Innotech Fostering Online Communities

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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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