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.
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.
Nothing is worth doing unless it’s fun. At least that’s what I like to tell myself.
How do we make online communities fun? By introducing gaming mechanics for each activity a community members performs. They’re already baked into today’s online community platforms but may not be that obvious to you. They come in the form of points, status ranks, badges, progress bars, virtual currency and leader boards.
By making things competitive, you encourage members to engage in the desired behaviors and goals of your online community that would otherwise seem dull and unfulfilling.
Which gaming mechanics have you deployed on your community? Did you see an instant uptick in user-generated content and activities?
Your online community has launched and registrations are growing at a very satisfactory pace. It’s extremely active with several 100 posts a day and everything is peachy. Time to sit back and relax right? Heck no! One thing you should know, there’s no relaxing as a community manager. Don’t rest on your laurels and never let your guard down. There is a cost with being a large successful community. You become a target.
Spammers, hackers and solicitors alike are becoming savvier each and every day. You have to take pro-active/pre-cautionary measures to protect the integrity of your online community and its members. The community guidelines you crafted at launch may no longer be relevant today. It’s time to revisit them.
Think of your community guidelines as a living, breathing document that requires attention at the very least, annually. It needs to adapt as members’ behaviors change and as your community becomes a target for linking trolls, email extractors, spammers, hackers and solicitors. These fun and courteous visitors (I’m laying the sarcasm on pretty thick) find loopholes in your guidelines and expose vulnerabilities in your community platform. They wreak havoc by exploiting both. Start plugging those [loop] holes.
A couple months ago, I blogged about Community Management of an Online Gym and provided some community guidelines for members to follow. It’s time for me to revisit them now that member behavior has changed.
Locker Room Etiquette
Avoid invading another member’s personal space; observe a two foot buffer
Keep your eyes on your own goods. Other members are not on display for your viewing pleasure
Your gym bag does not need its own seat on the bench. Place your bag on the floor and make room for others
When was the last time you revised your community guidelines? Are they still applicable? How often do you think they should be updated?