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Engaging Your Community (33)

NC for Hire

If you have been on Creators for a while you may remember my post about Survey Earth in a Day back in 2012.  This is a GLOBAL Community event for our Land Surveyor Community.

NING-POWERED PROJECT: Survey Earth in a Day

Well, this year will be our 6th year remeasuring the entire planet as a community, in a single day.

What Is Survey Earth in a Day?

On the day of the solstice June 20, 2017, geospatial professionals around the world and members of Land Surveyors United (a global support network for land surveyors) will be simultaneously recording survey grade GNSS/GPS data from thousands of points around the globe, in order to promote awareness of and a better public understanding of the surveying profession. Measurements made on this day will serve as comparative data from prior events and to expand upon the database of logged points.


So WHAT happens on Survey Earth in a Day?
On the day of the solstice June 20, 2017, geospatial professionals around the world and members of Land Surveyors United (a global support network for land surveyors) will be simultaneously recording survey grade GNSS/GPS data from thousands of points around the globe, in order to promote awareness of and a better public understanding of the surveying profession. Measurements made on this day will serve as comparative data from prior events and to expand upon the database of logged points.

This is just an example of what you can do with a Global Community!

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Brainwave Fusion is a social networking outlet that connects eager entrepreneurs, business owners, and employers/employees with reputable companies.

BrainWave Fusion is a leading website to upload and share music videos online for free. Upcoming musicians can submit music videos and songs to the website for free promotion.

BrainWave Fusion was created to provide a platform for upcoming artists to showcase their talent. BrainWave Fusion lets artists upload, promote and share their videos to get seen by more fans. We also let artists create profiles and consolidate all their social media platforms in one place for easy reach and distribution to fans. Ever wanted your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Sound cloud and YouTube videos all in one place. Well BrainWave Fusion lets you do that.

Fans can also vote for their favorite videos which will help them rise up the charts increasing their visibility.

With BrainWave Fusion artists can:

– Create a profile
– Add your social network and website links all in once place
– Upload Videos
– Promote your videos
– Share music videos
– Submit music videos
– Rise up the charts

BrainWave Fusion is a premier destination website to showcase talented hip hop artists. No major label funding required. Just create your profile and get seen and heard worldwide.

For the fans BrainWave Fusion is destination entertainment site helping people discover new musical talent in their area and worldwide. Fans can vote for their favorite artists and even share their videos to help others discover new talent.

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NC for Hire
In order to build a sustainable community, you must get to a place where your members feel comfortable and think of your place built for them when sharing that photo or tip or guide on the community you built for them. Progressive enhancement is the human way to increase relevance of your community for search engines, social graphs, bots, algorithms and yes, humans. You can do this for your community by channeling the traffic back into the network and reintroducing relevant content to those new members and visitors which might find it and the dialogue which occurs useful even, five years in the future..
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NC for Hire
Tips left for other Ning Creators get buried with time, so I developed a method to resurface those good ones for another round of help. A while back I showed you over 200 Ning tips that I had scraped out of my own profile discussions dating back to 2007. There was quite a bit of garbage in there so I have gone through those and picked out around 110 tips which are still relevant and have compiled them into a collection for you. You can simply learn something new every day from these tips alone. So, if you think you have done all you can do to make your network the best it can be, i am here to show you that you still have much to do.
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NC for Hire

If you want to give your members a tool to use for showing where their posts and content are geolocated, here is a tool for you.  Use this static map generator tool to create an embed code for adding maps to your posts, pages and groups or virtually any post on Ning 3.0 networks using this tool. Code is below for adding your own to a site.  

 

 Code for Adding Google Maps Static Map Generator to Your Site.  Just plop the following HTML into a text box on a page if you'd like to allow your members to generate a static map code for their posts.
 
<iframe name="mapgenerator" width="100%" height="700" style="border: 0px #FFFFFF none;" src="http://api.ning.com/files/wfufAsrgkK*dMtUnEu5ba5GlRf0GEuu1R-cL7FRLHnHijJhKkAGQUWaTDm1zB-MBF91V1Dn7U*mTPSR6SGcB*2OsGI9rc9Bp/1062334408.html" marginheight="0px" marginwidth="0px" frameborder="1" scrolling="yes"></iframe>
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Members need both the motivation to initiate and to overcome their fear of starting a discussion. Their motivation to initiate will be to either learn something (e.g. "Does anyone know how to....?"), to impress others (e.g. "does anyone else think business class travel isn't as great as it used to be?" or to bond with others (e.g. "I'm upset Kelly got fired from the Apprentice").
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The majority of communities struggle to sustain high levels of activity in their communities. We typically only hear about the rampant success stories. It’s fun to believe that a community will just attract members and explode to life. Unfortunately, that’s probably not going to happen. It’s going to take a lot of hard work, an understanding of why people participate in communities, some principles of activity, and a clear plan of action.
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I know there have been post on why not to send your users to facebook and I may have mis read or not understood but one thing I know for sure is that we are starting to see more members and people actually blogging more on our site then ever before. In the last 2 days we got 11 people to join. We have been trying hard to control the spam so I would say maybe 2 out of the 11 could be spammers but most we can see that they like our page on facebook. 

Make it simple and put in the work to talk to people who like your page on FB, invite them to join your Ning site. With the new like page profile update you can see and do allot more. Everyone who likes our page we "TRY" to send them a thank you and to check out our NING site. On our ning we ask how did they hear about SwurvRadio and guess what they say :) not myspace....If you don't put in the work to get people to your site stop complaining about nobody coming to your site. I'm personally up at 6am daily promoting, engaging and networking...We are not even close to this is 50 or sites like that but I can see the fruit of my team as well as my labor. 

I can't remember this guys name but he was a great programmer that I met in SF years ago at some apple convention and he said "if you don't break it your not gonna know how to fix it" Basically try everything...look at what other sites are doing and do what they are doing but make it your own. Do it better. Try something different do research on your competitor, google 100 sites like yours and look at what they are doing and see what you can do to stand out. 

When we first started I had over 200 employees and I personally spent more money developing Swurv over that past 6 years than I thought I would. Paying a programmer thousands for a site that never got developed I had to think how can we have some sort of online presence and along came NING. We aggressively put our site together and within days we have almost 2-300 people join and it went nuts from there. But that wasn't because we didn't Hustle. We got out and promoted with flyers and word of mouth and just about anything we could do to get where we are today. I can honestly say I'm almost as excited about The new ning as I was when we first got on the platform. Whatever kind of site you have, if you believe in it...DO NOT WAIT FOR PEOPLE TO COME TO YOUR SITE, MAKE THEM! GO GET EM! BREAK SOMETHING & figure out how to fix it..You might Discover something new.  

I know I'm rambling now but I hope this helps anyone struggling with there site. I always tell my djs "I would rather have 1 really good dj than 35 who don't do Shit" How many ever members you have treat them like they are #1 and they will bring people to your site"

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Encourage members to welcome new members

Encourage members to welcome new members, by introducing new members yourself to get the ball rolling. Put a link to each new member's profile in a broadcast message along with a brief description of the new member.

Suggest that members to welcome new members by posting a comment on their profiles or by sending friend requests with a personal message.

 

Here's an email that I recently sent to my group. You can modify it to suit your network.

 

- - - - Example Broadcast Message - - - -

New Members

New Members are constantly joining ProGuildsocial.com -- please welcome them!

You can do that by posting a comment on their profile or by sending a Friend Request.

Be sure to add a personal message when sending a Friend Request.

 

Steve Hall -- Intelligent, funny, busy. Steve enjoys Live Concerts. Travel. Dancing. Motorcycles Runs. Auto Shows.Roller Coaster Rides, Table Dancing, Strawberrys & Whipcream, MotorCycle Ride.Pizza & Beer.- - - -

 

Lisa Thompson, sweet, nice, friendly Lisa enjoys going to the movies, reading, hanging out w/friends,going out to dinner and a movie.

 

Chandra Flores -- pretty, thick, and brown

Chandra enjoys dancing, tennis, bike riding, laying by the water with a good book to read or good company, walking,and traveling, going to the beach on date with a picnic basket full of tasty treats, toys(for example, Hula Hoop, Frisbee). 

 

Shontae -- Funny, Sweet, and Large & Lovely.
Shontae enjoys live music/concerts, the beach on a sunny day, and day trips to new places and/or festivals.On a date, she likes to relax, be herself, and just have fun.

 

Matt Vega -- fun exciting witty loves photography and editing as well as taking walks and spending time with people 

 

Latoya -- Fun, Funny, Fantastick

Latoyya enjoys dancing and singing

 

Loyd -- adventurous, self-assured, intelligent

She enjoys having some fun times with another adult, making new friends, and exploring new places/interests.
On a date she likes doing something out of the ordinary.- - - -

 

- - - End of Example Broadcast Message - - -

 

To help you members understand how to send friend requests and post comments, you might want to make a video with voice over.  A free program for making such videos is available from 

http://www.techsmith.com/jing/ -- here's a video that I made for my members.

http://www.proguildsocial.com/video/sending-private-messages-to

 

To your success.

Phil Seyer

Director of Professionals Guild

925-eight-eight-eight-4392

 

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Hey NC's
This week I've spent a good deal of time working on developing what I call a "Framework for Action". I want to use this framework as a guideline to enroll people into the process of taking action on a variety of different projects and network I lead.
Creators continues to be an invaluable resources to me (Thanks everyone!) and so I thought I'd give back again by sharing my draft "Framework for Action" with you.
Kindly read through and then share your thoughts and input. Here is what I have so far:
Discuss:
  • What are the problems and symptoms we are facing?
  • What are the opportunities and impacts that could be made?
  • What are our values and what do we want to achieve and for whom?
  • What data is available to us that shows what is currently going on?
  • Who or what organizations are currently addressing these problems or opportunities?
  • What strategies and tactics have been effective at addressing these problems or opportunities?
Plan:
  • What are are we going to do?
  • What resources do we need to support our action?
  • Who is going to support/managing the action we are going to take?
  • When are we going to take this action?
  • How are we going to record action we took?
  • What Key Performance Indicators are we going to track?
  • How are we going to acknowledge and reward action and results?
Act:
  • Do it.
  • Record it.
  • Report it.
  • Thank.
Evaluate:
  • What did we actually get done?
  • What did we get done vs. what we planned we do?
  • How did the getting it done go?
  • What was the feedback?
  • What can we learn?
  • What do we recommend we do differently next time?
Kindly reply with your feedback to the following questions:
  1. If you've done something like this before, is there another existing proven framework we should evaluate? If so which one(s)?
  2. Are we missing anything or should would you remove something? If so which and why?
  3. Any other questions you think I should be asking or something I should know?
Thank in advance for your help!
Joseph
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Running a Webinar

Running a webinar is easy and a great way to get member involvement, have fun, and make money thorugh your network. I have attempted several methods of generating revenue through my network and running webinars (Online Seminars) has proven to be one of the most effective. Below are the steps I took to conduct a webinar:

1. What do your members want?
Focusing the webinar on a "hot" topic is key to the success of your webinar. Find out what your members want most by conducting a survey using a service like Survey Monkey (it is free and easy). You can also get ideas from looking at popular forum discussions, or, a special interest group that generates a lot of activity.

2. Find the expert on the subject.
Finding the expert on the subject you choose will get your members excited about the event and give them confidence that it is worth the money. The expert could be a well-known author, a professor, or blogger. They could even be a member of your network!

3. Choose a Webinar Service.
The webinar service is where you schedule and conduct your webinar. Out of all the options, GoToWebinar is the easiest, most reliable and affordable. Two others are Webex and DimDim. Webex was waaayyy too expensive and DimDim did not offer great tech support.

4. Eventbrite.
Collecting payments via Eventbrite is easy and free to setup. They take a minimal % of ticket sales, so they only make money when you make money. Eventbrite also allows you to integrate the ticket forms into your website for a seamless, branded experience.

5. Promote. Promote. Promote.
The success of your webinar hangs on the hinges of how well you promote the event. Just creating an event page on your network is not enough. If you build it, they will not come until you invite them. Share your event with your members on a progressive basis. Start promoting the event at least a month in advance and remind your members at two weeks, then one week, then one day... you get the idea. Send out a press release. Create an affiliate program (again via Eventbrite) and ask people to help spread the word via blogging, facebook, and twitter.

6. Prepare for Game Day.
GoToWebinar has a feature that allows you to practice your webinar before the actual day. It is a good idea to go through a practice run before the actual event.

7. Have Fun!

I hope you find this helpful. Please feel free to share your experiences with conducting webinars in the comments below.

Thanks!

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The Ning social network we used in our BYU Comms230 class this semester was a useful tool that was wholeheartedly embraced and endorsed by class members. Powerful, intuitive social media tools aren’t just for marketing. They represent and facilitate fundamental shifts in human interaction—shifts that can improve university learning.


>>> 43 out of 43 students said such a network would be helpful in ALL of their classes.


>>> The following few quotes represent hundreds of positive comments from class members:


“The network took class discussions and extended them into online conversations.”

“Seeing my classmates’ work sparked my own ideas.”

“The professor has talked a lot this semester about building a personal online brand. Blogging has helped me do that.”

“I got many more insights through sharing ideas on blog posts.”

“The network unified our class and facilitated communication.”

“I was motivated to submit higher quality work because I knew my peers would see it.”

“It’s simple. I don’t have to print assignments. I can get things done from anywhere. It’s quick. The communication is instant.”

“Everything I need for class is in one spot—the calendar, syllabus, class video stream, lecture slides, and quick ability to contact classmates, the professor, and the TA.”

“My questions are answered and my comments acknowledged much quicker than in regular classes.”

“Blogging forced me to think. I wasn’t just memorizing material.”

“Blogging has helped me feel like I have a jump on the industry because I’m actually in it.”

“It was really motivating to me to make my blog posts good so that others would respond to them.”

“Comments left on the posts unified the class, and we were able to bounce ideas off each other.”

“Blogging made me think, and put those thoughts into words. When you have to explain yourself to others it makes you dig deeper and find out why you think that way.”

“Yes. I recommend it for other classes. The world is more technologically savvy. Students must be too.”

“Blackboard is functional, but the Ning network is fun and so much more interactive.”


You can read the full post by clicking >HERE.


You can visit the class network by clicking >HERE.

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Fellow NC's,

This is Joseph Porcelli, one of Guides here on Creators. This week, I'm spending some of my time reminding our members which feature to use when so I thought I share some of our process with you.

Have you ever noticed (or gotten frustrated) that you members will post content in the wrong features? Blogs in forums, forums in blogs, events as blogs…ring a bell?

A while back a study was conducted on our networks. One of the major observations was that there was no continuity to where our members posted and found content. To address this we've taken the following steps:

  1. We distinguished and published how each feature is best used and gave concrete examples.
  2. We used the language editor to change the names of the feature on the front page. See what it looks like.
  3. We made a Prezi.com presentation that quickly explains which features to use when. Feel free to use our prezi or save it and customize it for your own networks.
  4. We edited our welcome message to mention which features to use when. Here is the link on how to edit your welcome message.
  5. In our weekly broadcast messages we remind folks what feature to use when and event break out forum posts by category to reinforce how to use the forums . Here is a copy of our most recent broadcast message NFN_Broadcast.pdf
How are you teaching your members which features to use when?
@JosephPorcelli
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Last week, I returned from five days at South by Southwest Interactive – an annual conference that focuses on technology and social media. The most interesting panels and talks that I attended while at SXSW focused on the ways that new social media technologies - like Ning! - are shaping the newest generation of non-profits.

Kiva, a non-profit that is arguably the most well known microfinance organization today, has engineered a fantastic online social network for their organization. The engineering team at Kiva has built a robust social network that allows lenders to connect with entrepreneurs in the developing world, which includes photos, descriptions, and updates on the portion of the loans that the entrepreneurs have been able to pay back. DonorsChoose is another non-profit that's been helping support teachers for the past decade. They're using a social network to allow donors to choose which projects they want to contribute to, and they've done a fantastic job of building a website that's truly interactive. When someone adds a donation on their website, they encourage them to write a note explaining why they decided to give money. It's a great example of using a social network to create an authentic and personable experience for donors.

While these organizations may be building their own websites with the help of a team of engineers, many of the strategies that are working for them can be applied to non-profits using Ning to provide the framework for a non-profit network. I can't think of a better place than the Ning Creators Network to share the lessons I learned!


Be transparent.
People like to know where their money is going. The more that you can do to explain what happens to the money after you’ve deposited a check (or accepted a donation through Paypal), the better your donors will feel about giving you money. Use the Pages feature to create a help center on your Ning Network, and let people ask you questions directly using your Discussion Forum. You can use the Blogs feature to update your Ning Network with the latest news from the organization. Ask your employees to create profile pages, so that donors can see the faces behind all your hard work.

Let them spread the word.
You don’t need to do all the heavy lifting when it comes to telling people about your organization. Let the people who are already supporting you be your advocate. If people believe in your non-profit, they'll want to tell their friends. Encourage the members of your Ning Network to invite their friends to join, and you can focus your energy on creating the best possible way for them to learn about your cause. That said, it never hurts to show people what your focus is. Greet new members who join your Ning Network, and reward members who invite their friends with Award gifts.

Use your Ning Network to build a relationship with your donors.
Once someone has joined your Ning Network, it's much easier to keep them involved. Send out broadcast messages to announce new initiatives, and update your Blog to let your members know what's going on. Ask your members for feedback using a Forum discussion, and find out what you can be doing better. Here on Ning Creators, we get loads of ideas about how to make Ning better and what we can do to get our Network Creators to love us. This can work just as well for your non-profit!

Connect with Twitter and Facebook.
Chances are you already have a Facebook fan page and/or a Twitter account to keep donors involved. It can be daunting to manage all of these social media outlets, so let your Ning Network help you with this! Connect your Ning Network to Twitter and Facebook, and you can push your status updates to all three places with a single click.

Thank people in public.
Show the people who have contributed how much you appreciate them by thanking them on your Ning Network. Use profile comments or customized gifts to say thank you, or use the Pages feature to post a donors directory. Just had a volunteer event? Post photos on your Ning Network to show off how well it went!


The best part of my job is seeing the way Network Creators like you are using Ning in creative ways. If you have more suggestions for using a Ning Network to help grow your non-profit, let us know here!

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Post <br /

Ning communities can be compared to your average dinner party. Nobody wants to be the first one at your house. If the conversation is boring, your guests will likely not come back. If you tell them about an
exciting “multi-level” marketing opportunity, they will resent you.

Below are the top 5 reasons ning members leave, and tips for how you can prevent it. This is copied from a post on my blog: http://petermoorman.com/top-5-reasons-ning-members-leave-and-how-you-can-get-them-to-stay

  • “My inbox is full of your broadcast messages, and they don’t even have anything worthwhile in them to read”

The broadcast message is a powerful force in growing your network, but it can be abused. Send broadcast messages no more than 2x a week, and make sure they have useful content for your community. Nobody likes
Spam.

  • “The forum is confusing, how do I even post a question?”

Forum setup is frustrating for new users. Make it simple. Do not have 10 different categories. It’s much better to have few categories with lots of posts, than 20 categories with little to no activity.

  • “Wait. You’re charging me how much to continue my membership in this network?”

You want to start your network as an open community with no charges. If you decide to charge a premium for membership, let your original community members in for free or at a deeply discounted rate. There’s no
better way to drive off membership than to start charging the very
people who helped your network get off the ground in the beginning.

  • “My eyes hurt after 5 minutes on your site.”

Do not have a black background. Do not have flash animation sirens in the sidebars. If you want members to stay, create a network that is easy on the eyes.

  • “There’s no discussion or interaction here. What’s the point of staying?”

With a new network, you have to get the discussions going. Invite your close friends to join, start discussions in the forum, and make the network buzz with activity. Users will leave if they see no signs of
life.

  • “Whenever I go to your network, I get confused about how to navigate and posts”

Navigation is key to promoting network growth and retention. Make it easy for users with less experience with the internet to navigate your site. Just because you can speak CSS and HTML as fluently as English,
doesn’t mean your users can.

Feel free to add any other tips in the comments below.

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The 90-9-1 rule

A fantastic blog post was put up last week, which has lead to a number of great discussions about member traction and engagement within communities. Dr. Mike Wu, Ph.D. posted metrics based on his study of over 200 online communities here.

As he writes, "The 90-9-1 rule simply states that:

  • 90% of all users are lurkers. They read, search, navigate, and observe, but don't contribute
  • 9% of all users contribute occasionally
  • 1% of all users participate a lot and account for most of the content in the community"

The data he present generally backs this up. The comments both there and in a related LinkedIn community explore how he defined his terms, constraints of the data, and how to encourage engagement.

Do you agree with his findings? Do you see them reflected in your Ning Networks?

I look forward to his future posts, where he promises to "dive deeper into the contribution level of the hyper-contributors, you community's real superusers."

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