What You Should Optimize
At best you will gain a 15% increase in the number of
registered members by optimizing the registration form.
The same is true for most technology changes (except for
placing the latest activity above the fold on the landing page of the community
Optimizing the technology will have a noticeable impact, but
not a breakthrough impact.
However, optimizing the discussions you initiate,
facilitate, and highlight has a huge impact. Once you know which discussions
bring members back every day, and how to initiate these discussions in a
genuine, personable, manner, you can use these to build a thriving hub of
Optimizing content has a huge impact. Simply by applying the
basic principles of great content, you can motivate members to return to see
what’s new. You can quickly establish a social order that encourages members to
increase their levels of participation to increase and maintain their standing.
Optimizing the events/activities you initiate has a big
impact. If you can initiate, run, and successfully promote the right type of
events, members will return and participate on a regular basis.
To optimize you need to measure. This means three things:
1) Find a way to categorize discussions, content,
and events/activities. For discussions, we use status-jockeying, bonding, and
conveying information with filters for open, closed, specific and hypothetical questions.
You might want to use specific types of topics.
2) Once categorized, measure the popularity of each
type. Test different categories and different types of discussions, content,
and activities/events. Identify what’s popular.
3) Refine how you initiate and implement the above.
Notice the language and tone of voice you use to promote an event or initiate a
None of the above costs a penny. You have no excuse not to
optimize your own activities within the community. Getting better at soft
skills trumps technology tweaks.
On July 1st, Google is shutting Google Reader down.
This means we need to persuade you to take one of two actions.
1) Click here to subscribe by e-mail (best option)
2) Move your Google Readers feed to Feedly (it takes about 2 minutes)