Tip No.1: 'About' Pages & IntroductionOn Wed, 13 June, 2012 - 18:59
Hi all! We’ve been up and running for a week or so and we’ve had plenty of thoughts already about how we can improve things for you as you get your Projects and Groups going! We’re also playing catch-up a bit in giving you information that can help you make the most of the site, so I’ll be making a few posts in the coming weeks offfering tips for how to use the social network to attract users and make a great, dynamic space.
Using the ‘about’ page
One thing we have noticed is that some of the Projects on the site have very long introductory messages on their ‘about’ pages and either don’t use – or over-use – the ‘introduction’ feature designed to let you offer public multi-media posts to those who are still thinking about joining and taking part in your Groups. See below for details on how each of these features can best be used to get the most out of the site design and work more effectively with users.
The feedback we’ve had so far is that people find long ‘about’ pages off-putting, so we’re recommending that the home page message is kept introductory and short. If you’ve got great, more detailed info about a Group that you’d like to share, we’d suggest just making a blog post about it, marking it as public (so it appears under ‘introduction’ on the ‘about’ page menu for non-members – see below) and linking to it from your ‘about’ page text. That way it’s short, sweet and to the point for anyone wanting to engage. They can read more easily, and view a few, select sample posts before deciding to join.
Take a look at an example of a pithy home page message with further information embedded as links.
All posts to Groups are private by default. That means only members can see the content. We did it this way to avoid having lots of Groups with lots of passive members and not much engagement. Better to have smaller, active, focussed Groups where there’s a higher chance folk will actually take part (because they actively chose to join!).
But we recognise that you might want some non-text-based introductory information apart from the short ‘about’ page message - perhaps an intro video about the Group and its work, or an audio post, or some pictures. So you have the option as a Group administrator of setting any post as ‘public’ (ordinary members of the Group don’t have the option) and when you do this an ‘introduction’ menu item will appear on your ‘about’ page for people who aren’t yet members to view or listen to these special posts.
We recommend that you employ a short text-based ‘about’ page message (who we are, what we do, keep it simple!) with links to public blog posts offering more in-depth information, and one or two other non-text introductory posts. In combination these should draw in anyone who may want to join your Group and take part with you…