Archive

Author Archive

Is there a mystery behind engaging new members in your group?

December 24, 2014 Leave a comment

From research conducted Nonnecke, B., Andrews, D., Preece, J 2006 suggested that only 13.2 % of those questioned had no intention to post from the outset.

Historically participation levels have followed a pattern.

On Wikipedia it is suggested that participation levels will follow the 1-9-90 rule. This is based on the idea of creator, contributor and lurker.

Socious suggest its 10-20-70 whereas Community Roundtable (with full time facilitation) says it can get towards 15-30-55.

So what happens to all the rest in the middle?  What can we do as facilitators to increase participation and member engagement?

That’s what our latest online chat focused on.  How do we engage members especially the new ones?

We asked four questions to help guide the discussion.  Below is a summary of the discussion.

1.What are your key elements of your acceptance/welcome messages that help engage new members?

  • Introduction to the group
  • Introduction to the facilitators
  • Reminder to set up notification
  • Direction to key content
  • Direction to key discussions
  • Links to welcome pack
  • Link to walkthrough video

It was also noted that a large percentage of groups with low activity and low participation rates, did none of the above.

2. When and how do you follow up with new members?

  • Follow up after a certain period of time to ask if they need help (time dependant).
  • Follow up after first participation.
  • Encourage a second participation as quick as possible after the first one.

3. How do you help new members participate without feeling overwhelmed?

  • Tip from an external community was to provide a hotline number for members to contact the facilitators.
  • Include your email address in your group description.
  • Simple message reminders asking for help or input to discussions to all members.
  • Encourage people to people interaction.  Don’t hide behind FAQs.

4. How can other community members help engage new members?

  • Encourage a buddy system between members from the same or close by organisations.
  • Build a core group of members (Champions to assist new members).
  • Member referral.  And the person who referred the new member will be the buddy and introduce them to the group.

A big thank you to Ken, Melissa, Yvette and Dimple for taking part in the discussion who provided some great insights.

Where do you go for inspiration that helps you stimulate group activity?

December 19, 2014 Leave a comment

InspirationA lot of groups have periods of slow down or lull’s due to outside influences.  These can be down to a range of subjects.

This can also affect the discussions, content and activities that the facilitators have up there sleeve to stimulate activity.

Quite often, you run out of ideas or don’t know where to turn to get that spark of inspirations.

This is what our latest online chat focused on.  We asked 3 questions over an hour and this is a summary of the discussion.

Q1. What are your favourite online/ offline resources that spark ideas and content for your group?

  • Chatting with members and other facilitators to gather ideas.
  • Looking at newsletter and publication on the subject area
  • Twitter chats on the subject area
  • Influential bloggers from the subject area
  • Looking at content curated sites such as Storify and Scoop.it
  • Other online communities (e.g. LinkedIn or professional bodies)

Q2. What types of activities have been really successful in your group in regards to gaining responses, comments or likes?

  • Hotseats
  • Polls
  • Competitions (Fun and work related)
  • Forum discussion asking for advice and help
  • Forum discussion sharing experience of an activity, review or process
  • Online chats (Question based or Ask me anything)

Q3. Do you have a plan of content, discussions or activities to roll out with your group?

  • Yes, it’s regularly updated at team meetings so we have a plan of action that can be rolled out
  • Yes, starts of as ideas on a post-it and gets refined over time to allow changes and new ideas to come in depending on the members needs at that time.  Mostly based around discussions, activities and communication with the members
  • Yes, initial based around a work programme.
  • Yes, running regular activities like online chats, group messages and updating members.

Can an A-ha moment encourage member blogging?

September 9, 2014 Leave a comment

No I’m not talking about the 80’s Norwegian band.  But the moment when members of a community start to believe that you do not need to be an expert to write a blog.

A ha moment

A number of facilitators of communities that I have spoken to would love to have more member’s blogging about the subject area.  But when they speak to them, they are a little shy and do not believe they are expert enough to write a blog.

So this is a little idea that you could try out with them to show how easy it is.

There are a number of blogging styles that you will see when you start to read.

Event blogging is one of the easiest and if very common place.  You even start to see some people rushing trying to be the first to post a blog after the event. (Maybe that’s just some of the events that I go to)

Event blogging is– sharing impressions, opinions and insights from and event of seminar with others who may or may not be able to attend

So what’s the simple way to do this?  Well next time you are at an event with a number of your members of your community ask a few of them if they would like to fill in the A-ha moment.  I came across this idea at one of the Henley KM Forum but never thought to use it in this way. 

When you approach your member say that as a key member of the community we would love to capture your insights from the event so we can share with the wider community.

At the end of the event quickly take a photo of what they have written down.  And now you have a range of insights that can be shared with your members of the community.

Hopefully, a simple example like this will show your members how easy it is.  And maybe for the next event, you may even have some volunteers.

What are the tasks of facilitating an online group?

August 19, 2014 Leave a comment

We all only have a limited amount of time when it comes to facilitating our group.  From previous research the average was around 4 hours per week for some of the most active groups.  

Active a vibrant groups survey
 

And The State of Community Management report backs up that the correct types of action by the facilitator can really increase participation rate. 

SOCM

So what are those tasks that you need to do and have to do to maintain and active and thriving online group?

Well that’s why we had an Online Chat all about.

It’s been mentioned many times that as a group facilitator we have to wear many hats to get the job done.

Get Satisfaction has a great infographic called Inside the mind of a community manager to demonstrate this.

But what is the secret to balancing such a variety of activities and roles and what are our hacks for productive task management?

During the discussion we tackled three questions.   For group members you can access the full discussion here.  

Here’s a quick summary of the discussion

What does your average week look like?  Do you have a routine of facilitation tasks to manage your group?

  • Some facilitators didn’t realise that they had a routine.  Until they thought about it.
  • The routine changes slightly depending on how busy the group is
  • Tasks range from accepting and declining members, keeping an eye on conversation and helping them flow, uploading new content and creating activities for members to participate in and keeping in touch with key members and connecting with new ones.
  • Highlighted how to manage your group on 10 minutes a day.

How do you prioritise your tasks and what ones are the important ones?

  • Anything that helps members engage
  • Accepting members (you don’t them waiting at the door)
  • Responding to questions (24 hour rule) even if it’s a holding message

Do you delegate tasks to other members of the facilitation team and how do you go about it?

  • Take it in turns to respond to acceptance messages.
  • Take it in turn to send a welcome message
  • Have an agreement between the facilitation team who will do what and when so no one feels too pressured.
  • You don’t have to limit the facilitation team just to one organisation

If you are a facilitator of a group on the Knowledge Hub and would like to join our next chat you can join at https://knowledgehub.local.gov.uk/group/facilitatorscommunity

Are we designing in project failure?

August 19, 2014 Leave a comment

It has  been suggested that more and more large projects are failing and that we maybe designing in project failure by mistake.

How do we change this approach? How do we improve or innovate in projects with such a rigid project management approach?

Judy Payne discuss these issues in this great video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kraI0RAA6fA

Categories: Uncategorized

What happens when PMO’s and KM people get together?

June 9, 2014 2 comments

We all love an acronym.  So it’s always nice when you get to areas of work who love to use them together and have a chat.

I attended a joint APM SIG yesterday between the Knowledge SIG and The Project/Programme/Portfolio Management Office SIG.

Using a technique based on the World Café approach and hosted by Lindsay Scott form the PMO SIG.  Lindsay tweets at https://twitter.com/projectmgmt

We had four topics to discuss as groups.  Covering

 

  • 21st Century Joy – Old-fashioned Knowledge Management – how can we move it from the 1990s to the 21st Century?
  • Knowledge Opportunity Knocks- PMOs and Knowledge Management – what are the biggest opportunities?
  • K to the M to the PMO – Knowledge Management in the PMO – what it is and what it isn’t
  • Lessons Recorded – Lessons learnt – the BIG knowledge management myth

There was a great buzz and lots of conversation.

These are just some of the highlights that came out of the discussions

21st Century Joy

  • Little differences makes a big difference when knowledge sharing
  • How to find quality in the volume
  • KM needs to follow the organisations evolution

Knowledge Opportunity Knocks

  • New skills in content curation and knowledge marketing
  • Better to live of peoples experiences rather than peoples paper
  • Quantifying the benefits of knowledge sharing

K to the M to the PMO

  • PMO is the network, try and avoid the silos
  • A PMO’s role is to facilitate between departments
  • Disseminator of process lessons

Lessons Recorded

  • The power of positive stories (including what went wrong)
  • True learning takes time
  • Keep technology simple to help

How I used a Knowledge Marketplace and Ideas factory to generate community activities.

May 29, 2014 Leave a comment

Idea FactoryI’ve used a Knowledge Management technique called a Marketplace to help at the start of building communities in the past.

Using two simple questions.

  • What they want from the community
  • What can they offer the community

This normally helps identify the topics of interest to the group and what they already know.  Allowing you to create some quick wins and match people and the knowledge up and share this to the wider community.  Giving the group a great kick-start.

So taking this idea to a more established community I combined the marketplace exercise with an Ideas factory tool.  (A tool that allows members to vote and comment on the idea)

At the end of 2013 I sat down and asked the members of the community what they would like to do for the next 12 months.  Using the Knowledge Marketplace technique originally in a forum I asked members what they could offer and what they wanted from the community.

This resulted in a considerable number of want and offers which we then took into a wiki and started to theme them.  This gave us 9 activities to work towards from the year.  And importantly members who would like to help out.

These 9 activities where added to the Ideas factory and members were asked to vote on the priority of these activities.

We have only completed 3 activities out of the 9 so far.  But each one of these has been led by members of the community.

Two webinars sharing their experience on a particular topic and the other the creation of an editable flyer that everyone can use.

I’m looking forward to seeing how the other 6 activities come together.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 378 other followers

%d bloggers like this: