Join us for a free Webinar on 11/27: "How to Increase Activity in Your Community"


Ning is home to tens of thousands of communities that serve many millions of people every day. Every one of Ning’s customers has one question in common: How can I get people more involved and active in my community? Great question!

To help answer that question, we got the guy who has a lot of smart answers: Richard Millington. The author of the new book Buzzing Communities, Richard tackles some of the most-asked questions about growing and running online communities. He’s an expert that hundreds of companies and thousands of readers rely on, either in direct consultation or as readers of his influential blog about community management, FeverBee.

Whether you’re a brand-new Ning customer, an old hand who needs some fresh tips, or a community manager who’s never even heard of Ning before but wouldn’t mind hearing from one of the top experts in the field — this webinar is for you.

The webinar will explain how to increase activity in your community:

  • Why many communities struggle for activity.
  • Why members participate in community.
  • The principles behind sustaining highly active communities.
  • Practical tips you can *immediately* implement to increase activity in your community.

You’re busy, so we’ll start on time and pack as much helpful information as we can into an hour. We’ll even stick around after that to answer as many questions as possible to help you get the most out of your time.

Sign up here.

Why attend this webinar? 

  • It's totally free and geared toward Ning Creators!
  • Richard approaches community management from the point of view of social science. He focuses on data that shows what actually works — not anecdotes and hunches.
  • Richard is giving away an excerpt of the e-book version of Buzzing Communities to all attendees. It’s 50% of his book in handy PDF format.
  • Ning is giving away 5-10 free copies of the hardcover version of the book. If you ask a question that gets picked by the chat moderator in the Q&A, we’ll send you a book.

Richard Millington is the founder of FeverBee Community Consultancy, The Pillar Summit Professional Community Management training course, and the author of The Community Management Manifesto, The Proven Path, and Buzzing Communities: How To Build Bigger, Better, And More Active Online Communities.

Over the past 12 years, Richard has helped over a hundred organizations develop successful online communities. His clients have included: The United Nations, Novartis, Oracle, EMC, The British Medical Journal, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, OECD, AMD, BAE Systems, Greenpeace, Autodesk and many other brands.

Tags: NingTalk, Richard Millington, activity, best practices, engagement, free, webinar

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Replies to This Discussion

I'll be there!

Would love to get my hands on one of those free books too!
Gold mine right there!!

This is definitely appreciated! I've added the event to my iCal. With the wonders of iCloud, my phone will now remind me! :) I'm excited and can't wait!

So the question submitted to win the book, that is submitted on that date, on the link I'm provided?

We'll be giving half the book to everyone who attends and we'll take questions at the webinar. If we use your question, we'll send you a physical version of the book. Richard is one of my favorite people who write about community, and I think he always has good things to share. 

My question is, with so much competition from the big guns and the "mental programming" of people automatically heading to Facebook Twitter, etc... how do we make ourselves stand out and convince users to engage on our sites?  I find it more difficult for my target audience (LGBT) to engage on my network because there are so many "hook up" sites that disguise themselves as "social networking".  Mine is truly about online and offline (events) social networking without the emphasis on sex.

Being a member of Facebook myself I find it totally lacking in the Ning like flexibility and features. I far prefer my own site to Facebook lameness. j/s. lol! 

Exposure is where it's at, Facebook was out there first, and made for family sharing, everybody jumped on it. Its pretty hard to unseat that kind of bandwagon. You called it correctly "mental programming".

I don't believe in Goliath automatically defeating David on account of "mental programming". If I want someone to do something which they don't/won't normally do, such as spend more time in my community rather than on Facebook (doesn't matter what the desired action is really), I know that I simply have to provide them with a compelling enough reason to do what I want them to do.

This is no different as I see it. It just requires imagination + innovation; and that doesn't have to mean spending a fortune. Every person that so much as passes within a mile of my online community (likes one of our Facebook posts or follows us on Twitter for example, without actually visiting my community), instantly gets a virtual currency account established for them "automatically", which is automatically credited with a pre-determined quantum of virtual currency, all unknown to them. Eventually, whether through follow-up by one of my admins or through interaction with a promotional post/link on Facebook, Twitter or elsewhere, when that person does make their way to my community to check it out, they will suddenly discover that without even trying, they have earned valuable virtual currency by having provided real value to my community via the FB Like and/or Twitter follow. If they are shown how much they are valued BEFORE they even join my community, they are then enthusiastic about joining my community and about delivering even more value to my community, this time intentionally, and more importantly, on a regular and ongoing basis. Obviously, there has to be significant value inherent in the virtual currency earned and that value has to be clearly communicated.

The key here is not to limit your thinking in any way. Facebook is a single site, Ning sites are single sites, Google Plus is a single site, but who says that because the model of the big boys is one single site with a specific and limited though expansive set of functionality, that you too must conform to that same one site model? My community is not a Ning site; it incorporates a Ning site but it is a seamless blend of 3 different web-based social platforms, each of which is a leader in a specific niche function - 1) Organizing & Recruiting Supporters, 2) Social Networking, and 3) CrowdFunding/Investing. On top of that, is our sophisticated mobile app, that makes every aspect of the web-based community also available within a NATIVE app experience, while providing a plethora of additional, highly engaging mobile resources. As if that's not sufficient, I've wrapped it all with compelling Gamification and Affiliate (real currency) revenue earning incentives.

My hybrid community model, therefore, makes for an extremely compelling value proposition for my community members, and hugely improves the "engagement factor". I certainly don't claim to be any Richard Millington, but God gave me a brain as powerful as any man's and I'm not shy when it comes to flooring the pedal on my imagination of what innovations I can create, even though I cannot write a single line of code.

Bottom line, it's not enough to be just another social network for whatever niche audience you serve; you have to be compelling and one of the best ways to do that is to be innovative in FUNCTIONALITY; But you should never rest your success on just functional innovation (which doesn't mean paying thousands for custom features), you should also champion a cause that's important to your niche audience. That way, you're not just another watering hole along the superhighway of online life; you'll be much more than that; you'll be the place that they come to to refuel, to recharge, to be inspired and to join hands to fight the good fight, whatever that means for your audience.

Looking forward to learning some cool stuff from Richard to further enhance my current strategy and approach.

Wishing you all success with your networks...

Totally agree with Luciano: very same problem with my target (creative professionaks): latest example: I posted an event on my Ning network, the very same on Facebook where I have less control over who's coming since it's not just open to my Members. Results: Ning: 3 - Facebook: 15...(sigh). And it's just an example. Also competing with Behance as a professional network for creatives; but in that other example, it's both the visiblity of behance that has become a reflex for creatives as Fb can be for anyone + the fact the profile page on Ning that is not clear and functional enough that are the main reasons why my Members don't use it to introduce themselves as they do on

I hope Luciano's question could be answered., would be very helpful.

nice to hear. let me try it

Sounds like a Webinar we don't want to miss. =)

bonjour eric ben moi je me suis inscrite j'arrend la date car j'ai personne sur mon site ning je sais pas pourquoi les gens viennent pas et ne font rien et je suis envahie de spammer je sais plus quoi faire a part de detruire mon reseau ning dommage d'en arrivai là bonne journée by

hors de question que j'aille m'inscrire sur face book j'aime pas etre matraquer de mail et m'obliger a faire c'est du mattage la bas j'aime pas 

O this is going to be great! Can't wait!!

Count me in! :)


What's Up With Ning 3.0?

Click here to share your thoughts on what features we should develop next! - Survey will close Friday, 4/25

Projects that the Ning 3.0 Team is currently working on: 

Articles - a new way of organizing longer content pieces. Released 4/16.

Activity Feed Updates - options for more content in the activity feed.

Forum Notifications - ability for members to opt into receiving notifications of new discussions in forums. Released 4/9. 

APIs - The ability to create new members and content programatically.

For more information on what's next, visit the Product Roadmap

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