First time here? Welcome!


(Sarah Hawk) #49

Welcome on board @samanthalynn – great to hear from you.

Is your audience mainly comprised of medical practitioners?
What kind of engagement/discussions are you hoping to stimulate?

(Samantha Preddie) #50

Yes, healthcare professionals. We’re definitely looking to encourage professional, educational conversations. With everything from surgeons, to paramedics, to medical students, we want everyone to be able to teach one another and learn from one another respectfully.

(Sarah Hawk) #51

So essentially a hybrid CoP / support community. Interesting!

@Bearmtn manages a successful community for healthcare professionals. I’ll tag him in.

(Richard Millington) #52

Figure 1 is one of my favourite new online communities actually. I like the simplicity of the design. I’ve been using it in a few presentations as an example of how else a community can look like and function.

Congrats, really exciting to have you here.

(James Bettis) #53


I’ve been visiting FeverBee for a couple of months now. There is such great information that is shared here! I’m still wrapping my head around it.

I’m new to managing communities, and I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m still confused by the difference(s) between communities, forums and panels. Can someone simply explain what makes them different (from a member’s standpoint or expectations)?

Thank you,

(Sarah Hawk) #54

Hey James,
So good to hear from you.

Don’t be embarrassed – we make it confusing! People use terminology interchangeably.

This is how I think of it:

A community is a group of people that share something in common (an interest, an environment, a circumstance etc). They don’t have to be ‘online’ communities. People that attend regular meet-ups (for example) could be considered an offline community.

Forums are one form of software platform that online communities use to communicate. This is a forum. Others use Facebook, Twitter, blog commenting etc

Many people refer to an online community as a forum, which is where the confusion comes in.

Panels are a bit of a sideways move. I’m not sure that they specifically relate to community. Others may disagree.

Does that help?

Tell us about you. Are you currently working in a community related role?

(James Bettis) #55

Hi Sarah,

Thank you for the clarification! Yes, there does seem to be quite an overlap in the labeling of “community” or “forum”.

I am currently learning to moderate/manage a community within the field of entertainment. I thoroughly enjoy reading posts from members about how passionate they are about TV, movies, actors/actresses, characters, relationships, etc.

I’ve been working in the field of entertainment for over 20 years, but until recently it was primarily dealing in the interpretation of the public’s reactions to entertainment. Being involved in a community is different because I’m now understanding that I also have to keep members engaged in the subjects/topics as well. Quite the challenge! (even for topics in entertainment)

I hope that I’m able to contribute to the FeverBee community as I gain more experience in this field.


(Sarah Hawk) #56

Sounds like a fun community to be a part of.

I hear ya. If you haven’t already, check out this article.[quote=“lbdetroit, post:55, topic:5284”]
I hope that I’m able to contribute to the FeverBee community as I gain more experience in this field.

Brilliant! Even without experience you’re contributing. Your questions help others.

(James Bettis) #57

Thanks for the suggested article, Sarah!

(Nick Emmett) #58

Great to have you here @lbdetroit - experienced or not, everyone’s here to learn and share experiences. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one person here that hasn’t had something valuable to say or ask. Ever.

I agree with @HAWK’s definitions on Community, Forums and Panel (although I must admit to not really knowing what you mean by panels!).

For us in the FinancialForce community we see our community as being as Hawk describes, a group of people with common interests, shared experiences and we further that I guess to include the environment they’re in - much like the community feel of your local neighbourhood.

Forums are a part of that toolset, or part of the makeup of the village/town/street whatever - a bit like the social hub where people gather to chat, the community centre, the town hall, the park, the pub whichever you want. We also have other parts such as our KnowledgeBase (a bit like the library), Help & Training (schools and colleges), Support Centre (I don’t really have an accurate metaphor for this one!)… I could probably go on but I think it often helps when I’m explaining to people what Community is that they can imagine moving in to a new neighbourhood and becoming a part of the local community.

Keep us up to date on the journey and be sure to shout up with ANY questions you have.

(Angus McLeod) #59

Long time listener, first time caller :slight_smile:

I’m working on a community that will exist alongside an ‘app store’ for public services (each app is a Discourse plugin). It’s called Pavilion. ‘Public services’ means legal and government services.

The platform, and the community discussion, will be categorized based on where people live (i.e. cities, towns, villages), as public services are location based. The platform design reflects this. You can see an (out of date) version of this platform on my old dev instance.

When I say ‘working’, I’m currently finishing off a few different Discourse plugins that will constitute the ‘community platform’. Basically the platform is Discourse + about 20-odd plugins I’ve built (they’re all open-source and currently available in my github (angusmcleod) and Pavilion’s (PavilionDev) After finishing work on v0.1 of the platform, I’m going to spend a few months building up to launch.

I’m working on some custom structures for user-driven community (category) creation. The point of these structures is to try and ensure each new community on the platform has enough support to be viable before it launches, and to get ‘buy in’ from early adopters.

  1. First, any user can start a ‘petition’ for a new community to be created. Petitions are started when a user successfully fills out a multi-page form (new plugin I recently made). The form ensures the petition is valid (e.g. non-duplicative, refers to a real place, etc). A successfully created petition turns into a topic in a ‘petitions’ category which has the Feature Voting Plugin enabled, allowing other users to vote on it. I’m currently considering what, if any, other criteria petitions for new communities should be determined by.

  2. If a petition is successful, a new community (category) is created, however it is not yet ‘live’. It has a single topic (which the category url automatically redirects to), where stakeholders can discuss the ‘constituting’ of the community. In order for a community to go live (‘constitute’):

  • a minimum number of users have to select it as their ‘home’ community. The minimum is set by a percentage of the population of the real community (e.g. 0.01%).
  • the first moderator needs to be elected (via a poll in the constituting topic). I say ‘first’ as I’m thinking moderators will have elected terms.
  • the community needs at least one ‘app’ (plugin implementing an online public service for that community)
  • the community needs a designated ‘builder’ (someone technical).

Once a community is ‘constituted’ it finally goes live, allowing users to post topics as they normally would in a discourse category (albeit posting is significantly different, given the Discovery compose experience which involves ‘topic type’ selection.

So basically I’ve turned ‘community creation’ into a user-driven two step process: petitioning and constituting. One of my biggest concerns about this process is that it could be too long and people will disengage. I’m currently thinking a fair bit about what kind of engagement there should be with a user prior to the constituting of their ‘home’ community.

The process for launching the platform itself will involve a fair bit of content marketing and build up, i.e. the CHIP process. I’m working on a few essays / blog posts about government, law and technology.

I’m checking in here now as my thoughts are turning more and more to ‘how to build communities’, and you folks are the experts!

(Piper_Wilson) #60

@angus McLeod of the clan McLeod? :joy:

Thank you for such a detailed introduction. Welcome to the Feverbee ‘clan’.

(Sarah Hawk) #61

Love it. Welcome. :slight_smile:

Sounds like an amazing project/concept.

How long do you think the process would take from start to finish?I suspect some people will enjoy the gamification side of it – seeing whether or not they succeed in pulling together a community. The big question is what is the value in doing so? What need do they ultimately satisfy if they are successful.

(Angus McLeod) #62

Yes :slight_smile: An Australian off-shoot. We even have our own website (which needs updating actually).

Right, this is important.

The draw for the user of the platform (the consumer of public services) is better community, better government and better legal services for them the citizen, not for the bureaucracy, not for politicians and not for business. It’s a citizen-centric approach to the state and the law. The tagline is “The People’s Platform”.

You now have the power to build the community you want to live in. You don’t need to wait for government to do it for you. Public life is not just about paying your taxes and getting to vote for politicians every 4 years. Law is not just rules the rich use to entrench their power. Government and laws should work for you the citizen. You now have the power to make that a reality.

I’ve been writing various versions of this pitch for the landing page copy, and in some (unpublished) blog posts.

In fact there are two different pitches. One for the user of the platform (citizens), one for public service providers (customers). The pitch to the service provider is about cutting costs (it’s much much cheaper to build an app for a platform than to build your own website) and about ‘in-built’ user (constituent) engagement.

(Richard Millington) #63

This sounds very similar to StackExchange’s Area51 site. It’s a really good, refined, process - but the challenge is getting enough mass in the first place to make it viable. Do-able, but not easy. I think you’ll need a way to launch quite strong - maybe a strategic partnership here?

(Angus McLeod) #64

Right, the community creation process is similar to SE Area 51, the main difference being the type of communities; places rather than topics.

A partnership is something I’m open to. My skills are legal, technical and management. I used to be a lawyer in Australia, and I’ve spent the last 4 years managing a few different tech startups in the US. I have little real experience with building communities, so I’m going to need assistance with that, whether from a co-founder or a 3rd party.

Not right now, as I’m still finishing the product itself. But I’ll be seeking funding for this relatively soon, prior to launch.

(Sarah Hawk) split this topic #65

12 posts were split to a new topic: Engaging gamers and determining KPIs

(Sarah Hawk) #66

Excellent! Do you have much experience with the law as it applies to the internet etc?

(Angus McLeod) #68

My experience and training is in more corporate, bankruptcy and international law in Australia and the US. Although I’ve recently become much more interested in the young field of ‘internet law’, e.g.

The key thing to keep in mind with law as it applies to the internet and how people use it is that, regardless of who is stating the opinion, it is basically speculation until courts start making significant decisions about it. Which are few and far between.

(Sarah Hawk) #69

Yeah, that’s interesting. I’ve heard similar things from several lawyers here (I’m in NZ), in Australia and in the UK. Essentially their position seems to be that things will be fine unless someone feels mistreated and lodges a grievance or claim of some description. People in the US are a bit more wary (understandably).