Is consistent content and activity by the community manager is best way to ensure the well being and longevity of a community?


(Ayanda Khuzwayo) #1

Alright. Thank you very much. I work for A better Africa which is a digital platform that brings together people and organisations with a shared vision for Africa’s education from early childhood development upward. We work with three communities namely 1) education, which includes ECD centres, Schools, universities and other tertiary institutions. 2) enrichment programs and interventions which cater for schools and 3) donor organisations, funders and corporates fulfilling CSI mandate. Would you say consistent content and activity by the community manager is best way to ensure the well being and longevity of a community?

Introduce yourself (or at least just say hi)
(Richard Millington) #2

Hi @ayanda

I split this into a new topic as I feel it could be a bigger debate.

I love the work you do, that’s really incredible work.

I would say that this question depends on a lot of factors, but ultimately it’s about making sure the community offers some sort of unique value to members either as part of their identity or as a function.

What is the current goal for your communities?

Where do you want them to be etc?

What is the value they offer members?

(Piper_Wilson) #4

My gut response says that involvement is a higher priority than content in that you can’t have a community without involvement. I don’t mean to negate the importance of content. You also can’t have a community without content. I tend to believe that, if you build it, they will come, and building the sense of community will bring people in.

That being said, I don’t think that it necessarily needs to be the community manager being the active one. As I understand it, some community managers hardly have the time to turn around. They would need to delegate to their moderators.

The thing is, the community can’t be all about the manager or moderator.

I feel like that answer is all over the place. Let me know if I made absolutely no sense to you.

(Ayanda Khuzwayo) #5

@Piper_Wilson I think you are making perfect sense, consistent involvement rather than content ensures the longevity and success of the community. With that said, time often does not allow the community manager to be too hands in the group content creation which is why delegation of tasks becomes vitally important. To the delegation of tasks, is it just a guessing a game or do people nominate themselves to takeover topics etc.

(Anton) #6

Is consistent content and activity by the community manager is best way to ensure the well being and longevity of a community?

From my experience, it is not the best, but it is a good way.

involvement is discussed above in this thread, but you can’t have any involvement without content that involves members to take part in its development and further exploration. Because not everyone (even genuinely involved) can create topics, I recommend practicing topic creation sprints, e.g. I do it once a week. I pick a category and create 5 to 10 topics. Being a community manager, in this sprint I pay all my attention to:

  • making a topic broad enough that several people can take part in the discussion; but narrow enough to be personal (i.e. let it remind people about their personal stories or experience to share);
  • creating the topics at a time when those who can be involved are online – and inviting them immediately;
  • making great engaging first post with interlinks to the other topics.

It has always worked. Some sprint topics spanned 100+ useful replies over weeks. The trick is to get a few first messages in a topic as soon as possible – then it takes off on its own. People just need to see that someone is involved already, and you as a manager can forcefully make it happen.

The working technique described demonstrates the extent to which content, involvement and managers are all interconnected.

P.S. Btw, note how community managers here at FeverBee create topics regularly, including the ones mimicking their blog posts.