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Its one thing to charge someone with growing your membership, but quite another to truly understand what it is you’re asking.

No one can effectively grow and maintain a community without the resources to make it happen.

What are those resources you might ask?

Well, the most important is time. They need time to nurture the community, seed it with content, create discussions, build relationships and interact with the masses.

But wait!

They can’t do any of that if they don’t know what the users want. And if you can’t tell them then you need to give them more time to figure it out so that the community can thrive and grow.

There is so much competition out there, so your community has to become a destination. It has to fill a need that isn’t being met elsewhere. In other words, people need a reason to come.

Sometimes your brand is enough to get them there. But oftentimes it isn’t enough to get them to stay.

It is frustrating to see people deem this as an afterthought. If you are building or maintaining a community for a client, you need to be paid for the time it takes to do it. And you need to make sure they understand that this does not happen overnight.

How many ghost towns have you seen lately? How many LinkedIn groups with no discussions, abandoned Twitter accounts and empty Facebook pages have you visited in the last month? (Remember this report released four months ago that found that over a third of all FB fan pages had fewer than 100 fans?)

The problem is everyone wants to be everywhere but they have no strategy for making any of it a success, and that, in my opinion is crazy.

The point here is this: If you have goals related to increasing membership and engagement levels of any online community regardless of the platform, you have a hard job.

So, you’d better make sure that you aren’t the only one aware of that fact.

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I’ve noticed a spike in traffic that has likely stemmed from this Mashable article on Community Engagement, where I am quoted heavily throughout. Many thanks to Leah Betancourt for interviewing me for her most insightful article.

My regular readers know how passionate I am about growing online communities and engaging users online but you may not.

So, welcome to my blog, where I often vent, try to enlighten, and share the good, the bad and the ugly sides of community management.

Please take a few minutes to read through some of my popular posts, interviews and community management tips.

I hope you’ll find something you like.

If you want to reach me, I’m @communitygirl on Twitter, and you can also find me on LinkedIn. Oh, and if you’d like to read the entire first chapter of my book, “18 Rules of Community Engagement” you can find it in the September edition of EContent Magazine.

Angela Connor

Angela-at-AngelaConnor-dot-com.

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In one of the first large-scale studies of Facebook pages ever conducted, Toronto-based  Sysomos analyzed and investigated usage patterns in nearly 600,000.

The results include information on various aspects including popularity, amount of content posted, number of fans and categories. This is a study of interest if you manage Facebook Fan pages or plan to create one.

Here are a few highlights from the analysis:

  • On average, a Facebook Page has 4,596 fans.
  • Four percent of pages have more than 10,000 fans, 0.76% of pages have more than 100,000 fans, and 0.05% of pages (or 297 in total) have more than a million fans.
  • Pages with more than one million fans have nearly three times as much owner-generated content as the average Facebook page. (Where “owner-generated content” means things like photos, videos, and links posted by the page’s administrators.)
  • Pages with more than one million fans have nearly 60 times as much fan-generated content (photos, videos) as the average Facebook page.
  • On an average Facebook Page, the administrators create one wall post every 15.7 days. Among pages with more than one million fans, one wall post is created for every 16.1 days. This suggests that wall post frequency does not correlate with a page’s popularity.
  • Overall, the most popular “category” for Facebook pages is “non-profits”, while “celebrities”, “music”, and “products” are the most popular categories among pages with more than one million fans.

There is much more to this study and you can find it all here.

The point I’d like to make here is that major engagement on a Facebook fan page like any other community takes a lot of work and often times the administrator (community manager) is charged with creating the bulk of the content. Facebook may be biggest, baddest,  go-to-social network on the planet with it’s 350 million members, but don’t let that number fool you. They’re not knocking down doors to fan your page.

It still takes a lot of work to find success.

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It is with a bit of trepidation that I post this presentation for what may or may not be your viewing pleasure.

It’s the presentation I gave at the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism a few days ago.  I have not viewed it in it’s entirety because if I do, I’ll never post it. You know we are most critical of ourselves and I have to admit,  I could use some work in the speaking department.

So here you go. This is a message I delivered to a group of reporters, editors and bloggers, on December 2, 2009. I hope you get something out of it.

Here’s the Link to Engaging the Audience, by Angela Connor

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Here’s a post I never thought I’d have to write.

A longtime, faithful, beloved member of my online community died today. It is a painful day for so many as he had TONS of friends. He was only 30.

I can’t even tell you the emotion I felt upon learning this, and the outpouring of emotion shown by community members is a true testament to the power of online communities.

HE was known in the community as “Studweiser.” I interviewed him once, and met him three times. Once at our one-year anniversary party. He invited me to his 30th birthday party. I didn’t attend.

I wish I had.

I have posted a tribute to Studweiser on the homepage and will leave it there all week.

I plan to attend his funeral.

That is nowhere in my job description, I know…but it feels like the right thing to do.

Studley loved the GOLO community. He supported my decisions and encouraged troublemakers to do better. When his partner started going through his cell phone to notify his friends, many of the numbers listed belonged to members of the community.

There is an empty place in the community now. And I never knew this could hurt so bad.

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This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer. Feel free to challenge me, disagree with me, or tell me I’m completely nuts in the comments section of each blog entry.

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