Published by Angus on 15 Apr 2009 at 11:08 am
Communities thrive based on trusted relationships between members. Too often online communities rely on a ‘low touch’ communication channels which don’t provide for building much trust. The key is to get the mix right – combining less frequent trust building opportunities like face to face meetings, with lower cost relationship maintenance channels, like wikis, to get the work done in between. Here are some simple steps to make sure your communication tools are the right ones for your community.
Adapted from: Christian Renaud, Technology Intelligence Group
1. Write a list of your current communication channels – Include all your online and offline interactions even if they are less frequent. Plot them on a two by two matrix like the one above.
2. Review your channels - How many high touch interactions are you facilitating, how many low touch ones? Remember the goal isn’t to have all of one type or the other. For example, a group of people working across the world would be very ineffective if it only did ‘work’ during face to face meetings held once a year.
3. Learn about your options – If you are not familiar with terms used above you can review this page of Wikipedia links for more information. In addition, Ben Rigby’s book ‘Mobilizing Generation 2.0′ is a great resource for people looking for a practical guide to using web 2.0 tools.
4. Tweak the mix - Depending on your purpose, the mix may look different. For example, for online communities, adding more opportunities for group interactions held at a single time and place is very valuable. For starters make use of free teleconferencing services like FreeConference.com, combine that with Webex to interact over content, and look for opportunities to hold pre or post meeting gatherings around major conferences that your members typically attend. For offline communities tweaking the mix usually means adding more opportunities for interaction in the time between face to face meetings – like online groups with wikis, chat or ListServs.
|If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.|
5 Responses to “Do you have the right balance of online/onlife communications?”
Leave a Reply