Topic: "Building Communities"

An Introduction to User Interface Design

User Interface Research 01

Over the past few weeks I have been given a bit of a crash course in UI/UX research. The product required qualitative testing, but before we could jump into usability it was necessary to learn the principles of Lean UI, in order to know why this was necessary.

As it was explained to me, Lean UI is an iterative process based on a cycle of build - measure - learn. The initial product that is built should be a minimum viable product (MVP), a product that consists of nothing more than what it requires to be deployed, that can be tested to measure user behaviour that will reveal usability issues which can be learned from and subsequently applied in the next building stage.

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Community Management: Stages of Community Growth

Growing Online Communities 01

There are three stages of growth of an online community: emergence, development, and establishment.

Each stage of development for a community involves its own characteristics, objectives, and activities. The members of an emerging community will not have developed habits or group rituals, often discussions must be stimulated manually by the community manager, and frequent visits to the site must be actively encouraged. The main objective is to create a sustainable critical mass of returning users by personally engaging individuals at a micro level, sending out personalised invitations, and posting interesting content.

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Online Communities: Exploring the Complex Relationship Between Online and Offline Interaction

Online Community Personas 01

A year ago I began working on a research based dissertation that explored ideas of anonymity and community on the Internet, specifically on Reddit. It was an incredibly exhausting and rewarding process in which I carried out a number of interviews with users through the Reddit messaging system. This proved problematic as many of these conversations petered out before I would have liked them to, but with the help of a handful of very passionate and patient strangers, and after a yearlong emotional rollercoaster, it finally came together.

Throughout my research I became increasingly interested in the ongoing debate between ‘traditional’ and ‘virtual’ communitarians. This is not to say that there exists two distinct schools of thought on the matter, but rather a contentious ambiguity that is perceived to represent a variety of symptoms in Western society.

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What Exactly is a Community Manager?

What is a Community Manager 01

Before coming to work in the office, I was tasked with outlining the role of the community manager, as well as comparing this role to that of those who are in charge of social media, PR, sales, marketing, and quality assurance. Fortunately, there has been a lot of debate around the exact specifications of a community manager’s role, so there was plenty of information available for me to work off of. Though the role of a community manager is definitely a collaborative one that may cross over departments from time to time, what became clear is that, while they may not always agree on what they are, community managers are fairly unanimous on what they are not. 

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10 Tips for Building Enterprise Talent Communities

Building Enterprise Talent Communities 01

I often say that BraveNewTalent is the most experienced company on what not to do in online community building. We've learned a huge amount through trial and error. I would like to share some of the lessons learned in this blog.

1) Focus on Value: Communities form around shared interest and passion - NOT job opportunities.  The rule of thumb we give is you should aim for 80% of what you share in your community to be valuable learning content rather than employment related content.  When communities are built around value, they grow.  Recruiters often still rely on "spray and praying" jobs which is the best way to kill the chances of a community.

2) Focus on Learning: BraveNewTalent has found that the best form of content to share with professional audiences is learning or professional development content.  This is what generates the value and reason to keep coming back

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