I run a vinyl group on Facebook. When I started the group in 2015, it was one of the only groups of its kind. Since then, selling product on Facebook has become the norm, and there are at last count, close to three dozen vinyl groups that I can see with just a few simple clicks of research. In reality, there are probably thousands.
My group had over 1,000 members, but I saw membership drop down to 800 or so. There are a few possible reasons. One reason I imagined was, I don't allow other members to sell their product in my group. But I think the big reason was, I don't take bullshit. A lot falls under the bullshit umbrella.
EXAMPLES OF BULLSHIT:
•Selling crappy, thrift shop vinyl
(There were too many other group offering up the Alan Parsons and Eddie Rabbitt catalogues, and I didn't want to see anyone trying to get $10 for records that could be found for $1 just about anywhere, with all due respect to both Alan and Eddie and their fans. It's not about the music. Mind you, I didn't care what people sold in their own groups. This is not a criticism. It's just what I wanted for my group.
(Every record I put up for sale was the same price or most of the time, less than its equivalent online. I didn't want to see anyone pricing a $15 Prince record at $40, just to cash in on his death. That's just one example.
(If it's not for sale, don't show it me. I'm happy that you found your rare Jane's Addiction picture disc. I really am. But you must gloat somewhere else. Plus, I've seen too many photos of rare psych records, or hard to find grunge albums from 1991, posted in groups with the tag, "Today's thrift store finds." Nice try, but more than likely, bullshit. My thrift store has John Gary records, not all three Nirvana records. I admit to posting photos of recently acquired collections, to show off a bit myself, but most everything shown, ends up for sale.
Finally, the thing the irked me most-
(Three years and 1,000 members, and I can tell you exactly the number of people who purchased regularly. If you were not one of those people, but chose to criticize someone's purchase, or offer up some pointless review after the record had already sold, or offered me $3 for a record that I was selling for $4, you immediately ended up on my shit list. If you can find all of the records I have for sale in your local record store for less money, by all means, go grab them and support that mom and pop. You don't need mail order.
I eventually shut down my group, which was called AM/PM Records and opened up a new, private group called "Records For Sale." Currently, it has 60 members, all personally invited by yours truly.
Things have been going wonderfully, and because I truly like all the people in the group, the rules have changed. Members can sell. Members can discuss whatever they like.
But two things happened yesterday.
If you are still with me at this point, thank you, loyal readers.
I had removed myself from Facebook early yesterday morning. I needed a breather, after having a frustrating and stroke-inducing discussion with a raving gun lunatic. Members of the group noticed this, and within minutes someone wrote, "I've heard about stuff like this. I hope we get the records we paid for!" Three years of loyalty and excellent service, not to mention hundreds of free bonus records, and the FIRST thought about my absence was, "THIEF!"
Todd Rundgren and Utopia have reunited for a spring tour, and of course, most of the members know how I feel about Todd. One member was kind enough to post a link to the news, with the tag, "For Sal." It was a thoughtful move, even though I had already procured my ticket. But seconds later, the commentary began. "I...just...don't...get...TODD!" "Yeah, I try. I just can't." Blah blah blah. And thanks again.
What is this need to shit on people? Before social media, if you didn't like a guy, you just didn't hang out with him. If he liked Jimmy Page more than Tony Iommi, you pushed each other in the schoolyard, and then walked home together. There wasn't this need to voluntarily offer up bile with every keystroke, to criticize without provocation.
If I offer up a subject, Teenage Fanclub for example, my goal, whether you believe me or not, isn't to trash the band and all its fans. I know I should like TF, and I don't, so by throwing this out for discussion, I hope people will lead me in the right direction and steer me into the songs I should be listening to. I didn't say, "I just don't get TF" so someone could say, "Yeah, and I hate Todd Rundgren."
I know I am mixing things up a bit, but it really and truly eats at my stomach lining. There are many blogs I visit, that more often than not, post music I hate, but I just keep my fucking trap shut. I don't see the need to snark on someone's parade. And yes, I am King Snark, but if Dave Matthews wants to have it out with me, then let him. I don't feel any need at all to shit on my friends because I don't like what they like. I haven't felt that way since I was 17. But mostly, if no one asked you how you feel about Todd Rundgren, try to find something more useful with your time than to offer that up on a page run by a Rundgren fan.
As for Facebook, one friend offered this:
"Think of it as a tool. You can either build something or destroy something, depending on how you use it."
It has become very apparent, no one is interested in building anything.