A is for Online Community Facilitation

Facilitating online communities is an essential art.

If you’ve invested in a platform and the time it takes to gather and prepare a great community, whether your innovation community project is internal or external, you need to make sure someone is keeping it bubbling along and being in touch with everything that’s happening on there.

 

A-is_for_online_facilitation

Here are my Top 5 Tips, all alliterated awesomely…

1) Acknowledge, Appreciate

Your community members are bravely putting themselves on the line by publicly posting ideas to their peers and/or strangers. Welcome new ideas, find something good to say, and make sure the community member feels appreciated and acknowledged. Same applies to comments.

2) Alerts (Follow, Subscribe and Tag)

Use all that the tech is providing to keep up with all that is going on on the platform. Follow everyone, subscribe to ideas and challenges and make sure you get the newsletter and blog update alerts. Tag (alert) other community members to get the conversation going.

3) Ask Annoying Questions!

Help to develop ideas (and conversation and engagement) by asking questions about the idea. How will it work in the real world? Who will implement it? How would you do a pilot? Ask anything that will gently test the idea, but make sure you do it in the spirit of developing the strengths of the idea. If you see flaws in the idea make sure you explain and invite others to comment.

4) Analyse Ideas

You may be the only person who reads every idea and comment – make sure you can steer the project team towards the emerging themes, popular posts and comments, and interesting outliers, posts and people.

5) Appropriate Behaviour

Make sure community members are behaving appropriately towards one another and one another’s ideas. If they are not, tell them off, and if they won’t be told, get rid of them; a happy community is more important than the feelings of the transgressor.

 

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