Â Amy Gahran saysÂ all-femaleÂ panels like this areÂ rare atÂ tech/media conferences
Poynter Institute commentator Amy Gahran has been posting fromÂ Chicago where theÂ BlogHer community of women-centric web publishersÂ has been holding its third annualÂ conference — which isÂ also the group’s third anniversary.
Gahran’s summary ofÂ conference happenings included this nugget about how to encourageÂ “lurkers,”Â who visit sites but do not contribue content, to join the conversation:
“In any online community, only a small fraction (1-9 percent of members) will ever post at all, even just a comment. The first time anyone new speaks up, acknowledge them, respond to them, and treat them well. Lurkers watch these interactions closely. They want to see how you treat new voices before they decide to start talking.”
On the topic of community building let me throw in a link to one of my prior posts, Community Building Tips From Slashdot, one of the premier user-generated sites for tech news. My posting is an extract from Slashdot editor Robin Miller’s Online Journalism Review article titled,Â “Five rules for building a successful online community.”
Given that Slashdot is presumably de facto if de a guy thing, it would be interesting to correlate Miller’s tips with Gahran’s observations to note the similarities and dissimilarities. And I wonder: do Slashdotters get together like the BlogHerinos? And if so, what do the conferees do toÂ unwind,Â i.e., Slashdot, drum circle, BlogHer, pedicure?
BeforeÂ any further attempts atÂ levityÂ irritate half the blogging planet, let me congratulate co-founders Lisa Stone, Elisa Camahort and Jory Des Jardins for coming so far, so fastÂ in bringing BlogHer fromÂ idea to startup to community.
* * *
Postscript: Apropos of Gahran’s observationÂ about the lurker-to-contributor ratio,Â this briefing from theÂ Center for Media ResearchÂ passes on someÂ recent findings about user-generated content.Â The numbers seem awfully high givenÂ the 1-9 percent rate that Gahran mentions and which I’ve seenÂ elsewhere. IÂ assumeÂ the discrepancy is one of definition. TheÂ Center’s estimate seems to include the raw number of those whoÂ upload photos and/or videosÂ to photo-sharing and video-sharingÂ sites. And I wonder if those are discrete individuals or whether one person posting to Flickr and YouTube gets counted twice.