Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Experiencing A Bump In The Road On The Way To May: Melanoma Awareness Month

It's a slow day. What can I say? It's raining, my sinuses are backed up and giving me a horrocious headache, my thinking is fuzzy and foggy...but, I can recognize a bump in the road when I see it. And one can either be stopped by the bump or work around the bump.

I choose the latter. I may be technologically challenged, but I'm still clever enough to work around a bump as best as I can.

The bump? FACEBOOK! Oh, I love Facebook. It's a great tool. And it's just that...a tool. It is what we each choose to make of it. Some leave the tool in the shed and never go near it. Me, I embrace Facebook on behalf of my church and on behalf of the melanoma community. Sometimes, however, Facebook fails to embrace me back. It makes changes without my prior approval. And it has made some serious, and in my humble opinion, awful changes to the way an "event" page is administrated since last year about this time. Last year my month-long "May: Melanoma Awareness" event ran without a hitch. Without a hitch, I tell you!

This year, already, as of today...it has me stymied and irritated. Last year's event had over 7200 attendees by the end of May. Placards had been designed and a wonderful volunteer whose husband had died from melanoma stepped up and offered to put people's pictures in the placard of their choice, and she was swamped. This year she knew she needed more time, so I set the event up earlier this month (April 2014). I should have realized I would have problems when there was no way to add an "end date" and set it to automatically run through the end of May. But, it let me change the event date on a daily basis...I could do that with no problem.

Houston started having problems last night as I write. I tried to change the event date to today, April 15th, and it wouldn't let me. So, OK, I logged off and rested my computer for the night thinking, naively, that when I logged on today, kink would be gone and I could change the date.

Well. No. The kink was still there. I couldn't change the date, and because, in Facebook's mind the event was over, it was gone from calendars. That meant people would have to go back into their "past events" and resurrect it. The only saving grace in this is that FB doesn't completely delete old events. It's still "there" technically, but now, even I the event admin, have to hunt for it. Not good.

It did give me the option of "repeating" the event. And when I tried that, it was a blank event. Back to zero participants and all the posts from the previous event were gone. Scrap THAT idea.

I chose not to create a new event because I'd run into the same "date" issues...and all previous posts would be gone.

The event page was giving a few other problems as well. It got to where it would not let me...ME, the event admin, leave photos in comments under posts. Not good. A few people complained to me that pictures that had been posted were somehow "gone." And they would be gone, And sometimes they would show back up again. We already had over 700 people attending this event and already issues were piling up and there wasn't a thing I could do about ANY of it!!!! Not good.

So, I created a new Facebook page (NOT another "event" but an open community page) for May: Melanoma Awareness Month. Yes, it will mean starting all over. But we still have the placards and wonderful volunteers working on them. And, prayerfully and hopefully, we'll get over this bump in the road and keep driving on with no more challenges to surmount. I hope so because I'm sure not in the mood for surmounting more challenges from Facebook!

For the record, the event page can still be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/523246704452369/

The new page is here: https://www.facebook.com/MelanomaAwarenessMonth

I am truly sorry for all inconvenience, redundancy, and any headaches this may cause.

But, I'll tell ya, if you live with melanoma or any other cancer or health issue or life-issue...this is peanuts. Small potatoes.

A bump in the road.

May is coming and we're ready.

We're going to educate, honor, and remember.

Join us if you haven't already.