all B C D E H I K L M O P R S T V W
“Hybrid” members
1 are members who engage, participate and belong to more than one community. Hybrid members bring value because they can create a bridge between different virtual (and physical) communities, and because through their multi-community knowledge, are able to generate new ideas and connections across the community.
Bias / Unconscious Bias
1 is when you let your personal opinions influence your judgement of something or someone. This is often done unconsciously, that is to say without knowing or realizing that you have a bias. It is important to recognize bias and unconcious bias in the context of community building because it can itroduce unintentional discrimination and affect decision making.
1 at its most simple means “creating together”. In business circles it refers to the process whereby the consumer is involved in innovating a company’s product or service. When applied to communities, it refers to a more collaborative, participatory process where people are invited to bring their collective insights in order to build, design, develop something of value. It can be applied to the community strategy, implemented activities, content development, etc.
Commitment curve
1 a commitment curve is a framework that helps to understand and visualize the level of engagement members of a community feel towards the community. There are different iterations of the commitment curve, the one we refer to in this toolkit is borrowed from Carrie Melissa Jones, who adapted it from Douglas Atkin. The premise that the commitment curve is based on is that the more a member invests in a community, the more they become committed to it therefore it is possible to map out the actions and activities of members along a curve as their engagement with the community increases.
Communities of practice
1 Establishing communities that focus on specific themes within a larger organisation or across networks in which practitioners can exchange, learn from each other and find synergies between their work.
1 this is one of the hardest terms to define and it is used by different people in different ways. Our understanding of the term is that it is a group of people who form and build intentional relationships with one and other around shared interests, values, activities, and goals.
Community builder
1 Also known as Community Lead, Community Host, Community Catalyst, Virtual Host, Community Manager, and more. A community builder is a person whose job it is to animate and engage the members of the community and to create a space that enables the community to carry out its purpose. The specific role of the community builder will vary according to the community. Some will function more like managers, with a focus on operational aspects and a goal-oriented approach; others will be more like conveners, with a focus on leading the community, holding the space for conversation: others will be a mix of the two.
Community engagement
1 in the context of virtual community building engagement refers to the degree of participation and involvement of people in the community. It can be broken down into individual actions - liking, reading, sharing, or writing a post on the community’s virtual platform are all forms of engagement, so is participating to a virtual call, connecting with other members, or attending an in person event with other community members.
Community for impact
1 a community that shares the goal of achieving a positive impact in the world either through social, environmental, or cultural change.
Community Proxy Effect
1 This term describes the relationship of trust that develops in a strong community amongst its members. Individuals may not know each other but because they are part of the same community, they inherently trust each other, and the community as a whole.
Community strategy
1 is a comprehensive approach to defining the purpose, activities, and desired outcomes of a community. While there is no hard and fast rule, usually a strategy will also take into account the monetary investment required.
Content strategy
1 is a comprehensive approach to content as it relates to a virtual community. Sharing content with a virtual community is a key component to engaging its members. It contributes to fostering a sense of connection between members, encourages them to share, and take action. A content strategy includes planning, developing, and managing content.
1 The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. It is the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual. (taken from here)
1 is ensuring that individuals or groups of individuals are not treated differently, and especially not on the basis of any particular characteristic such as disability, politcal views, religion, race, age, ethnicity, gender, role within an organization, sexuality, etc.
Equity / Parity
1 these terms relate to the distribution of power within the community. When there is equity and parity, everyone is treated fairly and equally, and everyone’s voice, opinion, and contribution carries the same weight.
Harvest / Harvesting
1 this term refers to the output of a participatory process, it is a way of making meaning of the work carried out together over the course of a meeting, seminar, workshop, or conference. It can include tangible artefacts like reports, photos, videos, graphic recordings, but also intangible aspects such as a sense of identity, relationship building, clarity, purpose, etc. It can be used as a noun or as a verb (harvesting).
1 Hosting is a core practice within communities. Hosting is the practice of welcoming and engaging members in conversations, events, and spaces. Hosting aims to cultivate the conditions for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and action.
In-group bias
1 refers to the well-documented tendency to favour members of one’s own group over those in other groups. There is no research consensus to explain why this happens, however several theories explore the idea that our individual identities are influenced by the groups we identify with.
1 the term inclusion captures, in one word, an all-embracing societal ideology whereby all people, regardless of their abilities, politcal views, religion, race, age, ethnicity, gender, role within an organization, sexuality, or any other specific characteristic, be respected and appreciated as valuable members of their communities. This is particularly important when building virtual communities that for their digital nature transcend geographical boundaries.
Key Performance Indicator (KPI)
1 is a way of evaluating success, usually used in the business sector. It is a measurable value that indicates how effectively an objective is being achieved.
Learning agenda
1 A collection of all the learning offers of a community prioritised and combined in a logical sequence. They provide focus on where to build knowledge and skills, so members can work effectively towards their individual and the community’s goals.
Learning offers
1 All types of activities hosted in the community by the community builder or members that focus on skills building and knowledge sharing.
1 A manifesto is a public statement outlining the ideals, intentions, motives, or views of a group. A community manifesto usually contains a statement about shared beliefs, the premises for engagement amongst members, and a statement about shared goals. You can see an example here [].
Open, closed, and hybrid virtual communities
1 In an open virtual community, anyone can join without having to register. Anyone can participate and engage by sharing and using content. In a closed virtual community access is intentionally limited, resources are not open-source and entry barriers like requiring registration, or having a specific job title, help community members pre-select community members. A hybrid virtual community is part open and part closed, some elements of the community are open to all, others are by invitation only.
1 Personas are fictional but realistic characters who represent the different types of people who might join your community. They are developed based on research - interviews, surveys, demographic analysis, and more. Personas are useful to community builders because they help to understand members’ needs and expectations, and can help you identify with the people you are building community for.
Poly tribalism
1 is a new concept that describes the modern phenomena of belonging to a number of different communities. While in the past humans tended to belong to a single group, or “tribe”, today we feel drawn to more than one. In the case of virtual communities, people who practice ‘poly tribalism’ might face the challenge of knowing how to manage competing needs to participate in the different communities, share knowledge across different platforms, and more.
1 The essential growth all communities need to survive. New members are required to replace departing members.
1 in a general sense, a ritual is a set of actions performed regularly, usually as part of a ceremony. In the context of virtual community building, rituals are simply activities that are carried out on a regular basis within the community with the purpose of fostering a communal identity through traditions and shared experiences. Examples include things like the practice of welcoming new community members publicly through the community’s virtual platform, or creating weekly events or content sharing activities that community members can come to expect, like “member Mondays”.
Servant leadership
1 Is a set of leadership principles that see the leader’s role as that of focusing on the growth and well being of the group. The servant-leader is at the service of the team, shares power, and puts the needs of others first. The term was coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in 1970.
Social Density
1 the number of social interactions occurring within your community platform or other communication channels.
Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs
1 are a collection of global goals set out by the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Together, the 17 goals represent the targets we collectively have to achieve by 2030 in order to guarantee peace and prosperity for people and planet. The goals address issues such as poverty (SDG 1), hunger (SDG 3), gender equality (SDG 5), climate action (SDG 13), peace and justice (SDG 16). The 2030 Agenda was adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015.
Teal-inspired collective
1 Teal has become the term used to refer to “next stage” structures and processes emerging in the world of organizations and businesses. The origin of the word comes from a book by Frederic Laloux called Reinventing Organizations that explores the connection between the evolution of the way businesses and organizations are run and the evolution of humanity’s consciousness. Teal refers to organizations that are self-managed, purpose driven, and people-oriented. A Teal-inspired collective is a group that is inspired by these principles.
Technology literacy
1 is the ability to use technology tools to access, manage, integrate, evaluate, create and communicate information. It is tied to the ability to problem solve and use critical thinking to enhance a learning process.
Virtual community
1 is a community that comes together using digital, online tools. A virtual community can transcend geographical boundaries and oftentimes boundaries of race, culture, political views because of the borderless nature of the online space. Communities that exist mainly online require different hosting practices than those that are created mainly through in-person interactions.
Virtual facilitation
1 Transferring facilitation skills to the virtual setting includes topics such as trust-building and energy. Good virtual facilitation techniques include high interaction and continuous focus on participants, their needs and singularities.
Virtual hosting
1 Virtual hosting refers to the practice of hosting applied to online spaces. As people do not connect in person regularly, the virtual host needs to hold the space for the community very intentionally. Virtual hosting is relevant for community engagement platforms like websites, Slack, Facebook groups, as well as online calls and other virtual activities.
Wicked problems
1 are social or cultural problems that cannot simply be “fixed” or “solved”. They include problems such as poverty, inequality, disease, or famine. The characteristics of a wicked problem are very specific: they involve incomplete or contradictory knowledge, there are a large number of people and opinions involved, they involve a large economic burden, the issues and causes of the problem are interconnected. Poverty is linked to education, education is linked to inequality, inequality is linked to health, which is linked to poverty, and so on. Interdisciplinary collaboration has been cited as one of the key ingredients to tackling the negative effects of wicked problems.
Working out loud
1 is a practice that revolves around building relationships. Unlike networking, which revolves around relationships based on an exchange, with working out loud collaboration is encouraged as a culture, that includes sharing, exchanging values, making contributions over time. Through openness and transparency, communities who practice working out loud can build trust, expand their expertise, and create a larger ecosystem capable of broader collective impact.