American Airlines Blog
Turning Active Community Leaders Into Dormant Leaders

Creating Elders In A Counter-Community Of Bloggers

I've been reading more about forum management since working on the team that planned and started the new Forrester Discussions site in the last few months. As a consequence I returned to the writings of Amy Jo Kim, who has written about community management practices for a number of years. She published a book in 2000 about the life cycle of online communities.

In Amy's model community members move from visitor, to novices, through to leaders and community moderators can help encourage the process through active involvement, focusing on providing value to participants.

This model gave me some ideas for building a corporate blogging campaign:

  • Focus on those people who are most engaged in your blogging community.
  • Review and triage your blog's commentators. Rather than search for new people, connect and support the people who are already active in your community.
  • Build a map of your blogging community, conduct a narrative analysis, and evaluate where each blogger is on your map of the community using the model suggested by Amy Jo Kim.
One other idea I had was to turn the model on its head for detractors. Perhaps calling the model, a counter community, or even anti community. Yes, well, probably need help with the name. What I am suggesting is that Amy Jo Kim's model can be used to map and evaluate your detractors in the community. Jeff Jarvis and the early days of the Dell social media turnaround comes to mind here, in that within the counter community model Jeff Jarvis would be considered a leader, someone who by their active participation recruits and builds the counter community, turning visitors into novices and regulars. The goal of any company in this situation is to actively connect with counter community leaders and turn them into elders, people who leave the counter community because of a change in perception.

The tips I suggested for building a corporate blogging campaign within a blogging community, equally apply to counter communities.