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Understanding Habits In Online Communities

Richard Millington
Richard Millington

Founder of FeverBee

When you visited Facebook this morning, what was your motivation?

What did you want to achieve? What did you want to learn?

What about Twitter? Reddit? Instagram? What about the relevant communities in your niche?

The answer, I’m guessing, is to see what’s newThat’s not a motivation. You visit because it’s a habit.

You have been doing it for long enough, with enough frequency, that it would be difficult not to do it. You might even use a website blocker to stop you from going to one of these sites.

The most exciting (and potentially darkest) aspect of bringing social science into communities is habit formation. If we can make our communities habits, members will visit every single morning to see what’s new.

This means we need to master different community visiting triggers, get better at simplifying actions, make rewards invariable (this doesn’t mean gamification), and allowing members to build long-term investments in communities.

A few starting points on the topic below:

Mastering social sciences like these and bringing them in to our work is how we earn our bacon. Let’s get really, really, good at understanding habits.


If you want to master the social science approach to building successful communities, sign up for our Professional Community Management course.

Registration is open now. The course begins on April 28th.

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