Charles Gould: How to build and sustain an online community
As part of the 2014 Creative, Digital & IT Open Studios week Brightwave and The Student Room teamed up to show how a next generation individual loves to learn, collaborate and share experiences online: something that's no more different for students than for today's workforce.
Brightwave are experts in workplace learning and their award-winning product tessello helps organisations ensure that their staff continually develop new ideas, share learning resources and collaborate.
The Student Room is the largest student community in the world - over 1.5m members - where students can discuss anything from universities, health to lifestyle and relationships.
Brightwave's CEO, Charles Gould, and The Student Room's CEO, Jason Geall, presented the following:
● The DNA of a next generation individual?
● What is an effective online community?
● What does this look like for the student population?
● Is a workplace online community any different?
● What are the barriers to sustaining an online community?
The barriers are falling:
• Access to content
• Access to experts
• Solutions to problems
• Ability to capture and share
All these are faster and easier
than ever before…
…And best done in Communities.
Social Learning Networks
• User-generated and curated resources
• Supports communities of practice /inquiry
• It’s social!
AMD reduced the time sales staff spent searching for content from
8.5 hours per week to 5.5 hours per week
Four out of five learners are willing to
share what they know with others online…
and seven out of ten are motivated by
using tools that will help them network
and learn from others.
Towards Maturity Benchmark Study 2013-14
What have we learned so far?
• Clear purpose
• Align with existing motivations
• Clear curator/community roles
• Act on registration – ask question
• Ensure fast initial response
• Remove fear of criticism
• Foster smaller groups
perceived as strength.
You lose people’s
(Let yourself roll with the
Social research shows it
takes from 3 to 18 weeks
to form a habit.
It takes social interaction
to turn a passive member
into an active participant.
only create value when
(Make people feel good.)
Six key tips:
• Build borders inside the community
• Develop habits: model desired behaviours
• Tell your story – make it everyone’s
• Promote unique, shared experiences
• Be prepared to bare your souls
• Unlock everybody’s expertise