Community Resource Roundup: Forums and Transparency

We know it’s Monday, but we can get through it together. Lets dive into this pool of articles and start the week off strong.

Many of us are hesitant to let our members behind the decision making curtain. However, transparency has become more of an expectation, and can help you garner trust with your community.

“The stronger and more stable your transparency architecture is, the more you can attract your members to get involved in the inner workings of the organization leading to more engagement and better retention.”

This article is different from the others we have shared in past roundups. We know forums are where niche communities gather, whether it be for business or hobbies. This makes them highly valuable for website owners. If you have your own website, try using forums as a way to get new
readers and clients.

“No matter the niche, there are enough forums where people gather and discuss their business or hobbies. Those people are a targeted audience that can be converted into loyal readers and clients one way or another.”

A website can often be like a revolving door for traffic, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into value. It should be your goal to make your website a place where these people enter and stay because they are engaged with the content. Adding a forum to your site can help you achieve this result.

“It’s all well and good to have a site that brings in thousands of viewers everyday, but it’s even better if when they visit and hang around for a while too.”

Who came up with the term lurker? I mean, couldn’t they have chosen something less creepy? Anyway, this is the common term for someone that hangs out in a community, but doesn’t contribute. It is the struggle of every community manager to convert them into active members of the community.

“Most CMs have likely wondered how they can turn lurkers into regular contributors. There’s some academic research that dives into this topic. Yes, you read that correctly: academic research. (Stay with me…)”

We know that trying to increase your forum’s activity can be frustrating. But never give up! There are always more things you can try until you find a formula that works. Here are five more things that you can try to increase forum activity.

“One of the most common causes of a forums activity decreasing is the admin decreasing their own activity. From what I’ve seen, most community owners do one huge burst of topics and posts when the forum is first created, but then decide to only create a few topics here and there afterwards.”