We here at Aspiration are constantly trying to offer greater value in the Social Source Commons for our users. We realize that our community of users is the most important part of this undertaking and we’re starting to form some new Community Engagement goals to address the subject of you, the users. Here’s a quick run down of what we’re looking at.
1. Provide better engagement for our users
Currently, the Social Source Commons does a good job for the anonymous users that come to find out what software resources are available to them. However, we are striving to step up efforts to make the Social Source Commons a useful website for returning users. We want to provide more compelling answers to the question “Why should I visit regularly?”
2. Encourage more users to tell us about the tools they are using and discovering
SSC’s overarching goal is to map out the software that nonprofits are using in their mission and operations work. We want SSC to be a place where our users actively share the tool additions to the site. Ideally, this would mean that our users are the primary driving force behind the software information being added.
3. Facilitate knowledge sharing between users
In addition to sharing tools, we would like to see our users become more involved in sharing knowledge about specific tools that they are using. This ranges from simply commenting on a tool to adding community and support information to a tool. Even creating community toolboxes that everyone can add to allows users to better share their knowledge. We hope that SSC can serve as a venue for capturing this wealth of knowledge that exists in the heads of nonprofit technologists in the U.S. and around the world. Again, we want the users to be the driving force behind the website so that they have ownership over the resources that they themselves see as a need.
4. Tell stories about how SSC users are employing tools in their work
Soon, I’ll be reaching out to interview SSC users about the tools that they use and recommend. Interviewing users about their own tools gives others a first-person perspective on tools useful for a specific situation and allows us all to gain a little insight on what might be useful for ourselves. As we start talking to more users and hearing their individual stories, our hope is that the SSC community will grow as more people join in the discussion.
5. Sustain dialog with the SSC community through our blog
The SSC blog has been dormant in the absence of a community manager but we look forward to opening this line of communication with the SSC community. I’ll be posting more and inviting you to help us shape our strategy by commenting on what you read. To increase user involvement as well as a sense of transparency with our Social Source Commons, we need to keep a line of communication open between the users and us. However, the process is only successful if both parties are active participants in the conversation. In this way, we increase the communication between ourselves and the users, in effect creating a community. A “commons” if you will.
Hopefully this gives you a better idea of just what we’re thinking behind the scenes at Social Source Commons. If you have any comments or questions don’t hesitate to drop me a line (firstname.lastname@example.org), drop me a comment or just drop something so we know that at least Goal #5 is successfully on its way. We invite your thoughts on the fundamental question:
What can we do to make SSC more useful to you?