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Bas Helderman

IMO, when a community is relevant to someone, pursuading someone to join through an incentive isn't so bad at all.

For all you know, they simply hadn't heard about your community, but now they do, they grow out to be active members.

Even if they join and become lurkers, the incentive and the stuff they read in your community may still influence them to higher value your brand or buy stuff. Refering to Cialdini, reciprocity is a strong tool. Plus a lively community holds other "weapons" like social proof and liking.

Natalie

There are also non-financial incentives like acknowledgement. So what is your definition of an incentive?

Anders

I agree with Bas. Sometimes it takes an incentive to make people aware that there is a great community they have not heard of yet.

Next step is for the community manager to engage these members, but that is a lot easier when starting with members who have shown an interest (even if motivated by an incentive).

Kare Anderson

Yet the innate design of a community can be an incentive (or not) to contribute and share in valuable ways. What, for example, are the methods/formats that enable people to share relevant ideas, resources etc.? Per Bas and Anders I think its good for the community to recognize - even reward - those who have brought in new members, especially those who become engaged in the community. So, for example, listing on my member profile who came in at my invitation, adds to my apparent value and commitment - as other members view me, plus it shows connections.

You are prolific here and very practical in your posts - thank you... and you attract intelligent commenting...

plus your Top Posts feature is a way of telling us what the community of us most values... an incentive of sorts for you.

If you, as well, had a part of the blog design where members' comments that were highly "Like"ed by other members, you are rewarding "us" and reinforcing helpful behavior :-)

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