The Commitment Curve

"Commitment Curve" is a common tool for building communities. It helps community leaders map the level of commitment a member has and the effort they are willing to expend for the community.

The Commitment Curve helps community leaders to organize their ideas on how to improve the experience and increase engagement of their community members.

However, it is a subjective tool and requires clarity/guidance on the activities to engage members.

Carrie Mellisa Jones talks about the Commitment curve in very high detail in her blog.

In my opinion, it is a must-read for community professionals.

There are 3 levels of Users

According to the 90:9:1 rule for online communities, In any given community the members can be broadly categorised in terms of engagement, as follows

  • Inactive Users (90%)

  • Passive Active (9%)

  • Power Users (1%)

The goal for any community professional is to move members up the commitment curve and bring more and more users to level 2 and 3.

However, some of the tips suggested by Carrie Mellisa Jones include:

  • Continuously seek feedback to improve — take feedback as constructive criticism.

  • Give a damn! It’s not really about you and your business. It’s about what people are going to get from being a part of the community

  • create rituals (something most communities don’t do). When we look outside of our cultures and try to connect globally, there’s no global ritual. Build your own community rituals, be it something as small as a Monday morning welcome post or celebrating someone’s promotion. Celebrate things and create moments that matter.

  • Make people feel special with giveaways that would make them feel recognized. For example, hand written cards

  • Do something personal and do not worry too much about the instantaneous ROI

  • The same could be adopted for offline communities. You could give every attendee a thank you note. Basically, something non-attendees wouldn’t get.

  • In short, create moments. At CMX, they started giving hugs when people used to enter their events.

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