Do you share objectives with your users?

challenges

(Laleh moli) #1

e.g. is it good to tell top users that you want them to produce good quality content for your community, in order to be a top user?


(Richard Millington) #2

I would be a little careful about the subtext here.

Generally speaking though, yes, I mean…you have to ask them to do what you want them to do or how else will they do it?

But the exact phrasing and language matter a lot. I’d leave out the top user part perhaps and focus on a reasoning that clicks for them. It makes sense to be subtle at times.

Ultimately, however, if you don’t ask members to do what you want them to do how will they ever do it? :slight_smile:


(Ayanda Khuzwayo) #3

in the matter of phrasing and language. do you not think referring to them as top users appeals to their ego and a sense of feeling good about themselves.

I do however share the same sentiments, if you do not ask members to do what you want them to do ho will they ever do it?

great discovery @richard_millington


(Laleh moli) #4

This is a good piece of advice, thanks :heart:

this was my doubt as well, as I remember to read somewhere about top programs: “never tell top-members what they should do, and just talk about what you give to them!”

I don’t remember where it was. thanks for making this more clear.


(Richard Millington) #5

“top users” is a bit tricky. A bit like “experts” perhaps.

Some people might like it, but some might be turned off by the bragging
nature of it. It can come across as patronizing or feel too much like
braggging. I’m a little reluctant to use that label externally these days.

There are plenty of other names that can mean the same thing and dodge
these issues. You can simply make up a name and make it mean the same
thing.


(Ayanda Khuzwayo) #6

@richard_millington I fully get and understand your point.

do you know a place (preferably online) that I can go to, to fully grasp the concept of stakeholder mapping in community management.


(Richard Millington) #7

There is something about autonomy where you shouldn’t tell people what to
do but ask them what they want to do. That makes sense here too…but
perhaps more with certain options that help you rather than anything they
want to do. People tend to take more ownership then.


(Luis Villa) #8

I’m pretty much a pessimist about force-grown community, especially (as Richard has been pointing out lately) in a world where there is no shortage of ways for people to fill their time.

So in response to “how will they ever do it”, I’d say ideally they want to do it anyway, and all you’re doing is nudging them towards doing it in a particularly useful format, timeline, etc.

With that in mind: I’d say share what your goals are! Because your goals should be (at best) something users already want to do or (at worst) something they find unobjectionable. So being transparent with them about why you’re supporting those goals (i.e., what benefit you get from their work) should be engaging and supportive for them, not off-putting.


(Laleh moli) #9

I like the way you think, but I’m afraid I don’t agree.

if you share the goal to your community, then what is the difference between the community and the team (or organization) behind the scene?


(Piper_Wilson) #10

@lolmol - Can you expand on this? I want to make sure I understand.


(Luis Villa) #11

The glib answer is “very little”.

The more constructive answer is that the primary difference between the organization and the community, in my conception of a healthy community, is that the organization is able to provide infrastructure, support, and encouragement that might not have happened otherwise. For example, many communities of like-minded people can’t afford full-time moderation of communications channels, and so even if they want to discuss/work on X, they are vulnerable to attack from trolls, spammers, etc. Or they might be very niche, and so need a full-time organizer to help them do “marketing”/SEO/organizing, without which they might not reach critical mass.

There may be secondary differences as well. The one that comes to mind immediately is preferred forms of participation: e.g., a community might be satisfied with a forum, where an organization might prefer more concrete outputs like blog posts or documentation; a community might be satisfied with unstructured outreach, where an organization might prefer tracking outreach in a CRM.

I’d of course be open to seeing counter-examples, where the goals of community members and the goals of the organization aren’t terribly well-aligned, and yet the community is still healthy/flourishing. But my gut sense is that those are few and far between. (I’ve certainly never participated in one.)


(Laleh moli) #12

I guess we’re talking about different goals; I was thinking about the goal of a program inside the community, imagine something like this: “we are happy to announce our top user program, and the goal of this program is to reach more users from google search”.

the whole feeling of being superior would drop afterwards :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

I agree that the ultimate goal of each community should be clear, because otherwise how should one knows if he/she belongs to that community.