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How Cross-Posting Discussions in Your Online Community Decreases Engagement

Written by Joshua Paul | on October 30, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Creating an online customer or member community is a serious endeavor. It takes dedicated people, time, and ongoing processes. Since there are so many facets of building a sustainable online community, we can overlook simple processes that can help or hurt our ability to keep customers or members engaged.

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Topics: Online Community Management

The Case for Gamification in Online Communities

Written by Andy Steggles | on October 28, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Earlier this week, friend and association community management consultant Ben Martin wrote a blog making the case against gamification as a feature of online communities. He argued that gamification encourages people to participate in online communities for the wrong reasons - reward and/or recognition - and that it can negatively impact the quality of posts.

Also that gamification can lead to resentment among community members, when only a select few have badges or high point scores while others who contribute quality content go unrecognized. Coincidentally, a discussion of this same topic popped up on HUG this week as well, and the majority of the comments echo my thoughts about gamification: namely, that it's a beneficial element of online communities.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement

6 Steps to Creating a Content Curation Program for Your Online Customer Community (Part 2)

Written by Joshua Paul | on October 16, 2013 at 8:29 AM

One of the central characteristics of thriving online member or customer communities is that the organizations behind these communities position the communities at the center of an industry or business ecosystem. They find a niche and people who care about those values or market, then create a community around it.

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Topics: Customer Communities

SharePoint's "Cloud" of Discontent - Why Companies are Looking at Alternatives

Written by Andy Steggles | on October 11, 2013 at 9:00 AM

I recently read this article that poses the question, "Should Microsoft kill SharePoint?" I personally think the answer is yes. My experience with Sharepoint is just one example of why.

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Topics: Community Platforms & Updates, Customer Experience

How to Use Curated Content in Your Private Online Community (Part 1)

Written by Joshua Paul | on October 9, 2013 at 8:57 AM

We're all content curators. If you've ever shared an article on Facebook, retweeted a link on Twitter or gathered information around a specific theme, you've curated content.

When you consistently share content across your personal networks, you become a hub of information. Friends and family may turn to you for news and updates of a specific topic, often before they consult traditional news sources.

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Topics: Online Community Management

Want More Participation in Your Private Online Community? Blogs May Be Your Answer [Infographic]

Written by Joshua Paul | on October 3, 2013 at 10:30 AM

In the first half of this two-part series on blogs in online communities, we discussed the reasons why your online customer or member community should include blogs.

Along with providing an uncomplicated way to help your business or membership organization provide exclusive value to your target audiences, the inherent social-ness of blogs promotes comments and participation in your online community.

The importance of blogs in customer or member communities is illustrated in the following infographic, as well as actionable tips for getting started.

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Topics: Communications, Online Community Management, Engagement

Why Your Online Community Should Include Blogs (Part 1 of 2)

Written by Joshua Paul | on September 25, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Think about the role that you want your online community to play in the lives of your customers, members, or partners.

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Topics: Online Community Management

Online Community Engagement - What is Success?

Written by Andy Steggles | on September 23, 2013 at 10:00 AM

How do you define success?

When most organizations try to measure success with regard to their online communities, they usually do so with an eye to specific KPIs that they've determined to be important to their particular org, rather than in comparison to other companies. I think this way of measuring success is more accurate and shows that success in online communities is not one-size-fits-all, but rather something an individual organization determines and works toward.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Customer Engagement, Member Engagement

Creating an Association Online Community that Members Will Use

Written by Joshua Paul | on September 16, 2013 at 8:30 AM

At a recent conference for association executives, I overhead the following conversation between two colleagues:

"We're planning an online community for our members"

"Then, we're going to need to have a social media strategy expert on staff."

"Why?"

"The people who manage our member benefits and keep our community engaged today couldn't possibly do it online". Never mind, I realize how silly that sounds when I say it out loud."

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Topics: Member Communities, Associations, Online Community Software

#1 Key to Successful Communities: Keep it Simple

Written by Andy Steggles | on September 13, 2013 at 9:00 AM

I've been doing a lot of simplifying in my life recently, and I've noticed the trend carrying over to the work I do with online communities. For example, I was recently reviewing a community site, which had the standard nav structure many out-of-the-box communities have. There were seven top level nav items with twelve items under the community area of the nav alone - arguably the most important area. It looked something like this:

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Topics: Online Community Management

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