The purpose of this document is to support Wellbeing in Europe community managers and project team to build a network of active community members who contribute to the research project and are well informed of the opportunities, rewards and support made available through our global network of partners. We outline below the main processes and tools which will be used, and encourage everyone to adopt them to build a thriving online community.
- 5.1. How to welcome new members
- 5.2. How to prepare, host and document Virtual Cafes
- 5.3. How to write a Community Status Update
1. Who is the Wellbeing in Europe community?
Everyone who is registered on edgeryders.eu and has contributed to the discussions in “Wellbeing in Europe”, or broadly on Edgeryders.eu. We do not make any distinction based on age, gender, race, nationality, social or economic status, and we don’t specifically collect this type of personal data.
We also use the term community more generally, to include those who have been yet to be reached, influenced, or supported through the project.
2. Team as a funnel
All team members are spokespeople for the project, therefore we become entry points into the community. We will find ourselves in situations where we tell other people about the platform, we present at conferences, we share content on social media, mailing lists and in other networks, and so on. The ways to direct someone to the Community are:
- Invite them to the Wellbeing in Europe forum - in Czech, English, Polish, Serbian/Croatian.
- Share a direct link to an interesting story and encourage them to leave a thoughtful reply.
- Invite them to register for a Virtual Cafe and meet others
- Share a direct link to How To Participate page, with an overview of most opportunities offered by the project
- Invite them to sign up on the #CountOnMe mailing list and receive a curated list of headline stories from the community (by email).
The project will be different things to different people - it will be general i.e. a way to come together around new solutions to current problems; or specific i.e. an opportunity to access specig. And so on. It’s in our best collective interest to gauge what someone could be interested in and point them to relevant information.
If there isn’t relevant information available online, don’t wait! Go ahead and create Add Topic asking what’s on your mind. The more specific you are, the easier it will be for (other) team members to support you.
All the official project descriptions and calls for participation will be written in all of the project’s official languages: Czech, English, Polish, Serbian/Croatian. Community contributions can be in any of these languages, and interactions can happen simultaneously in more than one language.
We are actively promoting all and any language use, we use Euro-English as a default. We ask members to contribute in the language they are most comfortable with. If they read content in a foreign language, we encourage them to use web translation if necessary, because the community platform does not provide automated translation.
Badges are digital tokens that reinforce positive user behaviour and facilitate “learning by doing”. They are a central part of Discourse’s gamification features, the platform technology on which Wellbeing in Europe conversation is hosted.
A community building project as much as a research project, Wellbeing in Europe aims to engage participants to contribute their experiences and join a common conversation with peers from all over. In all our activities we support participants to develop key collaboration skills and take on key roles. The most important roles are: story contributors, topic experts, and local connectors. Each key role consists of participants achieving a set of results. Once the results are achieved, a corresponding badge is awarded to the user to keep track of their contributions and set a good example for others.
Unlike automatic badges awarded on edgeryders.eu (example 1 and 2), Wellbeing in Europe Badges will be awarded by site administrators based on the contributions of members who respond to specific calls for participation inviting people to cover these roles. Each call will specify what role / what badge is at stake. Badges are non-transferable between users.
Here are the key badges we are offering on an ongoing basis to participants on the online forum as a way to acknowledge contributions https://edgeryders.eu/badges (look under Wellbeing in Europe).
5. Weekly Community Management Activities
5.1. How to welcome new members
All who are registered on edgeryders.eu become community members and consent to the research, through a consent form visible at signup. They are also subject to our official user, privacy and content licensing policy.
Here’s how we do it: We check for new users and new topics every day (details ).
We get in touch in private message (click on a user’s public profile and then on Message) or in a reply to a topic a user has posted. Remember: no topic left without a comment! While at it, we make ourselves available to answer questions about using the platform and the project Wellbeing in Europe.
Example Welcome Message 1 (Good to follow when no information is available on user profile)
Example Welcome Message 2 (when some information is available on user profile/ in the topic posted by the user)
5.2. How to to prepare, host and document Virtual Cafés
These are weekly online gatherings:
- carefully facilitated by the community manager and documented (preferably this role is extended from community managers to participants).
- in multiple formats: the calls vary in what they each are for those participating: sometimes they are an introduction to the project, or opportunity for participants to find out more about the ongoing calls for participation; other times they will announce an agenda - introduce a good community story and will have as guests the community members who can interact live with others; other times they will be the place where the work to build local events is coordinated (after we recruited local connectors -see below)
- an opportunity for discovering new stories! if participants are not yet registered on edgeryders.eu and if they show good insights, community managers invite them for a one-on-one chat later which will be meant as an informal interview where (a) community managers ask questions and take notes (or record it); (b) help write the story in 1st person; © check with participants if it is accurate and can be posted under their name; if needed, we create accounts for them, and they can log in after and change their password; That way, we support people who are just coming into contact with the project to share their story on the platform and answer questions to their story in the comments.
The gatherings are hosted on Zoom - an easy to use communication platform and suited to our needs because:
- It allows people to respond to our invitation ahead of time, by leaving an email address and name and making it possible to stay in touch before and after the meeting
- Requires minimal installation effort: when people click the meeting link to join, it prompts them to install Zoom video meetings on their computer
- It hosts more than the maximum 10 people allowed on google hangouts or skype (thanks to our edgeryders annual subscription)
- It allows audio, video, chat, screen sharing and moderator options
All Cafés happen weekly, in the same weekday and at the same time:
Czech call THURSDAYS 6 PM CEST — Registration page: http://bit.ly/2uw3KPy
Polish call MONDAYS 6 PM CEST — Registration page: http://bit.ly/2Wto3sN
Serbian call XXXXXXXXX — Registration page: http://bit.ly/2TEEfFM
English language call WEDNESDAYS 6 PM CEST — Registration page: http://bit.ly/2V0ldLI
What to do before the Cafe
Each language Café has its own unique registration link to be sent with the invitation to all possible participants and posted on the internet (i.e. from Wellbeing in Europe social media channels, facebook events etc). The page asks them to register for preferred dates, and leave their email and address. Community managers are automatically notified on email every time a new participant registers.
A day before the Café, make sure to send everyone who registered the following message:
How to facilitate during the Cafe
At the beginning of the call, ask someone to volunteer and take notes as people speak.
Introduce yourself as facilitator and what you personally hope to achieve during the call.
Propose that each person present takes 1 minute to introduce themselves and tell others why they are here.
After the introductions, ask questions about the stories you hear and try to connect them to others you know about from the platform.
Propose to all present to sign up with an account on http://communities.edgeryders.eu and join Wellbeing in Europe by sharing their story. Explain how sharing will make it easier for us to find ways to support them (they will be eligible for paid roles in the project - Storyteller; Local Connector; Topic Expert) and to connect them to the events happening in the project.
Make sure everyone gets a chance to speak.
At the end, remind participants that the conversation continues in the forum and in the next week’s Café.
How to document after the Cafe
A volunteer notes as much as possible from what the others are saying, and makes sure to attribute content to people (who said what). After the call is over, the volunteer is helped to post the notes in the project space, namely in the country sub-category or any which you find relevant, by clicking on +Add Topic.
5.3. How to write a Community Status Update
Each week, each community manager produces a new post (topic) in which they synthesize important information as a way to make it easier for members, new people, the rest of the team to follow the conversation. The post doesn’t have to be long, 2-3 paragraphs are good.
Possible contents of the status update:
- Who are new community members who have joined recently? Welcome them warmly (and remember to draw their attention by pinging @username).
- Tell us which are the new stories which you find inspiring and why? If there aren’t new stories, tell us about an article or project you read in your country or in Europe which is inspiring, and why.
- Announce a special guest in the next week’s Virtual Café and invite other people to join to meet this person.
- Announce news from the project team and let community members know what are the opportunities for them - “apply for the call for local connectors!”.