Membership

Tuesday Buzz: Reward Your Community the Right Way

How to ensure your online community benefits from the rewards you offer your members. Also: Twitter expands the definition of 140 characters.

Your community won’t thrive if there aren’t active members doing their thing in the community. In fact, those members are the cornerstone of your platform.

Which is why you should reward your community.

Over at CMS Wire, Carrie Melissa Jones, COO and founding partner of CMX, breaks down exactly how important it is to offer rewards to your users. And those rewards—often extrinsic, such as badges, stickers, or T-shirts—have to be handed out carefully.

“They can without doubt motivate members to take action, but they are not infinitely scalable,” Jones writes in her post. “When managers use extrinsic rewards as a crutch to kickstart communities, this causes problems in community building and often leads to stagnation and dead ends.”

Instead, Jones recommends handing out such rewards as a way to emphasize users’ social identity with the group rather than force them into conducting certain kinds of activities.

(She also notes that intrinsic rewards, which don’t come with any kind of swag and are more along the lines of professional notice or the good feelings that come with helping others, are important to focus on.)

Check out Jones’ post for more tips on how to reward your community.

You Now Have More Room

Good news for Twitter users: If you post something with an image, a video, or some other form of rich content, it no longer counts against the 140-character total. (Additionally, if you reply to multiple people, it won’t count against your total, either.) Here’s more details on what that means for you from The Verge.

Other Links of Note

Share your skills: In a guest post at VolunteerMatch’s blog, Kate-Leigh Corder of the Society of Professional Journalists breaks down the benefits of volunteering your skills to organizations.

Useful tool of the day: The American Press Institute tips us off to Ask, a product of the Mozilla Foundation’s Coral Project that’s designed to take reader submissions. Nieman Lab has the full scoop.

Use Google Drive? You might appreciate the boost in search functionality the company has added to the cloud tool.

(iStock/Thinkstock)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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