Persons and Communities of Interest: POI & COI

Originally published Aug 13, 2010 in JiveWorks. Yep, that’s a long time ago!

Today I literally had one of those idea-in-the-shower moments. (Aside: does being surrounded by warm water relax our minds by taking us back to a womb-like state?)

I’ve been struggling to identify specific actions to take on analytics. Suddenly I thought of another way to act on the activity segmentation levels (ASL) that I have been developing. People who are highly active, especially those who are working on new, different or potentially widely applicable things are persons of interest (POI) for me and the local community managers. Our community development feedback loop process is surfacing names and activities that merit watching over time.

Why do I want to watch people?

  • We have thousands of community members, so it’s hard to pick who to focus on in our development efforts. POI and COI (Communities of Interest) are a logical place to look in developing champions.
  • When I visit offices, I will have people I can reach out to in advance and arrange to meet face-to-face. Again, developing champions as well as providing support, training and consulting.
  • We want to understand how people progress in the community, so following people over time will teach us about the processes they go through.
  • I want to support people who are trying to be active community members. By watching them I hope to pick up on opportunities to assist them and detect moments when they may need assistance. There’s nothing like the teachable moment.
  • I want to keep track of the people I can cite as models or examples for people who need help or ideas. If I can connect those needing assistance with someone who is doing what they want to do, they can learn from a peer.
  • And there are likely many more reasons…

Similarly, the planned community activity segmentation levels report (still in development) will yield communities of interest (COI): communities that merit watching over time so we can learn from them and also nurture them further.

So, armed with two new acronyms, I’m thinking of the best ways to watch and keep up with these POI and COI. The list could quickly become large and overwhelming. I’m thinking right now of a document for each POI and COI that’s based on a template to capture basic info consistently. I can put these in a space or group in our Jive community and limit access to it, since I don’t want everyone to know who I am “watching.” (That could get a little weird.) If I title and tag the docs well and use categories, I should be able to find and filter pretty well even if the number of POI and COI grows large.

And if I title and tag with the division name, too, then I can let local community managers find their community members and get value from this, too. I don’t want to have to serve up information and push it out to people if I can avoid it.

I also need to tag and use categories to capture the reasons I am tracking the POI and COI. For example, what specific ways are they using the community? What benefits are they realizing?

OK, this is just a new concept I’m working on, but any feedback would be welcome.

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