Imgur.com is a photo hosting site made up of internet memes, funny photos, gifs, karma points and full on wit. Needless to say, it’s a huge time suck.
After only spending a few minutes in the gallery, you can easily recognize what their members hold dear; sentimental moments and pure entertainment.
Here are the top 10 major themes I’ve observed from my journey of lurker to Imgurian.
- Members love anything cat and boob related. In fact, both in the same image is the magic sauce.
- It’s hard to determine if an object is large or small from an image. They need a “banana for scale.”
- Cancer survivors are their heroes.
- They respect those that serve in the U.S military.
- There can never be too many Emma Watson and Emma Stone posts.
- Images are good, GIFs are better.
- Knock, knock. Who’s there? Doctor. Doctor Who? Correct.
- Comments are up-voted if they’re punny and down-voted to hell if otherwise.
- You will ruin a post by putting the punch-line in the title.
- The geekier the post, the more accepted it will be.
You may also be wondering why a giraffe was used for this post. It’s the official mascot, the Imguraffe. Here he is in all his glory, majestic as f###.
Are you a member of imgur.com? What common themes do you see?
I’m sure you’re all use to hosting contests and giveaways in your respective online communities as a way to boost activity and member morale, keep members engage and create compelling content. You pit each member against each other to see who can come up with the best “x” or the most “y.” I’m still all for that and community managers should still lean on this competitiveness as integral component to their community strategy.
This is the third installment for the Gamification of Online Communities series. See also:
- Gamification of Online Communities for Beginners
- Gamification of Online Communities – Advanced Edition
A great way to rally your community together is to hold competitions against other online communities. Nothing embodies the meaning of community when every member is charging after the same goal.
Find a competitor community or one that closely aligns with your product, function or service, contact their community manager (This is a great networking opportunity too) and work out the rules, guidelines, winning criteria and prizes the same way you would with any competition. As you can tell, this tactic is mutually beneficial for both communities.
Originally posted January 2012
Revised February 2015
A study out of the University of Michigan – Ross School of Business conducted earlier this year answers the question; can company revenue from community customers [members] be attributed to their joining the branded online community? The short answer is yes. According to the study, revenues increased on average 19% after they joined, a result of making connections with other customers and engagement and transparency with the company and its employees.
I came across this research paper after a colleague of mine forwarded me this article, “A Big Payoff from Online Company Communties.” Here are a few excerpts to give you a flavor of the value contained in both.
“While it is likely that hosting customer communities on third-party websites such as Facebook provides reach to a broader audience,” the authors conclude, “this strategy does not offer the same level of access and control over customer interaction management and data offered by a firm-sponsored social network, nor is the third-party community interaction data commonly available to the firm in a manner that can be easily linked to customer-level purchase behavior.”
Consumers who join a company’s online community spend significantly more on the firm’s products than they did prior to signing up or in comparison with similar customers who are not part of the network. The findings indicate that online communities more than justify the investment to create and maintain them, and provide a unique way for companies to connect with customers and monitor their purchases and behavior.
Download the full research paper – “Social Dollars: Economic Impact of Customer Participation in a Firm-Sponsored Online Community.”
As a follow up to Gamification of Online Communities for Beginners, I thought I’d take it a step further and provide a strategy for the more advanced communities that may be looking to keep up the competitive momentum.
Taking a lesson from fantasy sports, more notably, fantasy football because I’m a [American] football nut; let’s apply the same concept to online communities. Members form teams to compete against other teams within the same community. Using the built-in gaming mechanics of your community platform, the collective points achieved from each activity performed would determine the top leaders week-to-week, month-to-month. Heck, you could even replicate a full season with playoffs and a Super Bowl. This approach takes the meaning of social collaboration to a whole new level.
As a community manager, you’re always looking for ways to improve the user experience, upgrade the platform and implement enhancements when and where it makes sense. No problem. Being the great project manager that you are, everything is organized and documented. But I have to ask, after all that hard work to ensure a seamless member experience, when was the last time you looked at your maintenance page? After all, your online community maintenance page is what members will see when your site is brought is down to deploy those changes.
It’s a small detail, but a necessary detail to provide continuous uninterrupted service to your members.
If you’re standing up a branded community, your maintenance page should reflect the same theme and associated logos. This is a very important point if your company has gone though a rebrand or launched a new product.
Even more important, the contact info displayed on the maintenance page should be current for obvious reasons.
So, when was the last time your maintenance page was updated?