Community Participation

How can you benefit most from engaging in an online community?

Beyond the trigger

Generally you will join an online community, because there has been a certain trigger. You want ask a question, or you know the answer to a question you noticed.

When you take the step of joining the community, it is worthwhile to ask yourself the question: Do I have a pupose beyond the trigger to join this community. Do I find like minded people here? Can I enhance my professional knowledge?


  • when you join a community think beyond the trigger and find out what your purpose is in joining the community

What are motivations to join a community?

  • Growth in Knowledge
  • Motivation
  • A chance to showcase your expertise

What are motivations to join a specific community?

There might be different communities around your topic. What are considerations to join a specific community?

  • Quality of the conversation
  • Level of activity
  • The tone of voice
  • Diversity of members
  • The actual people there

Who are you anyway?

When you actually join a community it might be a good start to introduce yourself. We might have come to think of the internet as an innate entity, but you know this community actually consists of real people.

It`s a good idea to introduce yourself. Most communities and forums have a special thread for that. Yours doesn`t? Than just start your first post with a small introduction.

What are they doing here?!

You find out that the forum you joint has all kind of moderators. Is this Kindergarten? Why do you need policemen in a group of adults?

Patrick O’Keefe‏ actually has a really nice overview of what such a moderator actually does:

Yes, They Remove Spam, Monitor Guideline Violations, Write Policy, Design Community Infrastructure, Take care of Technology and Keeping the Site Online, Managing the Staff, Interacting with and Responding to Members, Have a Problem? Guess Who Probably Fixes It!, Be a Good Influence, Take Abuse. All in all: Everything That You See, the Administrator Probably Touches

I`m Banned! What do I do now?

Sit and cry, indulge yourself in chocolate ice cream and read Patricks advise at

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