Month: September 2015

What Do Community Professionals Spend 90% Of Their Time Doing?

We’re now just 42 days away from this year’s SPRINT.

We have precisely 37 tickets remaining.

Once the tickets are sold out, they’re gone.

If you want to learn specific techniques to grow your community from 14 world-class speakers, sign up here.

If you want to see the full agenda, click here.

The 90% Skill We Never Try To Improve

If you want to get great at poker, you need to master probability and expected value. Learning how to bluff comes much later. You can win a world series on probability alone.

To make world-class sushi, you first need to learn how to make rice. This takes sushi chefs months, if not years, to master. If you don’t get the rice right, not much else matters.

The secret to writing better blog posts, books, or content isn’t in the craft of writing – but in doing great research to have new information to present in the first place.

You can spot the problem. It’s so much more fun to talk about cutting the fish, becoming a human lie detector, and SEO hacks compared to making rice, calculating probability, and undertaking research.

This is true for community professionals too. We spend far too much time talking about the exciting, shiny, 10% of activities at the expense of mastering the single key skill we spend 90% of our time doing.

What Do Community Professionals Spend 90% of Their Time Doing?

It’s not a trick question. I’m doing it right now.

You’re going to do it before and after reading this post.

We spend 90% of our time writing to persuade.

Right now, I’m trying to persuade you that this skill is important.

Later you’re going to try and persuade your members to join, participate, or otherwise take action in your community.

The biggest scope for improvement in our sector today is to excel at writing persuasive messages.

Imagine if you could make every one of the following activities 25% more effective.

  • Replying to e-mails.
  • Creating eBooks/Guides.
  • Writing news content.
  • Welcoming members.
  • Publishing Tweets/FB updates.
  • Sending private messages.
  • Creating website copy.
  • Initiating and replying to discussions.

The majority of your members in your community spend a lot of time reading your words.

Imagine what happens when every one of those words is optimized to persuade?

Every single person that reads every message is more likely to take action. Your level of growth and activity rise considerably. You would be a superstar!

The Science of Great Rhetoric

For SPRINT, we’ve invited Felicity Barber of ThoughtFul Speech to reveal the secrets of the world’s top speakers.

Felicity is going to equip you with the advanced skills to:

  • Open messages that capture your audience’s attention.
  • Use the staple techniques of contrasts, 3-point lists, and imagery more effectively.
  • Embrace the in-group referential.
  • Decide the best metaphors to take action.
  • Tell effective, emotive, stories that move people to action.
  • Clearly define a message that hits the target.
  • Adapt your language to your audience.
  • Deploy anaphora to add impact to your messages.

Each one of these is a key skill for persuasive communications, yet we’ve never once tried to get better at any of these.

We’ve never had an expert at our events before who can explain how we can be better at this.

Everything we try to get others to do begins with understanding how to make our messages far more persuasive than they are today.

She’s going to be terrific and I hope you can join us.

Here are a few useful links for rhetoric you can get started on today:

New Skills and Bigger and Better Communities

You have 42 days (or until we sell 37 remaining tickets) to sign up to FeverBee SPRINT.

This is our biggest event of the year. Our entire team is flying in for it and we’re going to equip every one of you with the ability to scientifically grow your community and increase the level of activity.

Workshop tickets have been sold out for weeks. Conference tickets may sell out early. Book your tickets soon.

p.s. we also have 2 bring a team tickets remaining.


The Social Architecture of Group Decision Making

Imagine your data shows your community is in a dying topic. This presents a death threat to community growth.

You start a poll to ask members if they would like to expand the community’s field of interest to include new (relevant) trends and receive 51 replies. 26 say yes, 25 say no.

What should you do?

The Problem With Consensus

How you process this information depends very much upon the social architecture you’ve designed to help groups make decisions.

Most of the time, we default to majority regardless of whether that’s the right approach. You have four broad approaches here:

1) Uniform/unanimous consent.

Everyone has to agree (or at least not disagree) for the group to move forward. This is great for having everyone buy-in to decisions. It can also be incredibly tedious to get things done (United Nations and EU bodies are good examples).

This works best in smaller groups. If you’re deciding what movie to watch or which restaurant to go to, you usually aim for something nobody hates. Not everyone gets his or her favorite choice, but no-one specifically disagrees. Most juries are required to give a unanimous verdict, for example.

2) Majority consent.

A majority is 50% + ‘X’. You can set the ‘X’ to whatever number you like.

There are different types of majority consent. The most common is a simple majority +1 (51%). This is great for fairness and getting things done, but it can upset a large number of the group and often prejudices against minority groups or perspectives. Would you want to move forward with an idea that 49% of your group don’t support?

For the bigger decisions (and for smaller groups) you probably want to set ‘X’ to a higher number than 1. A good example here is a supermajority. This is where 2/3rds (or X = 16.67%) support a decision.  For example, the senate and congress need a supermajority to override a presidential veto.

The upside of a supermajority is less people disagree with an important decision. They’re less likely to leave, create their own groups and ferment dissent. The downside is it becomes harder to reach the barrier to take action.

However, imagine if your community has 2000 members and you receive only 51 votes. That represents 2.6% of the group. What if one-side campaigns covertly among their members (or outsiders) to vote for their favorite option? Ron Paul supporters are notorious for rigging online votes in favour of their candidate.

This is why sometimes we use an absolute majority. An absolute majority requires a majority of the total membership to vote in favour of the action. Most unions have a voting threshold to take action. The problem is this makes it much harder to take any serious action due to voter apathy on most issues. The upside is it reflects the entire group.

3) Plurality consent.

Plurality occurs when there are more than 2 options. Here you go with whichever option has the most votes. The upside is speed, simplicity, and fairness. The downside is most popular opinion can be split between two similar options – thus the option the most people want the least can sneak in.

To tackle this problem, some systems (e.g. deciding the Olympic host city) use the exhaustive ballot. If no option has a majority (51%) after the first round of voting, the least popular option is removed and another round of voting begins. This ensures the winner reflects the view of most people; however it requires several rounds of voting which quickly becomes tedious.

A similar option is the instant-runoff vote. Here voters rank the options in order of preference. If no option wins a majority, the least popular option is removed and those votes are transferred to the next order of preference repeatedly until you have a winner. People now only need to vote once, but it becomes more difficult to manage and explain the system (although some software exists).

Other systems (e.g. electing a pope/nominating a party’s presidential candidate) don’t remove the least popular option, but repeatedly poll members until one achieves a majority (or for a papal conclave, a supermajority). This tends to be a tedious process. The 1924 Democratic National primary, for example, featured an impressive 103 rounds of voting.  The longest papal conclave lasted almost 3 years.

4) Executive authority.

This is where a single person (hopefully) listens to reasoned arguments and then makes a decision. The benefit of this should be obvious. You can move quickly to action. It also lets you take actions that need to be done but are unpopular. You can’t host a poll and then not take the result.

Most business leaders work this way. They don’t poll the entire company for their view. They listen to arguments and make an informed decision. This occurs more in times of difficulty too. Some constitutions allow for heads of state to get emergency powers in times of war.

If the upside is speed and efficiency, the downside is unpopularity, abuse, and prone to errors. The decision-maker might make unpopular decisions, only seek opinions that validate her pre-existing bias, or use their influence for patronage. They might lack the ability to challenge the advisors and make the right decision.

p.s. read Christopher Allen’s terrific Spectrum of Consent Post for a fuller, more detailed, and much better list than mine).

The Social Architecture You Design Changes The Outcome

The process you use changes the entire outcome.

If your answer to the opening question was to go with the majority, you now have 49% of the group who are unhappy. They might leave or start their own community (the biggest threat to most communities is usually from within). This could be a bigger danger than the declining sector. Worse yet, their popular opinion is the wrong option. They’re condemning a community to death.

The challenge then is to create the right decision architecture to get the right outcomes.

An alternative approach is to create a range of options. For example:

  • Yes, expand to all relevant fields.
  • Yes, but only expand to one new field.
  • No, don’t expand at all.

Now the ‘yes’ vote will be split among two options. If option 1 receives 10 votes, option 2 receives 16, and option 3 gets 25, option 3 wins – regardless if it’s what most people want. This is also an unfortunately effective way of rigging a vote in favour of your preferred option.

Instead you might start a discussion seeking reasoned arguments for and against it. Then you review the arguments and you decide which has the greatest merit. Here your group feels consulted, although you might still pick the unpopular option that is best for the group. This only works if members of the group can bring new, unique, expertise to the table – not opinions on whether they like or dislike the idea.

In situations like these where you know the change has to be made (you have unique access to trends, legal advice, resources, or an ethical viewpoint), then asking people if they want the change or seeking reasoned arguments is a waste of time. You have to take the decision for the benefit of the group.

This isn’t bad. You just need to ride out the criticism. Facebook makes a lot of unpopular decisions (i.e. creating the wall) that pay off over the longer run. They have access to insights their audience doesn’t.

In these situations, don’t ask people if the change should be made; let them make decisions on how to make the change. Which sectors should you expand to first? Should they intermix among existing discussions or be involved in new ones?

This is presumptive decision-making. You begin the discussion after the key decision and engage people in the process to gain ownership.

Which Option Should You Use?

If all of the above sounds rather complicated, here’s a simple decision architecture cheat sheet.

 Consensus System  When to use this system
Uniform / Unanimity Consensus In small groups (or representatives of larger group). When a decision requires full buy-in (or at least no dissenters) to succeed. Also works in representatives of groups.
Super-Majority / Absolute majority When the decision affects most members, significantly changes the status quo, and/or there is a danger of rigging/minority opinion sneaking in.
Simple Majority When the decision is less important, it has to be made fast, and you have a large group.
Plurality Same as above, but when there are multiple options.
Exhaustive voting When there’s a danger of a split vote, one-side canvassing support, or the entire group needs to be behind the final option.
Executive decision When you have unique insight/data/resources and need to make a decision for the benefit of the group. Create discussions to get opinions if necessary then engage people in the process. Find advisors who will disagree with you.

Most of your decision making today is far more informal than this. Yet, even informally, the process matters a lot. In your mind, in any group discussion, are you informally seeking unanimity, majority, plurality, or just opinions so you can make a decision for the group?

If you figure that out, you can probably work out the next steps.

p.s. We’re now just 43 days away from our FeverBee SPRINT event. If you want to learn a lot of advanced community skills from 14 world-class experts and ourselves, I hope you will join us at:

Status Appeals Change By Generation

September 23, 2015Comments Off on Status Appeals Change By Generation

We tend to use uniform appeals to join a social group regardless of the age of prospective members.

Yet age has a huge impact upon someone’s motivation to join and participate.

Younger people, for example, are highly concerned by increasing their status. They’re willing to experience and try new things. They’re more concerned with getting along with others and following social norms.

Status-related appeals and messages are very effective with this group. They should be the number one tool in your toolbox (please be subtle, conspicuous status-boosting is considered a low-status activity).

But older generations are likely to be very different.

Robin Hansen’s Life’s Laminar Endgame suggests older generations are:

Focused more on direct, local, immediate, consequences of our actions and […] less worried about wider social punishment of our behaviors. Fewer people matter to us, their and our life paths are more predictable, and we understand our smaller social world much better. So we can more directly calculate the consequences of what we do to people. Thus we are more willing to betray distant allies of allies, as we less fear their future reprisal.

Now how does this impact how we structure appeals to join and participate in groups?

My feeling (I haven’t found time to test this) is older generations are more interested in both helping those closest to them and enjoying the activity itself.

Thus appeals to older groups should orientate around the joy of the task itself and the helping others close to them. This probably impacts the community concept too. Inviting people to be an expert, be part of an exclusive group etc. won’t be as effective among this crowd.

And this barely scratches the surface of how the generation/life stage of the audience will change the messages you use to get people to join and participate.

Men and women entering their early 30’s, for example, are probably in two very different mindsets depending if they have/haven’t had children and even if they’re single, coupled, married or divorced.

This should change both how you interact with your audience on an individual and group level. Eventually it boils down to hopes and fears. Yet our hopes and fears very much change as we age. Fear of being excluded, left behind, and socially isolated are dominant when we’re young. We care less about these things as we get older.

If you’re targeting men and women under 30, status-related appeals are still likely to be the most powerful tool in your arsenal. If you’re targeting groups 50+ focus on social benefits to those closest to you and the joy of the task itself.

For those in-between, you need to do a lot more digging to find out where most people cluster around.

p.s. We’re now just 48 days away from our FeverBee SPRINT event. If you want to learn a lot of advanced community skills from 14 world-class experts and ourselves, I hope you will join us at:

10% True Believers To Persuade A Group

September 22, 2015Comments Off on 10% True Believers To Persuade A Group

Shortly after the 2011 Arab uprisings, scientists at Renseelaer Polytechnical Institute developed 3 computer models to identify the tipping point where a minority belief becomes the majority opinion.

In the first model, each person was connected to every other person on the network. In the second model, a small number of individuals were connected to a larger number of people (the influencer model). In the third model, each person had roughly the same number of connections.

The scientists then dropped some ‘true believers’ (people committed to unique views) into these networks.

As these true believers interact with those who held traditional views, they gradually (and then rapidly) shifted opinion of the entire network.

This study showed that the ‘connected’ notes (I.e. The influencers) had very little impact upon changing majority opinion. The biggest impact was the number of people in the existing network who held that opinion.

When 10% of the network held the opinion, it tipped over into the majority opinion.1

If you want to influence people, you have to first develop those ‘true believers’, then place them among a group of undecideds. That means first nurturing the true believers (usually personal friends), then putting them among a group likely to be receptive to the idea. You also need them to be in a context where they can talk about the topic.

Almost all models of group persuasion ignore the science.

Influential people (i.e. your CEO) aren’t going to change the opinions of the group. Opinion changes when you place a small group of true believers among a group of undecideds.

If you want to persuade a group, you need to persuade 10% of the group on an individual, one-to-one, basis first. Remember that when you’re trying to make a group take action.


One True Believer Isn’t Enough

This is probably the problem you face with every event you attend.

You attend an event in your sector and come away inspired, motivated, and brimming with ideas you can apply.

But you can’t implement these ideas by yourself.

You have to persuade colleagues. Your motivation crashes into reality and dissipates. Then your boss drops new priorities on your desk.

This isn’t the exception. This is the norm for most events we attend. Even the best ideas are wasted if we can’t make them happen.

We’re going to try and tackle this today.


Creating True Believers

I want to try something this SPRINT (which, honestly, might not work well).

We’ve created a ‘Bring Your Team’ ticket.

We want to encourage you to bring other members of your team/company so you begin with ‘true believers’.

These are people that will help you stay motivated, support you to make the changes you need to grow the community, and persuade others that need persuading.

The Bring A Team ticket means you can:

  • Bring up to 5 people (if you’ve already purchased a ticket, we’ll credit this purchase towards the ticket – just reply to this e-mail).
  • Access to our exclusive growth club community ($1200 per person)
  • Access to our FeverBee course ($720)
  • Access all the videos from our 2014 FeverBee SPRINT event ($140)

The easiest way to convince your boss, team, or colleagues is to bring them.

You get a lot of extra bonuses and, perhaps most importantly, you get to spend an entire day out of the office together thinking about fundamental, structural, ways you can improve your community.

We have 4 * Bring A Team tickets available at 1,120 USD

You can get your ticket here.

How To Measure and Improve Your Community’s Growth and Conversion Rates

September 21, 2015Comments Off on How To Measure and Improve Your Community’s Growth and Conversion Rates

Begin with the number of new visitors to your community.

This metric shows you how many people you’re attracting to visit your community for the first time. This is simple to discover in Google Analytics.

1) Select new visitors

1 - select new visitors

2) Click on new visitors.

2 - click on new visitors

3) In the top right select back the previous year.

3 - track the previous year

4) Export the data as a .csv file.

4 - export as a

Key metric: Is the number of new visitors increasing or decreasing?

If the trend is going up over the previous year, this is usually a sign of healthy community growth. You have an increasing number of newcomers to convert into active members.

If the trend is going down, this is usually a bad sign. You have less people visiting the community. That’s less fresh blood to replace your natural churn rate. Once your churn rate exceeds your growth rate, you enter a death spiral.

Understanding why growth may rise or fall

There might be three causes of rising or declining growth.

1) The sector is growing/shrinking.

Every community lives within a sector. If the sector is growing, more new people should be visiting the community too. If it’s shrinking, you usually find less new people are visiting.

There are several ways to assess this. Using free tools to track mentions of relevant keywords. These tend to appear and disappear frequently. You can use Google Trends for relevant search terms in the space. LinkedIn is also useful if you target professionals. You can get a free LinkedIn Premium account for 30 days. Track how many people add/remove relevant terms to their profile each month.

Finally, you can see what other organizations in this sector are doing. Are the circulations of relevant magazines/blogs increasing or decreasing? Alexa will give you some insight into this. There are other paid tools such as Compete, Quantcast, and others that can also help.

2) Referrals have dropped.

Referrals means any time someone has mentioned the community outside of the community. If less people talk about it, less people join. You can track this using mention on social media from existing members (you will need the twitter accounts of your members to do this) or simply by having an option on the registration page asking people how they heard about the community.

Keep it to three options; from a friend, social media, search, other (say which). You can turn the most common other responses into a standard response. Include both a friend and social media as a referral.

3) SEO / promotional efforts have declined.

Changes in SEO have a big impact in the number of new visitors to your community. An increase or decrease can significantly increase or reduce traffic to your community. This can refer to one of two things. First, either the number of people searching for a term has declined or your search ranking has declined. You can track relevant search rankings each month using an incognito window (cmd + shift + n).

You can measure your search traffic easily enough in Google Analytics. Just select channels under audience acquisition.

5 - google search

Decision Tree

[tweet_dis]The biggest mistake we make in measurement isn’t the measurement, it’s the decision we make afterwards.[/tweet_dis] If growth is rising or falling, how does that change what we do?

Three simple rules here:

1) If growth is falling because the sector is shrinking, reposition your community to be in a related, rising, sector. We stop being interested in a topic because something else has replaced it. We need to focus our attention on that topic. Follow your audience, unless your audience is literally aging out.

2) If growth is falling because referrals are dropping, you need to focus on high-engagement activities. This will usually mean content, activities, or other efforts that is both more engaging and exciting for members to participate in. These are harder to predict. So look to see what works for other communities and adapt their best ideas for your own. AMAs are a useful example of a universally adaptable idea.

3) If growth is falling because SEO traffic is declining, either invest time to learn how to increase your SEO ranking, use paid search tools, or hire an SEO expert to help you increase your ranking.

Part Two: The Registration Page

Now we want to know how many of your visitors make it to your registration page. This typically ranges from 1 – 10%. To find this information, you first need to logout. Then visit your community. Now click on your registration page and copy the URL (usually /register or /signup).

Now in Google Analytics go to Behavior > Site content > all pages.

6 - site behavior

In the search box (on the right) search for the relevant registration page.

7 - relevant registration page

Now track this for the last year and export the data as a .csv file again. Copy and paste this line of data into the previous .csv then divide the registration page hits by the new visitors and turn this column into a %.

8 - registration dataCrop

Here we can see that the number of new visitors who register seems remarkably consistent over the previous 12 months, until you put this in a chart format. Very often you will see large swings that reflect an increase in poorer quality traffic or changes in web design.

chart format 1 - decline

Key metric: Is the % of people who visit the registration page increasing or decreasing?

Decision Tree:

This creates a range of options you can test.

1) Change the placement or positioning of the registration option.

The easiest approach is to increase the size, the colour/design contrast, or the placement of the registration option. All three can work well, but the balance is key. You need to emphasize the registration as much as possible without overwhelming the existing activity in the community or irritating regular visitors/members.

2) Require registration after people read/visit {x} articles.

We implemented this on FeverBee recently. After you visit 3 articles, we ask you to register. The upside is more registrations. The downside is the quality of these registrations might be weaker.

The greater the number of articles you allow people to visit without registering, the greater the quality of registrations – but you will get fewer of them. Our bet is once people are members, they will see the benefits and become more active.

3) Increase the status of being a member.

A simple option is to increase the status of being a member of a community. If you turn membership into an exclusive, high-status, role more people will be keen to register for it.

4) Feature member contributions.

This is a really simple trick. The more you feature contributions from members, the more people are primed to join. You’re more than welcome to test this for yourself. However, this idea has a restricted efficacy. There are only so many member contributions which can be meaningfully featured until the impact is weakened through over-use.

Part Three: Registration data

Now we want to see how many people actually registered given that time frame. Most platforms should let you list members by the date joined and export that data. Thus you can manually count how many people joined each month and add it to the metrics below.

Another option is to use the post-registration page. i.e. the “register/confirmed” page. This isn’t exact, but it is a good substitute if you can’t get the exact data you need. This shows you how many people that begin the registration process get through it.

If there are multiple pages, you need to combine them using the same process as before. If you’re not sure what the URL is, go through the registration process yourself and find out what is the post-registration page URL. You can then search for this as per the process above.

Export the data again and divide the registrations by the number of hits to the registration page to get a %. For example:

8 - registration data

Combined with the previous metric, this gives you two huge areas for improvement.

Here we can see that just over half the people that begin the registration process will complete it. This would be very low for a low-traffic community (ours has around 70% – 90% completion rate) but about average for a large community that encompasses a broad array of traffic.

In chart format it shows a steady improvement.

chart format 2 - steady increase

Decision Tree:

Again what do we do with that data?

Remember here there is no clear ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ metric, just a ‘where are we now’ and ‘are we getting better or worse’ at this metric.

1) If the ratio is increasing, focus your time on the next stage. Don’t interfere in something that is improving. Run a cohort analysis to see how engaged these members are and where they tend to drop out.

2) If the ratio is consistent, identify if this is the biggest place for improvement. If it is, consider reducing the copy required, adding affirmations – unbounce for example includes testimonials/quotes on the registration page to guide people through it. Ensure the confirmation e-mail goes out for a unique individual and people can easily respond.

You have limited scope for registration page improvements. The conversion rate is largely decided by the quality and motivations of people going through the process. If they have been forced to go to the page, less people will progress through it. If you’ve been promoting the community widely, less people will progress through it.

Improving the ratio often requires improving the traffic and how you get people to the page initially.

3) If the ratio is decreasing, either you have changed something or the quality of traffic has declined. Often the more prominent you make the registration feature, the fewer % of people will progress through registration. This isn’t a problem if overall a greater number of people get through it overall. You can use the same steps as above to tinker with the page. You can also track the confirmation e-mails, spam filters etc…

From Data to Decisions

The entire purpose of measurement is to make decisions that lead to actions.

The measurement side is relatively easy. You want to know who is coming in and what they’re doing when they arrive. Is growth increasing/decreasing (and why). The decision side is slightly more difficult. Growth is rising/falling, what will you do differently. If the answer is nothing, then it’s pointless to measure anything.

The action side is hard. [tweet_dis]Too often we take the time to measure what’s happening without ever finding the time to change what we’re doing today.[/tweet_dis]

If we’re going to increase the growth rate of communities, we need to increase the number of people who visit, click on the registration page, and complete the process.

p.s. We’re now just 50 days away from our FeverBee SPRINT event. If you want to learn a lot of advanced community skills from 14 world-class experts and ourselves, I hope you will join us at:

A Scientific Approach To Keep Your Members Active In Your Community

Most social groups have a big retention problem. People join, participate, and leave. They use the group solely as a place to get free advice. If they don’t need free advice, they don’t visit.

Some retention rates are shockingly bad. We’ve seen rates as low as 1 in 1500 for newcomers*.

The average for online groups hovers around 1 in 50.

That’s just 1 member active after six months for every 50 that join. To reach 1000 active members, you would need 50,000 registered members. Let’s assume your newcomer to registration ratio is 1 in 5 (high, but possible). You would need to attract 250,000 unique newcomers to get 50k registered members.

Getting 250,000 newcomers isn’t easy for a company without a huge existing audience. For comparison, a promoted tweet costs $0.2 – $4 per engagement. That’s the equivalent of $50k – $1m of work**. And this is just to reach 1000 active members.

If you’re selling low-margin products to the masses, 1k active members won’t cover the costs of creating an active member. For most groups, 1k members alone isn’t going to have a big impact.

If you can’t improve your retention you’re not going to survive over the long-term.

The Biggest and Best Investment of Your Time

[tweet_dis]The biggest and best investment you can make in your group today is on retention.[/tweet_dis] That means changing how members see the community from a free resource where they can get advice to the place where people like them hang out.

You can’t do this by upping the informational value. Giving away more free advice to people who only visit when they want free advice isn’t the solution. It doesn’t get members to visit more frequently in the first place.

The best (and possibly only) way to increase retention is through cultural assimilation of newcomers.

If someone isn’t assimilated within a group’s culture, they will never see the community as a place where they can satisfy their social needs. They will never feel it’s part of their identity and their social group.

4 Metrics To Measure Cultural Assimilation

Sociologists measure cultural assimilation along 4 lines; socioeconomic status, geographic distribution, language attainment, and intermarriage.

We can adapt (and re-order) this slightly for our purposes.

We track intermixing, skill/knowledge equality, language adoption, and ownership.

This works in any type of social group. If you want to assimilate newcomers you want to:

  • be sure they mix well with existing members.
  • reduce the skill/knowledge gap between newcomers and existing members.
  • ensure newcomers adopt the language (idioms, symbols, unique phrases, or in-jokes) of existing members.
  • have newcomers quickly take ownership over parts of the group and proactively lead parts of the group.

We can work on each of the 4 in turn:

1) Intermixing

Do newcomers and existing members genuinely talk to one another? Do they interact as equals or is there a superior/inferior dynamic?

This applies to every type of social group. Newcomers are often treated as inferior and lack existing friends to make connections via friends of friends. They might participate once, feel bad, and not return.

For example, the newcomer posts in the welcome discussion/introduction, the existing members either don’t respond or respond in a manner that establishes their superiority (and makes the newcomer feel dumb e.g. “read the manual!” or “this has been posted before!!”).  The newcomer never returns.

You can look for evidence of this in your community data. Our discourse platform is very good for this.

Here is an example:

Picture 1 - DiscourseDiscourse shows the last time a member was seen, the topics views, posts read, time spent reading and date created.

If you scroll down to several weeks ago, you can compare the date created with last seen. If they’re close to each other, you have an intermixing problem.

For example,

Picture 2 - Last SeenIn at least 4 of the 7 profiles created 26 days ago, the member came, read a few articles, and never returned.

In the other 3, the member has been absent for the past 2 – 3 weeks. This suggests a big intermixing problem.

By drilling into the public profiles we can see if they’re making a contribution or not. We can also see what type of contributions they’re making. Are they creating discussions asking for help or not?

Picture 3 - Rob OraclePicture 4 - M - What are you working on_Picture 5 - Blank contribution

Picture 6 - K - What are you working on_

Picture 7 - Blank contribution 2

Picture 8 - Double contribution


Picture 9 - Blank contributionOnly 4 of the 7 above made an active contribution in the topic. This is the topic we guide members towards– none posted in any of the other discussions. While we’re very successful at getting people to participate once (and responding to their contributions), we lose people shortly after.

The thread is used almost exclusively by newcomers. Existing members don’t jump in and add any of their views.

Picture 10 - add their views

This is where we need to make a structural change.

Members are interacting with us, not with anyone else. They don’t intermix. There are some basic tactics that work, i.e. tagging in people you want to reply.

However the more we use this tactic, the less effective it becomes. It doesn’t scale well.

There are two possible solutions here:

  • Get existing members to participate here. It’s possible, but unlikely. There is no motivation to post here. They have already mentally positioned this as a place where only newcomers post. Trying to persuade people to do something they have decided not to do isn’t usually a good idea (trying to persuade people to do something they haven’t considered is another game entirely). Even if we did succeed, so many separate strands within a single discussion topic would be unmanageable.
  • Get the newcomers to do something different. We could try a different discussion topic. But I suspect we would run into the same challenges. We need the first contributions from newcomers to be significantly different. For example, instead of asking newcomers to post in a single discussion existing members have become used to ignoring, we guide them to create their own discussion. We can ask them to highlight their biggest challenge and the kind of help they’re looking for. Then existing members could quickly scan the discussion and see if they could contribute to it.

This is a much bigger ask that posting in an existing discussion. This means the number of newcomers who make a contribution will be far lower. However if they intermix with existing members, they form bonds and are more likely to return and participate again. Overall I believe the number of retained members will be higher. This also means we can focus our efforts on members that have crossed the boundary (initiated a discussion) over those who happened to drift in.

This requires a scalable, structural, change in the following:

  • Update the automated notification. Every member receives an automated notification on the site from our community manager. This guides them to participate in that discussion. We can change this to asking them to create their discussion.
  • Update the auto-responder e-mails. Every member’s e-mail is added to our mailchimp list (you can do this manually if you can’t automate it). Once on the list they receive 4 e-mails over 4 weeks. It looks like this:

Picture 11 - autoresponders


We can change the content in the first of these e-mails to guide people very early on to create their own discussion.

  • Update personal nudges. As the community is still relatively small, we can still drop a personal note to each newcomer in the community. Instead of prompting them to take an action, we can ask them questions about their communities, what they’re struggling with, and then suggest they should make a post in the community about it. Having permission from us will probably have an impact in how many take the action.

Dealing with the fear of creating a discussion

However asking newcomers to initiate a discussion is a big ask. They need to have the time and motivation to do it. Time is a case of priorities. If we feel it helps us achieve our goals, then it helps. Asking for help to overcome our single biggest challenge is a good idea, it might help the motivation side. It’s also more motivating for existing members to help the newcomer (‘I can solve his biggest challenge’).

Yet we can’t ignore the fear factor. It’s socially awkward to be vulnerable in a group of people you don’t yet know. We can reduce this fear by creating and showcasing examples of others doing it. We can include these in the messages we send out to members.

An automated e-mail/nudge here might be along the lines of:

Hi {name}

Welcome to FeverBee.

To get started, we would love you to tell us the single biggest challenge we can help you overcome [motivation]. We have some of the top experts in the field in the community who love a good challenge [reduce fear/motivation].

Some previous examples have included:

  • Removing trolls in a cost-efficient way (link).
  • Selecting a new platform for my growing community (link).
  • Keeping members participating (link)

If you can post here, we’ll rally the troops [non-serious metaphor] to tackle your challenge.

Welcome to FeverBee, I’m truly glad to have you.


Aside, another possible approach would be to treat the newcomers like experts. Ask them to introduce themselves and their expertise and invite questions from existing members on that topic.

Fixing intermixing at a structural level

This addresses the core issues at a deep structural level within the community. It scales well too. The more members that do it, the more members that will do it, and the more there will be around to help others in the future.

Even better, the notion of asking questions that help you brings newcomers close into line with existing behavior. Asking is the bedrock of most successful group interactions. Thus you quickly bring the newcomers into behavioral alignment with existing members.

In summary, we want newcomers to participate in a very similar manner to current members to create cultural alignment and reduce a sense of fraction/inferiority.

2) Skill/Knowledge Equality.

The larger the group, the greater the variance in skill and ability.

Every group has a mean (or average) skill/knowledge level for members. Sometimes the deviation from the mean will be low i.e. most people will be around the same skill level. In practice, this is rare.

Instead, we usually see an inverted bell curve with a high distribution of people that are new to the topic/sector at one side, a high number of experts on the other and a dip in the middle.

This is a problem. The greater the deviation from the mean, the more one group (usually the experts) will feel alienated.

The existing members become frustrated by the same, repetitive, beginner-level questions and leave. If they stop participating, there’s not much reason for the newcomers to stick around neither. Remember that most newcomers will be new to the topic as well.

Social groups need an established domain of knowledge as the basis for invigorating, progressive discussions. Broadly speaking, the lower the deviation from the mean, the greater the quality of discussions (and sense of connection).

Is there huge skill/knowledge inequality?

First, you need to get a sense of whether this is unequal.

One method is simply to ask the experts. You should be able to find and ask your experts what kind of topics they would like to discuss. You can check if those discussions are taking place.

A survey that only goes out to veteran members is useful here (you can send out another just to newcomers too – surveymonkey is a simple tool for this).

Another method is to see what kinds of discussions the top members do participate in. You might find they entirely avoid specific topics.

List members by number of contributions and begin looking at where they participate.  Is there a difference between what the experts do and what the newcomers do?

A final method is to look at the discussions newcomers initiate in your community compared with those the existing veteran members participate in.

Below, for example, we see a big emphasis on community platforms.

Picture 12 - Big emphasis on community platformsYet most established members are probably signed in to long-term contracts.

While they might get personal value from helping others (and some of these discussions are active) they don’t get a sense they’re interacting with people at the same level as themselves. They also don’t get much tangible value (or new information). This limits how much time they will spend in the community (and the sense of connection to one another).

Drilling deeper, you would also notice that the very biggest names in our community don’t participate in these discussions. This is a big clue that the community isn’t valuable for them at the moment and we’re suffering from skill/knowledge inequality.

Your challenge is to raise the skill and knowledge level of newcomers as rapidly as you can. You have to do this without dumping so much information on them that they balk and walk.

Overcoming ‘Balk and walk’

Balk and walk is a big challenge in any education course. Most people simply aren’t motivated to go through a comprehensive course to increase their skill level. You can’t make them motivated. You can only wait for the time when they are motivated to learn and take advantage of it.

Knowledge in any sector isn’t a single continuum. It comprises of many continuums. You might be an expert on community platforms but a novice on psychology (if so, come to SPRINT).

Your newcomers will be at different levels along different continuums. You can’t focus your efforts on a single one.

So let’s make a few structural changes

First, we don’t want newcomer discussions to dominate the community. Yet we also don’t want to ban people from getting basic-level help.

This gives us a few options:

  • Create a specific place for people to ask these questions. We could have a separate category for technology, for example.
  • We can have a designated platform expert people can approach to answer these questions. This shifts the burden to the few instead of the many.
  • We can condense basic platform questions into a single ‘Get Platform Help’ thread where the above expert (or anyone else) could participate. The other benefit here is newcomers are likely to read previous responses if it’s in the same thread than if it’s in the same category.
  • We can create a shared document/wiki and add each answer from discussions into a live, editable, platform guide and nudge newcomers with platform questions to download it.

All four would probably work well. The last would be the most effective over the long-term. That might mean an editable Google doc, volunteers who continuously update a live document, or some form of wiki.

Newcomers will be motivated to read the doc to get the answers they need. While reading it, they also realize and see a lot of other platform expertise there that continually accumulates. This progresses them rapidly up this knowledge continuum.

You can do this with any topic newcomers frequently ask about until you have a comprehensive collection of useful guides. Any newcomer can read these guides at the very moment they have the motivation too (i.e. before they ask the question)

The Knowledge Transfer Problem

Now we need to tackle the knowledge transfer problem. How do we get the wisdom from existing members to newcomers without this feeling like a tedious chore (i.e. the same repetitive questions coming up)?

We could, for example, create an Ask The Expert series featuring a different veteran each week. Newcomers can ask questions and get help. Make sure you seed several questions and responses early on to set the tone. If your community has only a few hundred members, you might want to do this just once a month.

Create a Google form and send it to veterans asking:

  • What is their unique expertise?
  • What specific advice can they share?
  • What kind of questions would they love to answer?

Only allow your veterans to be experts (flattery is important at this stage). This will require a lot of promotion to get going. After each session, summarize the key actions into bullet points. Give each person that participates a designated expert badge.

This scales well and competition for expert status might encourage more people to put themselves forward as it grows.

3) Language adoption

Language adoption is the measure of whether newcomers speak like existing members. This is important for both identification and acceptance. Existing members will identify newcomers as one of them if they embrace the same language and it’s clear newcomers have accepted the community identity if they embrace the language.

By language, we mean;

Do they talk about the same topics, use the same references, invoke the same phrases and embrace the in-jokes of existing members?

If you haven’t yet developed a strong community culture, this will be difficult to achieve.

Language adoption typically occurs through osmosis. People are exposed to unique elements of the language, ‘get it’, and begin to use it themselves. The exposure is important. Newcomers have to be exposed to it without being forced to accept it.

  • Highlight discussions where in-jokes/references are used. Most communities will have universal discussions which everyone can participate in. These often contain plenty of in-jokes. You can embed these at the top of pages and ensure newcomers are more likely to see them.


Picture 13 - Glossary

  • Create a specific guide outlining the community culture. After a member has made their first few contributions, you can send them a guide that outlines the community brand. Outline what personality the community has. Serious? Fun? Whacky? Laid back? Committed? etc.

4) Ownership

Ownership is the ability of newcomers to quickly take ownership over areas of the community. A comparable would be the time it takes immigrants to become homeowners. This is important. It shows newcomers are making a real investment and feel accepted in and by the group.

This shows itself in different ways. How quickly do newcomers proactively put themselves forward for important roles? Do they initiate discussions? Do they suggest ideas for the group? Do they try to lead different areas of the group?

Encouraging ownership

The first step is to create the official (or unofficial) roles.

Every community or social group affords members official or unofficial high-status positions. Sometimes this is just the ‘leader’. Hopefully it’s a collection of diverse high-status roles where people can apply their existing skills, knowledge, and resources to the benefit of the group.

Too frequently, these roles either don’t exist in the group or established members of the group take them. There are many reasons why the latter can happen. Often the newcomers are too shy to put themselves forward. Even when they do, they don’t have the insider knowledge to stand out. More likely the person who determines who gets the roles simply knows the established members better.

If newcomers aren’t putting themselves forward to take ownership over different areas of the group, they haven’t properly assimilated yet.

Designating experts (as per above) is useful. Inviting people to create content or moderate parts of the site is also valuable. The best approach is to identify what newcomers thinks makes them unique (at an individual level) and find ways they can run their own elements of the site based upon that. Having a resident platform expert is a useful designation (that should come with the ability to create content, moderate related discussions, interview experts etc…)

If you’re creating roles either list them on the site so everyone can apply (only 1 or 2 at a time) or headhunt people. This means you scan through profiles of members paying attention to their early comments on the site to see what sort of role they could have within the community.

Fred Wilson writes people are far more likely to remain in a social group if they know how they can contribute to it. Reading this discussion, it’s clear we have some genuine experts here in different fields.

Picture 14 - Allison Leahy


Or this one from Sam (sorry Sam!)

Picture 15 - Sam Houston

Clearly it would make sense to drop both of them a line and see if they wouldn’t mind being more involved in any security-related questions on the site. Maybe we could give them a community security-expert status which might encourage them to post more about security issues on the site? These should benefit other members, and them to feel valued.

At the structural level then, we might ensure all volunteers, the community manager, and other members know that if they feel any member has made a really good contribution – they can nominate them for expert status. This expert status provides them the ability to create long-form columns, undertake interviews, and otherwise be more involved.

This ‘ensuring everyone knows’ can come in many forms. We could make newcomers aware of it when they join the community in the auto-responders (yet the open rates of these will vary between 20% to 50%). We could include it in direct outreach. We could periodically ask existing members to nominate others for expert status.

Or better, we can do a big announcement each time someone (or a few people) does achieve expert status. This creates a powerful loop effect. More people see it. More people nominate. More people become experts. More people want to become designated experts etc…

Most importantly, this doesn’t rely on the length of time someone has been in a community. It relies purely on the merit and value that they bring. It relies on existing members noticing when someone has made an especially great contribution and nominating them as an expert (can use e-mail or a button for this).

Tackle the cultural assimilation problem at a structural level

Retention is probably the biggest challenge you face. You can make technological tweaks that might help, but ultimately you need to tackle this problem at the structural level. That means drilling very deep into what’s happening in your community and making changes that scale.

You absolutely can’t do this with any fun, quirky, gimmick. Neither will being nicer to your members. You have to drill deep at the structural and behavioral level to make real changes. This is the only work great community professionals can do.

Research the newcomers from three months ago. Work through each of the 4 cultural assimilation elements in turn; intermixing, skill/knowledge inequality, language adoption, and ownership.

You will find cultural assimilation is the key to long-term retention in any social group. Most importantly, you have far more influence over cultural adoption than you might imagine.

Seeding Images That Change Opinions And Create Actions

September 14, 2015Comments Off on Seeding Images That Change Opinions And Create Actions

Images don’t spread because they’re shocking. They spread when they overcome the coordination problem.

You can summarize the coordination problem as follows. If everyone does something, everyone wins (by win, we mean they receive more than they give). But if only one person takes action, that person loses. Thus everyone needs to know everyone else is taking action before they take action.

I spent a year working for UNHCR (UN Refugee Agency). We tested hundreds of images. We discovered people don’t react to disturbing images, they avoid them. Worse still, they avoid the source of them. They want to avoid the feeling that they should be doing something, but really don’t want to.

This is the coordination problem. It takes a lot of effort for one person to help refugees. It doesn’t have a huge impact. Yet if everyone knows everyone else is helping, everyone wants to help. They can profoundly help the refugees and make a big difference.

Alan Kurdi’s picture spread not because it was disturbing (there are no shortage of incredible pictures of refugees available), it spread because it ‘flashedover’ at incredible speed. The photo was taken on the morning of the 2nd. By late that evening hundreds of media outlets were showing the image.

Suddenly everyone knew that everyone cared – which made them care more. Hence the welcome crowds in Germany. The image benefited from a fortunate (for the refugees) confluence of events you might feel are hard to replicate.

But modern social leaders are going to need to respect their audience’s apathy and understand what motivates people. Images are more powerful than words. And the best use of words is to create images (aside, stop using images to display words).

An image alone, no matter how poignant, won’t take off unless it’s exposed to and shared by a lot of people within a very short space of time.

This is means you need to seed the image among plenty of people and have them expose it/talk about it within a short window. Book authors like Tim Ferriss do this well. He sends out a thousand review copies and asks the reviewer to publish their review all on a single day.

You can use the same process in your own communications. Don’t ask your audience/community to do something one morning. Line up over a dozen people who have already agreed to take action on that specific day. Seed the action before you announce action (and if you can’t seed it, you probably shouldn’t do it).

Once you overcome the coordination problem, momentum will give the object flight.



September 11, 20151 Comment

Spend a few minutes reading this post on the subject lines to the Obama 2012 re-election campaign.

Let’s assume with a $1.1bn budget, the campaign can hire the best e-mail marketers in the business.

After hundreds of tests, they determined the highest-converting subject line consisted of just one word.


You can do everything right. You can build relationships, develop activity, determine a great concept, yet still fail because you can’t get your messages read. If you can’t communicate with the people you’re trying to reach, you’re doomed.

Subject lines are very important here.

I’m subscribed to 50+ community newsletters and receive several dozen outreach messages per week. I’d estimate 75% of them use the benefit-laden approach advocated by direct response copywriters.

I associate these approaches with a company that wants my money and highlight the message as spam.

The best subject lines when approaching prospective (or current) members are entirely different from those used by direct-response marketers.

The best subject lines for community professionals are usually human, personal, and provoke the itch of curiosity. They’re from a real person, not a noreply e-mail address. They are structured similar to e-mails I get from real people. They reference something relevant to me. They aim to begin a discussion, not end a discussion.

In the six years of reaching out to prospective b2b community members, the highest converting subject line has been “{their company name} and community”.

It’s human, personal, and relevant in three words, but you can only use it once.

Three quotes from the Obama subject line article stand out:

“The subject lines that worked best were things you might see in your in-box from other people,” 

“Every time something really ugly won, it would shock me: giant-size fonts for links, plain-text links vs. pretty ‘Donate’ buttons. Eventually we got to thinking, ‘How could we make things even less attractive?’ That’s how we arrived at the ugly yellow highlighting on the sections we wanted to draw people’s eye to.”

“Eventually the novelty wore off, and we had to go back and retest,”

These are useful principles for all of us. Use a subject line to begin a discussion. Keep it distinct from any direct marketing e-mails you see. Keep innovating and testing what does/doesn’t work. It’s probably not the benefit-laden subject from a noreply account.

If you want to learn more about the psychology of subject line and optimizing communications with every member, I hope you will come to SPRINT: San Francisco this November.

You can see the speaker line-up here:

It’s Harder To Build Relationships When People Wear Masks

Imagine meeting someone who wouldn’t reveal her real name.

That would change how you spoke and thought of them.

She might still be friendly, funny, empathetic, and supportive. She might reveal plenty of information about herself too. But something would always be missing.

The problem with pseudonymity is it establishes a preset limit on the depth of disclosure. You know the other person is only willing to reveal so much.

You’re less likely to disclose information to someone who has already decided to hold back. This becomes regressive too. First we hold back our real names, then locations, then images, and then details about our working/personal life etc, etc…

It can also breed mistrust.

When we use a pseudonym we unintentionally stop the vital process of reciprocal self-disclosure that fosters trust and a strong sense of community (which in turn is linked to value, retention, and levels of activity).

Everything is a signal

When your members participate using their real names, displaying their own faces, give real information about themselves, explain what company they work for, they’re sending a powerful signal about their trust in the group, the levels of disclosure expected from members, and what they expect from the group.

For sure, there are a lot of groups when this depth of exposure is a bad idea and pseudonymity is a critical means of self-protection and freedom of expression. But this doesn’t cover nearly as many as we might think.

We don’t use pseudonyms when we meet strangers at any other social situation. Few of your friends, colleagues, or acquaintances introduce themselves using a pseudonym. Pseudonyms should be the exception not the norm.

You shouldn’t force people to use real names, but you should give them every nudge and signal that they should. It’s better for the community and leads to a higher quality of discussion.

(not everyone agrees)

Increase Your Diversity, Grow Your Community

We’ve hosted 4 large offline events and a bunch more workshops.

Each time, we issue a call for speakers. We receive on average around 50 to 60 applicants. 90% of them are white men.

We could argue ‘well, the process was open to everyone’ and have a speaking line-up that is 90% white men. This assumes everyone had an equal opportunity and it just magically turned out 90% of those that put themselves forward were white men.

But it’s not even close to a fair process.

It’s a process designed for men used to putting themselves forward to speak at events. If you don’t see people like you putting themselves forward you’re less likely to do it too (this is true for almost any action).

White men see white men speaking at events all the time. Unsurprisingly, they feel they too could (and should) speak at these events. More so, we’re very likely to talk to people like ourselves. Hence, white men are more likely to talk to white men – who will often refer white men (or give advice) to get future speaking roles and perpetuate the cycle. This is a cycle that cuts out a huge swathe of prospective speakers.

Among the most effective ways to grow any social group today is to increase the diversity of that group.

If we leave diversity to chance we attract an initial group of similar people who recruit people like themselves and (unconsciously or otherwise) cut off a huge % of prospective members.

You’re far less likely to take an action if you have no examples of others like you taking the action.

Don’t confuse what’s common with what’s fair. Common is usually a process run and managed by the very people it benefits the most. Our call for speaker process benefits people with an ingrained nature to put themselves forward, get advice from others like them, hype up their own achievements etc…

It’s incredibly easy to think you’re doing everything right and end up doing wrong. ProductHunt recently announced a speaking lineup for its AMA events. This September features 3 women and 28 men. That’s not a good image.

As social leaders, we need to be forever pushing to push our groups slightly ahead of the diversity curve. The more inclusive you make the group, the more people you attract to join your group. Right now, most of us are accidentally excluding huge chunks of potential members for no reason.

We do this in a variety of ways. Some might include:

  • Recruit diverse groups of people to help run and manage areas of the group. If you want a more diverse speaker line-up, have a diverse group that selects the speaker line-up.
  • Increase the diversity of images on your site. Avoid having all images being of the same sex, gender, race, age?
  • Avoid consistent use of words/expressions/metaphors (e.g. sports metaphors) that are heavily slanted in favour of specific groups.
  • Create higher-status opportunities within the group and seek out members of under-represented groups to fill them.

This isn’t just a moral obligation (it is), it’s a very practical tactic to get more members to join and participate in our groups. We’ve been lazy to not do it thus far. We would be crazy never to do it.

The Pure Sprint

September 8, 2015Comments Off on The Pure Sprint

You sprint when you want to progress quickly as possible.

In two months’ time, we’re hosting a community sprint.

We want to take a group of community experts to the next level in community building.

This is a level that moves beyond anecdotal stories and guesswork. It’s a level where we apply proven science to build better communities. It’s a level where we focus on principles that we can use to predictably create and grow any number of communities.

And you’re invited.

You will be joined by the top experts in a variety of fields who will explain how to take proven concepts of psychology and deploy them within your community to great impact.

If you’re looking to grow your community, increase activity, generate more value, or tackle internal challenges, I think you should join us.

  • Myself: Applying next generation motivational techniques to building communities.
  • Roger Dooley: Using brain science to increase conversion in communities.
  • Jono Bacon: Hacking Communities with Behavioral Science
  • John Egan: Advanced growth techniques used by Pinterest
  • Jeff Atwood: Addicted to Community
  • Dion Hinchcliffe: Exploring the cutting edge of community building
  • Felicity Barber: Powerful speechwriting techniques to persuade members
  • Nathan Mahon: Really understanding and motivating members
  • Kare Anderson: Hidden behavioral clues that boost credibility
  • Brian Cugelman: How to use influence signals to build communities
  • Stephanie Beadell: How to read your members’ minds and give them exactly what they want
  • Rachel Happe: Architecting Community Culture

The $285 fee also includes:

  • Access to all 16 videos from our 2014 SPRINT USA
  • Access to all the videos from our SPRINT UK event.
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Free drinks at the after-party
  • And a number of goodies

I hope you will agree it’s an incredible deal for $285.

We think we can pack in an incredible amount of value that will help you improve a lot in a single day. Hopefully you can join us.

You can buy tickets at:

(ticket prices will rise at the end of next week)

CommuniCon, San Francisco (October 6th, 2015)

September 3, 2015Comments Off on CommuniCon, San Francisco (October 6th, 2015)

Over the past few months we’ve been highlighting how you can use proven principles from social psychology to optimise everything you do to build communities.

This includes improving every message you send out, every activity you organize, how you onboard members, foster a powerful sense of community, and plenty more.

I’m happy to have the opportunities to share the best of these tactics at ComuniCon on October 6th in San Francisco. During my keynote talk, I’ll share my favourite universal principles for increasing engagement in a broad range of communities.

I feel fortunate to be speaking alongside my friends Bill Johnston (3C), Phoebe Vanket (Salesforce) and many of the top names in the community space.

I hope to see some of you there. Early bird registration lasts until September 15th.

Other upcoming events include:

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