10 Point Community Tune-Up Checklist

 

It's the beginning of a new year, and whether your community is just getting started or has been around for years, it's always good to go into the shop for a tune-up once in a while.

Here's a handy checklist you can use to make sure your online community continues to hum along throughout 2016 and beyond.

10 Point Community Tune-Up Checklist

  1. Terms of Service, legal - Have there been any changes in the last year that affect your TOS or legal position? New regulations? New lines of business? Here's an example: if you enabled image or video sharing in your community over the last year, do you have language that protects copyrighted material?
  2. Community guidelines - How is the tone of your community? Do you need to tweak your published community guidelines to address any issues or conflicts that arise consistently? If you do make changes to the guidelines, make sure you are transparent with the edits and bring your community members in on the changes and any future moderation changes that will come along with them.
  3. Administrator and moderators - Check in with moderators or admin team and take a pulse. You should be doing this frequently anyway, but if you haven't lately, now is a good time to start the year with some input from the team. Look for suggestions on how to make the community even better. Do you have adequate staff? Do you want to accept volunteer moderators or hire some this year?
  4. New features from your technology platform - Did your community platform release any updates or new features in the last year? Have you decided how you can take advantage of them or integrate them into your strategy?
  5. Address inactive members - Do you want to send out a communication to inactive members? If they've been inactive for all of 2015, do you want to consider pruning out those old members? Depending on the mission of your community, you might want to consider getting rid of dead weight or coming up with a strategy to bring them back.
  6. Address irrelevant, stale, or incorrect content - Take a look at the content created over the last year. Does anything need to be updated, refreshed, moved, or deleted?
  7. Look at design and branding - When was the last time you refreshed your header or footer? Do you have a new logo or color scheme? Will you be running any special campaigns this year that might require a custom image for the community? Get proactive and prepare now.
  8. Consider rewarding your super members - Review your all-star community members. Who are they, what is their profile? How do you create more of them? Have you said thanks lately? Do some direct outreach to make sure they know you've noticed them.
  9. Highlight key content produced over the past year - What stood out last year in the community? Think about creating a highlight widget or featured content for your most popular items. You could also consider doing some additional social promotion if it's public content. Make some hay out of your best stuff!
  10. Goals - Come up with a community goal for the year, with metrics to track progress. Involve the community itself in setting and achieving the goal; you'd be surprised at how motivating this can be.


Do you have a routine check-up that you do for your online community? Have you had your oil checked lately?

Please share your ideas in the comments!

Title image via Flickr CC: JD Hancock

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Rosemary O'Neill posted:

Thanks Jayme!

Julia, thanks for the heads up that the hover text has gone missing...I see that you've reported that in the support site, so I'm sure it will get fixed.

Meanwhile, here's the text that should be appearing, to explain to a member what "rank" is:

Community Rank
Your community rank reflects your overall contributions to, and influence within, the community. The lower the number, the better!
The rank is based on your overall community activity points, as well as the number of followers that you have. You earn activity points when you participate on the site. For instance, all of the following earn activity points: posting content, commenting, liking content, following other members or content, and voting on polls. Other actions will also earn you points. In general, the more active you are, the more activity points you will earn.
We don't reveal the specific points system to the members so that they can't "game" it, but admins can see the specific points system by going into Member Settings and enabling Activity Level Titles (there's a popup with the specific points). The total community rank of a member will account for both points and followers. There is no time component, other than the entire life of the community member's account. Hope that's helpful!

Yes, very helpful! Thanks!

Thanks Jayme!

Julia, thanks for the heads up that the hover text has gone missing...I see that you've reported that in the support site, so I'm sure it will get fixed.

Meanwhile, here's the text that should be appearing, to explain to a member what "rank" is:

Community Rank
Your community rank reflects your overall contributions to, and influence within, the community. The lower the number, the better!
The rank is based on your overall community activity points, as well as the number of followers that you have. You earn activity points when you participate on the site. For instance, all of the following earn activity points: posting content, commenting, liking content, following other members or content, and voting on polls. Other actions will also earn you points. In general, the more active you are, the more activity points you will earn.
We don't reveal the specific points system to the members so that they can't "game" it, but admins can see the specific points system by going into Member Settings and enabling Activity Level Titles (there's a popup with the specific points). The total community rank of a member will account for both points and followers. There is no time component, other than the entire life of the community member's account. Hope that's helpful!

Hi, thanks for these reminders. I'm planning to showcase my top "ranked" community members in a blog post, but I was hoping to be able to share a definition of what that ranking is/means in the post. (If I don't, it will only open up a huge can of worms.) You used to be able to hover over "Community Rank" in the profile and get a definition, but you can no longer do this on the new site. Can you tell me what it is*, and over what period of time it's computed (is it cumulative over the member's life on the community, for instance?). Thanks.

Also, as an aside: I think if profiles are going to indicate that members are ranked in some way, that definition needs to be clear not only to admins, but also to members. It would feel odd/offputting to me to be ranked without knowing the basis. And, if I'm asked about it, I currently have no way of answering. Thanks.

* More specifically, is it a measure of members' contributions to the site or how popular they are - meaning how often their content has been commented upon or liked)? What variables are included, and are some weighted more heavily than others?

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