As an online community organizer, you need to stay in touch with how your culture is being shaped. The news feed is a critical indicator.
One of the downfalls of many social networks, Facebook included, is the post-and-go culture. Meaning, people take a selfie, post it, and leave the site. That behavior isn’t social. It’s self-centered.
The best way to make friends is to be a friend. For me, I make a point to spend 5-10 minutes a day in my social feeds. I stop to smell the roses. I look at what people are posting. It takes intention to be present and to counteract the post-and-go culture. Otherwise, it is easy to miss those who might need a word of encouragement today.
Be Distracted by the News Feed
It’s true that many of us are busy doing other things — sometimes those things produce revenue. But we started our online communities for a reason. The news feed is an indicator of who actually participates.
The news feed is meant to be a distraction. We spend so much time judging ourselves with screentime monitoring that we forget the importance of distraction. The news feed is our watercooler. It’s our town center. Being productive is important, mind you. With that said, distractions are often the source of creativity.
Who is really contributing to your online community?
Not everyone who posts in a community is valuable. Yes. Read that again. There are people who intentionally stir up drama. There are complainers. Do you recognize who they are?
It’s hard to recognize your real VIPs, if you don’t spend time in the news feed. It’s also easy to presume those who post valuable content are the only contributors. Valuable content is also subjective, mind you.
Often valuable content comes from the quieter corners. People who respond to comments and message others are the caretakers of the group. They matter. They aren’t as noticeable as the spammers and complainers. Their effect is subtle, gentle, and lasting. They are the ones who give a positive influence over the culture of your online community.
Spend Time With Your Community
Spend time in your news feed to monitor and shape the community you’re building. You’ve taken time to create something valuable. Don’t forget about it in the busyness of the day.