Ideas on Handling Large Groups, or why you may not want them.

B Butler found* that large, active, groups were able to attract more members. However, they also lost more.  While more activity helped retain members, it was not as powerful as group size.

For a Community manager, my takeaways were:

  • Spend your energy not in helping large groups communicate but breaking them down to smaller sizes.
  • If you are looking to have a large churn of members, then you want to go big. A more long term membership would stay small.

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Five ways to get replies to your posts.

What sorts of posts elicit replies?

1. Not being a newcomer.
2. Post on topic.
3. Use first person, I, and convey what you are thinking and feeling.
4. Ask a question.
5. Use simple language.

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Members, Benefits, Sustaining, and Getting Work Done

When Dr. Brian Butler, et al, surveyed about 3000 listserv members  about who does what work in a community, their found they correlate to the benefits individuals get from the community.  This knowledge can be a big help to Community Managers.

Five findings that struck me and what they may prescribe-

Owners spent more time creating content than reading it.  Knowing this a CM should be aware of this potential blind spot and be sure to keep up with what the community is saying.

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Online gym buddies better than being alone.

Nice study done by B Irwin shows that having a partner that exercises with you at the same time, even if online, is significantly better than going it alone. (Like twice as better!!)

This is a big win for why one would want to  schedule simultaneous events. Also, if I have members that want/need to do more on an individual task, it is great to know I can bring in an online partner and get some well known group dynamics going.

Another aspect of this paper is that having a  stronger online partner can help motivate the other.

Aerobic Exercise Is Promoted when Individual Performance Affects the Group: A Test of the Kohler Motivation Gain Effect B Irwin Annals of Behavioral Medicine Volume 17 / 1995 – Volume 43 / 2012   Link to paper  Link to article.

 

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Network Stats Provide Insight into Those with Depression

S Chellappan took a bit of a different tact when he looked at internet usage via network stats,  then compared that to where his users fell on a depressive scale.  He found that there were different patterns for those ranked higher in depression. 1

The paper interpreted the stats as showing depressed students had:

  • More video and gaming use.
  • More switching between applications.
  • Greater peer to peer file sharing.
  • Greater chatting.
  • More email usage, including merely checking for messages.

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