Dear EmailRules Community,
Many thanks to all members who participated in the 2010 survey of top email list priorities. The top pick in this year's survey is "Email communities and social web integration," which led the results by a 3-to-1 margin over the next top choices.
Since the creation of LISTSERV(R) in 1986, email has been used to forge communities of people with a common interest or goal. Some of the early email communities run on LISTSERV brought people across the world together around topics from troubleshooting technological matters, to coping with illness and raising particular breeds of dogs.
In many cases -- then and now -- discussion lists are email communities, serving as a forum for sharing information and support and providing common ground for subscribers. In addition to the more traditional shared interest/hobby discussion groups and online support groups, opt-in email communities encompass employee workgroups, cross-institutional academic/research collaboratives and customer/member forums. While some communities, particularly ones that are focused on health and parenting challenges, are a mainstay of members' everyday lives, the enjoyment of a debate on the work of one's favorite artist or the practical benefit of getting feedback on an aspect of a newly purchased product represent real value to members of email communities. The range of activity within email communities varies widely, and even less active lists can provide valued information and a shared sense of purpose and interest.
Some outstanding examples of email communities can be found among L-Soft's LISTSERV Choice Awards winners:
One is the most recent grand prize winner, the Information Center for Online Resources and Services, Inc. (ICORS) whose approximately 270 lists reach about 93,000 subscribers in 147 countries, providing a climate of civility and sensitivity, while offering support, information and community to people in need, including those affected by disability, family issues, health issues and other similar needs. The 2004-05 grand prize winner, the Association of Cancer Online Resources (ACOR), offers access to approximately 160 mailing lists that provide support, information and community to everyone affected by cancer and related disorders, serving as a leading force in the patient empowerment and participatory medicine movement:
Creating a community that works from the basis of the needs, goals and sensibilities of its members is essential, so it is important that representative members are involved in the development, moderation and decision making processes. Many times -- and ideally -- email communities come to be in an "organic" way when a particular need or opportunity for communication, collaboration or connection arises. Consider which topics and areas within your organization would be good candidates for email community building and ask questions and engage your stakeholders. Remember, email communities take time to mature but in many cases can be created relatively quickly because the opt-in software is at-the-ready and social media gives wide publicity to your email community.
The full survey results are available at:
Wishing you all the best with your email communities and social web integration, and welcoming you to share your experiences, questions and ideas with the EmailRules community.
Susan Brown Faghani, L-Soft Marketing
EmailRules - Discussion community for email communicators
Join, leave, post and read the archives at:
Contact the EmailRules list facilitators at: [log in to unmask]