At the weekend I got my copy of Rich Millington‘s new book, Buzzing Communities, through the post. It’s excellent and provides everything you need to know about building successful online communities.
Thinking seriously about community building is something that I think digital engagement efforts in government and beyond are lacking a lot of the time. In many ways, I think it is the secret sauce that will take online engagement to the next level.
One of the key parts of this is a platform-agnostic mindset. Whether your efforts at building a community work or not is unlikely going to be down to your decisions on technology (unless your decisions are really bad of course). Instead, community management is a set of skills with which you start a small community and build it up by encouraging activity, fostering conversations and meeting the needs of members.
No matter whether your chosen medium is a forum, a blog, a Facebook page or even just a Twitter feed, you can use community management techniques to foster engagement and encourage people to stay involved.
So, I thoroughly recommend Rich’s book. While you’re at it, here are some free bits he has made available too:
- A mega list of blog posts on building successful online communities
- A template community strategy
- An e-book on successful community launches (requires signup to an email list)
Rich has some good stuff – been reading his blogs for years. Is it mostly his blog content or new stuff?
And watch out for these online community killers…
so glad i found your post! i’m building a new online community to support the outreach efforts of a federal client. we have an established group of several hundred folks who participate in quarterly face-to-face meetings, but it’s going to be a challenge to build and sustain online engagement. any advice to help manage this shift?