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Think Before You Post, And Check Again


StevenM

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In the realm of managing and running online communities and forums, the ability to craft clear and compelling messages is paramount. While the initial input emphasized email revisions, the principles of effective communication seamlessly extend to the digital spaces of forums and communities. In this article, we will explore strategies for revising and enhancing messages within the context of managing online communities and forums.

The Art of Message Refinement

Effective communication within online communities and forums is a skill that community managers must master. Here's how you can ensure your messages leave a lasting impact:

1. Embrace the Power of Revision

Just as email revisions are essential, revising posts and messages in online communities and forums is equally crucial. The level of revision required depends on the size and nature of your audience. For smaller communities (1 to 5 members), 2 to 4 revisions may suffice. Larger communities (5 to 10 members) might necessitate 8 to 12 revisions, while addressing a company-wide forum or the Executive Committee may warrant 30 to 50 revisions. Revision is the linchpin of effective communication.

2. Strive for Message Conciseness

In the digital realm, brevity is king. Trim away redundancy, eliminate excessive adverbs and adjectives, and opt for numbers and specifics to convey your points effectively. A concise message grabs the attention of your community members and ensures your message is read and understood.

3. Furnish Comprehensive Context

Messages within online communities and forums should be self-contained and inclusive. If your post references prior discussions or materials, provide links or summaries to facilitate easy reference. This practice fosters a deeper understanding of your message.

4. Lead with Your Strongest Point

In the fast-paced world of online discussions, lead with your most compelling argument or point. Capture your readers' attention from the outset, as digital platforms are rife with distractions. Make your message impossible to ignore.

5. Stay Aligned with the Topic

Respect the focus of the community or forum by steering clear of off-topic content. Irrelevant contributions can dilute the quality of discussions and deter members from engaging. Keep your messages aligned with the community's goals.

6. Eradicate Ambiguity

Ambiguity can lead to confusion and misinterpretations. Be crystal clear and precise in your language, leaving no room for equivocal statements. Clarity ensures your message is received as intended.

7. Neutralize Personal Biases

Personal biases can inadvertently seep into your messages. Before posting, review your content to eliminate elements influenced by emotions or favoritism. Maintaining objectivity fosters meaningful discussions.

8. Adapt to Mobile Devices

Consider the preferences and devices of your readers. Many community members access forums and discussions on mobile devices with limited screen space. Tailor your messages to be mobile-friendly, with concise paragraphs and easily digestible content.

9. Allow for Digestion Time

Before posting your message, take a moment to let it "digest." Step away briefly and return with a fresh perspective. This pause allows you to identify potential improvements or adjustments.

Conclusion: Elevating Online Community and Forum Discussions

Effective communication is the cornerstone of successful online community and forum management. By applying these strategies for revising and enhancing messages, you can foster engagement, nurture productive discussions, and ensure your voice resonates within the digital spaces you oversee.

While the primary focus remains on email revisions, these principles of precision and revision seamlessly translate to the dynamic world of online communities and forums. Elevate your communications, and watch your digital communities thrive.


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If you check posts on online communities you will see most communities have a lot of posts where there are spelling, grammar and language mistakes. Some of these mistakes are so silly that it hurts to see them. A lot of people do not pay much attention to what they are posting. I think as a community manager, you need constantly remind your users to read before hitting the submit button.

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