At a time when many are closing their communities or seeing discussions descend into name-calling, Which? Conversation stands out as a beacon of what’s possible in a civilized debate. However, this also presents an interesting challenge – and we need your help to solve it.
In the past 12 years, my company, FeverBee, has been lucky enough to help some incredible organisations develop their communities. And none of these have come closer to the astonishingly high level of informed contributions consistent here at Which? Conversation. But herein lies the challenge.
The high standards expected in a Which? community can intimidate newcomers who don’t feel they have time and expertise to air their opinions at a similar level. How can we accommodate everyone, from seasoned consumer champions to novices, without lowering the quality of discussion?
The mission on Which? Conversation has always been to nurture a community that questions the problems consumers face every day – and then work with the community to take action. Whether that’s by putting pressure on companies, opening new investigations, or just providing practical answers.
But we can’t do these things if we’re overly reliant on a small group of terrific experts. A community can thrive only when its collective knowledge and skills – which in Which? Convo’s case are vast – are passed on to new members. How can we achieve that together?
Over to you
I now want to pass over to Patrick Steen, Head of Community Engagement at Which?, to hear from him:
“Over the past eight years, Which? Conversation has grown from strength to strength. We’ve questioned the big consumer problems of the day together, and our community has helped shape the conversation We’ve also been lucky to invite a number of guest authors, from MPs to celebrities, to join in too.
“Now I want to take the opportunity to step back and look at what the future of a Which? community should be. That’s why I’m working with Richard at Feverbee to shape where’s next in order to build a bigger, better and brighter community for you and future members too.”
So we have some questions for you:
- How do we design a solution that will make newcomers feel welcomed and valued?
- How do we keep the quality of discussions high as the community grows?
- What should the overriding purpose of a Which? community be?
- What does your perfect community look like?
We need your ideas to answer these questions.The more input we get from you, the better the solution will be. We don’t want to build a community for you, we want to build this community with you.
This is a guest post from Richard Millington, Founder and Managing Director at FeverBee, who is helping Patrick Steen and the Which? team develop a new Community Strategy.