For all who work with online communities, you should read these two exceptionally insightful blogposts from the past week:
Rachel Happe writes about encouraging respect, acceptance and patience in online communities. One challenge that many community creators and managers face is how much oversight to impose. It’s a delicate balance where you don’t want to squelch activity and yet there are certain “rules of the road” which community members need to adhere to. There’s a lot of room for exploring this topic and Rachel’s post is a great starting point.
Read The Social Organization: Respect, Acceptance, & Patience
Spike Jones at the Brains on Fire Blog has a terrific take on Ellen McGirt’s interview with Chris Hughes in Fast Company. Chris is one of the key figures behind President Obama’s innovative, grass-roots campaign. What I dig about Chris is that he understands that the technology behind online communities is important, but without people and relationships it simply becomes digital nothingness.
Spike highlights this quote from the article:
It doesn’t matter if it’s a company or a campaign; you build around commonality. If it’s real people and real communities, then it’s valuable. Otherwise it’s just playing around online.
Spike goes on to make a few points that every organization should consider: Be thoughtful in approaching social media, have a specific strategy for connecting to your audiences, aim to build deeper relationships that focus on the needs of customers, and be courageous enough to communicate transparently.
Read Brains on Fire Blog: Real People + Real Communities = Commonality