Here at 48Days.net we are really honored to host a place for purpose driven people to have a place to grow. When Dan started this community years ago, its goal was to have a place to have people connect, grow, and share. Little did he know that our membership would grow to be what it is today as we are fast approaching the 16,000 member mark!
While this is exciting, our goal continues to be to see our community members grow, share, and connect.
Having said this, we have noticed a decline over the past year or so in engagement in the community. In response to this, here are a few things we have implemented:
Even with this, we think we can do better as we really want to see this community prosper and grow. Therefore we are asking for your input by answering one or several of the questions below:
Consider creating a “store” where projects for sale are cataloged by member with links to both the member profile and a site where the product can be purchased. Allow sorting chronologically, by member, or by product. Web construction would allow for additions of projects and maintenance by members themselves. Archive other member’s comments with each product.
I think this would help connecting members to better understand one another’s work. This information may well exist on member pages or by navigating to their websites, but providing a tool like this would give the work better visibility. But it would clearly require an investment in some web development.
very interesting ideas Tim, I like that.
I've been pondering this very question and I can only speak for my current situation. I love 48 Days and have benefited greatly from this community, but I've noticed a decline in engagement.
The Ning system used for the community is cumbersome, disorganized, and frustrating to use. When I compare this user experience with something like Google+, Slack, Medium, Ghost, or StackExchange, I realize that this Ning system just isn't playing on the same level. I'm a User Experience Designer by trade, so I may have a more critical eye than most, on a conscious level, but everyone is having these reactions on an unconscious level. Ning creates a significant cognitive load and ignores user experience best practices that are decades old.
While I love 48 Days and the community, it is yet another social platform. I have only so much time and social energy and it, lately, feels more like a drain than a benefit. Likely because the engagement is dropping (Catch-22, I know).
As a UX professional, I can tell you for certain that features do not drive engagement in social media (48 days is social media in case you were wondering). Social interactions drive engagement. Once upon a time, I could have real interactions with Dan himself here. I could interact with knowledgeable people. I don't have much of that kind of interaction anymore. Mostly, it feels like people wander in, yell hello, and leave when they hear their own echo. Adding features at this point will not change this.
My schedule is so busy that joining live events is impossible. The value of the content of a live event needs to be super valuable and important for me to carve out time in my schedule. For example, one of my heroes was holding a live event (in person) and giving free books to attendees. I made time for that because it was a chance for me to meet my hero in person and get $180 worth of books. Most of the 48 Days live events don't feel special or valuable to me. I'm far more interested in asynchronous conversations that I can engage in when I have time. I also think the live events are too frequent.
There are a few groups here in which the "experts" aren't really very expert. When I arrive in a thread, there are a handful of responses to a question with dubious advice that the original poster seems pleased with the answer. I've answered a few times, but I just seem like a contrarian because I was late to respond (did I mention I have a busy schedule?). That's discouraging for me.
I realize that coaching is Dan's bread-and-butter, but it feels like there is way too much emphasis on coaching. While I value coaching a great deal, and I'm extremely grateful for coaching connections I've made here, it feels like coaching is the answer to every question. It's not realistic. There is a lot going on in the entrepreneur space that doesn't rely on coaching that is exciting and intriguing, but it gets little traction on 48 days.
Wow, it feels like I'm really digging in and tearing 48 Days apart. That's not my intention. I mention all of this because it's been on my mind and I want more from 48 Days. There is still a lot of positive things to say about 48 Days:
This place still is full of really generous, knowledgeable, friendly, encouraging people. If you took a day to read through questions people are asking and look at replies, you can learn a great deal. But, most importantly, I've made real friends here. Friends that I engage with outside of 48 Days. Friends that have become business partners and mastermind fellows. That has never happened with any other social media platform for me. It takes a great community to create that kind of opportunity.
Lots of interesting thoughts here Michael. I've been around this community for a long time myself, and it helped me get to where I'm at today in a lot of ways.
One of the biggest things you mention that caught my attention was using Ning to power this group. I'm curious to your thoughts - if Ning was to be replaced, what would you replace it with?
BTW - I couldn't agree more regarding the quality of people here. I've also made real friends, have learned a ton and received a lot of great encouragement. I've been clients of people here, have a lot of clients here, and like you, still communicate and connect with a lot of those people outside 48days.
I love this place, and I'm grateful to Dan - in many ways - for how he's helped me directly and indirectly in my work over the last many years.
To replace Ning, Michael Allen Wiliamson mentioned stack exchange. It's a format utilized by the tech community and seems pretty easy, at least for me.
Stack Exchange is really great for some stuff; I spend a lot of time on there as a developer. However, I don't think its format would be appropriate for this community. It could be a supplement to a community like this, but not really a good replacement.
Since this is a place to find the work you love - I'd be interested in seeing a jobs board - where jobs for potential dream jobs could be posted and where those seeking dream jobs could look.
As a new member to the 48Days.net community, I am excited to see this event come up - but unfortunately I have a prior engagement. Please keep me in mind for the next one! Plowing through all the interesting and educational material is providing me with great insights into making our fledgling enterprise grow!
One of the biggest things I have noticed that is problematic for me is that a lot of the events and webinars take place during normal business hours. I can not attend, even though the information might be great. Watching a video after the fact tends to drop out because a busy schedule and it doesn't remain top of mind for me. Some of them have had limited playback time so by the time I am free to watch, they are no longer there. It has resulted in me glancing at the email and then sending it to the trash.
I would like to get more involved, but time constraints make it hard
Thanks for the thoughtful feedback Paul!!!
It seems to be hard to find a perfect time for everyone so we have offered some things during the day and also in the evening. To make it more accessible for everyone, we have started to record the sessions that we feel will be valuable to the group. You can find the most Ask a 48 Days Coach replays in our member blog areas. Here are the most recent links:
Thank you again or taking time to comment!!!
A "Build your own business" type course might be a good thing, maybe with community moderated FAQs, and over a diverse number of business nuts and bolts questions.
An example. I want to build a consulting business, focused on continuous improvement and Kaizen events. I know what to do for the clients who would be my customers, but I have absolutely no idea how to sell to them. The information I need is out there, but I have no idea what to read in what order to get started. I've read "Tribes" but its high level and I'm not seeing the links between building and leading a tribe and the obvious first step of just getting some paying customers.
SOme folks might need pointers on project management techniques, or accounting, time management, etc. The real ground level stuff, not conceptual.
I know that some of this should be in the forums, but I haven't had a great deal of luck finding it in the limited amount of time I have to spend.
Another idea might be to see if community members might want to organize local meetups or casual mentorship programs.