Online vs. offline communities
Online does not exclude offline
Online and offline go hand in hand
An online community not only benefits your members, it benefits your organization at least as much.
Not least the pandemic showed us all that doing as we usually do does not work 100% anymore. The need to be able to offer our activities in a different way, to be able to support, help, connect with each other and strengthen the community for people with developmental disabilities is growing.
Everyone experiences a growing need to be able to reach each other online. Although we have come to the other side of the pandemic and the world has opened up again, an online presence is still a growing need and a good strategy.
An online presence means that our communities can reach far beyond the limits of activities, events, events, courses and teaching that were previously set. Now we can create communities online that are at least as rewarding as our offline communities are, and they complement each other in the best possible way.
The big differences that play together
One of the very big differences between an online and an offline community is that with an online community you can engage, help, support, reach and be in dialogue with your members, even if you are not physically together, and you can communicate in a form where your members themselves can be active.
In kazboo, we communicate with e.g. images, sound and video. So even if your members can’t read and write very well, you can have a dialogue with them without them having to have it read out by someone else. This means that the distance between you and your members is no longer long, and that contact can take place much faster.
Another of the really big differences is that with an online community you can reach far beyond your geographical boundary. Online, everyone can participate, no matter where they live. Although you are located in Chicago US, you can now offer your activities to people in Naperville, Aurora and Rockford. Far more people can benefit from the work you and your organization do every day.
Online also means that members can participate when they have time. You will therefore be able to get even more people to participate in an online activity, because they can see and hear it when it fits into their programme.
An online presence makes your offline activities better
Online in interaction with an offline activity provides even greater engagement.
People meet and can take their friendships home in their back pocket from your activity, they even have a common point of interest. For you as an organizer, this means that you can be in a much deeper and longer-lasting dialogue and contact with your participants.
You can warm them up well in advance of the activity, you can get even more people involved in the activity and you can subsequently keep them excited until your next activity.
Last but not least, you can also get direct user feedback on your event, so you can become even more knowledgeable about what your participants want and need.
If you want to take a closer look at how an online presence can benefit your offline activity, we have written much more about why and how a friendship account can do just that.
Dialogue with your members makes your material better
Online, you can engage your members right from the start when you develop events, activities, education and entertainment.
This means that you can more quickly achieve the goal of making material that fits them like a glove.
You can do polls, polls, get test groups and really get an in-depth picture of the form in which the material needs to be created and delivered so that the most people possible benefit from it.
One of the clear advantages of starting out by asking members online is that you get quicker responses and you also have a much larger group of people to ask.
If your organization works with fund projects, an online presence can help develop better fund projects, but it can also help to reach the number of people the project is intended for.
Your members are the best ambassadors
An online community brings you closer to your current and future members.
You will be much more visible to them, they will trust you more and they will know you much better. And you get to know them much better.
When we can meet together about an activity and a common interest in a dialogue that is present, we become better friends.
That your members know you better, that you have become good friends, creates good ambassadors for your organization.
Members invite other members to follow you because they trust you and like what you do.
Online does not exclude offline
Online and offline go hand in hand when we talk about communities. It should not be seen as either or, but rather as both and.
Both parts will not only benefit your members and participants, but also to a large extent your organization.