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Tips for Making a Better Community
edited December 2012 in General Banter
- Remove the dead areas.
- Concentrate on activity.
- Prioritize interactions over content.
- Highlight what’s popular.
- Highlight the contributions of members.
- Develop a community management plan.
These tips are taken from http://www.ning.com/blog/ .
I hope you will find them useful
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If your site is paid for by advertising then it is good to have more content and not have users merely use your site to send endless PMs to each other.
Im a Huge Vanilla fan and user, We can develop a Group Plugin and page plugin like this http://community.elgg.org/groups/all
What would be the difference between Groups and Categories?
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Groups generally organizes people into areas of interest, where categories organize discussions. So in a group, you could look at all users interested in a certain topic as well as discussions within that topic. A good way of doing it might be to simply have a front end page that shows all people that have subscribed to a certain forum category and call it groups. It would depend on what a particular site owner wanted to do with it I suppose.
What I don't like is the way its implemented in packages like Vbulletin, where a group is created then topics within the group that are separate from the main forum. IMO this granular separation of content (which is often done with galleries, groups, blogs, and other forum tack-on packages) makes a community less cohesive and less valuable. My experience from running a very large Vbulletin forum was that the groups almost never took off. There just wasn't enough interest in content areas that were separate from the main forum.
How do you think discussions should be done in a group @DirtyDog? Should they be in a category? Should they just create a tag and have all group-level discussions go one one category? What about private groups?
What do you think could have been done to make groups in your vBulletin community take off?
@todd I don't think there's an easy answer to that as many people have different goals for their community. Also, groups have never been a primary interest of mine. My previous forum had groups only because that was a feature of Vbulletin software.
However, I do think groups should adhere to a basic set of principles that all community-centric features should follow. If I were to design a group feature, I would probably start with what you mentioned. Rather than have groups as an entirely separate feature, I would tie them to the forum discussions somehow, either through tagging or categorization. Then users could become part of the "group" simply by subscribing to the category or tag. On the front end the language would need to be adjusted to create a clear idea of what the user was doing - ie joining a group rather than just subscribing to a category etc as these actions have different meanings. Then you just have a group view page that shows all the members of that group and all the discussions in that group - which is really just another tag or category view.
Like you have demonstrated with your wordpress integration, conversations in a community site should be centralized. If a discussion or comment for a particular group were listed in the master list of topics (like blog comments are in Vanilla), then that would serve as an invitation for more users to discover that group, and possibly join it if the subject interests them.
What seems to rarely work, is when various content areas (gallery, groups, blog) all have separate comment areas from the main area of discussion (the forum). You guys seem to have the appropriate overall idea with the blog commenting, I would extend that idea to any kind of content or group interaction model you implement.
Private groups is a different deal. For someone like me that makes a living from online advertising, the last thing I would want to do is have content hidden in a private setting. I could see how your hosted clients would want that though but I have no input there.
Hi guys, just wanna be back on the title of this thread, for me on my experience, the best thing to do is to find friendly, hyperactive and good Moderators to help you with your site, if your Moderators has reached 6 > members, you could subdivide them to 3 areas:
Research Team - Moderators who are observant and have alot of things in mind for the good of the site/forum
Tech team - this are the Moderators that handles the requests of the visitors this applies to me since im running a bit of mobile technical community for WAP.
Welcome team - these are the friendly moderators who welcomes new comers in the site, and walk them through, make sure you have basic documents created by "custompages" plugin to walk through a newbie in the site.
I really loved vanilla and my forum has grown up to 18k users within 8months, it's self-hosted vanilla that's why i could do much more on it and respond to their needs especially the Research team since they have alot of suggestions