Why cultural leadership is important when building an online community. Also: An association consultant shares what he learned from a two-week Facebook lockout.
Online communities are hugely important for associations in 2017, and with them comes a whole lot of technology. But it’s important to remember that these communities are about so much more than a tech platform, argues Rasa.io CEO Bryan Kelly.
“We think so strategically about online communities—they are software, they are change agents, they are a technological undertaking. True,” Kelly writes on the company’s blog. “But they are also powered by living, breathing, curious, flawed, innovative humans.”
To build the kind of trust and loyalty needed to develop a vibrant community of participants willing to share their thoughts and opinions, you need to provide the human touch. Without it, Kelly says, your community will feel bland and empty.
“Without endearing cultural leadership, you’re more likely to receive those lukewarm responses that many community skeptics are critical of,” he states. “There is already a perception that online interactions are impersonal, even disingenuous. Prove them wrong.”
— Scott Oser (@scottoser) January 2, 2017
A few weeks ago, consultant Scott Oser received what could be best described as a digital form of fruitcake. Out of the blue, Oser’s Facebook account was disabled for no apparent reason.
“I was shocked,” he wrote on his blog. “As the typical, casual user for over eight years, I had done nothing to break any of the Facebook rules.”
It took Oser 11 days and multiple rounds of communication through the network’s automated support tools to get the situation dealt with. Eventually, he did—on Christmas Day.
He learned a few things from the incident, including that we can live without a social network—as addictive as the network might seem.
“I will admit that for the first few days, well, probably more like a week, I did check Facebook a few times a day to see if I could get back in,” he wrote. “There may have even been a heavy sweating detox-like episode or two while the issue got resolved. The most important thing is that I survived, have my access back, and learned a thing or two.”
Other Links of Note
Resolutions for introverts. Over at Quiet Revolution, blogger Jennifer Granneman breaks down a few ways that introverts can improve in the new year.
“The key to successful engagement is to understand exactly what it is.” At Frank J. Kenny’s blog, Christina R. Green offers thoughts for local chambers on member engagement.