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Open Community: A little book of big ideas for associations navigating the social web. Paperback – November 15, 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Maddie Grant, CAE, and Lindy Dreyer are association/nonprofit bloggers on social media strategy and marketing, community building, and innovation. Maddie worked as administrative director/COO for a professional membership association for several years, and Lindy was an agency marketer working for association clients until they launched their social media strategy consulting firm, SocialFish (www.socialfish.org), which helps associations and nonprofits build Open Community on the social web.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 166 pages
  • Publisher: SocialFish (November 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983071500
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983071501
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,349,196 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Tony Rossell on January 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
Okay, I have to admit that when I got to page 21 and I was reading about "embracing the ecosystem" and "empowering the periphery", I almost gave up reading Open Community: A Little Book of Big Ideas for Associations Navigating the Social Web" by Lindy Dreyer and Maddie Grant.

But I stuck with it and I am glad that I did. Because as I continued to read , I found the book to be a very practical and constructive guide on how to go about starting and developing a social media strategy for an association.

The book provides a step by step road map on how to start by listening to the market, building an organizational consensus around the purpose, and launching low risk efforts to see what works best.

But what I particularly appreciate about Open Community is the clear call to purpose and focus for social media.

The book makes clear "that just using social media for the sake of having a Facebook Page or a Twitter account just doesn't make sense. There has to be a real, `show me the ROI' reason to start and some business intelligence backing that up" (p 40).

Open Community also emphasizes building a value proposition around your social media strategy. "The most important question is this: What can your members get from your social spaces that they can't get anywhere else? If you can't answer that question, start over" (p 140).

Finally, the book highlights some of the add-on benefits social media provides to an association like empowering members to champion the organization to others and providing staff with real time feedback on association events, marketing, and content.

There is one thing that I think would make the book more helpful - maybe Lindy and Maddie are setting us up for a sequel.
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Format: Paperback
Before I finished reading this book, I was raving about it. Its not a how-to or a look at using specific tools. Its so much more than that - its a guide to making the decision and mapping the plan for an open community. Best book of 2011 for me (just slightly ahead of Networked Nonprofit, Open Leadership and Here comes everybody.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a cool little book and worth the read if you are interested in using online tools for community-building. It's a good complement to Beth Kanter and Allison Fine's Networked Nonprofit book. Where they aim to map out a bigger picture story about what it means to be a "networked nonprofit," Dreyer and Grant focus on a narrower question: how to use online social media tools to support your community-building efforts. They don't dive into the use of specific tools, but focus on practical advice about how to approach the use of those tools. Getting to know your members, understanding the relationship between your homebase and your outposts, and between your formal and informal outposts, removing the hurdles that keep your community from engaging online, and the critical importance of listening and soliciting feedback from your community are examples of the ground they cover. I thought it was very pragmatic, readable, and to the point, and while it's ostensibly focused on professional associations it is clearly applicable to any nonprofit or interest-based organization, as well. Their cartoons are terrific as well.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Lindy and Maddie hit it out of the park with Open Community. I read the book on a flight from DC to Chicago and made so many notes in the back cover that I ran out of room. I found myself extremely motivated and inspired. The insights on identifying community champions, setting community goals and benchmarks, listening to your community, seeing citizens instead of members, and engagement are invaluable! I am currently in the process of launching a private community for my association and this book identified many new concepts and ideas that will help to ensure success. Open Community is a MUST read for anyone involved in online community development for associations and non-profits!
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