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Archive for May, 2011

Be Ruthless And Look For Bright Spots

Written by Richard Millington on . Posted in Community, Community Management

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You need to be ruthless. Don’t think twice about abandoning community elements that aren’t working.

The temptation is always to push harder. You know, send another e-mail reminder about that unused feature, create another piece of content to attract an audience that isn’t joining in droves, have some incentives to encourage participation in a particular activity.

Don’t ever do this.

Don’t waste time on what isn’t working. Don’t annoy your community trying to change their behavior. Changing behavior is hard.  Follow the Heath brother’s advice and focus on the bright spots.

What elements of your community are working? Where is your audience talking to each other? Are they only using a limited feature of your site? Are they talking elsewhere? Do they only talk about specific topics? Is only a specific niche of your audience joining the community?

Abandon the waste and micro-focus your efforts on making the successful elements more successful.  Focus your efforts on the community elements you can turn into a thriving community. It’s far easier and more effective than trying to change behaviors.

(and if nothing is working, that’s probably a good indicator too!)


Richard Millington is the founder of FeverBee Limited, an online community consultancy, and The Pillar Summit , an exclusive course in Professional Community Management. Richard’s clients have included the United Nations, The Global Fund, Novartis, AMD, BAE Systems and several youth & entertainment brands. Richard is also the the author of the Online Community Manifesto.
Feverbee logo

Avectra, the leader in web based membership management software, is proud to partner with FeverBee Limited to help organizations around the world understand best practices for creating thriving online communities and build invaluable communities of their own.  For more information on MemberFuse, Avectra’s private online community platform, and Avectra Social CRM for Associations, click here.

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How To Build An Online Community – The Ultimate List of Resources (Updated)

Written by Richard Millington on . Posted in Community, Community Management

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This is a collection of my favourite and most popular posts from the last three years. It should give you a great overview about both the strategy and the process of creating an online community from scratch.

The Online Community Basics

  1. A Primer About Successful Online Communities
  2. The 11 Fundamental Laws of Online Communities
  3. Building An Online Community: How You Start With 0 Members
  4. How Do You Build An Online Community?
  5. 7 Contrary Truths About Online Communities
  6. Don’t Start A Community For Any Of These Reasons
  7. Basics Community Building Principles
  8. What Is An Online Community?
  9. Different Types Of Communities
  10. The 4 Fundamental Things A Community Provides Its Members

Strategy & Planning

  1. How To Write A Practical Online Community Plan
  2. Setting Objectives For Your Online Community
  3. Settings Targets For Your Online Community
  4. How Big Should Your Community Be?
  5. Which Communities Tend To Succeed?
  6. Why Will People Participate In Your Online Community?
  7. Getting The Appeal Right
  8. A Simple Formula For A Successful Online Community
  9. They Already Do It (Or Want To)
  10. Base Your Online Community Around Real People
  11. Don’t Target The Wrong People
  12. How To Make An Accurate Membership Projection
  13. Naming Your Online Community
  14. 12 Ways To Doom Your Community Before You Launch
  15. A 3-month Pre-Launch Strategy

Building An Online Community Website

  1. Test Before You Invest
  2. How To Design Your Online Community
  3. 20 Things That Should Be Included In Every Online Community Website
  4. The Perfect Landing Page
  5. 8 Overlooked Elements Every Online Community Should Have
  6. Developing Forum Communities
  7. Easy Ways To Add Value To Your Online Community
  8. A Simple Reputation System
  9. Stopping Human Spammers
  10. 7 Things A Community Can Live Without

Launching An Online Community

  1. 5 Things Every New Online Community Should Focus On
  2. 20 Ways To Start An Online Community
  3. Never Wait For The Website To Be Ready
  4. Seeding Your Online Community
  5. Who Are You Trying To Reach?
  6. Who Do You Need At The Beginning?
  7. How To Find Your Community’s First Members
  8. The Founder Role In Starting A New Community
  9. Create An Easy Reason To Take A Small Step
  10. How Small Businesses can Launch Successful Online Communities
  11. Simple Steps To Creating An Online Community

Converting Newcomers Into Regulars

  1. The Ultimate Welcome For Your Online Community’s Newcomers
  2. How To Keep Newcomers Hooked For 21 days
  3. Awesome Questions To Ask New Members Of Your Online Community
  4. Which Visitors Are Most Likely To Become Regulars?
  5. Create A Welcome Pack

Growing Your Online Community

  1. Why People Aren’t Joining Your Online Community
  2. Create A Criteria
  3. How To Get More People To Join Your Online Community
  4. Basic Tactics To Grow Your Online Community Without Any Promotion
  5. Target Clusters Of People At A Time
  6. 3 Perfectly Acceptable Ways To Invite Someone To Join Your Online Community
  7. Growing From A Social Media Following To Small Groups
  8. How To Persuade Your Employees To Join Your Online Community
  9. How To Get The Best People To Join Your Online Community
  10. The Right And Wrong Way To Grow A Forum
  11. The Problem With Asking Members To Invite Friends
  12. A Free Invite With Every Purchase

Increasing Participation

  1. Why People Join And Participate In Online Communities
  2. A Brief Guide To Reaching Unbelievably High Levels Of Participation In Your Online Community
  3. Increasing Activity And Participation In A Community
  4. Creating A Sense Of Community
  5. The Basics Of Increasing Interactions In Any Online Community
  6. Why Members Participate: Fame, Money, Sex, Power
  7. 4 Types Of Contributions You Want Your Members To Make
  8. The Only Way To Keep Everyone Active
  9. 20 Questions which Will Stimulate Activity In Your Online Community
  10. 7 Kinds Of Conversations That Always Stimulate Activity
  11. Concentrate Activity
  12. Simple Tactics To Encourage Your Members To Talk More
  13. 9 Ideas To Revive Your Stale Online Community
  14. When You Have Lots Of Members But No Activity
  15. Epic Events
  16. Why People Stay In Your Online Community
  17. Create A Guide To Be A Top Member
  18. Trade Control For Participation
  19. What You Can Do To Make Your Community More Fun
  20. 8 Ways To Encourage Individual Contributions In Your Community

Managing an Online Community

  1. Building An Online Community Team: The 5 Roles You Must Fill
  2. Moderation Strategy
  3. Attaining Power And Influence
  4. Hierarchy Of Communicating With Your Members
  5. Uniting Your Online Community: Creating Strong Ties
  6. The Art Of Forging Strong Friendships
  7. How Many People Can You Really Look After?
  8. Creating Momentum
  9. 10 Excellent Rewards You Can Offer Members
  10. Creating Titles For Members
  11. The Unlimited Supply Of Important Work You Need To Do
  12. How To Handle Troublemakers
  13. Finding Inspiration In Other Communities
  14. Reorganizing Your Forum
  15. Gossip Is Good
  16. Resolving Problems
  17. Why Fights Are So Important
  18. Never Reward Your Volunteers
  19. Community Guidelines
  20. The 24-Hour Response Rule

Content

  1. The Secret To Awesome Content
  2. The Problem With Great Content
  3. Writing Content That Bonds Your Online Community
  4. 20 Fantastic Content Ideas For Your Online Community
  5. The Power Of Exclusives
  6. Interviewing Members
  7. Every Online Community Needs A Local Newspaper

Measurement/ROI

  1. Measuring The ROI Of Online Communities
  2. Community Health Index
  3. What Matters (and what doesn’t)
  4. This Wasn’t Part Of The Plan
  5. How To Check Your Community builder Is Doing As Promised
  6. A Faith Challenge
  7. Measuring DIY
  8. Proving Benefits Of Building A Community
  9. Me And You, Them And Us
  10. How To Spot Your Community Is In Trouble: 8 Red Flags

Monetizing

  1. The Definitive Guide To Monetizing Your Community
  2. Becoming A Community Intrapreneur
  3. 40 Ways To Make Money From Your Online Community
  4. The Pros And Cons Of Charging For Membership
  5. Community Souvenirs
  6. How To Give Sponsors Access To Your Online Community

Branded Online Communities

  1. Never Let Your Company Start An Online Community
  2. Why Most Online Communities Shouldn’t Try To Create A Community
  3. Why Branded Communities Fail
  4. 6 Huge Advantages Big Organizations Have Over Amateur Community Builders
  5. A Requirement For Branded Online Communities
  6. Decide Between These 2 Types Of Communities
  7. How Do Online Communities Make Your Business Money?
  8. Why Amateurs Build Better Online Communities Than Businesses
  9. Failed Corporate Communities
  10. Your Dream Online Community

Non-profits and Online Communities

  1. Fundraising From Online Communities
  2. What Non-Profits Need To Change

Examples

  1. 15 Examples Of Successful Online Communities
  2. 15 Ideas You Can Steal From The UK’s Best Community
  3. You Can Learn A Lot From This Wildly Successful Community
  4. The Best Online Community You Can Begin Today
  5. Perhaps The Best Online Community I’ve Seen
  6. 10 Examples Of Great Online Communities
  7. Never Hire A Marketing Agency To Build Your Online Community
  8. A Great Example Of An Online Community
  9. A Great Examples Of Game Mechanics In Online Communities
  10. The Usual Errors From The Big Brands

Resources

  1. A Simple Example Of A Great Online Community
  2. 8 Brilliant Posts About Online Communities
  3. Essential Reading For Online Community Managers
  4. Forrester Wave Report

Misc

  1. How To Improve Any Online Community Without Spending A Penny
  2. Great Findings From Social Sciences Applied To Online Communities
  3. Creating A Community From Your Social Media Efforts
  4. The 7 Most Likely Ways Your Online Community Will End
  5. Struggling To Build An Online Community? Try This Easier Approach
  6. The Easiest Solutions To Your Community’s Biggest Problems
  7. 10 Steps To Building An Online Community In Your Spare Time
  8. 8 Ways To Merge Your Online Community With The Real World
  9. How To Revive Your Local Community
  10. How To Create Exclusive Online Communities
  11. 6 Social Psychology Hacks For Online Community Managers
  12. 5 Features Of Really Strong Online Communities You Can Embrace
  13. Searching For Online Communities
  14. The One Book Every Community Manager Should Read
  15. Community Awards 2010
  16. Beyond Your Website

Blogs

  1. Alison Michalk
  2. Angela Connor
  3. Blaise Grimes-Viort
  4. Kirsten Wagenaar
  5. Community Roundtable
  6. Connie Benson
  7. Dawn Foster
  8. eModeration
  9. Holly Seddon
  10. Jake Mckee
  11. Jeremiah Owyang
  12. Jono Bacon
  13. Martin Reed
  14. Matt Rhodes
  15. Patrick O’Keefe
  16. Phil Wride
  17. Rachael Happe
  18. Sue on the web
  19. UX Booth

Are there areas of your community work missing from the above? Let me know and I’ll be sure to blog about it shortly.


Richard Millington is the founder of FeverBee Limited, an online community consultancy, and The Pillar Summit , an exclusive course in Professional Community Management. Richard’s clients have included the United Nations, The Global Fund, Novartis, AMD, BAE Systems and several youth & entertainment brands. Richard is also the the author of the Online Community Manifesto.
Feverbee logo

Avectra, the leader in web based membership management software, is proud to partner with FeverBee Limited to help organizations around the world understand best practices for creating thriving online communities and build invaluable communities of their own.  For more information on MemberFuse, Avectra’s private online community platform, and Avectra Social CRM for Associations, click here.

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14 Events You Can Organize And Celebrate In Your Community

Written by Richard Millington on . Posted in Community, Community Management

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Shared experiences are vital for community development. They solidify bonds, stimulate activity and provide easy sources of content.

  1. VIP speaker/live-chat. You have a guest-chat coming up with a VIP. Call for questions beforehand. Let members curate a list of 10 questions to ask.
  2. Birthdays of important members. Ask for donations, buy something nice and relevant.
  3. Hall of fame induction. Have your members done something great recently? Induct them into your community’s hall of fame.
  4. Meet-up week. This is the week where members of your community try to meet people local to them. Mashable do this really well.
  5. The annual gathering. It’s that time of the year again isn’t it? Plan your big meet-up of the year. People should be flying to visit.
  6. Newcomer orientation. The online community version of fresher’s week. You’ve got a bunch of newcomers you need to educate, entertain and induce into your community.  Good when you’ve had a sudden rush of traffic.
  7. Milestone reached. Never forget to celebrate your milestones. What are you working on now? What has your community achieved recently?
  8. Elections. There are vacant posts available in your community. It’s election day. People vote for which members they want to fill them.
  9. Achievement. Which members have recently achieved something of note? Who’s got a promotion? Started a business? Had a baby? Got married? Wish them well.
  10.  VIP birthday. Which famous people does your community admire? Celebrate their birthdays too. Find an activity that ties in to what that celebrity did for your niche and replicate it in some fashion.
  11.  JohnnyFab’s day. Name a day after a member who has done something fantastic in your community.
  12.  Charity day. Every community should have a charity drive. Pick a cause that resonates strongly with your audience and do something cool to raise money for the charity.
  13.  Book/Film/Product launches. What are the major events happening in your sector? What are the new products, services being launched in the near future? How is your community celebrating them?
  14.  Community birthdays. Do you know when your community was founded? I hope you should. Host a special event.

What events does your community organize or celebrate?

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Richard Millington is the founder of FeverBee Limited, an online community consultancy, and The Pillar Summit , an exclusive course in Professional Community Management. Richard’s clients have included the United Nations, The Global Fund, Novartis, AMD, BAE Systems and several youth & entertainment brands. Richard is also the the author of the Online Community Manifesto.
Feverbee logo

Avectra, the leader in web based membership management software, is proud to partner with FeverBee Limited to help organizations around the world understand best practices for creating thriving online communities and build invaluable communities of their own.  For more information on MemberFuse, Avectra’s private online community platform, and Avectra Social CRM for Associations, click here.

 

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Twitter & Facebook

Written by Richard Millington on . Posted in Community, Community Management

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You’re probably not maximizing the effectiveness of Facebook/Twitter to promote your community.

Most people use social media channels to promote the latest content in the community. This is fine. But you can go further.

You can use social media platforms to discuss what’s happening in the community.

e.g. Scott just replied with a good point about using Widgets for Wotsits http://dfth.bit.ly

There are three benefits here. First, this sort of tweets is more likely to get clicked through. People are most motivated by what other people are doing. Second, by mentioning people by name you show recognition which is likely to cause others to participate more to ensure their name gets mentioned. Finally, it provides you with an ongoing stream of content to use to develop the community.


Richard Millington is the founder of FeverBee Limited, an online community consultancy, and The Pillar Summit , an exclusive course in Professional Community Management. Richard’s clients have included the United Nations, The Global Fund, Novartis, AMD, BAE Systems and several youth & entertainment brands. Richard is also the the author of the Online Community Manifesto.
Feverbee logo

Avectra, the leader in web based membership management software, is proud to partner with FeverBee Limited to help organizations around the world understand best practices for creating thriving online communities and build invaluable communities of their own.  For more information on MemberFuse, Avectra’s private online community platform, and Avectra Social CRM for Associations, click here.

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