For all the creators of groups on GovLoop, here is a special forum to share ideas and best practices.
Spring Clean-Up in GovLoop Groups! Bring Your Big Ol' Trash Bags...
April 13, 2010 at 4:28 pm #97500
I just shared some thoughts on GovLoop Groups over in a conversation that Sterling Whitehead started about setting up a separate group...thought it would be perfect to get some reaction from the leaders in this group:1. Philosophical: With more groups, we're finding a few things happen:
(a) Conversations get diluted. People are asking common questions and having similar conversations in different places. There may be 120 people on the site interested in the same topics, but they are spread out - 40 here, 50 there, 30 in another location.
(b) People are cross-linking across similar groups. Since these conversations are happening in multiple places, members feel the need to cross-post to multiple groups to ensure replication and sharing of content, including event announcements, white papers, etc. The upshot of that practice is that people who belong to all of the groups are getting their email boxes filled with links to the exact same content...which diminishes the power of that notification and/or causes people to default to delete vs. checking the groups and engaging.
2. Practical: For the reasons above, we've pulled the 700+ groups into a spreadsheet and are taking a really close look at them with an eye toward:
(a) Consolidation - We're in the process of asking similar groups to join together so that more people can derive maximum benefit from interaction/engagement.
(b) Closing - Once the groups merge into one, we dissolve the other ones. We're most likely going to reach out to the Creators of inactive or never active groups and see if they want to continue to give energy to them. If not, we'll ask for new moderators to step up or dissolve those groups, too, capturing the content somewhere (GovLoop wiki?) so that it's not lost completely.
(c) Consultation - As people talk about forming new groups, I am quickly contacting them to think through alternatives/ways to blossom right where they are planted or using other hacks to grow on GovLoop.
What do you think about these thoughts and our current efforts?
April 13, 2010 at 4:45 pm #97516
In regards to (c) Consultation, will the ability to create new groups on your own (w/o consultation) still exist or will that permission have to be given? I see that the link is still there to add a group currently. With 700+ groups, it might be wise to not make that option readily available.
I think what you propose as far as closing and consolidation is a good approach.
April 13, 2010 at 4:55 pm #97514
I have a group I created that i sname "Amanda's personal favorites". I created this group, because unlike on other websites, there is no way to pull and drop, well.. "your favorites" into an area easily used. I would like to keep something like that (even though I have not used it), or have another option to keep links and information that is important to me, but not all that important to others.
For example; on the other social network I use, there is a TAB for links, and notes. I can edit these as other as I want and add stuff as often as I want. But, there is nothing here that works like that, except for creating a private group.
Any ideas or thoughts on how we could do this?
April 13, 2010 at 5:21 pm #97512
I've been thinking the same thing about my groups and wondering if I could cluster them. All of them are about practical, fundamental tools or questions, needed to successfully implement social media and other programs within systems. Not only do I think they are related, all pieces of a whole picture, but I think I share many members with similar interests between my groups.
Clustering my groups would free up my time to do a better job at facilitating common themes and topics. I'm not sure how to do it, if my members would like it, but I think we would get a lot more done. I've been wanting to work on a "real" situation which would involve the different aspects of each of my groups focus. Anyway, if your great minds have some ways to pull this off, I would be interested.
April 13, 2010 at 6:27 pm #97510
Andy, I think this idea is well timed and that lots of people will appreciate it. Since you are taking the time to document and consolidate the groups, you might also take advantage of an opportunity to get another bird with this stone.
Right now, if I want to find out what groups address a particular topic on the site, I can try by key word (not very sensitive) or I can search by 4 categories ("Most active", "latest activity," "most members" and "latest"). None of these is very helpful. By contrast, the GovLoop's discussion forums have been nicely put into a series searchable categories. It would be a great help to set up something similar for the Groups. Part of the reason for the duplication of groups may be the lack of a good search tool to let people know what groups already exist before starting their own.
April 13, 2010 at 6:36 pm #97508
Sounds GREAT! Sure would make my life a whole lot easier when I post a discussion/comment and then spend the next ??? minutes cross-posting said information, although there will be some groups which would seem that a significant amount of the traffic could be merged into one group (ROWE & Telework come to mind) but suspect that both of them have a different enough audience that some of one or the other group members might want to bail therefore losing some amount of the natural energy from the group.
As I THINK Andrea asks, is there a way to make sub-groups/cluster different groups?
Will the spread sheet include number of members?
Will the spread sheet include date of last activity?
Would you be interested in sharing the spread sheet?
April 13, 2010 at 6:52 pm #97506
Amanda, my approach to that would have been to create a blog or discussion called My Favorite Links
April 17, 2010 at 2:31 pm #97504
I think group consolidation is a good idea and would be useful for all.
April 17, 2010 at 7:12 pm #97502
To consolidate like groups, I would take a light and fair approach. I started a group for the Federal Wave participants called, Federal Wave on GovLoop, but noticed a general group called Gov20 Wave Riders. I decided to reach out to that group leader by: 1) joining his group, 2) inviting him to contribute to my group as an "expert"- respecting his knowledge and established group; 3) making him an admin in my group...making him equal to me.
These tactics seem to be working well between our groups. If you were to ask one of us to close our group, we can now transfer all of the members of both to the one, without much pain or resistance.
Just a thought 🙂
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