Many expats in Bulgaria, along with Bulgarians who like chats on a variety of subjects in English or other languages, visit Facebook groups, in order to share information, to talk about their experience in this country, to get to know people, just to share a laugh, or all of it.
We are expats in Bulgaria. That is one thing we have in common. Otherwise, we are probably as different as people usually are. There are Facebook groups for expats in Bulgaria, which we like, and others we might not be interested in so much. That’s perfectly normal. Being different also applies to founders and admins of such groups, including their approaches and group policies.
There are groups for certain nationalities and languages. Most of the group names are pretty similar. Many of them carry the names “Expats in …” or “Foreigners in …” or even “Foreigners and Friends in ….”, along with the name of this country, or a city. We are talking about Facebook groups here, which are not supposed to be commercial. They are definitely not companies. Therefore, their names are not trademarked.
Let’s look at some of those groups:
– “The Friendship Group for Expats and Bulgarians”, managed by Ned Sheead, a kind expat lady, who likes exchange, also about political matters in Europe.
– “The Very friendly group for Expats and Bulgarians”, managed by Ned Sheead as well. This is her main group. The same applies here. A good group to have some discussions on a wide range of topics or nice chats. Recommended.
– “Foreigners in Sofia and Friends”. Over here, chats are possible, as long as the admins like and understand the content. Some two months ago, when our website had just been uploaded for the very first time, we dedicated an article on this group. It’s for anyone who likes to talk about what the admins want to hear. Don’t be surprised if your content, about an apartment you want to rent out, about a dog shelter, about minorities or anything else is being censored within minutes. You want to post there, and you want your post to stay longer? Post it after 2 a.m.. It will probably stay there until 07:45 a.m., when the first admin gets up, eager to censor a few posts. The approach by the admins in this group actually triggered our idea to create a group with a different approach. But, instead of just a group, we founded Foreigners and Friends, this website.
– “Bulgarian and Expat Friends Sofia”, managed by Nina Alexander. Nina is one of The Sisters, who run a successful travel blog. It’s a nice group, in which they talk about travel destinations and a lot of other things. UPDATE Oct. 7th, 2016: This group turned to something like a kindergarden, when the admin. suddenly forbade any posts. In a very authoritarian manner, she told members what to be interested in and what not to post yesterday. With a “smiley face” at the end, she tried to defuse her urge to command people. The latter she will even try on websites which do not belong to her. The other day, she “urged” us to change an opinion on our site because it did not reflect her opinion. Due to the new “policies” in this group, we removed our recommendation.
– “The News & Views Group”, managed by Alex Sparasci. She is very kind and interested in things. Over here, they offer lots of more thorough political and other discussions. The E.U. and Brexit are popular subjects here. Recommended.
“Bulgaria 4 All”, managed by four people we do not know yet. A nice group with variety. It seems very friendly too. We just discovered it and recommend it based on what we have seen so far.
– “British Expats in Bulgaria”, managed by a man with humour, judging from his partially funny morning posts. But, in this group, the admin thinks he owns the newspaper articles he posts. Nobody may use them for research. At the same time, he plasters his group, including the profile picture field, with ads for his real estate and “airport transfer” businesses in Burgas, while calling news articles posted by anyone but him “too commercial”. In case they want to rename that group one day, our recommendation would be “Noncommercial Real Estate Ads Galore”.
We also have a group, which is starting to flourish. And, excuse us, but we can’t finalize this post without mentioning our Facebook page, which we are recommending, since it contains all of our articles. The same applies to our Twitter feed, by the way.
By Imanuel Marcus