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Communities are collections of people, with desires and egos, so instead of worrying about community in terms of technical platform or UX Design, let's focus on what makes people tick and want to participate in our online communities. Humans are at the forefront of this discussion led by longtime community manager, Marc Siegel.
Using his experience in a variety of communities, including B2B and consumer product and support, Marc Siegel took us through the steps necessary to create, build, and nourish a human-centered online community experience. Watch the recording below:
Below are a few of the points that really resonated with us, and we'd love to know what elements of Marc's presentation struck a cord with you. Join the discussion over at the Ning Creators network or share your response as a comment below.
People come for content, but stay for relationships. If you can become interested in some of the other people in the community, learn a bit more about them, and start having conversations with them, you've created a relationship. The simplest way to do this is by actually using a member's name when conversing with her, and it's also good practice to share your name when signing off.
When talking to your community members, make sure to be open, honest, and transparent. This is especially important when resolving disputes. If you don't know about something or can't speak to it, it's best to be upfront about that and avoid "squirrely" responses which can erode trust.
When criticism is levied within your community, censoring that content is not the answer. Acknowledge the criticism and let your members know that they're being heard, even if nothing can be done about it at the moment.
One of the most useful aspects of human-centered community is the ability to really involve your community members into decisions about a product. Power-users in your community are the ones who are already invested in your organization or product and the more you can take their constructive feedback to the product team or involve them in the process, the more your community will come together.