Membership

Daily Buzz: The Value of Online Communities

By / Jun 10, 2019 (dem10/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Research highlights how communities benefit organizations—and how leaders can provide better support. Also: why it’s worth your time to do a short weekly self-evaluation.

Online communities are great for connecting members with each other and their association, but according to this year’s State of Community Management report from Community Roundtable, they do more than spark engagement. Marjorie Anderson from Community by Association highlights three major trends from the research:

Communities empower their members. “According to the research, members are empowered frequently or all of the time through mechanisms built into the foundational workings of an online community,” she says. “This level of empowerment is integral to ensuring that association members stay engaged, whether it’s at a live event, a chapter meeting, during their volunteer term, or any other way they choose to get themselves involved.”

Communities transform organizations. The reach of online communities extends beyond community members. “Online communities are touching multiple parts of organizations and helping to drive work forward, helping to make those organizations more successful,” Anderson says. “Community strategy and tactics don’t just benefit those who are active in the online community. They enable work at a faster pace, delivering just as much (if not more) value across lines of business.”

Community leadership is unevenly distributed. Community managers are often expected to wear many hats, which can leave them spread thin across a diverse workload. “We do a really great job of communicating the value of our communities in community terms; however, language needs to shift in order to get the attention of executives to secure resources and ample budget,” she says.

TAKE TIME FOR Mini Self-Evals

Ah, performance reviews. The formal ones typically happen only once or twice a year, but the Career Contessa team makes a case for a weekly self-evaluation—even if it takes just five minutes.

“By implementing a weekly self-evaluation, you are keeping an important paper trail of your own habits, strengths, weaknesses, and—let’s face it—your own workplace superpowers,” they say in an article on Fast Company.

The team suggests spending 60 seconds on each of these five tasks: highlighting your wins, pinpointing your losses, noting where you could have done better, creating goals for the next week, and summarizing it all in one sentence.

“Maybe some of this sounds pretty obvious. Sure, we agree,” they say. “But, just like anything, it’s helpful to implement healthy habits around recognition and cognizance at work.”

Other Links of Note

Experiencing heavy web traffic? Make sure it’s from your target audience with these tips from the Web Scribble blog.

Meeting experiences can drive engagementbut if they lack purpose, your efforts will fall flat, from the Marketo blog.

A trove of tax info. ProPublica released an update to its Nonprofit Explorer database that allows anyone to search nearly 3 million electronically filed nonprofit tax records.

Sophia Conforti

Sophia Conforti is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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