Developing a community game

Social media game

I have run the social media game many times now, and it always turns out differently and is always rewarding, and interesting.

Basically, it is learning and FUN!

Here is a PDF of the cards I used, which I put together about a year ago for the 2gether08 conference. It’s based on the original by David Wilcox and friends, which has subsequently been developed in a different direction into the Social by Social game.

I’ve been involved in building and managing online communities for a while now, and it looks like I’m going to be doing even more in the near future (more on that later). To help refine my own thinking, and as an aid in planning online community work, I’m putting together a version of the game specific to to community building.

The game will work as normal, with teams asked to produce ideas around projects or problems which an online community could help solve. Then, in this version, the teams use three sets of cards to develop a strategy for what that community needs to work effectively. The sets of cards are technology, roles and activity.

Here are the cards I have thought of, under each category. Have I missed anything obvious? Anything you would change?

1. Technology

Hopefully these are self explanatory:

  • Blogs
  • Forums
  • Profiles
  • Status updates
  • Wikis
  • RSS feeds in
  • RSS feeds out
  • Embedable media
  • Polls and surveys
  • Email alerts
  • Respond by email
  • Email newsletters
  • Groups
  • Event listings
  • Document sharing
  • Social bookmarking
  • Chat
  • Third Party Applications
  • Public and private spaces

2. Roles

Note – these are my definitions for the purpose of this game. You might not necessarily agree with how I describe certain roles – let me know in the comments if you would call them something different!

  • Community manager – overall responsibility for success of the community
  • Community cultivator – helps to develop conversations and use of the community
  • Digital curator – finds good content on the community and elsewhere, and brings it to members’ attention
  • Social reporter – creates content around the subject of the community, whether text, images, video or audio
  • Community evangelist – someone to promote the community and encourage new members to sign up
  • Moderator – ensuring content is appropriate for the community, works with members to ensure conversation stays on track
  • Technology steward – helps manage the tech side of the community, provides help and support on how to use the features available, plans for future development
  • Domain expert – someone with a deep knowledge of the subject matter of the community
  • Facilitator – someone with a wide range of skills who can support the community by providing a little of all the other roles

3. Activities

These are a touch verbose right now, and will need to be a bit more succinct to fit on the cards!

  • Plan community activity in advance
  • Identify existing communities (online and offline)
  • Identify enthusiastic potential members
  • Identify relevant websites to promote community
  • Promote community through social networking sites
  • Run hotseats
  • Seed content and discussions
  • Run online conferences
  • Develop user guidelines and policies
  • Communicate with members and potential members using backchannels

It would be awesome to get feedback on these ideas before I set @davebriggswife to work with the laminator!

Dave @ NCVO Conference

I’m going to be running a session at the NCVO Information Conference on 24th November. I’m facilitating one of the practical workshops, playing the social media game to help delegates put some of what they have learned on the day into some kind of context.

It looks like it is going to be a great event, with some top speakers including Euan Semple and Ed Mitchell. It should also mean that I get to meet Laura Whitehead for the first time, despite having known her virtually for quite a while now!

Thing are coming 2gether

I am looking forward to the 2gether festival this Wednesday and Thursday, lots of cool people coming, and lots of exciting sessions to attend. You can find out more at the event’s blog, or by looking around the associated social network, built on Crowdvine.

I was flattered to be asked to run a session on social media and web 2.0 tools, which is happening at around 11am on Wednesday. I probably would have preferred it to be later so that people buzzing with ideas could turn up and work out how to put them into action. This way, though, people will know what’s possible and be forearmed with the knowledge of the tools as they hear about other initiatives, which is cool.

I’m going to be running a social media game, along the lines of that developed by David Wilcox and Beth Kanter. I’m designing and making the cards as we speak, and will be printing out various guides and cheat sheets like those developed by Tim Davies, Colin McKay and Paul Caplan. I’m also going to be helped out by David, Tim, Paul Henderson, Matt Waring, Mitch Sava and Jeremy Gould, who (if required!) will be helping out the groups playing the game by explaining and demoing stuff.

That’s not all, though – I have also been drafted in by Tracey Todhunter to help develop her ideas for a ‘communiversity’ for low carbon communities. She writes about it here. We’re going to start off in my session, so Tracey and her colleagues can develop a strategy using the game; and then take the results into her session to drum up support and refine things.

Here Tracey talks to David Wilcox about the project:

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It’s going to be an exciting couple of days.