Tips for Online Communities

A couple of weeks back, I blogged about using private online communities for your organization.  This week, I ran across a great post giving some tips for using this platform. Geoff Livingston at Mashable offers 5 Tips for Creating Online Communities.  I especially appreciated these tips:
Listening to your community remains a core social media principle.
The classic community mistake is to use a network to drive information out into the public as opposed to creating a compelling experience for members.
This is SO important!  I find that organizations that are just getting started in social media tend to think of their Facebook page or Twitter account as a bulletin board “driving information out into the public.”  Social media is about relationships, and relationships involve two-way communication.  Listen more often to what people are saying, both about their questions and concerns, and what they are saying about your organization. And, did you catch the last half of that second quote: “creating a compelling experience for members.”  That’s what you want to be thinking about in creating an online community: connecting your online members in a compelling way.  What can they experience in your online community that they cannot experience anywhere else– even when they are face-to-face? I also appreciated Geoff’s last tip, which has to do with inter-connecting all your various communication platforms.  This kind of interconnection is not a one-way connection, but moves communication in both directions.  Facebook can serve as a “beachhead” to steer folks toward your online community, but you also want to have your members communicating about your organization’s activities back in the wider online community. What do you think?  Might some kind of private online community become a part of your organization?  I’d love to hear about your thoughts! .

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Resources

Christian churches may be interested in the resource Spiritual Formation Newsletter Content, and online resource that makes available short articles on spiritual formation appropriate for email newsletters.