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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Comments

Stuart Foster

Really interesting perspective Rich, added Psyblog to my RSS as a result.

This would seem counter intuitive to normal business practice but the psychology does make sense. Thanks for making me think this morning!

John Mark Troyer

For Communities, an online points/reputation or earned badges can be a powerful reward system. Platforms like Jive & StackExchange have these features built in. It turns participating into a game. Even when those points don't connect back to any "real-world" rewards, they are powerful motivators.

For companies working with volunteers, you also need to be careful of assigning them work in advance in return for any type of reward. Check out AOL's problem from 1999: http://www.salon.com/technology/feature/1999/04/16/aol_community/print.html

Chuck

That makes sense, but at least sometimes, rewards, however trivial, seem to ratchet up the enthusiasm rather than kill it. Where is that line?

Alison

It was a really interesting blog, but in my scenario I have to disagree. I manage a team of 25+ volunteer moderators who are recipients of a rewards scheme. I've found since implementation nearly 2 years ago they feel valued and appreciated as part of the team.

To use the blog's analogy not rewarding them is akin to asking the toddlers to draw - whilst others around them (staff) were being financially compensated. (This highlights a differentiation I know.)

Our vols are well aware their actions contribute to a successfully viable business model - which wouldn't be sustainable were they staff - so I feel a reward system is a great way of acknowledging their contribution to a fantastic community. One that we all know is a business at the end of the day.

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