Don’t give all community members equal status

by Martin Reed on 6 June 2011 in Snippets

Someone who joined your community six months ago and hasn’t made a single post shouldn’t be afforded the same status in your community as a member who joined last week but has made a real contribution.

Mark new members as ‘provisional’ – they don’t get certain perks until they have proved themselves as an asset to the community. Prevent them from having access to certain sections of your community until they have contributed in some way. Consider deactivating accounts that appear to be dormant (before you do that though, warn members before you hit the off-switch. Make one last attempt to convince them to join in. Link to irresistible content. Tell them what’s in it for them).

Just don’t give them the same status as members who are helping to make your community a success.

For more, see ‘Not all community members are created equal‘.

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Yvette Nanasi June 6, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Great points Martin. Using a reward/recognition and badging tool within your community that offers ‘half-life’ options is a great way to incent new users into becoming champions – and also identifying infrequent contributors or previous community evangelists who have moved on.

Mick St James June 9, 2011 at 7:36 am

I agree in theory – however, I find that locking certain parts of the forum (until a certain post count) encourages spamming, and posts that do not offer anything (“Me too!” types of posts)…

Martin Reed - Community Manager June 9, 2011 at 11:27 am

Why tie access to post count? Try basing access on something else; welcoming new members, filling out a profile, mentioning the community externally, etc.