I’m part of team launching a new online community at a non-profit. The FeverBee resources have been incredibly helpful in that process and I look forward to becoming part of this community.
That’s exciting – welcome Josh.
Have you been part of a project like this before? And what stage are you currently at?
@HAWK Hi Sarah, thanks for the welcome email ! A short intro about why I am here: I have been using a highly customized forum for many years now, but the platform can no longer keep up with the times especially with respect to responsive design that works on all devices. Finally narrow down my choices to either Discourse or Nodebb or Flarum.
Am very thankfully to have found this website, tons of useful information, thank you and much appreciated !!
Tell us more about your community.
I’m currently supporting several community managers in the launch of their online communities in a large humanitarian organisation. We have many challenges since the tool we have is really not user friendly (SharePoint 2013) and we can’t develop custom made solutions to improve it for the moment. We should have a new more user friendly platform at some point in 2017.
For some of ourcommunities the challenge is getting people to come to these spaces in a regular manner. For others it’s still the configuration of the space and how to handle document management within a really strict governance policy… I believe that our framework has been overcomplicated before we joined and now we need to be patient and creative to find alternatives to provide community members with an added value from joining and participating in these communities.
I’m sharing with my colleagues resources from Feverbee and the free version of Buzzing Communities.
Talk to you soon
Strategies for converting newcomers to regulars
Hi Courtney, I’m working for the ICRC. We were wondering if you have internal blogs at USAID… if these are available for all your employees to write on and how is that working for you…
We are also piloting internal online communities, but we’ve just started opening them to some users.
We ran a staff barometer survey about several topics in our organisation of 15,000+ employees. One of the questions was: how would you prefer to keep informed of important institutional matters? Over 70% of the respondents preferred email, only 50% chose the intranet.
Email is still a preferred communication channel by employees, despite the fact that they will also complain about receiving too much email.
It seems that contradiction is part of our human nature. We just have to accept it.
Thanks for sharing your experiences Jess.
Yes we do have internal blogs on a couple of different platforms. One of
them is a tibbr platform that is fairly open. I work mostly with a Drupal
platform that hosts content on particular aspects of USAID, such as our
Program Cycle. Each section has a page owner who is responsible for
curating content, including blogs. This platform is more moderated and the
culture of its users is to seek approvals and clearances before posting. It
is a more formal environment and that is more comfortable to its target
That formal environment has been one of the challenges to facilitating
engagement in the communities of practice, along with lack of time. I don’t
think there’s a lack of curiosity, but there is a low comfort level with
sharing and low confidence in one’s own contributions to the group.
One of the key requirements is active facilitation and back channeling. The
facilitators will need to identify the content to share and then encourage
members to post it themselves and also back channel to ask specific people
to content. It also takes a long time to build trust.
Best of luck to you! Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.
Many many thanks for your reply Courtney,
It’s really useful to see how it works at USAID and what things we’ll need to foresee to encourage participation.
I’m compiling a blog post with the outcomes of our benchmark on internal blogging with NGOs… If you don’t mind I could just mention that USAID has internal blogs. Or I could share with you a draft version and let me know if you’d like to share some inputs.
Have a great day and thanks again!
I’m new to building online community, but I have a background in local community organizing and many of the principles FeverBee espouses sound very familiar to that domain. We’re expecting the beta version of the platform this week and hope to start inviting founding members before too long so are digesting as much of your content as we can
Hey @doctorj, welcome to the community here at Feverbee, it’s great to hear from you!
This sounds interesting - a couple of questions:
What is the online community you’re looking to launch, is it B2B, B2C, who is it targeting?
What sort of things have you been doing in your local community? I love the sound of this, I often use the local community as a metaphor when talking to people about online communities so it’s really interesting seeing it the other way around and seeing someone building upon the offline community experience and applying it to their online role.
Feel free to ask any questions you’ve got, or throw anything out here that you want to bounce around a bit - there’s a ton of experience and knowledge in here for you to draw down on!
I’d be happy to look at a draft, but I don’t see the harm in making it known that USAID does have internal blogs.
Hey @Ernesto_Izquierdo – sounds like a fulfilling and challenging role! Welcome on board.
[quote=“Ernesto_Izquierdo, post:207, topic:2430”]
For some of ourcommunities the challenge is getting people to come to these spaces in a regular manner.
[/quote] This is something we could brainstorm in a separate topic, if you’re interested.
Fantastic. What platform?
That would be great indeed!
I’m Kate. I manage the community for my product on the energy sector. We are quasi tech and quasi shared economy. I’m trying to work more strategically to grow our community of dedicated users whilst avoiding the trap of creating solely a support channel.
Hey @kambash, welcome to the community, it’s great to hear from you.
What sort of approaches are you using to do this? What’s your community’s WHY - what sort of value are you hoping people will get aside from the support channel side of things? When we launched our Community at FinancialForce the WHY was deemed to be customer success - helping customers become successful with our products, so there’s very much an element of support that’s set aside from our official support channel , which is also a part of the Community.
I know that @Chris_Detzel also runs a community in the energy sector, it may be worth you guys catching up.
What's your Community's WHY?
Hi @Nick_Emmett, Thanks so much for the warm welcome!
I actually followed the ebook “The Community Manager’s Playbook” in putting together the answers to just these questions, so I have some for you:
- One primary business objectives is to use the community as a support channel to encourage User: user support. Right now have 20k+ active users and one sole support person (ME). Our chat rate is low, and the trend has gone done since I’ve introduced the community.
- Before I joined, we had a pseudo forum with no functionality. Users actively REQUESTED a forum.
- I firmly believe that a community for a product can help encourage our power users (user advocates, if you will), and by growing that number we 1) increase the lifetime value of our users and 2) hopefully increase the number of power users.
- Since we’re an energy company, a secondary objective is to encourage talk around the energy business. We’ve very nice. We offer Demand Response (which I suspect nobody other than perhaps @Chris_Detzel has heard of). We can provide a resource and a knowledge to these users. I actually had an interesting argument with my CEO yesterday for this as an objective. One of our company values is user trust–we want users to trust our brand and our business to help them automate their energy, including when we recommend products. Community could certainly assist that.
Hey Kate, welcome from me too.
@tallyhee also works in the power sector.
Interesting challenge. Are there sub-topics that you could branch into to seed conversations of value? Perhaps ways to save power (although that might be detrimental to business!!) or maybe even power related projects, like holiday light decorating competitions?
Possibly. The challenge I have right now is actually getting users to come back to the community after posting their questions. I’m going to check default notification preferences, but right now my welcome message, even when I mention users, doesn’t seem to draw a response! I might be able to get marketing permission to email these users, but we are careful about how often we contact our users. Any other tips for trying to retain new users, especially when that sense of “community” is only beginning?
Strategies for converting newcomers to regulars