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How To Start a Project or New Activities in Your Online Community

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Managing online communities is by no means an easy task, but if there are active members in the community who are also enthusiastic about sharing their ideas and ready to engage the community in new activities and commenting, then the site is on a good track to become one of the best online communities on the web. Seekyt, for example, is steadily growing and so does the number of engaging members who need more action to keep them busy on the site. With the number of new members, a need to start new activities aroused, but starting these activities is much easier than one may think, and that’s thanks to some of the greatest contributors on the site – Seekyt member themselves.

Timo Beck, the author of Web 2.0: User-Generated Content in Online Communities: A theoretical and empirical investigation of its Determinants wrote:

People or members who develop new ideas and continually changing content, build the heart of any online community and make it unique.

With this thought in mind, this article is meant to help Seekyt members develop and announce new activities to engage their online community members to participate in interesting actions improving everybody’s user experience on site. The tips listed in the article may also be helpful to online community managers working on other sites, and the level of success depends on creativity and readiness to take the time and develop creative ideas into engaging activities.

Before I list the tips to start new activities and special online community programs, let us be reminded of the activities introduced by Seekyt members until present day and explain the difference between a project and a simple activity on the site.

Starting New Projects and Activities in Your Online Community

Both projects and simple activities can be ongoing or limited-time actions. Projects may be a little more complicated than simple activities. Projects usually require idea development and longer descriptions on the announcement pages, while simple activities may grow around a simple idea shared in a couple of sentences. For example, a project would be an action based on a goal bigger than just publishing a certain number of articles and increasing traffic (and earnings) – let’s say Seekyt Travel Guide project in which members would participate by building a high-quality base of travel articles including their own, original photos. One could add a variety of related sub-topc activities to give the project more value. A simple activity would be a 30 Days Challenge or an invitation to participate in a simple activity on a journal page, such as playing a dictionary game or recommending Seekyt SEO articles written by fellow members.

Existing Projects and Activities on Seekyt

Projects:

There is one ongoing project on Seekyt: The Orphan and Dead-End Pages Project introduced by the Seekyt member Jasmine. Learn more about the project following the link (in the previous sentence).

The next big project developed by this user will be announced at the beginning of December, 2011.

Activities:

  • 30 Days Challengesare always a useful activity for both individual members and the site as a whole. Anybody can start the challenge (assuming someone else hasn’t started it first for a given time period). The first and last 30 Days Challenge on Seekyt took place in October, 2011.
  • Article Promotion Weeksare a great way to comment and share each other’s articles. Originally introduced by Sgolis, this activity resulted in a significant traffic increase. This is an example of the activity: Article Promotion Week (July 4 – July 10, 2011).
  • Word gamesare fun and relaxing! I found one such activity was introduced by Sgolis in her journal post Seekyt Administer (5 Word Story).
  • Recommend articles or fellow writersis an activity which will probably drive traffic to authors you’ve recommended and their articles. This traffic may mean new shares for them. Why should you bother doing this? It’s a nice gesture to your fellow writers and true online community spirit, if you have a feeling of belonging to the group. The link to your profile will be automatically added every time you post a comment and new members may want to check you out. This means potential traffic for you, too. Jasmine introduced this activity inviting you to recommend your fellow writers’ articles to other members and visitors in one of her journals.
  • Search Engine Optimization Month, also known as SEO Fever, has been introduced in November, 2011 for several reasons. You may want to visit the journal page to learn more about the goals of this activity. Basically, what it comes down to is that members share their knowledge about ways to optimize your webpages for both search engines and visitors by asking questions, giving advice, writing articles on the topic, sharing their experience regarding article promotion and optimization. It could be started by other members, too by including a link to the previous SEO Fever month, even by developing new activities and ideas falling under this category.

Tips on Starting a Project or New Activities in Your Online Community

If you’re starting a project or a new activity…

  • develop the idea you’d like to base your project/activity around by generating sub-topics and additional ideas to back up the project (or activity9.
  • define the goal of the project and possible specific objectives.
  • write an article about the topic immediately before announcing the project in a journal.
  • include the link to that article in your project-launching journal entry.
  • explain how people can participate in the project or activity
  • update the journal entry if needed.
  • go back to the main article and include the link to the announcement/launching journal post
  • Important! Contact admin and tell him your plans before you make the announcement. Decide when to start. Contacting admin may help you generate additional ideas and avoid posting the same topic journals. This way you’ll know if someone already prepared the activity you wanted to introduce and you may find a solution to connect the similar topics instead.

If you’re starting a simple activity…

  • there’s no need for a backup article. Just describe how people can participate in the activity and post the journal. There’s no need to contact admin here (as long as you’re following the content guidelines and Terms of Service).

* * *

If there are activities I didn’t mention or simple ideas you’d like to share, please comment below.

There’s a big potential lying in each Seekyt member – be a contributor and start a new project or activity in your online community. I’m sure it will be a great experience for you and your online community fellas!

How To Start a Project or New Activities in Your Online Community
General Contributor
Janice is a writer from Chicago, IL. She created the "simple living as told by me" newsletter with more than 12,000 subscribers about Living Better and is a founder of Seekyt.

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