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10 Questions to Ask Members Before Launching an Online Community

Written by Paul Schneider on March 29, 2011 at 10:41 AM

What Can Your Online Member Engagement Strategy Learn from a Jury Trial?

I was recently selected for jury duty. It was for a civil case where a man went into a bar, drank too much, and hit a lady after leaving in his car. No one was killed, but the lady was hurt in the car. I was not chosen to sit on the jury, but I did make it all the way through the jury selection process.

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Topics: Member Communities

8 Signs You Have Outgrown Your Online Community Platform

Written by Paul Schneider on March 22, 2011 at 8:30 AM

You know when a child turns 18, it is time to start taking life more seriously. When a caterpillar spins a cocoon, you know that a major change is at hand-but how do you know when your online member community needs an upgrade?

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Topics: Community Platforms & Updates, Associations

Online Community SmackDown: Forums vs. Listservs

Written by Paul Schneider on March 15, 2011 at 8:11 AM

When Associations Have to Choose, It's Their Members That Lose.

There has been a debate brewing for several years over whether forums or listserv are more effective in engaging members of an association. In the past, the discussion has even been framed as listservs vs. private member communities. However, this is not an accurate way to help associations make member engagement technology decisions. Online community software designed for mid-sized and large associations should have both forum and listserv functionality built-in to allow organizations to engage members in their private community using the methods that their members are most comfortable with.

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Topics: Associations, Online Community Software

5 Things Software User Groups Need to Know About Online Communities

Written by Paul Schneider on March 8, 2011 at 10:39 AM

Like their association counterparts, user groups are looking to online communities to grow their organization, take some membership management tasks off the shoulders of volunteers, and give their members the online tools they need to engage with other members and the organization.

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Topics: User Group Communities

How Your Online Community Can Make Your Conference a Success

Written by Paul Schneider on March 3, 2011 at 8:54 AM

With conference attendance down in recent years, many groups have looked at their online community as a means of carrying through the networking and educational benefits that members used to enjoy from their conference. This has resulted in groups looking at the online community and the event as two separate entities.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Associations

4 Membership Marketing Tips From 'The Social Network'

Written by Joshua Paul | on March 1, 2011 at 10:55 AM

While the push to increase non-dues revenue continues, membership dues are the life blood of most associations and user groups. Membership marketing plays a critical role in keeping that blood pumping.

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Topics: Member Communities

How to Engage Members Using Your Member Database

Written by Joshua Paul | on February 24, 2011 at 8:30 AM

This was the second slide in a presentation led by DelCor and designDATA during last year's ASAE annual meeting entitled, "Selecting an AMS/CRM - Audience Shootout for Medium to Large Associations". While later in the presentation, they laid out why this is not the case, it was an acknowledgement that large and mid-sized associations want more from their member database software.

In the session, the expert panel of association executives also confirmed that larger associations don't want association management systems that can run every aspect of their organization. They recognize that this leads to one company doing a lot of things fairly instead of doing a few things really well. More often than not, larger associations are looking to integrate best-of-breed systems in each area with their member database.

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Topics: Member Engagement

5 Common Pitfalls to Avoid When Launching an Online Community

Written by Joshua Paul | on February 22, 2011 at 10:14 AM

Launching an online community is the most critical phase of implementing an online community for your association, nonprofit, or user group.  It’s the first chance you have to show your members what you have been working on and have them see the value of your new online community. If you don’t take time to think through the launch phase, you could find yourself scrambling to think of a back-up plan. 

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Topics: Online Community Software

3 Decisions That Can Make or Break Your Online Community

Written by Joshua Paul | on February 21, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Responding to Maggie McGary's online community post on SocialFishing got me thinking about the foundation that associations and other membership organizations need in order to launch and maintain a successful online member community.

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Topics: Member Communities

Why Women Prefer Online Communities to Social Networking Sites

Written by Joshua Paul | on February 17, 2011 at 10:30 AM

Only recently have organizations begun to optimize how they use public social networking websites and online communities to fit their member's online preferences.

Both online communities, where the data is owned by the organization proving the community, and public social networks, like Facebook and LinkedIn where the data is owned by the social networking site, have a role in member engagement. Simply tailoring your member engagement strategy to the way different segments operate online (i.e. men vs. women or new members vs. longtime members) can significantly help your organization engage, mobilize, and retain members.

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Topics: Member Communities, Associations, Member Experience

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