If you haven’t mastered social sciences,
you have a very narrow toolkit.
If you want to increase activity within a
community, you’re limited to changing the platform, participating more
yourself, or promotional efforts such as mass e-mailing members.
However, changing the platform is expensive
and time-intensive (and rarely works), increasing your own participation
doesn’t scale (and takes up time you should be spending on more important
tasks), and mass e-mailing members begging them to participate isn’t
If you know your social sciences, you can
test a range of interventions to increase activity within a community.
For example, you might use social
validation to gradually build up a panel of experts in the community that other
members can aspire to.
You might work with the top members to
establish a goal that members can contribute towards achieving.
You might work on increasing the sense of
community by greater use of symbols and references to previous activities.
You might subtly influence the community to
talk about more emotive topics they will be more passionate about.
You might begin documenting the
achievements of the community and making these known amongst the broader group
to build a sense of group efficacy.
None of these tasks are difficult or
expensive to do – and this is the great thing about mastering the social
sciences behind communities. You’re able to pick a far broader number of tools
from the community toolbox to use.