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Community management that works: how to build and sustain a thriving online health community.

Young C - J. Med. Internet Res. (2013)

Bottom Line: But social Web (Web 2.0) technology alone does not create a successful online community.Building and sustaining a successful community requires an enabler and strategic community management.The paper draws on insights from an ongoing study and observation of online communities as well as experience managing and consulting a variety of online health communities.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Canadian Virtual Hospice, Toronto, ON, Canada. colleen@colleenyoung.com

ABSTRACT
Health care professionals, patients, caregivers, family, friends, and other supporters are increasingly joining online health communities to share information and find support. But social Web (Web 2.0) technology alone does not create a successful online community. Building and sustaining a successful community requires an enabler and strategic community management. Community management is more than moderation. The developmental life cycle of a community has four stages: inception, establishment, maturity, and mitosis. Each stage presents distinct characteristics and management needs. This paper describes the community management strategies, resources, and expertise needed to build and maintain a thriving online health community; introduces some of the challenges; and provides a guide for health organizations considering this undertaking. The paper draws on insights from an ongoing study and observation of online communities as well as experience managing and consulting a variety of online health communities. Discussion includes effective community building practices relevant to each stage, such as outreach and relationship building, data collection, content creation, and other proven techniques that ensure the survival and steady growth of an online health community.

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Screenshot from Tudiabetes (they created a group for volunteers, who ensure new members are welcomed).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
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figure3: Screenshot from Tudiabetes (they created a group for volunteers, who ensure new members are welcomed).

Mentions: Many health organizations have a volunteer corps. Volunteers can be recruited and offered training on how to use the community platform and how to foster supportive conversation online (see Figure 3 for an example of a volunteer group, the “Care Team” from Tudiabetes [33]). Volunteers can seed the community—engage in conversations among themselves—to ensure there is activity before new potential members are invited to the online community. It is vital to have activity in the community, especially in health communities, because no one wants to seek support from, or ask a vulnerable question into, a void [34].


Community management that works: how to build and sustain a thriving online health community.

Young C - J. Med. Internet Res. (2013)

Screenshot from Tudiabetes (they created a group for volunteers, who ensure new members are welcomed).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3713910&req=5

figure3: Screenshot from Tudiabetes (they created a group for volunteers, who ensure new members are welcomed).
Mentions: Many health organizations have a volunteer corps. Volunteers can be recruited and offered training on how to use the community platform and how to foster supportive conversation online (see Figure 3 for an example of a volunteer group, the “Care Team” from Tudiabetes [33]). Volunteers can seed the community—engage in conversations among themselves—to ensure there is activity before new potential members are invited to the online community. It is vital to have activity in the community, especially in health communities, because no one wants to seek support from, or ask a vulnerable question into, a void [34].

Bottom Line: But social Web (Web 2.0) technology alone does not create a successful online community.Building and sustaining a successful community requires an enabler and strategic community management.The paper draws on insights from an ongoing study and observation of online communities as well as experience managing and consulting a variety of online health communities.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Canadian Virtual Hospice, Toronto, ON, Canada. colleen@colleenyoung.com

ABSTRACT
Health care professionals, patients, caregivers, family, friends, and other supporters are increasingly joining online health communities to share information and find support. But social Web (Web 2.0) technology alone does not create a successful online community. Building and sustaining a successful community requires an enabler and strategic community management. Community management is more than moderation. The developmental life cycle of a community has four stages: inception, establishment, maturity, and mitosis. Each stage presents distinct characteristics and management needs. This paper describes the community management strategies, resources, and expertise needed to build and maintain a thriving online health community; introduces some of the challenges; and provides a guide for health organizations considering this undertaking. The paper draws on insights from an ongoing study and observation of online communities as well as experience managing and consulting a variety of online health communities. Discussion includes effective community building practices relevant to each stage, such as outreach and relationship building, data collection, content creation, and other proven techniques that ensure the survival and steady growth of an online health community.

Show MeSH