There are all sorts of ways to “do” community. Maybe you are employed as a community manager. You might wrangle a meetup in your free time or contribute to an open source code repository. Maybe you moderate a podcast community or you’re active in a church. Being part of a community increases our collective resilience. That’s why it’s so important to be active and deliberate about cultivating our community relationships.
The Clickety Cultivating Community series will focus on ways to think about and organize your community and how Clickety can help. You don’t need to have read the first installment, Clickety makes Community Management Easy as PIE by guest blogger Rick Turoczy, but it’s a great post and you should check it out!
This week’s focus:
Communicating topics that are important to and impact your community is what brings people together - it’s how you find each other. Whether you have an ad hoc community that appears in social media, or a more deliberate community with folks who take on specific roles to keep the community vibrant, publishing content pulls in new members and motivates existing ones.
If you regularly publish content for any length of time, you have probably learned that you need help. Sure, if you pushed yourself and ignored all your other human needs or had someone else take care of them for you, you could do it alone. Possibly. But bringing in guest voices to help is a straightforward way to keep you and your content fresh.
You’ll start off by asking folks if they’d be interested in participating. Some people will never reply. Some people will go “Oh! That sounds great! Tell me more!” and then never reply. Some people will go “I’ve got something ready now, when should we schedule this?” Some people will be excited to help, but be at a loss for what to actually talk about and need a lot of guidance and encouragement from you. This is life.
One way to approach collaborative content is to select a theme for a period of time. Depending on how many contributors you have and how frequently you post, this could be a week, a quarter, or even a year. Decide on a topic and ask all of your contributors if they have anything they’d like to talk about on that theme. Provide examples to increase the likelihood of them making a personal co. Hopefully, you have more than enough contributors and are able to keep some extras in reserve in case life gets in the way of someone meeting your planned deadline.
Tracking this can get really onerous after you pass a certain number of contributors - that’s when Clickety can really help:
Tracking Content Contributions with Clickety
As you invite people, add them to a group for content contributors. Create a project board (from your group, select Board view from the top toolbar). Track people in the group though stacks labeled
- Recorded/Written (depending on the type of content you are producing)
- Gratitude (it’s always important to thank your contributors!)
Send reminders to people who never replied. Definitely remind people who showed interest and then dropped off the face of the planet - just don’t plan on them being your next guest.
If you use themes/prompts for a cycle, you can copy your project board for the next cycle. Make or duplicate a group with folks who have published with you before. Ask them if they have anything they want to say on the topic (and add them to the invited stack). If this works well for you, duplicate this group for your next theme! To keep your Group menu cleaner, consider an “Archive” group to nest past-content campaigns.
If you enjoyed this blog, check back next week for the next installment.
You might also enjoy
- Visualizing People Workflows, a docs page talking about various styles of group project boards and what use cases they work best with.
- Getting Advice Without Getting Lost, a blog post about an Advice group project board.
- Why It’s Hard to Remember People (Even the Ones You Like a Lot), a blog exploring how our brains are built with only so much capacity for relationships.