Ask, Discuss, Or Share?

Most communities implicitly or explicitly decide the behavior of members.

  • Is this a place where people come, ask questions, and leave?
  • Is this a place where you discuss a topic you’re interested in?
  • Is this a place where you share the latest ideas you’ve seen and go to find the latest ideas from others?

There are tradeoffs to each of these.

If it’s about questions, people only come when they have a question. That might be once a day, once a week, or never. That’s a specific behavior and mindset.

If it’s about discussions, people visit if they really want to spend their spare time talking about the topic.

If it’s about sharing content, people visit to learn something new. This usually means they visit more frequently (variable reward mechanism), but it’s hard to filter for quality (LinkedIn).

Most community platforms only allow you to pick one option. At you don’t. You click on Add News and then the type of activity you’re going to perform.

Screenshot 2016-05-04 08.48.35

If you have the capacity to do something similar, you might want to try it.


  1. Stephen Gates says:

    Interesting. I’m working on a new forum and need to pick a sub-domain name. Ask, Share, Discuss are all options.

    I was leaning towards “ask” i.e. as it made a sentence. and don’t work as well.

    I wonder if this will influence the posts made and how best to counter the behaviour described above.

  2. Sarah Hawk says:

    I think it probably does prime behaviour, yeah. We regret choosing Experts now, because it’s likely intimidating for some.

    I actually think that is good. Or even

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