Your Community Intent – Building an online community
How do you make your content compelling, so your community will engage with it and by extension, with you? Here’s a simple way to think about how to frame online conversations and make them relevant.Clever marketers use snappy headlines to grab the attention of our inbox. They have learned how to influence our behavior, even though most Community Managers are not trained in human psychology and clever marketing strategies. Considering that we all suffer from partial attention span disorder, it’s interesting that when something catches our eye and keeps our interest, we will continue to pay attention even if there are other things demanding that same level of attention. So the question we ask ourselves when looking at low audience participation tends to focus on the content; How applicable is it, How interesting is it, How relevant is it, even, How graphically compelling is it? These are areas to consider when sorting out what you are going to post or start discussions about. [Read more…]
Ironically, most private, purpose driven communities assume that their members know why the network exists. Bad assumption. When asked, they typically give the wrong answer.I talked to David Nour, a friend who was at the same conference, so I asked him to define his What, So What and Now What as he runs an introNetwork community – his answer is below, I then suggested he write to his members. He did. [Read more…]
Community is a group of people with unique shared values, behaviors and artifactsMy experience is in talking to people interesting in adding a Community, they fail to understand how to optimize for shared values and behaviors, in fact many times, they think that the Community is all about pushing content and getting people to talk, rather than helping them discover, uncover and celebrate the unique shared values and the diversity of behaviors and experiences that make up the collection of people involved. Whether it is 50 or 50,000 – considering these basic fundamentals gets lost.
Things that define Community: a common interest or context, a sense of shared purpose or fate and common set of needs.I would argue that in the beginning of an online community design, these concepts are discussed, yet soon fall to the wayside as the tactical deployment, design and launch of the community takes center stage. When a community is floundering, I look to see if the common interest or context is still clear, is it clear to new members, how is the sense of shared purpose communicated and is it still relevant six months or a year later – and has it been reviewed, probably not. The solution is simple. Look at the slides from The Community Roundtable, see how easy it seems to do it right – yet, why are so many communities having an identity crisis when, at one point, they actually discussed these critical design decisions, yet somehow have failed to realize any benefit from those decisions. You may not think about community all the time like we do, however, when you do, please make sure you consider that there really are only a few secrets to building a vibrant community according to The Community Roundtable, then ask yourself are you doing all of them to the best of your ability?
“How much time should we expect to spend managing the Community?” The answer is, “It depends.”I often use the analogy of designing and planting a new garden. You would not expect it to do well if you never watered or weeded it. You may choose to spend 15 minutes a week, or an hour a day. It depends on how much the garden and it’s beauty means to you. You can think about your online Community in much the same way, you will get out of it what you put in to it. That being said, it’s always good to see what other gardeners are doing, check out the yards in your neighborhood to see what’s working, what’s not, and mirror the best for yourself. So, when I think about where would I go looking for information on best Community Manager practices, of course I go to @TheCR and @RHappe for answers. And within 5 minutes of me tweeting today, I was pointed to several links that I want to share. These are fantastic for first timers and for those that think maybe they could be doing a better job with their existing Community. This was the first link they sent. This is a great deck that Rachel prepared and thankfully, Slideshare makes it easy for me to post it here for you to read: