Community building without words

by Martin Reed 30 June 2013

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 […]

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Find that opportunity to engage your community

by Martin Reed 1 May 2013

There are so many opportunities to engage members of your online community. Think: Pets Children Relevant current affairs Member birthdays (but do it right) The welcome email (but do it right) Interesting hobbies (do you enjoy clam digging?!) Member achievements (in the community and in their personal lives) Community milestones (forget numbers – this is more […]

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If you want to charge for membership of your online community…

by Martin Reed 28 February 2013

Do it from the very beginning. Membership fees are but one way to monetize an online community. Two main strategies here: Allow members to join for free and encourage them to ‘upgrade’ to paid membership. Charge a one-off application fee just to get in. I recommend strategy 2. If you charge someone to join your […]

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Something in your community shouldn’t make sense

by Martin Reed 31 January 2013

I’m not talking about making your online community confusing or difficult to use. Instead, there should be at least one part of your online community that only ‘insiders’ understand. One of the biggest threats to online communities is growth. From a member’s perspective, it’s impossible to be friends with everyone. The larger the community, the […]

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Buzzing Communities: Book review

by Martin Reed 11 December 2012

Disclosure: My name was mentioned in this book and I received a free copy. However, this is an unsolicited and unsponsored book review that is completely of my own opinion. This review, for Richard Millington’s Buzzing Communities is only the third book review I have shared on Community Spark after Patrick O’Keefe’s Managing Online Forums […]

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An easy way to increase activity and engagement in new online communities

by Martin Reed 13 November 2012

Most new online communities fail because members don’t return to keep discussions alive or get involved in new ones. Most of the time that’s because new members haven’t developed the habit of regularly visiting the community or members simply forget that your community exists. Prevent this from happening by: 1. Making sure that all members […]

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Are you a proactive community manager?

by Martin Reed 5 September 2012

A great community manager is proactive. Being proactive separates a great community manager from the rest. Here’s a simple task for you. Write down all the ways you were proactive in the past week. Work them into your ‘standard operating procedure’. This will make you a better community manager. Here are a few things a […]

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Community building, Churchill style

by Martin Reed 16 July 2012

Inc. recently posted a great article entitled, ‘What Would Winston Do?‘ – although it’s aimed at business leaders, it should be a must-read for all community managers. What you need to take away from the article is the following snippet: Great leaders inspire greatness. In his early days as Prime Minister, Churchill also had to […]

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Don’t fear the cliques in your online community!

by Martin Reed 22 May 2012

Too many community managers see cliques as a bad thing (Tommy tried to stamp them out completely). Doing this can bring a community to its knees and strip it of its personality. Cliques are a good thing for an online community. When members form smaller groups, it makes a community stronger. By trying to stamp […]

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When a community manager doesn’t know the answer

by Martin Reed 16 March 2012

Questions are vital. Asking questions keeps community discussions alive. Asking questions keeps a community manager in touch with the community. You should never stop asking questions – especially when you don’t know the answer. Recently, a member of Female Forum complained about some of the jokes that were being posted in the ‘Just for Fun’ section […]

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