What Leads To Long-Term Volunteering In Online Communities

November 13, 2014Comments Off on What Leads To Long-Term Volunteering In Online Communities

Long-term volunteers focus on just a few subject areas

If people make a lot of contributions in a variety of different places, they’re likely going to churn. They’ll get attracted to the next thing and leave. 

You want members participating in topics over which they have either a high degree of expertise or a strong emotional connection.

You want each member to feel a sense of ownership over a relatively small part of the community.

Qin et al. (2014) who studied 500k Wikipedia participants over 13 years. Those that edited just a few articles repeatedly stayed for far longer than those that engaged in lots of different activity.

Never guide a newcomer aimlessly to participate in a community. Highlight what they’re most passionate/knowledgeable about – and gradually get them more engaged within those topics. They need to feel they own a piece of the community. 

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