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Richard Millington
London, United Kingdom
Online Community Builder
Recent Activity
If a member has proven adept at gaining skills or experience within a particular topic, designate them as an expert. Members can apply to be an expert or nominate each other. Create new experts on new topics as necessary. They're... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2015 at The Online Community Guide
I haven't seen too many examples where a community reactivated a double-digit % of their former members. Don't waste your time trying to reactivate former members. They've made the decision not to participate. It's far harder to change someone's mind... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2015 at The Online Community Guide
Do categories serve a purpose? When you're with your friends, do you categorise discussions neatly into different areas of the room? Or time-slots within the hour? In most communities, the 'general/off-topic' categories are the most popular. Most people don't want... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2015 at The Online Community Guide
In the beginning, you usually need a leader. This leader needs connections, expertise, or charisma to get a community started. They need to convince a small group they can create a separate, better, future within their field. They need to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2015 at The Online Community Guide
Imagine the behaviour of your popular community manager becomes intolerable in the office After several warnings, you decide to remove him/her. How would you do it without upsetting the community? If your answer is to explain to 1m+ people why... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2015 at The Online Community Guide
Personalising an entire community experience around individual interests sounds smart. If a member can tag topics they like, you can ensure they see discussions/content solely related to those topics. In theory, that keeps the member as engaged as possible. The... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2015 at The Online Community Guide
You have to be taking the actions you want members to take. That means you. If you want members to ask questions, reply to each other, welcome newcomers, share content, advocate, then at the very minimum you need to be... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2015 at The Online Community Guide
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When registered members visit your community landing page, what do you ask them to do? You can choose between four positive behaviours. 1) Ask a question to get help on a problem (ask) 2) Answer questions (help) 3) Share advice/expertise... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2015 at The Online Community Guide
Most communities are matchmaking sites. You're trying to match someone with a problem to someone who knows the solution. There's a critical mass about these things. You need the abundance of one side to attract the other. And that's the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2015 at The Online Community Guide
An important question to ask anyone helping you build a community: "Do you get a referral fee if we buy from the vendor you recommend?" And if you want to be trusted, disclose the answer before you're asked the question. Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2015 at The Online Community Guide
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We justify our actions to ourselves using a scale of moral reasoning. We broadly like to think we're taking any action for a greater good. However, we're surprisingly open to being given a rationale for our actions. If someone tells... Continue reading
Posted Jun 25, 2015 at The Online Community Guide
Profiles aren’t reflections of who we are, profiles are reflections of how we want to be seen by members of the group. Profiles contain signifiers. These are traits we believe the group values. The more signifiers we display and the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2015 at The Online Community Guide
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You should participate in a community to gain influence. Influence isn't your direct authority. Influence is your ability to make things happen. When you ask members to take action, they take the action. That's a valuable skill to acquire. There... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2015 at The Online Community Guide
Interviewing a member who doesn't have anything interesting to say is a waste of time for you, the member, and the reader. If you're going to do an interview, it should be with someone who will share and summarise expertise,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2015 at The Online Community Guide
The best way to attract trolls is to declare war on trolls. Can you imagine a more tempting target? Declaring yourself a troll-free zone may assure existing members you're taking action. But it's going to attract a lot of trolls.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2015 at The Online Community Guide
I imagine you'll have plenty of time to read this summer. Here are some favourites from the past year. 1) Amanda Palmer - The Art of Asking. Look specifically at how she engaged fans, promotes their problems, and create a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2015 at The Online Community Guide
Welcome to the 3rd of 3 frameworks for the month. You can read the sweet spot and the model for getting people to join and participate first. If you just want to see this week's model, click here. It’s time... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2015 at The Online Community Guide
I remember my first week at the United Nations. We didn't have the budget (or time) to hire translators to convert a campaign into multiple languages. I made a suggestion, let's ask our members if they can help. It was... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2015 at The Online Community Guide
Christopher Allen has written the best overview of online privacy I've read yet. Grab a coffee and read it. Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2015 at The Online Community Guide
News stations and online publications do this a lot. When a story is breaking in their field they add a 'breaking' tab. They post updates throughout the day. It's not difficult to do this in a community too. If a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2015 at The Online Community Guide
The most popular community sites are the least attractive. There's too much copy, no clear call to action, and few images. Spend an hour browsing through Reddit, StackExchange, 4Chan, Hacker News, inbound.org, Mumsnet, and almost any popular online forum. Visit... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2015 at The Online Community Guide
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I'm going to share the second framework we use to guide our client’s work. If you haven’t read last week’s post, click here. There’s a sweet spot in the middle of our mix of desires. Those desires are what the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2015 at The Online Community Guide
Somewhere beyond platform features, being nice to members, and even metrics is the cutting edge of community building. There's a few people, perhaps just a handful, who live on the edge. They do incredible work turning insights from social science... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2015 at The Online Community Guide
Communities can improve customer loyalty. But so can lower prices, spending more to create better products, improved customer service, transparent business practices etc... The challenge isn't to show that communities increase customer loyalty. The challenge is to show that communities... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2015 at The Online Community Guide
Farmer's didn't invent the tractor, they were too busy farming. When groups of people with similar backgrounds, goals, and experience get together they share small, gradual, improvements. It probably felt great to discover a slightly better way to harvest crops... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2015 at The Online Community Guide