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Back to Basics: What is Community?

As busy community managers, it can be easy to get caught up in the daily work of assessments, moderating, and even theories behind community work — and get distracted from the original vision for one’s company. So it’s important to revisit how one is going about reaching those goals. At Health Union, we find that revisiting “the basics” can be a critical exercise in constantly reexamining our approach to community management. In a recent team brainstorming session, our VP of Community Development, Amrita Bhowmick, created an exercise that allowed our group to easily share our ideas about what “community” means to us, and what qualities can make or break a community.

Considerations for Building Financially Stable Online Communities

Over the past several years, there has been a significant growth in the popularity of online communities, and as one may expect, there are a multitude of challenges associated with developing these seemingly robust communities into self-sustaining businesses. In 2013, the CEO of Reddit, for instance, reported that despite having 70 million monthly readers, his company wasn’t making money. More recently, Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, announced (via a tweet), that there would be company layoffs to “move with greater focus and reinvest in our growth.” A viable business model is absolutely critical to maintain thriving and sustainable communities.

Holiday Struggles & Strategies for Those with Chronic Conditions

As we know, the holidays can be a wonderful time to celebrate, spend time with friends and family, and hopefully enjoy some downtime. In fact, almost everyone who participated in our survey said they plan to make the time they spend with friends and family extra special during the holiday season! Unfortunately, the season can also be stressful, particularly for individuals living with a chronic condition.

Understanding the Silent Majority in Our Online Communities

“Why do lurkers lurk and what do they do?” The 90–9–1 rule of thumb has been applied to many digital and online communities. 90% tend to be less vocal but still engaged, 9% tend to be more vocal by commenting and/or sharing, and the remaining 1% tend to be the most vocal by creating new content. The lurkers are the 90%. While the exact ratio is highly debated and perhaps outdated, the idea that lurkers or what we refer to as the “silent majority” make up a large portion of online communities still holds true.