Practical tips for participating in online communities

This is a cross-post of a guest blog post (Participating in Online Communities for Mutual Support) written for Madelyn Griffith-Haynie's wonderful online resource, Many thanks to Madelyn (CTP, CMC, A.C.T., MCC, SCAC, Foundational Concepts of the Intentionality Series) for given me the OK to cross post. It's all about reciprocity, so please pop across to have a look at her site.

 Personally and professionally, I don’t know what I would do without being a member of online communities.

I am constantly challenged to think and reflect, as well as affirmed or guided in some of the ideas I am developing.

On the social side, I have had the pleasure and privilege of ‘meeting’ a vast variety of people from around the world, including Madelyn, who are incredibly generous with their time, and with sharing their thinking.

You might be saying to yourself,

  • “But I don’t have anything to say that hasn’t already been said,”
  • “I don’t have time,” or
  • “What if I say something wrong?”

I know I had similar concerns before I started getting involved in online communities.

So why might you want to get involved?

In July 2011 in her blog post Creating Community Together, Madelyn threw down a challenge that read as follows:

“Let’s work together for the mutual good of our communities and our planet – becoming resources for each other because it is simply the right thing to do – meaning the thing that will create the kind of world we want – a world that works for EVERYONE.”

You may have already taken up her challenge and are comfortably participating in and contributing to online communities. But you may also be sitting on the fence and not feeling very comfortable about jumping into the online community spaces where you may feel you need to build your digital literacy skills before joining the conversations.

In this blog post I would like to describe what I mean by digital literacy skills, give a brief overview why your voice is important in online communities, and finally, I’ll provide a grab-bag guide to getting involved.



'Girasoles para los amigos / Sunflowers+for+the+friends' Found on

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