Community Training

About Rich

  • Richard Millington is the founder of FeverBee, a community consultancy and Professional Community Management course. Richard is also the author of Buzzing Communities: How To Build Bigger, Better, And More Active Online Communities. Richard's clients have included Google, AutoDesk, United Nations, Novartis, Wikipedia, Oracle, The World Bank, Novartis, Fidelity Investments, and many more. Richard is also the the author of the Online Community Manifesto.

    e-mail: richard@feverbee.com
    T:+44 (0)7763 831931

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Martin Reed

I like the idea of simplicity but in most online communities, many new members join but don't post. What if you picked one of them to track?

Wouldn't this kind of 'tracking' only be beneficial if you got lucky enough to target a member that was interested in posting?

- Martin

Richard Millington

If a member joins but doesn't post that's still useful data.

If they never post, you can see why/how they joined and decide not to attract people through that tactic/member again.

If they decide ot post 3 months after joining, you can see what caused them to post and repeat those circumstances.

Martin Reed

"If they never post, you can see why/how they joined and decide not to attract people through that tactic/member again."

I understand that in principle, but how do you actually see how or why they joined but decided not to get involved? How do you associate a specific member with where they came from or how they found your site (if they were not referred by an existing member?) and more importantly how do you track the individual usage of your site from a member that hasn't posted?

Not trying to be obtuse, just curious!

- Martin

Richard Millington

Of course not! I think you're one of the best in the business Martin and I'm thrilled you take the time to challenge and debate my ideas here. You make me better.

These questions are tricky because they are tech-questions. How have you designed the interface?

Can you add a question when a member joins? "how did you hear about this community?"

That's the easy way. Tracking usage, again, it depends on what the members profile shows. Does it show last time they logged on? Does it show if they've even bothered to fill out their profile at all?

I'll try an example. If you recently did a competition that brought in a lot of people to join as members, and you track 10 member who joined at the time who don't participate ever again. It's a safe bet that competition didnt work.

Martin Reed

Can you add a question when a member joins? "how did you hear about this community?"

Something so simple, yet something I had not even considered. Thank you for the lightbulb moment and for your kind words!

- Martin

Marko

There is also one possibility to record the referring site (HTTP_REFERER) into session variable for the guest and when the user registers this session variable could be put into database together with username - and you have the tracking :)

PS! This method is dependent on browser privacy settings and there exist some 3rd party software that make HTTP_REFERER variable empty.

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