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Building and sustaining an online 
community 
Charles Gould 
CEO, Brightwave 
Jason Geall 
CEO, The Student Room 
#BDFOStu...
• What is an online community? 
• How does a community get started? 
• Can a community be ‘managed’? 
• What’s the role of...
A bit about Brightwave 
Brightwave Services 
– Account Manager 
@brightwave.co.uk 
www.brightwave.co.uk
Who we work with
What do we do?
E-learning at work
Gamification
Video and 3D
KNOWLEDGE 
IS OUR JOB 
Knowledge Workers spend 
38% of their time searching 
for information 
(Mcdermott)
We learn all the time…
The barriers are falling: 
• Access to content 
• Access to experts 
• Solutions to problems 
• Ability to capture and sha...
Social Learning Networks 
Why? 
• User-generated and curated resources 
• Supports communities of practice /inquiry 
• Sca...
Social Learning 
Four out of five learners are willing to 
share what they know with others online… 
and seven out of ten ...
Graduate Onboarding
Community of practice
Technical specialists
Enterprise-wide
What have we learned so far? 
• Clear purpose 
• Align with existing motivations 
• Clear curator/community roles 
• Act o...
Arguing online doesn’t 
change hearts or minds. 
(It entrenches positions.)
Defensiveness isn’t 
perceived as strength. 
You lose people’s 
respect. 
(Let yourself roll with the 
punches.)
Social research shows it 
takes from 3 to 18 weeks 
to form a habit. 
(Keep going.)
It takes social interaction 
to turn a passive member 
into an active participant. 
(Reach out.)
Community members 
only create value when 
they’re valued. 
(Make people feel good.)
Six key tips: 
• Build borders inside the community 
• Develop habits: model desired behaviours 
• Tell your story – make ...
Thank you 
www.brightwave.co.uk
Charles Gould: How to build and sustain an online community
Charles Gould: How to build and sustain an online community
Charles Gould: How to build and sustain an online community
Charles Gould: How to build and sustain an online community
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Charles Gould: How to build and sustain an online community

As part of the 2014 Creative, Digital & IT Open Studios week Brightwave and The Student Room teamed up to show how a next generation individual loves to learn, collaborate and share experiences online: something that's no more different for students than for today's workforce.

Brightwave are experts in workplace learning and their award-winning product tessello helps organisations ensure that their staff continually develop new ideas, share learning resources and collaborate.

The Student Room is the largest student community in the world - over 1.5m members - where students can discuss anything from universities, health to lifestyle and relationships.

Brightwave's CEO, Charles Gould, and The Student Room's CEO, Jason Geall, presented the following:

● The DNA of a next generation individual?
● What is an effective online community?
● What does this look like for the student population?
● Is a workplace online community any different?
● What are the barriers to sustaining an online community?

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Charles Gould: How to build and sustain an online community

  1. 1. Building and sustaining an online community Charles Gould CEO, Brightwave Jason Geall CEO, The Student Room #BDFOStudios
  2. 2. • What is an online community? • How does a community get started? • Can a community be ‘managed’? • What’s the role of a Community Manager? • From student to employee – how do they differ?
  3. 3. A bit about Brightwave Brightwave Services – Account Manager @brightwave.co.uk www.brightwave.co.uk
  4. 4. Who we work with
  5. 5. What do we do?
  6. 6. E-learning at work
  7. 7. Gamification
  8. 8. Video and 3D
  9. 9. KNOWLEDGE IS OUR JOB Knowledge Workers spend 38% of their time searching for information (Mcdermott)
  10. 10. We learn all the time…
  11. 11. The barriers are falling: • Access to content • Access to experts • Solutions to problems • Ability to capture and share All these are faster and easier than ever before… …And best done in Communities. Free content Social Multi-device
  12. 12. Social Learning Networks Why? • User-generated and curated resources • Supports communities of practice /inquiry • Scalable • Trackable • Cost-effective • It’s social! AMD reduced the time sales staff spent searching for content from 8.5 hours per week to 5.5 hours per week
  13. 13. Social Learning Four out of five learners are willing to share what they know with others online… and seven out of ten are motivated by using tools that will help them network and learn from others. Towards Maturity Benchmark Study 2013-14
  14. 14. Graduate Onboarding
  15. 15. Community of practice
  16. 16. Technical specialists
  17. 17. Enterprise-wide
  18. 18. What have we learned so far? • Clear purpose • Align with existing motivations • Clear curator/community roles • Act on registration – ask question • Ensure fast initial response • Remove fear of criticism • Foster smaller groups
  19. 19. Arguing online doesn’t change hearts or minds. (It entrenches positions.)
  20. 20. Defensiveness isn’t perceived as strength. You lose people’s respect. (Let yourself roll with the punches.)
  21. 21. Social research shows it takes from 3 to 18 weeks to form a habit. (Keep going.)
  22. 22. It takes social interaction to turn a passive member into an active participant. (Reach out.)
  23. 23. Community members only create value when they’re valued. (Make people feel good.)
  24. 24. Six key tips: • Build borders inside the community • Develop habits: model desired behaviours • Tell your story – make it everyone’s • Promote unique, shared experiences • Be prepared to bare your souls • Unlock everybody’s expertise
  25. 25. Thank you www.brightwave.co.uk

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