I have a network that is less than 2 months old. My community is www.allmyarts.net

It is an arts and performing arts based community. I attended last weeks webinar and it gave me a lot of insight on how to increase activity. I have already started to implement their suggestions. My problem is I dont know where to turn in terms of building initial members to grow from. How do I recruit members without becoming spam? 

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My network started November 1 and I am up to 145 members. Mine is a professional community of practice for people involved in non-formal education and interpretation of cultural and natural resources. (Think museums, park rangers, science centers, etc).

Building an on-line community is not going to happen by building a great site. It will happen by closing the computer and making some real life connections. We built a list of people in the field who are well connected. We personally invited them by talking to them face to face or on teh phone or in a video conference. We attended a national conference for this profession and handed out buttons, did demos of the site in the hallway, promoted it in the breakout sessions where appropriate. We made real community connections before the virtual community connections. Phase 1.

Next step we will reach out within the site to those who are the "influencers" and who are well connected. We are asking them to create groups, start discussions, invite friends, post blogs and photos. We are seeding the content and priming the pump. We integrated with Twitter and have an outgoing Twitter feed to attract incoming traffic. Phase 2

We are planning, for about 6 months from now, a webinar series, live on-line events to bring attention to the site. I the short term, I plan to promote a Video Chat series. I post a provocative, thoughtful video, maybe a TED talk. Folks have a couple of weeks to view it (embedded on my site of course) On an advertise date and time we have a live chat about the film. Live chat, forum discussion and maybe a group. If it provokes a cadre of people to create something together based on the discussion they can start a group and go to work- inviting others from outside the network to come in and join them hopefully. Phase 3.

In short, its not about the design, the technology or even the content. It's about People and Community. And that is what you are really building, not a website.


My 2 cents!

SHINEnet.net

Another thing, after visiting your site. I was like "Meh, OK" until I hit your Photo page. Then I realized what you are all about. I would put those right on your Home page front and center.

In my humble opinion:)

I created my network on 13 Feb 2009. I was the only one member in my network. I invited my few friends to join my site. They hardly joined my network. Many people used to say so boring network and there's been a lot of criticism of my network. Slowly and gradually like a story of turtle and rabbit, my network became the huge networking site. Now my network has 10 thousand plus member. Now my site became a leading site  in our region. 

There are plenty of resources  to get traffic in your site. 

Good Luck

Hi Bernard! I Like your History about your network. That's Inspiration. That mean I miss something for my site....

Hi Jalena,

This article might help your site to grow.

wow...just 3 years and already at 10,000 and growing! I just hit the 500 mark on my network and we went live 3-26-12 lol Im inspired now Bernard! With your help, Well Kunnected will be well on its way to reaching the heights you have, keep up the great work :D

You know Armani, impossible is nothing or nothing is impossible. I'm sure Well Kunnected will be well known site one day. 

Best Wishes

Bernard

90% of signups are spam. Should I  continue to delete them, or let them stay and add to the content???

Having spammers will almost guarantee an empty network. 

Spammers are selfish and not quality members. They will not stick for a long period of time.

If the 10% are quality members then you don't need those 90% quantity members. Throw them in the trash can. 

Google adwords, target your competitor site...$8 per day can get you about 100 to 300 visitors, about 25 will sign-up per day.  Use sexy banners..sex sells.

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