Blogue de Lyne Robichaud

01 décembre 2010

When growing Online communities, Trust matters. Why are current metrics only about size?

In every engagement, the ultimate metric is always Trust and Reputation. People will go out into the world and carry it with them. Trust conveys a sense of empowerment because people trust the reputation of an engagement. This is how an engagement in a community gets promoted.

In his book Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust, Chris Bogan demonstrates that 'when you've learned a trust agent's secrets, your words can carry more power and more weight than any PR firm or big corporate marketing department.'

Several things about engagement can be measured.

Strenght is the likelihood that a community is being discussed in social media.

Sentiment is the ratio of mentions that are generally positive to those that are generally negative.

Passion is a measure of the likelihood that individuals talking about a community will do so repeateadly.

Reach is the measure of the range of influence (the number of unique authors referencing a community divided by total number of mentions).

The 5 'C' of measuring engagement are:
- 'Creating' content
- 'Critiquing' feedback
- 'Chattering' comment
- 'Collecting' bookmarking
- 'Clicking' traffic

So why are Empire Avenue community metrics presently focusing only on Size?

In the Leader board section of Empire Avenue, personal/private communities are measured by the number and prestige of members.

Phoenix's Nest has currently 240 members. This community grew naturally. It used to be no.2 Top personal/private community. But not anymore. Another community took the lead, while Phoenix's Nest fell to the 3rd position.

I asked some friends what was going on in the other community, and the answer was: «There is nothing going on in this group. It's really boring and inactive. I don't know why it's doing so well!»

The essence of growing an online community is building a group that focuses on a passionnate niche, by:
- interacting with community members and engaging in conversations;
- being helpful to others, by responding to their requests of calls of action and information (it is important to listen and react to the needs of the community);
- participating to group projects;
- bringing ideas: consistent, relative and relatable content.

You get out of it what you put into it.

The goal is to keep the content fresh and new.

NONE of that is measured on Empire Avenue right now.

The only thing that matters, is the number and prestige of members. Size.

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