How Do You Make People Take Action?

October 15, 2008Comments Off on How Do You Make People Take Action?

It’s Blog Action Day. That’s a big problem for a lot of people. How do you get people to go from talking online to taking meaningful action?

This challenge trips up more online communities than I care to remember. How can you get your community to take action without compromising your trust with them?can you make take action without it coming as a shock? Or compromising what brought people there in the first place?

Here are 3 ideas:

1) The Cause. Build a community to achieve one objective. Strive to fix something in the world, perhaps poverty. Every member joins knowing that they are working towards taking a real-world action.

2) Build up actions. Get your community used to taking actions. Begin simply. Maybe ask members to vote on a poll in a rival site, or participate in a discussion elsewhere. Then e-mail or write a letter to an editor or person of importance. Then arrange meetings, co-organise events, donate money, recruit others. You can even create roles for people in charge of activism.

3) Who’s In? Demanding your members take action, or spamming them into submission, are two very bad ideas. Instead, set out a clear agenda and then ask “who’s in?”. These people get real insider stuff. They get invited to a secret community that the others don’t have access to. They get made to feel a part of something special. You have the armed forces, then you have MI6. Make this a community within your community.

It’s dangerous to force an action upon your community. Tread carefully doing it, and work with sensitivity.

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