Blogs (online diaries like this)
Do you want your Association/Club's web page to be easily found in a Google search by potential new members?One of the best ways is to have new content appearing on your website regularly and what could be easier for your webmaster than having a member's blog. Even better, good content will encourage others to link to your blog, positioning your website even higher in web searches. The more "followers" your blog has the better so offer the opportunity for people to choose to get automatic updates when you add to your blog.
Do you want greater ownership and participation from your members?A blog encourages interaction between members and it is this interaction that is more important than the content itself in retaining members. Younger members are familiar with and welcome this high level of interaction that is missing from most conventional club websites. Your club leaders should take the opportunity to browse you club blog and to interact with new members
It is possible have contributions and comments automatically ranked and use this as a guide to what is popular and to respond and provide more of the same.
Why have a boring website that no one reads?Sharing Photos and Videos.
Improve Club spirit by encouraging members to add photos and videos to your gallery. Organise an annual club photo and/or video competition using free web 2.0 photo sharing sites such as Flickr, Picassa and YouTube. Don't just upload members photos to your gallery, but ask them to comment and rate the photos posted. Offer prizes for the best in a variety of categories, using online voting.
Improve Participation by Improving Communication
Do you struggle to get "new blood" on your Committee? Have you thought about running Committee meetings online for those who can't make it due to other commitments? How can members be reminded of Club events in a way that can't easily be ignored?There are many programs around which allow you to chat with others and to share good quality video and audio free of charge.
SMS is universal - nearly everyone has a mobile phone; it's instant - messages are normally delivered in 10 seconds or less; and it's reacted to by most people, more so than letters, emails or phone calls.
Why not try some of the ideas above?Don't expect to see a rapid uptake as it takes time for inhibitions to be overcome and for web 2.0 technologies to be accepted by those who are only familiar with the old paper copy or fax. Many people are happy to read a blog but feel embarrassed about commenting.
"Seed" your blog by asking Committee members to regularly contribute until momentum takes hold.
Other posts in this series can be found by clicking on the membership tag on the right of this page
Tackling an Ageing and Falling Club Membership Part 2
Tackling an Ageing and Falling Club Membership Part 1
This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.