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Introduction to series: Engaging your community

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Introduction to series: Engaging your community


A selection of members from the Diddlyi community

In early 2007, my brother Shane and I reached a meeting point of our interests. Shane is a Riverdance performer and owner of the largest Irish dance school in mainland Europe. And I have always loved creating things with technology, I’ve ran a few radio stations, worked with some great companies like AOL and was back then exploring the possibilities of connecting passionate people online.

Together we realised that the world’s Irish dancing and music community was a good example of a massive group of passionate people. So Diddlyi was born. Diddlyi has grown in many ways since its launch in 2007. What started as a social network for Irish dancers has morphed into a multi-platform resource for anyone around the world who has a love for Irish tradition.

There is a long way to go, but I want to share with you what I have learned while getting this far.

I follow as many blogs, Twitter feeds, and other information sources as many of you do. Probably too much (the excuse of ‘learning’ is a wonderful distraction). And I have noticed how much reference is given today to social media, particularly in relation to marketing.

But I feel that there is a more realistic perspective that needs to be adopted in relation to social media and in particularly online communities. Although I appreciate that marketers must look at their work analytically, a better appreciation for how real people within online communities behave is required to make an authentic impression within one.

Who is this for?

We’ll see. But if you are setting up your own community feature, want to engage more effectively with your audience and customers, are going after a specific niche, or want to know about the tools and platforms that are available to you – this series might be for you.

The following are some of the main topics that I will be writing about. Please do tell me in the comments below, or email me, which ones are of most interest to you, or if you have any other suggestions.

  • What is a community?
  • Who is your community?
  • Creating a community experience.
  • Tools and platforms available.
  • Design for your community.
  • Attracting the community and earning their respect for your brand.
  • Encouraging interaction and user generated content (UGC).
  • Enaging with a community.
  • Engaging a young audience safely.
  • Creating content.
  • Finding, understanding, delivering, owning a niche.
  • Making money with a community.

I will also lend some different voices to this analysis with guest writers and interviews. If you want to get involved in any way, please let me know.

Paul McAvinchey (@YABOYA) is from YABOYA Media, a niche online publishing startup. YABOYA Media operates the Diddlyi group of web properties that includes a popular Social Network, a growing Facebook and Twitter presence and an Irish Web Award nominated Online Magazine. Paul is available at for speaking events and consultancy work.

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  • Anonymous


    Good article, would be interested to hear more. things that I would like to know more about are:

    Creating a community experience.
    Attracting the community and earning their respect for your brand.



  • Thanks Joe. Looking forward to looking further into this with you.


  • Great blog post Gerard. Thankfully this was something that my financial advisor brother advised Barbara and myself when we became partners in We took out an insurance then and must admit it does make us rest easy knowing the business and our families are covered in case of anything happening to either of us. I recommend everyone in a partnership to look into this.

  • Gerard, great post. This is an important subject but one that few of us like to talk about or consider. In your opinion, is it something that needs to be factored @ the start-up stage (1-3yrs)?

  • Great post Gerard. Hadn’t even thought about! Assume that this applies to a limited company also where there are two or more principle shareholders. Need to look at this at some point. Cheers.

  • Anonymous


    IMHO it should be done at the outset of setting up the partnership and should form part of any partnership agreement that is in place. I understand that it may be difficult to put a ‘value’ on each partners share at this stage but you would have to be reasonable about it and probably review it every so often. You can always buy more insurance cover at a later date.


    The idea is the same for Company Directors. You can also do this type of transaction for ‘Key Men/Women’ within an organisation as long as the employer can show that they would suffer a financial loss should a ‘Key’ member of the organisation die.

    I hope this helps. If you want to tease it out a bit more, just ask. I may not have all the answers to hand, but I know where to get them 🙂

  • Good post Ronan. Welcome to Bloggertone!
    While I was reading your post I could’t stop thinking of the exact same situation that goes on between the Sales and Marketing departments in several companies. These are departments that should definitely work together and feel part of the same team but there’s always seems to be this battle… for no reason.
    Many Marketing department can hugely benefit from valuable feedback provided by sales people at all levels. At the same time, if Marketing explained the goals and the big picture in plain English to the sales guys, everything would be much easier.
    I guess the person in procurement or the Manager is probably the one that needs to make the first move maybe..


  • Hi Ronan, Welcome to Bloggertone! I was lucky enough to hear yourself and David Coffey speak about how the procurement process is evolving earlier this year. I have to admit it was one of the most insightful presentations I attended in 09. For two long, salespeople have operated a “them and us” attitude towards procurement managers. I am in full agreement with you that salespeople often “fail to recognise the role procurement managers play within the target organisation” For salespeople to succeed, this is a situation that now needs to change. Great to have you on board and looking forward to the series. Regards, Niall

  • Great post.. Barney thank you so much for share a useful information.u00a0While not given as much attention as other fraud and abuse violations, neven mental health professionals must be aware of increased fraud and nabuse scrutiny.u00a0n

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