I’ve only been compiling these lists for a few months now, but I think this past November has been the best month yet for community management blog posts. Picking the top five was tough, but I think I’ve ended up with a pretty good group of must-read articles for community managers.
We all talk about user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) when building the technology that enables online communities, but what about the person-to-person interactions that can make or break those initiatives? Rachel Happe, co-founder of the Community Roundtable (and a former colleague), points out that the human experience (HX) is just as important.
There’s a lot of talk about gamification and incentives. But David Spinks argues that incentives can be damaging. David writes that when users are given a specific reward for specific actions, it replaces a genuine relationship with a series of transactions. I’m not sure I agree with David 100%, but I’m including this post because it really got me thinking.
The opening sentence of this post says it best: “You can’t force community.” People will participate when they feel there is value in doing so, not because you tell them they should. So how do you promote participation without resorting to the hard sell? Deborah Ng has five useful tips to help you grow your community organically.
When you invite people to participate in a new online community, you don’t want them to wander into a ghost town. Vanessa DiMauro suggests inviting a few trusted and/or influential people to act as beta testers before your formal launch. Doing so will seed the community, give you valuable feedback, and create a welcoming committee of sorts for the rest of your participants.
What happens when you create a new community and it fizzles out shortly after launch? Can it be saved? Terry Coatta says it can, and suggests four ingredients you’ll need to get your community going again.
Do you know of an article that I should have included in this list? Please add it in the comments section below.
Photo credit: Red Mozzie