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Andy Steggles' Blog

Higher Logic Blog

Association execs often mistakenly think that private communities are nothing but smaller-scale, social networking sites. That’s why I loved Ernie Smith’s article In Defense of the Insular Social Network on Associations Now last week. The article talks about Virtual Management, Inc’s recent study, the 2013 Association Operations Survey, As Ernie points out, the study did something interesting: in surveying respondents about their use of “social media sites,” it lumps together public social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn with private community platforms including Higher Logic, Jive and others. While I was admittedly happy to see Higher Logic used by the highest number of respondents, I couldn't help but wonder why the private community platforms were lumped with the public social networking sites?

Engagement. It’s the holy grail in community management, but figuring out what content will strike a chord – especially with new community members – can be challenging. One of the best and most simple ways to encourage new members to participate in your conversations is to make them feel welcomed. It’s a basic rule of engagement, but one that we often overlook.

One community that has had huge success in new member engagement is the Professional Photographers of America. Read more about how Lindsay Starke, online community coordinator for the organization, created a thread in her community’s main forum specifically for new members.

Read More…

I recently read this TechCrunch article about what motivates technology users to become loyal users of any one platform in today’s sea of software platforms. The article offers the following three tips to anyone building an online community: rewards (the right rewards), frequency and the importance of building a community of peers whose opinion we care about. The article frames these tips around Biz Stone’s new startup, Jelly, but I think these tips are all equally applicable to organizations building private online communities.

The Right Rewards

I've written before about gamification--and even shamification


                                                               Higher Logic is launching year two of our Quality Improvement Program survey.     Once you receive the annual survey, we would greatly appreciate it if you could take three minutes to share your feedback on your experience with Higher Logic. By sharing your candid thoughts, it helps us create an action plan to drive customer- centric change, set the roadmap on product development, establish organizational priorities and focal points, and help improve processes to provide an unparalleled customer experience. 

A few weeks ago, Joe Rominiecki wrote a good article that addressed the fallacy that higher member engagement leads to higher renewal rates. Instead, he points to Sheri Jacob’s new book that asserts that it’s actually member satisfaction rather than member engagement that drives renewals. I absolutely agree with Sheri but there is one fundamental flaw with Joe's article: The assumption that the act of consuming content is not an act of engagement. Consumers of content (or "lurkers" as we like to call them) are engaged, it's just a different type of engagement.

Of course when I read the article, it reminded me of the debate about whether lurkers provide value


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