Cultivating an online garden

November 17, 2011 at 6:04 pm Leave a comment

By Mohammad Shakir

OK. So the title of this blog needs a bit of explaining. I came across this article on The Guardian’s Voluntary Sector section today about building an online community. For me, the more you put into it, the more you get out it – much like a garden.

You see, in a garden, you sow the seeds and water and prune plants to ensure the health growth of flowers and crops (I know this, because my mother does it). This leads to great smells and fresh fruit and vegetables for your enjoyment. An online community is much the same.

It’s all well and good having a website, a Facebook page, Twitter account and You Tube Channel – but what is the point if you don’t use it? I include Zakat House in this as well, where we have an idea about what tools we have and what direction we need to go in, but haven’t quite given it the due care and attention that it deserves.

Much like the flowers that bloom and crops you eat, the visitors that visit your website or those that follow your social networks have to be nurtured, entertained and encouraged to actively support your cause. You need to excite them and entice them through what you can offer on your different platforms.

Regardless of what approach you take, smaller charities may rely on social networking and online tools as the cornerstone of connecting with your online community. It can be a cost effective approach and should not be sniffed at.

The irony is you are most likely reading this on your computer, phone or tablet device and have been directed here from a social network of sorts.

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Entry filed under: Charities, Our Community, Technology. Tags: , , , .

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