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
- 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