The Problem With Ladders And Pyramids

December 10, 2010Comments Off on The Problem With Ladders And Pyramids

You’ve probably come across the technographics ladder or the socialgraphics engagement pyramid. These categorize members by their actions. Lurkers are at the bottom, creators at the top. Sharing, reading, tagging are in-between.

They help you diagnose how engaged your members are by the actions they take. The problem is they encourage you to focus on changing the actions rather than provoking the feelings that prompt these actions.

You don’t convert a collector to a critic by asking someone tagging articles to review content, nor by any other trick to solicit that action. Actions are a symptom of increasing engagement, they don’t cause people to be more engaged. These tools are for measurement, not for plans of action.

You convert a collector to a critic by making them feel a bigger part of the community. You help them make more friends, feel more influential and participate in more discussions. Over time they feel greater ownership over the community. Thus they want to review content and share opinions because it helps the community.

Actions rarely provoke feelings. Feelings provoke actions. Don’t persuade members on one rung to take the actions of the rung above. This defeats the point. Focus on making members feel more engaged, not act more engaged.

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