Where do you go for inspiration that helps you stimulate group activity?

Inspiration

A lot of groups have periods of slow down or lull’s due to outside influences.  These can be down to a range of subjects. 

This can also affect the discussions, content and activities that the facilitators have up there sleeve to stimulate activity. 

Quite often, you run out of ideas or don’t know where to turn to get that spark of inspirations.

This is what our latest online chat focused on.  We asked 3 questions over an hour and this is a summary of the discussion.

Q1. What are your favourite online/ offline resources that spark ideas and content for your group?

  • Chatting with members and other facilitators to gather ideas.
  • Looking at newsletter and publication on the subject area
  • Twitter chats on the subject area
  • Influential bloggers from the subject area
  • Looking at content curated sites such as Storify and Scoop.it
  • Other online communities (e.g. LinkedIn or professional bodies)

Q2. What types of activities have been really successful in your group in regards to gaining responses, comments or likes?

  • Hotseats
  • Polls
  • Competitions (Fun and work related)
  • Forum discussion asking for advice and help
  • Forum discussion sharing experience of an activity, review or process
  • Online chats (Question based or Ask me anything)

Q3. Do you have a plan of content, discussions or activities to roll out with your group?

  • Yes, it’s regularly updated at team meetings so we have a plan of action that can be rolled out
  • Yes, starts of as ideas on a post-it and gets refined over time to allow changes and new ideas to come in depending on the members needs at that time.  Mostly based around discussions, activities and communication with the members
  • Yes, initial based around a work programme.
  • Yes, running regular activities like online chats, group messages and updating members.

Other tips and ideas

  • Use Evernote for organising notes, links and online resources.
  • Use Delicious to bookmark websites.
  • Find the relevant Google Hangouts to join (learning more about Google Hangouts has been added to our ‘wants’ list for 2015).

Are you a facilitator of a group on the Knowledge Hub?  Not a member of the Online Facilitators community?  Then you may be missing out.  Come and join us https://khub.net/web/facilitatorscommunity

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1 Comments

simon fenton-jones 5 Years Ago
Happy New Year! It's funny Mike. I must think completely differently from your editorial group. I suppose 35 years of flogging stories to the 12-year-olds who run daily rags tends to to that (used to be they were run by adults). "Stimulate group activity" sounds like something Skinner would have thought about if he was running a publication. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B._F._Skinner i.e. Treating Khub as an "operant conditioning chamber". I keep looking through the people in Liberata, and their latest report http://www.liberata.com/media/38464/2013-Liberata-Annual-Report.pdf , and so many questions-to-be-asked spring to mind. As for inspiration, I'd suggest your team might get serious about collaborating with a few of mainsteam media (as their discussion boards), and twinning with a few other online communities. e.g. http://www.ukauthority.com/Local-Digital-News-Blog.aspx (note the sponsors) https://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=5139031 (we're up to near 1000. 5000 is the target if we could do some cross promoting between national, local, and maybe foreign, OPMers) The key I've always found with any media is firstly "answer the (audience's) questions". I keep finding so many scattered around the mish mash called Khub, and your team seems to be either studiously ignoring them, or (maybe) answering them below the radar. Either way, doesn't exactly encourage visitors to believe there's an admin team as professional as e.g. http://community.sitepoint.com/ NB. The sitepoint Courses as there is a screaming demand for professional Online Community Managers/Open Policy Makers. Just that the Khub in it's present form is not fit for purpose. To get down to the nitty-gritty, and Big Picture Story, for Khub this year. We need to get into the habit of making sure all the conversations around a particular subject are kept in one place (or at least, replicated). This include "Strategy". The obvious opportunity for Khub is bringing the very separate (and warring?) worlds of Central, and National, governments together and collaborate (stop laughing!). There are some pretty meaty ideas that need to introduced. E.g. The simplistic "National.gov.uk have a hub, we should have a Local one too" is just so limited in scope one must wonder if employment by a council means having to act like a spoilt brat. I do understand the continuing ignorance between the professional mindsets. http://www.computerhistory.org/revolution/networking/19/314 The idea that all councils now share a PSNetwork with National Departments is obviously taking some time to sink in. I don't see anyone sharing that story. The Big Picture Story? Now that the GDS is getting close to bringing the departments into one url https://gds.blog.gov.uk/2014/12/19/finishing-what-we-started-transition-to-gov-uk/ they'll be working through how Government-as-a-Platform is supposed to work. That immediately brings up the disconnect between the way GDS have approach IDA and the way the Scots refuse to outsource ID to a private company (with good reason). With all the lip service last year about "services not websites", neither level of gov appears to want to admit that, on a platform, a user needs one account, and a dashboard, and storage. So we are going to see the Web centric (and GDS) mindset begin to get an insight into how cloudy networks can be designed. Thankfully here won't be any push-back from the chief technology bod. http://goo.gl/R1qMP9 And Phil is obviously one person who probably sees that it's a story to be told. goo.gl/O6IZde If Liberata's management can't see the opportunity here, then it doesn't matter how much one stimulates the Groups' activity, as there simply won't be enough money to develop and run the Khub. https://plus.google.com/102560008437398473565/posts/Xa3n38KF7Ci And Mike. Please don't think I would ever talk to you like this F2F. My style of writing here is just to illustrate the kind of edginess i believe is required around these kind of boards, as the anti-MSM (Main Stream Media) style hasn't changed in 20 years. Only the PR schools try and educate writers to be awefully polite and never answer the question directly. Bit like National and Local governments :) As for Hangouts. Can you raise your expectation a little? We need tools, not toys. e.g. Eventually you'll want to find sponsors for "Events" rather than Google making all the pennies. So your team might kick the tyres on this one, as they've simplified it and have the Zoom guys have the right pedigree. http://www.zoom.us/ Better still, if you don't get put off with my "Khub is not fit for purpose" comment, you might ask the Liberata network engineers to have a look at this one. http://acano.com/ They'll have some demands for the company Intranet, and it's only a click to offer an integrated web/real time package to the outside world. Enough. Should be an interesting time this year. I wish you and the Liberata teams a prosperous and peaceful New Year. Cause i know if they are, the co-creationists they use to call "customers" will be too.