How do you make an online group fail?

It’s not very often that you can say to your members you can be a little bit bad for a while.  But this is what we tasked them with for this month’s Online Chat

Normally you ask for advice on how to make thing better.  But for this one we asked how you make things worse. 

Loosely using the concept of “smart failings” by Victor Newman we asked the members of the Online Facilitators Community if they could come up with 25 ways online facilitator can make a group fail.

This is what they came up with:

  1. Bombard users with direct messages
  2. Don’t allow anybody to join
  3. Randomly delete members from the group, particularly most active members
  4. Be rude to anyone who posts – trolling and flaming
  5. Don’t allow any content to be created in the community
  6. Setting up a new group without testing the idea of it with potential members
  7. Not having a plan of ideas and activities 
  8. Don't invite anyone
  9. Set up such a complicated structure with so many different threads
  10. Don’t allow people to PM each other
  11. Tell people off or disagree with them publicly / belittle them for their lack of knowledge.
  12. Consult with members but do what you want rather than what they want.
  13. Have lots and lots of rules
  14. Use terminology only a small number of members will.
  15. Exclude members from communications just because they can't attend or take part in particular group activities.
  16. Politicising it
  17. Email documents and other content directly to members so that they never have to visit and interact with the group.
  18. Never respond to any questions that have been asked by members of the group
  19. Keep referring people to other sites to get the answer.
  20. Go on Holiday for two weeks and turn off all the functions so no one can post for two weeks.
  21. Disappear/leave the group without any warning and go off and start another group without planning it and in fact invite the same people and make the same mistakes all over.
  22. Invite people who you know will never participate or view but it looks good that you have them as members.
  23. Make the most junior member the lead facilitator and do not support.
  24. Upload all your content on the first day
  25. Delete posts of members who you deem to have less interest in the topic.

So we now know how to make them fail.  I wonder how many we have done by mistake.

A big thank you to, Coryn, Dimple, Gill, Julie, Richard and Stacy for your great suggestions and examples.

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2 Comments

Carl Parker 4 Years Ago
Michael, with respect to point 18, there is also responding to a question with a standard form answer that has nothing to do with the question that has been asked.
Michael Norton 4 Years ago in reply to Carl Parker .
Cheers Carl That's a good one to add to the list. Giving an answer that has nothing to do with the question is probably just as bad as no answer. With a little bit more time, I can see this list easily expanding toward the 50 mark..