Once a community space is set up, and things are starting to happen, we need a balance between Push and Pull. [I cannot remember where these terms came from]
Pull is the natural draw of a participant to go to the site (a draw that may be nearly non-existant)
Push is sending signals and hints of what is going on from the site to the participant, usually in their e-mail intray.
In Interact, there are at least three ways Push can happen.
1. Human Push: An e-mail sent by a community leader to some or all of the members. This may include updates, reminders, encouragements or information.
2. Subscription to a forum: it is also possible to click a link which says ‘subscribe’ which means – any activity in this forum, please copy to my e-mail intray. ie you do not need to visit interact to know whan something happens.
3. Notify of a reply: every time a participant makes a post, they have a choice of clicking a box which says: “notify me, if anybody responds to my post”. In other words, if somebody writes a reply, the computer will send a copy of that reply to our own personal intray. Just for replies to this post – not in the case of other posts.
Human push is OK, but there are catches. Participants can reach a stage of overload where new e-mails just get mentally screened out. Too routine and it’s screened out. But in general, sme sort of mail from a site is very good practice.
Subscriptions need to be managed – if you do this for too many forums, your intray is going to be flooded. Participants need to manage this side of their life, and every now and then prune the forums they are subscribed to. However, on the other hand if you are particularly interested in what is going on, maybe you have asked a significant question and are desperate for an answer – you won’t mind.