Posts Tagged ‘Community’

5 Ways to Humanize Your Community Interactions

02 Jun

Strong online communities are built on strong interactions. Here are some things you can do today to humanize your interactions and strengthen the bond between your community and its members.

1) Leverage Signatures

Often, someone with a username like LakersFan246 will end their post or comment with their real first name.  If this happens begin your response with “Hi Kevin” rather than – “Hi LakersFan246“. your user is showing a subtle sign of trust in the community and will feel good about having that sign engaged.

2) Follow Up on Any Shared Event Information

Many times when people are asking a question from a community, it’s related to a timely event.

(i.e. I’m preparing for a presentation… My son’s birthday party is next week,…I’m training for a marathon.)

Even after the original question is answered, it’s great to follow up with a comment asking how their event turned out. This shows that you are listening and care about the happenings of your members.

3) Highlight Your Newest Users

Add a panel to your community homepage that displays the names and/or avatars of your most recent members. this will (1) help those users feel welcomed and (2) encourage seasoned members to warmly welcome new users into the community.

4) Reach Out and Say Thank You.

This is a trick I’ve used a bunch of times over the years, and to be honest it’s something that doesn’t get done nearly enough.

When you see someone who is making strong contributions – send them a private message thanking them for being a part of your community.

This simple act of appreciation goes a long way and almost always solidify continued engagement from your active users.

5) Interview Your Users:

Perhaps the best way to reward your active user base is to set up a user of the month program, or by a “10 questions with…” series. (here is a good example from the community associated with hip-hop artist Tonedeff.) These actions help expose the commonalities between your users and are great ways to facilitate personal interaction.

What other suggestions do you have for humanizing your community interactions?

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I am a Member of a Community of Thinkers

08 Dec

Last Friday Liz Keogh, Jean Tabaka and Eric Willeke created this statement that they are encouraging be shared around the blogosphere.

I work closely with Jean and know how truly passionate she is around sharing, facilitating and enjoying the benefits of community and collaboration.

Though more specifically tailored to the software industry – its values are something we all can all reflect upon as we interact in our own professional communities.

“A Community of Thinkers”

I am a member of a community of thinkers.
I believe that communities exist as homes for professionals to learn, teach, and reflect on their work.
I challenge each community in the software industry to:
    • reflect and honor the practitioners who make its existence possible;
    • provide an excellent experience for its members;
    • support the excellent experience its members provide for their clients and colleagues in all aspects of their professional interactions;
    • exemplify, as a body, the professional and humane behavior of its members;
    • engage and collaborate within and across communities through respectful exploration of diverse and divergent insights;
    • embrace newcomers to the community openly and to celebrate ongoing journeys; and,
    • thrive on the sustained health of the community and its members through continual reflection and improvement.
  • I believe that leaders in each community have a responsibility to exhibit these behaviors, and that people who exhibit these behaviors will become leaders.
    I am a member of a community of thinkers. If I should happen to be a catalyst more than others, I consider that a tribute to those who have inspired me.

    ”A Community of Thinkers” by Liz Keogh, Jean Tabaka and Eric Willeke is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Please attribute to the distributor of your copy or derivative.


    What QN5 Records Taught Me About the Power of Community

    23 Nov

    Interesting where one gets their inspiration.

    In regards to Community Management – I’ve read books on the subject, countless blogs, and even attended conference sessions.

    Perhaps the place I’ve found the most inspiration from is the community associated with the hip-hop label QN5 Records. I first stumbled upon the site in 2004 when searching for album information and it was immediately clear that this was different from other music websites I had been to.

    What was the difference?

    They had a forum where all of their artists were available, active, and engaged.  Gone was the the “I’m too busy, mysterious, important and/or cool for my fans” attitude. Instead it was replaced with a transparent, appreciative & and all around warm atmosphere.

    Fans could now not only get to know the artists on a personal level – they could get to know each other on a personal level.

    The power of creating these connections is best showcased each August when the label’s fans ascend on New York City for what is called The MegaShow.

    In the months preceding the event, NYC locals post threads offering up their spare couches, out-of-towners organize road trips from 300 miles away, unofficial pre-parties are scheduled and people from as far as New Zealand are sharing news of plane ticket purchases.

    In almost every single one of the post concert reviews, people talk about how meeting all the forum members in person was among the most gratifying parts of their experience. And while QN5′s ability to put on a great show shouldn’t be discounted, the produced takeaways from these events are far greater than “that was my favorite concert”.

    People talk about how seeing this event changed their lives, how this is now their second family, and how much they will genuinely miss each other waiting for next years event.

    Much more of a childhood summer camp vibe than a hip-hop concert.

    This example taught me that by creating a community around their brands, companies can produce customer experiences that are beyond what can be achieved solely using traditional forms of interaction.

    Simply put, it pays to connect your customers.