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How to get paid for maintaining social groups

February 10, 2012

While I have been a part of many online groups and tried to set up a few myself, my biggest revelation for me has come from a group in which I find see people posing problems all the time. A group which starts up by connecting a few people who have a common purpose or need (something which is very close to their hearts) usually grows in numbers by word of mouth.

It holds this unsaid promise of being able to solve the problems of people. People would come to the group to get their problems solved. It is, hence, important, for group curators to recognise the people who are the group knowledge hubs and to hook them on somehow. Sometimes, knowledge hubs don’t need incentives. They just like to share knowledge, solve problems and hence would be there if they can. It is important to identify the types of problems people join groups for and to pay the knowledge hubs a small fee for continuing to solve problems and the group will work. Everyone else can join for a small monthly fee.

Monthly fees can vary based on the reason why people join the group. People who want to advertise their business, run surveys, etc. can be charged differently. People who want to be knowledge providers can choose to commit a certain time / number of posts and be paid accordingly. The role of group moderators, hence becomes critical. They need to watch the people, against their said roles, promote or demote them depending on the level of activity demonstrated unless some automation can help keep a track of this.

In an organizational context, fees can be translated into credit points which employees can somehow earn. The key is, if I have to join a group, I need to pay for it, using my credits. If  I want to earn from a group, I need to contribute to it and somehow, at the end of each contribution, someone has to validate that my contribution counted.

Hail groups!

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