All Posts (163)

By now, you've opened up lines of communication, written and shared solid guidelines, and established benchmarks. You're bound to have made a few in-depth connections with community members. Now is the time to harness these connections, get to know people more deeply, and share their stories.
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Community Roundup: Veterans' Communities

November 11th marks Veterans' Day in the US and related holidays such as Armistice Day and Remembrance Day around the world. After the camaraderie and shared experience of active duty service, many military veterans seek out a form of community when they return to civilian life. Here are some of our favorite communities where US Veterans can find support and resources.
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Now that you've opened up clear lines of communication and set up guidelines for your community, it's time to synthesize some community feedback. This allows you to establish benchmarks for your community's current sentiment and makeup. This is something many community managers skip as they dive into a new community. Don't skip this. It's non-optional. If you don't know what people want, how are you going to create a forward-thinking strategy?
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Managing a few different types of communities, all at various stages of development, has taught me a great deal about people. Through my trials and tribulations I have discovered that three key elements are paramount to any community’s success. While they can be described simply as “work” for you, I believe that incorporating these three attributes into any community management strategy will result in marked improvement in engagement.
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Your employees probably aren’t keen to help you build a community. It’s more work for them. It’s not even in their job description. If you force them to get involved, you’re going to get the minimum effort. So don’t force them, addict them. Here’s a few ideas to get your employees involved in building your community.
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After you've had a chance to establish yourself as a trusty and reliable manager to your community, the next step is to lay down the law. Many products have terms of use, but those terms of use are very different than community guidelines. They're also not all that visible and people find them to be insulting and not the least bit user-friendly (who reads all that legal talk?).
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Richard Millington leads a 60-minute presentation on the advanced social sciences that underpin our work as community builders. He takes us beyond motivation and covers topics such as roles and labeling effects, the new best friend theory, conformity, the bystander effect, group polarization, and eleven other concepts that can help you build bigger, better, and more active communities.
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The first step is surprisingly simple. If you're managing an unruly community, the very first thing you need to do is throw people clear communication channels. This can be scary and unpredictable, but it is necessary.
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I'm here to answer the question: Where do you begin when you're tasked with something so overwhelming? You have so many questions and yet you have very little time to ask them. Your users may be angry, they may be frustrated, or they may be breaking rules that don't even exist yet. It's tempting to jump in and start responding right off the bat. Instead, you should arrive with an action plan.
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Take thousands of people all over the world devoted to peacebuilding and international collaboration, put them together in a community and what do you get? The Peace and Collborative Development Network. Founded by Dr. Craig Zelizer in 2007, PCDN has been uniting both job seekers and esteemed professionals in social development fields to help make the world a better place. With a robust selection of resources and a self-maintained advertising program, PCDN is leading the way in its field. Dr. Zelizer took some time to speak with us about where the network has been and where it's going.
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How To Make Paid Search Pay Off

How can you drive a high volume of traffic to your new community–and do it right out of the gate? One effective way is a paid search campaign on one of the big engines, like Google or Bing and Yahoo. This can bring in visitors who are actively looking for the specific activities or services your community provides. Best of all, paid search can start driving people to your community the same day it goes live.
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The answers to all your burning community health questions are in the data. Watch this webinar and learn how to diagnose community health through three key metrics: growth, activity, and sense of community. Then devise a data-driven strategy to improve the quality and frequency of engagement in your community.
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Fish farming, or aquaculture, is the fastest growing agriculture method, making over $80 billion just a few years ago. In this swiftly growing industry, AquacultureHub brings together people interested in their goal to "help advance the development and implementation of aquaculture programs around the world that promote sustainability, food security and food safety, research and advocacy." Network administrator Dr. Barbara Payne McLain, ATOLL Project Director at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, spoke with us about the passionate aquaculture community behind AquacultureHub.
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Don't guess what is or isn't working in a community--gather and analyze the data. Richard Millington outlines a few of the data points you should be measuring and how you can use this data to form actionable insights and improve the health of your community.
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Every few weeks, Ning invites a leading expert to discuss trending topics and best practices for community management. Watch the recordings here.

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Have you considered monetizing your community? Download your free copy of Monetizing Online Forums by Patrick O'Keefe to learn what methods are available, how to implement them, and how you can benefit today.