Have you ever wondered what an online community consists of, or what it takes to create one? Join our free online classes!
[Update - 2/28/2011] Please note that this course has now completed, but by clicking on each session you will be brought to the recap article, and recording of the class. If you have any questions feel free to post them on the individual session or reach out to me directly. I’m always happy to help out when I can, or point you in the right direction. I am currently planning out a social media 101 course, or something similar to that.
Online communities are being utilized by businesses, political offices, schools and individuals. These online communities are often formed around a single point of interest, but what motivates them to remain active and continue to grow? Much like social media, online communities have been labeled as a mythical beast that only those with the proper education and communications skills can wrangle and bend them to their will.
For this reason I have developed a free online course that will discuss the ins and outs of online communities. Through the University of Reddit (a place where dedicated professionals can host and share courses on any topic), I will be hosting seven sessions that breaks down the roles members play, monitoring and analytics, as well as hearing from those who currently manage online communities.
Though it has not been officially confirmed, reddit’s General Manager (previously Community Manager), Eric Martin (hueypriest) has shown interest in potentially discussing his thoughts on managing reddit. Additionally there may be some other guest speakers which will be announced later when confirmed.
This course will highlight online communities from both the Community Manager and Community Architect perspectives. We will initially touch on the basics such as what the different roles are in an online community, how each type of member plays a vital role in the ecosystem, and the different methods and procedures a community manager can utilize to act as a proper role model. After the basics we will go into communication theory, specifically three computer-mediated theories that frequently apply to all members in the ecosystem, and a psychological theory that will assist in your understanding of what motivates an online community. Finally we will wrap things up with identifying how and when an individual, organization, etc. should create an online community, how to identify the right tools for the job, and digging into the self-sustaining online community ecosystem model that acts as a foundation for Community Architects.
Classes will run once per week, and each class will run for approximately 30 minutes with up to another 30 minutes for questions and answers. Depending upon the topic for that day it may run under the time limit, and leave room for an extended question and answer period. There may also be an occasional guest speaker brought in as they may be able to provide further insight on our topics.
- Register for classes using Eventbrite (Return here for each session for the link)
- To attend the class session go here: http://www.livestream.com/thejournalizer1
- Class recaps will be posted on www.play-this.org at most 48 hours after the session
There are 7 sessions to this course:
Some sessions may include guest speakers – Past sessions link to recaps, new sessions link to registration pages.
Session 1 – Thursday, Jan. 5 Introduction to online communities
Session 2 – Thursday, Jan. 12 Navigating communities and Identifying tools
Session 3 – Thursday, Jan. 19 Community best practices and policy building
Session 4 – Thursday, Jan. 26 Insights from a Community Manager [Reddit's Erik Martin @hueypriest]
Session 5 – Thursday, Feb. 2 Monitoring, Tracking, and Analytics
Session 6 – Thursday, Feb. 9 Communication Theory
Session 7 – Thursday, Feb. 16 What Motivates an Online Community? [GovLoop's Lauren Modeen and GovDelivery's Joseph Porcelli]
- Thanks, and let me know if you have any questions.
About The Teacher
- Elliot S. Volkman – Age 26
- Bachelors Degree in Journalism and a Masters Degree in Communications.
- My published masters’ thesis “Identifying online communities as self-sustaining ecosystems for fulfilling members’ needs” discusses online communities, managing, and building them.
- I currently manage an online community of 32,000 + members.
- I have also been quoted in a few Mashable articles, am a writer for social media today, and frequently highlight the latest changes in the digital world on Play This Magazine.
Elliot’s e-mail: email@example.com