Framework for increasing the quality of discussions

(Richard Millington) #1

I’m working on a framework of sorts for how to improve the quality of discussions which takes place in any type of social group.

My feeling is this essentially boils down into 3 areas:

  1. Recruit smarter people.
  2. Make members smarter.
  3. Change the environment.

Recruiting smarter people means to look for the specific skills and knowledge you want. Then use LinkedIn recruiter or something similar to find these people and invite them to join and participate within the group. Flattery and giving a defined expert-level role would probably work best.

Making members smarter would mean both at the onboarding stage - ensuring members learn more about the field and at better summarising/digesting the discussions so far. This would reduce the need to discuss basic level information. It would also mean highlighting the next steps members can take to become better informed. This would probably mean testing ideas for themselves and reporting back what works.

Changing the environment would work best when you already have really smart people but their knowledge isn’t coming through. This would require creating the right social norms, ensuring friendly relationships (so people don’t worry about what they post) and soliciting more specific, technical-related, discussions. It would mean promoting and directly soliciting the kind of contributions we want etc…

Not sure if this is all inclusive, but I’m keen to see if there is anything else out there. Anyone have any thoughts?

(aside, another problem is what counts as quality. The highest quality contributions are usually those that give the most value to a relatively few number of people)