Category Archives: Online Communities

The Community Lifecycle – Converting theory to practice as a community manager

Caterpillars and butterfly on a leaf
Monarch butterfly stages of development” by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region under CC BY 2.0

Building online communities can be hard. Maybe you start a discussion and nothing happens – silence. Or maybe last week saw lots of conversation but this week you’re back to worrying that you’re talking to yourself. Combine that with the lack of training and resources for community managers and you can be left confused about what to do to help your community activate and grow.

One of the resources that we’ve used a lot at Trellis is the four-stage lifecycle model presented in Rich Millington’s book, “Buzzing Communities”. Millington’s model is based on a systematic review by Iriberri and Leroy which synthesized the results of 27 papers about online communities to create a model for how online communities progress. This lifecycle model is key if you’re a community manager because it explains clearly what to expect at each stage – and what you should be doing to move things along to the next.

We’ve now used this model in exercises for our AAAS Community manager journal club, for our AAAS Community Engagement Fellows training and even for a staff lunch and learn event. Read on for some key takeaways about the lifecycle model – and if you’d like to discuss it in more detail, you can request to join the C4Sci group on Trellis where we regularly discuss all things related to scientific community-building.

Continue reading The Community Lifecycle – Converting theory to practice as a community manager

Celebrate milestones with Trellis groups

Confetti against a blue sky
Confetti” by ADoseofShipBoy under CC BY 2.0

2017 has been an exciting year for Trellis. We’ve seen record numbers of users logging in and engaging a rise in weekly active groups. We’ve also launched new groups for AAAS members interested in science advocacy and Trellis group admins. Beyond these site-wide metrics, a number of individual Trellis groups have also hit membership milestones this year. Join us in celebrating these growing communities.

Continue reading Celebrate milestones with Trellis groups

Supporting a community of community builders on Trellis

Human pyramid
People pyramid” by Nathan Rupert under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

One of our founding values at Trellis is our commitment to training and supporting community managers in their efforts to nurture their communities. We knew from the start of this project that you can build a desirable toolset, but without dedicated group admins, it’s hard, if not impossible, to see groups thrive.

What’s more, community management matters regardless of the type of group involved. It could be a community of interest, gathering loosely around a particular topic. Or it could be a community of practice, wishing to advance and develop skills together. Or it could be a specific collaboration with defined goals and deliverables. In all cases, a skilled community manager will bring out the best in the group.

And that’s why, today, we’re delighted to launch a new group specifically for those running Trellis groups: The Trellis Admin Community.

Continue reading Supporting a community of community builders on Trellis

Why do academics use social networking sites?

Posted by Lou Woodley, Trellis’ Community Engagement Director

Person using a laptop
Browsing” by Nick Olejniczak under CC BY-NC 2.0

Last week some of the Trellis team took a quick look at a recent paper, which asks “Why do academics use academic social networking sites?” The paper presents the results of a survey of 81 researchers at three Israeli institutes who were asked about their motivations for using ResearchGate and Academia.edu.

The survey draws upon the Uses and Gratifications theory from the field of media studies for its research questions – exploring whether the five broad motivations for media consumers may also apply to academics that use online professional networks. Here we outline that theory and then highlight some of the findings from the paper.

Continue reading Why do academics use social networking sites?

How to measure community value: Findings from a new CMX report

Measuring tape
proper measure(ment)” by Barbara Krawcowicz, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Community managers often face the challenge of communicating their communities’ impact and value back to their organization. As we reported on the blog last year, “defining and measuring shared value” is a top goal for successful communities. Now, a new report from CMX explores the ways in which brand communities are doing just that. In the 2017 Community Value and Metrics Report, CMX shares data from over 500 participants about the ways they measure the impact of the communities they work with.

Continue reading How to measure community value: Findings from a new CMX report

Meet a scientific community manager: Tania Siemens

This month, we’re asking all community engagement professionals within science to complete our state of scientific community management survey. The survey’s intended to determine the variety of community-building roles that exist within science, and is the first activity of the AAAS Community Engagement Fellows program. We’ll be sharing a report of the survey results once we’ve analyzed them.

But just who are the scientific community engagement professionals? To help answer that question we’re running a series of Q&As with people in existing community-building roles. If any of these stories resonate, please do take 12 minutes to complete the survey! The more input we have to the survey, the more detailed our view of the overall landscape will be.

Today we’re featuring Tania Siemens:

Tania Siemens headshot
Tania is the Community Manager for STEM-Central.net, a community of practice for improving undergraduate STEM Education. She holds a Master’s degree in Invasive Plant Ecology from Cornell University. Tania also works as an Outreach and Extension Specialist on Aquatic Invasive Species at the Oregon Sea Grant College Program at Oregon State University.

Continue reading Meet a scientific community manager: Tania Siemens

Meet a scientific community manager: Alex Jackson

This month, we’re asking all community engagement professionals within science to complete our state of scientific community management survey. The survey’s intended to determine the variety of community-building roles that exist within science, and is the first activity of the AAAS Community Engagement Fellows program. We’ll be sharing a report of the survey results once we’ve analyzed them.

But just who are the scientific community engagement professionals? To help answer that question we’re running a series of Q&As with people in existing community-building roles. If any of these stories resonate, please do take 12 minutes to complete the survey! The more input we have to the survey, the more detailed our view of the overall landscape will be.

Today we’re featuring Alex Jackson:

Alex Jackson runs the social media activities at the Royal Society. Alex is a keen science enthusiast, journalist and fond admirer of a good pun. He has worked in science/health publishing and research for more than six years, and before that worked in regional journalism.
Alex Jackson runs the social media activities at the Royal Society. Alex is a keen science enthusiast, journalist and fond admirer of a good pun. He has worked in science/health publishing and research for more than six years, and before that worked in regional journalism. Find Alex (@alexkeysjackson) and the Royal Society (@royalsociety) on Twitter.

Continue reading Meet a scientific community manager: Alex Jackson

Meet a scientific community manager: Shaila Kotadia

This month, we’re asking all community engagement professionals within science to complete our state of scientific community management survey. The survey’s intended to determine the variety of community-building roles that exist within science, and is the first activity of the AAAS Community Engagement Fellows program. We’ll be sharing a report of the survey results once we’ve analyzed them.

But just who are the scientific community engagement professionals? To help answer that question we’re running a series of Q&As with people in existing community-building roles. If any of these stories resonate, please do take 15 minutes to complete the survey! The more input we have to the survey, the more detailed our view of the overall landscape will be.

Today we’re featuring Shaila Kotadia:

Shaila Kotadia headshot
Shaila Kotadia is the Education, Outreach, and Diversity Manager at the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (Synberc). Prior to joining Synberc, Dr. Kotadia was a Policy Fellow at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Dr. Kotadia received her Ph.D. in genetics and development from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Her postdoctoral work at the University of California, Santa Cruz focused on cell division and chromosome segregation.

Continue reading Meet a scientific community manager: Shaila Kotadia

Meet a scientific community manager: Eric Olson

This month, we’re asking all community engagement professionals within science to complete our state of scientific community management survey. The survey’s intended to determine the variety of community-building roles that exist within science, and is the first activity of the AAAS Community Engagement Fellows program. We’ll be sharing a report of the survey results once we’ve analyzed them.

But just who are the scientific community engagement professionals? To help answer that question we’re running a series of Q&As with people in existing community-building roles. If any of these stories resonate, please do take 12 minutes to complete the survey! The more input we have to the survey, the more detailed our view of the overall landscape will be.

Today we’re featuring Eric Olson:

Eric Olson is the Outreach Coordinator for PressForward. Eric supports science organizations as they develop web publications by providing consultation about interacting with their community of audiences and collaborators. He is on the organizing committee for United Nations-sponsored conferences on scholarly communication and directs the Science Communication Network Initiative.
Eric Olson is the Outreach Coordinator for PressForward. Eric supports science organizations as they develop web publications by providing consultation about interacting with their community of audiences and collaborators. He is on the organizing committee for United Nations-sponsored conferences on scholarly communication and directs the Science Communication Network Initiative.

Continue reading Meet a scientific community manager: Eric Olson

Meet a scientific community manager: Giovanna Guerrero-Medina

This month, we’re asking all community engagement professionals within science to complete our state of scientific community management survey. The survey’s intended to determine the variety of community-building roles that exist within science, and is the first activity of the AAAS Community Engagement Fellows program. We’ll be sharing a report of the survey results once we’ve analyzed them.

But just who are the scientific community engagement professionals? To help answer that question we’re running a series of Q&As with people in existing community-building roles. If any of these stories resonate, please do take 15 minutes to complete the survey! The more input we have to the survey, the more detailed our view of the overall landscape will be.

Today we’re featuring Giovanna Guerrero-Medina:

Giovanna Guerrero-Medina
Giovanna Guerrero-Medina is the Executive Director of Ciencia Puerto Rico, an international network of scientists, students and educators committed to promoting scientific outreach, education and careers among Latinos. She is also the Director of the Yale Ciencia Initiative at Yale University, where she studies the impact of networks on access and participation in science and works to promote diversity through the Yale Provost Office.

Continue reading Meet a scientific community manager: Giovanna Guerrero-Medina