By Richard Millington
If you could increase the number of members initiating discussions, the level of activity and engagement would rise sharply.
The percentage of members who initiate discussions is usually small. This limits activity and the level of engagement members have in the community.
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").
Motivation comes relatively easy in active communities. It's social anxiety which prevents most members from initiating discussions. This social anxiety comes in three forms:
- I might ask a dumb question or make a dumb statement.
- My comment won’t receive any reply and I will appear unpopular.
- I might be criticised by members of the community.
A community can overcome much of this anxiety in a few simple steps...
(Read More at the Ning Blog)