Great post about how to spark conversations in educational environments with several tips Businesses can steal:
- Make the discussion board graded, or part of a certificate process.
- Don’t hide the link to the forums – it should be clear where discussions take place.
- Clearly post all guidelines (in multiple places) for the forum.
- Display topics in chronological order.
- Tie all discussion back to core learning objectives and include a link to the course or any referenced material.
- Don’t ask questions that are too broad – keep the topic focused.
- Encourage (and even start) controversial discussion.
- Discussion topics in a forum should be spike curiosity (the previous tip is a great way to do this).
- Don’t just moderate the discussions, participate in them and help bring it back to the main point if it starts to go off topic.
- Don’t dominate the discussions.
At our startup CrowdFunde we are developing a tool to help businesses reap engagement and SEO benefits from conversations. Tips 3, 5 and 9 are great "steal this tips for businesses.
When businesses host conversations they need support for contributors that clears out trolls and spam (this the need for clear guidelines), keeps the conversation productive, fun and relevant so using your conversations to tie back to relevant evergreen content or products helps and joining in helps reassure contributors that a vibrant moderator/contributor is involved.
Via Marta Torán, Ricard Lloria