I wanted to point people in the direction of RKTalk’s great post on his and his team’s experience of building the British Heart Foundation’s community online.
[F]eedback from [a] review told us in no uncertain terms that our supporters wanted to connect with people in similar situations. Similar sentiments were coming in from all areas; focus groups with our Health at Work practitioners were telling us they wanted to talk about delivering Health at Work with other practitioners online. Our eventers wanted to share tips and meet others going on treks or taking part in marathons online. Our Facebook audience was increasing at a phenomenal rate (from 20,000 12 months ago to 98,500 today) and they wanted to share their stories and how they were feeling and we wanted to build these relationships between our supporters and with us…
We didn’t want the community to be an add on or a second thought, but rather a hub of conversation about people’s experiences and what people were doing so that people could build relationships with each other and with us.
It’s a nice example of how an organisation is seeking to engage with its wide range of stakeholders. It put me in mind of some of the principles behind Networked Non-Profit – a book I’d recommend to anyone to read. It’s also a really nice example of someone sharing some of their tacit knowledge, having been through a learning process over the last few months.