I have been thinking about engagement a lot lately. I have noticed it has dropped a lot over the last few months as a result of blockchain changes, interest, price, and a number of other reasons.
What can we do to raise engagement?
I have run many contests in the past for the sole purpose of raising engagement and giving people something to do while they are here.
I was recently talking about professionals talking with other professionals in their field, namely the STEM community. Scientists like to talk to other Scientists but get discouraged when there isn't anyone else talking about what they want to talk about.
The thing is, someone has to make the first move. Remember your first school dance when the girl you wanted to dance with was sitting with her girlfriends? She may even have looked over to you, but you were afraid to make the first move.
Engagement creates engagement.
If you write about what you are passionate about, others of similar interests will come and do the same. If you decide to not write about what you love because no one else is, or you feel there isn't a lot of people with similar interests, then that will always be the case. Someone has to make the first move.
As the owner of the STEMGeeks tribe, I find it frustrating there is not a lot of good Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math content. Sure there are a lot of people regurgitating news articles and even flat out plagiarizing them, but there isn't a lot of original content. This discourages others from wanting to create content as they feel there is no interest.
I can't wait to see communities as I believe they will be instrumental in giving users a feeling of belonging. When you feel you belong somewhere, you tend to put more effort and your behavior tends to align more with the community.
Communities are a fantastic onramp for new users, this is the primary reason I built STEMGeeks. I wanted a focused community where users can talk things they love with people who have the same interests. It is also far easier to moderate a niche community than it is to moderate a fire hose of topics. Members of communities tend to have a little more pride in their work and those in their community.
The Engagement Challenge
I am proposing an Engagement Challenge. The challenge is simple, for the next 30 days, go out of your way to find one post or comment you normally wouldn't have commented on, and make a genuine thoughtful comment for the sole purpose of sparking a conversation. Step a bit outside of your comfort zone, it is only there you can grow.
After 30 days, make a post summarizing the result of your efforts. Did you meet anyone new that you have developed a bond with? Are you now following new people you would never have in the past? Have you noticed more engagement on your posts?
Use the tag #engagementchallenge when you make your post. Feel free to write a post at any point in the 30 days if something great happens. I even encourage you to write a post in response to this one if you plan to take part in the challenge. I encourage you to do so, and if you do, mention three other users who you think might be interested in taking part or you just want to apply some peer pressure.
I challenge the following users to take part: