Am I reading member disclosure levels correctly?


(Katie Paffhouse Bussey) #1

Hi! We launched our professional community last week and have had some nice success with our introduction thread. What I am finding fascinating, is the number of people who disclose their credentials. We invited this group because of a certain degree of expertise and I am finding that slightly above 50% list this credential in their bio. Those that do are more likely to come from one segment of our population versus others.

So now pause - what would be the takeaway for you? Mine is below, but I’m not sure it’s correct. What do you all think?

I’m perceiving this to be a sign of status jockeying. Those with more advanced degrees or supervisory roles don’t need the credibility the credential while newer professionals or those with undergrad degrees may feel they need to show they deserve a seat at the table.


(Sarah Hawk) #2

Heh, what a fascinating insight, esp to get so early in the game.

The things that come to mind for me are

  1. Values – As you point out, it looks like status is a core value of the group. That’s powerful information to have because you can use it as a motivator to persuade people to change behaviour in the future.

  2. Gamification and/or onboarding – you could use this as part of your onboarding/ongoing engagement journey. If someone hasn’t filled it in, use it as a reason to get in touch if they haven’t been onsite for x days, given that it’s likely to motivate them to come back. It could potentially be used for gamification too, if it’s that important to people. Perhaps it could be displayed more prominently for people if they do x.

  3. How it affects the wider group – Given this is a small subset of your wider audience, if this value differs from the wider group, you might need to be careful that it’s not adversely affecting others. Will it mean that someone without a qualification feels unqualified to participate? Remember that the founding group will model behaviour for the wider group.


(Jay Pfaffman) #3

When I worked at prestigious universities, faculty are addressed by their first names. I was introduced to a guy who got a freaking Nobel by only his first name and had to go find an email that he’d been copied on to figure out his last name so that I could read about him (it was in a different field). When I worked at a respectable state University, I was able to get staff to call me by my first name. At a small state University, all faculty were addressed by Dr.so-and-so; suggesting otherwise seemed wrong.

Sure, those with less status may feel the need to justify their place at the table. Hopefully those who are more renowned will make new people feel welcome and that their input is valued. That’s what you want to encourage.


(Katie Paffhouse Bussey) #4

Thanks, @Jay_Pfaffman. It does indeed seem quite obvious. I am intrigued that some members who fit in these segments don’t have a similar behavior. It might be nothing to pursue, but doesn’t hurt to ponder.


(Katie Paffhouse Bussey) #5

Many thanks. I’m really digging the how it affects the wider group concept. Finding some ambassador type members who are approachable will get a larger priority as will planning activities that cross pollinate.