Wednesday Buzz: Chat With Your Coworkers, Anonymously

The privacy-minded social network Secret wants to bring its approach to the workplace. Also: why you should go all-in on your first-year member-conversion efforts.

Psst … can you keep a secret?

Of course not, especially in an office. Too often, there’s a back channel of Google Hangouts, emails, Facebook posts, iChat windows, and tweets that set the tone for how people really feel at work.

Anonymity-focused social network Secret wants to own that back channel. The company, which has drawn attention for its role in Silicon Valley’s rumor mill, appears ready to bring that approach to companies big and small with the launch of its new Secret Dens platform. Secret works because it identifies people with symbols, not faces. You don’t know who’s talking—you just know whether the person is a friend, a friend of a friend, or a stranger who’s posted something popular.

Clearly, that feature can be used for good or evil, and opinions are mixed on Secret’s virtues and vices. The anonymity can get people to open up—or can give them the freedom to rip on their coworkers.

“The magic of Secret was created by applying anonymity to your network,” the company states in a Medium post. “This combination creates genuine conversations that you wouldn’t have anywhere else online, and the result has inspired us to let you bring this experience to more of your networks, beyond only people in your contacts.”

Much like the social network itself, Secret Dens is starting small, with only a few companies thus far. If this approach appeals to you, hop onto Medium to find out how you can get an invite.

If not, there’s always the chat box in Gmail.

The First Year Matters

Want your members to stick around? Make sure you give them the care they need early on—or you might lose them come renewal time. That’s according to Silverbear, a membership services provider, which recommends that associations “focus on the first year” in their member communication strategies.

“It’s been well documented that if you can keep a member for more than a year, then the chances of subsequent renewals increase … . This is why the first year is called the ‘conversion year,'” the company writes. “Tailor your communication to target these new members specifically and make sure they’re as engaged with your organization as possible.”

Read more tips on member retention over this way. (ht @SilverbearLtd)

Other good reads

If you run a charitable nonprofit and you need cloud storage services, you may want to take a good, hard look at Box’s new program targeting organizations like yours. SocialFish has more.‘s Jeff Haden says there’s a line of conversation that points out a superstar interview candidate. It involves a little reverse psychology.

Nonprofit communications expert Kivi Leroux Miller says donor surveys are valuable—but there are a few questions you should definitely avoid.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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