Topics that build community

Service: Hoop.la

Topics that build community

Service: Hoop.la

To Community Managers and Moderators

Do you post topics to generate conversations and build your community?

Our Bose Portable PA Community is dedicated to performers. Most of the conversations tend to be technical, and I'd like to see us get back to celebrating what we do as well as the technology we use to do it.

You can see some of the starter topics here:

Getting To Know You

Do you do this in your community?

What kinds of questions do you ask?

Please share your experiences.

Thank you,

ST

Original Post

Activity Stream

Hey ST,

We ask this question all the time -- what will build "community."  Our site has a decent size following and we've been using Hoop.la and its earlier incarnations since 2002.  We've seen the level of engagement go down even though visits are up. I call this the Facebook-effect. People these days get their online jollies talking to their friends and family members on FB and Instagram. People seem to want privacy, and to "get in and get out."

Have you thought of your "quid pro quo" ?  Your community members use your sound products, so maybe they would appreciate a place to post/talk about their band or venue. You know... free advertising and "backlinks" to their own sites.  If you have that, it didn't jump out at me.

When I look at your site, I don't see the word "community" popping out. Your menus and Forum/Topic title text are product and technical oriented. Doesn't suggest to me that you want input or conversation. That said, you have some great discussions already, so perhaps they are just not being featured?

I also think some people are reticent to post questions in an 'expert' community because they are afraid of being shot down or looking like a novice. (If you have ever posted on stack exchange, you know what I mean.)  So you might ask if your technical nature makes some potentially community-oriented members shy away.

One of the things we are working on is inviting a number of "really active members" to form a leadership team. Our experience has been that the more a person feels connected to the leadership, the more they contribute in the way of content.  You see this in sports boards --"mods" seeding and overseeing discussion. 

Hope this helps.

 

 

Thank you, Neil!

I appreciate the time you took to check us out and look around.  I'm very close (too close?) to what happens in our community. It was good to hear your observations from a distance.

We also have a couple of active Facebook groups. Same products, completely different mindset of the people who go there.

We're planning a major face-lift and reorientation for all our community touch-points. I appreciate your thoughts and  ideas. I'll add them to the white board.

ST

You’re welcome.

Re: “Same products, completely different mindset of the people who go there.”

So let’s talk: Why is  FB more chat-inducing than Hoop forums? 

Is it because people have their own FB page and thus feel more invested in the platform and likely to spend more time there?

What if Hoop Content Blocks were more like the FB Newsfeed — scraping new posts from the entire site to the Homepage?

What if Admins could see what forums are being “followed” so we’d know which ones to feed and highlight?

 -

 

 

Hi Neil,

neil posted:

You’re welcome.

Re: “Same products, completely different mindset of the people who go there.”

I can't prove this, but I think there are segments of our users who are active on Facebook anyway (promoting their business) so it's easy to drop in to see what's happening in our Facebook-related groups.

 

So let’s talk: Why is  FB more chat-inducing than Hoop forums? 

Facebook groups are a click away from other groups, other individual feeds, and a never-ending stream of dopamine inducing social rewards.  There's greater incentive to be on the Facebook platform and very little investment required to engage with it.

Hoop.la is an island unto itself.  We're a separate destination that requires intention to visit. We don't glitter on the beach tempting the next click.

 

Is it because people have their own FB page and thus feel more invested in the platform and likely to spend more time there?

The people who frequent Facebook often use their profile page to promote their business. And the threshold for doing that is very low.

I can't know this for sure, but I think the people who spend time with us on Hoop.la are less likely to spend time on Facebook.

 

What if Hoop Content Blocks were more like the FB Newsfeed — scraping new posts from the entire site to the Homepage?

I have the activity stream front and center with post previews visible. That's as close to a social media stream as I could find when I set things up when we converted from EVE to hoop.la.

What if Admins could see what forums are being “followed” so we’d know which ones to feed and highlight?

I read everything - I mean everything that happens on our site so I know which topics draw enough heat to inspire comments.  Now that you mention it, it would be interesting to see what get's followed.  We have members who drop a quickie post "following", so they get subscribed but that's rare.

On another point - Facebook posts are much shorter than Hoop.la posts. Most are likely no longer than this paragraph.

Hoop.la posts on our site are rarely less than several sentences and often multiple paragraphs.  Despite the greater effort it takes to write longer posts, they seem to be less attention seeking than Facebook posts.

When someone posts in one of our Facebook groups, they may ask a brief question like "Which is better, A or B?"  providing little or no context for the question.  They will almost immediately get a bunch of replies like, "I use A" or "I use B" - again, with little or no context or qualification.

Someone asking basically the same question in Hoop.la is more likely to provide more preample. "I'm using _______ to do ______ and I'm thinking about doing ______, What's the best option".   The replies they get will tend to be longer, more thoughtful, and far more likely to speak to the questioner's situation - compared to a one or two liner about the responder's experience.

One of the roles I take seriously, is to get to the questioner's context and experience; to find the question behind the question. I want to know and expose the motive behind the first simple question, so that responses can speak to the underlying need instead of simply the words.

Simple Q and A (Facebook)

Q "How much money do you have?"

A "Five bucks."

Another answer "Ten bucks"

Another answer "Three bucks but i spend it better than the guy above me"

 

Engaged Q and A (Hoop.la)

Q "How much money do you have?"

 A "What gets better for you once you know how much money I have? What do you want to know after you know how much money I have?"

Q "Do you have enough money to take me out for dinner?"

A "What kind of food do you feel like eating?"

...

 

Okay, I'm rambling.

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