Let’s face it, everyone likes a good trinket. I’ve made a habit of waiting for the final day of the numerous journalism conventions I attend, to swoop in like a vulture and confiscate every little rubber ball, musical dice, crooked pen and furry pencil I can find. Heck, I sometimes start sooner, depending on the quality of the trinket and the chances that they’ll be gone before the last day.
I’m looking at three purple Yahoo! notepads sitting on my desk right now. Those were high-quality trinkets, so I needed more than one. I picked those up on the first day of an NABJ convention.

Yes, most times they’re donned with TV station call letters or the names of newspapers, but who cares? I’ve always needed a handy-dandy triangle-shaped multi-color highlighter thing, and I wasn’t going to pass it up just because of that. You never know when you might need quality highlighters, and thanks to the Times-Union, I’ll always be prepared.

So what’s this all about? I’m suggesting that you spread some trinket-love to your community members? Just think of a reason. Any reason will do. Identify the top posters of the month or the people with the most pictures in their image galleries and tell them they’ve won a prize.
Just make something up.
It’s easy to get caught up in development or managing and growing the community and then suddenly realize that you haven’t been very engaging, or that your core audience hasn’t heard from you in a while.
This happened to me just yesterday. So, I delved into some stats, identified twenty people who met a certain criteria and sent them e-mails requesting their addresses.
This morning, I sent out 20 GOLO mousepads.
A small chore, but the result will be a grateful group of people who feel valued and know that their participation isn’t taken for granted.

So, if you don’t have any trinkets lying around, get some.