Blueprint For Building Global Community Using Free Tech

When the Global Women's Leadership Alliance announced a brainstorming challenge* to gather ideas about how to create a platform for five million women change agents, my GlobalNiche.net partner Tara Agacayak & I were excited to share what we’ve learned about using technology to build global community over the past four years.

GlobalNiche has discovered that the way to impact change is with an activated global community connected through social web technology.

Our biggest lessons are that people need synchronous and asynchronous ways to gather, they need prompting and encouragement to do so, they need a way to get to know one another, and they need a common purpose for gathering. In the below plan we address all of these fundamental requirements, using free technology. 

GLOBALNICHE’S BLUEPRINT FOR BUILDING GLOBAL COMMUNITY


Here are some of the suggestions Tara gave to the Global Women's Leadership Alliance for building a platform using existing free technology and ways to encourage the community to come together and share ideas.

    •  Schedule regular virtual events that encourage people to come together to meet each other, solve problems, learn, share, and collaborate.
    • Bring on someone to manage and moderate the activity within the community to keep it on track.
    • Use G+ Communities to facilitate interactions among users with the ability to connect to group members and have virtual, threaded discussions within the G+ Community.

    • Search G+ Discussions using the search community feature as well as #hashtags.

    • Create a category within the G+ Community for case studies, learning tools, best practices, mentorship, etc. Categories can be used to organize the discussions and functions within the platform.

    • Enable members of the G+ community to connect with each other in this virtual environment and beyond including all the other places members exist on the web and in the world. Since G+ is a social network, it is highly condusive to interacting with others, sharing one’s work, and finding partners and opportunities to collaborate.

    • Encourage members to use Google Hangouts  for informal impromptu gatherings like mentoring and office hours, and use Linqto for scheduled virtual events like webinars, classes, lectures and meetings.

    • Offer monthly workshops and virtual seminars on Linqto inviting subject-matter experts, highlight members, and discuss current events in real time. Record these events and make them available for playback within the G+ Community and on YouTube.

    • G+ is set up so entities can join either as individuals or organizations making networking and collaboration very easy among community members.

    • Incorporate a library of resources with a YouTube channel, Google Drive, photo albums, and other social media tools that can be linked back to the G+ Community.

    • Use G+ Circles to organize members into regional, cultural, and interest-specific sub-groups.

    • Use G+ Community features to communicate with group members as a whole.

    • Use the G+ Events scheduler to invite members to events and other opportunities to gather.

       

These are some of our ideas for building global community using technology. What are yours?

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*This Global Women's Leadership Network GWLN challenge was sponsored by Global Fund for Women, Global Leadership Advancement Center at San Jose State University, Mills College, Monterey Institute of International Studies, Public Health Institute, World Pulse, and Salzburg Global Seminar at San Jose State University.

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ANASTASIA ASHMAN is a digital strategist for global personal branding and a specialist in using your media to build community. As cofounder of GlobalNiche.net, she equips individuals & groups to reach offline goals through your online presence.

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