10-Rep Learning ~ Teague's Tech Treks

Learning Technology & Tech Observations by Dr. Helen Teague


Attracting and Retaining Online Audiences

Attracting and Retaining Members Online

Some web portals experience growth and draw highly active members. What’s the secret to their success?

The number of members doesn’t always matter. What matters are members who are engaged, who show up daily or bi-weekly, who post content and interact with other members/participants. Engagement happens when people interact with moderators/hosts and with each other.


Interaction includes:

  • ·  posting or commenting on a blog
  • ·  forum discussion
  • ·  recommending/sharing resources/links
  • ·  sharing best practices
  • ·  uploading/sharing photo(s)
  • ·  uploading/sharing video
  • ·  customizing an avatar or profile image


It may also take the form of becoming friends with another member, giving a gift or adding a comment to a profile. It’s all about participation. And it’s about more than simply getting people to sign up and getting website “hits”.


Member engagement grows with participation and engagement. Member/ participants engagement creates a feedback loop: Members/participants post content, contribute to discussions and invite their friends.

Engaged members can promote your Ning to friends, colleagues, and Twitter followers, etc..


Essential Questions:


  1. 1.     Who am I trying to attract? Explain it on your Main Page
  2. 2.     Why should they join and contribute content?
  3. 3.     What makes my Ning Network different than my existing Web site or blog?
  4. 4.     Carve out your own niche.
  5. 5.     Capture your hook in a sentence — or in your name. 
  6. 6.     Focus on your members as the STARS



Member/participants engagement is the difference between a successful Ning Network and a stale Web site. It’s what makes your social network…social.

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