One of the things that warms my heart, is when I see members of the online community I manage, helping each other out in some meaningful way. We recently had a blogger mention that she and her son were going to be evicted from their apartment because she didn’t have the $350 needed to stay put. The community rallied behind her raising more than $600 dollars in two hours.

Another member, who has been very verbal about her job loss and subsequent job search created a group called “The Unemployment Line” to offer support for members who have lost their jobs as well. They are supporting one another, offering interview tips and offering input on resumes.

It’s really great to see all of this happening. But then I started thinking, what can I do? While it is certainly not a good idea for me, as the community manager to donate money I can do other things and on a larger scale.
So I met with two local financial planners and asked them to participate in a live chat. I promoted it on the site for a week, indicating that there would be one hour of free financial advice available for anyone who wanted it, and called it: Managing Your Money During Hard Times.

It was a success with about 40 unique visitors, but what’s been even more successful is the replay of the transcript. Those who missed it live are now coming back to read it and get the advice that was doled out to others.

I am going to do more of this. Times are tough, and communities are coming together. If you manage a community, and you’re witnessing some of the poignant conversations taking place about job loss, and the state of the economy, find ways to help your members.
And do come back and tell me about it. I think we shoud all learn from one another.

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Online Community Strategist

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