Issue 5
Welcome to the fifth issue of conduit.  We hope you are having an excellent week, and for all our subscribers in the States celebrating Thanksgiving Day -- Happy Thanksgiving!
 
As always, we appreciate the support we have received, as well as the opportunity to bring you each issue.
 
Our quote for this issue is one of inspiration and we hope you will find it to be so...
 
"I want, by understanding myself, to understand others. I want to be all that I am capable of becoming."

- Katherine Mansfield
1888-1923; New Zealand-born British writer of short stories.
 
Have a wonderful rest of the week and a safe weekend.
 
In this issue of conduit:
 
1) Featured Question and Answer: "How Do I Attract and Maintain Visitors?"
2) Your Community Answer: "If your community was faltering, what would you do?"
3) Community Wire: Up Close and Personal With Kate Davis from now.com.
4) Community VoiceCan We Pick Your Brain?
 
Featured Question and Answer
 
This issue's question addresses the topic of how to attract users to a niche community, and once they have visited, how to keep them on the site. The question was posed as follows;
 
I am a stamp collector in UK and I am planning to set up a philatelic community where collectors in the UK and abroad can interact and communicate. Most of my audience are over 50.

Any advice on how to attract and retain this group to the site? What are the issues that I should bear in mind, in my planning stage? Thanks.
 
To view our recommendation, please read "How Do I Attract and Maintain Visitors?"
 
 
Please do not forget to visit our searchable archive for past questions and answers.

Your Community Answer

You have developed this awesome community, with enriching content and engaging topics of conversation. For about a year the community was going gang-busters, and people were stumbling all over themselves to participate, but for some odd reason the last few months have seen a real dip in activity. You are hardly getting any visits at all, and your boards resemble that of a ghost town. Your community is showing the signs of potential falter, so what do you do?

Share your opinion in this issue's poll; "If your community was faltering, what would you do?"

Community Wire 
Up Close and Personal With Kate Davis From now.com
 
As a salute to all the individuals that make the web and online communities what they are, we want to spotlight a few of them as a way of saying "thank you" for all their efforts. For this issue we had a great e-mail interview with Kate Davis, MP3tv Community Organiser for now.com (http://now.com). Thank you so much Kate for allowing us to get to know you a bit better!!

Community Answers: Which community do you work for?

Kate Davis:
MP3tv Community
 
Community Answers:  How did you come to be there?

Kate Davis: From being the most *ahem* active person in their community over a period of months before being offered the job.

Community Answers: What is your "official" job description?

Kate Davis:  It's something like MP3tv Community Organiser, amongst other things!

Community Answers: On a good day how would you describe your job?

Kate Davis: Chatastic!

Community Answers: On a bad day how would you describe your job?

Kate Davis: Cacktastic!

Community Answers:  Aside from your own site what other online communities do you visit?

Kate Davis: Various artist/TV show/music website communities, lots of music newsgroups plus others sites - depending on what sort of info I'm looking for, either personally and professionally. It's a lot tho' - part of the job to research them. Having received training from the BBC Head of Community initially, the BBC Community  is definitely one I keep an eye on.

Community Answers:  What's the biggest challenge in your job?

Kate Davis: Making 'community' happen during a soft launch.

Community Answers:  How would you describe the "average" visitor to your community?

Kate Davis: Either an artist or band member or their fans or viewers of our TV shows. Plus ... umm ... staff.

Community Answers:  Name the single thing that would make your job easier.

Kate Davis: More site publicity!

Community Answers:  What is your most positive experience of being involved in online community?

Kate Davis: Learning how differently people think/communicate.

Sourcing real artist/band fans from other site communities and newsgroups and arranging for them to appear on our TV shows - where they get to meet or speak on the phone to their *idols*. As many of our featured artists and bands are in the *unsigned*independent*not famous yet* category - it's..errrr....*fan*tastic to check out these people, realise how into the acts they are and by turn how into the site that promotes them. That's really rewarding!


If you wish to submit an article or comment to be featured within conduit's CommunityWire,  please do so by using our online submission form.
 
Community Voice
Can We Pick Your Brain?
 
Writers have one, and even weavers and quilters have one. Have one "what" you are probably asking. A guild -- an organization that is comprised of individuals within the same industry for the purpose of maintaining standards and protecting rights.
 
Do community development professionals need a guild? Before you answer that, place yourself in the following position...
 
You are moderating on a very heavily trafficked board, where it is not uncommon for tempers to flare. It just so happens that in the past you have been able to skirt around the flames, avoiding the singe, except this time. You find yourself smack dab in the middle of a heated argument, against your better judgment. Barbs are flying and you are being slandered from all sides. Your first inclination is to go to your "boss" and ask for assistance. Wise move indeed, except for the fact that your "boss" has decided to let you fend for yourself and blankly states that they will not get involved..."if you are getting slandered, it is yours to deal with". Now what? Where do you turn for support and assistance?
 
HTML coders have their associations, and so do other internet professionals... so why not those working in the community field? Would such an organization help to standardize practices and procedures, in the same way that the W3C does in regard to web site publishing?
 
We want to know your thoughts on having a guild for those in the online community development industry. Would it help in a situation similar to the one described? If a guild were to be created, what do you feel the benefits should be?  Share your thoughts. We value your input.
 
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