Today’s Community Builder chat focused on examples and best practices for connecting on and offline community activities, events, and organizing. It was a really rich discussion – thank you to all those who joined in, shared, asked questions, and contributed!

Recap: October

Get the October Chat archive.

Some of the examples and recommendations from this month’s chat included:

  • UN Food&Ag Org (FAO) has done a great job with their Share Fairs – sharing the discussions and training on and offline. You can look at #sfaddis to see what they did recently from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia
  • TechSoup Global has an upcoming Digital Story Telling contest, getting orgs to put together 60 second vid’s about what they do/who they are. We’re leading up to it providing webinars and chats, but will be hosting an awards mixed reality event in February. Second Life and IRL at TechSoup HQ in SF.
  • The Community Organizers Handbook available as a public resource, you can certainly refer there for information/feedback/best practices on offline organizing:
  • Video is such an inclusive medium. I personally love how it presents the opportunity to be involved in a community, sometimes in a real-time format, from a distance.
  • The League of Women Voters of SF has found that making 1-3 minute (no longer than 5 min) videos gets much better pick-up online
  • The Alliance for Climate Education makes presentations about climate change to high schools around the US. At the end of every presentation, they put up a slide where students can either 1) join their cause on Facebook or 2) text them to sign up. It works really well
  • I recently watched Bioneers and some TEDx’s being streamed from a satellite location with local people – becoming my preferred way to participate. Smaller setting, still get the information, lower cost. Here’s a writeup on the talk Charles Baker from did last week @ TechSoup, might be helpful –
  • I have also found that giving people specific roles is successful – empowering for them
  • After meet ups online communication generally takes precedence and thats why its so important that both communities are connected
  • I also think the immediacy of that communication is key, as well as presenting opportunities to get involved. I usually note the names of specific people who had interest or were good leadership candidates.
  • and much more!

If you missed the chat or want to revisit it, access the full chat archive here.

Upcoming: November

The next chat will be in November. If you have a question or topic you’d like to discuss, be sure to leave a comment here so we can ensure it’s covered. The chat is just an hour long so be sure to submit your questions in advance!


  • Date: Thursday, November 18th
  • Time: 4 pm EST (1 hour)
  • Topic: Community Building, of course!
  • Location: Launch the chat here (not live until the chat starts)

About the Community Builder Chat

These monthly chats part of the #4Change network and are open to anyone interested in learning and sharing about building community, on and offline, with the use of social media or other technology tools. If you have a topic or question you’d like to explore in an upcoming chat, feel free to let me know anytime!  Hope to have you join us next time!

October Community Builder Chat – Connecting On and Offline Communities #commbuild
Tagged on:                 
  • Can’t wait to join the next chat!

    For future chats, have you ever used Twitgrid? If so, what did you think of it?

    One topic I would like addressed is how different organizations are doing monthly giving online. More than just an option on the donate page, how are they making it part of the forefront of their communications?

    Also, maybe a topic on whether video blog posts or videos for nonprofits in general are helpful or whether people don’t click, I’d love to get lots of different opinions on this.

    Thank you!


    • Anonymous

      Thanks for the comment, Mazarine! I’ve never used Twitgrid but would love to
      hear what you think about it – have you liked it for chats?

      The commbuild chats are focused on community building and community
      management so I’m not sure if we’ll address your first question, but we
      could perhaps twist your second question to focus on engaging community
      members around various kinds of media, including video or photo vs text.

      Thanks for the suggestions!

  • There are a few things I’d be interested in exploring this week – they are not well-formed topics or questions, but here goes: 1) Is it important to discern/clarify what a community expects to get from their participation in the community? Or is it OK if everyone is in it for different reasons? For example, often times we are creating Communities of Practice, or Learning Communities, and the objectives are to share ideas, get questions answered, share resources. But maybe some people are more interested in just getting to know one another. Or perhaps we are creating Activist Communities, to spur offline action, and the sole objective is to mobilize people, but others want to discuss philosophy. This segues into question 2) What are Online Communities good for? Besides the obvious objectives mentioned above, what else can they accomplish?These are the things rolling around in my head this week!

    • Anonymous

      Hi Laura-

      Thanks for your questions!

      I really like the first question you pose and think it could generate some
      interesting conversation about goals, intention, and even execution. The
      second question could invoke the “context is everything” card with people
      saying “it all depends!” But, that might get conversation going as well!
      There’s a question to use from Mazarine, too, so I’ll go ahead and post the
      details and questions in a blog post now.

      Thanks again and look forward to hearing you ideas on tomorrow’s chat!