4 Tips for Facilitating Great Online Discussions from Stephen Hardy of MindMixer

MindMixer provides communities with online engagement tools that allow them to have more productive, collaborative conversations. 700 communities around the world use MindMixer to connect over 1 million participants online.

Stephen Hardy, MindMixer’s Chief Product Officer, shared his insights for building thriving online communities at KA Connect 2014. In this clip, Stephen shares four tips for community managers looking to drive more engaging discussions:

#1: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Detailed Questions

Stephen Hardy 2014 Be Descriptive
“We kind of assumed that you’d want to be short and sweet and get right to the point (when phrasing discussion topics). What we found is longer questions indicate more investment on your part in really wanting good answers.”

#2: Positively Worded Questions Outperform Negatively Worded Questions

Stephen Hardy 2014 Be Positive
“Questions with positive emotional achievement words encourage participation. ‘Best’, ‘great’, ‘proud’, ‘win’, ‘advance’, and ‘overcome’ are positive achievement words that will give you a much better result than if you’re saying ‘keep in mind we have a limited budget’ or ‘under constraints.’ Exclusive words like ‘not’, ‘rather’, ‘don’t’, and ‘block’ don’t perform nearly as well.”

#3: Use the Word ‘We’ to Make Questions More Engaging

Stephen Hardy 2014 Use The Word We
“Highlight personal affiliations. The average number of times that just the word ‘we’ is used in questions is an indication of how successful you’ll be in getting engagement around a response.”

#4: Acknowledging Participant Contributions Makes All the Difference

Stephen Hardy 2014 Acknowledge Positive Contributions
“On the left is an example of a community who through time was responding and making sure that people were acknowledged. On the right…crickets. Somebody asked a question and there was no response on the other end of it. What we’ve seen time and time again is that there’s a direct relationship between re-engagement, feedback, affirmation and the willingness of a community to be coming back and participating with you through time.”

Want to learn more?

Watch Stephen Hardy’s full KA Connect 2014 Talk “No One Knows As Much As Everyone” and/or the full panel discussion on “Orchestrating Digital Communities”.

Posted: August 20th, 2014 | Filed under: All Posts, Clips | Comments Off on 4 Tips for Facilitating Great Online Discussions from Stephen Hardy of MindMixer

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