The Huge Gap Between Reading and Participating

September 25, 2012 Comments Off on The Huge Gap Between Reading and Participating

The difference between someone reading and participating is huge.

Too many organizations aim to attract readers. They try to get experts publishing content that members want to read. This is a flawed content-driven community strategy.

The only viable community strategy has to be based around active participation between members. 

If members are only consuming information, they’re not emotionally engaged. They’re not interacting with each other. They’re not building relationships. They’re not developing a sense of loyalty, community, and commitment to the group. They don’t get emotionally involved in the community. They will quickly jump to anyone else that produces the same content slightly better, or slightly quicker.

If they’re not participating, you don’t get the ROI. You don’t get the increased loyalty, repeat purchases, decreased marketing costs. You’re in a cut-throat world of content.

If you want to build an audience, go ahead and publish a lot of content and compete with hundreds of similar outlets publishing almost identical content. That’s a rough ratrace.

The alternative is to build genuine communities based around participation.

That means gearing everything towards encouraging participation. Prioritise the interactions, come up with ideas to stimulate interactions between members, shape an environment that orientates around interactions between members. Organize events and activities, highlight the most popular interactions, document what interactions are taking place.

The irony here is you don’t need a community to write for, you need a great community to write about.

The best content for a community, is content about the community.

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