Another session I attended at Innotech was called Fostering Online Communities: Lessons from Open Source and Grassroots Development. I went in not really knowing what kind of useful info I would get out of it, but I ended up learning some interesting stuff. The presenters for this session were:
– Scott Kveton, CEO, JanRain, Inc.
– Tara Hunt, Co-Founder, Citizen Agency
– Chris Messina, Co-Founder, Citizen Agency
The key takeaway that I gleaned from this session was how to inspire motivation for participation in a community, meaning: how to get people involved on a forum, commenting on blogs, etc. I think that’s one thing that just about every blog user oversees – why would people choose to read your content compared to the millions of other blogs out there? The answer is giving these people a reason to participate, motivation to actively engage in such a community. The following principles are why users participate in communities:
-a feeling of membership
-having influence or having a stake in a conversation
-fulfilling one’s need to have self-worth in something
-an emotion connection
Really, these principles tie into an obvious sort of overarching goal for each blog / online community: to give users some sort of benefit that makes a real difference in their lives. Quite an intriguing session, really enjoyed it.