Fostering Online
 Communities
 Lessons from Open Source
and Grassroots Development

   Tara Hunt & Chris Messina
         ...
the agenda

            who are we?
1. what is community?
2. fostering a sense of community
3. the process
             qu...
who are we?


    Tara Hunt      Chris Messina
horsepigcow.com   factoryjoe.com
~1~
What is community?
community


Community can include the dimensions
 of geographic location, psychological
  ties and/or people working toget...
virtual community

A virtual space supported by computer-based
    information technology, centered upon
communication and...
characteristics of a
virtual community
•   personal homepage/profile
    (ie. url.com/people/missrogue)

•   personal cont...
succession


                       community
visitor     customer
                        member
benefits of community
 •   heightened customer loyalty

 •   self-policing

 •   amplified word of mouth

 •   better feed...
~2~
Fostering a Sense of
    Community
motivation
"What keeps them logging in as a regular
 part of their routine? Because there is a
  benefit to the person tha...
sense of community

1. Feelings of membership
2. Feelings of influence
3. Integration and fulfillment of needs
4. Shared e...
feelings of membership
   •   arise from the creation of
       community boundaries
   •   perception of emotional safety...
feelings of membership
 •   includes: personal profile pages,
     'friending', defining groups within the
     larger gro...
feelings of influence
•   being able to influence group (voice
    heard)
•   being able to be influenced by group
    (le...
feelings of influence

•   includes: forums, chat, comments,
    blogging, personalized mail, groups
•   create many ways ...
Flickr Groups
Facebook Groups
integration and
fulfillment of needs
•   feeling of being supported by others
•   rewards of being a member, such as
    s...
integration and
fulfillment of needs

•   includes: status rewards, featuring
    members, vips, karma points, etc.
•   'i...
Spread Firefox
Last.fm
karma


         hot list

         3%!




plazes
shared emotional
        connection
•   relationships, shared history & experience
•   high quality, frequent interaction
...
shared emotional
       connection

•   can't be created, but shared experiences
    with members can help (continual, dee...
Ma.gnolia Thanks
~3~
The Process
the process
• identifying your     • infrastructure for
  passion                dialogue (onsite)

• getting into the    ...
identifying your passion

  • asking yourself: why am I doing this?
  • am I solving a need? an issue?
   do I understand ...
getting into the trenches
   • exploring the environment
   • documenting current tools, existing
    behaviors, etc.
   •...
infrastructure (offsite)

  • offsite communications tools are
    even more important than onsite
  • Flickr groups
  • T...
infrastructure (onsite)
 • Blog/blogroll   • wikis
 • member-to-      • feeds
  member mail
                   • invitatio...
communications
• have a publicity policy
• transparency
• blog like you mean it
• using a human voice for site language
• ...
product
• transmogrification
• defensive design
• vision
• knowing when to listen to
 feedback and when to say,
 “thanks b...
partnerships
& co-opetition
• affiliations to benefit users
• microchunking
• apis
• mirroring/supporting
  competitive ap...
INreach
• rewarding your members
• vip programs
• promotions
• events
questions?
        Tara Hunt
 tara@citizenagency.com
       415.694.1951
    skype: tarahunt747

       Chris Messina
 chr...
Innotech Fostering Online Communities
Innotech Fostering Online Communities
Innotech Fostering Online Communities
Innotech Fostering Online Communities
Innotech Fostering Online Communities
Innotech Fostering Online Communities
Innotech Fostering Online Communities
Innotech Fostering Online Communities
Innotech Fostering Online Communities
Innotech Fostering Online Communities
Innotech Fostering Online Communities
Innotech Fostering Online Communities
Innotech Fostering Online Communities
Innotech Fostering Online Communities
Innotech Fostering Online Communities
Innotech Fostering Online Communities
Innotech Fostering Online Communities
Innotech Fostering Online Communities
Innotech Fostering Online Communities
Innotech Fostering Online Communities
Innotech Fostering Online Communities
Innotech Fostering Online Communities
Innotech Fostering Online Communities
Innotech Fostering Online Communities
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Innotech Fostering Online Communities

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These are the slides to the presentation we gave at Innotech in Portland on April 26, 2007.

Published in: Economy & Finance, Technology
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  • Nice presentation. I think that Yelp is really instructive in terms of community. It does a really good job of integrating the online and offline community (via Yelp Elite). Great job!
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Innotech Fostering Online Communities

  1. 1. Fostering Online Communities Lessons from Open Source and Grassroots Development Tara Hunt & Chris Messina Citizen Agency
  2. 2. the agenda who are we? 1. what is community? 2. fostering a sense of community 3. the process questions?
  3. 3. who are we? Tara Hunt Chris Messina horsepigcow.com factoryjoe.com
  4. 4. ~1~ What is community?
  5. 5. community Community can include the dimensions of geographic location, psychological ties and/or people working together toward a common goal.
  6. 6. virtual community A virtual space supported by computer-based information technology, centered upon communication and interaction of participants to generate member-driven content, resulting in relationships being built up. — Lee & Vogel, 2003
  7. 7. characteristics of a virtual community • personal homepage/profile (ie. url.com/people/missrogue) • personal content creation • ability to interact with others’ content • ability to ‘friend’ and share content
  8. 8. succession community visitor customer member
  9. 9. benefits of community • heightened customer loyalty • self-policing • amplified word of mouth • better feedback • stronger & more personal filters on content
  10. 10. ~2~ Fostering a Sense of Community
  11. 11. motivation "What keeps them logging in as a regular part of their routine? Because there is a benefit to the person that makes a real difference in their lives....if it helps you find your next job, or connects you with a new friend, or fulfills that need to have good conversation with a bunch of bright people, then it becomes a real bargain." — John Coate, “Cyberspace Innkeeping: Building Online Community, 1993”
  12. 12. sense of community 1. Feelings of membership 2. Feelings of influence 3. Integration and fulfillment of needs 4. Shared emotional connection — McMillan and Chavis, 1986
  13. 13. feelings of membership • arise from the creation of community boundaries • perception of emotional safety • sense of belonging to and identification with • use of common symbols, language, etc.
  14. 14. feelings of membership • includes: personal profile pages, 'friending', defining groups within the larger group (groups), invitations to groups • allow for lots of personal & group expression • greet new members and introduce them to others with similar interests
  15. 15. feelings of influence • being able to influence group (voice heard) • being able to be influenced by group (learning) • feedback responsiveness • rule enforcement and creation by members • maintenance of norms within the group
  16. 16. feelings of influence • includes: forums, chat, comments, blogging, personalized mail, groups • create many ways in which members can connect and platforms for expression
  17. 17. Flickr Groups
  18. 18. Facebook Groups
  19. 19. integration and fulfillment of needs • feeling of being supported by others • rewards of being a member, such as status, expertise • shared values • feeling of competence within group
  20. 20. integration and fulfillment of needs • includes: status rewards, featuring members, vips, karma points, etc. • 'in crowd' knowledge - acorns, tricks, traditions & rituals
  21. 21. Spread Firefox
  22. 22. Last.fm
  23. 23. karma hot list 3%! plazes
  24. 24. shared emotional connection • relationships, shared history & experience • high quality, frequent interaction • discrete/shared events/history and crisis • personal investment of time and resources • the effect of honor and humiliation • spiritual bonds
  25. 25. shared emotional connection • can't be created, but shared experiences with members can help (continual, deep interaction with community) • offline meetups, celebrations and developer days help
  26. 26. Ma.gnolia Thanks
  27. 27. ~3~ The Process
  28. 28. the process • identifying your • infrastructure for passion dialogue (onsite) • getting into the • communications trenches • content • partnerships & • infrastructure for co-opetition dialogue (offsite) • INreach
  29. 29. identifying your passion • asking yourself: why am I doing this? • am I solving a need? an issue? do I understand this itch? • why would people (seriously) give a darn?
  30. 30. getting into the trenches • exploring the environment • documenting current tools, existing behaviors, etc. • becoming part of the communities • finding out who is doing things in this area (experts, blogs) • learning from passionate people
  31. 31. infrastructure (offsite) • offsite communications tools are even more important than onsite • Flickr groups • Tags • Google groups • irc/Campfire, etc.
  32. 32. infrastructure (onsite) • Blog/blogroll • wikis • member-to- • feeds member mail • invitations • group chats • notifications • forums • avatars • comments • customization • favorites • contact/help
  33. 33. communications • have a publicity policy • transparency • blog like you mean it • using a human voice for site language • get involved in the conversations • party host
  34. 34. product • transmogrification • defensive design • vision • knowing when to listen to feedback and when to say, “thanks but no thanks” • KISS
  35. 35. partnerships & co-opetition • affiliations to benefit users • microchunking • apis • mirroring/supporting competitive apis • open standards
  36. 36. INreach • rewarding your members • vip programs • promotions • events
  37. 37. questions? Tara Hunt tara@citizenagency.com 415.694.1951 skype: tarahunt747 Chris Messina chris@citizenagency.com 412.225.1051 skype: factoryjoe www.citizenagency.com
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