Have you ever purposefully p*ssed off your community to drive action?

(Ed Fry) #1


Working on a profile completion campaign (more profiles… more data… better targeting… more contributions), and targeting a subset of our community interested in SEO.

I messaged them saying I/we “no indexed their profile” (meaning it can’t show up in Google search results) until they filled this in. Technically, this is true. We add a no-index tag on profiles without much content on so Googlebot doesn’t spin around a huge mass off poor quality profiles - we’ve seen uplift in search traffic since implementing this on profiles, discussions and more.

With the early replies to the campaign, I can see I’ve driven a lot of action, but also p*ssed a lot of our members off heh…

I’ll check the campaign results tomorrow, but from our early email opens it seems to be working alright.

Have I overstepped a mark here though?

I think the v2 is “Publish your inbound.org profile to Google” and try the positive case (vs. appearing to take something away).

What do you think?

(Travis King) #2

Better a p*ssed and active community than a content and inactive one :smiley:

(Sarah Hawk) #3

No, I don’t think so. You made a decision for the good of the community, and that audience should understand the importance of handling thin content appropriately better than most. In my experience there will always be people that are angry and outraged, but I suspect that in the time they took to rant at you, they could have completed their profiles and all would be good in the world.

Communities aren’t democracies. It’s your job to make decisions to ensure the health and growth of the community, not to appease every individual.

(Darren Gough) #4

What @HAWK said.

(Talitha Hlaka) #5

Thanks for that @HAWK, what happens in a case where there are negative comments on the community space? Do i delete these, i mean yes i have addressed the complaints but do i keep them there for everyone to see still?

(Darren Gough) #6

I think it depends on a few things:

  1. What you’ve set up expectation to be - if you’re inviting feedback it might not be a good idea to then censor anything you don’t like.

  2. Depends what the negative comments are - constructive comments, although they might be in contrast to your view or frustrating can still be useful. Negative comments that serve no purpose other than BECAUSE I DISAGREE AND WANT TO HAVE A GO AT YOU, usually posted with some sort of roll-eye or sarcastic emoticon (to cover their base that deep down they were “only joking!”) aren’t.

  3. Handling negative comments in the right way can encourage members to become more engaged. They might think that the new colour scheme isn’t nice, you engage to ask why, and it turns out they are colour blind (for example) and find it hard to navigate is extremely worthwhile.

  4. Makes sense to set a timeline - “we will consult for 1 week, then respond and either close or remove the comments”. We used to set this sort of feedback up in an area that wasn’t visible unless you were a member so at least people just looking around the site weren’t put off without understanding context.

(Talitha Hlaka) #7

thanks for that @Darren_Gough. In this case we are dealing with no2, i have tried to help the individual out but insist that the community is not for them anymore and is asking that i delete their group on the community and is saying all sorts of negative things about the community. Unfortunately everyone who is part of this individual’s group and/or visits my profile page can see the negative posts. I have made the decision to take their group profile down as requested by the individual but i am not sure whether to take down the negative comments off my profile or not.


(Darren Gough) #8

Hey @Tee0812,

In this case, think you ask yourself what the merit is of keeping them up. The user offered a resolution (take my group down) which you actioned, I’m assuming they have no desire to participate further so seems logical to remove all comments as a complete action and move forward.

(Talitha Hlaka) #9

Thank you @Darren_Gough that makes sense.

(Sarah Hawk) #10

I feel slightly differently to Darren here, but that’s probably due to the nature of the communities that I’ve managed.

Unless someone breaks rules (i.e. personally insults someone, uses vulgar language) then I would pretty much always leave the content, for a few reasons.

Firstly, I’ve seen communities rally against negativity in others in a way that brought them together as a group, and defined a culture.

Secondly, censoring almost always makes people more angry.

Lastly, how you publicly handle those kinds of comments (assuming you can be pragmatic and objective about it) will reflect positively on you, and garner support from others. To put it bluntly, it will make you look good and them look stupid.

I belong to a community where posts are frequently removed if they anger the CM (and founder) in any way and I always just think it’s a bad look. It makes me wonder what the comments were, and what the agenda is. I’m all for transparency where possible.

But I definitely have a light hand when it comes to this kind of thing.