Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Why no one wants to be in your club

I used to belong to a fund-raising organisation which always seemed to struggle for members.
Every now and again there would be much gnashing of teeth as members wailed and failed to comprehend why so few others would join us.

We'd always end up blaming society ("no one wants to join organisations these days", "people are more selfish than they used to be", "there's no sense of community" etc etc.)

No. Sorry. These are excuses.

There's nothing broken about our desire to join with one another. The web shows given the right conditions groups will form. And scale. Even today.

Those conditions:
1. Give people something interesting to do together.
That's straight out of the Herdmeister playbook. If your group isn't gathering numbers it's either not offering interesting enough stuff, or good enough ways for those who would wish to, to join in.
2. Discover and invite people to whom the group will matter.
If you aren't doing this - if you've just built it and expect them to come - you're going to end up disappointed.

Of course when one of the right folk finds your group, they will invite others of like mind. But you must also think about ways in which newbies can arrive together. Walking into a pub with a group of mates is a much nicer experience than walking in alone.

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The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?