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3 Search Engine Must-Haves When Selecting Online Community Software

Written by Joshua Paul | on June 3, 2011 at 2:15 PM

Search engines are the number one way that people find information, products, and people on the web. The same is true for your organization's private social network. Search engines and their search boxes that appear in the sidebar, upper corner, or center of your header have become so easy, so ubiquitous, so mundanely there, that their high level of use by your customer or members to navigate your online community can be forgotten.

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Topics: Online Community Management

The "Chicken or the Egg" Model for Online Community Success

Written by Joshua Paul | on June 1, 2011 at 10:00 AM

In order for an online community to succeed, it must be a benefit of being a customer of your company or a member of your organization. I have written before about how you cannot create a thriving online community by just putting it out there and letting people use it if they want to. At an association, your online community is one of the central pillars of your member benefit package. If you run sales or marketing at a for-profit company, your online community of customers, employees, and partners is a strong differentiator and a major feature of how you help your customers become more successful.

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Topics: Online Community Management

Become a Better Online Community Manager This Weekend

Written by Joshua Paul | on May 27, 2011 at 8:30 AM

In the United States, we're getting ready to enjoy the Memorial Day three-day weekend. For the digital crowd, this means three warm, lazy mornings with an iPad (or laptop) in one hand and better coffee than the "office brew" in the other.

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Topics: Online Community Management

Planning an Online Community? 10 Questions for Members About Access

Written by Joshua Paul | on May 26, 2011 at 5:30 AM

Ask Members About How They Access Information at the Beginning of the Online Community Planning Process

When planning an online community for customers or members, it is important to have a firm understanding your members' online behavior and communication preferences. Understanding how your audience will access your community will help you select the software and features that are right for your organization.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement

The Real Reason Virtual Communities Matter to Nonprofits

Written by Joshua Paul | on May 24, 2011 at 9:30 AM

Not-for-profit organizations feel pressure. They feel pressure from their board. They feel pressure from their partners. They feel pressure from their staff. And they feel pressure from their mission. One of the newest and most intense pressures they feel is the pressure to use social media and social networks effectively. This pressure is so strong partly due to the speed in which ideas travel online and the number of people who get their information from online sources.

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Topics: Member Communities, Nonprofits and Charities

Positioning Your Online Community for Success

Written by Joshua Paul | on May 21, 2011 at 11:20 AM

How an Organization Positions Their Online Community Can Be The #1 Factor in Its Success or Failure

A private online community can be a tremendous driver of customer retention, revenue generation, and member/customer satisfaction. The way that your organization positions its online community for customers, or members, is one of the most important decisions in creating a viable social strategy. Why? How your online community is positioned determines how much usage it will get, the amount of value your audience sees in your organization, and how your organization is perceived as viewing community building and its customers.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Customer Communities

12 Ways Private Online Communities Make Associations More Successful

Written by Paul Schneider on May 18, 2011 at 4:08 PM

Many times we write about some of the more advanced features and practices around managing a private online community. However, many membership-based organizations are still in the investigation stage of how an online member community can help them tackle the major challenges facing associations today.

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Topics: Member Communities

Private Member Communities: Your Running Shoes in the Race for Relevance

Written by Joshua Paul | on May 12, 2011 at 10:12 AM

Do you think most nonprofit membership organizations have to make radical changes in order to survive and thrive? Based on my experience with hundreds of associations, I'd say you that many do. Luckily, there are very smart, passionate people who have committed their careers to bringing tangible solutions to the association community.

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Topics: Member Communities, Associations, Member Experience

New Mobile App Report Could Save Associations Money

Written by Joshua Paul | on May 10, 2011 at 9:21 AM

Mobile apps are hot right now. Mobile technology sessions are full and our booth is buzzing at this year's conferences. Everybody wants one. However, few fully understand the strategic and functional facets of providing a mobile app that supports the missions of associations. A recent report from Forrester provides some important clarity to association executives around the reach, usage, and cost of mobile apps.

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Topics: Associations, Online Community Software, Member Experience

How Online Community Platforms Keep Conferences Alive

Written by Joshua Paul | on May 5, 2011 at 8:30 AM

Are Organizations Without an Online  Community Platform Missing Big Opportunities When They Hold a Conference?

How do meeting planners, marketers, and association executives measure conference success - revenue, registrations, attendance? What about long-term member or customer engagement? Is your conference still successful if the thought-leadership, idea sharing, and conversations tapered off a few days after the conference and disappear almost completely after a week?

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Topics: Member Engagement

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