Doing Business Online

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How to Enforce Online Community Guidelines: Issue Warnings

After you have your online community guidelines in place, you need to take appropriate action when necessary. Every broken rule must have a consequence, and the severity of that consequence depends on [more…]

How to Enforce Online Community Guidelines: Take It Outside

The best online communities show very little negativity, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there. Public chastising by the community manager is embarrassing, and hurt feelings may ensue, even if you feel [more…]

Enforcing Online Community Guidelines: When to Ban Members

Asking members to leave an online community sort of goes against the grain when it comes to building a community. Community managers want to add new members, not get rid of them. Still, on some occasions [more…]

Avoid Being Heavy Handed When Enforcing Online Community Guidelines

Just because you have the power to do so doesn’t mean that all online community issues require warnings and bannings. Yes, you want to nip negativity in the bud, but no, you don’t want to get petty about [more…]

Online Community Management: Respectful Disagreement or Personal Attack?

A common mistake made by online community managers, especially bloggers, and people who are commenting in a community, is to take comments that aren’t in agreement as a personal affront. [more…]

How to Respond to Accusations of Censorship in Your Online Community

The owners of each community have the right to create and enforce any rules they want. It’s not censorship to remove a spammy link or comment that uses profanity or vulgarity; it’s being respectful of [more…]

Use Policy and Guidelines Pages on Your Online Community

Online communities are only as good as their rules. Seriously. If community managers don’t put a comment policy and community guidelines into place, everyone will run amok. Some members like to see how [more…]

How to Create Your Online Community Comment Policy

Online community comment policies should be fair and balanced. If you have too many rules, participants may feel stifled and get a little turned off. If you don’t have enough rules, anarchy ensues. Create [more…]

Where to Post Your Online Community Comment Policy

How your members learn about your community guidelines has a lot to do with the type of online community you are managing. For example, many forums require brand new members to agree to guidelines before [more…]

Online Community Comment Etiquette

Commenting also has its own list of unwritten rules. Most regular online community members discover these universal do’s and don’ts after a few months of participation. Some of them are common sense, while [more…]

The Importance of a Positive Online Community Environment

There’s an old expression, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” and it holds true for online communities. If you don’t like what you see in the first few minutes, it’s not very likely [more…]

How to Set the Right Tone for Your Online Community

Many online community arguments are caused by misunderstandings, which in turn are usually caused by unfortunate wording or a misunderstood tone. When you read and put words together in your heads, you [more…]

Online Community Managers Should Lead by Example

Your community takes its cue from you. If you swear and nitpick, members will know that this behavior is okay. If you greet everyone cheerfully each morning, however, they’ll follow your example. Even [more…]

How to Recognize Negativity on Your Online Community

Negativity keeps people away. If your brand or business wants to foster a positive online community — one that reflects well on the brand and perhaps drives some sales and creates good buzz around its [more…]

Prevent Negativity for a Successful Online Community

A positive online community reflects well on the brand and is more likely to create good buzz in the marketplace for your products and services. On the other hand, negativity keeps people away. Active [more…]

How to Encourage Online Community Participation

Your online community is only as good as its members, and most of your members aren’t participating at all. According to a study by Internet usability expert Jakob Nielsen, community participation follows [more…]

Learn Best Practices from Established Online Communities

Have you ever seen an online community with thousands of members interacting and enjoying one another’s company? These types of communities are good role models, and they’re worth a community manager’s [more…]

How to Nurture a Welcoming Online Community

A positive online community experience leads to more positive actions. For example, members who are having a good time invite others to join the party. Satisfied members also share your content whether [more…]

How to Find Thriving Online Communities

Online communities that are already thriving are good role models, and they’re worth your time to explore them so that you can see what makes them so successful. How do you find successful communities [more…]

Types of Online Communities

Many different types of online communities exist, but the mechanics and inner workings are similar. Although the focus of each online community may be unrelated, the personality types are universal. After [more…]

Blogs Can Create Online Communities

Blogs are no longer personal online journals but have evolved into online communities. Many businesses and individuals start blogs in order to bring in business and even make money. For example, a cosmetics [more…]

Forums and E-mail Groups Foster Online Community Discussions

Online communities start out slowly, with a few tentative members at a time. Sooner or later, personalities emerge, friendships and alliances form, and cliques and heated discussions follow. Forums and [more…]

Social Networks Are Online Communities

Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn are a few familiar examples of social networks. These online communities provide a way for members to discuss or comment on other members’ contributions. Most of [more…]

How to Guide Members of Online Communities

An online community is not a set-it-and-forget-it website. Members, whether they agree or not, need guidance and direction. They can’t just show up and think, “Now what?” It’s up to community management [more…]

How to Keep Communication Open in an Online Community

Think an online community manager only keeps conversation flowing? Think again. Moderating discussions is only a small part of a community manager’s job. You’re also expected to provide outreach to other [more…]

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