 1 Search of Morris Federation Team Profiles


We welcome feedback on this document. In addition we would like to hear from morris, sword and other traditional dance sides who use IT and would be willing to share their experiences. Would you like to contribute a case study?


 

Status of this Document

Document published: 21 Mar 2023

Licence for this Document

This document is available with a Creative Commons Sharealike (CC-BY) licence. In brief, this means you can copy and make changes to this document provided you give acknowledgements to the author/publisher. A suggested wording for acknowledgements is:

This document is based on the "Website, Facebook Page or Morris Federation Team Profile?" document by Brian Kelly, Comms and IT volunteer with the Morris Federation.

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