The ‘One-Off’ Initiatives
Distinguish carefully between a one-off activity that spikes a particular type of engagement and a long-term process.
There is no shortage of one-off activities which will spike activity for a short amount of time. Discussions about politics, designed lurker days, and many off-topic discussions can spike engagement for a short amount of time.
But looking for spikes isn’t a strategic approach to achieve success over the long-term.
The novelty quickly wears off. Metrics return to what they were before. You’re still left facing the same problems. If you can’t run the same activity every week, you have to wonder if it’s worth running the activity at all.
A big win is different. A big win is a change in processes (i.e. how you approach tasks and allocate time) that achieves a very different outcome. A big win often begins from the mindset of ‘what can we collectively work towards that will benefit us the most?’
Building a definitive knowledge base for your field can be a big win, hosting a secret Santa is a big spike.
Sometimes you need a spike to blow-off steam and remind members you exist. Most of the time, however, you should be working towards the biggest possible benefit for your community’s collective energy.