We held two “Let’s Talk” sessions (Let's Talk About "Humanizing" Our EX Community (By Phone!) and Let's Talk About "Humanizing" Our EX Community (Chatzy Chat!)) to learn more about a topic that had been coming up in the Community: the sense that since moving to Jive, our EX Community was less “human” or “personal” than it had been before. We held two sessions, one by Chatzy chat and one by phone, to give as many Community members as possible the opportunity to participate. The full transcript of the Chatzy chat is attached below the summary; you may download the call recording here (note: the call was over an hour long and the file is large). We encourage you to read/listen and post any of your feedback, too.
These were free-flowing conversations that touched on several different topics related to forming relationships, supporting other members in their quits, how to organize/structure the Community, and the different experience by long-time and new members.
Below is a summary of the major themes from this discussion. Action items for the EX Team are italicized. Points of particular emphasis are in bold. We genuinely value and appreciate your honest feedback and commitment to help us all build the best EX Community possible!
Big Key Takeaways/Action Items
- The EX Team will hold future Let’s Talk sessions on a few different topics to help members learn about topics they care about, such as Groups and Notification Settings.
- Different members are having different experiences – some members are loving the new platform, and others are less enamored (but we hope are getting more comfortable!).
- It’s hard to find one-size-fits-all solutions or settings.
- The EX Community is getting bigger and more active, and that will continue to happen as EX brings on additional partners to help more smokers quit. It is likely not sustainable for Elders or long-time members to be able to keep up and each respond to every single new post. We will all collectively need to work together to find new routines that feel comfortable and trust that, as a whole Community, each post gets responded to by someone, if not everyone.
- @mentions are a great way to make sure that certain members see your post. A member will always get a notification when they have been @mentioned.
- The EX Team will revise the Getting Started Guide to make it more visible on the Homepage and give more instruction about where/how to post and engage with members.
Sense of Intimacy: New and Long-Time Members
- Newer members who participated in the discussions who only have experience on Jive find the EX Community to be very warm, welcoming, personal, and friendly.
- Some long-time members feel like some of the “personal feeling” is diminished a bit – more on this below.
- Other long-time members are getting more and more comfortable on the new platform and are liking it.
- Seeing fellow EX members just give up or not try to learn the new platform was disheartening for members.
Online Presence (Knowing Who Is Online Right Now)
- Many members who participated in these discussions (and have posted in the Community) have voiced a desire to bring back online presence so that members can see who is online at any given time.
- Online presence can be a supportive feature so that in a moment of extreme craving or need of support, members can reach out to a specific person instead of posting a message and hoping someone sees it.
- Members acknowledge that there are privacy concerns here, as some members may not want it to be visible to others when they are online.
- Mark noted that seeing recent activity can give you a sense of who is online – if someone posted within the last few minutes, it’s likely they are still online.
- The Jive platform does not have “out of the box” online presence available. The EX Team will explore alternative options to bring this back in some form.
Many “Rooms in the House”
Many places to post
- Some members expressed a feeling of lost intimacy because we are now in a “bigger house” that has many more “rooms to post in” or different ways to post.
- Other members like having different ways to post: status updates for brief little things, discussions for back and forth “conversation,” questions that get answers, and blogging for more of a personal journal.
- It can be hard for long-time members to know where to check for new postings to respond to them.
- Some long-time members do not yet feel confident instructing newer members where to post to ensure that their posts will get attention.
- Other EX members feel that this bigger house is a bit more fun – there are lots of areas to explore and Jive shows content that you might have never known was there before.
- Some older members are coming back to EX because their content is surfacing and others are interacting with it, which is great.
- Mark does his best to make it easier to find certain types of content: questions/discussions about how to use the EX Community in Community Help, and questions/discussions about quitting or general discussions in Conversations
- Some members expressed that when Mark moves their content, it makes them feel like they’ve posted in the “wrong place” or reinforces a feeling that they don’t know the “right thing to do.”
- Mark and the EX Team will always ask for permission before moving content, and give a reason for requesting the move to inform members where and why we are suggesting a move. Over time, we anticipate that members will get more familiar with the site and this will happen less frequently.
- It can be hard for some new members to know where to post in the Community to maximize their engagement. The EX Team will revise the Getting Started Guide to make it more visible on the Homepage and give more instruction about where/how to post and engage with members.
- The EX Team consolidated over 660 groups on Elgg into the ~200 now on Jive. Some EX members feel this is still too many and it’s easy to “get lost in groups.”
- Most EX members seem to agree that having active groups would be great, and that it only takes one active person to get the ball rolling.
- A future Let’s Talk event will focus on how to re-energize more of the groups.
- Many members who participated expressed frustration with notifications: getting too many, unsure how to adjust them, unclear which notifications get emailed.
- There is documentation in Community Help about Turning Email/Text Notifications On and Off
- Daily Pledge and other active threads send a lot of emails/on-site notifications. We will address how to adjust these settings in a future event.
- Some members want the default setting for notifications to be “off,” particularly members who are very active on the site.
- Members who are less active and/or are new benefit from notifications being turned “on” by default, so they get notified when someone responds to their posts.
- A future Let’s Talk event will focus on notification settings and how to adjust them to feel right for you!
- The EX Team encourages as much conversation as feels appropriate or comfortable to happen publicly in the Community. Public conversation benefits other members who may not feel comfortable posting, because they can read the discussion.
- Our research has shown that just reading (sometimes called “lurking”) in the Community boosts successful quitting outcomes!
- We acknowledge that private messages are important for relationship-building and some topics are not appropriate for public discussion, and we support you exchanging them when it feels right to do so.
- The EX Team wants to reassure members that private messages are private between sender and receiver. If you add a recipient to a private thread, that member will be able to see past messages in that thread.
Finding New Members and Responding to Their Posts
- There is a tile on the Homepage called “New Members.” This tile shows the 6 newest members. If you click the red link that says “View all,” it will take you to a page of all EX members, ordered by the date they joined.
- Note: The “Join Date” is the first date of Jive usage, so some long-time members who have logged in to the first time on Jive recently will display on this list toward the top. You can get a sense for who is a truly new member by having 0 or very few followers/following.
- Some long-time members feel it takes a very long time to get through all the new content and reach out to new members.
- In some ways, this is a good thing! It means we have lots of new members who are more active than they had been on the old platform.
- In other ways, this feels stressful and even frustrating for Elders/long-time members who feel like they can’t keep up.
- The EX Community is growing and will continue to grow as EX brings on new partners to help more and more smokers quit. It is likely not sustainable for Elders or long-time members to be able to keep up and *each* respond to every single new post.
- We will all collectively need to work together to find new routines that feel comfortable and trust that, Community-wide, each post gets responded to by someone, if not everyone.