There are generally three types of conversations.
- Getting to know you (small talk). This is the getting to know you conversations. The topic matters less than bonding between members.
- Objective focused. This is where people communication information to achieve a goal. It might be their goal or it might be the group’s goal. You probably don’t have many of these conversations in your community.
- Banter. Friendly conversation about generally unimportant topics in which members use humour, insults and other politeness taboos. The purpose is to feel comfortable enough to push this far without causing offense.
Here is some homework. Find five members that joined your community three months ago. Read up on the posts they have made since then. How many are objective focused, how many are getting to know you and how many are banter?
If members aren’t joining in on the banter (or if the banter simply doesn’t exist) then be sure to engage new members early on in the community spirit.
Do your best to measure and increase the level of banter.