One of my current customers is in the process of migrating their large, long-established, open community (begun in 2007!) from a tottering legacy platform to a shiny new online community experience. The majority of users in this community are women in the 40+ age demographic category. It is a highly invested membership, many of whom return to the the site daily to post blogs, comments, and private messages related to changing a health-related behavior.
Keeping the community members highly engaged during this change process is extremely important, so the team is looking at identifying a group of members who can be kept informed of the planned migration to the new platform and used as a sounding board to help us manage changes to functionality.
I’m looking for input from the FeverBee community members to see if you’ve assembled similar sorts of advisory groups. Here are a few questions that have come up in the course of my discussions with the internal team:
- What are your criteria for inviting members to join such a group?
- Was participation on the board paid or unpaid?
- Did you specify duties associated with being a member?
- Did you specify a term of membership (e.g. 1 year) in such a group?
- Should membership be limited to longtime members or is there value in inviting newer members to a group such as this?
- What other considerations are there for starting and maintaining such a group over the long haul?
- What do you see as the pitfalls of having a member advisory group? What should we watch out for?
- What benefits have you realized because you had such a group?
Thanks in advance for sharing your collective wisdom here!