Lunchtime Links: Crowdsource Your Members’ Opinions

How a member of Congress reached out to the Reddit community to ask for their help. Could your association do something similar? Also: The reason in-person conferences are here to stay.

What are you doing to get your individual members more involved in big decisions?

I applaud your willingness to reach out on this issue, as we have seen in the last year that this is, in fact, an issue.

If the answer is “not much,” maybe you can take a hint from what a member of Congress recently did — and transparently use crowdsourcing to reach out. That and more in today’s Lunchtime Links:

The wisdom of the crowds: A little transparency goes a long way. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)  recently reached out to the Reddit community asking for assistance in crowdsourcing a bill regarding domain seizures by the government prompted by alleged copyright infringement — she says those seizures are way too easy to do under current law. (The Reddit community earlier this year played a major role in successfully fighting the Stop Online Piracy Act, which hinged on this specific issue.) The post has been up for less than a day and has already garnered more than 60 responses, many of which are applauding the representative for reaching out to the public. One user writes, “I applaud your willingness to reach out on this issue, as we have seen in the last year that this is, in fact, an issue,” while another encourages the thread to be brought to the attention of the Reddit moderators in the hopes of more eyes and more opinions. While your association might not be on Reddit, the situation reinforces the need for all voices to be heard.

Be young at heart: Having trouble recruiting younger members to your association? A recent survey from, summarized on VolunteerMatch, gives insight into what drives younger members to volunteer. While the survey highlights volunteerism, associations can learn a few lessons too: Be social, be brief (know your members’ time is valuable, and plan accordingly), and yes, make it fun.  Also interesting: The top issues the younger generation cares about include animal welfare, hunger, homelessness, the environment, and the economy.

Conferences aren’t going away: You hear it every day. Everyone is going mobile, mobile, mobile. Skype conference calls, hurried emails as you rush to your 9 a.m. meeting; life is just a whirlwind. But what’s one thing that will never change, according to Forbes? The need for face-to-face meetings. “There is nothing as compelling as direct human interaction. It strengthens trust, creates serendipity, and fosters community in an irreplaceable way,” says John Hagel III, director at Deloitte Consulting, LLP, and John Seely Brown, cochairman of the Deloitte Center for the Edge. What’s your annual conference doing to strengthen that face-to-face connection?

Is your website up to par? Think your website is attracting new members? Consider these tips from a recent New York Times article, “Three Proven Ways to Convert Visitors Into Buyers,” which offers must-know tactics for engaging visitors. Calls to action (think contact forms and direct lines to executives) are important, as is working hand in hand with your marketing team ensure all organization goals are being met and the brand’s vision stays intact.  How have you revamped your website recently?

See anything cool online today? Let us know in the comments.


Chloe Thompson

By Chloe Thompson

Chloe Thompson is a contributing writer to Associations Now. MORE

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