I/O Psychology Social Psychology

Ep 263: Using Psychology to Build Active Online Communities: Interview with Richard Millington

How to Build an Online Community

How to Build an Online Community

What do you do with a background in psychology? A lot of things. How about running an online community? I found Richard Millington, founder of Feverbee, talking about how he applies psychology to his business of helping organizations build strong, active online communities. As you’ve probably seen in your travels about the web, there are a lot of communities (such as those on Facebook) and sometimes you join them because you’re interested in the person or the product the company sells. Then what happens? A lot to times nothing because that “community” isn’t really a community. It’s just a Facebook page that an employee created because he/she felt they “had to” because everyone else is doing it, but there’s no actual discussion going on.

What’s an online community supposed to do? It’s supposed to be interesting and helpful to its members. A community is supposed to “connect like minded people” and maybe even get them excited about a product and perhaps even, in the best case scenario, communities get their members to be so excited about the cause or the product that some of them become “evangelists” – real fans who spread the word.

But how do you make this happen? What can you do to make a community active? Let’s hear how Richard Millington effectively applies Self-Determination theory in his work as a community builder.


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