• Forumbee User Tips: Optimizing Notifications Settings for Member Engagement

    Healthy online communities strive to keep their members engaged and actively posting. Email is one principal way to do this. Email notifications are great because they remind members about their community, keeping them connected and informed and driving them back to visit again and again. That is, of course, if you have set up the right notifications for your community type and size.

    Read more...
  • Virtual Learning and Online Community Forums

    Whether we label them virtual classrooms, online courses, or e-learning, the number of Web-based education communities is exploding. From Khan Academy, whose mission is “to provide free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere,” to Harvard University, long known for schooling a privileged few, the Web has been a boon to information and communication technology in education.Read more...

  • Simplifying Online Community Management

    As digital natives have matured and entered midlife, we have brought every facet of our lives onto the Web. Like it or not, communities of every affiliation have had to adapt to living the virtual life.

    I know an online community manager for a local chapter of an international church; we'll call her "Kathie." Like many of her counterparts in the not-for-profit world, Kathie volunteers her time, squeezing online event promotions and other postings into her busy work and family life. An evangelist in both senses of the word, Kathie’s online strategies for reaching out to prospective acolytes has greatly increased her church’s enrollment of members. While her congregation is small, it has grown rapidly since embracing the online community model. The problem is that as the virtual buzz increases and Sunday attendance grows, Kathie’s online community management tasks also increase exponentially.

     Read more...
  • How to Write Online Community Guidelines

    Once you have sorted out the legalese (Terms and Conditions), it’s time to publish your Online Community Guidelines. As discussed in our last post, Community Guidelines and Who Needs Them, guidelines are policies or best practices for your community. Community guidelines not only encompass your vision for the quality of interaction and culture to be encouraged, they can set the tone for a new community or even revitalize a community that has developed some bad habits.Read more...

  • Community Guidelines and Who Needs Them

    Real live communities need well-written laws and legal enforcement as wells as common neighborly courtesies in order to thrive. While laws and legal supports define a community's physical boundaries and bolster its sense of security, it is the unspoken rules of human engagement that attract happy residents and set a neighborhood apart.

    Virtual communities are no different; they are simply better places to hang out when the guidelines for engagement are spelled out up front. Just as we don’t want freeway speed limits and nightclub zoning in the same places where we send our children to school, likewise, it’s not a good idea to build virtual communities that are unclear about their audience, their mission and their culture.Read more...