When I was a kid in the 80′s, there were only 2 dutch tv-channels. When something cool was on, you were sure to talk about it the next day because most of the people would’ve seen it. You knew your friends watched it too! Maybe you are one of those girls that chatted on the phone with a friend about the show you watched together!
I can’t recall exactly if adding a 3th channel changed the way we talked about television the next day but I’m sure it has changed somewhere along the line up to the point where we are now.
And that is a sad thing. Remember the conversations with friends? “When they guy said xxxyyyzz…” “yeah, but I thought he said zzzyyyqqq and I had to laugh so hard!”. What’s the last time you’ve had one of those conversations?
You’ve seen this happening in your community.
The same thing happened in your community and maybe you didn’t even noticed it. When your community had only 12 members, they knew one another’s names. They read the same blogposts and read every single forum-post. They knew what someones stance was on certain topics. If someone wrote a opinionated forum-post, people were waiting for a certain person to respond. Now your community has several thousand members, very good, but do they know one another? Do they think “ooh, I can’t wait to read what Bob has to say about this”?
Television is getting better.
Maybe you’ve noticed that watching television right now can be a lot more interesting than watching your recorded copy. How come? Twitter! It is really easy to join the conversation about a show that is one right now. It’s a good reminder how big television still is if you see how fast it updates.
The thing that makes it more interesting is the feeling that someone sees the exact same thing and is yelling at the television just like you do. And that you can read this.
How to get this intimacy back?
Don’t worry, you can get some of this magic back in the community. It takes a while, but what doesn’t in community management? Their are lots of tools out there to enable live conversations. Richard Millington rightly notes chat enables you to easily deepen your communication. That might be why chat-rooms were one of the first things available on the Internet (even before website with pictures). Check out Chatzy, it is very clean, simple and don’t need you to sign-up or download anything.
You might want to pick a time and day to increase to number of people who are there at the same time.
If you’re not scared of camera’s, I recommend Livestream to interview people and broadcast live. People can comment by chat and can ask questions for example. I’m doing that every wednesday at 4 o’clock with a different guest every week.
There’s still lot to improve
Our ‘TV’ show is not where I want it to be, still the amount of people who watch it and ask questions increases. It’s hard to find a ‘perfect’ time to go live. Getting people to ask questions when you’re in the middle of an interview isn’t easy either. I’m also thinking about the way we can improve the live experience in comparison with watching it afterwards, because I as well as the guests really like a big live audience.
If you’ve got some advice, I really appreciate it!
Categories: Community, media Community, community management, conversation, intimacy, Live, Livestream, management, Richard Millington, Twitter, watching television
One of the trickiest parts of setting up a LinkedIn-group is getting enough traction within a group. Too bad you can’t force members to be active… but you can be active yourself. Creating one discussion after another is not the way to go though, it’s doing the opposite of what you think it does: it depletes the group of spontaneity. After someone is starting subject after subject, who dares standing up and initiating something as well?
But if you can’t force other people and you can’t start discussions yourself, what other options are left?
They don’t have as big a footprint as discussions do and that’s exactly what you want. The barrier to post a news-item is really low, literally just copy/paste. People can adjust some fields, but that isn’t even necessary. There’s no need to follow a news-item or responding to comments. They can, but they don’t have to. But the best part is that even if you post several news-items a day, it doesn’t feel like interrupting to someone when they post something as well. So you can go right ahead and start posting interesting articles. At least something is happening and there’s value being created in this group. Also important to know
But there’s more – RSS
Posting news-items is a feature that is greatly undervalued. Why? Because you don’t need to be logged in to LinkedIn to share news-items.
As a group manager you can access a special tab in your group called ‘Manage’. One of the options that shows up in that tab is ‘selecting news-feeds’. If you want to automatically post items that you or other people write on a (group-)weblog enter the RSS-feed of that weblog inhere. When a blogpost is posted a an hour ago or so it shows up at ‘news’ in your LinkedIn-group. Especially with the new look of Linkedin with Discussions and News mixed in with eachother is really valuable.
Still a little bit more – Shared items
If you read your daily news mainly via Google Reader, and I suggest you do, you can share interesting articles by just clicking ‘share’ when you read it. The webpage where these items are posted to are something along the lines of www.google.com/reader/user/name . Check your sharing settings to be sure of that page. That page has an RSS-feed. And you know what to do with RSS feeds and LinkedIn by now. So even when you are checking Google Reader on your mobile while waiting for the menu in a restaurant it is really easy to share items which get syndicated to LinkedIn.
Social Media is all about engaging with your (potential) crowd, I’m going to show one very good way to engage with people who join your LinkedIn-group.
On your website you create useful content and whenever somebody finishes consuming it, you want to be as helpful as you can be to get him/her to read more of your content. Actually, when somebody clicks to the next article or to any other feature on your site, you want to whisper in his ear: “Yes, very good choice. Keep going”. Of course this might annoying every mouse-click but is essentially what you’re doing with good (interaction) design. Every time the user clicks he gets either satisfied, surprised or disappointed.
The moment you’ve been waiting for
I’m working a lot with LinkedIn lately and I even after a few weeks of heavy usage I still find out ways to really take LinkedIn to the next level. One of the most striking examples are automatic responses to activity in a group you are manager of. This is exactly the “Yes, very good choice. Keep going”-moment you’ve been waiting for. The person who joins actually expects a response and you can easily satisfy him by the default “Congratulations! You have been approved to join the group xxxx” or you can write something yourself. Something way better. Something that might trigger a newborn member to participate.
How do you do this?
You need to go to the group you are manager of and select the Manage-tab
After clicking on that tab you see a menu on the right-hand side, click on ‘Manage Templates’.
There are 4 templates, from which the ‘Welcome Message’ is the most important by far.
Click on and get creative with the message you want you newly joined group-member to read.
You can figure out the message I created by becoming member of the ‘NGN’ group on LinkedIn.
What hidden features have you found on LinkedIn?
Only a bit more than a month ago I finished my masterthesis on Online Participation which got rewarded with a 7,5/10 (which is just below ‘good’). I studied ‘New media and digital culture‘ at the Utrecht University (The Netherlands). I attached my thesis below, for you to read