Community building without words

by Martin Reed on 30 June 2013 in Snippets

Sarcasm aside, there are some great shortcuts when it comes to community building.

My favorite is worth a thousand words.

Pictures.

Pictures (and more specifically, photos) are hugely underutilized and undervalued in online communities.

Community managers do a bad job of encouraging picture sharing and community software tends to make photo uploading cumbersome and unintuitive – particularly in a discussion based environment.

As a community manager, you need to lead by example. Every now and then, when you contribute to a discussion or start a new discussion topic, add a relevant photograph (preferably one with you in it).

Make sure it’s easy for members to add photos to discussions and turn the spotlight on those who take the hint and follow your lead.

Some community managers are scared that by encouraging photos, they’ll be discouraging discussion.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The two go hand in hand.

Prepare to be impressed by the results.

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Ellenbrook July 14, 2013 at 12:46 am

I have found that pictures are probably the single easiest addition to increase participation. We did a curiosity test a while back and tested the engagement on our blog posts and compared those with pictures vs those without. More people viewed and commented on the blogs with pictures than without.

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