Introduction to series: Engaging your 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.