Lunchtime Links: How to Capitalize on Member Ideas

How can you turn member ideas and feedback into actionable results? Also: some ways to use your social influence for the global good.

A member has a project in mind that could improve your association. He believes fellow members would benefit and offers to work on the idea himself. What’s your next step?

How to turn that idea into stronger engagement, and more, in today’s Lunchtime Links:

A good idea: At ASAE’s 2013 Marketing, Membership & Communications Conference, Eric Lanke, CEO of the National Fluid Power Association, talked about the role of members in association project planning. He asked attendees how they would react if a member approached them with an idea for improving their association. Lanke says associations should encourage members to work through their suggestions and, if their ideas have merit, commit to turning them into a reality. The fact that a member would even suggest an idea demonstrates that he or she is interested in taking a more active role in the organization, Lanke says. “This is how you break the formal committee structure that everyone seems to be complaining about and that is driving so many of your members away,” he writes on his blog. “One at a time, a single member with passion for a project, aligned with your association’s strategy and resources. It can be a very powerful combination.” Does your association have a system in place to hear and potentially act on good ideas from members?

Social currency: When it comes to global causes, social influence can be just as valuable as money, said Julie Dixon, deputy director of Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication, at a recent TEDxChange event in Seattle . Social media gives everyone with a computer the power of influence. Whether it’s possible for associations and others to translate influence into impact on the causes and issues they believe in depends largely on how they use their social currency. “Social media allows us to feel and empathize almost by proxy, even if the issues are away from us,” Dixon said. “There are a lot of global causes today that are playing to empty rooms. Use your influence to get people to join you in supporting those causes and fill those rooms.”

Digg it: Internet content aggregator Digg recently announced via a blog post that it will launch its own RSS feed. Digg Reader will go live June 26. Industry watchers have reported that the new feed could help fill the void left by Google Reader, which is scheduled to go dark for good July 1. Digg says its plan is to create a mobile app as well as to add IFTTT (“If This, Then That”) functionalities to its feed, enabling the reader to sync up with other social media applications. “While you’re at the beach and doing foliage cruises (or whatever people do in October), we’ll be spending the summer and fall building out a richer feature set, drawing heavily on users’ feedback, ideas, and requests,” the company writes. “But first, we want to get the basics right, starting with a clean and uncluttered design and a powerful backend infrastructure that can operate well at scale.”

What are you reading today? Let us know in the comments.


Anita Ferrer

By Anita Ferrer

Anita Ferrer is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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