Tending a garden

garden independentman
Getting Conversation Ready:

[Via Beth’s Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media]

Holly Ross wrote a good reflection piece about public conversations on blogs and how to get your audience ready for that conversation. She makes the point:

What I am saying is that your audience may not be ready to have the conversation that social media enables. That’s because social media does not just enable conversations.It enables PUBLIC conversations.

I think we have to remember that it takes time build the community to have the conversation and that it doesn’t happen right away. You have to be ready as conversation facilitator. Alexandra Samuel did a workshop called “Bringing Your Community to Life” at Netsquared and offered some terrific practical advice about you get the conversation started.

Some key points:

Key points to encourage participation:

Focus on promoting conversation

Make it happen, don’t wait for it

Connect like-minded participants

Connect complimentary threads

Plan pro-actively, implement reactively

A community is not built rapidly and a conversation does not always easily begin. It requires nurturing and time, just like a garden. It has to be curated by active,enthusiastic members. They have to reach out to others, to begin the dialogs that will enhance the entire network.

Just as an outstanding garden does not spontaneously come into being, an online community requires active management. A lot of work, somettimes. But like a well-tended garden if given the right care, it can pay off handsomely.

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